Knowledge and Learning Resources Manager
West Moreton Anglican College
It is exciting to be involved in a process where different industries band together to create a whole that is worth far more than the sum of its parts. It is both professionally and personally exciting when it’s all about what we love best – reading.
I’ve had the honour of working with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and a number of other book industry giants to take the Australian Reading Hour campaign to new heights. This year on Thursday 14 September we are asking all Australians to set aside one hour to read. Libraries, bookshops, publishers, authors, illustrators, politicians and corporations will all be involved.
As school library staff, we are in the perfect position to organise, facilitate (or at the very least encourage) such a reading activity for our entire school community – staff, students, parents and supporters.
In 2016, the ANZAC 100 Mackay Remembers: Field of Poppies Project received the Queensland School Library Association's Brian Bahnisch Award. The facilitator of the project, Margaret Spillman, shares her story, and how the community worked together to commemorate the ongoing Anzac centenary in a meaningful way.
Mackay West State School
During the lead-up to the Anzac Centenary I wondered how we as a school community might honour the memory of those who served. In particular, I wanted a way for our students to be actively involved, as the future of the Anzac traditions lies in the hands of our young people. I was inspired by the Sea of Poppies outside the Tower of London. While the poppy might commonly be used for Remembrance Day, I decided to use it for our project as well because it is such a strong visual symbol for all those who served.
My concept was that students would create a poppy using a red plastic plate. This would have a soldier’s name written across the front. It would be attached to a bamboo stake and ‘planted’ on the front lawn of the Mackay Regional Council building in the week before Anzac Day 2015.
It’s been five months since SCIS was last in NZ, and we’re getting ready to come back.
We’re hosting professional learning workshops in Auckland (15 March), Wellington (18 March) and Christchurch (21 March). These workshops – hosted by SCIS Manager Ben Chadwick and Director of Metadata and Library Services Rachel Elliott – are suitable for SCIS subscribers and non-subscribers, and are a great way to learn how to make the most of SCIS while catching up with other school library staff.
Not a subscriber? If you would like to check out what SCIS offers before heading to one of our open workshops, register for a free trial. You can browse through the SCIS catalogue, download records in SCISWeb, and check out how we can assist with your resource management and collection development. We’d love to have a chat and answer any questions at the workshop.
At each location, we will host two workshops: a free one-hour information session, as well as a three-hour workshop aimed for subscribers, Making the Most of SCIS. Places are limited for all sessions, so register here to secure your spot.
Making the Most of SCIS workshop ($55.00AUD)
These workshops are open to all school library staff. The workshop offers an in-depth understanding of how SCIS can assist to provide a more effective library service for school libraries. Participants will enhance their understanding of SCIS as a database of consistent catalogue records for educational resources, created to international standards.This workshop includes materials and light catering.
SCIS Information Session (FREE)
In each location, we are also hosting a one-hour session for non-subscribers who wish to know more about SCIS and the services we provide.
Would you like to participate in SCIS training from the comfort of your own desk?
Over three Tuesdays, beginning February 16 and ending March 1, SCIS will be hosting professional learning webinar sessions to teach you how to make the most out of SCIS products and services. Webinars are open to all school library staff, and are a great way to learn more about how SCIS can assist your library’s collection development, with the opportunity to chat with fellow library staff in Australia and New Zealand throughout the session.
Sessions are approximately 45-60 minutes, and we are always happy to answer questions about SCIS products and services at the end of each session. Registration is essential.
Tune into the following webinars to find out how you can use SCIS not only as a resource management tool, but as a form of content curation to direct you and your users to useful, educational resources for the library and the classroom.
Introduction to SCIS (FREE) Tuesday 16 February 2016, 2-3pm AEST, 5-6pm NZST A free overview of SCIS products and services and how they can help to organise resources in schools. This webinar includes an overview of how SCIS subscribers can request and download records.
Downloading SCIS records ($25.00) Tuesday 23 February 2016, 2-3pm AEST, 5-6pm NZST This webinar looks at how you can turn a set of resources, whether they are digital or physical items, into catalogue records that your students and staff can find and use for teaching and learning outcomes.
