Your library, your career – SLAV / SLV forum

On Friday 16 May, School library Association of Victoria, in conjunction with the State Library of Victoria, held a forum to explore the role of individuals working in a school libraries and the importance of their personal approaches to the position.  Entitled Your Library, Your Career : Manage, advocate and create change for a dynamic school library and fulfilling career, over 100 delegates ranging from teacher-librarians and librarians to technicians attended, once again indicating the diverse range of professionals working in school libraries. This Storify captures the #slavconf Twitter feed of the day, capturing conversations and knowledge sharing made possible beyond the actual forum venue through social media.

Three keynotes addressed the topic: Advocacy, vision, community and personal responsibility in the management of the emerging model of school libraries Justine 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 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.

Elluminate Masterclasses – Developing Virtual Classroom Experts

Thanks to Tamara Carpenter and Kate Jeffrey, from the DEECD Knowledge Bank Online Conferencing Team for the following information:

Elluminate Masterclass – Developing Virtual Classroom Experts

What is it?

The Innovations and Next Practice Division Online Events team are running a series of Elluminate Masterclasses to Victorian educators who are interested in developing the skills to extend their teaching and learning into virtual classrooms and becoming “masters and mentors” for others. The program is being offered as a series of four Masterclasses available from February through May 2009. If you have used Elluminate before as a participant or moderator and would like to:

  • Develop your online facilitation skills
  • Learn how to use virtual classrooms in different teaching and learning contexts
  • Understand how to adapt different teaching and learning styles to the virtual classroom
  • Experiment with the use of multiple tools in an online session
  • Become part of a network of virtual classroom leaders

These sessions will offer you a chance to work with a highly skilled e-facilitation expert and become part of a network of virtual classroom experts. Carole McCulloch will lead the program. Carole is a skilled virtual moderator, e-coach and e-mentor who has been involved in education throughout her working life. Carole has worked as a secondary school teacher, a lecturer and coordinator in TAFE (community colleges), then as an instructional designer, flexible learning manager and senior project officer for TAFE frontiers in Melbourne. Since 2005 she has worked as an independent e-learning consultant working on national and state based e-learning projects.

Who is eligible?

This program for Victorian teachers and educators (both government and non government schools), education policy officers and researchers with some experience of using and/or participating in virtual classrooms in their professional life. Applicants will nominate how they plan to use their virtual classroom skills on completion of the program.

When will it be held?

The program is being offered as series of four Masterclasses. Participants will attend a series of four sessions. Each session will start at 3.30pm and run for 1.5 hours. Each series will be offered over four weeks. Applicants are invited to nominate one series only:

Series 1: Feb/March 2009 (Feb 19, 24, 27, March 2)

Series 2: March 2009 (Mar 4, 10, 16, 23)

Series 3: April 2009 (Apr 21, 24, 27, 30)

Series 4: May 2009 (May 1, 13, 22, 27)

Where will it be held?

The program is offered online in Elluminate. You don’t need to leave your desk – the program comes to you. We expect that you commit to attend all sessions but in the case of unforeseen circumstances, session recordings will be available.

How to sign-up

Places for Masterclasses are strictly limited. If you are interested in attending a series of the Masterclasses, please email the following information to by the closing dates indicated. Your registration information will be reviewed and we will notify selected applicants within a few days of the closing date.

Application: Elluminate Masterclasses – developing virtual classroom experts.


Job title


Which Masterclass Series are you applying for?

Series 1: Feb/March 2009 (Feb 19, 24, 27, March 2) – applications close Tuesday 17 February 2009

Series 2: March 2009 (Mar 4, 10, 16, 23) – applications close Wednesday 18 February 2009

Series 3: April 2009 (Apr 21, 24, 27, 30) – applications close Tuesday 7 April 2009

Series 4: May 2009 (May 1, 13, 22, 27) – applications close Friday 17 April 2009

Are you online? Your blog, wiki, website etc. address

Where did you hear about the program?

Do you have previous experience with virtual classrooms? (eg have run own Elluminate sessions, attended events, etc.)

How do you plan to use virtual classrooms in your professional setting? (<100 words)

More information

For more information, contact Tamara Carpenter (03 9637 3010) or Kate Jeffrey (03 9637 1820) or email