Highlights of Connections 84

You can now read the latest issue of Connections at the SCIS website.

GR8 Debate digital culture is killing reading

The GR8 debate was organized in celebration of the National Year of Reading and explored how digital technologies such as iPads, social media and the instant internet culture impact upon our core, traditional abilities and views of reading and writing. Both sides battled it out with a diverse array of serious and humorous academic arguments

Banned Books Week 2012 at Sunshine College

How Sunshine College celebrated Book week by looking at banned books

“The students were shocked that their favourite books had not been allowed in some places, including their much-loved year 10 class text, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Suddenly, they could feel deliciously naughty while defending freedom of speech. They raided the shelves to find their favourite banned or challenged books. They then decided which passages to read, discussing, arguing, and testing them on each other.”

Creating displays part 2: the practical side

Anita Vandenberghe in her previous article talked about the philosophy of displays – what is the story behind it? Why should we have displays and would people even notice them?  In this issue she highlights the practical side of display. Where to start, what topic to choose, where to get ideas, what material to use and how to prepare yourself?

Collective knowledge construction: four new strategies for learning

How to Connect, Communicate and Collaborate in order to learn Collectively.

QR codes, linking print and online collections

An interesting summarized exploration of how to create meaningful two-way links between the libraries online and print collections.

SCIS asks: ScOT and subject access

In the subject access session of the SCIS consultation on 4 December 2012, Les Kneebone Project Manager of the Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT) presented an exciting overview of recent developments in the ScOT thesaurus. Key features that position ScOT for the future include:

  • its ongoing development with input from cataloguers, curriculum developers, subject matter experts and users
  • its use to describe the machine-readable Australian Curriculum
  • its linked data API facilitating automatic semantic relationships
  • its translation into languages including Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and Māori
  • its use to describe a wide range of resources through the National Digital Learning Resource Network and SCIS

Discussion followed as to future directions for SCIS in the area of subject access.

Les Kneebone
Les Kneebone presents an overview of ScOT

The ScOT in SCIS project commenced in 2006 when the thinking was that keyword searching would become the pre-eminent means of resource retrieval. Since then SCIS has offered schools the option of downloading both SCIS Subject Headings and ScOT terms in their catalogue records. The challenge is how to manage and display both SCIS subject headings and ScOT terms in a meaningful way for users in order to exploit the inferred links between resources tagged with ScOT terms that match a curriculum tagged with ScOT terms.

Also discussed was an alternative scenario of transition from use of SCIS Subject Headings to ScOT terms and how schools would manage this process.

SCIS asks: Strategic directions for school libraries

On Tuesday 4 December 2012 SCIS conducted a consultation workshop with SCIS partners discussing future priorities in our support for school libraries.

Judy O’Connell, Course Director (Teacher Librarianship) at Charles Sturt University started the day with a set of challenges that covered collections, search, cataloguing, curriculum, interoperability and access. Her presentation Strategic directions for school libraries reinforced the context within which education libraries need to work.  These included curriculum, the cloud and game-based learning in a library environment which is both physical and virtual.Bulb image from presentation

The challenge to participants was to rethink library catalogues, which should no longer be seen as simply tools for locating records. Interrogation of data from different data pools requires new thinking and a new user focus.  We need to change our technology interface to provide a natural, predictive and responsive search capacity.  Web 3.0 challenges us to make library search into a discovery interface.

“How does search impact the way students think, and the way we organise information access?”

Judy pointed out that the search experience influences how students see information structure. Students conceptualise information and the search environment differently, and the way they search should influence the way that we organise information. The learning technologies environment has changed since library management systems were first designed, and we must not lose sight of what is happening in other areas of information retrieval. The importance of metadata developments, including Resource Description and Access (RDA), mean we cannot take old thinking into new information environments.

Check out Judy’s presentation, and then contribute to the ongoing discussion about how SCIS and library system providers can best serve school libraries in 2015 and beyond?

Connections 74 hits the streets and online!

Courtesy of  flickrCC: www.flickr.com/photos/96741530@N00/4136024835

The current issue of Connections has a bumper crop of original articles! 

If you want to share information of relevance and importance to school libraries, please contact the Connections Editor.

Image courtesy of flickrCC.

 

School library inquiry

On 12 July 2010 Education Services Australia (ESA) was represented at the Adelaide hearing of the Parliamentary Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools. Also appearing were representatives of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA), the Joint Use Libraries Association of Australia, the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Public Libraries South Australia, Friends of Libraries Australia and the University of South Australia (UniSA).

Thanks to the Parliament of Australia’s live broadcasting program we were able to listen to the hearing from Melbourne, posting some of the significant issues from the hearing to twitter! ESA’s position is that national collaborative services such as SCIS and edna provide essential tools for teacher librarians in delivering services to their users. Our key recommendation is for an adequate distribution of funding for the ongoing development of school library staff in both specific library-related professional development and as a key element of whole school development.

ALIA and UniSA both argued for a need to expand tertiary education options for teacher librarians and to educate teachers in information literacy skills. The Friends of Libraries Australia emphasised that the relationship and connection between school and public libraries needs to occur more systematically and can’t work without teacher librarians.

An article in AdelaideNow highlights the popularity of libraries in South Australia and briefly reports on the concerns about teacher librarian shortages and funding which were raised at the hearing.

Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training’s Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools is well underway, with 371 submissions and 2 supplementary submissions received by the committee and a series of public hearings taking place around the country starting in April.

Education Services Australia, as SCIS’s parent body, has put forward a submission to the inquiry arguing for an adequate distribution of funding for the ongoing development of school library staff in both specific library-related professional development and as part of generic whole school development, and further discusses how major policies and investments such as the Australian Curriculum and the Digital Education Revolution impact strongly on the use of resources that support teaching and learning in schools and argues that the work of teacher librarians has become even more important as a result.  Representatives of Education Services Australia have been invited to attend the hearing in Adelaide on July 12.

All submissions, including that submitted by Education Services Australia (No.119), are available in PDF format (excepting those designated Parliamentary-in-Confidence) from the inquiry’s submissions page. An extraordinarily diverse array of individuals and groups have submitted responses to the inquiry – and it must be said it is heartening to see organisations not directly related to libraries such as the Queensland Teachers’ Union (No. 240), and the Copyright Agency (No.289) putting submissions forward which strongly defend the importance of the role played by libraries and teacher librarians in schools, alongside library organisations such as ALIA (No.332) and ASLA (No.327).

This inquiry has the potential to strongly affect all school libraries and librarians, so do take the time to review some of the submissions and to follow the outcomes of the hearings – and get in contact with your library associations to put your 2 cents in too!