Saturday, March 3, 2018

ECIS Librarians conference 2018 : Chennai Part 2.

Day 2 of the 8th ECIS Library Triennial had a lot to live up to after day one and it did so without hesitation. (All photos were taken by me unless otherwise captioned).

The day started with breakfast and making connections in the Unity courtyard with coffee, breakfast and an eagerness to see what the day held in store.

Participants were then led from the courtyard to the auditorium by an Indian musical troupe.

The Opening ceremony included a number of Indian artistic icons
Jeeva Raghunath led us through a traditional Indian story then we had a beautiful rendition of “Pi's Lullaby” by Academy Award nominated singer Jayashri Ramnath.

Credit: Official ECIS @aischennai photographer.

This was followed by an amazing performance of Haiku drumming from some dynamic students of AIS Chennai

6 of us were selected represent the 6 corners of the globe from which we travelled to the conference to conduct the ceremony of  Lighting the Dhiya.

Not sure who took this photo.

Andrew Hoover the Head of AIS Chennai welcomed us to the school and the conference.
Credit: official ECIS AISChennai Photographer

And then we heard from Shannon McClintock Miller about how powerful student voice is and how we can harness it in our practice.

Credit: official ECIS AISChennai Photographer

We were then given gifts of beautiful flower garlands as we exited the auditorium, the smell was beautiful and overpowering with so much jasmine.

Credit: official ECIS AISChennai Photographer

The conference day was divided into 4 sessions of presentations with a selection of 10 
presentations per time slot, and at times it was really hard to choose. The following is a synopsis of my day based on the sessions I chose to attend

Session 1:
Values and School Libraries :  presented by Dianne McKenzie
What are your values as a school librarian? How do they affect the way you do your job?The school librarian is a service where we interact with many different people on a daily basis, what we value will be evident in what we do, what we say and the priorities we have, and the values that others hold will affect us as well.

The session explored values that different cultures hold and how it affects interactions. This tweet from Mel Cooper refers to the brief commentary on how Indian city traffic is chaotic but why it seems to work with minimal road rage and accidents (where we were anyway).  It is essentially because Indians hold a value of responsibility to care for each other and to do no harm.

We moved onto identifying what we value in our personal lives and at work and how what we value, we will prioritise our time and money for. Next the group identified 10 specific roles of the school librarian they valued from a list of about 40 hats that are possible, they then identified what value their administrators might have from their actions and words.

We talked about conversations to be had to identify the values of others to help us in our job. The questions on this slide were adapted from the research by Mandy Lupton.

Session 2
Next session I attended was John Shu's Review of Books for you and your readers too!
I had been following John on Twitter for some time and had used his blog multiple times for collection development, and it was so great to meet him in person.
His session was highly entertaining with so much energy. He talked about books and gave many books away as he progressed through the session. He had everyone involved in telling a story using actions appropriate to the story and making it come alive. It was so much fun and excellent modelling on how to use read aloud time to really bring out the fun in reading.
His takeaway with information on the books he reviewed.

Session 3: Competency-Based learning is here to stay, how can librarians lead the way?
This session was led by Bonnie Lathram and Emily hamlin, both representatives from Global Online Academy which is a subscribed platform where students can take personalised online classes that are not in the regular curriculum for credit. The courses centre around 6 core competencies - see image below. 

My reflections are summed up in this tweet ...

The Global Online Academy seems to cater for schools who are following the American Curriculum, is accessible over multiple time zones and offers alternatives to the face to face courses that are available on campus.

Genre avoidance How does this affect free choice, read aloud and exposure?
Christina Dominque-Pierre from Shanghai led the group through a thought provoking session on how our own bias for specific genres prevents authentic collection development and stifles opportunities for students to access a wide range of reading. Loads of food for thought in what biases may affect our practices!

In the evening we headed to the Hotel for a fabulous gala at Taj Coromandel Hotel! Each table had been decorated with themes from Indian stories, the whole story themed evening was just beautiful, we also participated in lots of eating, drinking and dancing. 

It was a fabulous day of learning, connecting and fun!

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