Category Archives: Library

To Dewey or not to Dewey – that is the question…..

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after an absence of a few months, it is time for me to start blogging again and in the process, reflecting on what I am mulling over. This week, as we finish our last big hurrah for the year – Book fair – my mind turns to collection management. Di, my library technician, ran off data showing which collection gets borrowed most and I was surprised to see it is the non-fiction this year. And with the Australian curriculum coming in in full force, integrated units are being tweaked and our library collection needs to reflect that. Plus I was contacted by Michelle, from another P-12 independent school about their idea to get rid of Dewey all together in their primary school library. So you can see, all paths are converging in the non-fiction at this time. Michelle is visiting next week so we can share our approach here to the way non-fiction is organised for a primary school audience, for people ages 4-12. My over-riding consideration is how will the students find what they are looking for most easily? and I reckon it is by putting the sorts of things we know they enjoy borrowing together under 1 DDC number. So yes, we do use Dewey, but our simplified version of it. Don’t think this is rocket science or anything new, but it seems to be working here, and maybe the increased borrowing from the non-fiction is partly a reflection of that. will have to see the stats to infer …..Also, I think as we are a P-12 school and share our catalogue not only with 2 secondary campuses, but with another primary campus, doing away with Dewey would not be a feasible option – too much mucking up of a shared system, (and some people are rather precious about ‘their’ catalogue!!!) So, for example, animals is an area heavily borrowed by children. So we have grouped them sort of by the groups we already had – endangered animals is now all 591.68, Australian animals – 591.994, Minibeasts(insects) – 595.7, ocean animals – 597, mammals – 599 and reptiles and amphibians – 597.9. So all the books about reptiles and amphibians are on the same shelf with a label underneath, making it easier for kids to find. Plus if they are obsessed with sharks, they know which shelf to go to to find books about sharks – with the ocean animals.

To finish off with, the above thinking and pondering I find very interesting, but if you are not a library person, I have been starting my year 1 library classes with a youtube about an ocean animal, as they are studying sea creatures in class. A great reminder I get regularly is posts from ‘The Kid Should See This’ blog, which I have mentioned before. Here is an amazing one about the biggest school of manta rays on the planet + one showing the 2nd biggest aquarium in the world.
I’m putting out there that my goal for the rest of this school year (5 more weeks) is to get back into posting once a week…..

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Dandelion Fire – 2nd book in 100 Cupboards series by ND Wilson

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Dandelion Fire (100 Cupboards, #2)Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Henry York's life threatening adventures continue from his bedroom with the 100 doors that lead to different lands. He really doesn't want to go back to his 'parents' particularly now he knows they are not his real parents. But it seems there is no choice, unless he goes through one of the doors....and he wants to know where he has come from, who his family are. Following that trail leads him into all sorts of trouble, and cousin Henrietta goes off as well, leaving her dad behind to work out what to do and how to find these 2 lost children.

View all my reviews

Book Week 2014 – Connect to Reading

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Now we have 2 weeks until the end of term, my thought turn to next term’s curriculum. And Book Week, the big focus for term 3 in school libraries in Australia. I will be reading each of the early childhood and most of the picture fiction  books with the year prep-2 and am planning to create another blog to share our reflections on each book with our other campus at Malvern. This will complement the Book Week theme for 2014, which is Connect to Reading.

I have come across a few good websites that have activities and ideas for Book Week and have listed them here.

Book Week activities – Book Chook – http://www.thebookchook.com/2014/05/activities-for-childrens-book-week-2014.html

Book Week – Mrs. Mac’s Library – http://www.mrsmacslibrary.com/book-week-2014.html

Book Week – what you should read – idea for  me to  use as a basis for my Book Week blog…..http://www.sji.edu.sg/snews/2014/03/book-week-2014-what-should-you-read-from-the-school-staff/   – get staff involved as well as students.

title
I’m a Dirty Dinosaur
author/illustrator
Brian, Janeen
Ill. Ann James
publisher
Puffin Books, Penguin Group (Australia)
isbn
9780670076154
title
Baby Bedtime
author/illustrator
Fox, Mem
Ill. Emma Quay
publisher
Viking, Penguin Group (Australia)
isbn
9780670075195
title
Banjo and Ruby Red
author/illustrator
Gleeson, Libby
Ill. Freya Blackwood
publisher
Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont
isbn
9781921541087
title
Kissed by the Moon
author/illustrator
Lester, Alison
publisher
Viking, Penguin Group (Australia)
isbn
9780670076758
title
The Swap
author/illustrator
Ormerod, Jan
Ill. Andrew Joyner
publisher
Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont
isbn
9781921541414
title
Granny Grommet and Me
author/illustrator
Wolfer, Dianne
Ill. Karen Blair
publisher
Walker Books Australia
isbn
9781921720161
title
The Treasure Box
author/illustrator
Blackwood, Freya
Text. Margaret Wild
publisher
Puffin Books, Penguin Group (Australia)
isbn
9780670073658
title
King Pig
author/illustrator
Bland, Nick
publisher
Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia
isbn
9781742834955
title
Silver Buttons
author/illustrator
Graham, Bob
publisher
Walker Books Australia
isbn
9781406342246
title
Parachute
author/illustrator
Ottley, Matt
Text. Danny Parker
publisher
Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont
isbn
9781921894206
title
The Windy Farm
author/illustrator
Smith, Craig
Text. Doug MacLeod
publisher
Working Title Press
isbn
9781921504419
title
Rules of Summer
author/illustrator
Tan, Shaun
publisher
Hachette Australia
isbn
9780734410672

