Bec in the library

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges

Study visit: Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre (DC) August 6, 2014

Yet another Melbourne gem that lay hidden from my prying eyes during university and my first year of teaching!

The DC is an absolute treasure trove, full of exciting hands on learning based on and around the Museum’s main collection. My four year old and almost two year old were transfixed with all the choices on offer – animal skeletons, ancient coins, insects in amber that could be studied under the microscope and so much more!

Truthfully, so was I. The more I think about it, the more I want my own library to be very similar to the DC. I absolutely loved how interactive each of the mini exhibits were. Patrons could use all five senses to explore objects then within a handspan, they had a collection of books and a list of websites where they could find out more. All that was needed was an iPad at each exhibit so that patrons could search immediately and it would tick all the boxes for inquiry learning.

Couldn’t you just imagine pairs of kids side by side investigating an animal skull by rolling it around in their hands, using the microscope to examine it in minute detail. One of the kids would have a question so could just swipe the iPad on, head to a database (maybe PebbleGo or WorldBook Animals) and start searching for an answer using some keywords (that were helpfully posted within the exhibit). Oh, the possibilities give me goosebumps!

More about the Discovery Centre

The MVDC is run in conjunction with the Discovery Centre at the Immigration Museum.

The variety of information requests is incredible, from genealogy to random insect identification – the staff list this diversity as the highlight of their working day.

To aid in easy partnerships with other libraries such as State Library of Victoria, and to reduce cost, the DC use Voyager as their LMS.

Much of the artefacts in the DC are not catalogued in any way as they are not deemed of historical value.

The DC staff’s constant Tweeting and blogging provide additional promotion for existing patrons.

Will and Charlie examine the coin collection.

Will and Charlie examine the coin collection.

Will is mightily impressed with the old coins.

Will is mightily impressed with the old coins.

Will loved helping colour the replica Aztec calendar.

Will loved helping colour the replica Aztec calendar.

MVDC - more coins!

Will was fascinated by the 'station' where he could view the preserved insects under the microscope.

Will was fascinated by the ‘station’ where he could view the preserved insects under the microscope.

Will couldn't get enough of this artefact station.

Will couldn’t get enough of this artefact station.

This small book collection is  provided by the Museum to complement the artefact collection but is rarely used.

This small book collection is provided by the Museum to complement the artefact collection but is rarely used.

This is an example of what a typical artefact station looks like.

This is an example of what a typical artefact station looks like.

Patrons can use the internet and the MV website to find out more.

Patrons can use the internet and the MV website to find out more.

 

Study visit: Melbourne City Library July 31, 2014

Tucked away in a little laneway, the City Library personifies city living.

Tucked away in a little laneway, the City Library personifies city living.

I love the aesthetics of this returns section.

I love the aesthetics of this returns section.

OK, so not really pretty but functional and the concept  of zones is great. This photo shows the "Melbourne", "Travel" and part of the "Food and Cooking" sections.

OK, so not really pretty but functional and the concept of zones is great. This photo shows the “Melbourne”, “Travel” and part of the “Food and Cooking” sections.

One of the children's librarians from another MLS branch was responsible for setting this up as there is no dedicated Children's Librarian at the City branch.

One of the children’s librarians from another MLS branch was responsible for setting this up as there is no dedicated Children’s Librarian at the City branch.

Next to the lift that enables equal access for all is a beautiful display of new and/or popular resources.

Next to the lift that enables equal access for all is a beautiful display of new and/or popular resources.

This is such a wonderful gift to the community - a large range of leveled readers for those members of the community (special learning needs, adult literacy learners, ESOL/EAL learners etc) for whom the rest of the collection is too challenging.

This is such a wonderful gift to the community – a large range of leveled readers for those members of the community (special learning needs, adult literacy learners, ESOL/EAL learners etc) for whom the rest of the collection is too challenging.

Browsing shelves

Books just fly off these shelves! Titles that have just been returned (or that need a bit of circulation and are lost on the shelves) get put here so that they are more visible to the general public. Love this promotion of great (or just popular) literature!

Books just fly off these shelves! Titles that have just been returned (or that need a bit of circulation and are lost on the shelves) get put here so that they are more visible to the general public. Love this promotion of great (or just popular) literature!

Cool.

You only need one word to describe this place.

