Monday, 27 October 2008

Celebrating school libraries around the world

School libraries around the world are celebrating International School Library Month (ISLM) during October, and on Monday 27th October, Australian teacher librarians will use the day to highlight the important role of school libraries.

"This year´s theme is `Literacy and learning at your school library´ and school libraries around the country will be celebrating", announced Rob Moore, President of the Australian School Library Association (ASLA).

"Teacher librarians play a vital role in students´ literacy and learning", said Mr Moore. "Through their comprehensive understanding of literacy, literature and how to promote and foster reading, they are able to help students develop a deep understanding across the curriculum. This transcends basic literacy in the traditional sense, extending into the growth of students´ cultural capital which forms the foundation of lifelong learning."

"The teacher librarian´s understanding of both broad curriculum and programs specific to their school underlies their value and importance to teachers and students alike", he said.

"The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) joins with ASLA in recognising the significant contribution that teacher librarians and staff in school libraries make to the life and learning of school children in this country and helping to develop a smart nation of information literate students", ALIA President, Derek Whitehead commented.

Stephen Krashen, a linguist and researcher from the University of Southern California, said at a recent conference: "The availability of quality reading material in school libraries coupled with read-alouds and conferencing leads to better reading and learning (and writing, spelling, vocabulary and
grammar) and that more access to books results in more reading".

Australian teacher librarians, teachers and students are celebrating ISLM through a variety of activities and events. Schools around the globe exchange bookmarks and information about their school community in an international spirit of collegiality, information sharing and co-operation.

Others celebrate the excellence and commitment of their profession through awards programs, special presentation events and conference programs.
Literacy and reading are promoted in harmony with websites, blogs and Internet based activities.

For more see School Libraries Online
SIS lecturer Roy Crotty recently presented the following paper on technology and communication skills at a CSU Foundations in University Learning and Teaching workshop.......

The School of Information Studies on the Wagga campus prepares students to work in the fields of information management, librarianship and teacher librarianship. All our students are taught in the DE mode which places challenges on the teaching staff to develop innovative means of delivering content. One of the challenges is having students work in the collaborative mode, especially with teacher librarians who are now beginning to work in collaborative exercises within their schools and between schools. Their students also have learning styles different than their own i.e. they work together in collaborative settings and modes as part of their normal lives. Our students are scattered across Australia and even across the world so participating in collaborative exercises is a challenge.

CSU Interact has offered some means of addressing this challenge and the following example demonstrates strategies used by students and staff to enhance the experience. Students in one of the TL strand subjects were organised into groups of 4 (there were 180 students so 48 groups were established). Their task was to develop a 15 slide Powerpoint presentation to the editorial panel of a major educational journal.

The members of each group were randomly allocated. With the assistance of the school’s educational designer, sub-forums for each group were created on Interact with only the members of the group, the subject coordinator and educational designer being given access to their sub-forum. Each group had access to their own wiki, Resource page, group email and chat room. Of course there was still the overall subject forum where items of general interest to all students could be communicated through the group email, resource, chat and wiki pages.

The students were geographically spread across Australia and the world. One group had two members from Qld, one from NSW and the fourth from Belgium. Members of each group made initial contact using the Interact chat room facilities and demonstrated the usual cautious approach to ‘meeting’ new people and establishing their task. The group had to develop their own topic based upon one of the learning objectives of the subject which presented its own communication difficulties in being able to establish common times to be available to meet in the chat room. Some problems soon became evident, often technical problems such as students without broadband access attempting to use Interact across dial up lines occurred and had to be managed. Students were encouraged to use whatever means they found useful to be able to communicate with each other. Email was used but of course is not synchronous, phone calls were made but not many used conference calls due to the cost.

It became obvious that the technical skills of many of the students varied greatly across the entire cohort and within groups. To their credit most accepted the challenges of learning new communication skills and technologies. Skype was mentioned to all as an efficient and cost effective means of communicating and many group members took the opportunity to learn this new technology (to them). Comments indicated that the ability to actually speak with each other and, in some cases, actually see each in real time while using Skype video aided to the collaborative efforts. Being able to conference using Skype also enhanced the collaborative efforts. Being a free service was also an attractive bonus.

In sharing their developing Powerpoints, students began to use the Resource page on Interact to upload their presentations. Other group members would them download the Powerpoint, edit or add pages and then repost to Interact. While this was useful, there was still a delay while each person edited etc. Students could discuss the changes but the time lag was present and only one person could use the Powerpoint at any one time. Some students attached their Powerpoints in emails to other group members in order to speed the process.

