Bec in the library

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

Academia, Bec. Not friends. October 13, 2014

Filed under: ETL507 portfolio — becinthelibrary @ 9:53 pm
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As is my usual MO, I have left my ETL507 portfolio to the last minute. No excuses, just let life get in the way, let other things be my priority because frankly, they were more interesting.

Everything about academic writing does my head in completely. I am not good at critical thinking and suck at evaluation. Add this to the fact that my degree is by distance and this subject in particular is highly personalised and not at all interactive, well, this interpersonal learner is falling apart.

I’ve spent the last two days thinking of almost nothing else but what I will include in my portfolio – what has really truly made sense to me? If I pull away the veil of academia and the double speak I feel almost all readings are written in, what has touched me at the core, stopped me in my tracks with a ginormous lightbulb appearing above my head shouting, “YES!”?

Almost every. single. time. the answer has been: any time I have actually been in a library TALKING TO SOMEONE and putting what I learnt immediately into practice.

This is not unusual, people. I learnt this lesson the first time around at university when I did moderately well at the academic subjects but received 7/7 on every single teaching prac in each of the four years.

REAL LIFE! I got to step away from academia (bane of my life) and talk to REAL PEOPLE in REAL LIFE and that’s where I shine. Where my talents, skills and attitude are respected, valued and obvious. Where my word choice is backed up by positive body language. 

So, University Lectuerer, how about instead of these 3000 words I need to write, how about we just sit down and have a chat over coffee about what a sensational librarian I will make? About how I thrive off finding and using my PLN to help guide me in my lifelong learning? About how I’m OK with not knowing something and that I will find a real life person to help me solve the problems that will come my way as I move forward into my career?

Oh, no, that’s not how universities work?! SURPRISE!

OK, so I will play the game. Here is my middle ground:

So to me, it makes sense for my portfolio to be reflective of this hunger for real life connection as much possible. I want and need to find a way for this portfolio to be something that is ME and not some dry piece of academia that no one (including me) will ever use or see again. I know it won’t be the polished piece of writing that other students will produce but hopefully people will look at it and feel like they know ME, that they can hear my real voice and passion.

Wish me luck.

——-

Edit – October 14th

I think it is pertinent to mention that I totally understand the need for concise, analytical, evaluative writing. It enables people to clearly understand the worth of a concept, idea, opinion or request. I also completely embrace the fact that being able to write in this manner effectively would help me greatly in my career. However, it doesn’t mean I have to like it or that I can’t complain about having to do it.

Thank goodness there are so many wonderful academic writers and lecturers out there providing outstanding content for learners such as myself.

 

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.

 

Getting my feet wet January 21, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — becinthelibrary @ 2:49 pm
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Post 2 – Making my mark

(Post 1 – school overview)

During my time in the school – acting as a substitiue teacher for both the lower elementary TL and the upper elementary TL (yes, they have TWO FULL TIME teacher librarians!!) – I  participated in the following teaching and learning opportunities:

  • teaching every grade from EC3 through Grade 5 (EC3, 4 & K were simply reading and helping to navigate the library itself; G1-2 were fractured fairytales; G3 was non-fiction text features (table of contents and index), G4 was fractured fairytales ; G5 was trickster tales).
  • sitting in on a school wide department meeting.
  • reshelving books, AV, teacher resources
  • circulation for students and teachers
  • creation of teacher resource pack on the use of Bonnie Campbell Hill’s reading continuum
  • weeding a part of the non-fiction collection (right from taking from the shelves to deleting from the catalogue to boxing them up for shipping to the Philipines)
  • placing an order for next year’s books on Follett’s online ordering website
  • creating and then pulling titles for resource lists (winter festivals, Chinese New Year)
 

A dream come true!

Filed under: Teaching — becinthelibrary @ 9:06 am
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(Post 2 – What I actually did) – link to more info about this school

This post describes a school in which i regularly provide substitute cover for the two TLs.

The school is a prestigious, vibrant, well established EC3 – Grade 12 international school in a major city in China. It has a population of just under 2000 students.

Major selling points (in general):

  • A modern  50,000 square meter school building, situated at the center of a 133,500 square meter  (32-acre) campus
  • 2 purpose-built sports domes, sitting side-by-side on an area of over 8,500 square meters
  • 4 fully-equipped gymnasiums (one with a climbing wall); baseball and softball diamonds; two full-sized turf soccer practice fields, and an aquatics center with a 25-meter pool with diving boards
  • Hospital grade filtration system filtering indoor air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • State-of-the-art, dedicated science labs in Elementary, Middle and High School
  • Dedicated visual arts wings in Middle School and High School; dedicated art studios in Elementary Performing arts wing with 600-seat theater, black box theater, rehearsal space, and studio stage
  • A 10,000 sq. meter outdoor learning environment for elementary school students

Library Media specific:

  • TWO full time teacher librarians to serve almost 800 students from EC3 – Grade 5
  • One TL teaches EC3 – G2, the other G3-5
  • 2 library-media centers with more than 80,000 volumes
  • One-to-one laptop program throughout the school
  • over 82,000 items in our collection
  • circulation sits at over 100,000 titles per year
  • subscription to over 160 magazines.
  • subscription to over 25 online research databases
  • interlibrary loan agreement with the National Library of China
  • family checkout of 10 titles (due to lack of availability of English language texts, this library serves as a public library to the school community)
  • access to firewalled sites (school streams connection through HK so parents are able to access YouTube, Facebook, personal blogs etc)
  • a group of 20 volunteers that cycle through the week – reshelving, repairing books
  • one full time library technician who works primarily in the Teacher Resource Centre (24,000 titles including guided reading texts, big books and professional reading)
  • one full time and two part time library assistants who predominately run circulation and collection organisation

Here are some images of aspects of this library I fell in love with:

IMG_2687

A fabulous display promoting the Panda book awards.

Come chill on the couches, read a magazine or a fun reference book!

Come chill on the couches, read a magazine or a fun reference book!

photo 4

Who do you see in the mirror? A READER!

photo 1

Want kids to pick up books and read? Face those babies OUTWARD!

photo 2

After reading one of the Panda books, kids can place a star underneath the title. Each star earns house points.

photo 3

American author and performer, Eric Litwin, was a visiting author for this school. The very talented EC3 teacher whipped up these fabulous full size models as promotional materials. Eric loved them!

 

 
loving the learning

continuing tales of a teacher librarian

PE to TL - The Journey Begins!

Reflections and thoughts on ETL401.

ETL507 PROFESSIONAL REFLECTIVE PORTFOLIO

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