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

#NotOurDiversity

I’m busy preparing for next week’s library lessons. G5 has one of my favourite units in “How We Express Ourselves” People create messages to target specific audiences Ostensibly it’s about advertising, as the lines of inquiry indicate, 1. Advertising techniques can be used to influence society (Perspective) 2. Critically evaluating messages presented in the media (Reflection) 3. Ways adverts can cause people to form opinions … Continue reading #NotOurDiversity

Species at risk

(Usual disclaimers – does not reflect the position at my current school but a comment on librarianship as a whole etc. etc.) I’ve been prompted to think about the library / librarian as part of an ecosystem (as opposed to the library ecosystem itself, * an important distinction) a lot recently as a result of the continued dismal reports on the state of libraries globally, … Continue reading Species at risk

Meting out diversity

The whole diversity thing bothers me. Has for some time. We seem to love the optics of diversity, but not so much the reality.  And so we mete out our diversity in acceptable chunks at acceptable moments. And in doing so we can fool ourselves – most of the time. We also mete out our encounters with diversity such that they don’t necessarily have to … Continue reading Meting out diversity

Celebrating the joy of reading

Last weekend I had the privilege of being invited to join the first children’s literature festival in India, hosted by Neev Academy in Bangalore.  What a fabulous weekend it was. One of my constant concerns as a librarian here in Singapore in an international school is that I don’t feel that my collection reflects the many rich and varied cultures and identities that my students … Continue reading Celebrating the joy of reading

No excuses: Syndetics

It must be an age thing – but as I’m getting further into my 50’s I’m becoming less tolerant of fancy sounding reasons and explanations that are actually just excuses for staving off change. This is the first of a series of posts on things that really annoy me as an international librarian, with a smattering of understanding of technology and a desire to serve … Continue reading No excuses: Syndetics

Books I wish would be published

I’ve been asked to be on a panel at the AFCC to chat about “Books Teachers Wish Authors Would Write” from a teacher / librarian perspective. So I put the question out on one of my teacher-librarian networks (an international one) and these were the responses I received: World war 2 in Asia- novel for 8-10 year olds (NF / NNF) big shortage of narrative … Continue reading Books I wish would be published

A tale of two systems

I’ve just spent the last 4 days at the #LKSW2017 where 80 librarians around the SE Asian region got together to learn and share (mainly teacher) librarian practise. I also hosted a Chinese lady from a school in China and gave a daily ride to another Canadian librarian working at a school in China. We had some great conversations. The first workshop I attended was led … Continue reading A tale of two systems

Diversity and "multicultural" literature

Deep into my readings on this topic and it’s not making me feel particularly cheerful.  The statistics are appalling. On the one hand one should be glad that there are enough people who care enough to keep count. On the other, it doesn’t appear that the counting leads to any measurable improvement. Here are the statistics from 2002 to 2014 from Cooperative Children’s Book Center School … Continue reading Diversity and "multicultural" literature