It’s so many things to so many people! Yes, it’s tiny, poky even. But somehow that doesn’t make the charm rub off. The City Library is crammed to the roof with all sorts of library delights, a place where people of all shapes and sizes, interests and desires congregate to share, learn, relax and study. I stood in the entrance for about 10 minutes waiting for my guide to arrive and in that brief time, I had made eye contact with so many people as they came in the doors that I lost count.

For the first time, I saw what a (partially) zoned library looks like as City Library has a “Travel”, “Melbourne” and a “Food and Cooking” zone where resources, fiction and non-fiction are housed together, shelved by Dewey. I have to say that I’m a convert, especially in a public library context. As a tight-fisted browser-only of “all things foodie” , I love that there was a very clearly defined area apart from the general non-fiction section where I could rest my bones and surround myself with deliciousness.

I’m really interested to see how an entire library is set out in zones, as the newly opened MLS branch, Library at the Dock. According to my host, each zone is completely interactive with art installations, fiction, non-fiction and even performance spaces related to the zone. Wow, what a concept!

Specialist librarians are responsible for their respective collection development and management across all branches, using preselected suppliers.

The City Library’s online collection, shared with the other MLS branches is so large that the staff dub it their “sixth library branch”.

Their social media presence is growing in response to research showing community preference for online interaction.

 

Study visit: State Library of Victoria July 30, 2014

Shamefaced, I hang my head and admit that even though I lived Melbourne for 5 years, I never once visited this gem of an institution!

I had a few snafus with this visit which lead me to collecting my information in a variety of ways – through a woman in HR who met with me for an hour, various librarians on the library floor and yet more and different librarians online who helped me find answers to my many questions using the extremely handy “Ask a Librarian” chat feature!

Wow, what a place!

It makes my heart sing to know that people of all races, colours, ethnicities and languages can visit this wonderful space and learn, study, connect, dream, inspire and relax for free.

This is not only a conventional library, servicing standard information requirements but is also a place to immerse yourself in local and national cultural events, mostly for free.

SLV’s values of collaboration and innovation are mirrored by their vast collection housing resources of almost every kind.

Roving and stationary Librarians on the floor of the SLV are able to answer questions at the direct point of need to physical visitors. The online “chat” and “ask a librarian” features are both efficient and fast ways of getting information. It’s also a useful feature for users who have English as their second language or have a disability which impairs their ability to speak or hear or even physically access the library.

It is obvious from how detailed, organised and comprehensive the SLV’s website is, as well as reading research undertaken by the library, that they understand most of their patrons are wishing to access the SLV collection online.  This is an area of continued growth for the SLV, as outlined in their 2013-16 Corporate Plan.

SLV is extremely active on social media as their market research has shown that online marketing and promotional campaigns were more effective in increasing foot- and virtual-traffic.

Doesn't it feel like you're in the middle of Matthew Reilley's "Contest"?!

Doesn’t it feel like you’re in the middle of Matthew Reilley’s “Contest”?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many of my favourite characters in this sculpture! (Grandma Poss and Hush in particular!)

So many of my favourite characters in this sculpture! (Grandma Poss and Hush in particular!)

 

The only sad thing about this sculpture is that it was kind of tucked away and I wanted it to be more centre stage.

The only sad thing about this sculpture is that it was kind of tucked away and I wanted it to be more centre stage.

 

Module 4: innovation and change April 9, 2012

Filed under: ETL504 — becinthelibrary @ 11:53 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Required reading

Fullan, M. (1999). Chapter 2: Complexity and the change process. Read for an overview of his change theory.

Reading response

Organisation as living systems

importance of relationships: a community of relationships, not just an organisation/business/school

living things are grown, not assembled; people aren’t mechanical, they don’t just “work” because you want them to or that all the parts are there

there are no cookbooks or silver bullets, every change process situation has it’s own complexities and nuances that have to be dealt with at the time using different strategies based on personalities, not a one size fits most strategy

Role of knowledge creation in innovation

knowledge creation is not the acquisition of best practices as products, it is rather the generation and learning of new ideas

successful learning communities regularly transform tacit knowledge (hunches, intuition, etc) into explicit knowledge: this requires tapping into the values, meanings, day-t0-day skills, knowledge and experiences of all members and making them available for communal problem solving

need to avoid “groupthink” where everyone goes along for the ride and forgets to critically evaluate the tacit and explicit knowledge being shared: must celebrate and embrace diversity of thought for this to happen; it does mean there will be some conflict

Required reading

Sergiovanni, T. (2000). ‘Deep change and the power of localism’.

