Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!

It is that time of the term/year where we are in the midst of the flurry of the last weeks of activities. I envy those of you who have closed your libraries and already completed stocktake. I still have three classes to take before the end of tomorrow, and stocktake is next week's delight to look forward to. However, we also have our Hargest Library Xmas Party to look forward to next Thursday as well, which is a really lovely way to say goodbye to 2010.

If you're anything like me, you are now hanging out for a long-anticipated summer break and I would just like to take this opportunity to congratulate you all for getting to the end of what, I'm sure has been an exceptionally busy year. I hope you are planning to spend at least part of your holiday time doing something that makes you happy and replensishes your soul so that you can face 2011 with all the vigour and enthusiasm you are all known for!

For myself, I am looking forward to spending lots of time with my family, especially my boys, doing some exploring of our lovely Southern hillsides, and of course, catching up on reading some of those books that I just haven't got to this year.

I want to say a big, heartfelt thank you to those of you who toil away on SLANZA National Executive with me. It is fantastic to have such an awesome team to work with. Your talents, ideas and enthusiasm constantly amaze me!

I look forward to hearing how everyone's summer has been when we're all back on deck for Term 1, 2011!



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Australian School Library Inquiry

Australian school librarians will be celebrating today as it has just been announced by Peter Garrett, Federal Minister for School Education that the inquiry into teacher librarians and school libraries will be completed when the Australian Parliament reconvenes early next year.

There were fears that maybe this inquiry, which had received over 380 submissions, including a petition signed by more than 2200 people and had already completed hearings around the country would be shelved. However, it now seems there may be resolution for our Australian colleagues - one that we will watch closely here in New Zealand.

Our best wishes for success go out to everyone affected by the outcome of this inquiry.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SLANZA Study Grants 2011

Congratulations to the successful recipients of the next round of study grants. It is fantastic to be able to support members in their endeavours to continue with their education in our profession!

Best wishes for their study for next year to:

Helen Muxlow - Karori West Normal School, Wellington
Deborah Walsh - Takapuna Grammar School, Auckland
Linda Lamb - Wanganui High School
Jayne Downes - Kaikorai Valley College, Dunedin
Pamela Lilley - Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Auckland
Kirsten Nicholas - Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland



Monday, November 15, 2010

SLANZA Conference 2011

Mark it in your diary right now everyone!

On The Wave - St Cuthbert's College, Epsom, Auckland: 17th - 20th July 2011

This is the one conference you need to attend next year.

Take a look at the details on our conference page and watch out over the next few months as we update you about keynote speakers and workshop opportunities. It's going to be a goody!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

EPIC and New Products

At EPIC we receive quite a few suggestions from schools about adding e-resources to the current collection. We welcome these suggestions and feedback. However, this is a good opportunity to explain how EPIC works…and why we are unable to immediately add new products for New Zealand schools.

EPIC is a purchasing consortium involving over 160 New Zealand libraries as well as the Ministry of Education on behalf of all New Zealand schools. EPIC negotiates consortium-licensing agreements with electronic resource vendors on behalf of these libraries. The member libraries then choose packages of these resources to subscribe to annually through EPIC. This provides the member libraries with significantly better pricing per product than they would be able to negotiate individually.

The Ministry of Education’s subscription to the EPIC resources on behalf of New Zealand schools works the same way as New Zealand libraries. Each year EPIC offers the Ministry of Education subscription and pricing options on packages of e-resources. The Ministry of Education then makes a decision based on what products are on offer, what their budget will allow and how well the existing products are being used.

We know that a lot of exciting new e-resource products have recently been released and we would love to offer them to New Zealand schools through EPIC. For this reason, we will be working with the Ministry of Education to review the current EPIC resources and assess new resources to find the best possible fit that we are able to negotiate for New Zealand schools.
So, watch this space…we may be calling on your help very soon to trial some products…


Senga White
Schools' Representative
EPIC Governance Group

EPIC and New Zealand Content - Update

International companies provide all the resources currently available through EPIC for New Zealand schools. This means that most of these resources aim to have as broad an international appeal as possible. Therefore, aside from the Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, New Zealand content is not a primary focus.

However, as part of their licensing agreements with EPIC, these companies have made a commitment to increase and improve the New Zealand content available in their resources. Here are some recent examples of what they are doing:

Encyclopaedia Britannica – at the beginning of this year they commissioned a writer specifically to add New Zealand curriculum related content.

Oxford University Press – have hired an Advisory Editor to update the New Zealand art content in Oxford Art Online. This is scheduled to occur in 2011.

