Very cool video booktalking by one of my school librarian grads. Great model! Share wildly! https://youtu.be/Xiq4wg9ka_s
Very cool video booktalking by one of my school librarian grads. Great model! Share wildly! https://youtu.be/Xiq4wg9ka_s
The Midyear Meeting of the School Libraries Section Standing Committee will be held in Zagreb (Croatia) from 21-23 April 2016.
The programme can be downloaded here.
The programme as proposed by the School Libraries Section for WLIC 2016 Colombus was approved by the IFLA Professional Committee.
‘Inclusionary practices to support school libraries’
The conference theme aligns well with the section’s new school library guidelines, which were developed to assist school library professionals and educational decision-makers in their efforts to ensure that all students and teachers have access to effective school library resources and services, delivered by qualified school library personnel.
Building on the Congress theme and Section guidelines roll-out, presentations will be considered that address the theme and examine:
• the role of the community to support school libraries and implement school library guidelines; and
• inclusionary practices in supporting school libraries and implementing the school library guidelines
The 2nd edition of the IFLA School Library Guidelines is a bit hit. At the moment translation processes are in progress in: Chinese, French, Hungarian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese (Pt) .
If you are interested in joining a team or to start a translation in your language, please contact Albert Boekhorst.
Austin, Texas was a happening place in April with both IFLA and IASL events drawing people from around the world.
IFLA’s standing committee reviewed the new School Library guidelines, and brainstormed ways to disseminate information: get UNESCO endorsement, create a brochure on the guidelines, provide a guidelines booklet, translate the guidelines (at least the summary), conduct workshops.
They also discussed ways to improve and expand communication: phoenix the listserv, make more use of the section’s Facebook, start a Twitter account
The group also strategized about the section’s future, which can result in programs and publications. Possible themes are: Inclusion and cohesion: contributions of school libraries; Professional development for school library professionals, College and career readiness: roles of school librarians, Evidence-based practice in school libraries, School libraries and sustainability.
That evening both IFLA and IASL participants enjoyed pizza and more at a friendly local restaurants.
The next day was jam-packed with presentations at the IASL Regional Conference — by top professionals in the field.
Building on the prior day’s discussion, Barbara Schultz-Jones gave an overview of the IFLA School Library Guidelines, and Dinne Oberg discussed Canada’s efforts for national school library guidelines.
Access issues were addressed. Tom Adamich virtually shared multi-language catalog record processes, Clayton Copeland gave heartfelt strategies for creating accessible school libraries, and Karfen Gavigan shared how students provided access to HIV/AIDS info through producing a graphic novel on the subject.
Innovations were featured. Amanda Hovious showed how digital games were literacy and learning tools, Lesley Farmer explained how to teach visual literacy through comics, and Daniella Smith talked about teachers’ perceptions about technology integration.
Workplace realities and possibilities were discussed. Jeff DiScala described school district librarian responsibilities, Jennifer Wood noted public-school library collections, and Judi Moreillon showed how Twitter can be used for professional department. Keith Curry Lance and Karen Gavigan shared data about the impact of teacher librarians in South Carolina.
Best Practices were inspiring. Lunch speaker Joan Wink shared the power of storytelling through quilts and other metaphors, Linda Kay showed how a single book title can spread throughout the school, and Kay Gooch explained Camp Summer Read.
The group brainstormed ways to implement these exciting efforts, and ways that IASL can support such ideas. Networking continued at a TexMex restaurant.
The bottom line? IFLA and IASL are in good hands as expert school librarians and educators are leading the way — and encouraging the membership to get involved and contribute to the success of school librarians — and students.
UNESCO’s Open Access Curriculum is Now Available
The complete set of five Open Access (OA) modules for researchers and four OA modules for library schools is now available online. These curricula will soon be converted into self-directed e-learning tools, which will enable users to self-assess their knowledge on Open Access and take a learning pace that is initiated and directed by the learners themselves. UNESCO also aims to translate the OA curricula into several languages to increase reach and impact.
International Literacy Day, 8 September 2014
Happy International Literacy Day everyone. Comment on an Australian listerv:
I AM glad to be literate, yet it’s often something I take for granted. I wonder how many of us fall into the same category? In Australia the statistics are a bit frightening. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 44% of adults (18-90) are operating at level 2 literacy level or below. Level 3 is considered the level students need to reach to graduate from high school. Without literacy you cannot function effectively in society. You need to be literate before you can use digital technologies effectively and efficiently. Computers are complementary NOT compensatory.
