The third of four SLAV Reading Forums planned for 2018 was held 6 September at Kew Primary School.
These events are proving to be very popular with school library staff, teachers and parents. This month’s program featured a panel discussion on the topic of genrefication of the school library collection (particularly fiction) by local library professionals. Authors David Metzenthen and Michael Wagner were feature authors on the evening and Kids Bookshop presented ‘Ten top books in ten minutes’.
If you missed the evening, or would like to recap, we’re pleased to advise the podcast of the event is now available for downloading on Soundcloud. Previous forums are also available for download.
Further information on genrefication is available in the member’s portal of the SLAV website via conference presentations and articles in the journal FYI. The article Genre Labelling by Melanie Mengel is available on open access through SLAV’s professional publication Synergy.
The final Reading Forum for 2018 will be held:
Date: 1 November Venue:The Dream Factory, 90 Maribyrnong Street, Footscray Topic: Current Reading Research
Recent reading research from here and overseas. Join the discussion and the
end of year celebratory vibe
The Centre for Youth Literature (State Library Victoria) is planning a fantastic Young Adult event. Learn how to build and destroy characters and worlds in a day of workshops with favourite Young Adult authors Jay Kristoff and Lili Wilkinson!
* These workshops are designed for a teen audience, aged between 12 and 20. Proof of age will be required on the day. Workshops are a parent-free zone! Tickets to the workshops are limited to only 30 places per workshop.
If you miss out on the workshops, there are plenty of tickets available to attend the panel and film screening (capacity 200), open to all ages.
The panel discussion and audience Q&A with Jay Kristoff and Lili Wilkinson will be held in the Village Roadshow Theatrette, 2.30-3.30pm.
A Mini Maker Faire is an event created by Make magazine to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset” (Wikipedia). 3D printing, arduino electronics, coding and Maker activities have come a long way in the three years since the first Melbourne Mini Maker Faire was held at Swinburne University in 2012.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) has entered the curriculum, the Hour of Code has been adopted worldwide and 3D printers have transitioned from being items of awe to common items in many schools, both primary and secondary. These new tools are providing students with opportunities for hands-on application of science and technology as authentic tools for learning and Makerspaces in schools and libraries have become new spaces for learning.
This video by Mat Bettinson of the 2012 Melbourne Mini Maker Faire provides you with an idea of what to expect at a Maker Faire.
Use these links to stimulate your imagination and begin an exploration of Maker Faires worldwide.
Children’s Book Week this year is coming up on 16-22 August. It’s a special week on the Australian literary calendar as an opportunity to highlight quality Australian children’s literature and, as the 2014 theme suggests, spend the week connecting readers with great stories. We are fortunate in Australia to have a strong community of writers and enthusiasts supporting the writing of children’s and adolescent’s literature. They are ensuring stories are written through Australian eyes and embedded into young minds at a time when our identity can be diluted by the mass of other pursuits that fill the lives of young people.
School libraries in particular plan this week as an opportunity to connect with readers, their teachers and their families. Visiting authors conduct writing workshops, book highlight activities are planned and special efforts are made to tie the event into student programs.
The new Australian Curriculum also supports the role of local literature in our students’ lives stating:
The presence of Australian literary texts and an increasingly informed appreciation of the place of Australian literature among other literary traditions will be part of the national English curriculum. Australia’s evolving ethnic composition and the increasing national importance placed on our geographic location in the Asia-Pacific region brings with it a variety of cultural, social, and ethical interests and responsibilities. These interests, and the collective cultural memories that have accumulated around them, are represented in a range of literatures including the inscriptional and oral narrative traditions of Indigenous Australians as well as contemporary Indigenous literature.
To assist you in making the most of the 2014 CBCA Book Week, here are a few resources to launch ideas:
Over the past week we have witnessed news reports of Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and war service veterans attending the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy. The largest seaborne invasion in history. Our attention has been drawn to the veterans as they relive and recount the impact of the war years on their lives. Over the next year, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Anzac, we will be encouraged to reflect on the efforts of all Australians during wartime. We are fortunate to have access to a growing range of quality online resources that document the people and events involved in defending Australia. This commemoration is an opportunity to harness the creativity of our students and involve them in revisiting, and perhaps even discovering, their own family history. These World War I sites are some that will adapt well to the classroom.
100 Years of Anzac is the official website of the Australian Anzac Centenary commemorations. The Centenary is planned to be a time remember not only the original Anzacs who served at Gallipoli and the Western Front, but commemorate more than a century of service by all Australian servicemen and women. It encompasses all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved. This site includes links to many relevant resources.
Gallipoli and the Anzacs Created by the Australian Government, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, this site contains a wealth of information about Gallipoli, the landing, individual accounts, photographs, diaries and the Gallipoli Peninsula today. Ideas and resources available support the study of Gallipoli for many different approaches.
