Thursday, May 31, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

New library displays

This week new pin board material was placed up throughout the library.  It not only looks great, absorbs sound and provides a convenient place to create displays it has modernised the feel of our library.

I was quick to put up displays as soon as the work was done:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Toilet Reading

Thanks to OZ-TL net I have taken up the idea of promoting reading and engaging more school community members into reading by attaching the first page of a range of books to the back of the toilet door.

I love this idea... thanks OZ-TL net.

Book Club

A colleague and I were discussing her new Breakfast Book Club and I thought I could assist by offering a list of the books studied as part of the Back Door Bookers Book Club I am gratefully a part of.  I also thought that sharing this list might help others.

Here are the books we've had thus far (I have forgotten some):
  • The Red Tent - such a classic - women will really appreciate
  • Middlesex by Geoffrey Eugenides – this was a beauty 
  • Dirt Music by Time Winton – great story – incredible writer - good to do an Australian author/setting
  • Monkey Grip by Helen Garner – great because it's set in melbourne 
  • The Slap – we also analysed the tv series episode 1 - what a series!
  • Big Love- TV series one
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Hemmingway
  • Castle of Adventure by Enid Blyton – a children's classic - this was fabulous – focus on the changes in childhood and boy/girl stereotypes
  • The Submission by Amy Waldman
  • The Secret River by kate Grenville – set in Australia – colonial times and issues between white settlers and Aboriginal people – really moving
  • The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald – we wanted to get this one in before the release of the film – such an incredible book and good for deep analysis
  • How it feels by Brendan Cowell – this is actually pretty disturbing - but we wanted to do this one as an up and coming author - fairly full on themes 
  • The Byron Journals  by Daniel DuCrou – we did this one because we had the author coming to speak at our book club - DuCrou was a real charmer and we enjoyed this book meet so much
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert 
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist
That's all I can think of at the moment.
Book club is such fun!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fabulous and innovative bookcases

Check out the bookcases on this site.  I love the way people think, create and share.

Here's my bookcase:

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Hosted at Melbourne Park Function Centre May 4 2012

My reflections and learnings...

The day started with Maureen Henninger talking about the need to utilise search engines other than google.
She recommended:
Exalead, Infomine, IPL2, INTUTE, AcademicInfo Subject guides
Also when searching to use the following search terms : intitle, inurl and filetype
For example a search on alcohol and drug abuse intitle: "substance abuse" inurl: edu filetype: pdf
This will ensure that you go past the common predictive search results that come up and begin accessing some of the 70% of information that is not reached via search engines like google.

Sandy Phillips then spoke about the need to move away from work tasks that require students simply to report on a topic.  Students have such easy access to basic information, they need to be challenged with what they do with that information.
She mentioned that World Book Online is available to all schools for free it just needs to be accessed - see EDUSTAR
She also recommended:

  • Freeware for images
  • Posti for cybersafety activities and information
  • Scootle
  • FUSE
  • Connect
  • Edublogs
  • Storyboard generator - best on the web, created by ACMI
  • 15 second place - great phone app for creation of short film
  • Teach work right - great app for students starting work experience or employment 
  • Playground finder - great app
  • Travel bugs- International game (like Carmen SAn Diego- but 2012)
  • Phat poetry- copyright free
  • Inside a dog - I don't use this enough!
  • Making history - museum victoria
  • Zoos Victoria- great challenges for kids
  • We solve it- question generator
  • Cultural infusion - free music, copyright free, kids can mash up 
  • Artroom 2.0 - sharing artwork
  • Page to stage - drama
  • Voice thread - record audio and computer screen 
  • Check out Scholastic book flix for free children's e-books.

Free audio books:

Google search education

SCIS presentation
At the end of the day there was a presentation on cataloguing e-books (note it has a hyphen).  The basic premise is that they are catalogued like any other resource.
Access instructions from
If an e-book is only available on a website, in html form then it is catalogued as a website.  If the e-book can be downloaded to an e-reader requiring e-reader software then it is an e-book.

SCIS rathers that for any resource there is only one catalogue record and the different formats are listed in the notes section not as separate records.

SCIS PD days: for SCIS PD days

I asked a question of the group at the end regarding management of student and teacher text books.  In terms of the teacher text books we need to make sure we sign up for the e-resource and pass on the details to the relevant person so information is not lost at any stage.  In terms of student books everyone agreed there needs to be more than one year longevity in the e-resource - some librarians are keeping records of logins to ensure they are safe.  Others think that as it only lasts a year it is not worth it.  One TL is photocopying the back page of student and teacher books where the information is stored.

I have invited the guys from tag-alert to come out and give us a free quote for a security system to be installed.  I think some of our new books are walking out the door.

I caught up with Dylan from Bolinda - he said they've signed up Brighton Grammar and MLC.  He is run off his feet with school visits.  He also gave me four free audio books and some bookmarks and other bits  (one of the audio books is Mao's Last Dancer).  Thanks Dylan.

I'm convinced that paying large subscriptions to newspaper databases and encyclopaedias is not necessary.  TROVE and the State library have it covered. SO much good free stuff on the net that we are not utilising to full potential.
We need to look at what we're spending our $$ on.

SLAV conferences are always tip top.