SLAV Online Book Club June 16th 2022 – Non Fiction.

Child reading at Brookline Booksmith.jpg

 

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our book club meeting to share your favourite Non Fiction picks. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated.

This was our fourth book club meeting for 2022, and we look forward to chatting with you again at our next meeting on Wednesday August 10 to discuss the topic: Books for Reluctant Readers. This topic has been one of our most popular in past book club meetings. We’d like to engage with new recommendations, revisit old favourites and consider strategies that help school libraries support their reluctant readers

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Biography/ Auto Biography

It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: (YA edition) Trevor Noah https://www.readings.com.au/products/26362986/its-trevor-noah-born-a-crime-ya-edition

Stolen Science: Thirteen Untold Stories of Scientists and Inventors Almost Written out of History
Ella Schwartz, Gaby D’Alessandro

https://www.readings.com.au/products/33519384/stolen-science-thirteen-untold-stories-of-scientists-and-inventors-almost-written-out-of-history

The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II
Michael Rosen

https://www.readings.com.au/products/33504834/the-missing-the-true-story-of-my-family-in-world-war-ii

365 Real-Life Superheroes
Valentina Camerini

https://www.readings.com.au/products/31822668/365-real-life-superheroes

Looking for Heroes: One Boy, One Year, 100 Letters
Liisa S Ogburn, Aidan A Colvin

https://www.readings.com.au/products/22984731/looking-for-heroes-one-boy-one-year-100-letters

Rescue
David Long (Author), Kerry Hyndman

https://www.readings.com.au/products/32084191/rescue

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath https://www.readings.com.au/products/22054173/rejected-princesses-tales-of-historys-boldest-heroines-hellions-and-heretics

Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World by Elena Favilli https://www.readings.com.au/products/32689349/good-night-stories-for-rebel-girls-100-immigrant-women-who-changed-the-world

Stories for South Asian Supergirls by Raj Kaur Khaira https://www.readings.com.au/products/34215640/stories-for-south-asian-supergirls

Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories by Amanda Li, Amy Blackwell

https://www.readings.com.au/products/30005242/rise-up-ordinary-kids-with-extraordinary-stories

A Different Sort of Normal by Abigail Balfe https://www.readings.com.au/products/33474833/a-different-sort-of-normal

The First Scientists: Deadly Inventions and Innovations from Australia’s First Peoples by Corey Tutt https://www.readings.com.au/products/33865889/the-first-scientists-deadly-inventions-and-innovations-from-australias-first-peoples

Heroes, Rebels and Innovators: Inspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from history by Karen Wyld, Jaelyn Biumaiwai https://www.readings.com.au/products/33495703/heroes-rebels-and-innovators-inspiring-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-people-from-history

Able: Fully Updated Edition by Dylan Alcott https://www.readings.com.au/products/28423908/able-fully-updated-edition

Holocaust by DOLAN HUGH, Adrian Barbu https://www.readings.com.au/products/33406409/holocaust

Sport

Unbelievable Football: Winner of the Telegraph Children’s Sports Book of the Year 2020
Matt Oldfield, Ollie Mann

https://www.readings.com.au/products/28351559/unbelievable-football-winner-of-the-telegraph-childrens-sports-book-of-the-year-2020

Football School Terrific Teams: 50 True Stories of Football’s Greatest Sides by Alex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton, Spike Gerrell

https://www.readings.com.au/products/33549748/football-school-terrific-teams-50-true-stories-of-footballs-greatest-sides

Football School Epic Heroes: 50 true tales that shook the world
Alex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton, Spike Gerrell

https://www.readings.com.au/products/32717105/football-school-epic-heroes-50-true-tales-that-shook-the-world

Football Legends 2022: Top 100 stars of the modern game
David Ballheimer, Opta Sports

https://www.readings.com.au/products/33586092/football-legends-2022-top-100-stars-of-the-modern-game

