Commentaries as published in Access 

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Starting a new library position: suggestions and recommendations to kickstart a new role

by Tehani Croft (ACCESS, 33-1, 2018)

In Term 2, 2018, I started a new job in a new school as the head of library. It’s not the first time I’ve done this, as I’ve been in libraries across Australia for around 15 years, but as any teacher will tell you, every school is different, and as any library staff member will attest, so is every library!

Libraries should not exist anymore

by Matthew Esterman and Stefanie Gaspari (ACCESS, 32-4, 2018)

Before the ‘World Wide Web’ for a few became ‘being online’ for everyone, we used to go to the library for many reasons. Before Google, before Siri, before smartphones, before apps that help you sleep because you spend too much time on the very device on which the app has been installed, when handles meant something you literally twist and turn and when the news cycle was blissfully paced … we had libraries. 


Embracing the new revolution: how to effectively teach with technology

by Dave Canavan (ACCESS, 32-2, 2018)

Technology seems to have always been a part of our lives, but only recently has it become so omnipresent that to think of life without computers, mobile phones and other essentials seems unbearable! 

Embracing challenging texts

by Will Kostakis (ACCESS, 32-1, 2018)

Will Kostakis is an award-winning author for young adults. He tours schools internationally, inspiring teens to read and write, and supplementing critical studies of his own work. 'The Sidekicks' is his latest novel, and despite dealing with three different boys navigating grief, it has been labelled as age-inappropriate for teens (by some) because one of those boys is same-sex attracted. 

The power of the short story

by Tim Harris (ACCESS, 31-1, 2017)

Tim Harris is an Australian children’s author. When he is not working on a book, Tim enjoys visiting schools and promoting a love of reading and writing in children. 

Your Centre for Australian Children's Literature

by Dr Belle Alderman AM and Dr Trish Milne (ACCESS, 30-3, 2016)

The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature is the nation’s most comprehensive collection of material relating to Australian children’s literature. Begun as the inspiration of one woman, Lu Rees in 1974, the collection is now valued at over nine million dollars. It has a firm reputation among researchers, academics, teachers, students, bibliographers, librarians and the general public and forms a significant part of the nation’s cultural heritage.  

What's so funny about the imagination?

by Matt Stanton (ACCESS, 30-4, 2016)

All the sessions in my Stretch Your Imagination School Tour start in the same way. ‘Hello! My name is Matt. I make funny books.’ This statement is absolutely true — all my children’s books are intended to be funny. This is not because I’ve never grown up into a proper, functioning adult. It’s also not because I don’t know how to be serious. I choose to make funny books for a very deliberate reason. 

Muesli dressed as Cocopops - the black orb strategy to engage kids in reading

by Susannah McFarlane (ACCESS 29-4, 2015)

For the last 25 years I have worked in the publishing industry as a marketer, publisher and writer, creating books that kids will want to read. As a trade publisher rather than an educational one, I’ve made books that aim to be chosen by the kids themselves, not imposed on them, and off er stories that are entertaining and compelling reading, not just the required reading of the classroom. 

You don't have to be crazy to be a writer

by Peter McInnis (ACCESS, 29-1, 2015)

This story began in a talk I gave at Birrong Girls High, when I used a shot of myself near a lava flow on Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii. She could see from the photo that I was sweating profusely, but one of the girls asked about the heat, and I mentioned that it was sufficient to frizzle the hairs on my legs. 

How engaged are your students?

by Dan Haesler (ACCESS, 28-3, 2014)

Why are we so obsessed with other countries’ education systems? Let me rephrase that. Why are our politicians — from all sides — so obsessed with other countries’ education systems? 

Between a dropbox and a hard place

by Hamish Curry (ACCESS, 28-2, 2014)

As educators, we pour a lot of our energy into planning, preparing, discussing and debating how to create the best learning environments. Conferences are designed to generate these insights. So too are articles like this. In my recent transition from my role at the State Library of Victoria to working with NoTosh, I hadn’t imagined the ways these worlds would connect and overlap. It has been refreshing to explore how design thinking helps find and reflect on problems and see them with fresh eyes. 

Pedagogical relations in the age of big data

by Erica McWilliam (ACCESS, 28-1, 2014)

A pedagogical relationship is the relationship produced through teaching and learning, is, according to phenomenologist, Max van Maanen, ‘the most profound relationship an adult can have with a child’ But what does it mean for a teacher to have a ‘profound’ relationship with a student in digital times? 