Google have developed an application called Google docs where files can be posted onto a site and other people can be invited to view the file and edit directly from the site. Simultaneous editing can be done by all invitees. Students were informed of this Google app via Interact’s group email facility and invited to use the site. They were informed that this application was a beta version, its use was not supported by CSU and to keep backups of all work. Several groups used Google docs to load their Powerpoints and share the file without having to download/upload. One group reported using both Skype and Google docs simultaneously – speaking with each other about their Powerpoint and editing as needed by any group member. Google docs can be accessed form the Google homepage – just look under MORE for DOCUMENTS.
Youtube contains some excellent videos on the use of Google docs and some links are included here.

One technical aspect we discovered was that attempting to edit Powerpoint formatting features was not successful. Its worth is in editing text so we recommended that the text be edited in Google docs and then add the formatting – build the house before painting it.

Part 2 of the assignment involved a personal critical reflection by each student which included commenting upon their communication and collaborative skills. Overall the comments were similar – people with little or no technical skill taking a chance and learning new skills. They expressed excitement at what they had learnt about new communication technologies and how collaboration, while seemingly daunting at first, can be an enriching and invigorating experience. A number of groups asked for the sub-forums to be kept open in order for the group members to continue collaborating during the rest of the semester.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Look who's on telly

Look who's on telly
Originally uploaded by
CSU Information Studies.

Lecturers Roy Crotty and Dianne Lane attended the Western Association of Teacher Librarians conference - in Dubbo. Here they are joined by Arthur, Joy and Ashley by videoconference.

Government information management

Originally uploaded by

A conference at the Queensland Parliament highlighting a range of important issues around information management within government was attended by lecturers Damian Lodge, Lisa Soon and Jake Wallis.

A range of skills gaps were discussed, as well as strategies for managing interaction and information flows within, across and outwith government.

Monday, 8 September 2008

ALIA Dreaming08 TV Episode 4

A vendor perspective on ALIA Dreaming08, from Jeroen Prinsen of Thomson Reuters

ALIA Dreaming08 TV Episode 3

Kathryn Cass of City of Botany Bay Library Service discusses her experience of ALIA Dreaming08.....

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Dreaming08 TV Episode 2

Helen Kwaka, from Tea Tree Gully Library Services, talks about her involvement with Dreaming08......

Dreaming08 TV Episode 1

Helen Livingston, Director of Library Services at the University of South Australia, talks about the value of the conference experience.

The road to Dreaming 08

Lecturers Damian Lodge, Bob Pymm and Jake Wallis went on the road to make the long drive to Alice Springs for the ALIA 08 bi-annual conference at which they will be presenting a paper entitled Library education 2.0: shaping the librarian of the future.

Jake Wallis presents the rationale for the trip:

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Sydney study visit

Sydney Harbour
Originally uploaded by

Bob Pymm and James Herring recently led the Sydney study visit. A good time was had by all with the usual selection of stimulating experiences of the real world of professional practice in the information industry.

James blogs the experience here and here.......

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

ASLA NSW State Conference

On Friday March 28 and Saturday March 29 the Australian School Library Association (NSW) and the NSW Department of Education and Training jointly hosted the 2008 State Conference for teacher librarians. The event was held at The King’s School, North Parramatta and was attended by a large number of teacher librarians from primary through to high schools from across NSW.

Staff from the School of Information Studies from CSU were involved in the proceedings. In particular Professor Stephen Kemmis from the Faculty of Education gave a keynote speech as did Dr Kirsty Williamson. Lyn Hay, lecturer at CSU and Dr Williamson also conducted sessions for smaller groups during the program. CSU hosted a reception for delegates on the Friday night, providing prizes from the CSU winery for delegates who participated in fun activities at the end of a hard day’s work

James Herring at IASL

Our very own James Herring recently gave a keynote address at the International Association of School Libraries conference in Berkley, California, USA.

Catch a few minutes video of James being interviewed (at ) about the issues and ideas that he is currently emphasising in his teaching, research, workshops and speaking.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Subversive technology

It is interesting to note the subversive effect that the Internet is having on political action. Marginalised populist movements are able to mobilise using the web to bypass the mainstream media channels.

There are many examples of this from the broad coalition of anti-globalisation groups or organisations against the invasion of Iraq through to specific movements such as that of Beppe Grillo in Italy. Beppe Grillo is a comedian with a strong political motivation who, through the web, is orchestrating a one-man campaign to clean up Italian politics. How? Through one-man stage shows to thousands and using his blog - - to keep up the momentum. Is the Web the new public sphere for politics?

Monday, 21 April 2008

winner of both the Australian Library and Information AssociationStudent Award and the Softlink Australia Teacher Librarianship Prize

JM, Ailsa Moyses, Ailsa's Dad
Originally uploaded by
CSU Information Studies.