F2: Ultimate Footballer: BECOME THE PERFECT FOOTBALLER WITH THE F2’S NEW BOOK!: (Skills Book 4)
The F2

https://www.readings.com.au/products/29937445/f2-ultimate-footballer-become-the-perfect-footballer-with-the-f2s-new-book-skills-book-4

Stars of the NBA
Kjartan Atli Kjartansson

https://www.readings.com.au/products/33595782/stars-of-the-nba

FIFA World Football Records 2022
Keir Radnedge

https://www.readings.com.au/products/33676082/fifa-world-football-records-2022

Animals/Environment

Finding Gobi (Younger Readers edition)
Dion Leonard

https://www.readings.com.au/products/23772562/finding-gobi-younger-readers-edition

The Gentle Genius of Trees by Phillip Bunting https://www.readings.com.au/products/33497412/the-gentle-genius-of-trees

Weird But True’ series by Nat Geo Kids https://www.readings.com.au/products/20987376/nat-geo-kids-weird-but-true-ripped-from-the-headlines-3

Tim Flannery Series https://www.readings.com.au/products/29598891/explore-your-world-weird-wild-amazing

Stand up for the future https://www.readings.com.au/products/26210620/stand-up-for-the-future-a-celebration-of-inspirational-young-australians

With a Dog’s Love: Clever Dogs Helping Humans by Gina Dawson https://www.readings.com.au/products/34251481/with-a-dogs-love-clever-dogs-helping-humans

Walking in Gagudju Country by Diane Lucas, Ben Tyler, Emma Long  https://www.readings.com.au/products/33523197/walking-in-gagudju-country

Book of Curious Birds by Jennifer Cossins https://www.readings.com.au/products/33748907/book-of-curious-birds

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Peculiar Pairs in Nature by Sami Bayly https://www.readings.com.au/products/33665861/the-illustrated-encyclopaedia-of-peculiar-pairs-in-nature

Popular Culture

Ninja: Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming by Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins https://www.readings.com.au/products/28770118/ninja-get-good-my-ultimate-guide-to-gaming

The Ultimate Superhero Movie Guide: The definitive handbook for comic book film fans
Helen O’Hara

https://www.readings.com.au/products/27754564/the-ultimate-superhero-movie-guide-the-definitive-handbook-for-comic-book-film-fans

The World of Avatar: A Visual Exploration
Joshua Izzo

https://www.readings.com.au/products/27628093/the-world-of-avatar-a-visual-exploration

Complex Presents: Sneaker of the Year: The Best Since ‘85
Complex Media, Inc., Marc Ecko

https://www.readings.com.au/products/32866170/complex-presents-sneaker-of-the-year-the-best-since-85

Crystals: Everything you need to know to Heal, Cleanse, Love, Energize by Cassandra Eason https://www.readings.com.au/products/24375598/crystals-everything-you-need-to-know-to-heal-cleanse-love-energize

Google It: A History of Google by Anna Crowley Redding

https://www.readings.com.au/products/33430860/google-it-a-history-of-google

Are You Afraid Yet?
Stephen James O’Meara, Jeremy Kaposy

https://www.readings.com.au/products/4687128/are-you-afraid-yet

Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings: Strange and Possibly True Australian Stories
Stella Tarakson, Richard Morden

https://www.readings.com.au/products/21981225/aliens-ghosts-and-vanishings-strange-and-possibly-true-australian-stories

An Illustrated History of UFOs by Adam Allsuch Boardman

https://www.readings.com.au/products/32799126/an-illustrated-history-of-ufos

History

Underground: Marsupial Outlaws and Other Rebels of Australia’s War in Vietnam by Mirranda Burton https://www.readings.com.au/products/33712647/underground-marsupial-outlaws-and-other-rebels-of-australias-war-in-vietnam

Sapiens Graphic Novel (Volume 1) by Yuval Noah Harari, Daniel Casanave, David Vandermeulen https://www.readings.com.au/products/33022493/sapiens-graphic-novel-volume-1

