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.
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 here.