SLAV Virtual Book Club List June 18th, 2020

We were delighted to welcome so many of you to our second SLAV Virtual Book Club for 2020. Thank you for joining us and for your participation.

As promised we are sharing the list of titles discussed below. Members were invited to share their favourite Australian titles, whether they are new releases or perhaps, overlooked gems. We have so many wonderful Australian writers for young people of all ages, it was very difficult to cover them all with only an hour to discuss!

We have linked each title through to the Readings Website. Please keep in mind that if an item is out of stock, it may take some time to become available again, particularly if it is coming from overseas.

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.

Australian Middle Fiction Discussed

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai
E-boy by Anh Do
Sophia and the Corner Park Clubhouse by Davina Bell
Game On Series by George Ivanoff
Angel Creek by Sally Rippin
Threads of Magic by Alison Croggon
Nice Girls Don’t Play Footy by Kathy Helidoniotis

Australian YA or Adult Fiction Discussed 

How to Grow a Family Tree by Eliza Henry Jones
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club Series – Alison Goodman

Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simone Howell and Fiona Wood
The Diamond Hunter by Fiona Mc Intosh
The Yield by Tara June Winch
The Ghost and the Bounty Hunter by Adam Courtenay
Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany
Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany
The Medoran Chronicles by Lynette Noni
Everywhere, Everything, Everyone by Katie Warner
The Unlisted Series (ABC TV tie-in) by Chris Kunz and Justine Flynn
The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The End of the World is Bigger Than Love by Davina Bell
Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller
Deep Water by Sarah Epstein
Ashala Wolf Series by Ambelin Kwaymullina
My Place (abridged Young Readers Edition) by Sally Morgan
The White Girl by Tony Birch

More Middle Grade and YA Australian Authors (to name only a few…)

Will Kostakis

Leanne Hall

Jane Godwin

Adrian Beck 

Felice Arena 

Nicole Hayes

Robert Newton

Tim Pegler

Melina Marchetta

Emily Bitto

Ceridwen Dovey 

Sonya Hartnett 

Resources for selecting Australian Fiction

The Readings Children’s Book Prize

The Readings Young Adult Book Prize

The Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction

The CBCA 

Inside A Dog 

 

 

 

 

SLAV Virtual Book Club List May 21st, 2020

We were delighted to welcome so many of you to our very first SLAV Virtual Book Club! Thank you for joining us and for your participation.

As promised we are sharing the list of titles discussed below. This first list is quite eclectic, owing to the fact that there was no theme for this particular session, we simply invited you all to share what you had been reading over the past few months.

Moving forward, these meetings will be themed, resulting in lists that we hope will be useful for your classrooms and libraries. We also hope to align titles to curriculum areas, where possible, and specify if they are suitable for primary or secondary students.

We have linked each title through to the Readings Website. Please keep in mind that if an item is out of stock, it may take some time to become available again if it is coming from overseas.

For now though, we present the first list and hope you enjoy!

May 21 SLAV Book Club Suggestions

Suitable for Older Secondary Students

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
A Single Thread by Tracey Chevalier

Ruin, Scholar and Good Turn – all by Dervla Mc Tiernan
The Erratics by Vicki Laveau Harvie
The Testaments by Margaret Attwood
The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi
The Binding by Bridget Collins
Bruny by Heather Rose
Deep Water by Sarah Epstein
Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina & Ezekiel Kwaymullina
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Olive Kitteridge and Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The End of the World is Bigger Than Love By Davina Bell
Promise Me Happy by Robert Newton
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein
Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr

Non Fiction
Bewildered by Laura Waters
Made in Scotland by Billy Connelly
Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to taking back the English language by Amanda Montell
The Convent by Stuart Kells
Educated by Tara Westover

Suitable for Upper Primary and Beyond
The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Beyond Belief by Dee White
The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot

Online resources

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.

 

Professional Learning Resource Round Up

As we all respond to the directives and guidelines in relation to COVID – 19 our association is working hard to ensure we are doing all we can to support our members.

With some schools needing to close for indefinite periods of time there may be a need for your school library staff to indicate ways they are exploring professional learning during a period of school closure or changed operations.

To assist, we have created this post, listing a range of professional learning opportunities made available to members.

A range of presentations from past Professional Learning Events can be accessed via the SLAV Member Login page HERE.

Over the past two years we have created podcasts of all of our Reading Forum events as well recording a selection of presentations given at our major conferences. These podcasts are available to anyone online and can be accessed HERE.

