My name is Senga White and I am a Research and Learning Coordinator working at Southland Boys High School, a Year 7-13 school in Invercargill, New Zealand.
Through this position, I am developing a strategy to embed information literacy and research skills through the curriculum at all year levels using the Information Literacy Framework. I plan lessons and teach related skills, and am head of library services. I have worked in the school library sector since 2000 and previously held the position of library manager for James Hargest College for 12 years.
I am currently involved in a New Zealand research team, Transforming information Literacy space(s) to support student learning, funded for three years by Teaching Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) where we aim to improve students’ information literacy (IL) competencies and learning across senior secondary and tertiary sectors, through developing collaborative partnerships between teachers and librarians. We have an Information Literacy Spaces blog and a Facebook page so you can follow our journey.
As part of my professional journey, I have also developed the Tertiary Prep Programme which is designed to enable those wishing to be successful in learning beyond secondary school to achieve and succeed. This is successful for Year 13 students to help with their transition from secondary to tertiary learning, as well as those who have had a break from formal learning and wish to resume, including distance learners, and adults who have never studied beyond school but are now considering further study.
My work is my passion! As well as being the “library queen” (as introduced to a class by one of my English colleagues) and the “research expert”, I am a life-long reader and lover of books. I love to match readers to books they’ll fall in love with or be impacted by and have recently developed a Library Skills – Learning for Life workbook, aimed at Year 7-10 students which combine library skills with elements of research skills and reading enjoyment.
My other passion is supporting quality library services in every school in New Zealand, through mentoring equally passionate, enthusiastic library staff who love working with children and teenagers. This is why I was a member of the National Executive of SLANZA (School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) for seven years, including a term as president from 2009 to 2011. My philosophy is, it’s all about collaboration, brainstorming and putting your “money where your mouth is!”
I served as the schools’ representative on the EPIC Governance Group (EGG) from 2007 to 2014. EPIC (Electronic Purchasing in Collaboration) is the national e-licensing initiative that makes a package of electronic resources available to all New Zealanders through libraries who are consortium members. The EPIC Governance Group (EGG), comprised of ten library sector representatives, was responsible for the strategic direction of EPIC and guided the operation of the consortium.
I am a professionally registered librarian RLIANZA and served a three-term as a member of the LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) Profession Registration Board from 2013.