World War I Diaries – Our Stories, Your Stories is a commemorative project of State Library of NSW. Through 2014 to 2019 the Library will take its collections on site, on tour and online to tell our stories, and to listen to your stories. At the heart of the commemorations is the collection which includes some 1140 volumes of diaries written by over 500 servicemen and women, supported by newspapers, photographs, maps and ephemera. Diaries will be completely digitised, transcribed and available on line. The library is inviting the public to contribute their own stories. See also World War I and Australia Research Guide
Researching Australians in World War I Research Guide developed by staff of the State Library of Victoria focuses on Australians serving in World War 1. It also includes some information relevant to Great Britain, Commonwealth nations and other combatant nations. Included is a section on nurses and women’s war occupations. This guide is a digital roadmap for any war service researcher old or young. It provides links into library records and collections with tips on how to construct a successful search and where to look for particular information.
Mapping our ANZACs by the National Archives of Australia has been available for a number of years and continues to grow in richness as people build their own scrapbooks and add family photographs. It provides an accessible interface for searching veteran war records. The interactivity of this site is an ideal teaching opportunity as students trace their own family members and then potentially, contribute to the collection. It’s a site that can stimulate family conversations and potentially lead to the revealing of family stories. A reminder about War & Identity- Education, a website of the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee. This site has also been available for some time but the interactive resources are well worth a reminder as schools introduce 1:1 computing devices.
Finally, Lives of the First World War – is a UK First World War Centenary project. Presently in its infancy, the Imperial War Museum is creating this project to bring material from museums, libraries, archives and family collections from across the world together in one place. They hope to inspire people of all ages to explore, reveal and share the life stories of those who served in uniform and worked on the home front. Australians are invited to contribute their family stories to help build this Commonwealth resource.
This is not an exhaustive list of Australian World War I resources. It is a sample of the material available for students to develop their own content, contribute their own stories and develop a greater understanding of their place in history.
Do you have a resource to recommend? Please share your knowledge via the comments option.
Three keynotes addressed the topic: Advocacy, vision, community and personal responsibility in the management of the emerging model of school librariesJustine Hyde,Director Library Services & Experience Directorate, spoke from a State Library of Victoria perspective on The Library as the centre of the community. Justine outlined the transformation that has occurred in recent years as the result of research, planning and innovation to produce a 95% increase in use of the library by the public. The journey continues for the State Library as they transform services to include more public involvement with an eye to new inclusive technologies through their website and programs.
Christine McAllister, Acting Manager Libraries & Learning, Brimbank Libraries shared the experience of Building a Learning Community. Christine discussed Brimbank’s ‘Programs Framework’; a tool the library service uses to ensure programs are strategically targeted to support the community’s learning, leisure and lifestyle needs and enhance social and economic outcomes. She illustrated the importance of designing specifically targeted services and building the skill capacity of staff. This advice resonated with school library staff especially those who have participated in the SLV PLN (Personal Learning Network) program.
Library Teams 2.0: leveraging your Personal Learning Network for growth and innovation, presented by Camilla Elliott, Head of Library/eLearning Coordinator Mazenod College, focussed on the role of the individual within the library team. It explored the necessary components and the ability to gain value by leveraging the tools, community and ideas within an environment that develops ownership, a sense of belonging and the confidence to act. Success relates directly to individual attitudes however, leadership and a vision are essential.
Dr Carol Gordon, recently retired library educator of Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA, challenged delegates to consider the today’s important challenges for school libraries by exploring the School Library as a Model for Educational Reform. Carol emphasised equity of instruction and sustainability as critical criteria for the conceptualisation of viable school libraries. Ranging from inquiry-based learning to reading and literacy programs, she also reminded us of the vigour required within school library programs, the need for tracking of programs to ensure equal access for all students. Carol had a busy week while here in Victoria, conducting workshops at SLAV branches in Mafra and Wangaratta, and at John Fawkner College.
Suzette Boyd, also recently retired, gained a reputation for innovation and leadership throughout her career as a secondary teacher librarian. Through Your Library, Your Career: a Case Study, Suzette challenged delegates to aim to be the cultural and educational hub of the school. She provided a reflection toolkit to support this journey and shared a case study of her own career to inspire those present to reinvent and rebrand the library and its staff. Suzette emphasised the need to know your team and its capabilities, the importance of building connections and trust with students and teachers and, most importantly, the principal.
The forum rounded off with the SLAV/SLV team moving into experimental territory and trialing an unconference session. Ever conscious of the value of peer sharing, the unconference model invites delegates to write onto a ‘sticky note’, a topic they would like to know more about. They are then put together in teams of like-minded individuals for discussion and information exchange. The experiment was a success and delegates can look forward to more opportunities for informal learning at future SLAV events. Finally, two important and exciting initiatives launched at the forum were:
The new SLAV website www.slav.org.au introduced by website manager Joy Whiteside.
The SLAV mentoring program, introduced by Dr Susan La Marca, which will involve experienced members in providing support and advice to newly qualified SLAV library professionals. Details will be available through the ‘members’ section of the SLAV website.
Please note: Presenters papers and presentations will be available shortly in the Professional Learning section of the new SLAV website.
The newly refurbished Bendigo Branch Library of the Goldfields Library Services was recently the venue for a joint conference of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV). See Rhonda’s Flickr album for further images.
