Judy Brooker, Professional Development and Careers Manager with ALIA, organized a very successful Library Career information night on Wednesday June 9 2010 at Concord Public Library in Sydney. It was targeted at people interested in learning how to go about getting qualified for a career in libraries and the information professions. A crowd of at least 80 people turned up to meet educators and ALIA members promoting the profession.
The School of Information Studies at CSU was represented by lecturer Mary Anne Kennan and three wonderful student volunteers (pictured below) who more than ably represented the School and promoted all our courses; the Bachelor of Information Studies, The Master of Information Studies and the Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship).
At left, student volunteers Liz McLoughlin (MIS), Margaret Rooney (BIS) and Cornelia Cronje (MIS)
In addition to professionals, educators and students, representatives from the two major employment agencies in the library and information field attended; Marian Baker from Zenith and Catherine Hill from One Umbrella. They talked to participants about the various types of work available to qualified personnel in the field and Catherine Hill from One Umbrella donated a bag of goodies to one lucky attendee whose name was drawn from a goldfish bowl masquerading as a hat.
Judy Brooker from ALIA and Catherine Hill from One Umbrella
After the event many of the volunteers repaired to Il Tratoraro restaurant in Concord for a well-earned and pleasant networking dinner.
During the Australian summer in 2006, MIS student Niphaphon (Nina) Sithakarn-Maher, together with her husband Dr Jim Maher, volunteered to teach English at the Ban Khao Thalu Primary School, Chumphon Province Thailand. The community desperately needs help with the lunch program to feed the children, improve the old library and add in computer equipment, toys, other facilities, etc.
Back to Australia, a proposal of helping the school to build a new library was submitted to the Rotary Club of Armidale. Since 22 August 2007 they have been fundraising with a target of $40,000 for the construction of the building. Users of the facility will be the students attending the school (420 students) and the wider community of 7,548.
On 16 June 2010, Teacher Librarianship at CSU was featured in the Higher Education supplement of The Australian newspaper. Journalist Jill Rowbotham's article 'BER library-building spree exposes teacher shortage' was based on her interviews with SIS lecturer, Lyn Hay and the Australian School Library Association's Executive Officer, Karen Bonanno, about the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training's national Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools.
Rowbotham informed The Australian's readership that the use of Building the Education Revolution funds to build or upgrade school library facilities throughout Australia has highlighted an estimated shortage of teacher librarians of between 2500 and 3000 (according to the Australian School Library Association). She reported, "While schools had great new facilities, they were 'without a specialist in the school to help make the most of the investment'", and the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University, "which trains most of the teacher librarians in the country, is calling for training, funding and policy initiatives to redress the imbalance".
In April, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training chaired by Ms Sharon Bird MP (Member for Cunningham, NSW) received 371 submissions to its national inquiry into school libraries. The Terms of Reference is to inquire into and report on the role, adequacy and resourcing of school libraries and teacher librarians in Australia's public and private schools, specifically focusing on:
A series of public hearings are currently underway in all capital cities. Lyn Hay represented CSU at a dedicated hearing on the morning of Thursday, 3 June at Parliament House, Canberra. Committee Chair, Sharon Bird MP stated, "As a major educator in the field of teacher librarianship, CSU is well-positioned to comment on the future of teacher librarians and where it believes the profession is heading, and how the role of the teacher librarian is changing in the digital information age."
Click here for further details see CSU Media Release 'Calling top teachers into the school library'
Left to right: Ms Sharon Bird MP (Member for Cunningham, NSW and Chair, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training), Ms Lyn Hay (Lecturer, School of Information Studies, CSU) and Glen Worthington (Committee Secretary, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training).
Dr Kim Thompson has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture at the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Francisco Morazan (UPNFM) of Honduras during the 2009-2010 academic year.
She has helped evaluate the Master's program in library science at the UPNFM, revise the Master's curriculum proposal and develop the content for an online Master's level management of information organisations subject in Spanish.
Her academic services have focused on program accreditation. Since the UPNFM is involving its own accreditation evaluation this year, she has been invited to help the university library system prepare for the review. She has also worked as a consultant on an accreditation evaluation visit for the central university in Guatemala.
In mid-August Dr Kim Thompson will conduct daylong workshops on Information Ethics and Assessing Information Needs for The Honduran Librarian and Documentalist Association (Asociacion de Bibliotecarios y Documentalistas de Honduras or ABIDH, the Honduran version of ALIA).
Click below for a gallery of shots taken at last month's graduation ceremony in Wagga - again congratulations to Dr Susan Reynolds, Dr James Herring and Dr Ashley Freeman. 275 SIS graduand students attended the ceremony in person on 14 April 2010.
You may also like to read Professor Steven Kemmis' Occasional Address to the graduation ceremony - and you can do that here.