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Conference Program

SLANSW State Library Conference Day

Venue: State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney 

The conference content will be delivered by authors, academics, teachers and teacher librarians who have expertise in various aspects of reading across the curriculum and Indigenous language and culture. The purpose of the program is to share research into reading and language and to provide practical applications of strategies for engaging students in reading and developing a broader understanding of language.

School Library Association of NSW
 through the Professional Teachers’ Council NSW is endorsed to provide the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development for teachers accredited at Proficient, Highly Accomplished, and Lead levels.

Completing Reach Out Through Reading on 7 March 2020 will contribute 4 hours 30 minutes of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 2.4.2, 3.3.2, 6.2.2 and 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.




Welcome & housekeeping

9.00 - 10.00am


Reading for Inclusion

Alex Wharton

Alex is the 2019 Copyright Agency's Reading Australia Teacher Fellowship recipient for research into a literary analysis of the colonial experience of First Nation and non-first nation writers. He is also the Head of Middle School at Carinya Christian School, Gunnedah and has been an English Teacher and Head Teacher for over ten years.  

Alex's presentation will bring together best practice from research and interviews with librarians, teachers, academics, publishers with regards to using Australian Indigenous literature within school contexts. This keynote will seek to consider the cultural needs and challenges faced by school libraries in our contemporary climate, and offer practical solutions around reading cultures, addressing diversity through text selection, and consider why a cultural shift is enabling great reading for inclusion.

10.00 - 10.30am


10.30 - 11.00am  

Morning Tea

11.00 - 11.55am

Concurrent Sessions 1

Session 1 (a) – Reading for Extension

Heather Zubek & Janet Agostino: Matchmaking Books and Gifted Readers

In this session, Heather will be addressing the need to extend Gifted Readers - without turning them off reading for life; and Janet will be presenting on her experience with Reading Programs to challenge and extend high potential learners.

A book’s reading level is not necessarily the best gauge for what gifted readers should be reading. The session will help teachers and teacher librarians generate ideas to extend and challenge their gifted readers. You’ll also play matchmaker with suitable books and readers along the way.

Session 1 (b) – Reading for Wellbeing

Judith Wakeman: Developmental Bibliotherapy for Adolescents

Teacher librarians are well aware that reading is good for mental health, but how does a good book change the way we think, and why does Young Adult fiction mitigate the disruption caused by mental health issues in the young people in our care? You will leave this session armed with plenty of evidence to support your fight against cuts to reading programs in your schools, as well as pointers to online activities and lesson plans to convince reluctant curriculum designers.

11.55 - 12.50pm

Concurrent Sessions 2

Session 2 (a) – Bringing Reading Alive

Winnie Mak: Library displays, inspiration, ideas and implementation

Creating informative, meaningful and interactive learning spaces through Library Displays is Winnie's passion. Seeing the students’ intrigue and curiosity, as well as the look of nostalgia on her colleagues’ faces as they enter the library, brings her a lot of joy. Winnie will be sharing ideas on what her displays are about, where she gets her inspiration, and presenting her 2020 ideas for you to use, or as inspiration for you to take your displays to the next level.

Louise Sherwin-Stark: Australian Reading Hour plans and reading benefits

Louise is the Chair of the Australia Reads Committee; responsible for Australian Reading Hour. This committee recognises that libraries were key to the success of the Australian Reading Hour in 2019. In her presentation, Louise will be suggesting how teacher librarians can take part again, as the Australia Reads Committee are planning a much broader and diverse range of activities to promote books, authors, reading and writing throughout September this year.

Session 2 (b) – Reading for Engagement: Literature Across the Curriculum

Lee FitzGerald and Dr Kasey Garrison

The presentation focuses on using fiction across the curriculum in areas other than English and is suitable for primary and secondary TLs.  The premise of the presentation is that topics across the curriculum can be introduced using fiction, particularly picture books and emerging digital fiction, such as immersive journalism and trans-media  storytelling.  Such use of literature allows students to engage with the broad outlines of a topic and to become curious and empathetic about the topic.

12.50 - 1.30pm


1.30 - 1.40pm

SLNSW Learning Resources

Pauline Fitzgerald, Acting Learning Services Manager

 1.40 - 1.50pm SLANSW Research Grant and Lucky Draws

1.50 -  2.30pm

Session 3: Reading Aloud

Heather Zubek

Believing in the special power of reading aloud, Heather looks forward to sharing ideas on how to start a reading revolution in your school. This session will look at the importance of reading aloud to students of any age, even to teenagers. We will generate ideas on encouraging teachers to read regularly to their classes and getting the whole school involved in reading. You’ll also learn how to improve your reading aloud skills whilst discovering that not all books were made for reading aloud. 

2.30 - 3.30pm 

Session 4: Living Language

Melissa Jackson

Ground-breaking exhibitions like “Living Language” do not happen without the guidance and direction of Community. Melissa, who is one off the curators of this exhibition, will be sharing how the Library’s extensive consultation with language champions has made this exhibition a brilliant fusion of library collections and lived community experiences. As part of the session, we will have the opportunity to tour the “Living Language: Country, Community, Culture” exhibition in The State Library NSW. This exhibition opened in 2019 to celebrate UNESCO’s Year of Indigenous Language. SLNSW is proud to host this major exhibition shining the spotlight on the sad history but vibrant future of Aboriginal languages of New South Wales.

3.30 pm

Closing Session

Visit to the SLNSW Children's Library**

**  An optional visit to the SLNSW Children’s Library is available for participants upon conference close.

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