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SLA Blog » December 2012RSS Feed RSS

The SLA blog contains news about the SLA and topical information of general interest to our members. The blog has been running since 2004. An RSS 2.0 feed and information about how to subscribe to the blog are available.

Older blog posts are still available, though archived, on the website, but please check the date at the top of the post to make sure the offer or information is likely to be valid.

Happy Christmas from all of us at the SLA!

Christmas Tree Sxc HuThe School Library Association sends its members and supporters all best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

The SLA office will close for the season on Friday December 21st 2012 and open for the New Year on Wednesday 2 January 2013.

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Don't forget!

There are only a few weeks left to get your nominations for the 2013 School Librarian of the Year and School Library Design awards in to the SLA office! The deadline for nominations is 11 January 2013. Nomination forms were also sent out with the School Librarian journal. Make it a new year's resolution to show a colleague how much you appreciate them and their contribution to students' acheivements and send in a nomination for them.

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Stan Lee Excelsior Award Shortlist 2013 Announced

SLEACheck out the fantastic titles on the Stan Lee Excelsior Award website!

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Don't forget to enter for our 2013 Awards

SLYA Logo The Christmas break is a good time to think about completing an entry for the SLA's School Librarian of the Year Award in 2013. Do consider nominating a librarian in a primary or secondary school who demonstrates outstanding professional qualities and deserves to be recognised for the work that they do.

An entry in the SLA's Library Design Award is also a great opportunity to raise the profile of school libraries and reward libraries that show innovation, creativity and resourcefulness in their design.

Nomination forms were included with the Autumn 2012 issue of The School Librarian and are available for download from our website, along with guidance notes. Don't forget - entries for both awards close on 11 January 2013.

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Winter 2012 issue of The School Librarian

TSL 60-4 COVER The latest issue of The School Librarian - Volume 60, Number 4, Winter 2012 - has been despatched to members. It includes full coverage of the SLA's School Librarian of the Year and Library Design Awards.

As usual, the ict@sla section can be read online with clickable links, a convenient way to quickly check out some new websites and resources. Our archive of the ict@sla section goes back to Volume 56 Number 1.

A complete index of the book reviews in this issue and for all of Volume 60 is available - the online index of book reviews can be searched back to Volume 54 (2006).

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A Week in December

KLQWhat a mixture this week has been - I am sure I will never get a 'typical' week at SLA, they are all so different.

Monday and Tuesday were my office based days - time to catch up with everyone, do some admin, write a report, and make some important phone calls. 

Wednesday I was in London.  The first meeting of the day was with the Reading Agency hearing aboutr the successes of the Summer Reading Challenge this year and how it might be improved and extended in future years.  Then onto CILIP, for a catch up with their CEO Annie Mauger. This sort of liaison and discussion strengthens the many links and synergies between our two organisations.  We followed this with a very practical example, as we then set off for a brief but very positive meeting with Justin Tomlinson MP (Swindon North - so the SLAs constituency), Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries.  This APPG is the one tasked by the Minister with producing an impact report on school libraries - so an important part of our joint campaiging. 

Thursday it was the sheer pleaure of watching the National Final of the Kid's Lit Quiz in Coventry - what an amazing breadth of knowledge and reading those students displayed.  The audience was quite in awe of their knowledge.  Huge congratulations to Cockermouth School for a very impressive win! I was lucky enough to win one of the spot prizes for the audience - I knew the title of the Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk - and won a book!

Friday I travelled to St Ivo School in St Ives to meet with a lively group of secondary school librarians who were also meeting their local MP - Jonathan Djanogly for a discussion (again very encouraging) about school libraries and their benefits.  A huge than you to Gill Mitchell for inviting me.   Now it's time to clear up some of the email backlog!
Tricia Adams

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International Association of School Librarians Conference


by Dr. Lesley Farmer, VP IASL Association Relations

IASLWhat happens when almost three hundred school librarians, library educators, and vendors from 48 countries gather in Qatar? Lots! From discussions about global literature to puppets, from technology slams to bookmaking for children, from author presentations and branding to online community building, from henna painting to sword dancing.