The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell https://www.readings.com.au/products/33532144/the-bomber-mafia

Adult

The Boy Behind the Curtain by Tim Winton https://www.readings.com.au/products/23899122/the-boy-behind-the-curtain

Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au https://www.readings.com.au/products/34432167/cold-enough-for-snow

The Golden Book by Kate Ryan https://www.readings.com.au/products/33520392/the-golden-book

The Winter Dress by Lauren Chater https://www.readings.com.au/products/33810738/the-winter-dress

Careering by Daisy Buchanan https://www.readings.com.au/products/34295064/careering

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk https://www.readings.com.au/products/25586213/drive-your-plow-over-the-bones-of-the-dead

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz https://www.readings.com.au/products/33470299/before-you-knew-my-name

Circe by Madeline Miller https://www.readings.com.au/products/26360827/circe

Joanne, Wantirna College – shared via email

Popular science:

  • Humble Pi : a comedy of math errors by Matt Parker (2020)
  • What if? : serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions by Randall Munroe (2015)
  • Gory details : adventures from the dark side of science by Erika Engelhaupt (2020)
  • Dr Karl books

Other:

  • Sport bios – mainly AFL and basketball
  • Guinness Book of Records
  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not
  • The animal book : a visual encyclopedia of life on Earth by David Burnie. (DK 2013)
  • Joke books

Pam Saunders – shared via email

Life in five seconds. 1623650127 #Humour #short

This is not a sex book 9781786693037 #sexed (constantly stolen or moved or falling apart)

Fifty _____ ideas you really need to know (various titles in series published by Quercus) #shortfunfacts

Sneakers the complete limited edition guide 9780500517284 (maybe dated by now) #fashion

The intelligent investor 9780060555665 #shares #makingmoney

Beginners guide to the stock market 978-1099617201 #makingmoney

Zen Pencils 9781449457952 #humour #short

How to: Absurd scientific advice for common real- world problems 9781473680333 #funfacts

30 Second Series (various titles) by Ivy Press eg 9781782405474 #quicksummaryoftopics

Factfulness: Ten reasons we are wrong about the world …..ISBN13: 9781473637467) #globaliization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLAV Online Book Club Wednesday May 18th 2022 – Humour

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for yesterday’s book club meeting to share your favourite Humour picks. We all love a good laugh, but we don’t all share the same views about what is funny in fiction.  What books work best with your readers? As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated.

This was our third book club meeting for 2022, and we look forward to chatting with you again at our next Online Book Club discussion on June 16th  to discuss the topic: Non- Fiction for pleasure. Books that present factual information for pleasure have become more sophisticated with high production and design values adding to the pleasurable reading experience. What texts are always off the shelves in your library?

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Books Discussed/Attendee suggestions

Young Adult

That Thing I Did by Allayne L. Webster

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Louise Rennison Series (possibly a bit dated)

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams

Junior/Upper Primary Fiction

David Walliams Series

My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg

The Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney

Paul Jennings – Unseen, Unbearable, Uncanny, Uncovered

The Sad Ghost Club by Lize Meddings

The Weirdo series by Anh Do

The Wednesday Weeks series by Cristy Burne & Denis Knight

Skullduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy

Matt Larkin titles – The Orchard Underground and The Chameleon Thief

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Funny Stories for 8 year Old’s by Helen Paiba

Malory Towers – Enid Blyton (BBC series)

The World of Norm by Jonathan Meres

What’s New Harper Drew by Kathy Weeks

The Little Brute Family by Russell Hoban

Picture Books

Backyard Birdies by Geppert (non-fiction)

The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It was None of His Business by by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch

The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith

Tyes Picks – SLAV Book Club May 18th 2022 – Humour.