Principals Know: School Librarians are at the Heart of the School

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Following in the vein from my last post……what evidence is there that libraries and teacher-librarians make a difference, a colleague Scooped this from Lyn Hay, a well known teacher-librarian expert.

The youtube is called

‘Principals Know: School Librarians are the heart of the school’

Lyn has to say….This video presents evidence of how the school library contributes to teacher practice and student learning. What is so special about this video is that the evidence is provided by school principals. Many thanks to Dr. Judi Moreillon and Dr. Teresa Starrett from Texas Woman’s University for producing this video.

I enjoyed hearing from people in leadership positions, endorsing the importance of the librarian.

Yesterday in a meeting of specialist teachers, we were talking about something we would like to see done better at our school – acknowledgement by management that we are contributing, our efforts and recognized and valued.  I’m sure this is not just at our school but something that could be done better in lots of teams of people.

Some of the group felt that a student in their class said’ that was the best Science class ever’ or posted a comment on their shared photostream was the acknowledgement that meant the most to them…..and this is an individual thing of where you value your acknowledgement coming from. But I think most people need the occasional pat on the back.

Maybe that is why I am struggling a bit with this blog…no pats on the back from anyone…just posting into the void. Maybe it needs to become more of a reflective tool, not just a vehicle for sharing.

Article – School libraries and teacher-librarians: evidence of their contribution to student literacy and learning by Dr.Hilary Hughes

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I came across the article and found it particularly interesting as it shared the findings from Gold Coast school libraries. Plus I did my Teacher/librarian training at QUT!

A lot of the research that is out there is based in US or UK libraries and so, although interesting and useful perhaps not as pertinent as ones using Australian stats.

Here is the précis

International research provides compelling evidence that school libraries and teacher-librarians make a significant contribution to student literacy and learning outcomes. After summarising previous research, this article presents recent research focused on Gold Coast schools. These new Australian findings present an evidenced based snapshot of school libraries and teacher-librarians, from the principals’ perspective. They indicate that school NAPLAN scores for reading and writing were generally higher when student-to-library staff ratios were lower (i.e. better) and when the school employed a teacher-librarian. In light of the National Plan for School Improvement, the findings are of potential interest to education authorities, policy makers, school leadership teams, teacher-librarians, teachers, parents and researchers. They offer evidence to inform policy development and strategic planning for school libraries and professional staffing.

http://www.curriculum.edu.au/leader/school_libraries_and_tls,36453.html?issueID=12777

Using Google images to find and use labelled for non commercial use

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I was teaching the year 5’s on Monday about how to search and find images that the owners have modified their copyright on to enable others to use them without asking for permission. Being honest, up till now I have just googled for an image and used whatever I found. But I feel it is a bit rich to teach others about the better way to do things and then not do it myself.

Here is the process…. choose Google Images. Put in your search term and enter. Then as the pages of results come up, look under the search bar to an option called Search Tools. Click on this and then choose the tab that says ‘Usage rights’. You can look up what these different right exactly entail, but for my primary students, a very basic knowledge is all that is required. My aim is to use these select images in everything I create, to walk the walk.

 

 

 

Labrary – experimental library makerspace

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Reading this article, I liked how they said ‘Libraries are well known for their role as transactional entities – people come to libraries to find information, then off they go to make sense of it. Labrary gave people a chance to work together to make information meaningful together. This didn’t eliminate the space for quiet solitary thought, but rather, was an additional resource – rich knowledge curation evolving in real time in a networked community.’

Wonder what the inflatable reading room looked like?

Plus how does thinking this way – providing spaces for collaborative learning, impact on our library design? Our year 5 and 6’s got new classroom tables on Wednesday, that allow groups of children to sit up to higher desks, sit around a whiteboard table which you can write on with whiteboard markers, single easily movable chairs for quiet reading and round and rectangular group tables. Already I have observed the classes working differently, able to move furniture around more easily to adapt to different ways to work – in groups, singularly, teacher led or student only groups. So our thinking and planning of space and furniture is critical in enabling us to move our way of educating students forward.