Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What has your National Executive been up to?

It has been a very busy 2013 so far for the National Executive, so I thought I'd give you an update about the projects we've been involved in.

Most of us have a really good break over the Christmas break, but for some people their focus was the creation of SLANZA's new reading website.  Bridget Schaumann and Miriam Tuohy led a team who evaluated  all the lists, identified double ups and inconsistencies and re-formatted everything. Miriam created the site and layout and then the team started the mammoth task of transferring all the lists to the new site.  Sounds simple, but it was months of work for all involved.  However, I am sure you will agree that it was well worth it!

Miriam's other major project has been the development of the  SLANZA online Connected Librarians professional development course.  She was investigating the idea of Library Badges in recognition of skills learnt, and came up with the Connected Librarians concept.  The National Executive wanted to provide online professional development, and thanks to Miriam's perseverance, there are some very lucky SLANZA members who are starting this exciting course soon.  We were completely amazed at the amount of interest shown by you, and do intend to run it again, so all the waiting list have an opportunity to do the course.

One of my roles as President is to represent SLANZA in a variety of forums, and one of those forums is the cross sector Strategic Advisory Forum (SAF).  SAF meets three times a year, to talk with the National Librarian and each other regarding issues across the sector.  As a result of a recent meeting, LIANZA convened a cross association day to identify how each of the library associations across New Zealand could work more closely, support each other and try to stop re-inventing the wheel. Miriam and I represented SLANZA, and it was very interesting to see the commonalities between associations.  One of the issues we raised was the cost of PD provided by LIANZA.  We also pushed for a reduced LIANZA conference rate for SLANZA members, and that is being considered by LIANZA Council.

The Executive has been working on the SLANZA Constitution, as things have moved on since 2000 and it needed to be updated to reflect new ways of working and communicating.  Greig Daniels has been leading this project, with an updated Constitution now lodged with the Companies Office.  As a result, a number of amendments will be presented for ratification at the upcoming national AGM during the Wellington Conference.

One group of very busy people is the Wellington Conference Committee, and I'd like to thank them for all the organisation and planning, as the conference is going to be great. Karen Clarke is the Wellington representative on the Executive, as well as being part of the Conference Committee, and is the conference liaison too.  Karen has been doing  a sterling job of keeping us up to date with what has been planned, and I am really looking forward to attending such an exciting conference!

Membership is a big part of SLANZA and we have a number of people involved with it.  Carole Gardiner, our new Administration Officer, has been working through some very tangled membership renewals, and has done a brilliant job of sorting this out for us.  If you have not received a renewal, please email Carole (admin@slanza.org.nz) as we may not have a correct or current email address for you. Life and Business memberships were instituted last year, and Lisa Salter has taken responsibility for these, with Greig taking on the SLANZA awards.  If you know someone that you feel should be granted life membership, or receive an award, please do nominate them by June 20th.  More information is available on the SLANZA website.

Lisa has also taken on the Editor's role for Collected magazine, working with others on the Executive, and is currently pulling together all the articles written for the magazine, which will be published later this term.

The Executive is also very grateful to Rosalba Finnerty, the first member of the SLANZA Pool of Talent.  Rosalba has taken over the SLANZA archives, and is sorting through several years of documents, so our history can be preserved.

I hope this gives you an insight into some of the activities of your National Executive and the work we do for you.

Monday, February 4, 2013

An Exciting Opportunity for Schools

The line-up has been announced for this years' Auckland Writers and Readers Festival and I AM EXCITED!
Patrick Ness, author of The Knife of Never Letting Go series will be there!  Check out the full programme at Writers & Readers website and start planning.
Lisa Salter

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Honorary Life Memberships 2012

To recognise those who have played such an important role in the creation and development of SLANZA as an organisation, the National Executive instituted Honorary Life Memberships and called for nominations from the members.  The convenor of the Awards Committee, Lisa Salter, was impressed with the calibre of the nominees and the amount of thought that had gone into the applications.

