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Category Archives: 027 ~ General libraries

A YEAR IN… (a draft post from 2015)

I’ve wanted to share my journey as a librarian working in a public library over the past year. It is the first time I have worked in a public library and the journey has been remarkable. However, I have struggled to find a place to begin and this attempt is an example of the struggle…

Today, whilst participating in a professional development activity, we were asked to introduce ourselves, mention how long we have worked in the organisation and a value that represents who we are.

I mentioned that I am the Multicultural and Diversity librarian, that I have worked in the library for just over a year and that equity and fairness are the values that I am connected with.

The facilitator asked me if I like what I do and this gave me a moment of reflection and affirmation.

‘Yes, I do love what I do’ I responded.

‘why?’ she asked.

‘Whilst studying I imagined a role that would encapsulate my social justice passion with an ability to transfer my community arts background into a library setting. At the time such roles had not been advertised or existed and I believed it was possible. This role has allowed that to happen and I’m pleased I could bring this focus to my role’

…So a year in and I’m still hoping to summarise and encapsulate my learning in this role. For now this is what I’m sharing as I continue to reflect.

In the meantime, lets enjoy this vintage vocational education clip…

 

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The Inky Awards ~ Young peoples book awards

Inside A Dog

Outside a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a Dog, it’s too dark to read ~ Groucho Marx.

The website Inside a Dog is an initiative developed by the State Library of Victoria targeting a teenage audience. As the website states it is

“All about books by young people for young people”

The website is structured to incorporate forums where young people can have discussions, enter competitions, review books, join online book-clubs, chat to a current author in residence, find out current literature-related news, or vote for books to be awarded an Inky Award.

There is a very useful teachers section with links and resources that are mapped to curriculum standards. Suggested activities and resources provide useful online activities-based programs. The main focus of the site is user-generated book reviews, thus forming a great addition for any literacy-based activities and promoting conversation as part of the learning process.

This post will focus on evaluating the Inky Awards for inclusion in the celebrated Book Week in August.

The Inky Awards

In the Library we currently celebrate the Children’s Book of the Year Awards by the Children’s Book Council of Australia as part of Book Week in August. This year, the school library would like to extend this by incorporating the Inky Awards amongst the books celebrated. The short list for the Inky Awards is announced online via the Inside a Dog website on August 26th, coinciding with Book Week. The shortlist of books that students can vote for, is decided by teen judges. To become a judge a young person submits an application via email. Once selected the judges read 20 books in a two-month period and reach a consensus on the 10 shortlisted books. This shortlist is then open to other young people to vote for a book to be awarded an Inky award in one of two categories.

Gold Inky for an Australian book

Silver Inky for an International Book

As part of Book Week, a prominent display of nominated books is created, author visits occur, activities are programed related to the books and readings of the shortlisted books take place. By introducing The Inky Awards to the Book Week program, the students can participate in voting for a children’s book awards. Hopefully this can continue for years to come.

Because the website is focussed on participation and engagement of young people in online environments, it promotes empowerment via digital literacy and citizenship by encouraging connecting with wider groups. It extends literacy development beyond the classroom and school to include other young people and to the wider community, in forging links with the State Library of Victoria. This is a great basis for the promotion of life-long learning beyond the school.

As a librarian in a school setting, this resource is a great addition to any program in literacy development. It fosters a love of reading by encouraging reading as a social activity. Thereby linking in with Piaget’s constructivist approaches to learning grounded in developmental needs (Garhart Mooney, 2013 p.79).

By evaluating websites, children’s book awards and potential programs with curriculum links, I am able to provide resources in support of the school curriculum and the teaching and learning needs of staff and students. This is supported by standards of professional practice for teacher librarians (ASLA, 2004).

This website is geared towards an older age group in children, predominantly teenagers. Whilst this can be useful to the Grade 5/6 demographic of the primary school, I would like to investigate something similar for the younger children in the school. Consequently, the Inky Awards will be geared towards the older children in the school. It may be interesting to initiate a school based book awards for younger grades as a lead in to the Inky Awards when they are in Grade 5 and 6.

ASLA (2004) Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians, retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.aspx

Garhart Mooney, C. (2013) Theories of Childhood, Second Edition: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget and Vygotsky, Redleaf Press, Minesota, USA.

 

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Visiting Libraries….

A Web of interconnections

This past session, one of the subjects I completed included the study visits to various information agencies. Interestingly most people visiting the Melbourne organisations were from other States of Australia or regional areas and I was definitely amongst the minority from Melbourne on the visits.

The places visited include

I’m not going to venture into detail about each of the organisations but rather provide a focus on Melbourne Library Service.

