SLANZA’s response to comments made on Nine to Noon 17/11/2014 by the Minister of Education, Ms Hekia Parata
In an interview yesterday, Hekia Parata discussed the Innovation in Education programme, which is about bringing teachers who achieve results in their own schools to schools who may be struggling. Ms Parata was discussing collaboration between schools and teachers when she also moved on to discuss shared facilities. She asked the question “do schools need their own Library?”, but she also questioned the need for schools to have their own gym and assembly hall. She was discussing the pooling of resources so that several schools could share one ‘state of the art’ facility. This of course seems reasonable. Schools would like to use state of the art facilities for their students, but these facilities need to be accessible to all students and members of the school community.
The School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa supports providing all students with convenient access to a school library on site, with a text rich environment that supports their research, reading and learning as well as providing access to technology and ICT resources that support the curriculum. This will enable students to gain the skills they need to transition from school into the next phase of their education or working life. School libraries are areas for growing greater learning outcomes for all school students at all levels of their schooling.
At the moment many schools - especially primary schools - do not have a library. If they have a library it is often small, understaffed or unstaffed, often being used for other things such as a spare classroom. This is very disappointing. Access to a school library is very important to all students and teachers, providing a one stop shop for information and resources but also a vital place for community interaction, solitude and where interests can be stimulated.
SLANZA would like all schools to have a library that is staffed, open and easy to access.
A school library’s collection is hand picked for the community it serves. School librarians know their students, their interests, their curriculum needs and have an understanding of the community their library serves. Access to the services the school library provides is important for every student in New Zealand. How else are we to grow the literacy and encourage the love of reading and the quest for knowledge that a school library gives students the chance to obtain? We must not forget about the 10 - 12% of students with challenges of various kinds, about the 70,000 students who start school every year. School libraries provide working spaces, quiet places for meeting these students’ individual needs, and resources to support foundation literacy and to encourage these students towards better educational outcomes.
SLANZA National Executive
Region representatives met virtually for the first time this weekend on Google Hangouts. This involved members having access to suitable technology and broadband. Most found it better than expected but some members had difficulty with their devices or internet connection causing intermittent sound or video disruption. This did not stop us from getting through the agenda while working from home. The success of this trial means in future we will replace one face to face meeting each year saving money and wear and tear on NE members.
Our discussion about communication to members was significant as this was our current communication leader Lisa Salter’s last meeting. Cathy Kennedy, member for Aoraki has volunteered to fill this position and we are confident in her ability to engage with our members.
Greig Daniels took over as editor of Collected magazine at the last meeting and his first issue will be out very soon. In a discussion around what our members get with their membership money it was decided to investigate sharing the magazine with members only in the first instance, with public access after a period of time. More news about this idea will be sent to members once investigated fully.
The NE is pleased with our progress in developing external partnerships with other library focus organisations. For the first time ever SLANZA members have been offered LIANZA member rates to their 2014 conference in Auckland. At this stage staff from 20 school libraries have registered to attend. We are currently working on updating our Memorandum of Understanding with LIANZA and we have been offered space at their conference stand. We are working with the Association of Public Library Managers (APLM), currently focused on a Summer Reading initiative. We have accepted an invitation to join APLM in a national Digital Literacy working party.
Karen Clarke presented a financial report and to date we are working to budget. While we have goals of raising membership to increase funds, most regions report that it is difficult to get information about library staffing in schools. There is also a general feeling that there are less school library staff overall as schools are changing the way they staff their libraries, particularly in the primary sector.
SLANZA is committed to repeating our successful reading survey this year and hope to gather and present the information earlier in Term 4 this year. It will be good to see this year’s lists of most popular books, authors and series in New Zealand schools. It may feed into your buying plan for next year or make it in your school newsletter as advice for Christmas gift purchases.
Cathy Kennedy reported that the 2015 conference committee is well into the planning of next September’s event. The committee had a brain storming session to balance the different types of speakers and workshops, so that there is something for everyone, at every level of library staff. We are all looking forward to another successful SLANZA conference.
The virtual meeting was a success and feedback will give us the opportunity to improve on the concept over time. I for one really enjoyed it, it saved me a weekend away from home, the stress of travel and while I was engaged in the meeting I also got my ironing done.
