One of the unique aspects of teacher librarians in schools is how well many of them are networked with their colleagues around Australia and the world. Necessity was the mother of this invention, as always, born in the days of interlibrary loans and strengthened by the often isolated environment of a staff of one or two. So it is good to see that after the success of Hubber Barbara B’s Teddybear drive in the weeks following the Canberra bushfires in 2003, TLs from Australia and around the world are once again sending fluffy friends to those children affected by the recent Victorian fires. If you would like to donate a new teddy to the drive, they can be posted or delivered to
Mt Lilydale Mercy College, 12o Anderson St, Lilydale VIC 3140
Kildare Campus, Lavalla Catholic College, PO Box 1080, Traralgon VIC 3844 (or Kosiosko St, Traralgon)
Werribee Primary School, Deutgam Street, Werribee VIC 3030
Of course, these aren’t the only children who benefit from the extensive network of school libraries worldwide. The International Association of Librarianship (IASL) provides “an international forum for those people interested in promoting effective school library media programs as viable instruments in the educational process”. Membership is divided into zones, with fees based on the GNP index for country of residence, so that, for example, those of us in Australia help to subsidise those in Afghanistan, who might otherwise be unable to be meet the full cost of membership. Sure, it’s usually a lot of travel to attend a conference, but what else lets you claim a tax deduction for a trip to Italy? Seriously though, it’s a great experience to meet fellow-professionals from around the globe and is first rate PD. Don’t ever think that video conferencing can replace the real thing, they’re not even in the same league.
You can read more about IASL here.