The Executive is delighted to announce that Honorary Life Memberships have been awarded to the Steering Committee who worked tirelessly to create SLANZA:
Karen du Fresne
Margaret Forbes
Judi Hancock
Elizabeth Jones
Dr Penny Moore
Elizabeth Probert
Jill Stotter

As an organisation, we owe so much to the Steering Committee, who not only created a national organisation that we can be proud of, but who were also instrumental in bringing the IASL conference to New Zealand in 2000.
Regional areas will be organising special events to present the awards to each recipient, and also to thank them for all they have done (and continue to do) for SLANZA and school library staff nation wide.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Latest News from SLANZA National Executive

Last weekend was a busy one for National Executive (NE) in Wellington with Ross Todd presenting a workshop on Evidence Based Practice (EBP) followed by our AGM.

One hundred and twenty five library staff and supporters attended the Ross Todd workshops brought to you by SLANZA.  The results of our PD survey indicated that the most important thing we could do for our members is to provide affordable and relevant professional development.  The NE went out on a limb in our enthusiasm to bring an international expert to NZ and we were not disappointed.  

The NE is working on a presentation to take out to our members.  Further blog items directly related to Ross’s message will appear over the next few weeks as well as a round up of the evaluations from the workshop.  You can get a glimpse by checking the Twitter stream from the workshops #EBPNZ, where there are valuable snippets from the two events.

A small but enthusiastic and engaged group attended this year’s AGM and were the first to hear this years SLANZA Award winners:
SLANZA Principal’s Award
Tony Mabin acting principal Queenspark School Christchurch nominated by Saskia Hill- “Tony has demonstrated sustained support of innovation and excellence within the library team and as well significantly raising it’s profile and promoting the importance of the library team to student learning outcomes and to the school in general.  He has shared new ideas around school librarianship with other schools and the wider community, fostered high morale in the library team, and forged strong links between the library, students, staff and the school community.”
Peter Ross Principal Wakefield School Nelson nominated by Shona Rees and Kathy Ameen- “The library is the hub of Wakefield School and the community. Peter encourages plunket, kindergarten, playschool and home school parents to use the library.  He has supported additional staffing, is actively involved in the running of the library, considers library funding a priority and funds ongoing PD.  He embraces change with up to date technology.   Peter’s approach is an ambassadorial example for rural primary school libraries.”
SLANZA Certificate of Recognition
Carole Gardiner and Karen Carswell nominated by Miriam Tuohy and Bridget Schaumann- “ These two librarians, Carole Gardiner and Karen Carswell, have contributed long hours sorting and editing lists, gathering information from listerv and formatting it to fit the wiki.   This is no small task.  As their skills have developed the wiki has become stronger.  Both have agreed to continue their work with the next version and SLANZA will be richer for their contributions.”
SLANZA Award of Merit
Desna Wallace Fendalton Open-Air School Christchurch nominated by Wendy Marshall and Liz Jones- “For Desna’s dedication to “matching the right child to the right book”.  For her willingness to embrace innovation in new ways to promote reading.  Although initially a reluctant blogger her blog booktrailers4kidsandya has inspired others and she is generous in sharing her knowledge.  Last year her school book club “The Faultline Fictioners” helped the group come to terms with the earthquakes and the stresses they were living through.  She loves being a school librarian and pours every ounce of her creativity into her work, which has many lasting benefits.”

The first Honorary Life Members were announced and Fiona Mackie will be filling you in on those in her President’s Report to follow.  Senga White, immediate past president and Donna Watt, communications leader, were farewelled and thanked for their valuable contributions to SLANZA NE over the years. Bridget Schaumann was welcomed on board as President Elect. Bridget brings a wide range of school library and NE experience to enhance our organization.  

There was lively discussion around surveys and how they can support our advocacy.

