Saturday, January 22, 2011

English as she is wrote

Fantastic news: "NSW 15 year olds rank amongst the best in the world in literacy, according to the latest (2006) OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Only Finland significantly did better than NSW ..."

"Only Finland significantly did better ..."???

Surely that should be "Significantly, only Finland did better ..."; or possibly "Only Finland did significantly better ..."?

If you listen very carefully, you can hear the literarti letting out a global sigh. Irony, thy name be formal reporting on literacy levels.

The full report (2010-2011) was available online at the time of this entry. Enjoy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Win an author visit?

OK folks ... no-one knows everything, right? And there's so many authors in the world, that no one librarian can have heard of all of them, right again?

So there should be no shame in a secondary Teacher Librarian not knowing about "a beloved children's author illustrator with more than 36 million books in print". You still with me here?

The way I figure it, I may not have heard of Jan Brett, but then again there's a good chance she won't have heard of me. Sounds fair and reasonable, at least to me. I may not do "reasonable" very well - from some folk's perspective - but "fair" is mandatory.

Anyways, there's currently a competition to win a "school or library" visit from Jan Brett. I almost entered into the competition, until it came to the part about entering personal information. I'm still more than a little wary of that, since my personal bank account got hacked. (Luckily the bank stepped in after a mere one-cent transaction had been detected. Well done, St George Bank!)

So, being in the situation I am currently in, I paused to reflect on any possible negative ramifications my winning may produce. I couldn't find anything in the competition rules that precluded the author from travelling to Australia (return airfares currently being around USD$1400 LAX to Sydney); at least a few days hotel expenses (excluding The Y, around AUD$300 per night), meals, etc. Oh-oo ... Code of Conduct, Clause 26.5 et al.

So technically, the Author Visit would be the property of my employer. Which I guess would mean that Jan Brett may have found herself in Head Office reading her Hedgehog stories to folk in suits and/or "up" hairstyles, complete with note takers, observers, members of the press, and a disgruntled Teacher Librarian writing indignant blog entries.

Probably lucky for everyone that I closed the competition page before I finalised the competition entry details.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Library Advocacy and Social Networking

It seems that many may have lost touch with what's happening in Libraryland, but with Web2.0 and social networking, we can thank Facebook for bringing at least one issue back to the front. (Hopefully that makes grammatical sense?)

ALIES has "uploaded a print2-sided and fold" flyer to help in their campaign for a library in every school". Whilst not wishing to seem negative about any effort of this type, I'm not sure who the flyers are intended for. Those that already are convinced of their worth (libraries, not flyers) don't need one; those that make the decisions and hand out the money have already been told, given the research, lobbied and more - but have remained unmoved.

It's a similar story for understaffed, underfunded, underutilised and misunderstood current school libraries ... and for that matter, Teacher Librarians. Here in Australia, after much gnashing of teeth and sweating of brows, we finally got a Federal government 'enquiry' ... but without the power to actually change anything, regardless of the findings.

Good luck with it, folks.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Different State of Mind

Having returned safely, facing nothing more dangerous than a collapsing bed (two of the struts were too short), I have indeed returned with a different mind-set. Amongst many reflections was questioning the wisdom of continuing with a number of current commitments ...

In the mean time, I've been revisiting a few of my (almost) long-forgotten pursuits that brought me so much pleasure in the distant past:

No, I'm not praying for inspiration at the start ... there was a spider on the ceiling which had to be "relocated" before anything could proceed.