New Zealand News

By Rosa-Jane French

Professional development and upgrading is on the agenda for New Zealand school librarians a s Rosa-Jane French reports from Christchurch.


School librarians along with their teaching colleagues are beginning to accept the four term year, which became national in New Zealand this year. Many of us felt we were trying to fit the usual 14 weeks of work into our first short term of just 10 weeks! However, we enjoyed the longer break over Easter when the weather was pleasant.

In February the School Library Network Annual General Meeting was held for the last time in Christchurch, the Executive Committee is now in Dunedin. The new Secretary is Jenny Carroll, Librarian at Queen's High School ([email protected] south.co.nz). The new committee is organising a day programme to fit in with the New Zealand Library and Information Association conference to be held in Queenstown at the end of September. The theme of the main conference is Information at Work and Dale Spend er will be one of the plenary speakers. There will also be sessions on issues such as information literacy and the virtual library. Meanwhile Catherine Thomas, immediate past secretary of the School Library Network will be attending the International Association of School Librarianship Conference in Jamaica in July.

On a smaller scale, Christchurch school librarians have organised a professional development day in June. We will hear of new course developments in training for librarians from the Wellington School of Library Studies which will enable students to extend their qualifications from the present Certificate to a Diploma, with possible links into Degree courses. Another session that day will look at the needs of Asian students in our school libraries, both resident migrants and students here for short term language courses.

There are a variety of courses available at local and national levels for librarians and teacher-librarians. Some are formal and long term whilst others are short term and arranged on a needs basis. Courses are offered by a variety of providers, especially the National Library centres and Colleges of Education, but also commercial companies. It is not always easy to keep in touch with all the possibilities, but the picture is one of challenge -there is always something new to learn.

Rosa-Jane French

Teacher-Librarian

Rangi Ruru Girls' School