Sunday, September 12, 2010

VSB READS ... and reads and reads and reads!

ON READING (was there any doubt?)

Thanks to Maryann for keeping an eye out for the stats that show just how good we are! If you read her MLST annual report, you will notice we discarded well over 100 000 dusty volumes from our various collections. BUT more significantly, we have again generated significant district circulation numbers of 1.7 million items in the 10-month school year, OR, put another way, we have the 10th highest annual volume of circulation of all libraries in the province, ahead of Coquitlam, West Vancouver, and the Thompson-Nicola Valley Regional public libraries! Imagine that. Keep 'em reading and researching with VSB resources in our school libraries, I say! Keep up the truly excellent work on the front lines of service delivery.

Dr Renee Norman, VSB Primary Literacy Consultant, and I participated in YSL 4: Reading, an international online school library conference, as hosts of a discussion on reading. We agreed: quality literature experiences and enabling adults, including teacher-librarians, are key to making reading meaningful and pleasurable for children and young adults. We have high school libraries so crowded at the breaks that crowd control measures are required ... these are the reading young people who will return to the public libraries as adults; we have elementary schools that circulate over 100 books per child per year. There's unequivocal proof that Vancouver students are readers. I was also the moderator of the session featuring Dr Stephen Krashen ... he's one of two of the world's leading experts on reading, along with Aidan Chambers, whose work I think so significantly underpins the work we do as TLs. Wasn't I happy to be asked!

We have moved into a world of e-reading possibilities. We are moving into e-texts in the district. Children who pour over computers are reading. Research shows that reading anything improves reading! And vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and so on ...

National School Library Day is Monday, October 25, this year; it is celebrated in our district with the BCTLA's Drop Everything and Read campaign, 20 minutes at 11:00 am on that day. On the Tuesday evening, parents and district teachers, trustees, and management are invited to hear a speaker ... TBA. Book these dates.

Michele sends you this youtube link: Teaching Content is Teaching Reading. Don't forget that any learning that contextually embeds learners' deep thinking with words, text, and image is developing important student literacies.

I spent Friday night at an annual Bar-B-Q dinner with the VTLA Executive. The evening took on a whole new fevered pitch of excitement when the topic of reading and great new books came up. There was keen energy to get back to putting hot new titles and fantastic new books onto the wiki. If you would like to be able to "write" in your suggestions, along with the heavy reading Jan, Mary, Gwen, and others, you can simply go to the wiki and request permission. I will activate you and send you the password. The TL Special Wiki is pbworks (as easy as a peanute butter sandwich -- pb, get it? --so it's easy enough for anyone ... WYSIWYG entry of data. We will have a chance to work on this at our Updates. See you there ... bring your favourite new titles.

Learning Commons / Refreshing Our Profile

Some amazing transformations have been happening in our school libraries. Often these re-transformed spaces seem to have emerged after a visit from Wendy usually accompanied by Linda. Wendy and Linda were the guest presenters for new TLs last week. Check out the Picasa volume that speaks and highlights volumes in new and attractive ways. Thanks are due to these amazing TLs whose spirit and mentoring has been so compelling for me and for others. Now I am wondering how you do with cubicles!

There are a number of school libraries as well facing seismic upgrades, including JQ, Douglas, General Gordon, Kitchener, U Hill, and Kitsilano. With US-based award-winning educational architectural consultants Randall Fielding and Prakash Nair on our VSB team, there are fantastic opportunities to transform more than the facility. In fact, the YSL 3: Designing School Libraries conference offered the notion that first you must tranform the teaching and learning. This year I facilitated the Kitchener Teacher Inquiry with Lisa Pedrini. Now there's a team putting the conceptual, spatial, and pedagogical together and "constructing" new ideas and ideals for what will take their students well along the continuum of learning for the 21st century. It's all a little unsettling ... in a good way, don't you think!

Have a good week, everyone.

Building our Community

The Vancouver Teacher-librarians' Association (VTLA) will have its Annual General Meeting later this month. There is a call for new faces at the meeting and on the Executive. We have had one key retirement this year, Pam, who was most important as an organizer of Winter Tonic. That's a great role for someone with new contacts and ideas.

The BCTLA Conference is in Kelowna on October 22: Kelowna Fresh. That's going to cost you $190, including your PSA membership. Some or all is reimbursed by school Pro D funding. There are to be three keynote sessions. I am finally going to get to hear Dr Jamie McKenzie. Carlene Walter (50 Ways to Love Your Library) and Donna Desroches are coming from Saskatchewan. And Dr Art Hister will be speaking too. Carpooling and room-sharing will be items on the email discussions soon.

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