Dr Barbara Combes, Secretary, Literacy and Reading Section, IFLA
Lecturer, School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University
I was travelling on a bus to work one morning, when a woman anxiously requested the driver to turn the bus around. He was agitated with her and asked her why she wanted him to do so. She said: “you are going in the wrong direction, uou are supposed to go the other way. The bus driver became very frustrated with her when she started to panic and continued to ask him to turn the bus around. I witnessed this for a while and then realised that the woman could not read, because the bus route was written on the front panel of the bus. I got up and spoke to the bus driver and then he realized it too and gave her the benefit of the doubt. He stopped the bus and let her get off the bus, fully reimbursed with her travel fare. She was anxious yet relieved and exited the bus thanking us profusely. This is the result of illiteracy in our nations. If a human being cannot read simple signs like bus route names and places familiar to them, it is extremely sad and frustrating to them, and to us who are aware of it as well. I have had similar incidents in our shopping malls as well. In these incidents, women could not count for correct money to pay their items bought, or even read what is written on the store shelves. In all those incidents I thanked God that I could be of assistance to them. Their embarrassment and helplessness were very evident in all cases. In all the incidents I experienced, I was so grateful that I could read and write, and this too inspired me to do literacy advocacy with children as my social responsibility. Happy International Literacy Day everyone. Literacy definitely Matters.
Julia Paris, South Africa
I recently had the fortune to participate in a UNESCO meeting on mobile literacy solutions for out-of-school children in Thailand. With a large population of migrants in some of the most difficult-to-reach parts of the country, many children risk missing out on school. Thailand’s official commitment to ensuring access to education for all is impressive — an explicit mandate to include all children, regardless of status — but there are many hurdles. As the starting point for access to information, opportunity and advancement, literacy is understandably a key priority for governments and organizations across the development spectrum. Millennium Development Goal #2 targets universal primary education, and includes literacy rates as a key indicator. USAID has prioritized early grade reading and aims to improve the reading skills of a 100 million children by 2015. So, with more than 230,000 public libraries in developing countries around the world — institutions historically devoted to access to reading materials — it’s confounding that libraries are usually left out of systematic literacy efforts. It’s a huge missed opportunity. And as new technologies start to become a realistic supplement to education efforts, there’s even more of a need for a coordinated community learning hub, a role libraries are suited to play. At the meeting in Bangkok, participants from government and NGOs shared familiar challenges they are currently coping with — not enough teachers, not enough equipment, not enough time in class. While no panacea, public libraries are ideal institutions to help mitigate these issues in many places, including Thailand, where there are more than 800 around the country. I shared some of the lessons Beyond Access has learned in ways that existing public libraries can support literacy efforts.
A public library in Tbilisi, Georgia shows how comfortable spaces for enjoying reading together can be created cheaply and simply. Children don’t gain fluent literacy skills from school alone. Research from the OECD PISA exam shows that “the performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socioeconomic background.” Any literacy effort must foster a convenient place where families can spend time reading and learning together. And libraries can serve this role. A room full of academic reading desks and locked bookcases is no longer a relevant model. A modern library has soft carpets and beanbag chairs, and short shelves with book covers facing outward, facilitating browsing and discovery.
To foster literacy, technology should encourage interactivity and create a substantially new experience. That doesn’t happen by simply providing PDF copies of books to be viewed on a computer screen. But new technology — such as shared tablets — can be used to bring families together, for example around collaborative educational games. Public libraries are the best place to host these tools and serve as community learning laboratories when new technologies arrive.
Frequently overburdened with too many students, subjects and levels, teachers can’t be expected to lead the literacy charge on the local level by themselves. But librarians are often perfectly placed to supplement their work. Libraries can create welcoming literacy hubs and conduct outreach to schools — bringing books for lending and sharing, leading group reading activities like story times, and supporting teachers in working effective literacy activities into their lessons.
In our work on Beyond Access, we notice similar tendencies around the world, in literacy projects as in others. Big investments are made in things — technology, publishing, connectivity — while the skills in how to use these things to improve lives are shortchanged. When equal consideration is not given to proper training, things quickly become obsolete and disused. Our experience has led to a roughly 1:1 ratio as a guideline. For each dollar put into things, we recommend spending one dollar on training. Often, that means fewer things. But of course, it means much more impact from the investment. Beyond Access is just starting out on efforts to address the gap between libraries and literacy initiatives. We are developing programs that include a focus on community literacy in Myanmar and Bangladesh, and we’re exploring how we can assist with efforts in other regions. We’re also involved in the latest round of the All Children Reading Grand Challenge, supporting projects that integrate libraries. As we learn more about how public libraries can most effectively fit into the literacy picture, we’ll share our reflections here. As always, if you’re interested in partnering with us on this initiative, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ari Katz, Regional Director, Beyond Access, Country Director, IREX/Thailand, Bangkok