Young Adult

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell https://www.readings.com.au/products/27633528/wayward-son

It’s Not You, It’s Me by Gabrielle Williams https://www.readings.com.au/products/33725018/its-not-you-its-me

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee https://www.readings.com.au/products/23546046/the-gentlemans-guide-to-vice-and-virtue

The First Third by Will Kostakis https://www.readings.com.au/products/17240619/the-first-third

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy https://www.readings.com.au/products/19460247/dumplin

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett https://www.readings.com.au/products/26868214/good-omens

Stardust by Neil Gaiman https://www.readings.com.au/products/5124406/stardust

Junior Fiction

The Naughtiest Unicorn Bumper Collection by Pip Bird https://www.readings.com.au/products/33210346/the-naughtiest-unicorn-bumper-collection

Marge in Charge by Eglantine Ceulemans, Isla Fisher https://www.readings.com.au/products/21975952/marge-in-charge

Fortunately, the Milk . . . by Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell https://www.readings.com.au/products/31346500/fortunately-the-milk

Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger, Book 1) by Amy Timberlake, Jon Klassen https://www.readings.com.au/products/32916785/skunk-and-badger-skunk-and-badger-book-1

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, Douglas Holgate https://www.readings.com.au/products/27266334/the-last-kids-on-earth

Look into my eyes by Lauren Child (Ruby Redfort) https://www.readings.com.au/products/14670542/look-into-my-eyes

The Bolds by Julian Clary https://www.readings.com.au/products/19410936/the-bolds

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, K.G. Campbell https://www.readings.com.au/products/21735595/flora-and-ulysses

Hilda and the Hidden People by Luke Pearson, Stephen Davies, Seaerra Miller https://www.readings.com.au/products/26846991/hilda-and-the-hidden-people

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny–Detectives Extraordinaire! By Polly Horvath, Sophie Blackall https://www.readings.com.au/products/17513683/mr-and-mrs-bunny-detectives-extraordinaire

Jefferson by Jean-Claude Mourlevat, Ros Schwartz https://www.readings.com.au/products/32659486/jefferson

Mat Larkin https://srchy.readings.com.au/results?query=Mat%20Larkin

The Wee Free Men: A Tiffany Aching Novel by Terry Pratchett, Laura Ellen Andersen https://www.readings.com.au/products/23772770/the-wee-free-men-a-tiffany-aching-novel

 Picture Books

Who Wet My Pants? By Bob Shea, Zachariah OHora https://www.readings.com.au/products/27502393/who-wet-my-pants

Going to the Volcano by Andy Stanton, Miguel Ordonez https://www.readings.com.au/products/26360624/going-to-the-volcano

Super Happy Magic Forest by Matty Long https://www.readings.com.au/products/19858036/super-happy-magic-forest

I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon https://www.readings.com.au/products/30361565/i-just-ate-my-friend

I’ll Wait, Mr Panda by Steve Antony https://www.readings.com.au/products/21441628/ill-wait-mr-panda

Miss Understood by KATHRYN APEL, Beau Wylie https://www.readings.com.au/products/35003178/miss-understood

Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe https://www.readings.com.au/products/27630367/pokko-and-the-drum

Graphic Novel

Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen https://www.readings.com.au/products/33759137/garlic-and-the-vampire

Adult Books Discussed 

The Nancys by R.W.R. McDonald

Hanya Yanagihara – all

The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe

Hannah Gadsby’s biography – Ten Steps to Nanette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog Post – SLAV Spotlight On Series

SLAV Spotlight On Sessions

Over the past couple of months I have had the pleasure of completing a virtual placement with SLAV as I near the end of my studies in librarianship at CSU. A major part of the placement included my attendance and participation in a variety of professional development sessions and events offered by SLAV. One of these sessions—and possibly the most influential and impactful, were the Spotlight On Sessions.

These sessions featured three guest teacher-librarians, who gave virtual tours of their respective libraries. We heard about a number of programs including ‘Summer Reading Challenges’ and innovative online/web-based programs to support such challenges, as well as forward-thinking initiatives to support digital literacy and future-ready skills for students. Guests shared information about some of the ways wide reading is supported within their schools, how teacher-librarians build and maintain relationships with teaching staff, and how the use of LibGuides can be maximised to support educational outcomes for students.

