Wednesday 9 November 2011

Engaged and entangled

Wordle: EELs
Four weeks into Term 4 well it was, when I wrote this post but now 10 days later time to post it!

What has been done and what has been achieved? A casual comment from a senior colleague brings me to reflect on 4 weeks in the life of a busy school library.  

Week 1. Excellence and enthusiasm
October started with the splendid ASLA conference at Riverview which afforded 3 days of top class learning. The presentations, mainly from an active Australian TL team, provided much food for thought. My contribution was Using LibGuides and Facebook to provide a 24/7 library.

During the holiday break library catalogue data was migrated to Destiny, so Wednesday was the library staff training day for the new system. Managing the translation of operations and resolving some migration issues is ongoing.

On the Friday iPads were issued to all Year 11 students. To plan for this day guides were created and resources compiled. While my TL colleagues in the library provided 4 sessions of orientation to resources for senior students, I was engaged in co-delivering with Apple trainers iPad basics to the rotating groups of students. This was a whole day exercise, with the IT Department issuing the iPads and support staff running normal library operations for the other 1200 students.

Week 2 - Engagement and enlightenment
First full week of classes commenced with eight Junior School classes  scheduled for regular timetabled periods for borrowing and research.
All secondary students returned to the first full week of classes with high expectations for their new academic year. A rush of borrowings ensued as students discover topics and staff refresh resourcces. New pathfinders and etexts were added to the library website. Immersion in the new library system ensured library staff were finding needed functionality. Teaching this week focussed on engaging year 8 students in research for a range of Design and Technology projects.

Week 3 - Enrichment and entanglement
Year 11 and 12 Economics and 8 x Year 8 Geography classes featured high on our agenda this week. Both HSC and IB economics classes were given a refresher in finding topics related to their current studies and encouraged to set up RSS feeds for their topics of interest.
Year 8 Geography classes reviewed advanced search techniques and exchanged their findings about the suitability of sites for research.
We were delighted to receive a glowing recommendation for a book promotion session from an English teacher which in turn generated more class bookings for reading promotions.

Week 4 - Empowerment and execution
The Year 10 conference is a two day introduction to senior school life and studies. Six groups of 30 - 40 students, rotate through a range of pastoral and academic activities over the two days. The one hour library sessions provided for these groups served as a reorientation to services, a focus on research tools available, a chance to view some great book trailers and explore resources for a current English topic.
The conference culminated with a Year 10 Parent Information evening on Tuesday where I had the chance to promote the Library's services and resources to about 200 parents. Positive feedback indicated that parents appreciate this information.

Involvement in a school wide committee which focuses on the improvement of teaching and learning, saw me out of the library on Thursday. The outcomes from that day impact on our need to reflect on library services provided for ESL students and the need to further empower whole school staff learning across a range of topics.

How is your term progressing? My blog entries are irregular but serve to focus my attention on the wide variety of work being done in our school library.

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