Reading response

Geez, what a dry article!

Required reading

Hargreaves, A. & Fink, D (2003). Sustaining leadership. Phi Delta Kappan 84(9), pp. 693-700.

Reading response

Discusses the need for institutionalized change, not just implementing change – where teachers’ practice of the change is second nature.

Sustainability is not just management of change or how well change is maintained; it is how the change is shown once the glamour has worn off. In PYP schools, evidence of true inquiry would show sustainability; when all specialists and home room teachers truly teach with inquiry at the forefront, not just at appraisal or accreditation time.

Sustainable projects (or change) don’t squander or throw money at many pilot projects that leave no room or resources for anything else to happen/change.

Building long term capacity for improvement, NOT band aid solutions/change that looks great in the short term.

Improvement that: sustains learning, endures over time, supported by available or achievable resources, doesn’t impact on other surrounding school environment or systems, promotes ecological diversity and capacity throughout the school community

The idea that we have to look long term for sustainable change (Wayvern Secondary School example), not just the quick fix, keep the scores up and people happy type of change: very important but such a difficult concept to “sell”, don’t you think?

NB: the anecdotes in this reading are extremely familiar – surely I have read them in another article for this subject?

School leadership is not the sum of individual leaders, it is a system, a culture. Everyone is a leader, has the capacity to lead, therefore leadership should be encouraged in all, not just the elite few.

Leadership is vertical over time: influenced by the impact of predecessors, have implications for successors. Don’t just chuck out what was left to you and don’t expect that everything you leave behind will stay.

Required reading

Reading response
I’m constantly defending the role of the TL in schools. I know I should have pat answers by now but I don’t, especially in the face of a reality where the teachers don’t see the TL in classrooms very often as the school is too big for one TL (almost 800 kids, one TL – you do the maths.) Gibbs very rightly points out that we as TLs are only valuable when we make ourselves so by being in people’s faces, waving around our ideas and knowledge like flags. One middle school librarian once told me, “I wish the teachers would let me teach their kids, I can even do assessment for them.” I wanted desperately to say, “Well, did you go to the teachers concerned and show them your rubric/lesson ideas/etc so they could say yes without a moment’s hesitation?!” Of course I didn’t because I was just a lowly Library Tech and only at the start of my Masters so didn’t feel qualified to tell a highly experienced TL such a thing. It certainly opened my eyes to what it takes to get staff to collaborate with you as a TL as opposed to being part of a grade level teaching team.
Frankly, I’m sick of reading about high schools and universities and how poorly the faculty collaborate. I’m sure it’s still true, but as a primary teacher who has always worked in schools where collaboration is taken for granted (though it can always be improved), I’m mightily tired of hearing how teachers are all crap at working together. We need more examples of how fabulous many teachers/schools ARE at doing it right. I’d really appreciate our modules having more of these types of articles, not just the ones saying what we should do are what we aren’t doing. Most of these articles have good examples of positive situations but we need more. Perhaps I’m just searching for blueprints, hunting for confirmation that there are many outstanding teachers, schools, collaborative teams out there who can and do do what is best for kids and that it comes naturally.
I know many teachers feel like an island and that they have to do everything themselves – it happens even in the best of schools like the one I am working in now.
But it doesn’t HAVE TO and I really feel that it wouldn’t take much for this change to happen. I’ve seen, and am currently seeing, this type of change happening right now. It has taken two brave classroom teachers who were intent on involving the rest of their team and guess what, all the team freaking LOVE IT. The team is now trying to move rotational lessons and coaching forward by including subject coordinators and the curriculum coordinator in team teaching.
The TL has been involved since the beginning, not because he volunteered but because he happily accepted when asked. Sometimes all one has to do is ASK. So many lonely people not sure if their best is good enough and yet all they need is to be ASKED to share their knowledge/expertise/passion. The kids love it, so why not embrace it?
 

 
loving the learning

continuing tales of a teacher librarian

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Reflections and thoughts on ETL401.

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