I decided to have some audience participation in my presentation at IASL on what I called (trying to be controversial) the bookless school library i.e. a school library with no printed material. Well, it was controversial, with most people not liking the title at all. Interestingly, the responses I got from my audience were similar to those that I got from my research study, in which I interviewed leaders of Australia’s teacher librarian associations, e.g. when I asked what a bookless (OK completely virtual) school library would look like, the audience came up with flexible spacing, but not interactive walls. I’m not sure that I convinced all the audience that a school library without printed material would come about, but I argued that technology is ever changing, and that a sentimental attachment to printed books (e.g. which I have at home) in the school library will not cut much ice with senior managers in schools. I used the analogy of the home, where having a shower has replaced having a bath in most (developed world) homes – few would argue against this change. What was particularly interesting was that, after I had finished the presentation, an Australian TL came up to me and told me that her school was planning a new middle school – without a school library in it, although she was reassured that the TL still had a key role in the school. This justified my conclusion, which was that TLs and SLs need to think about their strategy re a totally virtual school library now, and not wait until after it happens.
Back in the eastern side of Scotland, it’s late summer, and although this part of the country gets 50% less rain than the western half, and less annual rain than Sydney, the last 2 weeks have been the exception that proves the rule. The rain has come down in buckets at times, and at other times ‘like silken strings’ as in Thomas Hardy’s poem. Ironically, we’ve had some great evening skies at the same time, as in the photo below. I’ve cut out the town below in the photo as I like the abstract nature of a summer sky. As a child and as an adult, I’ve been fascinated by looking for shapes in the sky – both abstract shapes and shapes which suggest aspects of people or animals. I hope this might inspire the artists among you. I was hopeless at art when at school and my teachers told me I lacked imagination. I had the imagination but no skill. I’ll stick to drawing conclusions, breath and money from the ATM.