Be in control: participate in the new age of school libraries

On May 24th, SLAV hosted ‘Be in control: participate in the new age of school libraries’, a conference for library teams. In this post Cindy Tschernitz, SLAV Executive Officer, reflects on the day. The Bright Ideas team also interviewed delegates at the conference and you can listen to the recording here.

What a fantastic day for all delegates. We embraced the year’s theme of ‘Participate, engage, shine – you, me, us’ with a great level of engagement, interaction and enthusiasm. Delegates don’t want to be passive receptors of information and we need to engage, challenge and involve which we did at this conference. It was particularly heartening to see and hear from library team members who learnt from each other and spread the word beyond Melbourne Park through Twitter.

You can see a Camilla Elliott’s Storify of tweets from the day here.

Speakers were outstanding. James Laussen Principal of Overnewton Anglican Community College and Joy Whiteside, Head of Library (a very active SLAV member and John Ward Award winner) did an excellent job setting the scene for the day. Jim gave us an overview of where education is going and Joy followed with her well researched paper on where school libraries are going. She told it as it is, no holds barred and really allowed all to reflect on their role in the school library and greater school community. We had a solid basis for the rest of the day.

Michael Jongen discussed the issues around how we can best provide access to all types of digital content. What struck me was the complexity of improving access and the more Michael spoke, the more issues were raised. As many of the delegates were involved in technical aspects of school libraries, like cataloguing, there were many many questions raised. To some degree it appears that the new cataloguing rules, RDA (Resource Description and Access) will need ongoing revision and adaptation to keep pace with digital content.

From the feedback we received, the concurrent sessions were very engaging. Thank you to Joyce, Michael and Renate and the one I attended, Management 101 presented by Janet Blackwell. Janet spoke with experience, wisdom and honesty. Telling it like it is should have been the theme for the day. Janet led us through her toolbox, showed us the tactics that she has used to ensure that the school library she is responsible for gets the credit and dollars that it  deserves by making it an indispensable part of the school community. Jane gave us some fantastic quotes which I would encourage all to look at via the days Twitter hashtag #SLAVconf.

The partnership between SLAV and the State Library of Victoria was highlighted by the afternoon’s session led by Kelly Gardiner and Cameron Hocking. The panel discussion of PLN participants and stakeholders gave some insight into the value of the PLN. It was great for those of us who are PLN dropouts to know we’re not alone and even more importantly that there are ways we can improve our time management strategies to help complete the course next time. The hands-on demonstrations exploring search strategies, curation, social media and workflow were also excellent. Next conference we will make sure that we have more time so people can attend more than one practical session.

To finish the day and highlight the importance of SLAV’s partnerships with both ALIA and other state school library associations in the Australian arena, Sue McKerracher spoke about a number of initiatives particularly the The Future of the Profession project and the 13 Project. These projects bring together government, school library associations and other agencies in an initiative that will support the school community but will also provide an important platform for advocacy for school libraries.

If I had only one word to describe the conference it would be ‘invigorating’. I am looking forward to the next one on August 15 Transliteracy: who do you ask and how can you participate? which features Professor Kristin Fontichiaro, University of Michigan, School of Information in her first Australian visit. Hope to see you there.

Can eReaders Encourage Reading?

A recent study from the Pew Research Center focussed on the growing popularity of eReaders. The Rise of e-reading confirmed a significant increase in users – 21% of adults had read an eBook in the past year. Their research also found that eBook readers read more books (both formats) and read more often.

These are the types of results that catch a Teacher Librarian’s attention. Could this also be true for students? Might eBook readers be a way to encourage reluctant readers to read more and/or read more often? This might be the case.

In 2012, SMU conducted a study with middle years students who struggled with reading. They found that eReaders motivated students to read, but there were marked gender differences. While both studies were conducted in America, they are valuable reading for Teachers and Teacher Librarians making pedagogical and acquisition decisions as  Australian schools introduce 1:1 iPad and BYOD programs.

Bookish

Bookish website

Bookish is a new book recommendation and e-commerce site competing with the likes of GoodreadsLibrary thing and Amazon. Although some question the effectiveness of these sites, Bookish promises a different experience based on the resources and expertise available to publishers driving the project.

Bookish is a collaboration between a group of major publishers  claiming their recommendations engine, with input from real editors, is the best yet. With publishing heavyweights like Penguin, Random House and Scholastic on board, the site has already collected an impressive list of contributors, 400 000 author profiles and 1.2 million books in their catalogue.

At this stage, Bookish is leaving the social aspect of recommendations to established sites like Goodreads although they do link to Facebook. Their focus is editorial content – delivering magazine style essays, articles, news and reviews written by authors and professional editors.