It was nothing short of inspiring to hear from librarians who are continually striving to develop best practices to support their students and colleagues in an environment that like many others, has had to pivot and embrace the online space due to Covid-19 and associated challenges. After attending the Spotlight On sessions, what became clear to me was that this kind of professional learning allows one to get an intimate glimpse of how colleagues within the profession continually strive for excellence in their respective roles. In turn, this exchange of ideas can help us to constantly adapt and grow as information professionals, whilst also ensuring the best possible outcomes for the communities in which we serve.

 – Vanessa Carnevale – From 2022 Community Hub Manager – Plenty Valley Christian College

SLAV Online Book Club List for November 18th 2021 – Books Every Library Should Have

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our recent book club meeting to discuss titles that you believe every library must have. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated. Sadly, we only had an hour, so there are many, many titles missing, but we believe the list below is great start.

This was our last book club meeting for 2021, but we look forwarding to welcoming you all back next year! Watch this space for a new list of topics and a link to register.

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Books that every school library should have
What books do you think are essential for a school library? Popular or important, award winners or timeless but maybe not a classic? There are various criteria one could use – what are your must haves?

We Are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad
The Yield by Tara June Winch
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman
Once Series by Morris Gleitzman
Earthsea Series by Ursula Le Guin
Anything by Rebecca Stead – Liar & Spy and When You Reach Me
Billie B Brown, Hey Jack and Polly and Buster Series by Sally Rippin
Cherub Series by Robert Muchamore
All books by Stephen King
All books by Matthew Reilly
Tomorrow When the War Began Series by John Marsden
The Wonder Books by R.J. Palacio
Mortal Engines Series by Phillip Reeves
Angel Creek by Sally Rippin
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Papertowns by John Green
Wandi by Favel Parrett
Things a Map Wont Show You Anthology Edited by dr. Susan La Marca and Pam McIntyre
The First Third by Will Kostakis
Holes by Louis Sachar
Red Dirt Diary by Katrina Nannestad
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Obernewtyn Series by Isobelle Carmody
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Mapmaker Chronicles by Alison Tait
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks
Mr Romanovs Garden in the Sky by Robert Newton
Charlotte’s Web by E B White
Pony by RJ Palacio
Laurinda by Alice Pung
Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan
Alex Rider by Anthony Hoowitz
Sister Heart by Sally Morgan
Rich and Rare short story collection
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
Of a Boy by Sonya Hartnett
Scythe Trilogy by Neil Shusterman
Unwind by Neil Shusterman
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah
The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent
New Kid by Jerry Craft GN
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Land of Stories Series by Chris Colfer
The Left Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix
Detention by Tristan Bancks
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson GN
All books by Maxine Beneba Clarke
Future Girl by Asphyxia
Girls in Boys Cars by Felicity Castagna
Changing Gear by Scott Gardner
The Philip Bunting fiction and non-fiction books
Young Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
All books by Poppy Nwosu, Sara Epstein, Kay Kerr, Anna Whateley
Diary of a Minecraft Zombie Series
Invisible Boys by Holden Shepperd
Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough
Crow Country by Kate Constable
The interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Breath by Tim Winton
Non-fiction – National Geographic Kids
Daisy Meadows Rainbow Fairies Series
Horrible Histories – Murderous Maths etc.
Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton – The Treehouse Series
Bren MacDibble – The Dog Runner, Across the Risen Sea and How to Bee
Are you there Buddha? by Pip Harry
The Spellslinger Series by Sebastian deCastel
Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett
Real Pigeons Fight Crime Series by Andrew MacDonald and Ben Wood
The Bad Guys Series by Aaron Blabey
Where We Begin by Christie Nieman
Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief by Katrina Nannestad
Tokyo Ghoul and Promised Neverland for the manga fans
Kingdom of Silk series by Glenda Millard’s
Between Us by Clare Atkins
In The Dark Spaces by Cally Black
Number the stars by Lois Lowry
Silver Sword by Ian Seraillier
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
I Am David by Anne Holm
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
The Librarian of Auschwitz – Antonio Iturbe
The Book Thief by Markus Zusack
The Road to Winter Trilogy by Mark Smith
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Adult – What We Are Reading
Devotion by Hannah Kent
Bruny by Heather Rose
Louise Penny books
Liane Moriarity – has some great reads
The Nowhere Child by Christian White
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Riviera House by Natasha Lester
The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray
The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
New Anthony Horowitz – A Line to Kill
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Are you smarter than a chimpanzee – test yourself against the amazing minds of animals by Ben Ambridge
99 other bad arguments by Julian Baggini
Girt, True Girt & Girt Nation by David Hunt
West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge Stephenson
The Wattle Island Book Club
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Peter May novels
Barbara Vine novels
Love stories by Trent Dalton
Rewilding the Urban Soul by Claire Dunn
Helen Garner How to End A Story
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