Communications Leader (outgoing)
About 12 years ago I worked in a rural high school. I was the librarian, with few clues about what I was doing, except that I rekindled my love for young adult books and I desperately wanted to share those books with anybody who would stand still long enough for me to issue one to them. We had a fantastic reading programme and I was luckily included in any discussions about reading and literacy in the school. In quiet times - there weren’t many - I spent my time looking on the internet for great ideas to use in my library and learning about research processes and learning to be useful to teachers. By accident one day I found the Listserv and then once I was installed on there I found out about SLANZA, which was in its very early days, and joined. School librarians, banding together for strength, trying to make good things happen for their colleagues - my kind of organisation!
Fast forward. It is 2004, I work in a different school in a city now and I have put my hand up to be the representative on the National Executive for our region. A bit scary! But also really interesting, challenging and oh my the people I met! And a new view of the organisation I belonged to, a view which showed frustrations and annoyances, but also so much fabulous work going on by reps from all over the country, work which just goes on, sometimes invisible to those off exec but always valuable and always working towards improving things for the members. And then, someone nominated me for an award. My school sat up and paid attention, the boss made a huge fuss, presented me with the certificate in front of the whole school and told everyone that they were the luckiest school in the country because they had me. Wow! A SLANZA award changed my reputation in the school, the perception of staff, and made the students think I was a little more awesome too. SLANZA award nominations are open now - they are one of the best things SLANZA does for it’s members. Recognising those who make a difference in their schools. Nominate someone who makes a difference to his or her school through the work they do in the library.
Now it is 2014, SLANZA membership is up for renewal again. There has been no rise in the cost of membership for 12 years. We work hard to keep this cost down by having a fantastic Major Sponsor in Book Protection Products, by having great Business Members who finance our Collected magazine. We work hard to keep the costs of the National Executive members down to a minimum and we always have done that. So sometimes, even though membership is only $50, people say to me, “Well what do I get for my membership?” This is what you get:
SLANZA awards - see above. And also Life Memberships for those who have contributed so much to SLANZA over the years.
Regular meetings with people who do what you do, who work at a similar coal face every day and who have the same kinds of problems as you. The chance to have a group of friends who work in your field, who can give you advice and who get together regularly for a catchup and a vent. You can’t get this online from any website, you can only get this by developing relationships, and for me that is the main purpose of SLANZA, relationship builder for school librarians across the country.
The Online PD - our third cohort is in their second week of the course. This kind of professional development is valuable because it is self paced, easy to fit into your day, has been developed for you by school librarians just like you, and is full of things we know you can use in your regular working day.
Collected magazine - smart, professional and full of great stuff that you really want to read. Lead articles by people at the top of their game in the school library world. Information you can use straight away and ideas straight from the school library world locally and internationally, and you get this three times a year!
Conference. Every second year you get the opportunity to hear luminaries from the international school library world, to go to workshops with fantastic practitioners, to attend a huge variety of events and opportunities and to network with school librarians from across the country. A SLANZA conference is an event of significance because of the fantastic PD you receive but also because of the connections you build. And it is very reasonably priced with great accommodation also reasonably priced to go with it.
Local Professional Development. The regional committees organise regular PD for you: sometimes a small event, sometimes something much larger. Visiting speakers, authors, workshops, information sessions and so much more. Usually free and always valuable. We are working hard to raise the levels of our profession through education and connection, and it’s working! Look how far we’ve come! Look at the amazing skills out in the school library community. In large part SLANZA has inspired that!
SLANZA study grants. This is a chance to study, to upskill professionally and to have the majority of the cost of a paper paid for. A long time ago I decided to do a paper, full of trepidation, and realised a) I could do it and b) passing was empowering!
Connections. Connections with other organisations, outside agencies who have goals which are similarly aligned to our own.
Most importantly for me: SLANZA gives me a community. Like minded souls. A feeling that every time a group of SLANZA members gets together, that we work for a common purpose, have common goals and are in this school library business for all the right reasons. I love my SLANZA friends, they come from small schools and large, they might even work in places which aren’t school libraries but which support school libraries. They are passionate, fun, and full of great ideas I can take away and use, adapt and make something else out of. It is a cool group to be part of. We do a great job of growing new leaders, encouraging people to step up and get involved and at local and national level it is wonderful that people are comfortable to do that in this community. Thanks so much to those people.
SLANZA has filled my days, evenings and life for a long time now. I work hard for this organisation because I believe it is valuable. Like all volunteer organisations it can take it out of you. It is the work I go to after work. But it is the work I like doing because for all of you reading this, who are passionate about school libraries, the work I do is for you.
