Celebrating text at IGS

Six weeks since gleaning the latest insights on advances in library services from the Harvard  Library Leadership in a Digital Age symposium in a snowy Harvard Graduate School of Education, IGS Head of Library Services Glynis Martin and Primary Teacher Librarian Karen McBride have joined our Principal Shauna Colnan in the project towards an IGS Bibliothèque.

At the same time, the detailed planning phase for the IGS Bibliothèque is beginning, bringing the IGS Master Plan Framework closer to a reality for our students and staff.

This month, two exciting events for Primary readers are planned – a visit to the Sydney Writers’ Festival for Years 3 and 5 on Monday 7 May, and the innovative Lights OFF Torches ON celebration of reading for all Primary students and their families in the senior library, on Wednesday 23 May. Both will offer opportunities for students to share their love of reading and to meet and hear from authors.

Meanwhile, IGS library resources have been reunited in the Reg St Leon building in the heart of the School for the first time since 2011 when the Kerrie Murphy Building opened, as we begin the concept design for a large integrated library and learning hub in the centre of the School.

As this work begins, the languages staff are preparing to move to the top floor of the Kerrie Murphy Building in a new staff office, while Levels 1 and 2 are set to become an exciting destination space for language learning from Preschool to Year 12.

In the short term, while some library materials for younger learners are now located in the Level 2 library in the Reg St Leon in Kelly Street, others have been moved into home rooms.

Library staff and resources
IGS Head of Library Services Glynis Martin and Primary Teacher Librarian Karen McBride

Karen has been working closely with Primary School teachers to ensure that relevant reference resources for units for the rest of the year for each class and subject are available in their classrooms, and each classroom now boasts a wider selection of fiction than ever before.

Primary classes are visiting the Primary resources in the Level 2 library to borrow, and Primary library staff are teaching research skills as usual in students’ home rooms. On any morning during roll call, Primary students are welcome to return and borrow more books.

Senior students will experience no changes to their library activities, with team teaching still offered by library staff in collaboration with high school teachers, and more than 14,000 hard copy fiction and non-fiction resources available, in addition to unlimited online resources.

“Books and other reading materials will continue to maintain their importance during this time of change,” Karen said.

“The future of libraries is about collaboration, adaptability, flexibility, advocacy, community partnerships and fun.”

Karen said the Harvard opportunity allowed her to benchmark and see that IGS library services and resources are world class, and she and Glynis plan to work with staff, students and architects to integrate the best of the new ideas on offer into the new Bibliothèque.

The IGS library serves many functions. Physically, it offers a safe and welcoming haven where students can play quiet games, “chill out” or conduct individual research at their own pace, while digitally, it is limitless.

It is also a place with areas dedicated for teacher-focussed research lessons and wide reading, and a centre where collaborative learning groups can meet.

IGS Head of Library Services Glynis Martin sees the Bibliothèque as a similar but larger, more inclusive and innovative home for enquiry-based learning, with hands-on, print and visual material in the foreground, backed by a diverse range of digital resources.

Staff will continue to support students’ love of learning and reading and help them to develop effective research skills, while working with teaching colleagues to ensure relevant research materials are available.

While detailed planning for the Bibliothèque is still in early stages, it is expected to support and enhance students’ educational journeys.

Glynis envisages “a large, student-centered, flexible and multidisciplinary space which inspires lifelong learners and embeds engagement in reading for pleasure, caters for interest, creativity and curiosity” and a space that “responds to the differing needs and expectations of students of all ages and abilities”.

“It will be an interactive yet practical multidisciplinary space, delivering collections and innovative programs that celebrate text, promote literacy, and support teaching and learning,” Glynis said.

It will also inspire teachers to be the very best they can be and provide them with a flexible new space for professional collaboration.

“The Bibliothèque will be a place that is physically and metaphorically at the heart of the IGS community.”