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Catch up on the latest news, updates and announcements from SLANSW

  • 16 Dec 2019 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    December 16, 2019 

    The School Library Association of New South Wales (SLANSW) is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for its Executive Officer position.

    As Executive Officer, you will be the first point of contact for the Association and will have a sound overview of the school library sector and current issues in teacher librarianship in NSW. To be successful in this position, you will need to be a self-motivated person with a passion for school libraries and teacher librarianship, with an interest in school library advocacy, policy and funding matters.

    You will also possess experience in office management systems, website design and management, event organisation, and communication strategies. Experience using a membership management system such as Wild Apricot is desirable.

    This position will suit a person with a home office who is seeking part-time work in supporting the management of a professional association in the education/library sector.

    Expressions of interest are due 5pm Monday 6 January 2020 by email to SLANSW Vice President – Operations, Dr Lyn Hay at Please use the subject line ‘SLANSW Executive Officer Application’.

    Expressions of interest must demonstrate your ability to undertake the key services the Executive Officer is expected to provide (maximum two pages) and include a CV (maximum three pages), with two referee contacts. Please refer to the ‘Expression of Interest Information Sheet’ for criteria, responsibilities, contract and conditions. 

    For further information about the role, please contact Vice President – Operations, Dr Lyn Hay at or phone 0412034595.

    Please note that the Selection Panel intends to undertake online interviews with shortlisted applicants via Zoom during the week of Monday, January 13, 2020.

    Ideally, SLANSW’s Executive and Management Committee are working towards a start date of Monday, February 3, 2020 for this Executive Officer position; however, this can be negotiated with the Executive based on the successful applicant’s availability.

  • 13 Dec 2019 9:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In October 2018, SLANSW's President, Dr Di Laycock, attended a meeting with Professor Geoff Masters to gain insight into the review being conducted by NESA into the NSW curriculum. As a result of this and other public consultations between September and November 2018, NESA then released Nurturing wonder and igniting passion: Designs for a future school curriculum. NSW Curriculum Review Interim Report (October 2019). This interim report was used as a basis for further consultation from 22 October to 13 December 2019. 

    The SLANSW Committee has considered the Report and, while celebrating the potential opportunities for school libraries and teacher librarians, has noted the failure of the report to explicitly acknowledge the role of qualified teacher librarians and well-resourced school libraries in the proposed areas of curriculum change. The Management Committee, therefore, prepared and submitted this response to the Interim Report on 13 December 2019 on behalf of SLANSW members.

    The Committee stated enthusiastic support for curriculum reform, in that:

    The report is a blueprint for change that teacher librarians in NSW will be enthusiastic about, as the skills of deep understanding and applying knowledge across the curriculum are the ultimate product of inquiry learning, and the skills identified in the interim report, such as “critical and creative thinking, using technologies, interpreting information/data, collaborating and communicating" (NESA, 2019, p. xii) as well as reading and literacy, are skills that teacher librarians are highly qualified to teach.

    However, a thorough reading of the report revealed no specific mention of school libraries or teacher librarians in contributing to the proposed curriculum reform, providing inquiry and project-based learning environments, resourcing a much-changed curriculum, or supporting student learning across the curriculum.

    Three key areas of the reform directions were targeted on behalf of NSW teacher librarians, including the role of school libraries and TLs in contributing to:

    • Reform Direction 2 which argues the need to revise curricula to promote deep understanding;
    • Reform Direction 3 which calls for designing a new curriculum with greater emphasis on building skills in applying knowledge; and
    • Reform Direction 13 which refers to the introduction of a major project component for every student to undertake as part of their senior years of schooling.
    SLANSW believes teacher librarians can contribute significantly to these reforms and in the submission we invited NESA to consider collaborating with SLANSW to articulate a clearer picture of how school libraries can contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of such curriculum reforms.