Gale Cengage – are working on sourcing New Zealand biographies to add into Biography In Context (previously known as Biography Resource Centre). Gale Cengage are also eager to hear any suggestions that you may have. If do have biography suggestions, please e-mail these to Gale Cengage’s New Zealand representative, Liza Fisher Liza.Fisher@cengage.com


Senga White
Schools' Representative
EPIC Goverance Group

Thursday, November 4, 2010

SLANZA Annual Report

As well as having a fantastic celebration to mark SLANZA's first 10 years, we also had our 2010 AGM. For those of you who were unable to make it, here is a link to the Annual Report I tabled at the AGM. http://slanza.org.nz/docs/AGMreport2010.pdf



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Who to contact for feedback about the EPIC resources

Recently there has been some discussion about how to advocate getting material updated or added to EPIC databases. The best possible way to do this is to contact the companies directly with your feedback. This ensures that the right information gets to people that can make the changes.

The EPIC Manager, Paula Banks, is happy to pass any of your suggestions on to the company representatives for you. All you need to do is send her an e-mail at epic@epic.org.nz, including the name of the resource and the feedback you would like to provide.

You can also cut out the middleman and contact the company representatives directly. Contacts for the EPIC resources can be found on the general EPIC website http://epic.org.nz . A list of all the EPIC resources (including those available through the Ministry of Education subscription on behalf of New Zealand Schools) can be found through this link http://epic.org.nz/the-databases/all-databases . If you click on the link to the database you are interested in providing feedback about, you will find the General Support contact for the product.
Also…the database pages on the EPIC website are a good place to go if you are looking for links to training, promotional and support material on each of the EPIC resources.

As always, if you have any questions about EPIC feel free to contact me as well.

Schools' Representative
EPIC Governance Group

Sunday, October 31, 2010

10 Years of SLANZA - the celebration!

What an awesome time those of us in Auckland - and via video conference in Christchurch - had on Friday afternoon at the 10 year celebration party for SLANZA. A big thank you to the organising team who did a fantiastic job of organising a really lovely event.

It was very special to have all the past presidents speak about their time in office and share their highlights. What a fantastic, enthusiastic bunch we are who make up the SLANZA family and this was very evident from the group who gathered together on Friday and of course listening to the reminiscences of all.

Watch out for a full report of the event, photos and what the speakers had to say in our upcoming edition of the SLANZA Collected magazine.

Good luck for the local celebrations that are still to happen in some of our regions.

Happy birthday SLANZA! Now - bring on the next 10!!

Senga White
SLANZA President

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Announcement of new President-Elect

I’m thrilled to be able to announce that Fiona Mackie, Library Manager at St Cuthbert’s College in Auckland has been elected unopposed as the next President-Elect of SLANZA . No other nominations were received. So, congratulations to Fiona, who will become the next president of SLANZA at the 2011 AGM. Fiona is a professional, experienced and well respected librarian and SLANZA will be in good hands with her at the helm.

I wish her all the best as she takes on this challenge of National Executive for the next four years.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nominations for SLANZA president-elect

Nominations are now being sought for the position of SLANZA President-Elect for the 2010-11 term of office. This person would become SLANZA President at our bi-annual conference in July 2011 till July 2013. Previous experience at National Executive level is considered desirable.

The SLANZA constitution requires the National Executive to call for nominations from our membership. Nominators and Nominees must be current members of SLANZA. As there are no current National Executive members able to take up this position, National Executive wish to nominate Fiona Mackie, Library Manager at St Cuthbert’s College, Auckland and she has consented to this nomination.

Nominations are to be made on the form attached and close with the Returning Officer, SLANZA, PO Box 631, Palmerston North 4440 at 5pm on Friday 22nd October 2010. These should also be emailed to slanza@xtra.co.nz.


Senga White
SLANZA President

Monday, October 11, 2010

IASL Conference

Well, IASL conference was a fantastic experience! The venue was amazing, the speakers were diverse and interesting, it was well organised and it was great to be able to share the experience with so many New Zealanders.

This is Donna and myself enjoying the trade stands and superb morning tea on day 2 with Jane, Adaire and Joanna.

Having now attended my first international conference I have gained a new-found respect for all of our members who over the last 10 years have been involved in making our SLANZA conferences a reality. You are all awesome and should be very proud of your acheivements. They are truly world-class events and would stand up to anything being offered internationally. In some cases we would be leading the field. It was brought home to me again just how fortunate we are here in New Zealand with the calibre of people we have working in our school libraries.