 

 

 

 

 

Reading for Pleasure – Book Week and more

reading1

At this time of year the focus is on reading as we celebrate Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week.  It’s a time for author visits to schools, writing workshops, dressing up in favourite storybook characters – all with the purpose of developing a love of reading in our students.  In a world driven by technological developments that are changing the nature of future employment, the ability to read is an absolute necessity. The joy it brings is a bonus.

But how far do we go beyond dressing up and celebrating for this one week of the year?  How do we engage parents as key stakeholders in this process?  A movement in Sydney, Street Library Australia which is based on the US group Little Free Libraries aims to make reading front and centre by bringing it into family gardens.  Family involvement is key to a child’s success as a reader as its at home that habits are formed and established.

The National Library of New Zealand in their Services to Schools provide and excellent resource to support reading both at school and at home. Included on the site is Reading for Pleasure – a Door to Success where they advocate:

The benefits of reading for pleasure are far reaching. Aside from the sheer joy of exercising the imagination, evidence indicates reading for pleasure improves literacy, social skills, health and learning outcomes. It also gives people access to culture and heritage and empowers them to become active citizens, who can contribute to economic and social development.

This site tackles reading from all angles and brings a bounty of resources together in the one place. It well worth exploring in depth.  Every child is a reader – it’s not an option.

eCOGSS – a collaborative ebook project

Rachel Fidock reports on an innovative ebook service developed by four secondary schools in the Goulburn Valley, Victoria.

Many school libraries across Australia are choosing to create ebook libraries – online libraries where students are able to borrow and read ebooks on their own devices. But how easy is it to create an ebook library, and would our students prefer physical books?

In the Goulburn Valley of Victoria, teacher librarian Helen Taylor, formerly of Shepparton High School, took up the challenge of creating an ebook library with a difference. The result is eCOGSS (eBooks City Of Greater Shepparton Schools) ebook lending facility, an online service that caters to not one, but four secondary schools in the region. Of the six secondary schools approached to be involved, Goulburn Valley Grammar SchoolMooroopna Secondary College, Shepparton High School and Wanganui Park Secondary College chose to take part (one non-government and three government schools).

Accommodating the needs of four schools in one service may seem like a daunting task, but as a consortium, the combined experience and ideas of the group proved to be a great advantage.

In the development stage, according to Helen Taylor, Library Managers from each school took the idea back to their administrators and IT departments as the project’s success depended on these groups. The project group chose Wheelers to provide the ebook lending platform due to their competitive pricing and willingness to accommodate their needs. Meetings on Skype with representatives from Wheelers, Library Managers and school administrators gave everyone the chance to discuss ideas and refine the group’s requirements.