    Your Committee has been actively engaged in this consultation process as part of SLANSW's commitment to the School Library Coalitions' Students Need School Libraries advocacy campaign. You can follow activities for this campaign on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube via the hashtag #studentsneedschoollibraries

    We encourage members to read through the interim report as well as your Association's submission, in preparation for any discussion that may occur within your school community or local network about the way forward.

  • 13 Dec 2019 12:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks to those who attended the AGM on 8th December. Reports and the Minutes of the meeting are available in the Members Only section of the website. In a short but productive meeting, the proposed changes to the SLANSW Constitution were passed unanimously and Committee elections were conducted.

    Congratulations to our new Committee members: Rhonda Creasey (Wallsend Public School/Fern Bay Public School) and Zoe Morris (Calrossy Anglican School) as regional representatives, and Pooja Mathur (The King’s School) and Amber Sorenson (Cherrybrook Technology High School) as metropolitan representatives.

    To the outgoing members of the Committee – Ken Brock, Bill Cohen and Marion Silk – thank you for your contributions over the past two years to help grow SLANSW. To those Committee members continuing their service to the profession, thank you.

    With the addition of an Executive Officer (see call for EOI) to assist with the administrative side of SLANSW, we are now in a strong position to enact many of the exciting activities and plans discussed at the Committee’s Strategic Planning Meeting in September.

    Kind regards,

    Di Laycock
    President, SLANSW

  • 24 Jul 2019 3:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcome back everyone. While it might appear that your Committee has had a quiet couple of months, we have been busy behind the scenes.

    We’ve spent some time looking at options to deal with increasing membership numbers, a great issue to have(!), as well as the provisioning of automated renewals, enhanced website features, and community-building functionality.

    We recently subscribed to the membership management software, Wild Apricot, and have been working to have your membership renewals for 2019-2020 ready to be sent out this week. The Wild Apricot software will also manage registrations for events such as our Online Meet-ups and State Library conferences.

    Time to renew your SLANSW Membership

    For those renewing their institutional membership for 2019-2020, we have two special offers. The first is access to the new SLANSW-branded CiteMaker service - check here for details. The second is a Fairfax Media subscription offer for schools and a free subscription to one lucky institutional member who joins SLANSW or renews their membership before the end of September this year, check out this announcement for details.

    The Committee will continue to explore further partnerships with industry to enhance the benefits for both personal and institutional members. 

    Check out membership benefits for more information.

    by Di Laycock, President

  • 23 Jul 2019 3:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Holiday breaks provide a great opportunity to catch up on some professional reading. If you haven’t yet caught up with Margaret Merga’s 2018 publication,Reading Engagement for Tweens and Teens: What Would Make Them Read More? make sure you get to it soon. Filled with research and practical strategies to encourage young people to read, it’s a timely and essential advocacy tool for those working in Australian school libraries.

    Something else that caught my attention over the break was the article, 'The Continuing Journey to Understand Dispositions and the Concept of the Ho-hum Librarian' by Jones and Long (2019) in the journal, Teacher Librarian, 46(4). The article is shaped around the question: Do we emphasise knowledge and skill acquisition for school librarians at the expense of attending to the development of professional dispositions?

    Rather than focus on the skills needed to sponsor successful library programs, Jones and Long emphasise the importance for school librarians to develop professional dispositions – ideas and behaviours directed towards broad goals – that will move the profession forward. The authors’ interviews with nine “exemplary” school librarians indicated that such dispositions present themselves broadly as “thinking dispositions,” “relational dispositions,” and “motivational and forward-thinking dispositions related to technology.” Well worth a read!

    And finally, something to share and discuss with your colleagues. Daniel Willingham’s (2019) How to Teach Critical Thinking is an occasional paper commissioned by the NSW Department of Education in the series, Education: Future Frontiers. In this paper, Willingham "considers what cognitive science can tell us about how critical thinking is acquired, and the implications for how education might best develop young people’s critical thinking capabilities in light of this evidence" (p. 3).  In summary, Willingham recommends a four-step process in the teaching of critical thinking:

    1. identify subject-specific critical thinking skills;

    2. identify subject-specific content;

    3. plan the sequence in which knowledge and skills should be taught; and 

    4. plan which knowledge and skills should be revisited across years.