Search and selection on the SCIS catalogue ($25.00) Tuesday 1 March 2016, 2-3pm AEST, 5-6pm NZST This webinar looks at providing techniques for searching on the SCIS catalogue, and using SCIS as a resource identification tool.
How do I register?
Click here to register your interest, and join us on Tuesday 16 February for the first webinar in the series, Introduction to SCIS. As webinar participants will be tuning in from a number of different time zones, please check the registration link for your particular session time.
If you cannot make it to your session time, we will email a recording of the webinar to all registered participants within three working days.
For more information about upcoming professional learning sessions including workshops in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Melbourne, and Brisbane, please visit our Professional learning page.
Australia Day, January 26, is considered to be a commemoration of nationhood by many Australians. For other Australians, however, it marks a deep loss – of sovereignty, family and culture. Here are some titles from the SCIS catalogue which look at the clash between European settlers and the Aboriginal peoples:
1788 to 1809 : from First Fleet to Rum Rebellion by Victoria MacLeay ; [edited by Lynn Brodie].(SCIS No. 1552979). The first 22 years of the colonisation of Australia began with the arrival of the First Fleet and ended with the aftermath of the only military insurrection Australia has ever experienced. This book covers the major events: the arrival at Botany Bay, the settlement at Sydney Cove, the battle to survive, heroic explorations, and tensions between the new arrivals and indigenous peoples. ISBN 9780864271136
A commonwealth of thieves: the improbable birth of Australia by Thomas Keneally. (SCIS No. 1627531)
The history of the first four years of the convict settlement of Australia. Using personal journals and documents, Keneally re-creates the overseas voyage and the challenges Governor Arthur Phillips faced upon arrival: unruly convicts, disgruntled officers, bewildered and hostile natives, food shortages and disease. He also offers portrayals of Aborigines and convict settler. ISBN 9781400079568
That deadman dance by Kim Scott.(SCIS No. 1595239)
Told through the eyes of black and white, this is a story about a fledgling Western Australian community in the early 1800s, known as the “friendly frontier”. It shows that the first contact did not have to lead to war. ISBN 9781408829288
Rethinking settler colonialism : history and memory in Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand and South Africa edited by Annie E. Coombes (SCIS No. 1638689)
Focuses on the long history of contact between indigenous peoples and the white colonial communities who settled in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. Looks at how histories of colonial settlement have been mythologised, narrated, and embodied in these countries in the twentieth century. ISBN 9780719071690
A failure to understand: early colonialism and the indigenous peoples by Margaret McPhee. (SCIS No. 1659262). A look at the monumental clash between European colonalism and the Aboriginal peoples; from the first tentative and difficult interactions of the early explorers to the arrival of the First Fleet. ISBN 9781742455136
The Australian frontier wars 1788-1838 by John Connor (SCIS No 1112716). From the Swan River to the Hawkesbury, and from the sticky Arnhem Land mangrove to the soft green hills of Tasmania, this book describes the major conflicts fought on the Australian frontier to 1838. ISBN 0868407569
The other side of the frontier: Aboriginal resistance to the European invasion of Australia by Henry Reynolds (SCIS No. 1311253). The publication of this book in 1981 profoundly changed the way in which we understand the history of relations between indigenous Australians and European settlers. ISBN 0868408921
Forgotten war by Henry Reynolds (SCIS No. 1623535). Australia is dotted with memorials to soldiers who fought in wars overseas, but there are no official commemorations of the battles fought on Australian soil between Aborigines and white colonists. ISBN 9781742233925
The Black War : fear, sex and resistance in Tasmania by Nicholas Clements (SCIS No. 1659002)
Between 1825 and 1831 close to 200 Britons and 1000 Aborigines died violently in Tasmania’s Black War. It was by far the most intense frontier conflict in Australia’s history, yet many Australians know little about it. ISBN 9780702250064
All images and summaries provided by SCIS Syndetics
‘We remember ANZAC’ resource kits were sent to all schools in Australia this week.
They have been produced by the Department of Veteran Affairs in preparation for the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
The kits themselves do not have ISBN’s but can be downloaded using their SCIS record numbers or by title.
