Collector, curator or collaborator?: Suggested PLNs for school library staff

In SCIS's Term 1 issue of Connections, Jennie Bales, adjunct lecturer at Charles Sturt University, wrote an article about the collaborative nature of school library professionals. 

With her article, Jennie curated a list of social networking sites for readers to add to their personal learning network. 'These include some personal favourites and represent a balance of different foci and curators: professional associations, corporate services, teacher librarians, and leaders in the information services field', Jennie explains.

Blogs & Websites

Bright ideas
http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au
Bright ideas is maintained by School Library Association of Victoria & State Library of Victoria. The page includes general coverage across multiple aspects of library services, technology and pedagogy. Members can contribute and comment.

Services to schools: create readers
http://schools.natlib.govt.nz/blogs/create-readers
Maintained by the National Library of New Zealand’s Services to Schools, this blog includes content across various aspects of library services, with a strong focus on literature and resource sharing. Members can contribute and comment.

AHS makerspace
https://ahsmakerspace.wordpress.com/author/anneweaver
AHS makerspace is a school library site maintained by Anne Weaver, with a focus on makerspaces and examples of library practices.

TinkeringChild
http://tinkeringchild.com/travelling-with-a-makers-eye
This blog is maintained by Jackie Child, a practitioner with a passion for makerspaces and hands-on learning.

Bib 2.0: Technology and the indispensable librarian
http://bib20.blogspot.com.au
Bib 2.0 is maintained by teacher librarian Jeri Hurd. It has a strong focus on ICT in education, including information on applications, library programs, pedagogy, design and makerspaces.

Children’s books daily
http://childrensbooksdaily.com
Megan Daley shares her passion for literature with engaging book reviews, plus other matters.

The Book Chook
www.thebookchook.com
Susan Stephenson’s website The Book Chook shares a myriad of ideas on children’s literature and reading.

Linking Learning
www.linkinglearning.com.au
Linking Learning is maintained by Kay Oddone, practitioner on library matters and PLNs. Very useful for ongoing discussion about PLNs, their value and their theoretical underpinnings.

Heyjude: Learning in an online world
https://judyoconnell.com
Judy O’Connell shares information on technology, pedagogy and everything online.

The blue skunk blog
http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com
A US-based blog maintained by Doug Johnson, a presenter, author and long-serving leader in the field. Doug focuses on technology, pedagogy, and issues he believes the profession needs to face.

Facebook

Australian Teacher Librarian Network
www.facebook.com/OztlNet
OZTL_NET’s Facebook page includes general coverage relating to libraries, technology, research, resources and reading.

What a difference a school library makes
www.facebook.com/Schoollibraries/about
Karen Bonanno shares cutting-edge content on all things library related.

Australian School Library Association (ASLA) Online
www.facebook.com/ASLAOnline
ASLA on school libraries, education and literature.

Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)
www.facebook.com/schoolscatinfo
SCIS shares various posts relating to school libraries, information services, and SCIS services.

Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) www.facebook.com/acer.edu.au
An excellent source for recent educational research and for providing support to the leadership team.

Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA)
www.facebook.com/theCBCA
The CBCA shares the latest on children’s literature, including reviews. You can also check if your state or territory has a branch Facebook page to keep up with literary events.

Eduwebinar
www.facebook.com/eduwebinar
Eduwebinar covers the latest developments in the education arena, including technology, pedagogy and leadership, as well as free and paid professional development.

The King’s School Senior Library www.facebook.com/TheKingsSchoolSeniorLibrary
The King’s School Senior Library’s Facebook page has a strong focus on literature and writing for young adults.

Curation sites

K–12 School libraries
http://www.scoop.it/u/susan-grigsby
Susan Grisby scoops content of interest to F–12 school librarians, including new technologies, social media, curation, research, educational apps, and more.

Bookmarking librarian
http://www.scoop.it/u/sarah-betteridge
Sarah Betteridge scoops on 21st-century school libraries, Australian Curriculum, makerspaces and educational technology.

Karen Bonanno
http://www.scoop.it/u/karen-bonanno
Scoop topics include school library advocacy, web tools, inquiry learning, curriculum resources and educational makerspaces.

JB’s Learning links
https://www.diigo.com/user/jbslearninglinks
Jennie Bales’s diigo social bookmarking site on educational matters, including curriculum, pedagogy, literature, literacy, research and technology.