In previous posts, I have mentioned some of their innovative programming such as the Gallery Space hosting exhibitions, the cafe poet, the public piano and various workshops including Zine making workshops. It’s incredibly exciting to learn about the community engagement offered by Melbourne Library Service and how it provides a glimpse to the changing nature of libraries as space and how they are utilised.

In line with the rise in the creative maker culture, Melbourne Library Service reflects this, not only in their programming of workshops but in their collection building too. For instance, the Zine creation workshops lead to Zines that become part of the library collection that a wider audience can borrow, just like books, ebooks, audio books and CD’s. In effect this is an example of  great community engagement by a public library facilitating publishing and sharing.

Another interesting transition, exemplified in their plans for the library that is being built at Docklands due to open in 2014, is the incorporation of multimedia production facilities, a performance space and a Green room (for special effects). With these facilities, enabling multimedia production, they are planning to employ two multimedia technicians to facilitate the process and enable community to create films, audio recordings and even have performances or screenings.

Clearly, exciting times are ahead for public libraries as they transition to being the Hub of the community. The public library provides meeting spaces, resources and enables creative engagement. It provides connections to artists and community and facilitates the sharing of a local voice to a global audience.

Funnily, the study visits were meant to clarify the kind of information agency I would like to end up in. Currently, I’m in a small school library and for a few months I was convinced it was audiovisual archives and preservation that I wanted to focus on. After the visits, I came away liking all of them and have now broadened my choices rather than narrowed… Maybe next year I’ll narrow it down and the sky will provide a clear and narrowed focus 🙂

 

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Building Libraries ~ A Celebration

Last week was the opening of the Boyd Library and community facility in Southbank. This building is an old school site of a Girls High School that was shut down during lean times in the 1990’s. At that time the demographics of the city were markedly different to what they are now.

In the last 20 years, the shift in the demographics of the city of Melbourne has transformed the city and the need for services is a challenge. Many people have moved into the city, embracing the highrise lifestyle. Initially, it was believed that the demographics would be comprised of childless couples, singles and retirees. However, families comprise a significant portion of the groups that now reside in the city of Melbourne and the city still has no local school to service this community. The needs of the community have outpaced the delivery.

In terms of public libraries the City library of Melbourne Library Service is the busiest library in the State. The library opened a few years ago and provides innovative services and programs, including a gallery space, live performances and even hosting a cafe poet in residence. Amongst the vision of Melbourne Library Service is the building of libraries to service the needs of the changing demographics of the city of Melbourne. In the pipeline is the building of a new library at Docklands.

This post, is a celebratory post about the building of libraries and community facilities and is focussed on the Boyd library and community Hub. Today, the old school site incorporates artist studios, a library, a cafe, child and maternal health services, play group area, meeting rooms and an outdoor area. Last week was the opening and I attended. The opening was well attended with performances and activities for all to participate. Amidst the gloom of constant funding challenges for libraries around the world. It is great to celebrate a focus on building libraries. Fantastic!

Tall people and Dragons greet us.

Tall people at the entrance and the Dragon getting ready

Boyd Library ~ just a snippet from the opening day.

 

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National Year of Reading ~ 2012

We are always engaged in the act of reading and this year has been designated as the National year of reading. So Read, Read and Read and then why not continue to read. I couldn’t imagine anything more pleasurable… well maybe sharing what I have read with friends comes a close second.

Visit the following links for related information:

Love to Read

Love to read wikispace

 

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The impact of eReaders ~ an infographic

Check on the popularity of electronic reading devices such as Kindle, iPad and Nook in today's GoFigure infographic.
Source:LiveScience

 

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QR Codes

qrcode

I just generated my first QR Code and there it is above. If you have a smartphone and have the app QRReader, you can scan the image above and it will take you…. well it will bring you back to here, my blog, as the link for this QR Code is my blog URL.

The possibilites are endless and you can generate Code after Code. The codes can be generated as links to URL’s, links to text, links to phone numbers and links to SMS.

I can see the possibilities for library services as it costs nothing to create the QRCodes. You can read the following post, QR Codes at Miami University Library  as an example of how one library is utilising QR Codes to enhance service provision.

You just visit QR-Code Generator and you can create a code in less than a minute!

Why not write a haiku, then generate a QR Code linked to text (with the text being the Haiku), print the code onto stickers and post them around town. You can self publish via QR Codes and share your creativity… just a thought.

Imagine them around the Library. For instance at the entry a QR Code linked to the image of a floorplan of where everything is located in the library. QR Codes in the Magazine and News reading area providing links to online magazines, journals or news. QR Codes placed around town with links to events at the library. QR codes providing information on ‘how to…” services of the library… I could go on but as you can gather the application is only limited by the imagination.

There have been innovative application in the form of scavenger hunts by Libraries and I would love to investigate what other possibilities are out there.

 

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