On Sunday the NE got down to business:
·       We have increased funding for regional events in line with supporting our member professional development.  
·       We will be launching a new and improved website in the next week.  
·       Work is continuing on this term’s issue of Collected, which will be available early in the term.  Next term the theme will be ‘Blue Sky Thinking’.  We will be calling for contributions soon.
·       Work has begun on an Evidence Based Practice presentation (based on last week’s workshops).  It will be rolled out by NE reps to all regional members soon, depending on PD plans already in place for your region.
·       There was a very positive response to Life Membership.  Next week we will be asking for feedback regarding the process with the hope of streamlining for next year.
·       SLANZA Awards will also be reviewed.
·       SLANZA Study Award applications will be called for later this term.  If you are thinking of studying next year, start getting your application together and check our website for details.
·       Lisa Salter is to take the roll of Communications Leader from Donna Watt.
·       Details about Conference 2013 in Wellington are beginning to emerge.  Mark your calendars for July 15 – 17, the first week of Term 2 holidays.  Expect to be exposed to the best school libraries have to offer with international guests.
A to-do list for members:
·       Join Ross Todd’s, Evidence Based Practice, Facebook page
·       Follow #SLANZA on Twitter
·       Follow the SLANZA Facebook page
·       Consider applying for a Study Award
·       Attend regional meetings and events

Monday, July 23, 2012

A small farewell, but only in part

I wanted to let you know, in person, that I have handed over the communication portfolio to a very talented colleague on the National Executive, and as of this week, I will no longer be the Communications Leader for SLANZA.  I will leave it to Fiona to announce my replacement in her upcoming post, but I wanted to take the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you.

Working on the National Executive has provided me with opportunities to grow professionally in ways that I would never have imagined possible.  I have not only developed my communication and marketing skills, I have discovered that I have a flair for facilitation, and that I am very comfortable presenting and speaking in a professional role.  It's only by extending ourselves in unexpected, and sometime uncomfortable ways, that we truly grow, and I thank all of you for allowing me to grow in your time and in your space. 

My particular thanks to Senga White for having faith in me and giving me the push I needed.  To the whole of National Executive, I take off my hat to you for the personal energy, diverse talents, and passion that each of you brings to the table.  You are there for love of the work, and we all owe you so much for the work that you do on behalf of the members, and the communities that we serve.

My connection to school libraries and this community remains strong.  I am not going away, so hold that sigh of relief just a little longer!  You will still see me about, begging for content for Collected, and generally poking my nose in, wanted or not.

I remain, at heart, a school librarian.
Just like you.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Evidence based practice with Dr Ross Todd is nearly here!

I'me getting very excited that soon I will be attending Dr Ross Todd's seminar about School Libraries Making a Difference: Evidence Based Practice in Action.  I know that there are measures we can take to identify how we are making a difference, but so far what we've done at St Cuthbert's has been very subjective, so am looking forward to finding out more.  Have you registered, as registrations are closing....

There has been a Facebook group set up by Dr Todd and Lyn Hay, to link those who are looking at EBP, so I hope that I'll see you there https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/EBPforSL/

We will be tweeting during each day using #EBPNZ, so search for that exact tag to find out more too. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Presentation to Select Committee

On Wednesday June 20th, Michele Whiting and I were at the Beehive to speak to the submission that SLANZA made to the Inquiry into 21st Century Learning Environments.
We were able to listen to three other presentations - Microsoft International, LIANZA and Alan Cooper who was representing a cluster of schools. It was great to hear the other presentations, especially as the key messages from LIANZA complemented ours.

Our key messages were as follows:
There is no legal requirement for schools to have either a library or staff of any kind. Every school should have a fully funded library with at least one qualified librarian or teacher librarian working in it.
Qualified library staff can work with teachers and students to support all curriculum areas.
To give our students the skills they need for tertiary study, they need to have a range of literacies and the library and library staff can assist students in mastering these skills.
The MoE funds schools' access to the EPIC databases, but each uses different search strategies, and without expert qualified staff, they won't get the best from this resource.

It was a very brief block of time, but we made the most of it. We were asked about ancillary staffing, and Michele answered the question as she is the Principal at Corinna School and has first hand experience in managing her school's budget.
We were also informed that we may be contacted again, if they have additional questions. We'll let you know if we hear anything further.