Teacher-librarians
https://groups.diigo.com/group/teacher_librarians
This Diigo social bookmarking collection includes contributions from a group of teacher librarians.

Are there any blogs, websites, or social media accounts that you would add to this list? Please share them in the comments below. To view Jennie's article in Connections, please follow this link.

Highlights of Connections 99

Connections

Here are the highlights from the latest issue of Connections, which is now available online. To download a PDF of the latest issue, please select this link.

It’s time: let’s improve schools’ perceptions of teacher librarians
Bev Novak recommends ways to encourage staff and students to make the most of teacher librarian skill sets.

Stopping the slide: improving reading rates in the middle school
After noticing a drop in borrowing rates as students entered the middle school, Narelle Keen gathered data and conducted student interviews to understand why. Narelle proposes recommendations to improve borrowing rates.

School libraries supporting literacy
Steph Ellis, librarian at Napier Boys’ High School, shares a range of library programs to promote a reading culture and increase literacy skills in schools.

An inquiry-based approach to exploring Australian history
Author Deborah Abela researched her family’s history and Maltese migrant history before writing her novel, Teresa: A New Australian. Deborah’s process can assist students undertaking historical inquiry.

School library spotlight: Melbourne High School
SCIS talks to Pam Saunders, Head of Library at Melbourne High School, about what’s happening in MHS’s library, including library programs and promotion.

The lowdown on authority files
Cataloguing librarian Doreen Sullivan explains how authority files containing name and subject authorities link relevant content within catalogues to optimise users’ search experiences.

SCIS is more
SCIS Manager Ben Chadwick introduces changes to the SCISWeb Licence Agreement, which will help to clearly identify the provenance of SCIS records.

Supporting Australian book creators
Morris Gleitzman discusses one of the simple pleasures of visiting school libraries: finding tattered, much-read copies of his own work. The ELR initiative makes it possible for authors such as Morris to continue producing books like these, while providing free access in libraries.

We welcome any feedback you may have about this issue, or any ideas you have for future Connections articles. Please email connections@esa.edu.au.

Happy reading!

ELR_2016

Highlights of Connections 98

Here are the highlights from the latest issue of Connections, which is now available online.

The importance of school libraries in the Google Age

We continue to hear about the lack of trained library staff in schools, despite ongoing research indicating that the presence of teacher librarians lead to improved learning outcomes. Kay Oddone highlights the many benefits teacher librarians can bring to the wider school, and why their role is integral to the learning of both student and staff.

Celebrating Children’s Book Week with the CBCA

Jane O’Connell, an independent director at the Children’s Book Council of Australia, looks at how school library and teaching staff can get involved in Children’s Book Week, which will be running from 20–26 August in 2016.

Using social media to support school library services

Helen Stower and Margaret Donaghue, from Mt Alvernia College’s iCentre, write about their experiences using social media as a communication platform for their school’s library. They highlight the importance of libraries sharing their stories, and discuss the need to develop social media guidelines in order to minimise potential risks.

Student perspectives on ebook and audiobook usage

Tehani Wessely surveyed students in Marist College Canberra’s middle school to understand student perspectives on ebooks and audiobooks, while also monitoring usage statistics. Despite low results, Tehani believes that we are still in the early stages of ebook and audiobook adoption, and acceptance of the technologies will continue in time.

Libraries, languages and free resources

Jill Wilson shares an overview of the Language Learning Space, a free online platform providing access to challenges and resources for languages students, and professional learning tools for Chinese, Indonesian, and Japanese language teachers. Jill also mentions several personal learning networks (PLNs) that language teachers can join.

Why SCIS prefers to catalogue with item in hand

SCIS cataloguer Doreen Sullivan outlines why we have a preference to catalogue with items in hand, rather than cataloguing blindly. Doreen explains the challenges of determining subject headings from minimal information, and highlights the importance of metadata elements such pagination and publishers.

We’d love to hear any feedback you have about Connections – please send us an email at connections@esa.edu.au.

Happy reading!

World Refugee Week

In May, the Oxford University Press announced the Children’s Word of the Year for 2016 was refugee.

The word was selected after analysis of entries from the BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition, which asked children aged 5-13 to submit a piece of fiction no more than 500 words in length. With over 123,000 entries, use of the word ‘refugee’ saw a 368% increase from last year’s entries.

World Refugee Week will take place from 19–25 June, with World Refugee Day on Monday 20 June. Following recent global events, it is important that students are aware of the refugee crisis. It is through learning about others that we generate awareness, empathy, and understanding. OUP have put together a great infographic, available on this page.

