Brand new, refurbished or still planning! – New school libraries


To be confident in having a say in the planning and design of your new or refurbished school library you need to be informed.  To this end, SLAV is once again providing an opportunity to explore the possibilities and share experiences with a conference devoted to exploring creative options for library spaces and offering inspiration and ideas that can be replicated and reinvented in any school library context, regardless of budget.

To be held at Victoria University in Flinders St, Melbourne on Friday 17 August, Real Libraries: Collaborative Spaces will take inspiration from library designer Kevin Hennah and the practical experience of a range of school library practitioners who have ‘walked the walk’.   Many schools have revitalised their libraries in recent times, with many more still in the planning.  School libraries are flexible, collaborative and stimulating spaces and this conference program will inspire practitioners with tools, evidence and examples of ways to reinvent and grow the possibilities that are offered by a vibrant school library.

We will also hear of the bold Vision 2020 plans of State Library of Victoria and their project to transform into a modern, responsive centre of learning and innovation.   The way we use our libraries has changed for the better in recent years and there is much to share about the experience.  Yes, they’re about reading and learning…. but also so much more.   This conference will be an opportunity to learn. Registration details.

 

 

Real libraries vs Fake News – SLAV Conference

School Library Assoc of Vic commenced 2018 by welcoming Dr Susan La Marca to the helm as Executive Officer of the Association. Susan, a well known and respected member of the school library community both within Australia and internationally, has led the planning and exciting year of learning for members and school library colleagues.

The year started strongly with a focus on the role of school libraries in this time of information complexity.  The  conference Real Libraries vs Fake News. held 23 March at Victoria University Conference Centre featured Dr Barbara Combes – Charles Sturt University; Misha Ketchell, Managing Editor The Conversation; Jo Teng, Australian Copyright Council together with a range of workshops.   Highlights of the Twitter conversation have been captured below.

Be informed! Briefly, details of upcoming events and registration are accessible on the SLAV website, in particular:

In this Storify file are posts from SLAVConnects colleagues tweeting from the conference under the hashtag #slavconf. Explore them for valuable resources and highlights of the day.

SLAV is passionate about the role of school library staff, educators and parents as elements in student literacy development.  SLAV Conferences are designed to suit all educators and parents interested in K12 learning.  If you are interested in attending an event, please get in touch and come along.  All welcome.

SLAV Conference – Choose, Read, Succeed!

One hundred and seventy delegates enjoyed a brilliant series of contributions from the presenters at last week’s School Library Association of Victoria Conference, Choose, Read, Succeed: Partnerships of Practice, the last professional learning event for 2017.

From the amusing Opening Address by Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs, through the Keynote Discussion on The visual narrative: story, illustration, message featuring Nicki Greenberg, Trace Balla and Van T Rudd, to a research report on Teen Reading in a Digital Age, presented by Deakin University academics Leonie Rutherford and Katya Johansen, the morning was both enlightening and entertaining.

Following lunch and the announcement of the SLAV Awards for 2017, the conference hosted the launch of the AFLW Inspire website with AFL Content Producer Tye Cattanach.

The Conference, which also featured morning and afternoon sessions of concurrent presentations (soon to be available in the Members’ area of the SLAV website), was rounded out by the State Library of Victoria’s Linda Angeloni, with Inside a Dog, revisited.

A highlight of the day was the annual award presentations acknowledging the achievements of inspirational and innovative school library leadership.  SLAV congratulates and thanks these energetic and passionate trailblazers.

2017 SLAV Awards

The inaugural SLAV Penny Geoghegan Award went to Reina Phung for her significant contribution to the governance, collegiality, network and learning community of the Association. The award is given in honour of SLAV’s former Vice-President and long-time Branch Representative who passed away prematurely in 2016.

The SLAV John Ward Award recipient for the year is Margaret Sinnott, in recognition of her “outstanding contribution to learning and teaching and raising the profile of the profession through her role as teacher-librarian”.

The SLAV Innovators Award, which acknowledges “the development of new and innovative practice in the school library”, went to two members – Michelle Nye in recognition of her work at Hillcrest Christian College, Clyde North, and Sue Dracoulas for her work at Nazareth College, Noble Park.

SLAV Research Fellowship for 2017 was given to Karys McEwen from Glen Eira College to support her research into “How school libraries in Victoria can best serve their young multilingual patrons”. The award carries a grant of $1,000.00.