Dr Joy McGregor with winner of both the Australian Library and Information Association Student Award and the Softlink Australia Teacher Librarianship Prize, Ailsa Moyses (and her father)

winner of the Zenith Management Services Group Postgraduate TeacherLibrarianship Prize

AF, SD, Raeanne & JM
Originally uploaded by
CSU Information Studies.

Ashley Freeman, Sally Dallas and Dr Joy McGregor with winner of the Zenith Management Services Group Postgraduate Teacher Librarianship Prize, Raenne McLean

TL Group photo

TL Group photo
Originally uploaded by
CSU Information Studies.

Graduates in Teacher Librarianship

All LIM Graduates

All LIM Graduates
Originally uploaded by
CSU Information Studies.

Graduates in Library and Information Management

Sally Dallas with Frances Dodd (Zenith Undergrad Prize Winner)

1. Sally Dallas with Frances Dodd (Zenith Undergrad Prize Winner)
Originally uploaded by
CSU Information Studies.

Sally Dallas of Zenith Management Services Group with winner of the Zenith Management Services group Postgraduate Teacher Librarianship Prize winner, Frances Dodd.

LIM Postgrad students

LIM Postgrad students
Originally uploaded by
CSU Information Studies.

Dr Philip Hider with postgraduate students in Library and Information Management, including newly awarded PhD, Dr Meryl Ubel-Yan (centre).

SIS leads the research strand of the ASLANSW-NSWDET State School Libraries Conference

Professor Stephen Kemmis presents his keynote address

The School of Information Studies played a significant role in supporting the conference program of the inaugural ASLANSW-NSWDET State School Libraries Conference which was held at The Kings School, Parramatta on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th of March. The theme of the conference was 'School Libraries Leading Learning', with around 300 participants attending a number of keynotes and workshops across the two days. As part of Friday’s program, Lyn Hay presented a mini-keynote on the findings of her Student Learning through Australian School Libraries research project and at the end of the day hosted a social event for 1½ hours within the trade fair area which featured CSU wine and cheese, sponsored by CSU’s Faculty of Education. CSU’s Centre for Information Studies also donated a number of its recent publications as lucky door prizes for this event, and Duncan Ball, author of the Selby and Emily Eyefinger series launched one of his recent children’s books.

Saturday’s program began with Professor Stephen Kemmis (pictured) presenting the opening keynote address on ‘Research Circles and the Participatory Action Research Process’. Stephen’s keynote was sponsored by CSU’s Centre for Studies in Teacher Librarianship and it was the first session of a full-day program strand devoted solely to research-based conference presentations. Our own Dr Kirsty Williamson built on Stephen’s introduction to action research in her keynote address ‘Action research in school settings: Method, techniques and exemplars’, and after lunch Dr Ross Todd worked with Kirsty and Lyn to host an afternoon workshop for those participants who wished to explore their ideas on implementing an action research project at their school. Feedback from participants who attended the research strand was very positive and we hope ASLANSW and NSWDET will include a research strand in future conference programs. On the Sunday morning, Kirsty followed up with a post-conference workshop on interviewing techniques for ASLANSW’s Community of Action Researchers – Teacher Librarians (CAR-TL) members. Given all of the above events, CSU’s presence did not go unnoticed!

Monday, 7 April 2008

Professional development courses in information organisation

Photo: 399 Lonsdale Street, which houses the CSU Study Centre, Melbourne

Two short courses in the field of information organisation (known to older generations of librarians as cataloguing and classification) were conducted by Dr Philip Hider on 26th and 27th March at the CSU Study Centre in the Melbourne CBD. The two one-day courses, organised by the School, covered MARC cataloguing and Dewey Decimal Classification, and were attended by both CSU students and ‘private’ participants. The two courses were both ‘sold out’ well in advance, indicating the continuing demand for professional development opportunities in the ‘cat & class’ area. Participants hailed not only from in and around Melbourne, but also from regional Victoria and interstate – e.g. Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra, even Perth!

Philip was very much encouraged by the high level of interest and participation shown in the courses and plans to hold more in the future. He would like to thank Judy O’Connor, from our School, who did a great job with the administration, and also the staff at Study Group Australia, who run the CSU Study Centre and accommodated the courses.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

St Patrick's Day at SIS

The craic was mighty at SIS for St Patrick's Day. There was cake, traditional music, at least one real live Irishman and even a splash of Irish whiskey in a few of the morning coffees.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Lyn Hay presents keynote and JH Lee Award at ASLANSW State Library Day

Photo: (from left to right) Anne Lockwood (2007 NSW Teacher Librarian of the Year), Westley Field (John H Lee Memorial Award), June Wall (ASLA NSW President), Jennifer Watts (John Hirst Award), Lyn Hay (School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University)

