Monday, March 1, 2010

GIFSL* 51: take photos (with an added bonus: Skerricks: all singing, all dancing live version!)

(Actually, I lie.  No singing, no dancing.)  But it's lovely to have received some invitations to speak at teacher librarian meetings and conferences about re-imagining/enhancing/sprucing your school library.  So if you're going to the Sydney TL conference in Leichhardt in March, the Northern Sydney TL conference in Terrey Hills in March or MANTLE (website will show the 2010 program soon) in Newcastle in May, it will be lovely to meet you.

One of those looked like it might have to be done using the Connected Classrooms videoconferencing and Bridgit, so I would have been at my own school but beamed on a telly with my presentation on a whiteboard at the meeting venue.  Circumstances altered and I'll be able to attend in person, but I'm thinking I'd like to add being able to do that to my skillset.  Always good to learn something new!

I spoke at two conferences last year,  ASLA (NSW) and Western Sydney TL - they were fairly close together in time, so I didn't tweak my presentation enormously between the two (although I did tweak it - there's always something to make better/more effective). It was great to get the positive feedback and know my contribution had been useful.  This week, looking over the presentation (I don't have notes, the PowerPoint is my prompt as I find that more interesting, less 'rote' and besides, like lots of teachers, you switch me on, I talk... and I enjoy public speaking), I can see plenty of room for more tweaking/changing, even though it's only a few months down the track.  New things we've tried.  Improvements to the library.  More goodness to share!

I cannot encourage you enough to take photos of your library.  At least once a term, or more often if you change something (as we do with our foyer/entrance area).  Not only to record what you've done, but also to remind you of the evolution of your library, to see what's better than it was before.  I just wish I'd photographed my current school library when I walked into it first ten years ago, so I could have those photos to compare with how it looks now. 

One of the ways in which this blog has been really useful to me is the way in which providing illustrations for it has made me fish out my camera more often than I might otherwise have done, to catch 'before' shots as well as 'after'.  The camera's lens, and the reality of a photograph, can help see more clearly what one likes and what one would like to change/improve/develop. I've only got to look at the renovation of the library entrance (several entries from May 2009 on the blog illustrate this - use the archives over on the right) for just one example.

Other ways to use photographs (hurrah for the digital camera) include our framed row of student readers and (which used some of those photos again, as well as others taken at lunchtimes etc) our Christmas tree.



*GIFSL: good ideas for school libraries

1 comment:

Deirdre said...

I wish I'd had your words of wisdom when I started in this school's library just over two years ago. It would be great to look at photos of the shelves with two inches of dust that have since been moved and cleaned!

Time to pull out my camera and photograph the continuing evolution of this space.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Sydney TL meeting and getting new inspiration.