Synergy is our online, research based, journal. The most recent edition of the journal is closed to members only but all other editions of the journal are made freely available in light of the Associations interest in being collegiate and supportive of the wider professional community. We encourage you to explore the wealth of information from current and past editions HERE. 

Digital issues of our publication – FYI – can be accessed HERE. 

As a SLAV member, you also have access to resources from the International Association of School Librarianship through our partner membership status. There are some wonderful resources to be accessed on the IASL website and we encourage you to find time to explore them. Login details are available on our Member Login page.

Finally, a word on our 2020 Professional Learning Calendar. As we advised in our most recent newsletter we are doing all we can to ensure we are keeping our members and presenters safe, and are responding to guidelines and directives accordingly.

Events – cancellations and postponements

Our March 23 conference has been cancelled.

The IB workshop to be held in conjunction with DATTA Vic at Kardinia College on April 16 has been cancelled.

Our May Masterclass in conjunction with LMERC – Powering Learning: Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives has been moved to September 4.

Our May 29 Conference – School Libraries: Powering Primary has been moved to September 14.

The National Education Summit on August 28 and 29 at MCEC, a strand of which we are a partner in providing, has been postponed to a later date yet to be announced.

All other Reading Forums, Workshops and Masterclasses

The remainder of our program are events that are to be held in school venues. At present we are continuing to plan and offer these events on the understanding that a decision will be made a month to two weeks out from each as to whether they are to go ahead. As it is very difficult to know exactly where we will be in two months’ time this approach is hopefully the best response in unknown times.

If you have any queries about this, please contact the SLAV office on 0477 439 593 or email slav@slav.org.au

We encourage all members to stay in touch with each other in these challenging times. Our branch structure is an excellent source of local support.  We encourage you to reach out and offer collegiate advice wherever you can and to ask if you need help or assistance. Our social media platforms can also be a source of connection. Please do reach out, we are open to assisting you in any way we can.

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.

Slow Reading: the Power to Transform

IMG_5232a

Reading programs and the support of a culture of reading is a common commitment in school libraries.  As teacher librarians, and librarians, we promote reading for enjoyment as a means of raising literacy levels through activities such as reading classes; engaging children in the Premiers’ Reading Challenge; running Book Clubs or supporting English teachers. To this end, the Synergy article Slow Reading: The Power to Transform by Dr Pam Macintyre, Senior Lecturer in Portfolio of Design and Social Context in the School of Education at RMIT is of particular interest.

In this article Pam says it’s logical to state, ‘greater understanding produces greater pleasure when reading’.  To fully understand and learn the skill of reading she encourages us to take time and to give students time, through a process of ‘slow reading’ saying:

Students need us to slow the reading, to model and facilitate the enjoyment of contemplation and the sharing of responses and interpretations. We need to share our enjoyment of language, and the delight in the places reading can take us well beyond the physical, geographical, emotional, intellectual boundaries of our daily lives. We also need to share our knowledge and pleasure about the how of what is said, not only the what.

Pam mentions the Australian research, the Children and Reading literature review which reports a 4% drop in the number of children reading for pleasure between 2003 and 2012.  As a passionate advocate of adolescent reading, she notes the opportunities for further research in this field as reading formats change from hard copy to digital.

In promoting a reading culture Pam quotes Terry Eagleton’s, How to Read Literature (2013)  and urges us to encourage in students a peculiarly vigilant type of reading, ‘one which is alert to tone, mood, pace, genre, syntax, grammar, texture, rhythm, narrative structure, punctuation, ambiguity’ (2013, p. 2).

This article, published in SLAV’s professional journal Synergy, provides teacher librarians and educators involved in raising literacy levels through a formal reading program, with a thoughtful approach to developing skilled readers.  Synergy is published bi-annually and is freely accessible online, apart from the two most recent editions.  It is a valuable source of research relating to school libraries.

Melbourne Mini Maker Faire in March

minimakerfaire1

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.

It’s with great excitement, therefore, that we greet the announcement of 2016 Melbourne Mini Maker Faire!

Date: Saturday 19 March, 10am – 4pm

Location: KIOSC @ Swinburne University of Technology, 369 Stud Road, Wantirna 3152

Cost: Gold Coin Donation‌

The Victorian Department of Education and Training in association with the Knox Innovation Opportunity and Sustainability Centre (KIOSC) and Swinburne University of Technology are planning this exciting experience by providing a snapshot of what our future may look like.

The program will include: workshops by inventors and makers, demonstrations of cutting edge technologies, hands on activities for children and adults, nutritious food vendors and musical entertainment

Register as a Maker, Volunteer, Sponsor or an Attendee, today!
For information please visit the Melbourne Maker Faire website.

