One of the very best things about working in the library is the opportunity to work with students across their different subject areas, collaborate with a diversity of teachers and other staff and of course, to get involved in student led and driven ‘passion projects’.
This week provided an excellent overview of the many different ways the library at Loreto is being used. On Monday we were visited by our Year 12 Standard English students and their teachers for a reenactment of Robert Frost’s poem ‘Home Burial’. The teachers took to the staircase leading to the senior study mezzanine in order to act out the heart wrenching conversation between the poem’s persona and his wife as they struggle to come to terms with the very different ways they are coping with the loss of a child.
On Tuesday we launched Language Labs in support of some new resources purchased by the LOTE faculty. The students have enjoyed thumbing the pages of Italian Vogue as well as well as interacting with some objects from Italy and France. The timing was spot on as we celebrated the extraordinary efforts our language students during assembly.
Election fever hit on Wednesday and the library screened moment to moment coverage of the nail biting event. Teachers and students stopped to grab a quick update on their way to and from class and we had a group of students glued to the rapidly shifting results at lunch and recess. After the polls were in I saw a tweet from Hillary Clinton that said “To all the little girls watching…never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world.” When Tuesday evening came and we all went to bed uncertain of what to make of the result I thought about the role of teachers and the work that must be done now as we double down on ensuring that our girls know their voices are valuable and worthy of being heard.
Thursday proved a lesson in good leadership as our student led book club, Chapter Chicks, met over lunch to discuss their chosen book, Wonder by R. J Palacio, as well as all the other wonderful books they have been reading. We also put them to work completing recommended reading cards to display around the library. Year 12 students have also been demonstrating leadership around the way they approach their senior study periods. The learning team have been working with them on devising Personalised Learning Plans and they have been encouraged to use the library to full effect. The Year 12 Extension History students had their Thursday morning class in the library around research methodology. We discussed where good ideas come from, the importance of ‘serendipitous’ moments in the library stacks and of course the databases on offer for when they begin to refine their research questions. It was terrific to see so many keen students return to the library for rich conversations with the librarians around research. Year 12 Aboriginal Studies students have also commenced their major research project which, like Extension History, spans across multiple terms. They too were in the library as a class getting a reminder crash course in research methodology from our librarians.
We have also been working with the Year 9 Religious Education team in their individual research projects where the girls have been tasked with devising a ‘non googleable’ question around Christianity and Australia. Some of the questions thus far have been fascinating and the students have benefited from being able to conduct their research in the library with the librarians assisting them as well as their teachers. I am looking forward to pouring over many of the end products that students produce, in particular, the question of whether there is a crisis of faith in Australia and an investigation into what would happen if Gonzaga Barry were alive today!
The Loreto Staff Book Club also met on Thursday afternoon for afternoon tea and rich discussion around reading. We were discussing Zana Fraillon’s The Bone Sparrow— a beautiful, important and deeply moving novel about a young boy who has spent his entire life living in an Australian refugee camp. I am pleased to announce that Zana will be joining us for an evening of discussion on Thursday the 1st December 2016 in the Curran Theatre. Details for the event can be found here.
Finally, amidst all the action of a busy term we are mindful that summer holidays are not far away at all. With this in mind we have been purchasing some new books in order to encourage that blissful feeling of knowing you can delve into several good books over the long break. We encourage all staff and students to visit the library and pick up a summer read today.
Ms Elizabeth Green
Knowledge and Learning Strategist