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!/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.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Article on Curation

If you liked the latest SLANZA Collected Magazine, which is full of articles and information about the whys and hows of curation and you were wowed by keynote speaker Joyce Valenza as she entertained and informed us at last year's SLANZA conference in Auckland then you might like to take a look at this short article written by the wonderful Joyce in the latest Syba Signs magazine.

Seven tools you may may not know you can search with, lists those tools and how Joyce is using them to help her students understand and take on board the skill of curation.

More food for thought to put into the mix of how to curate what we find and use on the internet.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Otago Weekend School

What an amazing PD event that the Otago regional committee held today, and it isn't over yet.  We've been excited by Miriam Tuohy's Bookapedia Battles, and shared recommendations for lots of wonderful reading. Carole Gardiner gave us great tips on collection development, Pam Garry shared how Choccywoccydoodah gets her boys reading, we've investigated lots of wonderful iPad apps courtesy of Stephen Anderson, and started making a blog or website and explored the wonders of Google apps! (And I presented my fist keynote address - phew....)
Dunedin has turned on gorgeous sunny weather for us, the food has been sooo yummy and the sharing between colleagues has been fantastic.
Wow, and we have more tomorrow!  Looking forward to Gill Fisher's presentation about building a book culture and David Elliot telling us about his new picture book 'A tale of two pigs'.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Update on SLANZA submission to Select Committee

Kia ora Koutou,

Recently we posted an update to the blog on the SLANZA submission to the Select Committee inquiry into 21st Century Learning Environments and Digital Literacy.  You can read that post here, and find links to information about the inquiry itself, and to the SLANZA submission document.

Today, Michele Whiting, who presented the submission on behalf of SLANZA, has been invited to appear at the hearing on the morning of Wednesday  20 June.  She will be accompanied by Fiona Mackie, our President, and they will have a 20 minute opportunity to give an overview of the content of our submission and raise any additional points.  There is an allowance of ten minutes for the Committee to ask questions.  We may also submit additional papers at this time.

We will provide further updates as information comes to hand, although it is unlikely that we will have anything to report after this session, unless the questions posed by the Select Committee are interesting in themselves.

Please contact your local NE representative if, after reading the documentation you believe there are glaring omissions in the points we have raised.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Press release - class sizes

The SLANZA National Executive has just put out a press release in response to the recent decision to increase class sizes.  Full content follows:

The Government’s policy to increase class sizes to release funds for teacher development demonstrates a lack of awareness of the needs of 21st Century learners, according to the School Library Association of New Zealand/ Aotearoa.

“Things have changed since the Minister of Education was in school”, said Fiona Mackie, President of SLANZA. “ It is well recognized that we cannot meet the diverse needs of students now and in the future with classes of 41, such as she experienced 40 years ago”.

“School librarians understand this as they are working at the cutting edge, where information technology and E-learning meets the classroom”, said Ms. Mackie. “Schools also have to meet diverse needs and these factors combined mean that teaching from the front of the classroom to large numbers of students just won’t make the grade any more”.

“The Minister is also mistaken when she relies so heavily on research that says class sizes don’t matter. While the quality of the teacher has the most impact, the work of Russell Bishop and others demonstrates that relationships between teacher and student make the most difference – particularly for Maori. It clearly easier to develop those relationships when the class sizes are smaller,” said Ms. Mackie.

“With the changes announced by the government, schools will have to make difficult staffing choices and some may unwisely decide to cut school librarians rather than lose a teacher”, said Ms. Mackie. “If this happens it undermines the goal of raising student achievement in literacy, as well staffed school libraries have a pivotal role to play in this. The National Standards emphasise the need to teach literacy across the curriculum, including information and digital literacy, where experienced librarians are the experts”.

“The government needs to rethink its policy”, said Ms. Mackie.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Submission to Inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy

SLANZA has made a submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee "Inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy". You can find the Terms of Reference for the inquiry online here, and SLANZA's submission is available here (pdf). We have asked to appear before the committee to speak to this submission, and will keep you informed of progress.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Radio Interview with SLANZA President

In an interview recorded by Radio Rhema on Wednesday, SLANZA President Fiona Mackie spoke passionately about libraries, both in our schools and in our communities.

Entitled, School Libraries a waste? the thrust of this interview relates to the fact that across the ditch in Australia, the government has spent 4 billion dollars building new school libraries across the country and that this now appears to be going to waste. According to reports, many Australian schools are now saying they're phasing out their entire catalogue of books and all their shelving because pupils are researching on line and reading e-books instead. (For more on the Australian school library situation, visit The Hub.)

