Trust me I’m a …

I’ve had this vague feeling ever since I started in the middle school that I’m just not serving my population well on the research side of things. I’ve tried putting my finger on it in the past but the unease has been growing. It started with being dissatisfied with nonfiction and that we’re not doing enough to uncover what research really looks like. I’ve not … Continue reading Trust me I’m a …

Something’s off

In the last few weeks I’ve had a few teachers (middle school level) come to me with assignments of students asking me how they could check if they’re plagiarised. At this level we only have access to Grammarly, not the supposedly more powerful Turnitin (prohibitively expensive). I like that teachers’ have instincts and follow them. They know their students best, and know what they are … Continue reading Something’s off

Does Activism require Power?

One of my most popular blog posts was “Advocacy is not enough we need power” and I still stand by that. Ironically enough in my new role I am teacher librarian slash Edtech integrator, and I like to joke with my colleagues who need anything from data to access to fixing an issue to equipment that “I have the power”. But some stuff fluttering around … Continue reading Does Activism require Power?

Facts getting in the way of a good story

It’s been a while – quite a stressful last few weeks of term – make that a stressful first half of the year. And now the last day of the vacation. Here’s a somewhat lighter post on two movies we saw that I’d like to comment on. The first was Bohemian Rhapsody. The whole family is a fan of Queen, and given that Freddy Mercury … Continue reading Facts getting in the way of a good story

What research looks like

Lest I be accused of being too negative on the information literacy side of things I wanted to post something positive. A while back I was listening to an interesting enough book, (Gup, 2014) but the most fascinating part, and what sent me back to the eBook version was the part where the author explained how he’d conducted his research. Now we often use mentor … Continue reading What research looks like

Are we teaching dogs to chase cars?

I’d love a dollar for every time as a TL I’m asked to teach students “how to search” or “search terms” or “searching. Once upon a time I complied. I’ve become a bit more bolshie in my old age. I now try to engage. Engage in a conversation as to what exactly the teaching and learning aim is behind the request. You see, we don’t … Continue reading Are we teaching dogs to chase cars?

Beyond beyond search and cite

A long while ago (3 years) I wrote a post about the fact that we needed to look beyond “search and cite” in teaching information literacy and look at the threshold concepts of research, and a presentation I’d given on the theme. I remember at the time seeing half the audience (of librarians) eyes glazing over and thinking, “oh no, this isn’t going to work … Continue reading Beyond beyond search and cite

Are nonfiction books still relevant?

I was showing a fellow librarian around “my” new library today and we were chatting and discussing various aspects of middle school librarianship. We got to the nonfiction section and both sighed. I started that mine probably needed some significant weeding and that I’d made a start. I pointed out a few particularly nice books in the collection (Annick Press still does nonfiction well, the … Continue reading Are nonfiction books still relevant?

Why lists and awards matter

Every year around this time, some parent will ask the teacher or myself what their child should be reading. The “correct” response to this question is that we don’t make reading lists of prescribed or recommended books but prefer students to come and have a chat to us about what they like reading, what hobbies or interested they have and based on that we can … Continue reading Why lists and awards matter

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

This phrase is attributed to Peter Drucker and made famous by Mark Fields (although can’t easily be authenticated). I firmly believe it to be a reality both in business and education, and many a manager has been burnt by this. I’m currently in Bangalore, having spent the last three days at the Neev Literature Festival  where I had the honor to be invited back as a … Continue reading Culture eats strategy for breakfast