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

#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

Ask the inhabitants

My online library network is getting excited about a couple of articles that are challenging beliefs. There’s danah boyds’ You Think You Want Media Literacy… Do You? it is an incredibly powerful article that needs to be printed out and highlighted and read very slowly. A couple of times. One passage that struck me epitomised the near futility in what we’re trying to do on the “fake … Continue reading Ask the inhabitants

The second shift

Last night my daughter asked me about citations for her Geography project. Now let it be made clear, my children, while lovely human beings, are in the “potted plant” phase of adolescence. So this was pretty rare. It’s also rare for them to acknowledge my knowledge or specialisation either.  But despite her multi-big-$$ education in a big name school (not where I’m at), and the … Continue reading The second shift

Advocacy is not enough we need power

Librarians are big on advocacy. Big on helping their peers when they’re not being heard in their communities or schools to build their “advocacy toolkit”. Most librarian courses include at least one module in one course on advocacy. Some academic librarians have built their careers on advocacy. But I’d like to cry foul. This has been going on for long enough. Looking at advocacy it … Continue reading Advocacy is not enough we need power

Whole new generation – Postcards

This year I’ve managed to encourage many of my Grade 3-6 teachers to take part in the Global Read Aloud. I’ll save my comments on the good and bad of that for another post. This year for the first time, we’re also taking part in the postcard exchange.  Basically you put your school / class name and address onto a spreadsheet and promise to send … Continue reading Whole new generation – Postcards