Monday, 28 May 2012

School libraries

Two interesting training events last week, both with a school library theme, plus some valuable links and resources for school librarians.

It was fascinating to lead discussions for the London School Library Association branch on the theme of the school library in a changing world. With so many changes that impact on school libraries happening in education and in publishing, as well as the ever evolving digital scene, there was lots to consider. Topics delegates chose to debate included the implications of the Ofsted report Moving English Forward for school librarians, funding issues, raising the profile of the library, information literacy for the Google generation, and how school libraries should deal with e-resources. We talked too about the opportunities social networking offers. The photo is of the lovely library at Lea Valley High School, where the training took place.

On Thursday I was delighted to run another course for Heath Educational Books on promoting reading through the primary school library. Delegates came from a very wide variety of schools, and had differing levels of responsibility and different amounts of experience, but all shared a wonderful commitment to books, reading and libraries. The discussions were fabulous, with loads of exciting ideas shared. It was great to hear about the impact of showing stories on YouTube on the interactive whiteboard in one library, and about children’s performance poetry in another. Skyping a Viking sounds brilliant. On a quite different, but very practical level, everybody was very taken by one delegate’s use of empty upside-down Muller yoghurt containers as holders for library guiding.

For anyone keen to keep up to date with the latest in the school library world, Heart of the School is a fantastic resource. The School Library Network is also invaluable. The School Library Association is excellent. All the books in their Guidelines and Case Studies series are helpful and accessible. The latest guide, Twitterspace and Facecloud: Web.2.0 and Beyond for School Librarians, is great. For school librarians considering their role in relation to e-resources, this workshop on e-book lending in schools looks very useful.