Ignite wide reading with diverse resources at your school library

Josephine Laretive
Teacher librarian
Moriah College, NSW

School libraries have a vital role in the provision and promotion of quality and diverse reading materials that inform, value and ignite reading. Promoting ‘a reading culture through the active promotion of literature’ (Australian School Library Association, 2004) is one of the ASLA teacher librarian standards. Promotion and access to varied reading materials ‘helps students to engage imaginatively and critically with literature to expand the scope of their experience’ (Australian Curriculum: English v8.3). Encouraging wide reading and access to a variety of reading materials increases students’ interests and motivation to read (Miller, 2012). ‘Numerous research studies prove that wide reading improves children’s comprehension, background knowledge, vocabulary, fluency, and writing’ (Krashen, 2004 as cited in Miller, 2012). Furthermore, literacy development and achievement is benefited by recreational reading and reading for enjoyment (Merga, 2016).

The following resources have made a difference to the diversity of reading resources available to children at my school library, adding to the existing range of imaginative and informative books. The resources that follow also link to the Australian Curriculum in that they provide access to imaginative, informative and persuasive texts in different formats and for different age levels.

Continue reading Ignite wide reading with diverse resources at your school library

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day (Tuesday 9 February) is an annual, international day promoting safe and responsible use of the internet, particularly aimed at children and young adults.

As students are well and truly immersed in the digital age, it is important for them to be able to navigate the vast landscape of the online environment, and use the internet in a way that does not cause harm to themselves or others. The internet is filled with endless opportunities for learning, discovery and social interaction; Safer Internet Day reminds us that it also needs to be approached with a sense of responsibility and with some degree of caution.

Digital citizenship can be found in the Australian Curriculum in the Digital Technologies learning area, as well as across multiple general capabilities, including Information and Communication Technology, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, and Ethical Understanding.

Below is a list of websites (and one book) that can be used to encourage safer internet use and ensure students wear their digital citizenship badges responsibly:

Cybersmart detectives by the Australian Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner (SCIS no 1749917)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1749917

Cybersmart Detectives is an interactive website suitable for Year 4 students. It offers a half-hour class activity that asks students to take on the role of the Cybersmart Detective, where they must find clues and answer questions, demonstrating that certain actions made in the online environment can have negative repercussions.

Digital citizenship in schools: nine elements all students should know by Mike Ribble (SCIS no 1739384)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?&bibId=1739384

Produced by the International Society for Technology in Education, this book examines issues concerning information literacy, digital citizenship, and social aspects, and safety measures of using the internet. The book discusses how both teachers and students can become informed, responsible internet users.

CyberSense and nonsense : the second adventure of the three CyberPigs by the Media Awareness Network (SCIS no 1746691)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?&bibId=1746691

CyberSense and Nonsense teaches young people about netiquette, as well as the information and critical literacy skills necessary to distinguish fact and opinion, including those that contain bias and harmful stereotypes. The website also offers information about encouraging ethical online behaviour, how to be an effective searcher, as well as teaching guides for parents and teachers.

eSmart Digital licence by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation (SCIS no 1722072)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1722072

The eSmart Digital Licence is a website developed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation suitable for children aged 10+. It uses an interactive quiz that includes videos and games with eight learning modules to evaluate students’ understanding of digital safety, and teaches the skills required to learn, socialise and play online in a safe and responsible manner.

Posti network by Arts Centre Melbourne (SCIS no 1566388)
http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?&bibId=1566388

Developed by the Arts Centre Melbourne, with the support of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, this website aims to help upper-primary school students understand the implications of occupying digital spaces, especially in regards to social media use. It is also designed to teach young users about their roles and responsibilities as ‘digital citizens’.


You can also check out Kay Oddone’s article in the latest issue of Connections, ‘Information and critical literacy on the web’, which is an abridged version of a series of blog posts she has written about information and critical literacy in online spaces. Her original blog series can be found here.

Do you use any other resources to teach students to become responsible digital citizens? Let us know in the comment section below, or send us a tweet at @schoolscatinfo.

Happy and safe internetting!

Book review sites ANZ

SCIS has catalogued these book review websites recommended by colleagues in Australia and New Zealand. They are a great selection tool for library staff.  The SCIS number for each site is listed, which you can paste into the SCIS Orders page. Otherwise, simply click here to download records for a selection of these sites.

Just So Stories by Sue Warren (SCIS No. 1664473)

Random Reviews and Ramblings from Redcliffe
Random Reviews and Ramblings from Redcliffe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bottom shelf  by Barbara Braxton (SCIS No. 1641811)

The bottom shelf of the bookcase is the one that the little people in my life always go to. There they find the books they love to read and share - the familiars and the favourites, and often some first-reads that have been added since their last visit.
The bottom shelf of the bookcase is the one that the little people in my life always go to. There they find the books they love to read and share – the familiars and the favourites, and often some first-reads that have been added since their last visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Children’s Daily by Megan Daley (SCIS No. 1702039)