    By Di Laycock, President
  • 19 May 2019 6:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Call for participation in a research study with Dr Margaret Merga

    Click here for further information and to access the survey

    At our March online meet-up, Dr Margaret Merga mentioned that she was currently seeking secondary English teachers to participate in a study about struggling literacy learners in Australian secondary classrooms.

    Participation involves the completion of a short survey which aims to draw the knowledge of English teachers teaching in secondary classrooms, with a view to enhancing our understanding of how to best meet the needs of students who struggle with literacy skills beyond the early years of schooling.

    If you are currently working in a high school, please encourage your English teacher colleagues to be part of this research conducted by Edith Cowan University.

    It will take less than 10 minutes to complete, and contribution will be anonymous and highly valued. This project has been kindly funded by the Collier Charitable Foundation.

  • 17 May 2019 6:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Members of the Committee have agreed to devote a weekend during Term 3 to attend a face-to-face meeting in order to do some very necessary strategic planning for the Association. Committee members have identified the areas of SLANSW responsibilities on which they wish to work over the course of the weekend. The intended outcome of the meeting will be a SLANSW Strategic Plan that will communicate the future directions of the Association to members.

    Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

  • 14 May 2019 6:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The SLANSW Regional Representatives on the Committee have agreed to organise an online meeting for those in their regions via the SLANSW Zoom Room. This meeting would offer regional members an opportunity to discuss their needs and to make suggestions for future professional learning that might be organised by SLANSW. We are currently developing a list of dates when the regional representatives will host these meetings and members will be invited to sign-up to both attend and to encourage non-member colleagues to participate in order to witness the benefits of a SLANSW membership.

  • 13 May 2019 6:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A generous offer has been made to SLANSW institutional members by Courtney Harvey from Fairfax Media. Access to this offer will be provided in Term 4, the offer applying to subscriptions in 2020.

    With no logins, no passwords, and no limits on concurrent users, the subscription to The Sydney Morning Herald, The Financial Review, and The Age would be activated by the school's IP address and the school supplied with URLs that direct users to the digital replica of the day's printed newspapers.

    Fairfax Media are offering SLANSW institutional members a 10% discount on the following subscription prices:

    • One digital newspaper - $500 per year (SLANSW members $450)
    • All three digital newspapers - $1000 per year (SLANSW members $900)

    Fairfax Media has also generously offered SLANSW one free subscription to the three-papers package and this will be used as a prize in our 2019-2020 membership drive. All those who join or renew their SLANSW institutional membership for 2019-2020 before 30th September will be eligible to go into a lottery for the subscription package that will be drawn at the SLANSW Conference at the State Library of New South Wales on Saturday 19th October.

  • 13 May 2019 6:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There are a number of free referencing generators available to assist students to appropriately acknowledge information sources. That said, many such tools come with a heavy advertising component. We are therefore delighted to offer an alternative to schools in which our members work.

    Michael Hargreaves from Citemaker has generously offered to provide free-of-charge a SLANSW branded referencing generator whereby schools would be provided their own unique URL (as is provided for paid subscriptions). This offer is available for schools charging less than $5,000 annual tuition fees and with less than 1,000 Year 7 - 12 students.

    The free SLANSW branded version of CiteMaker would differ from the full subscription version in that:

    • Only APA6 and/or Harvard (Australian) styles would be offered;
    • Citations would be export-only and students would not have the option to save their citations to the myCites database;
    • ISBN search and automatic citation generation would be limited to Google searches and WorldCat would not be included; and
    • Because students cannot save citations, the CiteNotes function for taking notes is not included.

    A SLANSW version of Citemaker would otherwise have full citation generation capabilities which includes access on multiple platforms, including tablets and smartphones. Our arrangement with Michael Hargeaves is currently being finalised and details of how eligible schools can access the SLANSW Referencing Generator will be sent to members once available.

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