Watch out for the article on the IASL conference which will appear in our next SLANZA Collected Magazine where there will be tidbits from everyone who attended - their highlights and must-do's.

This next picture is just for Gerri and Fiona!! You know how much I loved making this little "bunyip\avatar". I wonder if it sold at the auction table!!

Hope to see lots of you at the 10 year SLANZA celebration at the end of the month!!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2010

The Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday 29 October at the Auckland premises of the National Library of New Zealand, 8 Stanley Street, Parnell.

The meeting will begin at approximately 6.30pm, at the conclusion of SLANZA’s 10 Year celebrations being held at the same venue.

F M Gibbons
Administration Officer

Study grant applications and award nominations closing soon

SLANZA encourages and rewards excellence in school libraries, recognising the success and achievement of those working in and with school libraries, with a series of awards.

SLANZA also offers study grants each year, to those working in school library teams. Each study grant will cover the cost of a paper, course or module (up to $550.00) offered by an approved library education provider. For more information about education providers, visit the SLANZA wiki.

The closing date for submitting study grant applications is Friday 22nd October 2010.
The closing date for nominations for SLANZA Awards will be notified shortly.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good news for RLIANZA members

Memorandum of Understanding between LIANZA and CILIP on Reciprocal Qualifications.

If you are a registered librarian then read on!

LIANZA and CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), the United Kingdom’s largest professional body for information professionals have signed a reciprocal agreement at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden.

This means if you hold an MCLIP or RLIANZA you are assured of reciprocal recognition in New Zealand and the UK respectively. This enhances your employment prospects should you be on a working holiday or wishing to migrate.

RLIANZA holders will remain accountable for ensuring that their qualification is current to LIANZA requirements to continue practising in UK roles requiring Chartered Membership of CILIP, and vice versa.

This is great news and indicates the value of the RLIANZA beyond our shores.

Senga White
SLANZA President

Thursday, September 9, 2010

To our Canterbury School Library Colleagues

To our colleagues working in the earthquake-affected areas of Canterbury

SLANZA wishes to extend our thoughts and good wishes to you all as you return to your schools and assess the damage created by the earthquakes experienced in the past week.

While I have spoken to a couple of librarians in the region in recent days, it is very difficult to get a full picture of the situation individual schools are facing. In order for SLANZA to be of practical help and support I would appreciate hearing from those of you affected that feel you will need outside assistance or advice. As you will be aware from my previous posting, the library leaders across the sectors are most anxious to assess specific needs in order to make sure support and assistance is provided where needed.

This may not be something you are necessarily able to do immediately as the situation continues to change and develop on a daily basis but I would appreciate hearing from you all and sharing your stories and journeys as you deal with the days, weeks and months ahead of you.



National Library Christchurch office closure

The National Library have published some information to support Canterbury schools, and to let South Island schools know what's happening in the period following the Christchurch earthquake.

So far they have had very good feedback from schools about the information - and the free-phone service 0800 LIBLINE is also taking enquiries.

For more information, please visit this page on the National Library's website for schools:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Have you ever had one of those days!!??

Well, I am!!
My day started with an interesting discussion with a member of senior management about online games .....
Then Lisa, the ("Robin" to my "Batman" - just kidding!!) wonderful librarian who works with me had to go home to sick children
Then I had the lovely man from our local glass firm come and check out our library doors (yep - you guessed it - they're all made entirely of glass!!) ..... a loooong, sad story .......
Then I had to deal with a heating problem in the library (not good when it's still winter and we are in Southland after all, where it can get brisk)
Then I had to let our property manager know that the staff toilet in the library block is .... well .... blocked!!
Then I had to deal with a shipment of books that a courier had obviously left sitting in a puddle somewhere
Then I needed to deal with a laptop that wasn't working
All this - and I hadn't even made it to morning teatime yet!!
Sigh .....
Tomorrow will be better - It's Dress Up Day!!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Library Week 2010 .... It's so exciting!!

I have spent quite a bit of my morning (in between teaching two Y10 classes about notetaking techniques and citing sources for bibliographies!) on designing posters promoting next week's Library Week celebrations.

I'm really excited about this year's activities and, as well as some of the old "tried and true" favs like Dress Up Day and Guess the Photo competition, we're branching out and trying a few more new ideas this year.

I've finally settled on my book character for this year's Dress Up Day. I never disclose who my character will be (drives the students nuts trying to guess!!) but previously I've been Mary Poppins, Bad Jelly the Witch, The Mad Hatter and The White Queen from Narnia (I know, I know - there seems to be a theme developing - but I'm determined to break it this year!!) Gold star to anyone who can guess before next Wednesday when all will be revealed!!