The 41st annual conference and and 1th research forum of the IASL was held in Doha, Qatar, November 12-15, 2012. Attendees included public and private schools (a surprisingly strong contingency of international school librarians), library researchers and educators, as well as authors and vendors. Almost a quarter of attendees came from Qatar. Out-of-country participants were greeted at the airport, and whisked to their hotels. Even before the conference officially began, some folks enjoyed local landmarks such as the National Museum of Islamic Art, or shopped at the local high-end shopping mall. On subsequent days, buses transported attendees to the conference center in Education City, going early to escape rush hour traffic.

The opening day brought greetings from local dignitaries, including past IFLA President Claudia Lux, who is now in charge of creating Qatar’s national library. Featured keynoter Eppo van Nispen shared his enthusiasm for creativity and innovation in libraries as he ran through hundreds of slides, even capturing opening activities. He spearheaded the effots to create an  internationally acclaimed  innovative Dutch public library with no rules. Qatari child dancing groups also graced the stage.

The following days also began with riviting keynote speakers. Joyce Valenza showed how emerging technologies could deepen the library experience and collaboration. Stephen Krashen shared several studies as he emphasized the need for free reading and well stocked libraries, particularly as an effective and equitable way to insure literacy. Iranian Dr. Mahran Kamrava reviewed research processes, and emphasized its international aspects. The last day also featured a fascinating panel of authors and ilustrators, moderated by Laurie H. Anderson. All of these top-notch speakers presented at additional sessions, so attendees were able to interact with them on several occasions.

Over fify concurrent sessions filled the rest of the days. While most presentations were given in English, an Arabic strand was also offered. Several themes emerged from the talks:

  • Cross-cultural issues: global and digital citizenship, bilingual programs, the use of Arablish (txting in ersatz Arabic using Roman letters and numerals)

  • Librarian roles:  as change agents, advocates, models of happiness, writing supporters, leaders, and other reimagined roles

  • Information literacy: as it is addressed in International Baccalaureate schools, building collaborative learning communities, using TRAILS, impact of library space. Web 1.0, InfoLit India, ICT skills, college readiness

  • Reading motivation: meeting boys’ needs, using blogs, bookmaking, book shows, storytelling, personalized literacy programs, imagining history, trickster tales and the GiggleIT project

  • Research: evaluating IASL conference attendance patterns, next generation school libraries, perceptions about ideal tehcnology learning spaces, U.S. school library advocacy literature, school library environment assessment in international schools, ontological models of school librarianship, children’s reading experiences, global case studies on literacies and libraries,  a training toolkit for school libraries in developing countries, teacher librarian program information needs, collecting data about school libraries internationally, use of web 2.0 to support student inquiry

  • Technology: QR codes, wikis, elearning, audio programs and zines, social networks, infographics, Zotero, Google sites, digital reading, mind mapping tools. Joyce Valenza’s technology slam gave the audience the opportunity to share their favorite websites.

The general business meeting include officer reports, and the election of new officers. In addition, lunch meetings enables SIG members and regions to talk about current activities and issues. The Research SIG’s definition of school libraries, and a new research agenda, were a featured topic. Groups had ideas for improving the IASL website, identifying liaisons and partners, increasing advocacy, and expanding training opportunities.          

About a dozen vendors shared their wares throughout the conference; several gave demonstrations about their products. Some sponsored authors, who were a big hit – especially Chris Bradford in his samurai costume complete with sword.   Conference attendees also had a chance to visit two international schools’ libraries, and chat with authors in the process.      

All of these learning experiences about school librarianship were balanced with bountiful meals, often featuring Middle Eastern cuisine.  An open-air cultural evening enabled attendees to enjoy more dancing, live music, regional food, and local crafts. Of course, the bidding was lively after the annual conference dinner at the live auction. Throughout these events, librarians networked actively, a sure sign of a successful conference.

As is the case with all IASL conferences, new friends were made, great ideas were shared, a renewed sense of commitment to the school community and the profession was evident. More than a third of attendees were first-timers, and many of them are already making their plans to attend the 2013 IASL conference in Bali.          
Dr. Lesley Farmer, VP Association Relations  & Professor. California State University Long Beach Librarianship Program/ Dept. of ASEC

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Win Jacqueline Wilson! Closes 14th Dec

There is still time to enter the Reading Agency's competition to win Jacqueline Wilson for your school library.  Closing date 14th December - enter now!

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