Digital normalisation, school evolution and BYOT: positioning the school library

by Mal Lee (ACCESS, 27-4, 2013)

Digital normalisation is when the digital technology that is already used naturally 24/7/365 outside the school walls is also used in all facets of the school’s operations. This paper provides teacher-librarians with a context and also the understanding needed to assist the ongoing evolution of the school and vitally to ensure that library operations operations are central to that evolution. 

RDA for school libraries: the next generation in school libraries

by Judy O'Connell (ACCESS, 27-3, 2013)

RDA is a new standard for metadata description of resources held in the collections of libraries, archives, museums, and other information management organisations. RDA essentially standardises how metadata content is identified, transcribed and generally structured. 

Three in One: teacher, information specialist, leader

by Alinda Sheerman (ACCESS, 27-2, 2013)

Because teacher-librarians are curriculum specialists with a breadth of knowledge right across all curricula, they can go beyond teaching information literacy skills and even inquiry skills … they can lead in inquiry learning and pedagogical change in this area. 

Learning everywhere

by Michael Stephens (ACCESS, 26-4, 2012)

I propose that with the power of emerging technologies, the potential of the personal learning network, and the possibilities for newer methods of instruction, both teacher librarians and their students are on a positive path toward an emerging landscape of constant learning and growth. This article scans current research, the technology environment in library and information science (LIS) and recent trends to provide an overview and roadmap toward learning everywhere.

Learning without frontiers

by Judy O'Connell (ACCESS, 26-1, 2012)

Each new academic year brings challenges, change and excitement in ways that might not have been expected or anticipated. While library shelves have been dusted, collections prepared, digital tools sharpened, and motivation is running high, the one point of certainty is that the learning landscape refuses to ‘be still’! When it comes to literacy, information and lifelong learning, the pulsing energy of change powers the curriculum of learning innovation throughout the year — now, more than ever, at a breakneck pace. 

Digital citizenship: developing an ethical and responsible online culture

by Cathy Oxley (ACCESS, 25-3, 2011)

Responsible and ethical use of the Internet is not something that teenagers, in particular, consider to be important, and serious consequences are beginning to emerge as a result of careless and offensive online behaviour. Students need to be taught ethical and responsible ways to behave when using the Internet and encouraged to create a positive digital profile and to use the Internet for good and worthwhile projects. 

Building borderlands between performing and learning

by Erica McWilliam (ACCESS, 25-2, 2011)

Of all the demands made of 21st century schooling, few are more insistent than the demand that teachers respond to societal expectations of high student performance on standardised pencil and paper tests of mandated curriculum, and at the same time prepare young people for the lifelong and lifewide learning demands of a paperless, pencil-less digital age…Such paradoxical pressures are unlikely to be accommodated unless teachers are able to imagine and inhabit borderlands at the nexus of the past and the future. 

Libraries as iCentres: helping schools

by Dr Michael Hough AM, RFD, ED  (ACCESS, 25-1, 2011)

This article presents a strong argument that librarians need to take proactive leadership roles in schools analogous to that of the chief information officer (CIO) in organisations, and that libraries need to evolve into what will be described as iCentres — the hub of the digital learning-based activities of a school. 

Shift happens It's time to rethink, rebuild and rebrand

by Lyn Hay (ACCESS, 24-4, 2010)

This commentary explores some of the issues, concerns and potentials of school library futures and challenges teacher-librarians to examine how their own practice can contribute to building capacity for a sustainable future where school libraries become key learning centres of information, inquiry, innovation, immersion and instructional excellence. The concept of the iCentre is introduced. 

Inquiry into guided inquiry

by Pru Michell and Sue Spence, with grateful acknowledgement to Dr Ross J Todd 

(ACCESS, 23-4, 2009)

Imagine for a moment that you are preparing to return to your job as a teacher librarian after a few years’ leave. What changes will you notice? What areas of professional learning will be most important? -

Is there a place for ethics in the library?

by Jeff Herd (ACCESS, 22-4, 2008)

The global move towards introducing competition, flexibility and the encouragement of new ideas has raised the moral and ethical dimensions of leadership as an important topic for exploration. 

School libraries: making a difference

by Kerry Neary (ACCESS, 22-3, 2008)

While the school library is a learning space of considerable financial investment, this article focuses on the educational investment. Fourteen years of replicated and validated research shows that school libraries make a difference to student achievement. 

Impacts of changes in teaching on school libraries: a personal reflection

by Sigrid Kropp (ACCESS, 22-1, 2008)

The author presents a personal reflection on the changes to teaching in the 10 years to 2008 and their impacts on school libraries, with input and comments from colleagues. 

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