Did you know that the single most important person in your child’s reading development is YOU?  A LOVE of reading, that most important factor in becoming a lifelong reader, begins at home with powerful children’s books and a house full of words.
Did you know that the single most important person in your child’s reading development is YOU?
A LOVE of reading, that most important factor in becoming a lifelong reader, begins at home with powerful children’s books and a house full of words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book chook by Susan Stephenson (SCIS No. 1664473)

Book reviews, resources, tips for parents and teachers from an Australian writer who is passionate about children literacy, learning and literature

Book reviews, resources, tips for parents and teachers from an Australian writer who is passionate about children literacy, learning and literature

 

 

 

Senga White from New Zealand recommends the following sites from New Zealand

Bobs Books Blog by Bob Docherty (SCIS No. 1702486)

I offer my knowledge and passion for Children’s Literature to promote reading and literacy in your school using your own library resources plus new books sent to me by authors and publishers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beattie’s Book Blog by Graham Beattie (SCIS No. 1702490)

Beatties Book Blog
Judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn’t, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reading doctor    by Kate de Goldi (SCIS No. 1702492)

Author Kate de Goldi has a regular Reading Doctor segment in Bootnotes, the online magazine from Book Council of NZ
Author Kate de Goldi has a regular Reading Doctor segment in Bootnotes, the online magazine from Book Council of NZ

 

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

The 21st century library

In the 21st century school libraries need to consider their spaces, the role of the teacher librarian, and the move to digital content and access in the age of BYOD (Bring your own device). In Australian schools, demonstration of the value of the school library to principals and school councils is essential as they look at resourcing the Australian Curriculum.

‘What do teacher librarians teach’ by Joyce Valenza and Gwyneth Jones  is an excellent infographic 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.  Increasingly, teacher librarians are working with classroom teachers to develop their students’ capacity to identify and ask good questions, and to improve study and research skills.

Modern school library design may look more to the contemporary approach of buildings such as Trinity Grammar’s Tudor Centre, which brings together library, curriculum, and technology staff.

In the age of BYOD students are not necessarily accessing the same information at the same time. For students and staff 24/7 access to resources is important, as is providing resources in a variety of formats: print, e-book, DVD, audiobook and digital video library. Identification of suitable apps for teacher resources and for use by students is  featuring increasingly.  While we may be seeing a drop in the use of our non-fiction print collections this may not be a matter of student preference.  Content and relevancy are important regardless of format.

In most schools the school library catalogue is the only place where users can search for school-owned/licensed resources all in one place. School library catalogues provide access to learning resources for the school community.  While students and teachers can use a search engine to find millions of online resources, this search will return everything online EXCEPT the very resources that the school or system has actually selected and paid for.

The student or staff member seeking books, information, and learning resources expects to do one search and for that search to return all the relevant material available to them, regardless of its format or its location.  Single point of search assumes an integrated set of search results, which requires integrated metadata.

21st century, next generation library systems will need to include digital rights management, a seamless secure single sign-on, and federated searching across a variety of resources, databases and collections.  Next generation systems will need the ability to connect with  a variety of devices and, increasingly, to provide a personalised service similar to the Amazon or Google experience.

This is why making digital content discoverable through school library catalogues is essential.
For a long time a priority for library staff has been to organise the physical library space in ways that are attractive and encourage users to visit and explore, as well as making it easy for them to find what they need, and assist browsing for inspiration. We work to make location and lending of resources as seamless and self-servicing as possible. We now have additional responsibilities. As well as serving our users who are visitors, browsers and borrowers of physical items in a physical library space, we now need to serve our library users accessing and downloading resources in virtual spaces.

Bus wrapped with SAP Big Data by IntelFreePress http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en
Bus wrapped with SAP Big Data by IntelFreePress http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

‘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

Enhanced content in SCIS catalogue

The SCIS Catalogue is a valuable starting point for school staff looking to identify books, digital resources and websites to support the curriculum, and subscribers are encouraged to use it as a selection aid for locating resources that are required for a particular purpose in a school. While providing catalogue records is core business, SCIS recognises the value of enhancing the catalogue record where possible with any information that may help school staff discover and review resources of interest.

In July 2011 SCIS added enhanced content services from Syndetics Solutions and LibraryThing for Libraries to the SCIS Catalogue, via a subscription with Thorpe-Bowker. The bibliographic records in SCIS OPAC are enhanced to display additional detail about resources, including plot summaries, author notes, awards and reviews. This content is delivered to SCIS by linked data based on ISBN.

Consider the subject headings and notes if using SCIS Catalogue as a selection tool
Figure 1: If using SCIS Catalogue as a selection tool, consider using the Subject Headings and notes

The SCIS Catalogue bibliographic record display provides a link to Google Books. The Google books link/s (if any) will appear at the bottom of the display.
There are three possible links:

  • Entire book is viewable
  • A portion of the book is viewable
  • “About This Book” information is available.

These links will enrich search results with lists of relevant books, journal articles, web page citations and links to related works and full text when available.

