Saturday, April 16, 2011

BCTLA Spring Conference

It's Saturday morning and we are a group of 30 teacher-librarians representing the whole province, assembled for professional purposes, joyful at the recent announcement of the results of the BCTF's Charter Challenge that affords prospects of improvements in working and learning conditions and, in particular, the return of the stripped language that will ensure restoration of teacher-librarians in BC public schools, 1 for every 702 students.  The key tenet of our plan for the next three years, announces President Heather Daly, was accomplished in just three days since the Plan was developed.  She is clearly moved by the hopefulness and by the prospect of an end to our fiercely fought battle to ensure children had access to quality literature and digital resources, as well as instruction from a qualified teacher-librarian.

Arlene Anderson, TL, West Vancouver, our Pro D chair, is leading our group forward with social media for teacher-librarians, her direction empowered now by the recent development (Arlene working with Jeff Yasinchuk from the Kootenays) of the BC Teacher-librarians' Ning.  We are discussing how schools and TLs are working with the rapidly changing nature of our resources, including anticipation of the place and impact of e-books, e-texts, and associated devices.   As "curators of information," TLs can explore replacing textbooks with multiple sources of information available in print and online, including subscription resources.

Discussion has ended.  Now we are frantically searching the ning -- gotta go -- I'm losing ground!  Working collaboratively with Suzanne (Maple Ridge district librarian) and Gwen (Vancouver), we raced through the ning-search and trounced first over the finish line, then went back to "sabotage" the others by creating groups and signing up new numbers.  It's not about correct answers but about getting to understand how the ning works.  Very very cool, and tons of potential for provincial TLs and professional growth.

Next is the envisioning process:  for those of us who will find ourselves still working in school libraries in 2016, what will TLs be doing? what will TLs still be doing, and what will be new in the role? how prepared are TLs for the "21C change" that is engulfing education?

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