Sue McKerracher explains why 2012 has been declared the National Year of Reading, and how parents, teachers, students and school libraries can get involved in this initiative to focus attention on reading and showcase the important role that libraries play in the school community.
If you don’t have a PLN
Bev Novak from Mentone Grammar School encourages educators to start developing their Personal Learning Network (PLN) and discover the joy of lifelong learning – learning anything, anytime, anywhere with anybody they choose.
Australian School Library Association Citation Award
An interview with Pru Mitchell following presentation of the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) citation award in October 2011. Pru discusses the citation and the role and impact of professional associations.
Dianne Oberg discusses the concept of school culture. She believes the very essence of the work of teacher librarians – improving teaching and learning – requires that they work within the culture of the school and that they also work to change the culture of the school.
This article by project managers Carol Grantham and Silvana Jenkins, describes the online referencing generator project undertaken by the School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA). It outlines the project’s rationale, the development process, the partnership with the University of South Australia and how schools are using this online Harvard referencing tool.
This article has been prepared from edited extracts of Digital Literacy across the Curriculum, a handbook developed by Futurelab. The handbook is aimed at educational practitioners and school leaders, in both primary and secondary schools, who are interested in creative and critical uses of technology in the classroom.
Pam Kadow, SCIS Cataloguing Team Leader summarises the main updates and changes to subject categories in the new 23rd edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification, being used by SCIS from September 2011.
More detailed information on number relocations, discontinuations and re-used numbers is available at www.oclc.org/us/en/dewey/versions/print.
Karen Bonanno provides a series of advocacy activities to help school library staff influence policy, advising that to bring about change requires consistent and persistent effort to shift perceptions. She advocates maintaining regular positive activity supported by strategies such as identifying a memorable message, capturing killer statistics, gathering startling facts and statements and leveraging the network.
Leonie Dyason and Rachel Fidock, teacher librarians from Mooroopna Secondary College (MSC) share their experiences of the Personal Learning Network (PLN) program, run by the State Library of Victoria (SLV) and the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV). They outline how their practice has changed through application in the library, in team teaching and in troubleshooting. A list of useful Web 2.0 tools is provided.
Bev Novak questions the idea that searching can replace learning. Her ten questions challenge teachers and parents to consider the distinction between information and knowledge, and to refine what they mean by learning and how learning is best achieved. This article is reprinted from her NovaNews blog.
This article outlines research by Dr Helen Boelens into the role of school libraries in digital Europe, using the Kalsbeek Information Literacy Matrix (KILM).
A poster: ‘Read’ in European language terms is provided for download.
This article by Georgia Phillips provides an update on the activities of the Hub campaign for quality school libraries in Australia, following the release of the Australian Government’s report into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools. It includes an overview of the current state of school library staffing in Australian state and territory government schools.
Mal Lee and Lyn Hay present their view of the evolution facing schools and the role of the information centre professional.
Schooling worldwide is in the process of evolving from a traditional paper-based operational mode to one that is digital and networked. The opportunities being opened daily for the astute, proactive information professional prepared to embrace and lead ongoing change are immense.
In recent months many areas of Australia and New Zealand have experienced very serious natural disasters. These natural disasters have had significant impact on schools in the affected areas. Many schools continue to operate in difficult conditions or are temporarily operating off site. This article raises the timely question of school library disaster plans.
An article adapted from Denis Masseni’s report of a 2010 survey of Victorian school principals entitled ‘Why schools are spooked by social media‘. It discusses the benefits of social media for schools and security and protection issues.
Dr Grette Toner outlines the structure, implications and opportunities for teacher librarians of the Australian Curriculum. As well as new content, the curriculum will involve new skills and new tools.
Kerrie Smith traces the rise in interest and use of e-readers in Australia during 2010 and discusses the issues facing school libraries considering adoption of e-book technology. She explains what is currently available and lists criteria for consideration before purchasing a device.
