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!

 

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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

 

 

How to design a library that makes kids want to read

The Robin Hood Library Initiative

We all need inspiration and validation for what we do.  Today I received this in spades when I watched the Ted Talk by designer Michael Bierut about his involvement in creating a logo for a Robin Hood project.

About a decade ago, this philanthropic organisation wanted to do something to improve the public schools of New York but didn’t have the level of funding required to update all the schools’ buildings so instead chose the place in the school that would reach the most students – the library!  It’s called The Library Initiative and has redeveloped libraries in almost 60 schools in New York City.

Robin Hood Library , New York NY , Richard H Lewis

The Library Initiative 2

These libraries look like places of magic and wonderment! And while I loved everything Michael spoke about, I was particularly struck by his theme of unintended consequences and how speaking with one of the school librarians about turning out the lights at the end of each working day became a touchstone of what unexpected consequences can look like.

I think it’s also a reminder that doing something we feel strongly about can bring unexpected consequences as a result of the action we take and how it may impact us personally.  And I love that!  Receiving of unexpected gifts.

If you want to see more of the libraries and their unique murals, you’ll find some at Environmeant.

Research Planning with Students

Some of the work I’m currently doing to support research at Southland Boys’ High School. More to come!

Information Literacy Spaces

Planning ResearchThe library I work in at Southland Boys’ High School has been a flurry of research activity this year!  Last term Year 7 & 8 classes were researching World War I, Year 9 & 10 social studies classes a variety of events from the 20th century, Year 12 biology classes were discovering element of the abyssal zone and Year 13 history students were investigating New Zealand-focused topics.

This term has already become a real juggling act to accommodate all the research that’s happening.  The Year 12 history classes have come onboard the research train with conspiracy theories, English classes are researching inventions as well as conspiracy theories, and our lovely Year 7 & 8 classes (all 11 of them!) are undertaking individual research about a conflict of their choice, following on from their WWI topic in term 1.  To say we are a busy library would be an understatement!

Y10 Group

Research becomes…

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