Taylor believes that the model they developed – where each school has their own account, chooses their own books and pays for them – made the process of sharing a common elibrary highly successful. And by sharing resources, the schools were able to create a service where all ebooks are now available to all students, regardless of the school that paid for them – improving access and value for money. In March 2013, the eCOGSS ebook lending facility opened for business, with 8% of enrolled patrons borrowing more then one ebook.

Given the success of the project in terms of the schools involved, what do the students think of eCOGSS?

In early December 2013, Bright Ideas conducted a survey of 24 students ranging from years seven to nine, from Shepparton High and Mooroopna Secondary College, to determine if the students were using eCOGSS, if they preferred ebooks to physical books and what they thought the future of school libraries might be.

The survey results show that 54% of the students borrow from the eCOGSS ebook lending facility, while 13% prefer to get their ebooks elsewhere (Wattpad is a popular choice, especially given the amount of self-publishing which occurs on this platform).

54% of students preferred not to get their books online (17% were undecided). Some of their comments included:

  • I like paper books because you can find more out about them before you borrow.
  • I prefer books to technology.
  • The books in the library I can take home but the books online I can’t access at home.
  •  I find it really annoying having to set up your laptop and etc. just to read a book. I hate reading off a computer. It can’t be good for your eyes. And I like reading a paper book that you can take anywhere and is easy.

For those students who did prefer getting books online in the form of ebooks, some reasons were:

  • There is a wider range of books
  • It’s easier than going to a public library
  • It’s easier then carrying [books] around the school
  • You don’t have to carry them around and there are books here that are not in the library

Students were asked what they thought about the future of libraries and school libraries. Some of their comments are featured below:

  • There will be fancy scrolls that when you open them you can flick through pages like an ipad and everything will be stored on them (every thing!!!). [Student doesn’t use eCOGSS but reads Google Books]
  • I think libraries will be using technology and ebooks more than they do now. [Student doesn’t use eCOGSS but prefers to get books online
  • I think libraries will die out because of the internet and online reading. [Student doesn’t borrow from eCOGSS. Reads ebooks from Wattpad]
  • In all honesty I don’t think that libraries will change that much because there will always be people who like paper books.
  • I think they should stay the same. Maybe you can put in an order on-line to borrow it but then go pick it up and read a book not a text on a screen.
  • They won’t have libraries if people always use online.
  • Please continue helping us, finding books. Thank you. [Student doesn’t borrow ebooks]
  • I think it’s a great opportunities for readers to get a chance to do what they like. [Student doesn’t borrow ebooks]
  • Have a library and ebooks. [Student borrows ebooks from eCOGSS]
  • While it’s a good idea that books are easily obtained and read, nothing really beats a good old book. Though I do enjoy ebooks very much. [Student borrows ebooks from eCOGSS]

While it’s interesting to see the opinions of this group of students, only a small number were surveyed, so it would be interesting to see whether students in the broader community use their school elibraries in the same way. It’s also important to note that students’ like or dislike of elibraries ebooks often depends on their exposure to and abililty to access them. The evidence from this survey suggests that there are students using eCOGSS and some students prefer reading ebooks. However, the results also suggest many students prefer to read physical books.

It’s clear to see that eCOGSS ebook lending facility is a great example of how collaboration and partnership between schools and teacher librarians can lead to better library services across school communities and large geographical areas.

Story Box Library

Story Box Library is melding the mediums of film and storytelling to create authentic online literature experiences. Australian content is delivered from a diverse range of storytellers for primary school aged students. The site also includes teacher resources, Australian curriculum links and a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the stories. Teacher librarian Sharon McGuinness has discovered the extensive toolkit of Story Box Library and shares her use of it with us:

I am the teacher librarian at Thirroul PS which is just north of Wollongong on the NSW south coast. We are a school of approximately 360 students across 15 classes, with the vast majority of students speaking English as their first language.