Primary resource 1689387
Secondary resource 1689388
There are three books over the two kits that do have ISBN’s. Bibliographic records have been created for them in case schools wish to split up the kit.
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation was set up in 2005 by Suzy Wilson, with the aim of lifting literacy rates and opportunities for young indigenous children living in remote communities. The fund is supported by the Australian Book Industry and is a not for profit charity. You can find out more about the organization here.
Its main fundraising activity is Indigenous Literacy Day, which took place on 3 September this year. Many schools and libraries hosted book swap sessions with book publishers and book sellers donating a percentage of sales to the fund.
Di Ruffles from Melbourne Grammar School was invited to set the scene for the SCIS Asks 2013 consultation forum and provide her wishlist for school library services.
Di stated her top five issues in school libraries as:
Demonstration of the value of the school library to principals and school councils is essential
Plateauing of budget figures is a trend being noticed across many schools
Resourcing the Australian Curriculum
Phase 1 learning areas (English, Maths, History and Science) is a priority. Then resourcing of new learning areas.
Australian Curriculum General Capabilities
Development of programs and resources to support these and,
Australian Curriculum Cross curriculum priority areas
At her school Di noted, iPads are being used through the school with Year 12 providing their own choice of device. Students are not necessarily accessing the same information at the same time. E-Books are causing issues importing into the various devices in a BYOT school environment.
Identification of suitable apps for teacher resources and for use by students is featuring increasingly. Particularly useful apps include an app for the library catalogue as well as the EasyBib app which means students can scan a book’s ISBN for a citation.
For students and staff 24/7 access to resources is important, as is providing resources in a variety of formats: print, e-book, DVD, audiobooks and digital video library (eg. Clickview). Journals and databases of e-journals are used extensively. Di is seeing less use of the print non–fiction collection. Non-fiction eBooks are used but not necessarily a preferred option for all students. Students are not so fussed with format but the item must be relevant.
Di looked at the changing role of the teacher librarian and used ‘What do teacher librarians teach’ by Joyce Valenza and Gwyneth Jones to highlight the multifaceted role of teacher librarians. Evaluating resources is an important focus for teacher librarians, as is digital citizenship and educating students about plagiarism. The library’s website includes research guides (which suggests catalogue subject headings) and a Harvard style referencing tool.
Di highlighted how teacher librarians at her school are working with classroom teachers, for example in a new subject for 2014, Extended Investigation (inspired by International Baccalaureate) which aims to develop student’s capacity to identify and ask good questions, research an area of interest in depth and prepare for university level study.
Based on his latest book, Information Resource Description: creating and managing metadata (2012) published by Facet, Philip outlined three approaches to metadata creation, and considered how cataloguing services like SCIS might develop a hybrid model around these three approaches into the future.
content-based retrieval, eg. search engines
metadata-based retrieval: socially generated
metadata-based retrieval: professional description:
Philip’s vision for future library systems included:
Finding, identifying and obtaining supported mostly by content-based systems
Selecting supported by user reviews & professional metadata
Navigation supported by controlled vocabularies
Phillip recommended that future priorities for SCIS should include providing metadata for key resource to support curriculum in controlled fields, to support tagging done by teachers and students and to manage or co-manage controlled vocabularies such as ScOT.
The Readers’ Cup is a free competition for schools to enter teams. It aims to support and encourage readers and reading. When I was a teacher librarian at OLMC in Heidelberg we had participated several times. We ran the competition out of the school library and sponsored the winning team into the finals. Teams are quizzed on their knowledge of the books that they have read and make a creative response to one of the titles using web 2.0 tools. This is an activity that runs well in structured library lessons.
Judith Way started the Readers Cup, initially with SLAV but for the last couple of years they have been held at Quantum. As Judith says
“The Readers’ Cup is not funded at all – we simply give our time to encourage students to read and to love book.”
It was a pleasure this year to be involved by being asked to be one of the judges . It was lovely to see the knowledge that the students had of the books and to watch their presentations giving their emotional and creative responses to the books. There was a shared spirit of enthusiasm and love for reading in the room. You can find a report on the Readers’ cup here.