Collaboration in Action

I get very excited when I’m collaborating with teaching colleagues. I get to have rich discussions about research and learning and always gain as much from the experience as I contribute. This also has the added benefit of helping me to get better at what I have to contribute to the process. This is an example of my most recent collaboration

Information Literacy Spaces

After an enthusiastic and productive two days of learning and sharing at our annual Hui, I returned to school and a mountain of work.

However, through the busyness, I was reminded how rewarding and exhilarating collaborating with a teaching colleague is.  My level 2 chemistry teacher booked space for her Year 12 class to use the library computers in the last three weeks of this term.  We then met to discuss the research requirements of the upcoming assessment.

Now, I am no scientist, and chemistry definitely doesn’t feature on my personal knowledge radar, but together we had a highly productive discussion that resulted in a planned collaboration that neither of us had expected.

After identifying areas for grade improvement based on the previous two years’ results for this assessment, my teaching colleague articulated wanting to try a strategy that would move some of this year’s cohort from a merit to an…

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The new Minister in the Library with the (cheque) Book


Cluedo Bunting


A huge thank you and congratulations to the amazing team at LIANZA for their work in developing the superb briefings for each of the relevant incoming ministers in the new Labour-led government, outlining the current state libraries in New Zealand.

I was particularly thrilled to read the briefing for the new Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, which is relevant and succinct in stating the case for the role of the school librarian.

In the briefing document, LIANZA makes the point that the Ministry of Education no longer captures data about the number of school libraries nor the staffing of them, so this makes the survey SLANZA announced in their communique in November last year even more important.  This can provide the SLANZA National Executive team with vital statistical information to further inform Minister Hipkins about the state of school libraries across New Zealand. This will also present them with an opportunity to build on the case made by LIANZA for every school in New Zealand to have equitable access to quality library services.

LIANZA also wrote equally impressive briefings for the ministers responsible for the portfolios of Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Department of Internal Affairs.

I am heartened and hopeful after reading them.  I know there is no quick fix or straight path ahead, but it would be exciting to be in genuine partnership with our government to ensure the best library services for every New Zealander.

Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning

I have had a busier than usual time in the last month or so presenting to different groups about the importance of information literacy skills for all of us, including students.

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to talk to a great group of educators whose focus is on helping students consider their career choices and how to achieve those goals.

Here’s the presentation I gave on not just my Tertiary Prep Programme, but also looking at employability skills with an IL lens.  I had such a good time!


Libraries: I’m a believer! How do I make converts?

Library as a Kitchen

I recently had the absolute pleasure and privilege of being invited to share with librarians in the SLANZA Waikato/BOP area around the weighty and timely topic of library advocacy.

After being affected by fog in Christchurch and three plane rides later, I finally arrived in Hamilton at 9 o’clock at night (original arrival time was scheduled at 3.30pm! There’s a potential separate blog post on my stressful, circuitous journey, but I digress) and drove across to Tauranga to meet with the SLANZA Waikato/BOP crew the following morning.

While the weather that Saturday morning may have kept more faint-hearted souls in their beds, that is certainly not the case for intrepid librarians!  They are like the Pony Express riders of the historic Amerian West, “heroes for the much needed and dangerous service they provided for the nation” and cheerfully turned out in good numbers. (They were admirably rewarded with a stunning morning tea spread to keep their energy levels at high! Thanks, team!)

Occupational Invisibility

The workshop covered 10 key areas:

  1. Taking a look at the big picture
  2. Identifying our vision
  3. Acknowledging what we already do
  4. Planning
  5. Collaborative strategies
  6. Working with our whole community
  7. Telling our story
  8. Promotion and marketing
  9. How to gather evidence and what to do with it
  10. Tools of the trade

Ross Todd Quote

Since coming across it several years ago, I have often reflected on Lauren Cohen’s Librarian 2.0 Manifesto, which is startlingly, now more than 10 years old, and it had inspired me to want to write my own, but it never got to the top of my “to do” pile.

So, while preparing for this workshop I revisited it, along with re-reading the UNESCO and IFLA School Library Manifesto and the School Library and Learning in the Information Landscape: Guidelines for New Zealand Schools, which is now more than 15 years old. It made me realise that there has been little of significance published about advocating for school libraries and learning in more than a decade and given the rate of change in education in those dozen or so years it certainly gives pause for thought.

It also made me revisit my goal of writing my own manifesto but chose a different path and instead I incorporated the UNESCO manifesto and the NZ guidelines with my own library world view and this is what I came up with:

If you’d like more details about the advocacy workshop you can access it here:

Librarian BookAnd if you are looking for even more inspiration then you should invest in a copy of This is What A Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information by Kyle Cassidy.  It is awesome! Expect a blog post soon on this amazing book.

Thanks to the Waikato/BOP Committee for inviting me to come and share with them. They’re an awesome team, ably led by Glenys and Linda.  And thank you guys for the most precious of gifts you can give a librarian, a newly published book!

Finally, I’ll leave you with what has become a bit of a catchphrase for me in recent months as I continue to explore the intersection between libraries and learning.

Visible Learning Hattie