The new NSW based Australian English curriculum, with its emphasis on literature, presents teacher librarians a golden opportunity. At Thirroul, our Stage 1 staff have been working with students using ‘Language, Learning and Literacy’ or L3,a NSW program which encourages the use and study of literature in the classroom. Working with staff, I have further expanded the suggested literature titles and am completing a similar task with regard to the suggested titles within the new curriculum – particularly those featuring sustainability, Australia’s engagement with Asia and Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

My aim is to make it easier for staff to use literature in each classroom and avoid duplicating titles across stages and grades.

Part of this strategy also includes using related online literature resources – whether it be author/illustrator websites, book trailers, interviews or multi modal texts. Story Box Library will bring more of an authentic literature experience into the classroom with its range of online storytelling segments. It also aims to give students the background of how the books are created, and classroom ideas. As a school we have already signed up and teachers are exploring the site, using the online storytelling segments on their interactive whiteboards in the classrooms. Teachers also appreciate the accompanying teaching notes and ideas as this fits in perfectly with our Stage 1 L3 program. I have also added several of the titles on the SL website to our Stage 1 L3 list of suggested texts.

Over the past couple of years, I have noticed the staff’s usage of printed teaching resources greatly decreasing and recognize that staff now rely on resources available online. Story Box Library fills a gap in resourcing online Australian children’s literature.

We are looking forward to the site’s further growth and development as it has the ability to provide us with a ‘one stop shop’ for a range quality Australian children’s literature.

To find out more about the services provided by the site, visit Story Box Library.

New writers in residence on Inside a Dog

Jordi Kerr, Learning Programs Officer at the Centre for Youth Literature talks about upcoming writers in residence on insideadog.

Ever wanted to break into a writer’s mind and find out the true story – how do they do it? What makes them tick? Where did that idea come from? Welcome to insideadog’s Residence blog.

insideadog hosts a different YA writer each month – they hang around the kennel, and write posts that give an insight into their lives and writing process. It’s a unique opportunity for students, regardless of their geographical location, to pick the brains of an author. By commenting on the blog posts, students can interact with professional writers, and have their questions about reading and writing answered.

In March, debut author Myke Bartlett provided candid and humorous explorations of his background and process, as well as exclusive glimpses at some of his unpublished work, and his upcoming sequel to Fire in the Sea.  (You can easily access all of Myke’s posts here.)

Myke has also aptly demonstrated that blog writing is an art form in its own right. In the classroom the Residence blog can be used as a launch pad to discuss and explore how writing for an online audience is different to writing for print. What makes a good blog? How is blog success measured? How can readers be encouraged to become involved?

In April, American graphic novelist (artist and writer) Raina Telgemeier was at the helm. (You may have heard of her multi-award winning book Smile?) If you’ve ever been uncertain about how to introduce graphic novels into your classroom, this is your chance. Raina’s got some great posts from how a graphic novel is born (and raised), advice for budding cartoonists and graphic novel recommendations for young readers. You can access all her posts here.

Insideadog endeavours to publish the names of upcoming resident authors ahead of time, to give teachers the opportunity to prepare and plan. Students can familiarise themselves with the author’s books, and research them online. There is also a blogging worksheet included in the site’s teacher resources, which you can use or adapt to foster discussion.

You may notice that over the next few months the writers hosted on insideadog are also involved in our Reading Matters Student Day program. For those students lucky enough to be attending Reading Matters, the residence blog gives them a chance to get to know the authors beforehand.

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.

Reading Matters 2013

The schedule for Reading Matters 2013 is now available, boasting an impressive line up of emerging and established authors from across Australia and the world.

One of the themes explored this year is story told through different mediums with speakers including poet Tim Sinclair, games developer Paul Callaghan and American graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier.

The conference will also explore adults and teens within the YA context and gatekeeping – who decides what teens can, can’t and should read?

International guests include:

Libba Bray (UK), author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy and Going Bovine

Gayle Forman (US), author of If I stay and sequel, Where she went

Keith Gray (UK), author of Creepers.

To find out more about the program and how to book visit the State Library of Victoria website or contact the Centre for Youth Literature on 8664 7014 or email youthlit@slv.vic.gov.au.