Highlights of Connections 101

Here are the highlights from Connections issue 101, which is now available online. To download a PDF of the latest issue, please select this link.

Leadership is not optional – it’s a job requirement
In order to promote libraries as indispensable to the education community, the school library industry needs more leaders. Hilda Weisburg looks at how to step out of your comfort zone and into the leadership role.

Librarians in the digital age: experts in e-health
Susan Marshall explains how the school librarian’s role is central in developing students’ digital literacy and e-health, and introduces a free website to support online safety.

What do our students really want?
Megan Stuart, teacher librarian at Canterbury College, surveyed her students to discover what drew them into their resource centre — and what it could do to draw them in more.

Ebooks: to subscribe, or not to subscribe?
Teacher librarian at Singleton High School, Martin Gray, weighs the arguments for and against ebooks in schools.

Navigating the information landscape through collaboration
Elizabeth Hutchinson, Head of Schools’ Library Service in Guernsey, writes that information literacy is at the centre of student learning, making the role of library staff as important as ever.

Library catalogues and the World Wide Web: it takes two to tango
Nicole Richardson explores the way library catalogues engage with the World Wide Web to create a rich, interactive search experience.

School library spotlight: Campbelltown Performing Arts High School
SCIS speaks to Cathy Costello from Campbelltown Performing Arts High School about what’s happening in its library, including library programs and services.

SCIS is more
SCIS Manager Dr Ben Chadwick shares information about the new SCIS system, coming later in 2017.

Website & app reviews
Nigel Paull reviews websites and apps relevant to the education community.

As always, we hope you enjoy this issue. We welcome any feedback you have about this issue or any ideas you have for future Connections articles or blog posts. Please email connections@esa.edu.au.

Happy reading!

Termly themes: a year in the school library

Angie Morris
Head of Information Services
Redeemer Lutheran College

The library as a space is a complex idea. It serves as a learning space, a research space, a social space, an innovative space, and a flexible space (Chan & Spodick, 2014) — especially in a school context, where the library is viewed as a place to extend the curriculum. In addition, the teacher librarians who have redefined their libraries in recent years to remain relevant to their clientele can testify to the importance of creating a cultural space as well. This is not a new idea; concerts have been held in the Library of Congress since 1925 (Brown 2014, p. 391).

To ensure my senior school student clientele did not completely miss the benefits of enjoying the library as a fun place to be, I pulled the idea of themes from my 28-year experience as a primary teacher. I sought meaningful ways to link ideas together and to provide a structure to organise displays and activities in the library. I trialled this in 2016 with some success. In collaboration with our library staff and teacher librarians in the OZTL_NET community, we decided on four themes — one per term.

Continue reading Termly themes: a year in the school library

What’s happening in your school library?

Connections

We recently mailed out Connections 97 to schools in Australia. In this issue, we included an article by Chris Harte about St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School which has received great feedback. The article showcases the wonderful things librarians Jackie and Megan are doing in their makerspace, and provides tips for people eager to follow in their footsteps.

Following the interest in this article, we’re reaching out to all of you to see if you are doing exciting and innovative things in your library that you would be willing to share with our readers. This will be a great way to share what’s happening in Australian and New Zealand school libraries and inspire others.

If you have a story to share that may be of benefit to the wider school library community – whether it’s organising your library’s collections in an exciting way, doing innovative things to engage students with their learning, or doing interesting things to promote literacy, STEM subjects, or your library itself – we’d love to hear about it.

Please don’t hesitate to send us an email at connections@esa.edu.au if you’re interested in writing an article for Connections.

SCIS cataloguing standards update: Dewey or don’t we?

There has been some discussion at SCIS about how schools treat picture books that rhyme. It has been SCIS practice to classify stories in rhyme picture books as poetry, with each book allocated a Dewey Decimal number. However, feedback in workshops and surveys indicate that this did not reflect the preferred classification in schools.

The Information Services Standards Committee (ISSC) meets regularly to discuss and make revisions to the SCIS Standards for Cataloguing and Data Entry, and this issue was recently discussed during a teleconference with the committee. The decision was made on behalf of the ISSC to classify stories in rhyme picture books as fiction, intending to make browsing easier for students and staff in schools. This will also save you the time spent changing the classifications manually.

If you have any questions about this update, please contact scisinfo@esa.edu.au.

We are interested in learning more about how you manage resources so that our standards continue to reflect schools’ needs

We want to make sure our catalogue records continue to meet the needs of our subscribers. Can you spare ten minutes to complete this survey so we can understand how resources are being managed in school libraries?

All survey respondents will go in the draw to win a $250 book card.

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!

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.

To My School Library, With Love

There is a government primary school I know that has its fiction and non-fiction resources distributed throughout its classrooms. These resources used to be all together in one small room, but that room was recently put to other uses. As far as I know, there is no catalogue or database to organise these resources. Perhaps there is a spreadsheet printed out on a pin-board somewhere. I suppose that situation can work if children are happy to browse, or know who to ask about where to find the specific topic or item they’re looking for.

When I went to primary school in Queensland in the 1980s, the library was most definitely a distinct ‘place’. I remember very little about most of my classrooms, but I have vivid memories of the library.

