May – Presentation & Panel Month

I’ve had another lapse in blogging, not that things have been particularly quiet – in particular I managed to mis-step on some stairs in the center of Beijing in early April, thereby managing to fracture both my posterior and anterior malleolus (i.e ankle) resulting in my first ever ambulance ride and some pretty nifty ankle surgery inserting two titanium pins and being off my feet for 2 months, followed by quite a bit of rehabilitation. I’m happy to report that the Chinese saying 伤筋动骨100天 (injury to muscles and bones take 100 days) is absolutely correct – I’m finally capable of walking.

Luckily my brain wasn’t affected and in the interim I’ve given quite a few presentations – happily quite a few in collaboration with the veritable Katie Day who reminded me today that we should both document them before they slip into the oblivion of what was quite a year!

When you’re asked to present or be a panel member at a conference some time in November, and the presentation is in May, you suffer from a type of time illusion that makes you say yes, comfortable in the idea that it’s far away – and you keep on saying yes to different people at different times and don’t register that they’re ALL asking for May, and then suddenly you’re spending 20 hour work weeks on top of your usual work-week getting your ducks in a row to say something that won’t embarrass you too terribly – and the process is wonderful – particularly if you’ve got a great co-presenter but at the same time it’s pretty scary!

So this was the Month of May!

Toddle TIES Conference – 16 May – “Library at the Heart of the School – Developing Inquiry and Research.” A great panel moderated by Kirsten Durward with Bec Taylor, Carlos Diaz and Lamiya Bharmal the recording can be found here (click on 16 May) where we talk all things research and curation, each from a different perspective and school section (early years, primary, middle and secondary)

Then came the fantastic ECIS Library Week – the organising committee really knows how to throw together a compelling set of experts and practioners who can give some excellent presentations from things to think about to some very practical “how to” or “this is something I’ve done that worked”. Katie Day and I had each put in to present and then decided to combine our efforts on the two presentations, one a more macro view and one a more micro view on the ideas of IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Social Justice – acronym used at WAB where I work.)

Our first presentation “Moving IDEAS to REALITY” (26 May 2021) was around how the work atInternational Schools around IDEAS is being actualised. The presentation was based on a short survey we sent out to International School Librarians. Our slides and the results of that survey in detail can be found here. This presentation focused on how through Saying (language) Doing (behaviours and actions) schools could move to Being (internalising the espoused values). This was a more macro / theoretical view on what diversity means in the international school context and in particular to international school librarians (recording is available to participants).

The next presentation – (given by me slipping out of my son’s graduation dinner for a quick hour – with his permission) was entitled “#NotOurDiversity: Beyond BANA” (29 May 2021) (slides; recording). Trying to move beyond paying lip service to “mirrors, windows, sliding doors” in the international school context is NOT easy. Despite the tremendous and well overdue and much appreciated work that is being done in BANA (Britain, Australia, North America) their diversity is not “our” diversity in the international school context. We discussed and gave examples of mono- multi- inter- cross- and trans- cultural books that we use in our schools and their relative virtues and failings for our students. The problems for international school librarians of existence, discoverability and availability of the books and the people and organisations we wanted to give a shout out to for their work in this area. Please have a look at the link to the slides for some fantastic titles and resources / people to follow in this area.

Finally at the end of May I was on a panel at the Asian Festival of Childrens’ Content (AFCC) “Connections to Global Issues: how teacher-librarians are supporting the UN SDGs and beyond” (30 May 2021) with Katie Day as Moderator, and fellow panelists Zakir Hossain and Stojana Popovska, where we focused specifically on supporting schools in incorporating the SDGs into the curriculum. (slides)

So that was the end of a very busy month! Including visits to my very excellent physio and surgeon, working and preparing!

Aside: I’m not totally happy with the new WordPress “block” feature – it’s really annoying me in the way that images appear and it’s non-intuitive nature – even though I’m sure that wasn’t their intention! Having to go into the HTML code in order to align and pad the images is an unnecessary waste of time!

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