Join The School Library Association of New Zealand, your school can afford that $50. Feel the passion, get better at your work and find a community! You don’t have to go to meetings to get heaps out of SLANZA, you just need to participate. Say yes to the opportunities we offer and get more awesome! A list of local reps are here; phone one up and ask any questions you have. Non members are welcome to come along to a meeting and give us a try, you would be very welcome, we know you’ll like us and that you’ll want to join in our community.
Awards Recipients 2013
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.
These are the recipients of the 2013 awards:
Award of merit for literacy and enjoyment of reading
Trina Yuretich, Teacher with Library Responsibilty, Ahipara School
Nominated by Jeannie Skinner and Jennifer Puckey
Trina has demonstrated excellence across several areas of school library development. She has transformed the library environment with vibrant displays, and developed the library as a hub for reading, enabling a reading culture to develop throughout the school. The summer reading programme she organised over the summer holidays has significantly reduced student summer learning loss. Trina takes advantage of all the professional development opportunities available to her, as well as organising such literary events as Storylines and Kids Lit Quiz for her students to attend during the year.
Pam Garry, Library Manager, John McGlashen College
Nominated by Carole Gardiner and Bridget Schaumann
Pam is forward thinking and solution focussed in the education world. She is always trying new things and working to improve existing things. Pam runs a range of stimulating and exciting reading programmes throughout the school such as a peer reading programme; Go McGlashan Read, and Chockywockydoodah. She is an adjudicator for the speech competition, and organises the SHRIMP holiday reading packs to ensure minimal loss of student learning through summer school holidays. Pam is an excellent colleague who keep in close contact with all departments, especially English, and creates exciting visual displays for the library. Her contributions to the reading and learning of the students are wise, well-considered and always practical.
Glenys Bichan, Librarian, Cambridge High School
Nominated by Linda McCullough and Vicki Stephens
Under Glenys’s guidance the use of the library has increased greatly. This is the result of well-run book promotions, the creation of a welcoming environment within the library and timely promotions of current events to capture student interest. She has embraced digital technology by developing a number of digital resources, and moved the school into the area of ebooks, providing students with access to these resources from home. Glenys is always responsive to the changing learning needs of her students.
Kimberley Atkinson, Librarian, Robertson Road School, Mangere, Auckland
References: Ravi Naidoo and John Nicholls
Kimberley works in a decile one, full primary school with 500 students and a 90% Pasifika student roll. Some examples of the innovative programmes she has initiated are the creating of Māori and Pacific collections, introducing graphic novels, a parenting library, which matches well with the Home School programme run throughout the school community, series boxes for fiction and the presentation of all fiction in face-out position. Kimberley has had great success with her funding applications to several organisations and has used the money wisely to increase the number of reading resources in the library. Her school is now a part of the Authors in Schools programme with recent visits from Kyle Mewburn, Tracey Duncan and Paula Green. Kimberley has proven herself to be a passionate advocate for her school library, with the reading and literacy interest of her students always at the heart of her work.
Award of merit for promotion
Tracy Westall, Librarian, Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland
Nominated by Elizabeth Atkinson and Chris Arthur
Tracy is acknowledged for the energy and passion she brings to her work, ensuring that her library is a vibrant and exciting place for readers to discover and enjoy a range of books and resources. Tracy has been extremely successful in promoting and encouraging use of the library, in ways that are centred on students, and foster a sense of ownership and belonging for them.
Michelle Simms, Librarian, Te Totara Primary School, Hamilton
Nominated by Jude Cosson and Linday McCullough
Michelle is acknowledged for her innovative and proactive promotion of her library to members of her school community. Michelle’s sharing of new ideas and information reaches beyond her school into the wider school library and education communities; she is a role model for the ways technology can be used to enhance library services and develop community connections.
Award of merit for Library Manager
Clare Giesbers, Library Manager, Northland College, Kaikohe
Nominated by Jeannie Skinner and Jennifer Puckey
Clare is acknowledged for her unflagging commitment and enthusiasm, despite difficult circumstances, to the development of her library as a relevant and engaging environment that is positive, welcoming and inclusive for all students and staff at her school.