Fiona was asked to share her persective, which she did very succinctly, from how librarians are in the best position to help students navigate their way through the research mire to how e-books aren't quite the same as their print versions when it comes to cuddling up with your favourite youngster for story time. To hear Fiona talk about this and more in just 5 minutes click on this link.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

SLANZA Award nominations now open

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 annual awards.

At the National Executive meeting in March it was decided that we should re-instate annual SLANZA Awards and present at every AGM rather than just at conference.  This year's AGM is in Wellington on 21 July.  Nominations are open now and close 21 June.

The Award's are listed below:

   Award of merit for information literacy
   Award of merit for literacy and enjoyment of reading
   Award of merit for promotion
   Award of merit for research
   Award of merit for library assistant
   Principal's award
   Certificate of appreciation
   Certificate of recognition

Please consider those around you who are worthy of recognition and either nominate them or encourage them to apply.

For information about eligibility criteria, and how to apply or nominate someone for an award go to .

Please note the cut off for nominations will be Thursday 21 June and the new SLANZA mailing address is:

Lily O'Donovan
SLANZA Executive Officer
c/- PO Box 27 321
Wellington 6011

Please contact me if you require any further information.

Lisa Salter

Library Manager
Ruawai College and Community Library
PO Box 7, Ruawai 0549

Phone 09 439 2216

SLANZA Te Tai Tokerau representative

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

SLANZA announces honorary life memberships

SLANZA is pleased to offer Honorary Life Membership to recognize those whose contribution to school librarianship or a closely related field is so outstanding that it is of lasting importance to the advancement of the whole  field of school library service.

Please think about those in our field who deserve to be rewarded in this way.  Applications are open now and close Thursday 21 June 2012.  The first Honorary Life Memberships will be presented at our 2012 AGM in Wellington on Saturday 21 July. 

An application form may be obtained from Lisa Salter, email  This new form of membership will be up on our website in the near future.

Honorary Life Membership is considered to be SLANZA’s highest honor.  Honorary life  membership may be conferred on a living member whose contribution to school librarianship or a  closely related field is so outstanding that it is of lasting importance to the advancement of the whole  field of school library service.  It is intended to reflect honor upon the SLANZA as well as upon the  individual.

Any SLANZA personal member (except current members of the SLANZA Executive Board) may nominate an individual for Honorary Life Membership.  The nominee will be a member of SLANZA.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further clarification.

Lisa Salter

Phone 09 439 2216

Te Tai Tokerau NE School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa

Thursday, April 12, 2012

SLANZA launches business memberships

The School Library Association New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA) is pleased to
announce the launch of Business Memberships for those businesses who would
like to enter into a productive relationship with our members.

Features and benefits to for all Business Memberships include article/s in SLANZA Collected Magazine with your logo and a live link to your website or current promotion on a banner at the bottom of the article’s page.

Our magazine Collected has a readership of over 800 with more than 10,000 unique page views per issue. Our readers are mainly from New Zealand but we also have readers in the UK, USA and Australia. Collected is developing as a leading source of information for school librarians in New
Zealand. This is your opportunity to reach those readers and inform them of an idea, trend or service that may interest them.

The article must be informational, providing reviews or commentary on new products or innovations, and will not be a paid advertisement.

The most recent issue of Collected is available to read at

We are offering four tiers of membership:

Platinum Membership - Top Shelf -
* An article in all three issues of Collected each year.
* Your logo/link live on a banner on the bottom of the article page. * Your logo/
link live on a banner on the "Join Now membership" page of our website.
* The opportunity to provide promotional material at one PD event for each
region over the year.
Annual Membership $500.00**

Gold Membership - Circulator -
* An article in three issues of Collected each year.
* Your logo/link live on a banner on the bottom of the article page. Annual
Membership fee $350.00

Silver Membership - Reserved
* An article in two issues of Collected
* Live logo/link on banner on the bottom of the article page.
Annual Membership fee $275.00

Bronze Membership - Periodical
* An article in one issue of Collected
* Live logo/link on banner on the bottom of the article page.
Annual Membership fee $150.00

Membership forms are available on the SLANZA website under “join now”

For further details, questions or suggestions please contact Lisa Salter or phone 021 116 1080.

** the first 2012 issue of Collected is nearly ready. If you do not join prior to our
first issue in 2012 you may join as Top Shelf for the adjusted price of $425.00.

Lisa Salter
Te Tai Tokerau SLANZA National Executive Representative

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Current National Library Survey


Thank you to everyone who has already done this year's National Library Profile survey. If you haven't had time to complete this years survey I am writing to beg you to do it today.

