Bialik College

The library staff at Bialik College are preparing for their new library to be completed. In the meantime, they have produced a number of resources about the library. These include:

Information about the new Bialik library building including:

  • facts about the new library,
  • construction photos and floor plans,
  • information on the spaces in the new building, and
  • how the new library will support teaching the curriculum and build a culture of learning, independent thinking, and reading within the Bialik community.

A number of photos of the construction of the library are also available here. We thank David Feighan, the Director, Libraries and Learning Resources and his team for providing this exciting information and look forward to seeing the physical library completed along with more news on the developing virtual library.

IFLA world report

Last week this email arrived from IFLA, alerting interested parties of the release of the 2010 World Report:

IFLA is pleased to announce the launch of its brand new World Report. For the first time, the World Report is being made available online in a fully searchable database, complete with graphical map interface. By clicking on a country’s marker, you can either select “View individual report” if you would like to view a single country’s report or “Add to report list” in order to view multiple countries in one report.

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The report includes questions on:

  • Internet access in libraries
  • Copyright
  • Library initiatives for providing information to different categories of citizens (such as senior citizens, women, the disabled and visually impaired)
  • The role of libraries in universal primary education and environmental sustainability
  • And much more!

The report has been developed by a team at the University of Pretoria led by Professor Theo Bothma and contains details of the library environment in 122 countries. Users have the possibility to add comments to the report as a whole or to individual country reports. The analysis of the data shows on one hand that there are still many countries where violations of intellectual freedom occur – such incidents were reported in 109 of the 122 countries- and on the other that there are many positive aspects where individual libraries have implemented innovative projects to improve access to information. 

Full details of the report are available here.

In relation to the report, Helen Boelens has also sent the following information:

The IFLA World report has just been made available. In Section 5 of the report, the countries which sent information have been asked to provide information about the role of libraries in universal primary education. This information is of interest to many of us. I suggest that, if your country has submitted information to the report, you should look at the information which has been provided to the international community.

I have noticed that it is also possible to comment on the information which is contained in the report but have not checked this out yet. Please note that it very important to look at the name of the institution which submitted information to the World Report.

Please take the time to investigate this important report.

National Year of Reading 2012

What brilliant news! A National Year of Reading for 2012 has been announced.

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So far the website has only the basics, but will adding much more content for

  • children
  • adults
  • reading professionals
  • events

There are, however, already a number of flyers, logos and videos available to view, use and distribute. A year to celebrate one of the things we love – how exciting!

Adventures in Library Instruction podcast

This is a great idea! Adventures in library instruction is a monthly hour long podcast (available in mp3) “about teaching information literacy in libraries.”

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School and University librarians are often interviewed and a range of topics including technology and assessment are discussed.

Listeners can gain access to podcasts via the blog, or by subscribing to the podcast in iTunes. A really great idea and very relevant for those of us in the library field.

History of soccer in South Africa and free game

For anyone studying or interested in the World Cup, the BBC has produced a five minute video of the history of soccer in South Africa. The video is available to viewers in Australia (not always the case with BBC videos).

Kim Baker, the Programme Executive: Document Supply and Information Services at the National Library of South Africa says “Some nice publicity showing the worth of libraries and how they can add value to sport!”

Thanks to Helen Boelens for this link.

Free Soccer Game

For soccer fans comes the free game Can I play this at home? Ideal for schools, this site uses geography, maths and language tasks to help players progress through the soccer game. Select your team and you’re away. It is actually a lot of fun.

Thanks to Greg Pallis for submitting this resource.

New and improved site from State Library of Victoria

The State Library of Victoria has just relaunched its website. With an amazing wealth of information, activities and events, checking out the new SLV website is a must.
Homepage

Homepage

Hamish Curry, Education & Onsite Learning Manager in the Learning Services area of the State Library of Victoria explains:
This revamped site opens up a great deal of new opportunities to bring our collections and services to the surface; be sure to check out the ‘Learn’, ‘Explore’ and ‘What’s On’ sections.
Professional learning
Online learning resources
Online learning resources such as:
are included.
Professional learning
Professional learning
The professional learning page (above) caters for:
slv 4

Student and teacher resources

The Student and teacher resources page (above) provides resources related to:

  • Specific websites for schools (such as ergo, Insideadog)
  • SLV blogs
  • Audio and video resources
  • Education kits

So many fantastic resources available in the one place, the newly revamped SLV website is an absolute treasure.

Museums, Libraries and 21st Century Skills

This document, from the United States’ Institute of Museum and Library Services (“the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas”) provides important information about helping library users develop 21st century skills.

Although primarily developed for public libraries, there is much that can be transferred to school libraries. The website explains:

The Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills initiative underscores the critical role our nation’s museums and libraries play in helping citizens build such 21st century skills as information, communications and technology literacy, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, civic literacy, and global awareness.

