Dictionary.com defines Consultation as a meeting for deliberation, discussion or decision and Collaboration as the act of working with another or others on a joint project.
When discussing collaboration with fellow Teacher Librarians I have heard that the aim is to make sure the Teacher Librarian is as involved with the student learning as much as possible. The ideal would be to plan with the teacher, deliver the content/skills to the student together with the teacher and then to evaluate the learning with the students and teachers together. Being involved with the whole process is collaboration nirvana. I wonder if this goal is totally unrealistic and unsustainable in the school environment?
Often consultation is seen as the poor alternative to collaboration. I think the measure of this should be the person who is seeking your assistance.
Last week I had many experiences working with colleagues and students that would be described as consultation rather than collaboration. My input to their project came at their request and was only a small part in helping them achieve success in their goal. We looked at how to create resource lists in Destiny, how to find books on Destiny and on the library shelves, how to access online databases and how to make notes using Google Docs. All important skills and all essential for the person's success.
I hope to develop better skills at both consultations and collaboration.