Saturday, 3 October 2015

Intro to Power Walking: A Review of Day Two, SLANZA 2015 Conference

Day two of the SLANZA 2015 conference starts with me getting up so early that I end up being late.  You know how that happens?  You have so much time that you do some other things that don't really need to be done and the next thing you know you're power walking along Papanui Road trying to get to St Andrew's College on time!  I had arranged to meet with one of the conference team who would be in the room I was presenting in, so I could set up and be confident that the technology was working.  I see her as I arrive and she explains that the lights aren't working in the Science Block so I can't set up anyway.

Here's a summary of the rest of my day:
  • Before the first keynote Cathy, our wonderful conference spokesperson, gives a great promotion of Twitter and #libchatnz.  Yay for Cathy!  She suggests a Twitter training session over the second half of lunch that she, Clare (one of my fellow #libchatnz moderators) and I can facilitate.
  • The first keynote is "Modern Maori Learning" with Janelle Riki.
    • Janelle encourages us to think about whether Maori children who come into our libraries and hear, see and feel that we value their culture.
    • She says we are moving from learn-assess to learn-create-share.
    • She talks about encouraging the "c" words - creative, confident, capable, collaborative, connected, competitive, culturally responsive.
    • She says relationships with students are important.  We need to know them so we can figure out what they're good at, celebrate it and leverage off it.
    • She says the library should be a place for everyone to come home to.
  • The next workshop is mine - "Raising the profile of your library by having fun".
    • The technology works!
    • I promise to share my slides, so they are embedded below.
    • I get great feedback from the participants. One does the wrapped up library books idea around Christmas, but uses them like an advent calendar and unwraps one every day.  Another talks about how you can get dogs for your students to read to in the library and a librarian from Australia actually has an exercise bike in her library (she says she was sick of using her one to hang her clothes on!)

  • Workshop 5 is "Libraries in Aotearoa" with Joanna Matthew.  
    • Joanna is the Executive Director of LIANZA and she goes over the new branding of libraries in New Zealand.
    • Libraries Aotearoa represents ALL libraries in New Zealand.
    • They want to ensure libraries and librarians have a relevant place in the future of NZ society.  They want to shift attitudes, to make sure our communities understand the changing roles of libraries.
    • Joanna describes the values of Libraries Aotearoa, which are set out on their website.
    • At the LIANZA conference in November they will be launching Community Engagement packs which will help libraries advocate and spread our message to our communities.
  • During lunch we see some librarians interested in Twitter. Cathy shows several people how to use TweetDeck to watch a Twitter chat and Clare and I show some others the basics of Twitter.  We run out of time all too quickly, I think it might be worth running some hands-on PD about this in our regions.  It is heartening to see people showing interest.
  • My next workshop is with Anne Williams, the Teacher Librarian at Ashburton College - "Promoting reading at Ashcoll".
    • Anne is using those plastic clip-on name tags as a way to attach a book recommendation to the book.  She also shows book trailers and does book talks.
    • They have set up groups with the older students (reading mentors) reading to juniors.  The juniors all follow along with the same book.
    • When students have permission to come to the library they bring a flyswatter with their teacher's initials on it!
    • Anne runs a competition where teachers take a photo of themselves reading something they like to read and doing something they like to do, with their faces covered, and students have to guess who it is.
    • To split us into groups Anne hands us random pictures of characters from stories.  We have the characters names but have to work out what story they are from and find others who have characters from the same story.  When she does it at school she has the book covers on different tables so the groups know where to sit and can see the cover of the book their characters are from.
  • The last session of the day is a Primary School Library Tour.  We visit Fendalton Open Air School and Halswell School.  
    • Fendalton Open Air School is the school my book club Skyped with a few weeks earlier, and coincidentally they have a library signpost similar to the one I have been in the process of arranging.  I brought Dave, our bookclub mascot, down with me so that I can take some photos of him at Fendalton's library.  I mentioned that in my presentation in the hope that people wouldn't think I was too weird when I starting doing it!
    • I am very impressed with their library.  It is small like mine but it has lots of interesting things in it and I get a sense that the students love to visit it.
    • Desna, the librarian, had a great relationship with her very creative caretaker.  She asks for things like signposts and trees and tridents and he builds them for her.

    • Halswell School has a library that was rebuilt after the earthquake.  It is a MLE school (Modern Learning Environment), and it is interesting to learn that they considered whether they needed a library and what the role of their librarian would be.  We get to look around their classrooms too.
  • We get dropped off back at St Andrews so by the time I power walk (again!) back to my motel it is almost time to be picked up for the conference dinner and I end up not having time to get changed.  And I did bring a dress to wear!  Then we wait for twenty minutes for the bus so I would have had time after all.  But never mind, we have a lovely dinner, great company and a very funny entertainer so it is an excellent night.

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