Saturday, May 9, 2009

Big Things Happening ...

In the news this week --

Budget Finalized --
Cuts Mostly Away from Schools and Classrooms
Learning Services Loses
Consultants, Release Time, and Supplies
Computer Talks Under Way in Schools
Databases to be Axed

What more? We TLs who held hard to the gunwales began to breathe a little easier. Thanks are due to hard-working parents and visionary Trustees, as well as administrators, union leaders, and Management in retaining what we in school libraries know to be an important piece in learning for 21st Century students. Early reports are that school libraries are valued and staffing has been sustained here. There are echoes heard from other school districts that this has not been the case for them.

Then --


Whenever I run into our Superintendent, not often but usually in the elevator, I ask, as of a captain, if everything is under control. I am always reassured that, indeed this is the case, yes, the mother-ship is moving forward in capable hands. All systems ahead, The Navigation Team is steering the course straight and true.

I have liked being able to use the analogy of seamanship and navigation, these fitting The Man. I have felt, guided as we have been by a reader of charts and books and maps for education, that from the beginning this voyage would be safe and interesting and planned with the skill of a seaman, yet still offer a sense of adventure in plying the familiar waters. It has suited me better than sports analogies.

I am hopeful our next Navigator will have as great a capacity to read an audience, a context, and a book and to pull the pieces together in ways that make us keen to row together on the journey through the educational seas, sometimes choppy, sometimes calm, but inevitably always a source of inspiration.

On Inquiry, Updates, and Events

From The Critical Thinking Consortium, a book launch of Cyber-bullying by Dr Shaheen Shariff, May 19, 5:30 to 9:00 pm, Vancouver Sun Reading Room:

  • We have one more TL Inquiry session and an Inquiry Showcase Event on June 3 here in Room 400 after school. Filming, animoto-ing, writing, mentoring ... all kinds of things are under way. Here's our Inquiry Wiki, should you want to keep up with us as we seek answers to how to identify and share best practices in the field and in the district.
  • May Updates "The Final Chapter" are also under way. Lovely setting at Kingsford-Smith, Ms Kelly convening. Thanks to the First 9 TLs who came to this season's trial-run. There was interest in the emerging Infolit Benchmarks Project (very much in draft stages).

  • Thanks to Kam and Gwen for the Q&A Tea for New TLs at Fleming this last week as well.
  • VTLA Dinner -- save Monday, June 8, on your calendar. Check for the flyer.
  • New look for BCTLA Online
  • Summer Institutes of interest at UBC: EPLT is offering

    Interactive White Boards (August 13-17 at Livingstone) -- This is both a Summer Institute (July 13 & 14) & 3-credit course (July 13 - 17) for both beginning and advanced users of Smartboards. Teachers will work on developing literacies, lessons, and learning strategies that can be used in the first weeks of school.

    Digital Literacy -- The Use and Benefits of Social Media in the Classroom (July 20-24, 2009; 10:00 am - 3:00 pm; UBC Campus Ponderosa F103) -- 4 day-long workshops to learn how and when to use collaborative tools for writing, discussion, and research.
  • Courses for Teacher-librarianship >>> check out the programs and options >>> and more on Coquitlam's SD43 TL Courses which has "public" face so we can all access it. Thanks, Heather.
  • See also the new TLSpecial Wiki page, Conferences Near and Far, for information on international and local professional development opportunities, including details of the Fall BCTLA Conference in Richmond, Olympically themed "Champions of Literacy" with its opening reception to be held with mascots at The Oval.


If you are considering the Italian Grand Tour in conjunction with the 38th Annual IASL Conference for School Libraries around the world to be held in Padua in the late part of the summer:

Here is some updated information on the IASL Workshop Day, Monday, August 31, to be held in Padua , as per attachment of conference package options, sent earlier in the week:

  • Dr Carol Kuhlthau and Dr Ross Todd from Rutgers are offering a day-long session (2 workshops) entitled Guided Inquiry. As an IASL member, I will pay $100 CDN (instead of the non-member $185 for the day), that price to include lunch, coffee breaks, materials and certificate of attendance. The Workshops are limited to 50 registrants. I'm keen on framing my Italian certificate.
  • We here in Canada are IASL Zone A (developed countries) and membership dues enable IASL to promote and support school libraries in developing countries. If you personally join, membership is $60 CDN. Your Association or District can join as well, and name three people who can have the privileges of membership, for $115 CDN. To join, check here.

For your information as well, the 75th Annual IFLA Conference is being held August 23-27 in Milan, Italy! That's too much for me but some hardier souls might like to take this in as well. World Library and Information Congress: 75th IFLA General Conference and Assembly "Libraries create futures: Building on cultural heritage" / 23-27 August 2009 / Milan, Italy.

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