And the following items seem to be exactly what many schools need to address:

Specifically, this work aims to help library and
museum leaders:
• Envision the library/museum’s role in providing
lifelong learning experiences, specifically around
21st century skills;
• Inventory the 21st century skills and practices
currently in use by the library/museum;
• Identify goals for future operation and program
improvements;
• Build awareness among policymakers and the
public about the unique value these institutions
provide to the nation’s learning systems.
  • Envision the library/museum’s role in providing lifelong learning experiences, specifically around 21st century skills;
  • Inventory the 21st century skills and practices currently in use by the library/museum;
  • Identify goals for future operation and program improvements;
  • Build awareness among policymakers and the public about the unique value these institutions provide to the nation’s learning systems.
  • A notable point from the document applies to all schools:

    The need to enhance 21st century skills is a compelling national imperative. Built on a foundation of deep content mastery, these skills are the new workforce requirements for maintaining U.S. global competitiveness and ensuring each person’s personal and professional success.

    If you are addressing, or wanting your school to address the development of 21st century skills, this document is a good starting point.

    Help for Haiti’s libraries

    Helen Boelens kindly forwarded this information to Bright Ideas:

    Here is information provided by IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions ) via Karen Usher, who is the secretary of the IFLA – School Libraries and Resource Centers Section about how (school) librarians can help colleagues in Haiti.

    On behalf of ANCBS, Karl von Habsburg, President, sends this message:

    The Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS) wants to help the people of Haiti.

    The earthquake in Haiti of 12th January has caused an enormous devastation. The amount of people that lost their lives is beyond imagination. At the moment basic humanitarian aid and the rebuilding of a functioning infrastructure is crucial.

    However, as soon as the situation in Haiti has become more stable, Blue Shield wants to help to enable experts from all over the world to support their Haitian colleagues in assessing the damage to the cultural heritage and therefore to the identity of their country. Subsequently, Blue Shield wants to support recovery, restoration and repair measures necessary to rebuild libraries, archives, museums, monuments and sites.

    An important task of ANCBS is to coordinate information. ANCBS needs to know who and where the experts are. ANCBS therefore calls upon archivists, restorers, curators, librarians, architects and other experts to register online as a volunteer.

    ANCBS wants to be able to bring experts in contact with those organizations that will send missions to Haiti, and make sure that volunteers will be informed about the situation in Haiti.

    Please join Blue Shield to help your Haitian colleagues.

    You may find the application form via: http://haiti2010.blueshield-international.org/.

    For the statement of Blue Shield on the Haitian earthquake see: http://www.ancbs.org/.

    The actions of Blue Shield can also be followed on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=info&gid=247281734340 and Twitter: http://twitter.com/blueshieldcoop.

    Please feel free to spread this message!

    The Future of the Library, yet again

    One of my personal gurus, US teacher librarian (Library Media Specialist) Dr Joyce Valenza has written an important post about the future of libraries.

    Seth Godin, a marketing wunderkind has turned his attention to libraries. And he doesn’t like what he sees. Dr Valenza explains:

    Seth Godin and Mike Eisenberg and me on the Future of the Library

    January 9, 2010
    I am a huge fan of Seth Godin.

    Seth . . .

    • writes the most popular marketing blog in the world;
    • is the author of the bestselling marketing books of the last decade;
    • speaks to large groups on marketing, new media and what’s next;
    • and is the founder of Squidoo.com, a fast-growing recommendation website.

    Seth’s brief blog post this morning on the Future of the Library certainly got my attention:

    What should libraries do to become relevant in the digital age?

    They can’t survive as community-funded repositories for books that individuals don’t want to own (or for reference books we can’t afford to own.) More librarians are telling me (unhappily) that the number one thing they deliver to their patrons is free DVD rentals. That’s not a long-term strategy, nor is it particularly an uplifting use of our tax dollars.

    Here’s my proposal: train people to take intellectual initiative.

    Once again, the net turns things upside down. The information is free now. No need to pool tax money to buy reference books. What we need to spend the money on are leaders, sherpas and teachers who will push everyone from kids to seniors to get very aggressive in finding and using information and in connecting with and leading others.

    Clearly we haven’t marketed our own message effectively.  Today’s leading expert on marketing, and many others, need to know that job one, for most of us (I HOPE), IS being:

    leaders, sherpas and teachers who will push everyone from kids to seniors to get very aggressive in finding and using information and in connecting with and leading others.

    Is Seth saying that we need librarians, but not traditional libraries?

    (Make sure you click on the survive link above to see that Seth read Robin’s brilliant post in her CCHS Learning Commons about steps necessary for school library survival.)

    We need to make sure that folks who matter get the memo that we are not about circulation alone and that circulation itself is happening online.  (And that some of those reference books and ebooks are available–nearly invisibly–through library-funded databases.)

    And that they get the memo that describes the many ways librarians address literacy and equity each and every day.

    That they get the memo that physical libraries are evolving to become learning commons or libratories.  (See Library as domestic metaphor and My 2.0 Day.)

