Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Great! – Just had a morning with 20 School Librarians at Hillcrest High. Linda had organised me to present a SLANZA workshop for the Waikato and Bay of Plenty members. 20 people gave up their Saturday morning, quite a few travelling from as far as Auckland and Tauranga to join in. I tis always good to see familiar faces in such an environment and to catch up with Anne from Katikati College was a treat. We had worked some of the GDITE papers together a few years back. Always a bit nerve wracking running workshops for people you don’t know and whose experience is also unknown but Fiona an dLinda made me feel very comfortable. I am always so very aware that people give up a lot of their busy lives to attend sessions like this and I am so conscious that this investment needs to be well rewarded.

The focus for these sessions was on “Library 1.0 meet Web 2.0” and then Traveling Together into Inquiry. It was to be the first of three sessions. A basic inquiry structure, tools to explore and hands-on activities helped wit the presentation to get people thinking. A realisation gathered as to the impact not only into our library and inquiry practices – but into our very lives. Tools like lulu.com, library thing, google docs and so on. Way too many to mention.

There is often a rush by some to pick up tools, especially if they are free. Our face to face interaction and our question and answer session provided further stimulation and more questions. Are the moneymakers now from non Web 2.0 tools going to sit back and let this 'no cost' environment happen? Is there really no cost? Who will be most effected from these changes? Could we become dependent on tools and then held to ransom? How can we possibly monitor ownership and copyright in this environment? Are our thoughts really original? Will computers need software? Can we really monitor use and protect our kids? Can we any longer keep ahead of them? .... Do we need to teach differently?

A celebration of our new understandings and the links to inquiry provided more great discussion. Everyone contributed and motivated our outcomes. I loved it and went away encouraged and with a much fuller kete. Thank you!

The wiki which I set up to support our session which has been well responded to, more hits than I expected and people now gathering on site. It is so exciting to see this develop as quickly as it has and it is great to have tools than can be adapted so quickly and easily to respond to user needs. With talented and passionate people like this involved in our libraries and online, we are certainly in for some great things ahead.

Our next session is to explore in more depth the use of blogging as a tool in connecting our libraries. Participants will be creating their own blog, incorporating the tools explored in the previous session and again stimulating each others’ actions with new triggers. The last in the afternoon will take on a similar course with wiki.

A lot of time in setting it up, researching the tools and synthesising the possibilities but hey, it has been worth it. I am so glad that 15 years ago I took on the challenge of the school library. It has and continues to be a passion, a source of great enjoyment, networking and learning. Thank you to Linda and Fiona for the help in facilitating the session and thank you to all the passionate and talented people I met. Your input has added to mine and we have all become richer in doing so.

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