This is a new experience for me - to have my own blog!
Hopefully it can reflect the purpose of books: words with meaning and a message.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cats and Libraries

Today I say goodbye to my most beautiful cat Sali.  He is 9 and a half years old.  He has been the most wonderful cat whom my whole family adores.  Sali was very "helpful" when I was studying or reading.  He would lay on the books and papers I needed to weigh them down so they wouldn't blow over in the wind (or so he probably thought).  He would also choose my reading time at night to "groom" me and I would end up reading with my sheet over my head.
A couple of years ago my mum gave our kids a copy of Dewy the Library Cat.
It is a true story about a cat left in the return box at a library in the States.  The librarians kept him and named him Dewy Readmore Books.  He was a treasure and all the people loved him being around.  Cats are calming and books are too.  No wonder they go so well together.  There are many cats that live in libraries around the world.  Click on this link http://www.ironfrog.com/catsmap.html to see in which libraries around the world cats reside.  Those in Australia are also listed.

I remember in my hometown of Bendigo there was a cat that lived in the Collins Bookshop there.  He was one of the attractions of going into the shop.  Cats and books are a delightful combination.  There is nothing finer than reading a book and stroking a sleeping cat on your lap.

How about books about cats.  Some of our favourites are:
If you have any good books about cats, please add in the comments section.  I'd love to hear about other fiction cat stories.  I have always wanted to start a collection of something - maybe this is my thing.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Role of the Teacher Librarian

Can you remember the teacher librarian at your school?  My Primary School had Miss Patterson who was terrific.  She read us stories and helped find the cards when returning our library books (pre-computer days).  She also introduced me to the books of Laura Ingles-Wilder and Enid Blyton as well as assisting in locating information in non-fiction books on her neatly stacked shelves.  My secondary school librarian was a touch more rushed in her approach.  Computers were introduced at this time but not as a working system in the library.

Fast forward to 2011 and the teacher librarian no longer manages a simple library full of books but a digital resource centre without boundaries. The teacher librarian role has developed, changed and transformed.  They must now assist the school community in functioning in an increasingly complex world (Purcell).  They must also  assist students in becoming information literate.  Not to mention becoming ethical information users.  There is the expectation that as an information specialist the teacher librarian must stay ahead of the school community in digital information.  While grounded in sound teaching pedagogy.  As much as I love reading for enjoyment and as much as I hope to instill that love in my students, a teacher librarian has much more to do than this.  And, to be honest, I find that an exciting prospect!

As for personal reading, I have been far too busy completing a uni assignment to finish Lord John.  However, a little while ago I was invited to read The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler and to be part of its review process.  Mystery/thriller is generally not my choice of books.  Surprisingly I really enjoyed this and couldn't put it down.  I look forward to his next book.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I need a mind shift....

Each time I enter a classroom to teach, I have a particular goal for the end of the lesson.  I then move onto the next small goal.  And so it goes on for the day.  Each small step at the end of the unit of work or term or even day will eventually merge into all other information given to represent knowledge.  And so it goes on for all students in classrooms.  However, a Teacher Librarian needs to manage all of the information and then break it down into smaller parts.  I suppose if they were bricklayers they would have a wall built and  be able to pull out a brick, show it and then replace it.  A classroom teacher is really taking a brick one at a time to build a wall.  The classroom teacher teaches while the Teacher Librarian services.  That's a lot of information I need to get my head around.  The Teacher Librarian role is complex and goes far beyond checking out books at the front desk.  In my next post, I will amaze you with how broad a Teacher Librarians role is.  For now I have an assignment to write.

I have started reading this treat from Diana Gabaldon.  Another book about Lord John.  I have read her Outlander series and all of the Lord John books so far.  I am very fond of historic fiction and read widely from this genre.  At the same time I enjoy good biographies and non-fiction.  Who am I kidding - I'll read anything.

I picked this book up recently and would recommend it to any 10 + girl.  It was an easy and enjoyable book set in the time of the French revolution.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Role of a Librarian

I wonder what some schools think the role of a Librarian should be? Some schools I have been in contact with believe that the role of the traditional librarian is obsolete.  That in the not too distant future schools will not have a librarian as they expect the classroom teacher will fulfill this role.  The IT specialist will take over the library and take on this role as well.  What a worry (a personal worry when it means I could find it very difficult to find a position).  A teacher Librarian and IT specialist are different even though their jobs can overlap to some extent.  But, is an IT specialist going to teach how to find information effectively and efficiently and, more importantly, use that information ethically?  A teacher librarian in the digital age is still very much needed to fulfill a broad spectrum of roles.
As for personal reading, I recently finished The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do and enjoyed his personal perspective of growing up in Australia.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Begin Once Again...

This is a rebirth of my Blog as I restart this subject as part of my study.  One subject per session is enough as I found out last session.
Reading the information related to this session has renewed my desire to become a Teacher Librarian.  There are enormous challenges out there to resinstate the role of a TL in the digital age.  Herring (2007) reminds us that the school library should be a centre for learning first and a centre for resources second.  Is that not telling of the importance of a Teacher Librarian's role in a school?  Information can inspire students when presented in the right environment.

As for my own information development - of course I am reading course material but I am also enjoying The Beloved by Posie Graeme-Evans and my children are enjoying a treasure of a book The Cat's Pyjamas by Wallace Edwards based on idioms (thanks Joan!).