Welcome to the first edition of Synergy for 2012. This is an important year for educators as we celebrate the National Year of Reading and reflect on what it means to be readers in the 21st century and what this means for teacher-librarians. While we search for ways to improve the reading and learning opportunities for our students, I urge SLAV members to acknowledge that professional reading must be part of their own lives as educators and I hope that Synergy can be a part of that learning journey.
In this edition we have again gathered together a range of eclectic but, I hope, informative and engaging articles from both local and international sources that will offer something for each one of SLAV’s members. From an organisational perspective I’d like to acknowledge some changes. Camilla Elliott has been the author of the section titled Learning Landscapes in Synergy
for a number of years. She has done an exemplary job sharing with us her views on the changing nature of libraries and learning. With this first edition of Synergy for 2012 we are implementing a change to this section. Camilla, who we thank for her excellent work, will remain a member of the Synergy
board but in the future the section will authored by guest writers for a year at a time. During 2012 the author of the section will be Anne Whisken, the Head of Resource Centre, Mellor Library at Carey Baptist Grammar School. We welcome Anne to this role and look forward to her perspective on our ever-changing learning landscapes.
We also welcome some changes to the Synergy board. Mary Manning, retired from the position of Executive Officer of the Association, has been invited to remain in her role as a member of the board. It is pleasing to be able to retain the expertise and knowledge that Mary holds as she continues her strong association with the journal from a different perspective. In conjunction with changes at SLAV; we welcome Cindy Tschernitz, the new Executive Officer of SLAV, to a role on the Synergy board. In this edition you can read Cindy’s first foray into the journal with an ‘interactions’ piece on her Professional Learning Network experiences.
This edition of the journal features some particularly thought-provoking pieces. Dr Ross Todd challenges us to consider the meanings behind the term ‘digital natives’, Dr Sue Reynolds and Dr Mary Carroll report on research into classroom libraries that questions the role of our profession, and we look at British research entitled ‘Truth, lies and the internet’. It is particularly gratifying to offer these articles to our membership; I hope they stimulate discussion and debate.
Also within this edition readers will find two articles on our professional interaction with the very young. Daphne C. Cohen describes a new ebook that contains over 60 activities for engaging prep students in the development of digital literacy skills. In her regular section, Research into Practice, Dr Carol Gordon explores the work of two teacher-librarians, Josianne Fitzgerald and Beth Gourley, from the International School of Tianjin in China, who implemented an inquiry model that meets the needs of their young primary school aged learners.
There is no shortage of engaging articles and reviews in this edition but I would like to particularly commend the ‘strategies’ section article to readers as an example of a useful piece that could be readily shared. In this, Heath Graham, the Learning Programs Officer - Online Education, at the State Library of Victoria, describes the 21 sites that were created using government funding to support the use of Web 2.0 tools. SLAV members will be very familiar with our association’s involvement. All of the materials developed are housed on the FUSE portal. This overview from Heath offers a rich source of opportunities for students. Some will be used directly by teacher-librarians whilst others should be recommended to specific subject teachers. Share this overview with your school’s curriculum leaders.
Lastly, on behalf of the SLAV community, I would like to congratulate two members of the Synergy editorial board, Dr Ross Todd and Lyn Hay, for being named in the list of winners of the inaugural Teacher Librarian Leadership Awards. These awards for significant contributions to the field were announced by the editors of Teacher Librarian: The Journal for School Library Professionals earlier this year. The winners were acknowledged for their visionary leadership in a time of great change. We are fortunate to have such influential leaders working with us to produce Synergy and we acknowledge the extraordinary contribution both Lyn and Ross have made to teacher librarianship both in our own state and internationally.
Dr Susan La Marca
Head of Library Services
Genazzano FCJ College