On behalf of the SLANZA National Executive, I'd like to welcome you to the 12th AGM for our organisation. I know your heads are full with all the ideas from today's seminar, so will keep this brief.
As an organisation representing school libraries and all who are interested in them, we are dedicated to spreading the word about what you all do, and the difference it makes to all our students. One such opportunity was the recent Inquiry into 21st Century Learning Environments, which SLANZA made a submission to on your behalf. Michele Whiting and I were invited to speak to the Select Committee, to expand on our submission, which we did in June. Our three main points were:
A well resourced library with qualified staff makes all the difference Librarians or teacher librarians know how to access, locate and use information in multiple formats, as well as being able to work with students and teachers to give them the skills to locate what they need and use it appropriately Short changing school libraries directly impacts on student learning and achievement and does not give them the skills necessary in our world of information overload
On the School-Libs list-serv, there are often messages regarding hours being reduced, roles being combined or eliminated, and threats to the existence of school libraries. We all know how valuable and essential a well resourced and staffed library is, and the effect it can have on student learning and achievement, but as Dr Ross Todd has reminded us today, school librarianship can = occupational invisibility!
The Executive had been wondering how we could start an Evidence Based Practice movement in New Zealand, so when we heard that Ross was coming to Australia, it seemed the perfect opportunity to kick start it for all. I think you'll agree with me that the seminars in Auckland and Wellington have given us a clear direction and a straight message - stop the blame game, free yourself from the habit of learned helplessness, and just do it!
Although we made every effort to make the cost affordable by subsidizing all members who attended, we knew that only a fraction of you could attend. To support everyone, Ross has generously allowed us to host his slides on our website, as well as permitting us to record the presentation for members to download in the future. The Executive are also working on a PD session for regional committees to present to members in Term 4 or early next year.
I mentioned that members would be able to download the presentation, and it gives me great delight to announce that SLANZA members will soon have access to a new website, with a password enabled section for members. We want to make it a one stop shop for all, so the wiki is going to be alongside the site. There will also be a space dedicated to sharing ideas and supporting each other as we start our Evidence Based Practice programmes and research.
I'd like to thank the brilliant Miriam Tuohy for all the work she has done, investigating options, mapping out the new site, as well as creating a beautifully clear and inviting site. Thanks too to the team working with Miriam, for all their contributions to this process.
I'd also like to pay tribute to a group of people who, under continually difficult circumstances, still provide their students and staff the best service possible - all the people working in school libraries in and around Christchurch. At the recent Otago PD weekend, I was fortunate to be able to spend time with some Christchurch members who travelled to Dunedin, and was moved to tears by their stories and the struggle many of them still face. Their dedication to their schools and students is inspiring.
And now I come to something I haven't been looking forward to doing - farewelling two long serving Executive members who have been wonderful examples of inspiration and leadership for SLANZA. Donna has been on the Exec since 2009 , has been our Communications Leader for the past 3 years and is the powerhouse behind the superb online magazine Collected. Donna is stepping down from the Executive, but will be guiding the team who work on Collected. Donna, please accept this small token of our thanks for all you have done for us. APPLAUSE
Senga has been part of the Executive since 2006 and was President from 2009-11, and has now come to the end of her time as Immediate Past President. Senga persuaded me to stand for President, and has been a role model for me coming onto the Executive. We're not losing Senga entirely as she is continuing to represent SLANZA on the EPIC Governance Group, as well as assisting with Collected. Senga, you have made a huge difference to SLANZA and I'd like you to accept this with our love and gratitude.
I'd like to officially welcome Bridget Schaumann to the Executive as President-Elect and I know that she will bring a huge amount of prior experience, as well as energy and enthusiasm for SLANZA and it's members, as President from July 2013.
Every year we award certificates of recognition to a range of people who deserve recognition for the efforts made to create readers, support student learning and achievement or the role of the library and library staff. The certificates will be awarded in person at special regional events.
I am delighted to announce the following awards have been made: Please see the previous posts on this blog for these details, and congratulations to all the recipients.
Life membership has been something that members have been requesting for some time, and it gives me great pleasure to announce our first recipients. We were really impressed with these nominations whom I am sure you will all agree are so deserving of being our first recipients.
There will be very special presentations to each recipient held by the local committees, to celebrate and thank these people for all they have done for SLANZA.
Our first life memberships have been awarded to Liz Probert, Jill Stotter, Dr Penny Moore, Judi Hancock, Elizabeth Jones, Margaret Forbes and Karen du Fresne who were the original steering committee directly responsible for the creation of SLANZA. Without these dedicated women, SLANZA would not have been born, the IASL conference would not have been held in Auckland in 2001 starting so many of us off on the path of effective school librarianship, none of our national conferences would have been held, and we would have remained a bunch of small associations that had nothing to do with each other, without a voice, without a presence. APPLAUSE
And speaking of Conference, Conference 2011 was great (even if I do say so myself!) Conference 2013 planning is well underway and will be in Wellington, July 15-17 at Wellington Girls High, so put it into your diary and budget for it now! The theme is Winds of Change, which is all about sustainability - sustaining school libraries, energizing partnerships, generating enthusiasm and empowering learners.
Thank you for joining us today. I appreciate you giving up your Saturday or even weekend to participate in professional development and our AGM. The Executive is committed to providing its members with a range of PD opportunities, and Ross's seminars are just the start. Your feedback via the recent PD survey will help us to organize PD in the future, but we always welcome your suggestions and ideas. Please continue to support your regional committee's events as they are always focussed on you!
Go well, go safely and thank you for being here today.