Now, off to work on setting up our Blind Date with a Book Day, which is our promo for Tuesday ........

All the best to those of you who are working hard on your own Library Week preparations :-) Isn't it fun!!??

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Collected Magazine - a real collective effort!

It is so exciting to see all the hard work, brainstorming and creativity coming together in our new-look, new-format SLANZA Collected Magazine. I am a firm believer in collaboration and this new magazine is definitely a fine example of the success this brings. Bringing together talented, committed professionals is a very powerful way of making things happen. Remember - if you have a good idea, a burning desire or a project you want to see happen, talk to others about it. You just never know what might happen!
All of us on SLANZA National Executive who have been involved in this latest project now eagerly await your feedback. After all, this magazine has been conceived with our fellow colleagues working in school libraries in mind, so we want your input to keep it both fresh and topical and a resource you can continually refer back to.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Welcome to the SLANZA blog

I have today set up a new blog for SLANZA. As discussed at our last National Executive meeting in March, it was agreed that we should have a blog to communicate with our members on a more frequent basis than the newsletters and magazine publications which are currently under way. So, here it is people.

Well done Donna!!

Good work! Great to see this off and running.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Australian School Library and Teacher Librarian Inquiry

Download SLANZA's submission

This is a copy of the submission sent to the House Standing Committee on Education and Training from SLANZA in support of the current inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australia.

The committee is overwhelmed with the number of submissions received – 359 in total – and we wish our Australian colleagues well in their endeavour to have the Australian Government acknowledge and support the role, adequacy and resourcing of school librarians and teacher librarians in schools.

Those of us in the profession here in New Zealand will be keenly watching the process and outcome reached as this inquiry continues.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

News from the President, May 2010

The EPIC Governance Group has just announced that The Ministry of Education has generously agreed to fund the subscription that allows all NZ schools free access to the EPIC e-resources for another year through to March 31, 2011.
Most New Zealand Schools have now registered to access EPIC through the portal on the TKI website, however, if your school has yet to do so, then check out the registration link for further information or contact Senga White, schools’ representative on the EPIC Governance Group.

By registering to access the EPIC e-resources, the students and staff at your school are able to access a wide range of quality information in 19 fantastic databases from 5 of the world's leading e-resource vendors. These resources are:

  • Australia New Zealand Reference Centre
  • MasterFile Premier

Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (School Edition)

Gale Cengage
  • Biography Resource Center
  • Books & Authors
  • Business Reference Suite
  • Contemporary Women's Issues
  • Discovering Collection
  • General OneFile
  • Health & Wellness Resource Center
  • History Resource Center
  • Literature Resource Center
  • Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
  • Student Resource Center
  • Virtual Reference Library

Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Art Online
  • Oxford Music Online
  • Oxford English Dictionary

  • Science Journals

By following this link on the EPIC website you can find out more information and access user guides about each of the databases.

Remember, the more schools use these valuable resources the better position the EPIC Governance Group is in to renegotiate with the Ministry of Education.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

News from the President, April 2010

The SLANZA National Executive team had its first meeting for 2010 in Christchurch during March, and this is an update on areas of interest to our members:

Strategic Plan 2010-2011
We began drafting a new strategic plan which includes the following major areas of interest:
Promotion of school libraries to improve student achievement
Professional development to improve the quality of teaching and support to students
Representation of library staff
Communication and visibility
This document will be finalised at the upcoming NE meeting in June.

SLANZA 10th Anniversary Celebrations
Planning continues, at sub-committee level, for the 10th anniversary of SLANZA to be held in Auckland, at the new National Library building on 29th October.  There are plans afoot to share celebrations from the regions in a visual format i.e. power points, video clips etc., at that celebration, so put your thinking caps on at regional level, and begin planning the party and how you might share it with your colleagues.

There will be special updates as more planning is finalised.

As part of our strategic planning, Donna Watt, current Southland representative has been appointed to the role of Communications Leader for SLANZA, a role which will encompass responsibility for media liaison, newsletters and other forms of communication with members.  Part of the new communication package will be a blog which will sit on the new SLANZA website.  This is in the development stage at present, so look out for further information early this term.

If you have news of interest to school librarians that you would like to share via the blog, or newsletters, or you would like to contribute an article for the planned magazine-style publication (to be published 3-4 times per year, electronically), please contact Donna – the membership would love to hear about the great things happening in school libraries around the country.   Her email is dwatt@auroracollege.school.nz.