Bookish represents an interesting commercial model for publishers to position themselves as an alternative to community based book recommendation sites. Whether Bookish stays impartial, only time will tell.

Open Library project: a web page for every book

Yen Wong, Learning Programs Officer at the State Library, continues her search for the best free library resources. In this post Yen looks at the Open Library project.

Open Library is a project of the non-profit Internet Archive – the folks responsible for the Wayback machine. Open Library is a massive catalogue with an ambition to catalogue every published book. The project is relying on libraries and individuals from around the world to contribute to its catalogue by adding books, fixing mistakes or writing descriptions of a book. Over one thousand libraries have contributed to the project to date.

Where possible, links to free ebooks have been listed, but Open Library account holders can also borrow from a smaller collection of books made available by Internet Archive and its partner libraries. Registering for an account is easy – just fill out the form with your name and email and you’re set to go.

Up to five books can be borrowed for two weeks at a time.

Open Library is a wonderful resource, and I’m excited that it’s got an extensive collection such as the ancient Chinese text ‘The secret of the golden flower‘ translated by Richard Wilhelm.

Thanks to Yen for sharing this useful resource with us. You can look forward to more posts from Yen in the future, as she explores library resources, research skills and information literacy.

 

ebooks at the State Library

Yen Wong, Learning Programs Officer at the State Library, explains a new Electronic Book Library service for all registered SLV users.

The State Library of Victoria has recently launched the Electronic Book Library (EBL) pilot to the public. The pilot will give the Library an opportunity to assess which books our users want to read.

This means that you will be able to download an ebook to read on your computer or ebook readers. Any downloads will be for paid by the library, thereby adding them to the Library’s collection.

The EBL collection is available to all Victorian registered SLV card holders. Registration with the State Library of Victoria is free and can be completed online

Once a book of interest is found, users can browse the book for 5 minutes for free. After that time, the option to download is provided.

Acessing ebooks:

1. From SLV’s homepage go to ‘Research tools‘ (top right corner)

2. Scroll down to eResources and either click from the Library or from home.

3. Select Encyclopaedias & dictionaries & ebooks

4. You will be asked to login with the barcode on your library card.

5. Search away!

You can also read a full guide to getting started with the EBL at the SLV website. 

Volumique

Volumique is a French publishing company that explores book creation as a new computer platform, with particular emphasis on how physical paper books can interact with smart phones. They also experiment with interactive story telling and game.

With projects like Pirates (paper board game using smartphones), the book that disappears (a book you have 20 minutes to read before the pages turn black) and Balloon (an Ipad virtual reality pop up book), there are lots of lovely ideas to explore.

Volumique

It’s wonderful to think that artists and publishers are thinking so creatively about where books can go in the future and how technology can augment the experience of storytelling.

To see more of their recent work, take a look at the Volumique Vimeo channel.

Reading Culture: SLAV & NGV conference

Reading culture

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, SLAV is presenting a conference on Friday, 11th November called Reading Culture: collaborate, create, celebrate, exploring the place where visual literacy, story telling and technology meet. The event contributes to the NGV’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The full day program includes some of the following speakers:

  • Sue McKerracher from the Library Agency discussing The National Year of Reading
  • Authors Alice Pung and Alison Lester
  • NGV educators on Surrealism, New Guinean art, Albrecht Düre, Indigenous and Medieval art and how to use art as inspiration for creative writing and inquiry based learning

A number of teacher librarians will also be speaking on the use of ebooks, iPads, online book clubs and digital story telling.

Some places are still available so if you would like to book, complete a registration form included in the conference flyer or contact SLAV directly on 03 9349 5822.

Worth watching – Mike Matas: A next-generation digital book

Worth watchingThankyou to Lindy Hathaway for suggesting this Ted Talk video to subscribers of OZTL_NET (volume 87 issue 7).  The video is of Mike Matas, a software developer and co-founder of Push Pop Press, showing the first full-length interactive book for i-Pad (Our Choice by Al Gore) (filmed in March 2011). Have a look and see what you think. The comments below the video on the Ted Talk site are interesting to read. To view a trailer of the digital book Our Choice , click here.

 

Children’s literacy lab

Helen Boelens has passed on information about the Children’s literacy lab.

Screen shot 2010-10-27 at 7.24.25 PM

She explains

It is an interesting programme which is trying to investigate how children actually use digital books.  It is hoped that the research will help school librarians and teachers to adjust to the way in which pupils use E-books.

With lots of resources, information, tips and news, this is an interesting site to peruse.