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SLAMit5 Part 2

CISSLI thought I would share with you some more of the sessions from the recent SLAMit5 conference I attended in Ennis.  This was a fully funded course supported by the Comenius programme and administered by the British Council – do check out their website for all sorts of opportunities for CPD, In- service training and exchanges.  SLAMit5 included a super session with Ross Todd, as ever Ross was challenging and thought provoking in his talk entitled Gen Next: From School Libraries to Learning Centres.

The main question posed was ‘Should school libraries compete in the modern digital app driven world?’  The key challenges for school libraries are

·         Evidence based practice – we must document the impact of school libraries

·         Building partnerships and teams – to create capacity for change, librarians are not alone we have teachers too!

·         Engaging with Web 2.0 tools to develop deep inquiry – situating learning in the real world of kids today

·         Re-imagining school libraries – and their contribution to learning, literacy and living

There is recognition of the fact of wider digital reading adding to literacy – beyond the notion of reading for pleasure. This is value added from the library rather than just adding to test scores – but this is only recognised in some schools. School librarians need to stop ‘bashing’ teachers and be non-judgemental, be sociable and accessible, help with orientation. The School library is the surrogate home as connector and safe place, giving elements, nurturing environment that may not be the case at home. The School library needs to be seen as the common pedagogical centre for the whole school. Evidence in, of and for practice is vital, so analyse student bibliographies so that you can show they are using sources of depth and variety, and their focus, multiple formats etc.

His clarion call at the end was to make modern school library into a compelling environment, physical and virtual information to knowledge commons, 24/7, innovation leader and to craft the school library as a virtual place too.

Just some highlights from Ross’s talk – but the slides will be available on the SLAMit5 website soon.  Meanwhile if this has ‘tickled your interest’ check out Rutgers University and CISSL (and the CISSL YouTube channel) where Ross is based.

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