Held on 1 May, the conference entitled Together we are stronger in building communities, was an opportunity for regional library professionals to participate in professional learning within their own community with presenters and topics largely related to the local region.
Use of the #slavconf Twitter hashtag which has become familiar to SLAV professional learning events, was embraced by delegates who used it to share ideas and resources with the broader community of followers. Some of the significant tweets from the conference provided a shapshot into the day.
Hamish Curry, Education Manager at the State Library of Victoria reflects on gaming and playfulness after recently taking part in conferences in Auckland and Melbourne.
Games and playful thinking have been popping up a lot for me recently, more so than usual.
There seems to be a shift in the discussion from the games people play to how games both reflect and add to the culture of our workplaces and public spaces. School libraries can potentially be a hub for this kind of discussion enabling the exploration of games and apps that contribute to our understanding of digital literacy, deep reading and game elements.
In digging deeper I headed along to the inaugural Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) from July 19-21. Here more than 40,000 gamers descended on the Melbourne Show grounds to indulge in games from all kinds of mediums: card games, board games, video games, and talks about games. The scale was overwhelming. It was a powerful physical reminder of just how ubiquitous and diverse games are, as well as how rich the networks and local game development scene are too. I spoke on a panel about The Playful Library exploring the ways in which library spaces can be designed and co-programmed to support games culture. If libraries are keen to engage with the community, then games become a powerful way to bring playfulness and partnerships into their spaces.
Speaking of spaces, I was New Zealand bound the following day to participate in the Auckland City Council’s Hui ‘New Rules of Engagement: Future Directions for Children’s and Youth Services at Auckland Libraries’. This two-day event explored the ‘serious business of being playful’ and brought about 180 staff together to discuss how library spaces can be revitalised, redesigned and reprogrammed to better support families and youth services. There was a strong sense of community driven perspectives coming through the sessions, which also included a workshop on building bridges with newspaper whilst being shot at with Nerf guns! Clearly the play potential of libraries was a key focus, and the energy of the room suggested that the tenacity and eagerness of staff was certainly there.
The themes of risk, innovation, and opportunity kept surfacing. Something that also surfaced during this Hui was an article I’d written for the Schools Catalogue Information Service on Games and learning. In it I explore the ways in which games complement and contrast with education, and how control is always shifting.
Being playful reminds us all that control is at once a state of mind and an opportunity to do things differently.
Image credit: Steam punk nerf guns at Auckland Libraries Hui – librarians vs children!
The other day, I heard a story. A parent of young children heard that the oldest children in the school – ages 9 and 10 – were going to be having an end-of-year technology celebration to which everyone in the building was invited. Eager to hear what her kids would be experiencing in a few years, she dropped by. The students filed in front of the assembly and, without a word, held up an A4 printout of a presentation slide.
That was it.
The whole school had been pulled out of class to gaze at small pieces of paper dozens of feet away.
Now, I have no doubt that the educators behind that project had great intentions and worked hard. (Anyone who has ever tried to get an entire primary school class to print out a project without mixing up whose is whose knows what a feat it is that each kid actually ended up with anything.)
But how did a tool meant to serve as an illuminated backdrop for public speaking end up as a small paper rectangle held up by a silent child? How did a faculty make a decision that seeing these faraway papers merited pulling every other child out of class? What was this project supposed to accomplish?
It’s hard to know. Maybe the technology curriculum focuses on the acquisition of specific skills and behaviours (“the learner will print from software,” “the learner will format a presentation slide”). Maybe the educators were pressed for time. Maybe something else.
I would argue that the crux of the issue is this: there were not clear, aspirational expectations for how technology could transform, extend, and deepen student learning. I would bet that this faculty did not have a clear understanding of what it meant to teach and learn with technology and how to use technology as a game-changer. I have a hunch that the administration pushed for its staff to use technology without talking about how and why to use it.
I quote an extreme example, but (I fear) it probably resonated within the realm of possibility for you. In this madcap Web 2.0 world, where there are endless “creative” tools, just waiting for you to type in a few words and pick a template, how do we move the conversation from “teachers need to use technology, period,” to, “technology needs to transform the teaching and learning and take students further than they could go without technology.”
Next Friday, we’ll gather to talk about this phenomenon. We’ll look at a possible vocabulary and framework for planning and discussing student work, and we’ll draw inspiration from Alan Liu’s Transliteracies Project as we collaborate to articulate what it means to do robust “reading” and “writing” in multimedia. At the end of the day, we’ll dip quickly into two alternative ways to use technology with kids: digital badging to track learning in formal and informal spaces and the makerspace movement. Come roll up your sleeves and dig in with us!
The aim of the Expo was to demystify the concept of ebooks and online digital content. It was a fast moving day of presentations from providers of free and subscription-based content for schools through digital content management systems, some of which we already subscribe to but could use more fully, others that opened up ideas for future development. Presenters included:
Soltlink – Overdrive
Oxford University Press
Read Plus/Links Plus
Links to resources from the Expo are available at SLAVConnects. Exploring the options available in this rapidly developing field can be bewildering, however, this list provides a starting place for exploring online services even if you were not able to attend on the day.