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!

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