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.
As of the 1st of March, SCIS became part of a new company!
Curriculum Corporation, which has been the parent company of SCIS since 1989, has recently merged with Education.au to become a new company, Education Services Australia. Like Curriculum Corporation, the newly formed Education Services Australia is a not-for-profit company, owned by all Australian Ministers of Education.
In practical terms, the change will have little effect on SCIS, and we will continue to offer the same level of service as we always have, but we’re very excited that the merger between our parent company, Curriculum Corporation and Education.au will give us an opportunity to collaborate more closely with our colleagues at education.au, who have done some amazing work pioneering digital resources for educators, including the professional networking site edna, and the career services site myfuture.
…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.