And finally, the recipients of the SLAV School Leaders Award were Philip Grutzner, Principal, Leanne Guillon, Deputy Principal and David Dannock, Business Manager in recognition of their outstanding support of the school library and the work of the school library team at the Mellor Library, Carey Baptist Grammar School.

The Twitter stream from the Conference captured in this Storify indicates of the range and depth of topics covered on the day.

Engaging teen readers & Awarding success

SLAV wound up a busy year of professional learning for school library staff in 2016, with a vibrant Literature Conference- ‘Engaging Teen Readers’ featuring Will Kostakis, author of ‘Being Brave’.  Will spoke on difficult topics in literature and writing for adolescents and as you will see by the tweets in the embedded Storify, he was inspirational and insightful providing delegates with ideas to develop and inclusive approach reading for all students.

Held at the State Library of Victoria, the conference was an opportunity to focus on new and exciting ideas in the promotion of literacy and reading in the Victorian curriculum.  As always, it was a popular conference with 160 delegates attending.

SLAV appreciates the generosity of members to present their own successful practice to peers.  Workshops and presentations, which can be accessed on the member’s section of the SLAV website, include:

  • Capturing your reader – Will Kostakis
  • Book clubs and reading enrichment – Susan La Marca
  • Reading: the challenge and the competition- Reina Phung
  • Young Adult literature and programming in the US – Adele Walsh
  • When reading is hard – Chelsea Wright
  • The case for diversity in youth literature – Julie Purcell
  • Window to the real and online world – Joyce Sendeckyj
  • Reading programs for Years 7 & 9 – Hope Do
  • From A to Zine – Karys McEwen
  • Reading-unbound-a-book-club-journey – Sue Osborne
Check through the Storify for links, ideas and reflections shared throughout the day.
Read the contributions of Will and other presenters in the latest edition of SLAV’s FYI  and Synergy Journals on SLAV members’ page.

The November Conference is also an opportunity to recognise colleagues with awards presented for various levels of achievement.  We congratulate the following award recipients:

John Ward Award is presented for an individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to learning and teaching at their school and a raising of the profile of their profession through their role as teacher-librarian.

Awarded to: Miffy Farquharson
Miffy is well known within the SLAV Community and is a recognised Leader and Innovator. Not only is she involved in Information Technology, e-Learning and Web 2.0 Tools but also continues her passion for books and reading through her work at school and as a Volunteer for the Aurealis Award, the CBCA and Review Panellists of the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge.
Her personal motto is ‘I aim to put the right resource into the right hands at the right time, and provide appropriate resources to students and teachers using Library and Learning Management Systems, social networking and Web 2.0 tools’.  Congratulations Miffy.  Follow Miffy on Twitter @MiffyF02

School Leaders Award is presented to a school leader who demonstrates outstanding support of the school library and the work of the school library team.

Awarded to: Fran Reddan – Principal: Mentone Girls’ Grammar SchoolThrough her support and direction, Fran has enabled Kerferd Library to excel and meet the challenges of 21st Century learning and literacy support head on. She has allowed the Library to be innovative and take risks. At at time of increasing competition between schools Fran has allowed the Kerferd Library to share their learning with other school libraries.  Of strategic importance was Fran’s support as Principal along with the Senior Management Team and School Council Library, of the Library’s 3 year strategic plan,  giving the Library a road map to support the Curriculum, literacy and learning.

The partnership between Library staff and the Principal is critical for the success of the school library.  Congratulations David Feighan on your planning and vision as Head of Library.

Research Fellowship supports action research and evidence-based practice, taking the form of a $1000 grant to provide practical support to a teacher librarian to implement a local research project.

Awarded to: Julia Petricevic,  Teacher Librarian, Genazzano FCJ College, Kew.
Topic of Julia’s research is ‘The impact of the teacher librarian on developing interest and engagement with reading in Year 7 students’.  The purpose of this research project is to extend the library team’s understanding of our impact as a teacher librarian on the development of interest and engagement with reading in Year 7 students.

With the objectives:
To understand the reading habits and attitude towards reading of incoming students in Year 7.
To identify students in need of support, extension or motivation.
To evaluate the effectiveness of teaching strategies to foster interest and enjoyment of reading.

We look forward to hearing from Julia as she presents the outcome of her research in the future.

Truly an exceptional SLAV conference to close the year.

