Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Echoes from Hong Kong

It's the last day of August. As a way of bidding adieu to my "favorite" month, I am posting an "echo" of my IASL Hong Kong experience. It is the same presentation I shared with my colleagues in Xavier School last August 15, 2005. Funny how every time I leave the country for a conference or convention, I see the many ills that ails the profession but it made me love and appreciate it all the more. I hold the same disposition towards my motherland. My well spring of hope must be very deep and overflowing.

Highlights and Insights

* The conference is very scholarly and academic in nature. The research papers and project papers presented in the conference were very impressive. It reflects the standard of academic research that school librarians and allied professionals put forth to improve the practice of the discipline.

* ItÂ’s an opportunity to establish networks and collaborations with other school librarians.

* The experience is a glimpse to how school libraries in the world are coping, surviving and succeeding in this age of IT with in thepervadingg culture of change.

* In particular to the Philippine setting, attending the conference is a chance for participants to gauge the status of school librarianship in the country.

* The conference is a bowl of ideas where school librarians can pick the ones that are applicable in their context and appropriate in their culture.

From the many sessions I attended, I picked two presentations that may appeal to us as school librarians and professionals working with children. I hope that these may further help us in establishing better pedagogical practices for our students and in improving our services to teachers, our natural allies.

Reading Strategies of Hong Kong Primary School Students by Dana Dukic

Here are some characteristics and findings of the study that struck me:

Electronic environment vs. Print environment – students must be taught how to understand both environments; ILS lessons must be intensified; school libraries must function well to help students become life long learners.

Strategies that students employ in choosing books to borrow and read: specific book feature – cover, design, physical appearance
information source- author; series; genres social interaction – choices are affected by peers; top 3 influential people -mothers, teachers and librarians

Catching Slippery Eels by Dianne McKenzie

Dianne McKenzie compared the dynamic characteristic of online resources to slippery eels that are difficult to catch. But school librarians are trained to manage diverse resources. She provided her participants with a variety of resources available online to manage them. Let's go to her website and see what she has for school librarians.

Next year, the IASL Conference will be in Portugal. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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