Theory into practice – making it meaningful in the school library.

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.
Image via Wikipedia

This year, we’re trying to make Web 2.0 more meaningful in our School Library. Last year we moved most of our pathfinders over to wiki format to encourage collaboration and input into the development of  resources to support subject areas and projects. The take up was pretty good and most people know what a wiki is now, but you run the risk of getting ‘wikiied out’. Sometimes you could hear the collective groan of ‘not another wiki’ and that is something you want to avoid at all costs.

We’re not giving up on Wikis, but we are trying something new. We used to put out a monthly newsletter with interesting websites, news and book reviews, but it went to staff only. It was very good, but not frequent enough and got lost in the barrage of emails that hits the computers at my school. We wanted to do something that delivers information, but more frequently and something that encourages the two way exchange of ideas that Web.2.0 typifies. So we’ve started a Library blog that’s open, not one that’s operating within our Sharepoint Scholaris platform.

Last year when I attended Learning 2.008, I had the pleasure of meeting Ann Krembs.  She talked of her Dear Librarian blog that she runs at the American School of Bombay in Mumbai, India. I’ve been inspired by Ann’s efforts and have set up 2rak info 4 u to serve our school’s information needs, and perhaps the information needs of others.  

tc_lib_blog

We launched it just over a week ago and although it hasn’t set the world on fire, it has had quite a few hits. We need to find ways to have it become part of the culture of the school and something that staff and students use as a ‘go to’ place for information.  We are trying to set up an RSS feed to it within our Scholaris platform so that posts will be visible, updated and in the face of  our staff and students. This have proven to be problematic but we’re working on it.  

All of the library staff have been set up as authors and all of them have been uploading posts. This is learning curve stuff for most of them but they are rising to the challenge and are pretty chuffed when they see their efforts. It’s proving to be excellent professional development; they are ‘doing’, not just reading about what can be done. The clustr map has certainly generated some interest; it really does have an impact when you realise that people from far and wide are viewing your work.

Hopefully we’ll see it become part of the fabric of our school. Take a visit and see what you think. I’d appreciate your feedback if you feel so inclined to offer your thoughts.   

       

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Theory into practice – making it meaningful in the school library.

  1. I forwarded this to my librarian. I particularly liked the posts about new books in the library. This is such a neat idea to get kids aware about new books.

  2. Hi Jenny I like your library blog! I like the fact that there is a mixture of posts about online & print based resources. I like the currency of the topics- for example the post about the Twilight series & the Google books.
    This is a good blog & one that I can see will grow in popularity with staff & students. Thanks again for leading the way with great initiatives we can learn from and follow! Well done Toorak College Library!

    • jennylu

      Thanks Frances. I hope it does grow in popularity -perhaps if the school can see that others outside are interested oit may prompt them to take notice!

  3. Wow! I really like your library blog. It is written in a style and contains the kind of information that would appeal to students such as the polls. I have passed it on to the teacher-librarian at the high school in our school division.

    • jennylu

      Thanks Donna. It’s a team effort and has been wonderful in getting our staff skilled up in blogging. Our challenge is getting the school community to use it as a go to point. That’s a mindset shift that will take time but we’re plugging away at it.

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