Friday, November 21, 2008

Tri-Cities Libraries Featured in Report on Education

School libraries, and the Aboriginal Education Library, in School District #43, which serves the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody) area and the villages of Anmore and Belcarra, were featured in the BC Deputy Minister of Education's Report on Education from October 24, 2008 (pdf), along with the Tri-Cities public libraries. The article, "Library Month", which was written in celebration of the proclamation of Library Month in October, discusses successful collaboration and cooperation between School District #43 libraries and Coquitlam Public Library, Port Moody Public Library, and Terry Fox Library (a branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library).

The "Library Month" article begins on page 1 of Report on Education. Additionally, on the last page, don't miss the note on the celebration of National School Library Day and Drop Everything and Read!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PSA Task Force Survey Preliminary Results (Part II)

43 BCTLA members responded to the PSA Task Force Survey in mid-October, representing 12.5% of the total respondents. Question 9 on the PSA Task Force Survey asked respondents to prioritize twenty activities that PSAs, including BCTLA, should be focusing on both in terms of now, and in the future. Choices included low, medium or high.

Activities that PSA members feel are of high priority for PSAs to undertake now:
  1. Providing Professional Development for teachers.
  2. Advocacy for professional issues.
  3. Providing PSA members with advice and information.
  4. Hosting an annual conference.
  5. Through the BCTF, providing the ministry with advice and information.
  6. Participation, through the BCTF, in ministry curriculum committees.
  7. Liaising with teacher training institutions regarding specialized training.
  8. Mentoring new teachers.
  9. Developing and supporting listservs and other technology for communication.
  10. Disseminating curriculum advice.
  11. Providing the BCTF with advice and information.
  12. Networking within PSAs.
  13. Advocacy for PSAs.
  14. Supporting teacher inquiry and other teacher-directed, collaborative, and collegial forms of PD.
  15. Providing advice to the BCTF Executive Committee on ministerial education policy issues.
  16. Supporting and expanding LSAs.
  17. Publishing an online journal.
  18. Liaison with provincial/national/international professional organizations.
  19. Publishing a hard-copy journal.
  20. Networking across PSAs.

Activities that PSA members feel will be of high priority for PSAs to undertake in the future:

  1. Providing Professional Development for teachers.
  2. Providing PSA members with advice and information.
  3. Advocacy for professional issues.
  4. Through the BCTF, providing the ministry with advice and information.
  5. Mentoring new teachers.
  6. Participation, through the BCTF, in ministry curriculum committees.
  7. Publishing an online journal.
  8. Hosting an annual conference.
  9. Liaising with teacher training institutions regarding specialized training.
  10. Developing and supporting listservs and other technology for communication.
  11. Providing the BCTF with advice and information.
  12. Networking within PSAs.
  13. Supporting teacher inquiry and other teacher-directed, collaborative, and collegial forms of PD.
  14. Advocacy for PSAs.
  15. Providing advice to the BCTF Executive Committee on ministerial education policy issues.
  16. Disseminating curriculum advice.
  17. Supporting and expanding LSAs.
  18. Liaison with provincial/national/international professional organizations.
  19. Networking across PSAs.
  20. Publishing a hard-copy journal.

The final survey results will be released with the report of the PSA Task Force later this year.

Monday, November 17, 2008

PSA Task Force Survey Preliminary Results (Part I)

In late October, members of the BCTF's 33 Provincial Specialist Associations (PSAs), including BCTLA, were asked to respond to the PSA Task Force Survey. Preliminary results were presented on Friday to PSA Council (PSAC). PSAC, which is composed of the Presidents of all of the PSAs, met all day on Friday and Saturday last week (the first of three regularly scheduled meetings in the year).

There were 345 responses to the survey, and I am happy to announce that 43 responses were from members of BCTLA! Thank you for responding in such great numbers. We were one of the most represented PSAs on the survey. Overall, more females than males responded to the survey, and the majority of respondents were older and had a great amount of teaching experience.

According to the preliminary results, over 50% of the survey respondents became a member of a PSA through a PSA conference. Another interesting note in terms of how one becomes a PSA member was the importance of teacher education programs, as a large number of survey respondents identified a teacher education program as the place where they first decided to become a PSA member.

In terms of what the PSA can provide to members, number one for survey respondents now and in the future was professional development. Least important to members, especially for the future, are print copies of PSA journals. Other themes of importance that emerged included involvement in curriculum development and implementation, advocacy, and the dissemination of information to PSA members.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Bookmark Schedule and New Site

Here is the schedule for the next two issues of The Bookmark:

Winter Issue
January 16, 2009 - deadline for submissions
February 6, 2009 - published online

Spring/Summer Issue

May 29, 2009 - deadline for submissions
June 12, 2009 - published online


All of these dates are Fridays.

This link will be our future access point for publications:
http://psas.bctf.ca/bctla/pub/.

BCTLA invites submissions for publication in The Bookmark from B.C. and beyond. Please send submissions to:


Angie MacRitchie
BCTLA Senior Editor, The Bookmark
amacritchie@telus.net

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

BCTLA Constitution Revision

This week, Bonnie McComb, Val Hamilton, and I began work on a revision of the BCTLA Constitution, By-Laws and Policies. We got a good start on the first section and will be looking at the Policies and Procedures before the winter break. Our hope to streamline the document (currently 26 pages) and to update it to make BCTLA more effective and responsive given current opportunities and challenges. The BCTLA Constitution, By-Laws and Policies was last updated in 2004.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Board of Education Trustee Elections

Elections for municipal and other positions, including Board of Education trustees, are coming up this week across B.C. One of the tools BCTLA produced this Fall for members was a list of "Possible Questions for Use at All-Candidates Meetings Involving Candidates for Board of Education Trustee Positions". Hopefully those who will be successful in this week's elections are interested in the role of school library programs and the importance of teacher-librarians! Thanks to Lynn Turner, BCTLA's Continuing Education Chair, for creating the questions.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

News from Québec

ABQLA, L'Association des bibliothécaires du Québec / Québec Library Association, has just launched their new website, which features web 2.0 tools such as blog capability. ABQLA's use of LibraryThing to share books that have been received for reviewing is quite interesting! ABQLA's School Library Division is one of two school library associations in Québec. The other is APSDS, the Association pour la promotion des services documentaires scolaires.

According to Mary Moroska, English Montreal School Board teacher-librarian, who is also on the Board of Directors for ABQLA, issues in Québec school libraries include the hiring of qualified personnel and job descriptions. In terms of hiring, the Québec Ministry of Education is continuing to allocate funds for the hiring of qualified personnel. Until 2019, the Ministry will be hiring approximately twenty MLIS graduates (who have finished the approved courses) per year.

In terms of job descriptions, the Ministry is working on job descriptions of the various personnel that work in school libraries. Currently, Québec has, "School Librarians (MLIS), Specialists in Education Methods (MLIS with a technology specialization) and Documentation Technicians (college level degree)" working in school libraries. According to Mary, the Québec Ministry of Education, "seems to be opting for the term 'Specialistes en documentation' for all the personnel that works in school libraries".

Monday, November 3, 2008

28th Annual Working and Learning Conditions Survey

The 28th annual Working and Learning Conditions survey of B.C. public school libraries is now underway! Teacher-librarians or staff representatives from all B.C. public schools are invited to submit their survey response online.

Survey results are compiled and made available each year. Last year's results, from the 27th annual survey, are available as an issue of The Bookmark (April 2008), and include quantitative and qualitative information.