Google Books link in SCIS Catalogue record
Figure 2: Google Books link in SCIS Catalogue record

 

Social bookmarks links in SCIS Catalogue
Individual records from SCIS Catalogue can be saved directly to selected social media services as bookmarks. The persistent website address (URL) for these records will be in the format http://opac.scis.curriculum.edu.au/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1411770 where the bibID is the SCIS number for that record.
Note that you will need a subscription to the social bookmarking service you wish to use, and anyone accessing these SCIS records from your bookmarking service will need to be a SCIS subscriber.
The social bookmarking services currently supported include delicious.com, diigo.com, facebook.com, google.com and StumbleUpon.com.

Social bookmarks links in SCIS Catalogue full record screen
Figure 3. Social bookmarks links in SCIS Catalogue full record screen

 

Images linked to Google Books are not available for download from SCIS. The book cover image from Thorpe Bowker located within the catalogue data (if available) can be downloaded into your library management system from our orders page or via your system’s z39.50 connection. Subscriber schools may also display the images on the school website including blogs, wikis, online newsletters and the school intranet.

Syndetics content in SCIS Catalogue
Through the subscription service Syndetics, SCIS offers additional descriptive and evaluative information where available including:

  • summaries and annotations
  • fiction and biography profiles
  • summaries and annotations
  • fiction and biography profiles
  • author notes
  • awards
  • books in a series

Syndetics reviews
Syndetics delivers edited reviews from authoritative reviewing sources including:

  • Bookseller & Publisher reviews
  • New York Times reviews
  • School Library Journal reviews
  • Publishers Weekly reviews
  • The Horn Book reviews
  • Kirkus reviews

Christmas in the library

It’s that time of year again. Christmas is rapidly approaching and end of year celebrations are just around the corner for Australian and New Zealand schools.

To read about some of the quirkier aspects of Kiwi Christmases past and present, schools can visit New Zealand History Online [SCIS 1486174]. New Zealand schools will also find Christmas resources on TKI. Schools interested in Australian Christmas traditions can visit the Australian Government site [SCIS 1637519]. Anyone looking for a more general history of Christmas could explore the BBC’s site [SCIS 1235815].

New Zealand students can write a letter to Santa from the New Zealand Post website. Australian students use Australia Post [SCIS 1637538], where there is also a range of interactive games and lesson ideas.

Wombat Divine by Mem Fox and Kerry Argent
Wombat Divine by Mem Fox and Kerry Argent

There are a number of Christmas themed websites with student activities from craft ideas, recipes, jokes, videos, music, stories, colouring sheets and interactive games. Primary Games: Christmas [SCIS 1637543], Disney’s Spoonful: Christmas [SCIS 1485028] and Activity Village: Christmas crafts [SCIS 1481860] are three of the best.

If you are looking for some creative ideas for Christmas displays in your library it is worth visiting the Creative Library Displays blog.

And we can’t forget about all those classic Christmas stories. Wombat Divine written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Kerry Argent [SCIS 1436850] is one of our favourites.

To search for further Christmas resources in SCIS select a subject search and search one of the SCIS headings listed below [SCIS login required].

Christmas

SCIS Subject search for Christmas
SCIS Subject search for Christmas

Narrower Term

  • Christmas entertainments
  • Santa Claus

Related Term

  • Jesus Christ – Nativity

Other useful subject headings

  • Carols
  • Christmas cookery
  • Christmas decorations
  • Christmas trees
  • Christmas music
  • Christmas services

Post by Clare Kennedy, RMIT industry placement 2013

Scootle update

Stacey Hattensen, Program Director, Content Services at Education Services Australia provided an overview of Scootle at the ASLA 2013 conference. Stacey’s presentation was titled: Scootle, supporting teachers to implement the Australian Curriculum, and guided participants through the latest developments of Scootle including:

Stacey encouraged teacher librarians to download the apps for Scootle [Android and iPad] and Scootle community [Android, iPad and iPhone].

Want to participate in creating a national collection?
Stacey also asked for voluntary reviewers with a good understanding of the Australian Curriculum, and a keen interest in digital and online learning. If you are interested in reviewing online resources and providing advice, or if you find something great that you think fits the Scootle criteria, get in touch at: stacey.hattensen@esa.edu.au.

Apps

What is an app?  App is an abbreviation for application software. Oxford Dictionary defines an app as “a self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfill a particular purpose; an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device. The term app came into prominence with the introduction of the mobile devices and smartphones. Generally an app performs one dedicated task, or presents a discrete amount of format.

It has been suggested that Apps may be a new way to surf the net. Libraries are turning to apps to enable smartphone users to easily access their services.

With the ubiquity of tablets, smartphones and ‘phablets’ and the move towards ‘bring your own device’ in schools, apps are increasingly becoming resources used by students and teachers. GarageBand, Know your skin, iMovie are good examples of apps being used in Education.

Garage Band
Garage Band is an app being used in Schools

Schools are also using dedicated sets of tablets with story making, art creation programs and apps which cover many more curriculum areas.  There are periodic table and anatomy apps, language and math apps and many more. To find out more about educational apps Scoop.it! is a good source of information. Android Apps in Education and Apps for learning are two sites to explore.

More and more schools are buying apps and libraries are looking to catalogue these resources so that students and staff need to search in only one place to find school resources.

Apps is a new subject heading introduced to SCIS this term.

SCIS Subject Heading screenshot
Apps as a SCIS Subject Heading