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Make and Take at the 2nd SLN Library Symposium

November, 2011
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On the weekend of November 4th to 6th, the 2nd School Library Symposium was held at the Western International School of Shanghai (WISS). More than 60 school librarians from all over Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, and Dalian and as far as Hong Kong and South Korea came to attend the event organized by the Shanghai Librarians Network (SLN).

The activity-packed weekend included a pre-symposium dinner on Friday night for the delegates to socialize and get to know each other; tutorial workshops and a symposium dinner on Saturday at WISS; and visits to the libraries at Shanghai American School, Puxi Campus and Rainbow Bridge International School.

The main part of the event was the themed workshops on Saturday, which were related to librarians or how to improve library processes.

sls-fiona-sFiona Collins, Head Librarian of the host school – WISS, did a tutorial-style workshop covering the basics of cataloging with a computerized library system. Timothy Boyer, Teacher Librarian at Shanghai American School, Pudong Secondary Library, gave a workshop entitled "Book Trailers – Bringing Digital, Visual Excitement to Book Sharing." Steve Weatherell, Apple Distinguished Educator at Dulwich College Shanghai, did his workshop “The Wiki Wand” in a tech lab, which is an introduction to wikis for teaching, and he taught the attendants to begin designing their own wiki.

Dianne McKenzie, MYP Teacher Librarian at Discovery College in Hong Kong, was invited to do a workshop on copyright. Dianne also demonstrated how librarians can help the students use images, sounds, music, movies, etc in a way that allows for creativity and mash-ups rather than being restricted by rules that are not understood.

“It feels great that I can talk to other teachers on how to deal with these issues. Through sharing ideas with people in the same field, it really inspires me and makes my practices better. I like sharing things with people, and this is truly a process of learning,” she said.

sls-karen-sKaren Lee Gockley, librarian at the International School of Beijing, offered tips on job hunting for school librarians, from cover letters and resumes to body language and typical interview questions, and shared with the audience many of her own job interview experiences. WISS Marketing Manager Shelley Bragg also gave a presentation and workshop discussing customer service, and sales and marketing in the context of school libraries.

The theme for this symposium was “Make and Take” with the hope that everyone could leave the Symposium with a finished project that can immediately be implemented in their own school library. Therefore, workshops were extended so that people could have more time to practice at the workshop.

Ivan Loste, Head of Library Services at Busan Foreign International School in South Korea, said he had learnt a lot from the library symposium and this is the 3rd library symposium he has attended since last year. “I’m very happy that I actually learned how to set up my own wiki from “The Wiki Wand” workshop. The speaker talked about wikis first and then gave us the opportunity to practice at the workshop. I like technology, but I really don’t have time to do it on my own.”

sls-group-sThere was also an open session on Saturday afternoon for the delegates to try out things they learnt at the workshops, with experts still around them.

According to Fiona Collins, WISS Head Librarian and also founding member of the Shanghai Librarian Network, SLN has been formed for almost three years since January 2009 and it has now grown into a network of 55 memberships from international schools in Shanghai, Suzhou and Beijing.

“We have a wealth of knowledge and experience within the group, and librarians love to talk and love to share,” said Fiona. “The aim of the symposium was to share expertise with colleagues working in the same field and make our practices better.”

The first International School Library Symposium was held at Dulwich College Shanghai in January 2011, which was also very successful.

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