SLAV Connects is a blog by the School Libraries Association of Victoria (SLAV), formerly named Bright Ideas when a collaboration between SLAV and the State Library of Victoria (SLV). Its aim is to share news from the Association and to encourage teacher librarians, librarians, school library staff, educators and all interested persons to actively engage with the school libraries, to share tools and experiences; to network on a global scale; and to embrace dynamic teaching and learning opportunities.
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
Library professionals have long known the benefits of school library spaces, managed and staffed by qualified library staff. We are all very aware of how vital school libraries are, for a myriad of reasons.
COVID19 has had an enormous impact on how our students learn, access books, resources and libraries. It has also had a significant impact on student wellbeing. Much is being written about the importance of reading for continued well being, including this excellent article written by Dr. Margaret. K. Merga and published on The Conversation on August 9th 2021. She writes “We know that adults who are avid readers enjoy being able to escape into their books. Reading for pleasure can reduce psychological distress and has been related to mental well-being. Reading-based interventions have been used successfully to support children who have experienced trauma. In a recent study, around 60% of young people agreed reading during lockdown helped them to feel better.”
Dr. Merga’s findings further reinforce the important work that SLAV completed in 2020. During June 2020, the School Library Association of Victoria surveyed its members in order to gain a picture of what remote learning meant for school libraries during term two. 269 people responded to 20 questions in an online survey.
From the Executive Summary – “The results of this survey clearly indicate the vital role of school libraries in our school communities. There are many examples here of trained library professionals displaying creativity and flexibility in responding to the learning and teaching needs of remote learning. Results clearly demonstrate how a well-staffed and well-resourced school library supports and enriches a school community. This is vital for learning and teaching, but also in support of the general well-being of staff and students and the common pursuit of developing resilient, life-long learners.” You can read the full report which includes a comprehensive reference list – here
From SLAV Executive Officer Dr. Susan La Marca – “The spread of articles published during this period both online and in our journals, on this topic, are excellent examples of best practice responses to remote learning. They also indicate a high level of engagement with the issues related to learning and teaching by school library professionals during a time of disruption. These teacher librarians, and their school library teams, have also demonstrated a level of proactivity, expertise and reflection that is to be celebrated.”
During this time, there are many lists being shared that can help you find quality resources to support online learning in your school. We look for institutions that we know produce reliable and authentic information, and are collating a page of links to resources, guides and useful information HERE for ease of access. We will continue to update this page as we find new resources to share.
25% more Year 5 students will reach the highest levels of achievement in reading and maths.
Over the next 10 years:
25% more Year 9 students will reach the highest levels of achievement in reading and maths.
33% more 15 year olds will reach the highest levels of achievement in science.
More students will reach the highest levels of achievement in the arts.
More students will reach the highest levels of achievement in critical and creative thinking.
David also introduced the Teaching and Learning Toolkit which is an ‘accessible summary of educational research’ designed to support quality learning and teaching. Its layout is based on the research of Prof John Hattie, where from a series of explicit goals you delve into the site to discover research and practice to support the topic. This will be an excellent professional learning tool for teachers.
Rhonda Powling captured the Twitter stream from the Conference to create this Storify which includes tweets relating to David’s presentation and others on the day (more about them to come).
SLAV delegates appreciated the depth of analysis and explanation provided by David who appreciates the role of the school library that is actively working with teachers and curriculum leaders to provide the best possible outcomes for students. His full presentation is available on the Member’s section of the SLAV website.