SCIS has catalogued a range of educational, interactive digital content aimed at sharing the experiences of refugees around the world.

The refugee project (SCIS no 1767814)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1767814
In every corner of the earth, ordinary people are forced to leave their homes, often without notice, often never to return. When they cross international borders, they are called refugees. The Refugee Project is a narrative, temporal map of refugee migrations since 1975. UN data is complemented by original histories of the major refugee crises of the last four decades, situated in their individual contexts.

Long journey, young lives: an online documentary (SCIS no 1343711)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1343711
The project features 40 ‘micro documentaries’ – each one a series of clips featuring either a refugee child discussing their experience or an Australian child sharing their thoughts on asylum seekers.

Against all odds (SCIS no 1767791)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1767791
This online interactive game is designed to teach users how people become refugees and what it is like to be a refugee. There are three games to play under the following headings: War and conflict — Border country — A new life. This site also includes further web facts about refugees, and information and links to additional resources for teachers.

Anatomy of a refugee camp (SCIS no 1767803)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1767803
Move the cursor around a plan of a refugee camp and discover what a refugee camp looks like and what all the buildings are used for.

Refugees and migration (SCIS no 1767807)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1767807
This unit of work, Seeking refuge — The journey, allows students to explore the human face of the journey undertaken by refugees and asylum seekers, and to create a digital story to reflect what they learn. Texts used include The Happiest Refugee: A memoir by Anh Do, Mahtab’s Story a novel by Libby Gleeson, the non-fiction text Children of War: Voices of Iraqi refugees by Deborah Ellis, and the graphic novel The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Includes teacher resources.

The boat (SCIS no 1764455)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1764455
This website links the award-winning interactive graphic novel, The boat, with classroom activities and background information. Based on the poignant story by Nam Le, this multimedia adaptation by Matt Huynh offers an insight into the Vietnamese refugee experience and is suitable for secondary students.

We’d love to hear about any resources you’re using throughout World Refugee Week – you can let us know about them via our cataloguing request form.

What’s happening in your school library?

Connections

We recently mailed out Connections 97 to schools in Australia. In this issue, we included an article by Chris Harte about St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School which has received great feedback. The article showcases the wonderful things librarians Jackie and Megan are doing in their makerspace, and provides tips for people eager to follow in their footsteps.

Following the interest in this article, we’re reaching out to all of you to see if you are doing exciting and innovative things in your library that you would be willing to share with our readers. This will be a great way to share what’s happening in Australian and New Zealand school libraries and inspire others.

If you have a story to share that may be of benefit to the wider school library community – whether it’s organising your library’s collections in an exciting way, doing innovative things to engage students with their learning, or doing interesting things to promote literacy, STEM subjects, or your library itself – we’d love to hear about it.

Please don’t hesitate to send us an email at connections@esa.edu.au if you’re interested in writing an article for Connections.

SCISSHL and ScOT: Why use both?

Have you ever wondered why some SCIS records contain two similar or identical subject headings? SCIS cataloguers use two controlled vocabularies: the SCIS Subject Heading List (SCISSHL) and the Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT). You’ll notice that the codes ‘scisshl’ or ‘scot’ appear in parentheses after each heading, representing which vocabulary the heading came from. Subscribers who access records through SCISWeb have the option to have headings from both vocabularies in their downloaded records, or just their preferred one.

These two controlled vocabularies serve complementary functions. Simply put, ScOT terms are informed by curriculum language and structure, whereas the SCISSHL is informed by topics in the literature itself: its headings reflect the content of the SCIS database.

Seasons_SH_MARCviewThe benefit of using both is that if one person – likely, in this case, to be a teacher or school library professional – enters search terms inspired by the curriculum, and another person – such as a student – searches with no consideration of the curriculum, both will find relevant resources. Oftentimes there is an overlap between SCISSHL and ScOT terms that can describe resources (see image to the left); to maintain consistency, both terms are always used.

SCISWeb

MyProfileAdvancedOptionsWhile our cataloguers include terms from both vocabularies, you have the option to select a preferred subject heading format.

Once you’ve logged into SCISWeb, you can select ‘My Profile’ from the navigation bar, select ‘Advanced options’, and then choose your preferred subject heading format (you can press the ‘Help me choose which format’ if further clarification is needed), and then press ‘SAVE’.