The new Victorian Curriculum

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As has been the practice for a number of years, the first SLAV conference for 2016 focussed on the role of teacher librarians and school library staff in the learning and teaching program.

The 18 March SLAV Conference entitled Student Centred, Curriculum Centred: Exploring the new Victorian Curriculum, was launched with keynote David Howes, Executive Director, Curriculum Division, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).  David introduced the new Victorian Curriculum  to delegates, explaining similarities, differences and integration with the Australian Curriculum (ACARA).  He emphasised that the new Victorian Curriculum supports the Victorian State Government’s goals for education which has as its aims:

Over the next 5 years:

  • 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.

#SLAVConf – It’s a Digital World

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Last Friday, 7 August, 180 delegates met at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne for the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) conference –  It’s a digital world.  Conferences such as these are exceptionally important for the school library community as they are showcases of the change that is actively happening in many dynamic school libraries.  Perspectives of the James Merlino MP, Minister for Education and Deputy Premier and Principal,  Marco Di Cesare, Caroline Chisholm Catholic College who was SLAV School Leader of the Year 2014, were particularly relevant.
This Storify captures some of the Twitter conversations from presentations and workshops.  Not all, because not all sessions were tweeted out by delegates, however, this collection offers an overview of links and ideas on the day.
Presentations and notes from the conference will be available via the members area of the SLAV website soon.

 

 

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!
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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.
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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!
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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.

Conference report: Process of change

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During 2014, School Library Assoc of Victoria has presented a full calendar of professional learning.  This post reflects on the conference School Library Roles: a Process of change held on 31 October at the Catholic Leadership Centre, East Melbourne.  The gathering of over 120 delegates reflected on the impact that change has in school library staff job descriptions, tasks and responsibilities and how it is to be managed.

Head of Library at Whitefriars Catholic College, Rhonda Powling, laid out the tone of the conference in her opening keynote.   Karen Malbon provides a thoughtful reflection on the presentation in her blog Infinite Possibilities where she says:

So often we hear gloom and doom stories about school libraries. Rhonda is optimistic for the future and drew our attention to the futuristic thinking of Mark Pesce and the 2013 ALIA discussion paper, Library and Information Services: the future of the profession themes and scenarios 2025.The three themes identified were convergence, connection and the golden age of information. Convergence generally means fewer jobs but require skills, connection is a library strength and the golden age of information is full of possibilities for libraries.
Libraries will flourish with professional expertise, connectedness, by building relationships with the community and by empowering clients. It is time to let go and move on. School library staff need to be open to challenges, creative, team based, collaborative and focused on the needs of community……. Read all of Karen’s reflection…

 

One of the aims of the day was to provide the conditions for delegates to discuss the variations between the roles of library staff and the impact on library team members’ situations.  Personal input and discussion, followed by presentations from a panel of library staff who spoke positively about their jobs and the students they encounter daily was encouragement for everyone to go back to school and look closely at their roles and the documentation supporting it.  Resources to support an analysis of roles and preparation for an annual review meeting can be found here.

There’s an increased emphasis at SLAV conferences to allow delegates time to try out new skills, discuss what works and simply swap ideas.  The ‘sand pit’ session facilitated by Glenda Morris, teacher librarian, was hands-on time covering a range of topics from web tools to makerspaces and search engines.  Comments from these sessions and more covered in the conference are captured in the Storify below.

SLAV conferences are increasingly about raising issues and building knowledge through the community.  School libraries are being challenged, as Rhonda pointed out in her keynote, yet the future is potentially very bright.   It does, however, require rethinking, reskilling and a good understanding of your role.

Partipation through a Virtual Learning Commons

virtual-learning-commons

Delegates at the School Library Association of Victoria Conference last Friday, 8 August, designed and imagined possibilities for the creation of a virtual learning commons that encourages participation by the whole school community.

Lead by Dr David Loertscher and Carol Koechlin, the conference theme Virtual Learning Commons: Building a Participatory School Culture recognises that the school library has a new role. The physical space must change.  It must be flexible – ‘if it doesn’t move it doesn’t belong in the school library’. The book collection needs to be fresh and inviting and the learning situation should control the space.  Furthermore, a well planned and developed virtual library space can be a place of involvement for the school community.

Thanks to delegates who tweeted with #slavconf. This Storify is a compilation of those tweets providing an overview of the conference and resources shared.