The Australian Reading Hour – a perfect fit for school libraries

Anita McMillan
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.

What is the Australian Reading Hour?

The Australian Reading Hour’s premise is simple.

It’s about picking up an Australian book and reading for an hour any time during the day or night on Thursday 14 September.

The Australian Reading Hour is the first cross-industry reading campaign supported by the whole book industry – the Australian Society of Authors, the Australian Publishers Association, the Australian Booksellers Association, the Australian Library and Information Association, the Australian Literary Agents’ Association, and the Copyright Agency.

How can my school be involved?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Register your school at readinghour.org.au, and download the school information pack from the ‘Resources’ tab.
  • Let your school community know about the Australian Reading Hour via newsletters, emails, your learning management system, the library site itself, digital signage and social media.
  • Create a display of your favourite Australian books in your library.
  • Leave some library books in your school’s staffroom.
  • Post on social media about your favourite Australian books and favourite time and place to read.
  • Post on social media about what you will be reading for the Australian Reading Hour on 14 September.
  • Create a reading nook that will encourage your readers to come in and read in the library.
  • Host a reading lunch hour or reading camp-out.
  • Tweet about the Reading Hour on the day, using #brbReading (stands for Be Right Back – Reading).

How can I find out more?

The official Australian Reading Hour website provides the opportunity to register and access resources.

ALIA has put together an event site, with lots of useful ideas and information.

The Australian Reading Hour is managed by Cheryl Akle, Better Reading. You can contact Cheryl via email: cheryl@betterreading.com.au.

Enjoy leading and encouraging your school community to take one hour out of their busy schedules on 14 September, to read.

Mackay libraries unite for award-winning Anzac project

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.

Margaret Spillman
Teacher librarian
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.

Continue reading Mackay libraries unite for award-winning Anzac project

SCIS is heading to NZ in March

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.

To register for our NZ workshops, click here.

For more information about our professional learning sessions, including our upcoming webinar series that will begin 16 February, click here.

If you have any questions, pop them in an email to our customer service team at scisinfo@esa.edu.au.

We hope to see you while we’re in New Zealand.

Australia Day

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

The Australian frontier wars
The Australian frontier wars
That deadman dance
That deadman dance
Commonwealth of thieves
Commonwealth of thieves
The other side of the frontier
The other side of the frontier

‘We remember ANZAC’

‘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.

 

We remember ANZAC

Indigenous Literacy Day

Lottie gets caught reading Anita Heiss
Lottie gets caught reading Anita Heiss

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.

Individuals who still wish to donate can Get caught reading

 

 

Here is a snapshot of what the Indigenous Literacy Foundation has achieved in 2014

120000 books supplied
120000 books supplied

The Indigenous Literacy Fund website is also a powerful resource, SCIS subscribers can download the catalogue record (SCIS No. 1534140)

What did your school do for International Literacy Day?

2013 Victorian Readers’ Cup

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.

2013-07-05 17.32.08
Lottie and the Wishbird. Photo by Michael Jongen CC-by

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.

You can find out  how to go about running  the Victorian Readers Cup in your school and further information here.

The Children’s Book Council of Australia run Readers Cups in Queensland and Tasmania

 

SCIS Asks 2013

SCIS conducted its annual consultation workshop in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November 2013 from 9.30-3.30pm. The consultation engaged SCIS and its partners in discussion about future priorities in our support of school libraries.

SCIS Asks logo 2013Twitter hashtag for the day: #scisasks

Programme

9.30am Welcome and consultation goalsVictoria Johnson, General Manager Education Services Australia

9.40am The view from the school libraryDi Ruffles, Melbourne Grammar School

10.00am SCIS update: [from slide 9] Pru Mitchell, Manager SCIS

  • What are SCIS users asking for? How can SCIS and library system providers best serve school libraries?

10.30am Key issue: The future of identity for integration and personalisation
Nick Lothian, Developer ESA

  • Key question: How can ESA and library systems work together to support integrated search and access across school-selected resources?

11.00am Morning Tea

11.30am Future of the catalogue: Panel

12.20pm Discussion and questions

  • How should SCIS source, create or enhance catalogue data to meet future needs?

12.45pm Lunch

1.30pm Future of  vocabularies Ben Chadwick, Metadata Analyst/SCIS System Administrator ESA

  • Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT) report
  • Linked data developments
  • Australian Curriculum alignment opportunities
  • Discussion and questions

2.10pm Resourcing of the curriculum project reports

2.50pm Final table discussion and recommendations

  • Discussion and questions
    Outcome: Recommendations on priority areas for SCIS services

3.30pm Close

If you cannot attend the Consultation you are invited to contribute via the SCIS Asks Survey

2013

Welcome to 2013 and the Lunar New Year in the Chinese Year of the Snake.

‘The Snake is the sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 Animal Signs. It is the enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animals Signs. Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve.’

The United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation (SCIS no.  1582371) as well as the International Year of Quinoa (SCIS no. 1592685)

In the world of colour AkzoNobel declares Indigo  (SCIS no. 1592774)  is a striking statement colour for 2013 associated with wisdom and honesty which enhances your environment.  However Pantone Color of the year 2013 is Emerald Green (SCIS no. 1592779)

2013 is also the International Year of Statistics,  (SCIS no. 1592783) a worldwide event supported by more than 1,400 organizations. More than 100 scientific societies, universities, research institutes, and organizations all over the world have banded together to dedicate 2013 as a special year for the Mathematics of Planet Earth. (SCIS no. 1592783)

The European Commission has designated that 2013 will be the European Year of Citizens (SCIS no. 1592791) while Scotland has declared 2013 the Year of Natural Scotland (SCIS no. 1592797)

Pope Benedict XVI declared that a Year of Faith (SCIS  no. 1592806) will begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013.  World Youth Day 2013 (SCIS no. 1592887) to be held in Rio theme is… ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’

For International Women’s day March 8 2013 the theme is The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum (SCIS no. 1592879)

Red Quinoa by  Pru MItchell
Red Quinoa by Pru MItchell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find more pictures  here from the Global Year of Quinoa

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?