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.

 

2014 SLAV Awards – acknowledging best practice

Success-cropped

Every year the School Library Association of Victoria Awards are presented in recognition of the contribution of members and school leaders, and to encourage research into best practice.  2014 award recipients were announced at the conference, Building Communities through Reading, held at the National Gallery of Victoria in November. That’s a couple of months ago, I know, but it’s not too late to acknowledge these professional achievements.

Four awards presented were:

  • The John Ward Award
  • School Leader’s Award
  • SLAV Innovator’s Grant
  • SLAV Research Fellowship

Teacher Librarian, Leonie Dyason of Mooroopna Secondary College is a worthy recipient of the John Ward Award, presented in recognition of outstanding commitment to school librarianship in Victoria and named in honour of founding member of the Association, John Ward.

During her time at Mooroopna (commencing in 1977) Leonie has worked to support a less advantaged community developing a high level of understanding of, and responding to particular learning needs by creating a targeted print and ICT-rich collection that is educationally and culturally appropriate. Leonie has been a staunch advocate for school libraries and has been an active member of the School Library Association of Victoria during her long career.

She has been a driving force and support for colleagues in the SLAV Goulburn Valley Branch since the 1980s serving on SLAV Committee of Management and other committees within the Association.  As a rural delegate, this has involved travelling from Mooroopna to Melbourne to attend meetings regularly. Commitment, dedication and collegiality have been a hallmark throughout Leonie’s teacher librarian career.
Congratulations Leonie!
____________

School Leaders are a critical component in the management and success of a school library.  2014 School Leader’s Award was presented to Marco DiCesare, Principal of Caroline Chisholm Catholic College, Braybrook and previously of Lavalla Catholic College, Traralgon. It was supported by commendations from Teacher Librarians, Barbara Roach (Caroline Chisholm Catholic College) and Jeananne Brown, (Lavalla Catholic College) both of whom have worked under the leadership of Marco.  Barbara and Jeananne and acknowledge that he possesses cutting edge understanding of the role of the Information Services sector of the educational community. This leadership is influenced by his deep understanding of how students learn which enables him to see the intrinsic value of school libraries.

Marco has encouraged innovation and looked for ways the school library can embrace learning opportunities. He encourages collaboration between the library and other departments and sums up his expectation for the role of the Teacher Librarian as:
Teacher Librarians support and implement the vision of the College through advocating and building effective library and information services and programs that contribute to the development of independent, interdisciplinary lifelong learners. The Teacher-Librarian partners and collaborates with teachers in the development of curriculum and pedagogy and manages the library and information resources and services of the school.”

Congratulations Marco.  The Principal is a key player in establishing the position of the school library within the school community.
____________

School libraries must be places of constant innovation and change responding to changing circumstances with new ways of working. Julie Purcell, Director Library Resource Centre at Ruyton Girls’ School and David Feighan, Information and Library Services Manager, Mentone Girls Grammar School were co-recipients of the SLAV Innovator’s Grant of 2014. The Grant was awarded in recognition of David and Julie’s work in initiating and setting up a shared ebook collection across two schools that are not under the same governing body nor in the same vicinity.

This project is innovative as it leads the way in inter school co-operation and enables both schools to offer larger, richer and more engaging ebook collections to their students.  It also demonstrates that two schools located some distance apart, with different library catalogue systems and no shared IT network, can still work effectively together. Well done!
____________

SLAV Research Fellowship for 2014 was awarded to teacher librarian, Amanda Baker, to allow her to further develop and extend the range of Reading Programs she has developed across Viewbank College, and which could serve as a model for other teacher librarians to follow.

Amanda’s presentation of her work to delegates at the conference was enthusiastically received. She illustrated that by working closely with English staff in the Middle Years, the Viewbank College Library has managed to build a thriving reading community. Activities such as the ‘Million Word Challenge’ and ‘The Reading Portfolio’ have increased student engagement, encouraged conversations about reading and increased involvement. In addition to supporting literacy outcomes, this reading model has strengthen the relationships between Teacher Librarian , the English faculty and other staff and supports a reading culture across the school.
Congratulations Amanda, we look forward to hearing more about your work.

Recognising exception practice within the profession is important. Whilst rewarding merit, it highlights exemplary practice and stimulates improvement. Watch out for the invitation to nominate candidates for 2015 awards later in the year.  Share the best practice that’s occurring within your school community.