Z39.50

Please note that the instructions above only change your settings on SCISWeb, and will not affect the format of records imported directly into your library management system through Z39.50 (otherwise known as rapid cataloguing or z-cataloguing).

When using z39.50 to import records directly into your system, some library systems allow you to choose between SCISSHL or ScOT terms. Others extract the ScOT headings and put them in special fields, treating them as keywords rather than specialised subject headings. Still others import both sets of headings and do not give you a choice in the matter. If the source of the heading is not displayed (‘scisshl’ or ‘scot’) it may appear that you have duplicate headings in your record, whereas one heading is from ScOT and the other from SCISSHL.

If you would like to know more about the differences between the two, see ‘ScOT in SCIS – more of the same … or different?’ and ‘The relationship between SCIS Subject Headings and ScOT’.

SCIS cataloguing standards update: Dewey or don’t we?

There has been some discussion at SCIS about how schools treat picture books that rhyme. It has been SCIS practice to classify stories in rhyme picture books as poetry, with each book allocated a Dewey Decimal number. However, feedback in workshops and surveys indicate that this did not reflect the preferred classification in schools.

The Information Services Standards Committee (ISSC) meets regularly to discuss and make revisions to the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry, and this issue was recently discussed during a teleconference with the committee. The decision was made on behalf of the ISSC to classify stories in rhyme picture books as fiction, intending to make browsing easier for students and staff in schools. This will also save you the time spent changing the classifications manually.

If you have any questions about this update, please contact scisinfo@esa.edu.au.

We are interested in learning more about how you manage resources so that our standards continue to reflect schools’ needs

We want to make sure our catalogue records continue to meet the needs of our subscribers. Can you spare ten minutes to complete this survey so we can understand how resources are being managed in school libraries?

All survey respondents will go in the draw to win a $250 book card.

Highlights of Connections 97

Connections97

Here are the highlights from the latest issue of Connections, which is now available online.

Jackie French. Photo by Kelly Sturgiss.

1,000 reasons to support Australian book creators

Acclaimed author Jackie French provides insight into the life of children’s writers: responding to children’s letters, creating teaching notes, and devoting their life to writing. Jackie discusses how libraries facilitate the relationship between the reader and the writer, and how school library staff can help to aid in the growth of the Australian writing industry.

Library makerspaces: revolution or evolution?

Jackie Child and Megan Daley, librarians at St Aidan’s Anglican School for Girls, are using their makerspace to encourage tinkering and making in their school. Chris Harte talked to them about how they developed their makerspace, starting with small projects and building from there.

Exploring time and place through children’s literature

Tania McCartney reflects on the mind-opening nature of diverse children’s literature, looking at how exposure to other cultures and earlier times can impact children’s minds.

Country to Canberra: empowering rural girls

Hannah Wandel discusses how the Country to Canberra initiative is empowering young rural women to reach their leadership potential. Country to Canberra runs an annual, national essay competition, which gives winners the opportunity to travel to Canberra to connect with our country’s leaders.

The professional learning hat

Barbara Braxton writes about the importance of professional learning, arguing that if we are to encourage lifelong learning, we should practice it ourselves. Barbara provides recommendations to make professional goals meaningful and worthy of investment.

What’s so special about Special Order Files?

This article explains the benefits of cataloguing digital content, and shows how SCIS records for new electronic resources and digital collections can be downloaded in bulk from the Special Order Files page.

Happy reading!

You can also check out this video showing the print cycle of Connections. Thank you to Printgraphics for putting the video together.

Interested in having your writing published? If you have any ideas for articles relevant to the school library community, we’d love to hear them! Send us an email at connections@esa.edu.au

Digital resources to use on Harmony Day

Harmony Day is celebrated on 21 March, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and following Victoria’s Cultural Diversity Week (12–20 March).

We have created catalogue records for the following digital resources:

Harmony Day : recipes for harmony [website], by the Australian Department of Social Services (SCIS no 1753238)

This website provides information about Harmony Day 2016 and information about the multicultural make up of Australian society. It also provides news feeds, access to free resources, and ideas about how to celebrate the day. Included is access to ‘Recipes for Harmony’, an online resource featuring recipes, cultural profiles and personal stories from every-day and high profile Australians. It also includes a teacher resource to accompany ‘Recipes for Harmony’, which provides example lesson plans, work sheets, ice breakers, and other classroom activities.

