Welcome to the first edition of Synergy for 2014. While Synergy is not a themed journal, I am sometimes surprised by how our contributors appear to conspire to make it so! The result is a journal with a noticeable theme; as if articles were meant to go together. Such a discussion, or focus, is evident in this edition. In Synergy this time, we have a number of pieces that are grappling with different viewpoints on what a school library should be in a dynamic world. Our wonderful Dr. Ross Todd, in his regular Reflections and Actions section, explores how the imperative of social justice impacts upon the school libraries we create, particularly in areas of disadvantage. Anne Whisken, in her Learning Landscapes section, continues her discussion around how we design spaces and what types of spaces we need in school libraries. One of our Global pieces, by David V. Loertscher and Carol Koechlin, considers the concept of the library as a learning commons and what this might look like. In her welcome contribution to our Global section, and following her recent conference presentation in May, Dr Carol Gordon builds on her research to explore her view on the library of the future. As well as these thought-provoking articles, we publish an example of a newly-designed space close to home with Kris Paterson describing the recently-opened middle years library in the Urwin Centre for Learning at Brighton Grammar School.
Similarly, our two Strategies articles explore the idea of ‘makerspaces’ in school libraries. Karin Gilbert and Joy Whiteside outline their different experiences, both interesting examples that invite us all to consider what a library is for and what it can offer our school communities. In addition to her other article, Dr Carol Gordon’s regular Research into Practice piece describes the creation of an extremely well received innovation centre within a school library in the United States.
While I have enjoyed noting here the articles that discuss the nature of local and international school libraries now and into the future, it is still true that Synergy is not themed. Perhaps the large number of articles considering this topic is coincidence, or maybe this is a topic on the minds of many in our profession.
Further, our valued Synergy board member Dr Susan Boyce, has written a response to the research into Gold Coast school libraries published in the second edition of the journal during 2013. We appreciate the time she gives to Synergy and her generosity in sharing her insights and thoughts. We are also pleased to publish Chris Lean’s valuable reflection on the professional development she undertook in 2013. Tania Sheko, in her regular Technophilia section, argues for the relevance and usefulness of Twitter.
In research which we are extremely pleased to be able to reprint, we present Dr Ross Todd’s and Punit Dadlani’s paper for the International Association of School Librarianship’s most recent conference in August of 2013. This paper, entitled ‘Collaborative Inquiry in Digital Information Environments: Cognitive, Personal and Interpersonal Dynamics’, has great relevance to our Australian context.
It is always pleasing to be able to publish another interesting edition of the journal, but this one provides deep satisfaction because of the change it brings to the reach of Synergy. With this edition, we enter a new and exciting era for the journal. The Committee of Management, the Council of the Association and the Board of Synergy have decided to open up the publication to a broader audience, while maintaining Synergy’s status as a member journal of the association. From this edition onwards, only the most recent edition of Synergy will be closed to members, while all earlier editions will be freely available on the SLAV website. Once a new edition is published the previous edition will then be made available. In this way SLAV members retain the latest edition as part of their membership benefits while colleagues from throughout the world who have internet access will be able to read Synergy articles from all earlier editions. It was felt this approach offered the best of both worlds.
I am particularly pleased that we will now be able to share Synergy articles with our colleagues nationally and internationally. This will give a new audience to valuable material and demonstrate the collegiate attitude of our association to our profession. We all recognise the global nature of education and support efforts to foster learning and interaction. Synergy, now partially open, can be an important part of this.
Dr Susan La Marca