IASL and Jamaica

This week, I am in Kingston, Jamaica for the annual IASL Conference. I’m presenting a paper (in one hour’s time) on research I’ve done into what I’ve called the bookless school library (title deliberately controversial). I want us all to start a conversation about the future in which there is no printed material in the school library. I think that this will happen, and that the decisions made to bring in such a library, will not be made by teacher librarians. Now, one stance to adopt is that this will never happen, so don’t discuss it, James. I think this comes from seeing a totally virtual library as a threat and not an opportunity. I’ll be interested to see what my audience thinks this afternoon. It’s a full-on programme here at the conference and the papers cover a range of aspects including web 2.0, 21st century learners, information literacy, the education of teacher librarians, and research on reading.

I’ve had very little time to explore Kingston itself but others at the conference have been to Port Royal which combines history with seaside leisure activities. My free time was on Sunday when, unfortunately, all the cultural centres are closed, but on my next trip here I would visit The Bob Marley Museum, Devon House, which is a magnificent mansion with lavish gardens, and the National Gallery of Jamaica. I’m afraid that I forgot to pack my camera, so can’t send photos e.g. of the beautiful flowers around the town or the two little black birds with shiny yellow beaks and apparently humming wings. As Captain Mainwairing in Dad’s Army used to say to young Pike “You stupid boy!”.

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