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


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.



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, 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 . 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 . 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