Each year the Australian School Library Association (New South Wales) hosts a Professional Learning Day in the month of February at the NSW State Library. The State Library Day has a reputation for being a great way to kick off the academic year for school library professionals in NSW. This year was no exception with over 150 participants arriving at the State Library on Saturday February 23 to attend a variety of sessions addressing the theme 'Leading Learning ...into the Research'. Sessions explored practice informed by research on Web 2.0, graphic novels, podcasting, wikis and collaborative learning, YA Literature and the 'heart' of questioning. The title of Lyn's keynote was 'Moving beyond the rhectoric: What the research tells us about Web 2.0 & student learning'. Lyn encouraged those TLs and teachers currently integrating Web 2.0 technologies with their students to seriously consider building in an action research component into the design, planning and evaluation of these curriculum units to help build research evidence that clearly demonstrates how Web 2.0 supports student learning outcomes.

This event also hosts ASLANSW's annual professional award ceremony, and Lyn had the honour of representing the School of Information Studies in awarding the John H Lee Memorial Award to Westley Field, the Director of Online Learning at Methodist Ladies College (MLC) in Sydney, for his outstanding leadership in learning technologies, and in particular his innovative vision in establishing Skoolaborate.

The School of Information Studies at CSU has sponsored the John H Lee Memorial Award since its inception in 2003. John Lee was a professional colleague and friend of the Teacher Librarianship academic team at CSU, and in the 1990s he was a member of CSU's TL Courses Advisory Committee. John was a passionate advocate for teacher librarianship, an innovator in learning technologies and was very generous in sharing his insights with the teachers, TLs, principals and ICT coordinators alike. For more information about the ASLANSW awards ceremoney for 2008, see

Friday, 29 February 2008

School of Information Studies FM

Roy Sanders and Jake Wallis were broadcast live on 2AAAFM being interviewed by Jenny Knowles about how the School has evolved since its inception in 1974; from hand written essays to word processed assignments, from letters to e-mail and online foums, from on-campus students to distance education with students all over the world (from the Middle East to Malta!).

Missed it? Now problem, you can listen to or download the audio here and relive the moment!

Monday, 18 February 2008

The future of education and research in information

Dean Emeritus and Professor of the University of Washington Information School, Dr Mike Eisenberg offered some reflections on the workshop process and outcomes;

"The future of education and research for the information field is clearly in the form of 'ischools'. And, CSU is ready to make the major leap to becoming a full ischool with a rich and impressive array of teaching programs, meaningful scholarship, and outreach to the information field and to a range of applied professions. I was particularly intrigued by the possibilities of teaming up with health professions, agriculture, education, and sustainable environment. Lastly, it was fantastic to see the entire staff come together in full agreement that this was the right and desirable thing to do—to move aggressively to become an ischool."

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Building Australia's national iSchool

Originally uploaded by CSU Information Studies.

A three day workshop at Charles Sturt University has produced a vision for a national iSchool. A cross-section of expertise from the information industry worked with staff from the School of Information Studies to define a shared vision of what information education in Australia might look like in 2020.

The iSchool model is being applied across many of the most prestigious universities in the United States, the world's most advanced post-industrial economy, and is appropriate given the Australian government's thinking on the nation's development as a digital economy.

Dean Emeritus and Professor of the University of Washington Information School Mike Eisenberg travelled round the world specifically to be involved in re-envisioning information education in Australia. Professor Eisenberg provided invaluable expertise in assisting the group to formulate this vision, having been through such transformative processes in the United States.

Additional expertise came from information and knowledge industry leaders from across Australia, including Nerida Hart (Land & Water Australia), Robert McEntyre (Robert McEntyre & Associates), Kay Harris (Vista Information Services and Solutions), Sally Dallas (Zenith Information Management Services), Suzette Boyd (Scotch College, Melbourne), Anne-Marie Schwirtlich (State Library of Victoria) and Dean Mason (Enakt Consulting).

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Professor Joe Mika visits CSU

Professor Joe Mika, the Director of Wayne State University Library and Information Science Program recently visited the School of Information Studies at CSU as part of his research study on international LIS programs. His visit enabled a rewarding sharing of perspectives across LIS education in both Australia and the United States.

Professor Mika is pictured here with his wife Marianne Hartzell (who is the former Executive Director of the Michigan Library Association) and Dr Joy McGregor (centre) of the School of Information Studies.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Res school - what's it all about...?

With our on-campus residential school for undergraduate students kicking off shortly, you might be wondering what to expect from the three days. Well, here's Dr Bob Pymm to tell you more.....

We'd be interested to hear about your own expectations and experiences.....