Saturday, April 30, 2016

Conferencing in Beijing

Last week Katie Day, Babs Albury and I had the opportunity to organise a 2 day conference of School Librarians at Keystone Academy, Beijing, China. We had 43 school librarians attend from Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Dongguan, Guangdong, Changshu, Suzhou, Jiangsu, Zhuhai, Guangzhou, Yokohama (Japan), Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), with our furthest attendee coming all the way from Moka, Mauritius.

It was two days of sharing our contexts and conversations about best practise. 

We heard from people who had little or no budget to work with and the creative ways they make things happen in their library. 

We also learned how to :
  • be creative when the accounts department do not let you dispose of books from the school premises. 
  • organise an effective author visit, 
  • make a library centred school. 
  • create the role we play in creating a culture of academic honesty and fairness 
  • make meaningful connections between school and public librarians
  • create a family reading program
  • transform a library into a libratory
  • go through the process of action research
  • analyse our contexts and needs then create a strategic plan
  • make our virtual resources visible
  • support students with personalised learning plans
  • use concepts in our planning and teaching
  • evaluate and create reading programs
  • plan for change in the library environment
  • evaluate the perception of the school librarian in Asian society
Overall, it was a diverse programme that had something for everyone with opportunity for questions and conversation in each session. We are very thankful for the presenters for sharing their experiences and expertise and the time they took to prepare fabulous learning for the participants.

We also had the opportunity to tour the libraries at Keystone which was followed up with an information social.

Follett and Gale Cengage were our sponsors who also had the opportunity to share their current products and talk to participants.

We shared resources, presentations and a museum of spaces using Padlet (this works well in China).

Keystone Academy is a new custom built bilingual, boarding school that opened for students in August 2014, it offers the International Primary Curriculum, Middle Years Programme (IB) and Diploma Programme (IB) curriculums catering to Chinese and International students.

The three keystones of Keystone Academy are :
  • bilingual immersion in Chinese and English; 
  • building character and community in a residential setting; 
  • promoting Chinese culture and identity in a world context. 
It is a beautiful campus, catering for the arts and physical wellbeing as well as the traditional subjects. It has lovely on campus housing for the staff who wish to live on campus.

You can view photos of the conference, campus and libraries at this link, the full programme with links to the presentations can be found here.

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