In this last week I have been fortunate enough to be able to attend the ECIS Librarians conference in Istanbul (sorry for the abundant tweets for those who follow me!) This was a fantastic experience and a great learning opportunity, both from the formal presentations and the informal socialising and chats that go on with these conferences.
The conference was truly an international school conference with people from all over the globe attending, most with the IB curriculum, but not all. This was for me the highlight as International Schools face different challenges to the national school libraries, as well as similar challenges. It allowed me to pick the brains of people I had met through twitter and also those who are working hard in their schools on great things but have not been shown how to share what they are doing (we showed them..). There are great things happening all over the world in International Schools. I met some wonderful people who were fun to be with and who I will endeavour to stay in contact with across the miles. If you are in an International School I suggest you put this conference in your planner for three years away, it is the conference you need to attend.
So all this money and time off school - what will I take home?
- I will take home a greater enthusiasm for having students create their own book trailers, thanks to Tara Etheridge (@bookchica) from Bangkok, and I even know which unit of inquiry we can embed it in next year.
- I learned about join.me a screen sharing app from @BisLibrary, Cyril Compeyron - the French Librarian working in Berlin. He also showed me how QRcodes can link to anything - not just a website, and shared how he created a qr code treasure hunt. He also showed me Joomla and We spent a lot of time bouncing our brains off each other getting excited about geeky stuff. We even did a co-presentation on QR codes with 15mins notice, after meeting 10mins before in Joyce Valenza's smackdown (people thought we had rehearsed it and that we worked together in normal life ... that was funny)
- I learned that Alan Gibbons is a fantastic public speaker/ author/ library & reading advocate and I will be asking him to visit our school so our parents, teachers and students can hear what he has to say...(in that order)
- I learned what I needed to know about Overdrive from an international users perspective rather than a vendors perspective - this was extremely useful. Thanks Marjorie Schreier and her team from Zurich International School for sharing. I will be taking this information back to HK to share with others there. I also tweeted wildly throughout the session so you can have a look there for the notes.
- I met and learned and was challenged by Joyce Valenza and Doug Johnson - this was just great, they are such personable people with so much to share.
- I had confirmed that no matter what you are doing in a school, it is something different to what others are doing, and you need to share it at conferences or through blogs or on twitter - it does not matter what it is - someone will learn something from you.
- I had confirmed that school librarians are passionate about improving how they work, that they want to be better at their job, they know they make a difference to learning, they just want help to figure out how to do it in this sifting landscape.
I took so much more away that I cannot continue as the post will be extremely long, it was totally worth it and I will go home with new ways of doing things, and also with an affirmation that what we are doing with our library programme is on the right track, but needs constant evaluation to stay there. A brilliant conference - I think it was the best I have ever attended. Well done to the organising committee and to ENKA schools for hosting us.
If you want to see some of the tweets from about 5 consistent and avid tweeters throughout the conference- search for #ecislib2011.People were using twitter as a place to take notes, so you get to share in the conference.
PS- You must visit Istanbul if you get a chance - what an incredible, friendly, vibrant, clean, modern city.
The image is one I took of one of the many statues of children playing, reading etc adorning the grounds of the ENKA schools. Just a beautiful addition to school grounds.