The library at Kenmore State School was a brick building, separated from the junior classrooms by an undercover concrete pathway whose cracks, I recall, were infested with girl germs. If you went too far, you got to the dusty staff car park (out-of-bounds!), and then the swimming pool. Lunchtimes often saw me playing ‘tiggy’ and ‘brandy’. Less often I was on the oval trying to play sports that required two ‘C’s that weren’t my strong points – competitiveness and co-ordination. On many lunch breaks I found myself in the library.

The librarian was as constant to that school as the steel pipe gate and bitumen assembly area (complete with yellow dots indicating foot positions for ‘Attention’ and ‘At ease’). I think her name was Mrs Fielding. The bulk of the library consisted of low shelves at about head height, with non-fiction works laid out in Dewey. Behind Mrs Fielding and our borrowing cards was an area of perhaps four square metres, where the junior fiction was placed on low shelves and in browseable tubs. A few beanbags were thrown around on the plush and vibrant carpets.

On the other side of the library were the tall shelves which enclosed the big-kid’s books. To me, this space had a private and arcane feel. As a younger kid I heard the snickering of older boys in there, and wondered what schemes they were cooking up. I once ventured in and picked a big-kid chapter book at random. It was on the second shelving unit to the right, third shelf from the bottom (I am seeing it as I type), and it was called Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson. Flicking through the pictures, some combination of the book and the room gave me a distinct feeling, which I know today as being called ‘otherness’. There was something frightening, wonderful, and sacred about that book and that place in that moment. I still get a vestige of that feeling when I read it to my children.

I grew up to be one of those scheming boys. One of my favourite places to scheme with my gang (the ‘Super Sneaky Team’) was the library courtyard. The courtyard had a few timber-slat benches painted government-issue chocolate brown. Beside and amongst the brick paving there were a few shrubs and a paper-bark tree. There were broad-leaved vines growing over a high timber fence that was painted to compliment the benches. Our main – and perhaps, only – scheme was to wander past Mrs Fielding, and exit the sliding door into the courtyard where we would engage in some innocent banter to dispel suspicion. We’d do that for a prudent time, then slip off to the far corner, which was invisible from the Fielding vantage point, and scale the fence. After celebrating our super-sneakyness we’d wander off somewhere else. Perhaps the oval.

I wonder if the library still has that courtyard?

In about 1985, the library installed the first computer available for student use. It was something along the lines of the RadioShack TRS-80 MC-10. Mrs Fielding was very encouraging of me to use it, and I began to imagine she purchased it just for me. In a tiny corner near the back entrance to the senior fiction area, I learned to program in Basic, and to save my experiments on magnetic tape. I can easily imagine my life would be very different if Mrs Fielding hadn’t set me up with that machine in that little corner. I almost certainly wouldn’t be in this job, writing this article.

I regret to tell you that by the time of my final year at Kenmore State School the Super Sneaky Team had been disbanded for some years. We had creative differences about the role of sport at lunch-time, and I once fought Sandy in the mud for an hour in an attempt to resolve it. I’d landed in a new, geekier, crowd and we spent most lunch times playing role-playing games. In the library.

(My mum forbade me from playing those games – she said they were satanic, and they were the reason my friend Tom talked in his sleep when he came for sleepovers. But I was addicted, so I had to learn to be dishonest with her.)

I recall one day in particular. We’d pushed together two (brown) laminate trapezoid tables near the doors to the courtyard. I was waiting for my turn to create a character. I gazed over the heads of my friends to the high louvre windows on the far side of the library, where, despite the film of dust from the staff car park, I could see the sky, and the trees on the hill above the shopping centre. It was raining. I was aware of the cold and wet outside by virtue of comparison with the warmth and comfort inside the library. I was aware of hushed conversation, of kids moving calmly amongst the non-fiction shelves, of Mrs Fielding stamping somebody’s card. I’d forgotten my friends, and like my first venture into Moomin Valley, I was lost in my own tranquil place. That moment is my single strongest memory of my primary school library.

I’d like to go back there one day. I don’t know if the building is still being used as a library, or whether it is even still standing. If anybody knows I’d love to hear from you.

Ben Chadwick
Manager, SCIS

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

 

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?

Connections 90

The latest issue of the SCIS journal, Connections, has been sent to all schools, and is available online.
Highlights of Connections 90 include:-

Taking Note of Nonfiction
Peter Macinnis, who presented the ‘Clayton’s list’ for the Eve Pownall award for information books, shares his insights into what makes a good information book.

Boori Monty Pryor with Dr Anita Heiss at BlackWords Symposium 2012.
Boori Monty Pryor with Dr Anita Heiss at BlackWords Symposium 2012.  courtesy of Blackwords

Learning Online: MOOCs for library staff
Martin Gray, a teacher librarian from Singleton High School, looks at how he used MOOCs to further his professional learning with two very different online courses.

BlackWords: Celebrating writers and storytellers
Writer and activist, Dr. Anita Heiss looks at BlackWords and AustLit, which are freely available for schools, and how they can assist in embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures into the curriculum.

Following IndigenousX
SCIS’s Michael Jongen looks at the IndigenousX curated Twitter account and how it can help educators to hear a diverse range of authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.

Bring the Teachers In: Enticing teachers into the library
Library Manager at Wellington College, New Zealand, Brett Moodie, wanted to boost the profile of the library within the school and support the learning and information needs of staff.