We all need good information to support our libraries and our roles in schools. To do this we need solid facts to base our goals and arguments on. Last year's survey did not get enough response to provide these vital statistics. To me that was a year lost of opportunities to see where my school fits in the realm of things. I want my reports/goals to be able to compare where I am with the rest of NZ. I want my reports/goals to have valid information to base realistic goals on and I want my reports/goals to celebrate all the things that I and my supporters (BOT, Sr Mgmt, students) are doing above average. Without a significant response to the survey from NZ school library staff, this will not happen. So PLEASE take the time to complete the survey urgently! Information below:

School Library Profile Survey 2012

Services to Schools provide support to all New Zealand schools, helping schools develop quality library services that support your students.

The annual school survey enables us to fulfill two important goals; to build a nationwide picture of NZ school libraries and to ensure we have current information about your school library. The collated information will help us shape our current and future services.
We invite the person with library management responsibility to complete this survey. It takes about 10 minutes to complete this survey. The survey will be online until 31 March 2012.

Survey link

If you have problems accessing the survey online there is a pdf version available for print at

All the best for the Easter holidays. I look forward to catching up with you all next term.

Lisa Salter - RLIANZA
Library Manager
Ruawai College and Community Library

Monday, March 19, 2012

Professional Development Survey 2012

We all know change is constant and we now live in a time of exponential change. There are few professions that have been unaffected by these changes and school librarianship is no exception. Professional development (PD) is a necessary response to these rapid changes.

Professional development enables us to maintain and improve our technical knowledge, professional skills and competencies. We have seen a number of instances in recent times where school librarian positions have been threatened. PD is an important way to support the viability of our changing roles both within our schools and publicly. It is important to keep abreast of the developments in the field of school librarianship and meet the challenges that face our profession.

SLANZA is committed to providing you with professional development opportunities to develop your potential and keep up with the rapid changes in school libraries. Since its inception, SLANZA has offered opportunities for learning through both formal and informal networking events. We would like a better understanding of your professional development needs so that we can make informed decisions as to the content and delivery methods of future professional development programmes.

Please take a few minutes to answer the questions in this anonymous survey - your responses are important to us. SLANZA looks forward to providing you with relevant and good quality opportunities that support your professional development.

Bharathi Char

Professional Development Survey

In an attempt to gather information on our members' needs regarding Professional Development, SLANZA National Executive has prepared a survey to gauge your specific needs.

To make sure you contribute to us providing the best opportunities we can, please take just a couple of minutes of your time to fill out the survey by clicking on this link

We value all feedback and will use it to guide us in our work both regionally and nationally.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Latest news from National Executive

National Executive meeting 3 March 2012

The National Executive team met this weekend, partly in Wellington as originally planned, and partly online via Skype.  Fiona suffered an injury to her foot just over a week ago, so was planning to chair the meeting from a comfortable chair at home, and Senga and I were affected by flight cancellations related to the weather 'bomb' that hit the North Island over the weekend.  So it was an interesting experiment, one that we had been talking about trialling as an alternative to some face-to-face meetings anyway.  On the face of it, as you will see from the following update, we still managed to cover a lot of ground, and we will be evaluating the experience as one way to potentially save costs.  So here goes!

We have the opportunity to bring Dr Ross Todd to New Zealand in July to deliver his one day seminar on evidence-based practice.  Fiona will be going out to the listserv for feedback tomorrow, so please respond to that message so that we can make our decision based on the feedback we receive.  It is not a cheap or simple exercise to bring seminars or experts like Todd to our shores, so we will be relying on solid feedback from members before making this decision.

The advocacy templates that are being prepared by the Advocacy team are almost ready to go up on the SLANZA website.  Letters to Principals, BOTs, and others, advocating for school libraries, are in their final draft form and will be with NE members shortly for final feedback.  They will be on the website by the end of this term.

Professional development
Conference planning is progressing nicely, the over-arching idea has been established, the underlying themes pulled out, and the venue is booked.  A wish-list of presenters and keynote speakers is waiting in the wings for follow-up.  Look for major announcements coming very soon via the website, listserv and regional communication channels.  Well done to the hard-working Wellington team.

The final draft of the professional development survey received its last tweaks this weekend, and will be embedded on the website on 19 March.  This will be widely publicised.  We encourage you to spend a few minutes completing the survey so that we can see where the gaps and needs for professional development are, and work with you to seek or provide appropriate training and resources.

Planning for the next issue of Collected is well in hand, and a final call for contributions will be issued in the second week of March.  It will be published early in Term Two, and is on the theme of content curation.