Award of merit for Information Literacy
Clare Forrest, Library Manager, Raroa Normal Intermediate, Wellington
Nominated by Jason Ataera and Janet Hart
Clare is acknowledged as a valuable member of her staff who has successfully developed and implemented an effective approach to improving students’ literacy, and has been able to share these approaches with the wider library/school community.
Sandy Hastings, Beckenham Primary School, Christchurch
Nominated by Glenda Fortune and Paula Eskett
Sandy is recognised for providing inspiration and actively demonstrates how highly valued the library and it’s services are in the school community.
Patrick Drumm, Aorere College, Auckland
Nominated by Anne Rolinson, supported by Bharathi Char and Kaaren Hirst
Patrick is acknowledged for his sustained support of the library team and consistently promoting the importance of the library to the school and the wider community.
Lee Whitelaw, Ohaeawai School, Kaikohe
Nominated by Jeannie Skinner and Jennifer Puckey
Lee is recognised for placing the library at the heart of literacy and learning at Ohaeawai School creating enthusiastic, fluent, engaged readers and writers. Lee sees the library as integral to achieving that goal.
Philip McCreery, Cambridge High School, Cambridge
Nominated by Glenys Bichan and Richard Carter
Philip has supported the creation of the library as the hub of learning in the school allowing it to consistently demonstrate innovation; fostering high morale among staff and promoting community use of the library.
Certificates of Appreciation Awarded to retiring regional chairs and National
Kaaren Hirst - retiring Auckland regional chair
Bridget Schaumann - retiring Otago regional chair
Donna Watt - retiring Southland regional chair
Bharathi Char - retiring National Executive Representative, Auckland region
Di Eastwood - retiring Te Tai Tokerau chair
Michele Ayres - retiring National Executive Representative, Aoraki region
Jude Cosson - retiring National Executive Representative, Waikato / Bay of Plenty region
Donna Watt - retiring National Executive Representative, Southland region
Paula Eskett - retiring National Executive Representative, Aoraki region
Michele Whiting - retiring National Executive Representative, Wellington region
Certificate of Appreciation awarded to Past President
Certificates of Appreciation awarded to members of the 2013 conference committee
Michele Whiting - Corinna School
Karen Clarke - St Patrick's College, Kilbirnie
Katrina Young-Drew - National Library of New Zealand, Services to Schools
Clare Forrest - Raroa Normal Intermediate School
Robbie Wathne - Rongotai College Christine Cross - Worser Bay School
Joanna Ludbrook - Houghton Valley School Anne Keenan - Sacred Heart College, Lower Hutt
Judith McGhie - Hutt City Libraries
Marianne Dobie - Chilton Saint James School
Jane Shallcrass - Wellington High School Rosalba Finnerty - Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Archives
Jenny Carroll - Wellington Girls' College Susan Arthur - Mana Education Centre
Angela Ryan - Mana Education Centre
We were promised 'Winds of Change' at the SLANZA 2013 conference in Wellington. What we hadn't bargained for was 'high winds close airport on Sunday"! Some of us were at airports around the country on Sunday rescheduling our flights and taking refuge with local 'flockmates' to ride out the storm.
Fortunately the storm did not dampen the spirits of those who arrived in time for the "meet and greet" at the conference venue. The conversation, food and wine flowed freely into the evening as members caught up with old friends and made new ones before setting off to enjoy the well known eateries of Wellington.
Monday morning started with Professor Tara Brabazon "Learning to Leisure? Why Google is not a library and Facebook is not a classroom" enlightening delegates with her thoughts on digital medium’s place in education and the blurred line between generational understanding and use.
Workshops followed each keynote throughout the conference with delegates following their own interests and passions to a variety of high quality opportunities for insight and engagement.
Professor Erica McWilliams’ keynote followed lunch on Monday "Library Pedagogy in the Era of Big Data'. Although delegates had just enjoyed the high standard of fabulous food which the caterers consistently provided throughout the conference, nobody suffered from 'after lunch fade out’ due to Erica’s fascinating and engaging advice on assisting our users with information management in learning.
Monday evening after cocktails and Awards (see website page for full list) many delegates chose to join flockmates of similar school types ie; boys schools, primary schools etc. This initiative was suggested on Listserv and captured the attention of many participants who enjoyed sharing with those in similar situations.
Tuesday started with a keynote from Dr Cathy Wylie, a Chief Researcher at the NZ Council for Educational Research, ‘How reading matters in Children’s development’. She drew together findings from her own research and other comparative projects to give the audience a broad yet clear understanding of how literacy, home life and school experience effect children’s ability to learn and be productive.
