Tag Archives: information policy

My iCentre presentation at SLAV’s Future School Library Scenarios conference

I presented the featured address at the School Library Association of Victoria‘s (SLAV) ‘Creating collaborative learning spaces: Future school library scenarios’ conference held at Victoria University of Technology on Friday in Melbourne.

The future of school libraries has been a hot topic these past couple of years in Australia as a result of the Building the Education Revolution (BER) fund, a range of online forums and conferences exploring the vision for 21st century school libraries, followed by the national Inquiry into Australian school libraries and teacher librarians (we hope to see the outcomes of this in early May when the report is tabled at Parliament).

These have all been significant ‘blips’ on the teacher librarianship profession’s radar, and it has resulted in much discussion at the local community, regional and education sector levels, as well as the Australian general public due to increased media exposure across radio and press outlets. Check out the Links section on this blog for examples of these.

This address explored some of the issues, concerns and potentials of school library futures in the past couple of years and examined how a TL’s own practice can contribute to building capacity for a sustainable future where school libraries become key learning centres of information, inquiry, innovation, immersion and instructional excellence. I introduced the concept of the iCentre and the ways schools can develop such a centre based on the principles of form, function and brand. This is based on the Commentary I wrote for ASLA’s journal Access.

I think the three principles of form, function and brand provide a useful framework for schools wishing to explore the convergence of facilities, resources, people, funding, policy, programs and services to develop an iCentre. TLs as information, technology and learning specialists can play a leadership role in building their school’s vision towards an iCentre approach.

I presented the iCentre model as one future school library scenario that could be considered by schools, and suggested that the form-function-brand framework can be useful in exploring what a school library might look like in the future.

Some useful references on future school library scenarios and the iCentre approach include:

Hay, L., & Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: School library futures project. Report for New South Wales Department of Education & Training, Curriculum K–12 Directorate, School Libraries & Information Literacy Unit. Sydney:  Curriculum K–12 Directorate, NSWDET.

Hay, L. (2010). Chapter 9: Developing an information paradigm approach to build and support the home-school nexus. In M. Lee & G. Finger (Eds.), Developing a networked school community: A guide to realising the vision (pp. 143-158). Camberwell, Vic.: ACER Press.

Lee, M. & Hay, L. (in press). Teacher librarians and the networked school community: The opportunities. Connections, Issue No. 77, Term 2.

Hay, L., & Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: The conversation begins. [Refereed]. Scan, 29(1), 30-42.

Hay, L. (2010). Shift happens. It’s time to rethink, rebuild and rebrand. [Commentary]. Access, 24(4), 5-10.

I’d really like to hear from any schools already planning for or implementing the iCentre approach. We need to start documenting some school experiences as case studies in 2011.

Librarian’s Manifesto

As teacher librarians, what do we believe our role to be?  Are we teachers, librarians, somewhere in between or something else?  We know what many of our teaching colleagues may think.  Sometimes our role can be misunderstood while at other times our role is regarded as vital within the school and the learning environment.

Below is a link to a video on teachertube so it should not be blocked by system filters on what one teacher librarian believes her role to be through her manifesto of a Librarian 2.0.  It makes thoughtful reading, especially for me the idea of understanding how my studetns learn and working in that environment, even though it may be different than my own.


Death of online encyclopedias?

Below is an extract of an article from the Sydney Morning Herald of April 2 2009. 

“Microsoft plans to close its Encarta online encyclopedia, which competes in an arena dominated by communally-crafted free internet reference source Wikipedia.

The US software colossus said that on October 31 it would turn off all its Encarta websites everywhere except in Japan, with that service to be terminated on the last day of December.

“The category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed,” Microsoft said in an online message at its Encarta website on Monday.

“People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past.”

Encarta was launched in 1993 as competition for traditional reference books such as those offered by Encyclopedia Britannica.

Encarta was originally available for purchase as a multimedia computer resource in DVD-ROM or CD-ROM formats and eventually became available online on a subscription basis.

Encarta’s popularity faded after the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation launched Wikipedia online in 2001.

While Wikipedia lets users continually update or refine entries, improvements suggested to Encarta must pass muster with editors before eventually being incorporated into the data base.”

This raises a number of issues that are of importance to teacher librarians.  Wikipedia is a tool and can have a place in locating information but it is information that cannot be relied upon.  The content is created by people of unknown authority and anyone can edit the information.  This has lead to inorrect and misleading information being posted on Wikipedia and there have been famous incidents of this being reported in news media.  Usually it has surrounded information on politicians being changed during election times.

So where does Wikipedia fit in the teaching process?  This is something that TLs must consider carefully.  Is it to be used as a site to gain some general information about a subject?  Is it to be used at all?  Do students and teachers understand what Wikipedia actually is or do they think it is as good and as authorative as Encyclopedia Britannica?

Now that Encarta is being closed down, where else can schools go online to find an authorative encyclopedia?

If you use another online encyclopedic source, please comment here and let us know why you use it.  If you use Wikipedia, how and why do you use it?  Do you think it is a resource has a place in schools or should we ‘exclude’ it as not being a useful resource?

ASLA & ALIA release new & revised policy statements for school libraries

Whooa…hooo… I’m really excited to see today’s release of (some) new and revised policy statements on the Australian School Library Association website. Information policies are cool!This is hot-off-the-press today!

Congratulations to the Australian School Library Association and Australian Library and Information Association collaborative effort that has resulted in new policy statements such on guided inquiry and the curriculum, school libraries & ICT and revised statements on resource-based learning and information literacy just to name a few.  

The TLship academic team here at Charles Sturt University frequently refer our students to these national policy statements and guidelines throughout our Graduate Certificate and Masters courses in teacher librarianship. I’m particularly impressed with the new policy statement design which includes explicit links of each policy statement to both ASLA and ALIA objectives. Thank you to both associations for continuing to provide Australia’s teacher librarians with such professional leadership.

New information policies for TLs… thanx ASLA/ALIA!