Katrina Reynen describes a Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development digital teaching and learning resources project. FUSE (Find Use Share Education) is a portal of 30,000 pieces of content from a number of partners. She outlines policy challenges addressed, as well as research undertaken into patterns of student use of FUSE.
You can read the latest issue of Connections online. Copies have been mailed to all Australian schools.
There are articles of interest for everyone involved in school library activities. Let us know what you think of this issue.
Thinking about ebooks
Ebook demonstration at Web 2.0 expo, San Francisco 2010, courtesy of Flickr
Stephen Abram describes and discusses the ebook, looking at what it is, and what it is not. He discusses fiction versus non-fiction, reference material and textbooks, and how the ebook can enhance usability. Read more …
Your school library collection: a catalyst for creating writers
Maxine Ramsay discusses the use of text types in the teaching of writing to young students. She explains how teachers and library staff can identify and assist in the effective discovery of good text examples within their library collection. Read more …
The highs and lows of establishing an online community
Kerry Franta describes EnhanceTV’s experience of creating an online community. It is important for members to share a common interest and to be passionate enough about it to contribute online. Read more …
Digital participation, digital literacy and schools
Through developing digital literacy in their students, educators are enhancing young people’s ability to use digital media, strengthening their knowledge and learning skills, as well as providing them with the capacity to participate and interact in wider social and cultural settings. Read more …
From little things big things grow
The third instalment of Nigel Paull’s account of a new BER library focuses on library design essentials. Read more …
And as usual, we’ve scrounged around to source the most interesting articles, by authors both from within Australia and internationally.
Is technology producing a decline in critical thinking and analysis? a research report by Patricia M. Greenfield examines how technology has changed familiar patterns of learning, while Things that keep us up at night, by Joyce Kasman Valenza and Doug Johnson explores some of the bigger fears faced by school librarians in relation to the shifting informational landscape.
Rhyllis Bignell has great suggestions for how you can use your weeded books for both decoration and to support classroom activities, and the first in a series of articles by Nigel Paull takes us through the initial stages of acquiring funding and planning for a new multimillion dollar library at South Grafton Public School in New South Wales.
…is currently winging its way across the Tasman into New Zealand schools for the first time ever! Those of you in Australian schools should also be receiving their free print copy shortly, if you haven’t already.
This term’s edition has a reprint of our favourite Quentin Blake poster, ‘The rights of the reader’ for you to pull out and display, and our feature article is by Doug Johnson, Director of media and technology at Mankato, Minnesota Public Schools in the United States, on the need for libraries to respond to the needs of what he refers to as a post-literate society. How libraries can best support the needs of their users whilst simultaneously responding to current changes in technology is a highly topical, occasionally polarising subject at present, and we’d be very interested to hear some comments from schools on Doug’s article.
We also have a really inspiring article, After school in the library media centre by Bob Hassett, head librarian at Luther Jackson Middle School, also in the States, about how he and his library team have fostered local support to implement and maintain an after-school Gamer’s club in their school library, and some of the positive flow-on effects this ‘un-traditional’ activity has had for both the library and the students.
With the next release of the SCIS Authority files due to be released in March this year we also have the latest changes to the SCIS Subject Headings. This quarter we have made changes to the reference structure of a number of existing headings, and we have implemented a number of new subject headings in response to requests by schools. A brief summary of these is included in Connections, or for more information, see our detailed list. If you would like to suggest a new subject heading, or a change to an existing subject heading, please contact us here at SCIS with your suggestion.
This month our feature article is about how libraries worldwide are utilising Twitter to communicate with their users (you might like to check out SCIS on Twitter too!).
We also have a fabulous article Are schools killing off the library? from British screenwriter and novelist Frank Cottrell Boyce (Welcome to Sarajevo, Hilary and Jackie, and the CILIP Carnegie Medal-winning novel, Millions) who argues that the current fad of renaming school libraries with the unimaginative moniker, Learning Resource Centre, is responsible for disconnecting “reading from the world of pleasure, from the world at all“, and is indicative of a failure by educational institutions to recognise that children need to enjoy reading in order to become competent at it.