Miriam shared the progress she has made with the next stage of our website upgrade, and it is looking really good.  This upgrade will allow more people to contribute to upkeep, thereby spreading the load, and helping to protect our organisation from risk as NE members step down from the role. 

Discussions about the wiki and its place in our communications strategy have begun in earnest, and some initial decisions have been made.  Key players in the wiki scene will be approached to be involved in the work that is planned.  Expect more on this soon.

Several blog posts have been scheduled for the remainder of this term so make sure that you are subscribed so that you don't miss these updates.

The hardworking business portfolio team are nearing completion on the business membership project.  Watch for an announcement on the listserv very soon.  Discussion about life memberships is continuing, and a resolution has been made that SLANZA will be reinstating annual awards.  These will be given at conference, as has been the practice in recent years, and we will resume the practice of giving awards at the AGM in the intervening year.  Again, watch for announcements on the website, blog and listserv. 

The National Executive will meet again, probably in July, depending on decisions made about the Dr Ross Todd seminars.  If you would like more information about any of the matters mentioned here, please contact your regional representative.  Their contact details can be found on the SLANZA website.

Kind regards
Donna Watt
Communications Leader

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SLANZA Central PD day

We are very excited to bring you the details of our fantastic day of professional learning and networking, to be held on Saturday 17th of March, at Te Manawa, in Palmerston North. We have secured some wonderful speakers:
  • Donna Watt, Technical Services Manager at Invercargill City Libraries and also SLANZA’s Communications team leader
    Donna will be our keynote speaker, and will continue sharing her skills and knowledge during a workshop session later in the day. Donna’s sessions at last year’s SLANZA conference were hugely popular, really inspirational, and full of practical ideas that you can put to use right away in your library.
  • Paul du Temple from Wheelers
    Paul will be demonstrating and sharing details of their eBook platform. Don’t miss this face-to-face opportunity to keep up with what’s happening on the eBook front for school libraries in NZ.
  • Warwick Taylor, Digital Services Librarian at Palmerston North City Library
    Warwick will be presenting a “Technology Playground”, showcasing a range of electronic devices and how these can be used in the library.
In addition, we’ve included time for those attending to network and share information, to “show and tell” what’s going on in their libraries, discuss current issues, and learn from each-other, because we know how important this kind of peer support can be for school library staff.

All this, plus lunch, for only $20 (SLANZA members) or $30 for non-members. So mark the date in your diary now, you won’t want to miss it!

Included here are the schedule for the day, including information about the speakers, and a registration form:
Central Region SLANZA Day 2012 (pdf)
SLANZA Day registration form (Word document)

For catering purposes, we ask that you please complete the registration form and return your info to Joyce Richards at Nga Tawa by the 7th of March (

If you’d like any further information, please contact either Miriam or Joyce directly.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 22nd 2011

Today Christchurch, we are with you more than ever before - in our hearts, memories, thoughts and prayers. We think of those who have lost loved ones, homes, possessions, livelihoods, their way of life and peace of mind, and hope that one day the pain will lessen and ease.
We will stand with you in silence at 12.51 now and always.
Kia kaha Christchurch and arohanui to our library whanau.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A great blog post from a Principal who actively supports literacy

Hello to those of you who are back on deck.  This is going to be the year for school library advocacy, I can feel it in my bones!  Here's a great way to start your year.  Share this Principal's blog post with your Principal on the first day back.

The writer is a school principal who makes it his business to walk the talk of literacy.  He is a reader, knows it and shows it, and expects his teachers to be readers, too.  How can we expect kids to be readers and life-long learners if we don't ALL model those behaviours every day?

If literacy is identified as a priority in your school, you could use a blog post like this to get the conversation started, and perhaps ask that your Principal supports you by choosing something from this list that he or she could do. It might be that you make the approach by having an outline of the ways that you model your commitment to literacy and ask the Principal's advice on how that might be extended to staff, using the examples from the blog post.  Or you might approach it by creating your own list of suggestions, and ask that the Principal, your TLR or a literacy leader in the school works with you to explore ways to bring staff and the school community on board.

Maybe you could use this example as a template for the first of your regular contributions to the school newsletter, offering families some ideas about how they can support literacy at home.  This is the perfect time of year to explain to families that, unless their children spent time reading over the summer, they will have lost ground on their reading scores - again, the perfect start to a conversation.

Any of these methods would allow you to present yourself as a leader in your school, which is the best first step in library advocacy.  So put your shy and modest self back in the closet, and choose the new, assertive, confident and professional version instead.  L'Oreal says it best - You're worth it.  Now show the world what you have to offer.

All the best for 2012
Our year of advocacy

Donna Watt