The SLANZA Newsletter is to be re-invented as the SLANZA Magazine and given a complete revamp.  This type of communication you are now reading will be the Newsletter.  Miriam Tuohy, who has enormous expertise in all things digital and has been the driving force behind our new website has agreed to take over the editorship of this Magazine and will take it forward to the future with a new sleek look, tied into the look of the website and the wiki.

There has been lots of positive feedback about the new website and the wiki is still being well used by our members.

People changes
We warmly welcome Frances Gibbons, who has been appointed as our Administration Officer for SLANZA. She has made a smooth transition to our team at one of our busiest times of the year and has already become indispensable.  She can be contacted at slanza@xtra.co.nz

Two members of the National Executive have advised that they will not be re-standing for their positions at the upcoming Annual General Meetings. They are Cynthia Frankcombe from Taupo, and Pat Bellhouse from Palmerston North.  We thank them for their contributions, and sincerely hope that their links to school libraries and SLANZA will remain strong.  We hope we will have equally enthusiastic, willing people to step forward for their regions.

National Library
There has been much in the media in recent weeks about the merger of National Library and Archives New Zealand with Internal Affairs. SLANZA has been lobbying on behalf of members to be given a voice in the process, and we will continue to monitor any decisions made that may affect services through National Library.

Dyane Hosler, National Library representative on our Executive spoke to a power-point presentation put together by Geraldine Howell, Director of Services to Young New Zealanders, previewing the new programmes being designed for schools.  She outlined the background of the changes and how positions have now changed; statistics on how schools are supported; explained the four goals; the key challenges; the three key structural shifts in 2009 (the fact that there will be a national approach to services, rather than the regional approach as in the past, their Three Horizons Framework; and the roles of the two delivery teams); outlined how the service will be delivered through curriculum & advisory services; new & on-going services; the 0800 LIBLINE service and the Auckland centre’s re-development and design for the future. There was a long discussion and Dyane answered many of the exec’s questions. We hope that the presentation can be made available to schools and principals so that everyone in our sector can be bought up to date.

Global news
In March, Minister for Education in Australia Julia Gillard called for an inquiry though the Committee on Education and Training into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools.  Submissions closed on the 16th April and a submission was forwarded on behalf of SLANZA by Senga.  As soon as we receive permission to publish this submission it will be able to be viewed on this website. This should happen after the committee meets at the end of April. We will keep you posted with respect to any response we receive and the eventual outcome of this government inquiry.

There is a ground-swell of organisations around the world making a stand on the status of school libraries. In November last year The Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act, or the SKILLs Act, was re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This legislation is intended to ensure that all students will have the support and resources they need for a quality education by establishing a goal that all public school libraries employ no less than one highly qualified school library media specialist.

And in March the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) in the UK published their Library and Information Manifesto which sets out six priorities for the next Westminster government.  The first of these is to: Make school libraries statutory and develop an action plan for bringing this about within the lifetime of the next Parliament.

Work is continuing at a national level here in New Zealand through the efforts of the Strategic Advisory Forum to address the status of school libraries and the issues directly effecting New Zealand school libraries and staff.  There will be more news on this front for us so watch this space!

Strategic Advisory Forum
The Strategic Advisory Forum (SAF) to the National Library is a federation of cross-library and information sector leaders whose objective is to provide independent advice to the Chief Executive/National Librarian on strategies, challenges and emerging opportunities to benefit the wider New Zealand library sector and to shape the policy agenda of the National Library.  Senga is SLANZA’s representative on this forum, which meets usually once every two or three months, but is meeting more regularly at the moment due to the changing nature of National Library.

This forum is a chance to work with other library professionals and bodies and to make our presence and issues known amongst a wider sector than has previously been possible.
A discussion document about the state of school libraries in New Zealand is a current project and progress on this will be updated.

Professional Registration
At our meeting it was noted that there are 1375 professionally registered librarians in NZ;
of that number, 159 work in schools of which 152 are SLANZA members.  The numbers are really encouraging, and it will be interesting to watch these numbers over time.

Standards for School Libraries
The working group for Standards has been continuing progress on this enormous job.  A comprehensive survey will be conducted to acquire data across the school library sector and currently National Exec members are finding out the costs associated with data analysis.

Your National Executive team voluntarily work very hard for our membership and I look forward to updating you on those things of interest to all of us working hard in the school library arena.
I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday break and that you return refreshed as the second term is set to be a long one at eleven weeks!