Congratulations – Dromkeen Librarian’s Award

book_imagination_edited Congratulations to Melbourne High School Head of Library, Pam Saunders, recipient of the 2014 Dromkeen Librarian’s Award presented at the State Library of Victoria (SLV) on 12 October. The award ‘is presented to a teacher, a teacher librarian or a children’s librarian, working within or outside the education system, in recognition of the important role played by this person in introducing young people to literature and encouraging an enjoyment and love of reading.’ Jan-dromkeenPam has a long involvement with libraries and adolescent reading having previously worked as a librarian in schools and public libraries, as well as managing the Centre for Youth Literature at the SLV. In her interview with Tania Scheko, teacher librarian, she speaks of the development of her love affair with reading, saying..

I was fortunate to have become a reader on the lap of my father as he read to me. I remember walking as a very young child to the shop to buy the new magazine Playhour and then my father reading it to me, especially the comics. This was further fostered by a dynamic school librarian, Mrs Cecilia Stubbs, who ran the library at Burnie High School in the 1970s. She encouraged students to use the library, to be involved and, best of all, she challenged my reading, pushing me to read titles which I would not have discovered myself. Titles like Black like me by John Griffin. I hope I have emulated her as a librarian.

Pam’s award shines a spotlight on the role of library staff in the development of a culture of reading within the school and individual students. We know that to instil a love of reading is to give a student the passport to seeing the world through a different set of eyes. At the forthcoming School Library Assoc of Victoria (SLAV) conference to be held 21 November, author Leigh Hobbs and others will explore the importance of the school library, and the primary school in particular, in “Building Community Through Reading”. Reading is a skill for life. Congratulations Pam, you and others like you in our libraries are a positive influence on our students’ futures.

The Dromkeen Medal, this year awarded to esteemed editor and publisher, Helen Chamberlin, and Dromkeen Librarian’s Award have a distinguished history of over 32 years, with previous Medal recipients including well-known children’s book illustrators and authors such as Shaun Tan, Bronwyn Bancroft, Roland Harvey, Ruth Park and Graeme Base. 

Exploring Makerspace culture

kerbal

It’s twelve months since Kristen Fontichiaro presented Sharpening our toolkit: defining great work, exploring Makerspace culture and badging accomplishments at the SLAV Conference Transliteracy: whom do you ask and how can you participate? At that time Kristen spoke of the value of Makerspaces as positive learning opportunities based on her experience and research with the Michigan Makers group  and the University of Michigan, USA.

A number of schools have explored the idea and are implementing them in various ways.  As a ‘third space’ in a student’s life – a place that is neither home and nor the classroom, libraries and the concept of a Makerspace is an ideal fit.  Every school has a unique ‘maker’ identity according to the interests and resources available to that community. Some lean towards integration with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and concentrate on electronics and coding. Others, such as Mazenod College library that I presented to delegates at the recent ELH conference, feature Lego, MinecraftKerbal Space Program and Augmented Reality.


Makerspaces: creating an opportunity

Regardless of the focus, Makerspaces share a common definition:

  • A place where people can use tools and materials and can develop creative projects
  • Can be embedded in an existing organisation or stand alone e.g. Makerfaires
  • Are adaptive – can be shaped by educational goals or individuals’ creative interests Makerspace.com

Opportunities for innovation are emerging rapidly as schools purchase 3D printers and the notion of introducing computer coding as a primary school subject is being canvassed by education departments worldwide.  There is an opportunity here for school library staff to look at their spaces and investigate the possibility of working in collaboration with Technology and IT Departments combining ideas across the school.

Schools libraries have the benefit of a degree of flexibility to venture into providing activities with a Makerspace mindset as an opportunity for students to tinker, explore, relax and mix with peers around a shared interest. It doesn’t have to be a fully equipped, technical space.  Students simply need somewhere they can explore and learn in a voluntary yet constructive capacity.

Do you have a Makerspace story to share in relation to your school library?  Please use the ‘reply’ box below to share your story.

Some resources to assist your research:

SLAV’s FYI journal – Summer 2014 – Theme- Makerspaces – the changing nature of school libraries includes numerous articles and a list of further reading
What does the next generation of school libraries look like? – Mindshift article by Luba Vangelova
Linking for learning – Makerspaces – list of resources
Makerbridge – an online community for everyone interested in makerspaces and maker culture
Edutopia – Maker education – a range of resources and practitioner advice including an excellent article by Vicki Davis
Makers as innovators – a series of books produced by the Michigan Makers, plus a list of ideas to consider
Invent to Learn – Making, tinkering and engineering in the classroom by Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager.

makerspace-Fontichiaro