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.
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.
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.
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.
Di Ruffles from Melbourne Grammar School was invited to set the scene for the SCIS Asks 2013 consultation forum and provide her wishlist for school library services.
Di stated her top five issues in school libraries as:
Demonstration of the value of the school library to principals and school councils is essential
Plateauing of budget figures is a trend being noticed across many schools
Resourcing the Australian Curriculum
Phase 1 learning areas (English, Maths, History and Science) is a priority. Then resourcing of new learning areas.
Australian Curriculum General Capabilities
Development of programs and resources to support these and,
Australian Curriculum Cross curriculum priority areas
At her school Di noted, iPads are being used through the school with Year 12 providing their own choice of device. Students are not necessarily accessing the same information at the same time. E-Books are causing issues importing into the various devices in a BYOT school environment.
Identification of suitable apps for teacher resources and for use by students is featuring increasingly. Particularly useful apps include an app for the library catalogue as well as the EasyBib app which means students can scan a book’s ISBN for a citation.
For students and staff 24/7 access to resources is important, as is providing resources in a variety of formats: print, e-book, DVD, audiobooks and digital video library (eg. Clickview). Journals and databases of e-journals are used extensively. Di is seeing less use of the print non–fiction collection. Non-fiction eBooks are used but not necessarily a preferred option for all students. Students are not so fussed with format but the item must be relevant.
Di looked at the changing role of the teacher librarian and used ‘What do teacher librarians teach’ by Joyce Valenza and Gwyneth Jones 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. The library’s website includes research guides (which suggests catalogue subject headings) and a Harvard style referencing tool.
Di highlighted how teacher librarians at her school are working with classroom teachers, for example in a new subject for 2014, Extended Investigation (inspired by International Baccalaureate) which aims to develop student’s capacity to identify and ask good questions, research an area of interest in depth and prepare for university level study.
Many school libraries in Australia choose the third Monday in October as the day to celebrate what school libraries are about, and to raise awareness of school library services with teaching colleagues and the community.
“working closely with the College staff in developing curriculum units based on the Guided Inquiry approach, supporting students at all levels in their learning and at all stages of the teaching /learning process. She ensures that the school library is a positive learning environment for all. She provides leadership not only in curriculum but also the promotion of a love of literature and the use of ICTs, and excels at providing collegial support, willingly passing on her skills and knowledge to others.”
SCIS congratulates Alinda Sheerman and all the state and territory nominees who show what a teacher librarian can do to promote learning and teaching.
Susan Busch, Bundaberg North State School, Queensland
Karen Mutton, Saint David’s Parish School, South Australia
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.
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 …
On 12 July 2010 Education Services Australia (ESA) was represented at the Adelaide hearing of the Parliamentary Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools. Also appearing were representatives of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA), the Joint Use Libraries Association of Australia, the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Public Libraries South Australia, Friends of Libraries Australia and the University of South Australia (UniSA).
Thanks to the Parliament of Australia’s live broadcasting program we were able to listen to the hearing from Melbourne, posting some of the significant issues from the hearing to twitter! ESA’s position is that national collaborative services such as SCIS and edna provide essential tools for teacher librarians in delivering services to their users. Our key recommendation is for an adequate distribution of funding for the ongoing development of school library staff in both specific library-related professional development and as a key element of whole school development.
ALIA and UniSA both argued for a need to expand tertiary education options for teacher librarians and to educate teachers in information literacy skills. The Friends of Libraries Australia emphasised that the relationship and connection between school and public libraries needs to occur more systematically and can’t work without teacher librarians.
An article in AdelaideNow highlights the popularity of libraries in South Australia and briefly reports on the concerns about teacher librarian shortages and funding which were raised at the hearing.