Keynote Andrew Fiu, author of Purple Heart a story of his teenage years spent in hospital, spoke of his own learning journey and how his elderly hospital mates inspired him to open his mind to education by sharing their newspapers and life experience with him.
On the social side, the author breakfasts at the Iconic Backbenchers bar were well attended. Tuesday evening gave us an opportunity for a private viewing of the Andy Warhol exhibit followed by dinner and dancing in the stunning Te Marae on the top floor of Te Papa Museum.
Wednesday started with Dr Susan Sandretto’s “(Re)considering information literacy through a critical literacy lens’ as the final keynote of the conference. She shared an overview of the rapidly evolving multi-literacy landscape and where information literacy practices might go next. Her practical handouts gave participants a starting point for their own info lit approach.
The author panel with Kim Hill, Bernard Beckett, Glenn Colquhoun and Kate de Goldi was a highlight for many and a great way to finish the conference. Their open discussion was interesting and enlightening. Delegates were invited to join in the conversation, this lead to some humorous moments with good advice and ideas from all involved.
All our thanks go to the conference committee and their dedication to providing a positive learning experience for all who took their offer to examine ‘The Winds of Change’ in our industry and our lives.
Lisa Salter - SLANZA Communications Leader
Community Learning Librarian
Christchurch City Libraries
Thanks to the generous support of New Zealand Post a Freepost address has been set up to enable schools from around the country to support Beckenham School by donating library books. You will remember that the Library was destroyed in a fire earlier this year.
If you or your school wishes to donate books, send them to the address below and New Zealand Post will deliver them free of charge:
Freepost Books For Beckenham
Private Bag 55044
New Zealand Post's kind offer applies for packages of books weighing 10kg or less,which must be sent on or before 1st April 2013.
Please only use this free special offer to send books which are either new or in very good condition. Simply wrap the books, add the address and drop the package in at your nearest PostShop or PostCentre - with no postage required..
Our thanks also go to Christchurch MP Ruth Dyson, who set the ball rolling by making the initial approach to New Zealand Post.
SLANZA wishes to join with the school library community in expressing sympathy and dismay at the loss of the library at Beckenham School in Christchurch to a fire.
It has been wonderful to see the support that other school librarians are offering to the school and the community spirit is heartening. We hope that the school can rebuild the library and any other facilities which were damaged and enable the students access to the resources, books and research materials that quality school libraries such as the one which was lost offer to students.
It would be great to follow Gerri Judkins's suggestion of donating to the school at an appropriate time. If that is what the school would like, perhaps someone in Christchurch could be a liaison person for a collection.
''My biggest concern is we've now lost two buildings that may be deemed by the Ministry of Education not to be a priority because they aren't classrooms. A library is vital to children's learning, as are other learning spaces. We'll wait and see.'' said Principal Sandy Hastings.
For further details see:
The School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa comments on NZ Herald article Why children are failing at writing.
The article Why children are failing at writing in the Monday 24 September edition of the New Zealand Herald points to the relation between reading and achievement levels of New Zealand students. It highlights the importance of free access to books, thus highlighting the school library’s significance to students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Studies show that children who have better reading experiences become successful lifelong learners. School library staff have a critical role to play. Their expertise in providing engaging reading material and targeted resources are vital to the challenges of falling achievement levels. Those schools in NZ whose libraries are not adequately staffed become the additional responsibility of a busy teacher or are run by untrained volunteers.
Students who are able to process text in a meaningful way consistently have better school results than those for whom reading is challenging. School librarians at all levels of education are dedicated to sharing the love of reading, working with teaching staff to help children acquire the skills to learn to read, and fostering an interest in reading which can be a lifelong pleasure.
A school librarian also supports inquiry learning. The digital future our students face require new and ever growing list of skills including searching the internet, referencing sources, curating information and using social networking safely. These are skills that school librarians support students in using effectively.
A well-resourced school library that is staffed with a qualified, passionate librarian or teacher librarian becomes the learning centre of a school. This is the place where all students can find what they need to develop as confident and capable readers and users of information. A dedicated team working in a school library makes a significant difference to the overall achievement of a school.
For further information contact:
Communication Leader SLANZA
I'm 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
We will be tweeting during each day using #EBPNZ, so search for that exact tag to find out more too.
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:
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.