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Best Practice Resources

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Started by John O'Regan 28 Jul 2012 8:00am () Replies (2)

I've taken on a task of researching how our library can best serve as a resource for our children in the 21st century, moving away from the traditional (and, dare I say it, undervalued) space that it currently is. How are schools stocking their libraries? What role do books, ebooks, computers e.t.c. play in school libraries of today. And probably most importantly, how are they staffed?

Share what you are doing in your school or any "best practice" that you know of...


  • Bridget Schaumann (View all users posts) 29 Jul 2012 8:03pm ()

    School libraries these days are transforming from the traditional notion of "rooms with stuff in them" to places where active learning takes place.  Using a combination of new shiny ICT resources such as iPads and computers, but also incorporating books and traditional ways of learning.  School libraries are above all concerned with learning and literacy, and when you make changes you need to keep that in mind.  Children in NZ still love books, they love to read.  They need to read to be able to use the new technologies in front of them.  You can't do an online inquiry learning project unless you have the literacy skills to understand what you are reading about.  School libraries are about supporting the programmes the school runs in inquiry learning and literacy.

    Staffing primary school libraries seems to be disappointingly patchy.  You need staff to run your library successfully, who are dedicated to providing and sourcing the best resources they can within the budget the school provides.  You should expect your school librarian to work alongside the teachers, helping the children with tech or research problems, suggesting resources to teachers, buying and reading the printed resources, providing online resources for staff, who work with a thorough knowledge of the curriculum and and who have high expectations of what and who the library is for is what you are after.  School librarians need to have professional development to enable them to upskill, they need to promote the library enthusiastically and who really connect with students.  

    To find local examples of excellence in school libraries in your area, you could contact your local representative of SLANZA the School Library Association (www.slanza.org.nz) or the National Library Schools Services.

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