    That we find multiple ways to show what the school library of today looks like in action.  (See 14 Ways K12 Librarians Can Teach Social Media.)

    We haven’t done our job to market ourselves and our programs.  People don’t know what they look like because we haven’t shared loudly enough.

    It may also be that some libraries aren’t yet there.

    In case you were sleeping, over the past two years, stuff happened.  Big stuff.  Stuff we should have led. I’ve been watching as other professionals in education grabbed turf we should have grabbed or tred together.

    It reached the surface this spring with the Twitter discussion on librarians as social media specialists.

    The game has changed dramatically.  The changes we talk about are not bandwagons. They represent profound changes in the way we do business, the way we do libraries, the way we must educate.

    Teacher librarians, as information and communication specialists must lead change in their buildings and districts or face irrelevancy.

    Something Darwinian is underway.  Adaptation is essential.  And if we are to thrive, leadership is essential.

    School library practice must adapt to complete shifts in the information and communication landscapes.  Folks who believe that Web 2.0, or whatever we next call the read/write Web, will go away are hopelessly mistaken.

    Mike Eisenberg allowed me to share excerpts from a discussion we engaged in this week with Lisa Layera Brunkan. Mike wrote:

    It keeps me up at night too – but to me it’s not will the librarians be in a position to be a logical choice, but rather will librarians grab the opportunity. Any librarian employed today IS in the position! They need to embrace a role that focuses on meeting people’s information needs through any and all media, systems, formats, and approaches.

    Joyce helped me to see that information literacy is both using and producing information. Librarians – particularly those in schools – should be at the center of this: to ensure that students are information literate – to ensure that students are effective users and producers of information.

    What we need are opportunistic librarians – using every interaction with kids, fellow teachers, parents, administrators and the public to PROVE that they are right at the center of the action – of making sure that every student is super-skilled in information seeking, use, production, and evaluation. And, also at the center of making sure that all students have access to resources, services, technologies, and networks.

    You both instinctively know how to take advantage of opportunities. You see them everywhere. That’s what we need to help the librarians to see and then to know what to do with them. . .

    The slow but steady attrition in the school library field is no accident. It’s not because “they don’t understand us.” It’s not because “we haven’t gotten the message out.” It’s because many programs aren’t delivering.

    Many of you are out there leading change.

    The revolution can happen.  And it can happen in our blogs, through our tweets, in our libraries.
    It will not happen if we are asleep at the wheel.  It will not happen if we do not assume responsibility for our own retooling.

    This is the year of redefinition.  Frankly, it’s definition or death.  Some of you thought I was cold when I suggested that folks lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    I know many of you are out there are working hard.

    But it is not about working hard. It is about working smart. It is about marketing. It is about redefining. Before it is too late.  This is the year.

    Seth Godin’s post was generally addressing public libraries, but all librarians can take note and possibly take offence. As Dr Valenza states, stuff is happening. This blog is evidence of some of the kinds of wonderful stuff that is happening in school, public and academic libraries in Australia and around the world. This blog is evidence that there are many wonderful librarians and teacher librarians who have embraced change and developed what could only have been dreamed of a few years ago. The Twitter community to which I belong and contribute to is a testament to the incredibly committed professionals that are librarians and teacher librarians. They contribute so much, that I often worry that they are not having holidays, not having weekends and not having enough downtime to recover from their hectic work and personal lives. This cohort of hardworking and sharing professionals blows my mind. And many of them are from Australia. We may be only a percentage of educators, librarians and teacher librarians, but hour after hour, day after day, we are proving Seth Godin wrong. However, we need everyone to jump on board and help define the future of libraries. Be a part of the change. Drive the change. Make a difference. Enjoy the change. Enjoy the challenge. Learn. Share. Listen. Talk. Lead.

    Of course to be able to implement change effectively, we need appropriate staffing and budgets in public and school libraries. Although many Web 2.0 tools are free, we need appropriately qualified and trained library staff to investigate, develop and maintain any sites that are relevant and useful to their students and staff.

    Buffy Hamilton, author of the Unquiet Librarian blog has added her thoughts and collated a list of other bloggers  (including our own brilliant Jenny Luca) who have responded to Seth Godin’s post.

    Seth Godin, thinker, social media expert, and marketing guru, set off a firestorm yesterday with his post, “The Future of Libraries.” While the post is directed toward public libraries, librarians from all walks of life jumped in with their responses:

    Other posts include

    I would love to have some comments on this issue, but let me leave you with a few quotes about change:

    • He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.  ~Harold Wilson
    • If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  ~Mary Engelbreit
    • It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.  ~W. Edwards Deming
    • When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  ~Victor Frankl
    • Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.  ~Robert C. Gallagher
    • Change always comes bearing gifts.  ~Price Pritchett
    • If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.  ~Author Unknown
    • We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.  ~Harrison Ford
    • Our only security is our ability to change.  ~John Lilly

    Any stories of change within your library and how it came about would be more than welcome.