Y challenge : celebrating diversity [website], by the Australian Red Cross (SCIS no 1753460)

The Y program encourages young people to explore and celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity. It also helps them develop projects that promote fairness, respect for one another, participation and a sense of belonging among their school and local communities.The program is divided into three sections (Description based on online preview). The program is divided into three sections: Explore, Inspire, and Take action.

Harmony Day Stories (SCIS no 1753463)

Experience three stories that are part Australia’s past, present and future – Renata, Kofi and Anh. Download the Harmony Day Stories app today to watch each stories come to life with augmented reality, a cool new interactive experience (Taken from the app’s description). Available from both Apple and Google stores.

Share our pride, by Reconciliation Australia (SCIS no 1753479)

Developed by Reconciliation Australia, this website introduces its readers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, cultures, and perspectives. ‘Share our pride’ was designed to raise awareness and break down cultural myths and barriers in order to build respectful relationships.

Roads to refuge, by the Australian Red Cross (SCIS no 1696317)

Roads to Refuge is designed to give students, teachers and the community access to relevant, factual and current information about refugees (Taken from website).


To find more resources celebrating cultural diversity on SCIS OPAC, you can ‘Browse by subject‘ using a range of different subject headings, such as: Harmony Day (Australia); Cultural diversity; Multiculturalism; or Cultural enrichment.  You can also check out the carousel on our homepage, featuring books that promote a variety of multicultural perspectives.

If you use any other websites or resources that celebrates cultural diversity and encourages cultural awareness, we’d love to hear about them. You can leave a comment here or send us a tweet at @schoolscatinfo.

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day (Tuesday 9 February) is an annual, international day promoting safe and responsible use of the internet, particularly aimed at children and young adults.

As students are well and truly immersed in the digital age, it is important for them to be able to navigate the vast landscape of the online environment, and use the internet in a way that does not cause harm to themselves or others. The internet is filled with endless opportunities for learning, discovery and social interaction; Safer Internet Day reminds us that it also needs to be approached with a sense of responsibility and with some degree of caution.

Digital citizenship can be found in the Australian Curriculum in the Digital Technologies learning area, as well as across multiple general capabilities, including Information and Communication Technology, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, and Ethical Understanding.

Below is a list of websites (and one book) that can be used to encourage safer internet use and ensure students wear their digital citizenship badges responsibly:

Cybersmart detectives by the Australian Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner (SCIS no 1749917)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1749917

Cybersmart Detectives is an interactive website suitable for Year 4 students. It offers a half-hour class activity that asks students to take on the role of the Cybersmart Detective, where they must find clues and answer questions, demonstrating that certain actions made in the online environment can have negative repercussions.

Digital citizenship in schools: nine elements all students should know by Mike Ribble (SCIS no 1739384)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?&bibId=1739384

Produced by the International Society for Technology in Education, this book examines issues concerning information literacy, digital citizenship, and social aspects, and safety measures of using the internet. The book discusses how both teachers and students can become informed, responsible internet users.

CyberSense and nonsense : the second adventure of the three CyberPigs by the Media Awareness Network (SCIS no 1746691)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?&bibId=1746691

CyberSense and Nonsense teaches young people about netiquette, as well as the information and critical literacy skills necessary to distinguish fact and opinion, including those that contain bias and harmful stereotypes. The website also offers information about encouraging ethical online behaviour, how to be an effective searcher, as well as teaching guides for parents and teachers.

eSmart Digital licence by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation (SCIS no 1722072)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1722072

The eSmart Digital Licence is a website developed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation suitable for children aged 10+. It uses an interactive quiz that includes videos and games with eight learning modules to evaluate students’ understanding of digital safety, and teaches the skills required to learn, socialise and play online in a safe and responsible manner.

Posti network by Arts Centre Melbourne (SCIS no 1566388)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?&bibId=1566388

Developed by the Arts Centre Melbourne, with the support of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, this website aims to help upper-primary school students understand the implications of occupying digital spaces, especially in regards to social media use. It is also designed to teach young users about their roles and responsibilities as ‘digital citizens’.


You can also check out Kay Oddone’s article in the latest issue of Connections, ‘Information and critical literacy on the web’, which is an abridged version of a series of blog posts she has written about information and critical literacy in online spaces. Her original blog series can be found here.

Do you use any other resources to teach students to become responsible digital citizens? Let us know in the comment section below, or send us a tweet at @schoolscatinfo.

Happy and safe internetting!