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ISSN 1179–8548

What Slanza Means to Me Collected Magazine // www.slanza.org.nz


Features 6

But wait there’s more! 8

Random thought from the golden fields of retirement 9

Professional learning 10

Julia Smith - What SLANZA means to me 11

A life member speaks 12

Make SLANZA work for you 13

What does SLANZA mean to me?

Short Articles 14

Professional development report 15

Let’s stop blaming suicide books….

Business Members Contributions 17

Perform – Inspiring in-school educational productions 18

Hydestor 19

Cengage 20

2020 Communications Trust 22


Regular 23

Contains graphic content 25

Book reviews 29

Brief reviews 30

Region news

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Collected Magazine // www.slanza.org.nz


issue 18/2016 EDITORIAL Welcome to the latest issue of Collected. As I write this Term Two is beginning and I’m sure all of you have enjoyed a wellearned break.

the issues in my job and lets me be a part of the wider discussion about school libraries, their future, and our concerns about students and their learning.

My Term One was one of challenges as my library has been a classroom 23 periods out of 25, as one of our larger classroom blocks has been undergoing alterations. While I was initially a bit negative about this, the change has been beneficial so far. I have interacted with more students and hopefully my interactions with them have been more positive and useful for these students. I have come to know students in a different way than in my usual library way. Seeing students as learners in a group has really made me aware of the different learning and teaching styles that teachers use. I also think that teachers have been more aware of how useful I can be in providing support and resources for their lessons.

Initially librarianship was an extension of me as a reader. As I learned from, contributed to, and discussed professionally with other members, my view of myself as a librarian enlarged and changed, hopefully for the better.

Collected has now moved to two issues a year, and this issue’s theme is “What SLANZA means to me”. I don’t want to make this issue too self-congratulatory, but I would like to show how SLANZA membership can have a positive effect both personally and professionally for its members. We also have articles about some of the things that SLANZA offers its members. These are the result of a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes. As a long term SLANZA member, I think membership has added significantly to my contribution as a librarian. It has encouraged in me a professional attitude, it has connected me to a great number of like-minded professionals, many who have become friends whose input and feedback is of value to me. We don’t always agree, but I think that discussions of differences can always be positive, and these contribute to my learning and professional practice. SLANZA has also allowed me to be part of something greater, that raises my view above

Collected Magazine // www.slanza.org.nz

SLANZA has allowed me to be involved locally and at a national level within my profession. Whether it is helping to organise regional PD or social events, presenting at conference, or attending National Executive meetings, I hope that I have returned in some way the huge amount of knowledge I have gained from SLANZA. SLANZA is a professional body that has a human side, a group of highly committed members, who are personally welcoming and willing to share. It is these personal moments at meetings, conferences and weekend schools that have added a real bonus to my membership. But before I become sentimental and start waxing poetic, let’s turn to this issue. There are some great articles this time and some excellent reviews. I’d like to thank everybody who chose to share their thoughts and opinions in this issue. Collected is always a reflection of you, the members. As always, I appreciate the contributions you provide. Once again thanks to Kate Johnson for making us look good, and to Miriam and our proof-readers, Rosalba, Liz and Jackie for their careful work in putting this magazine together. We hope you enjoy this issue. Greig Daniels Editor


President’'s Column COLLECTED 18 My first experience working in a school library was in 2008, and I knew almost from the start that I had found my dream job. That first year was all about finding my way, with the help and support of my wonderful colleague Jean Wilkinson who had been working at Russell Street School as long as I had been alive, if you can believe it! (40-something years at the time, for those of you who are wondering!) In 2009, I was asked if I would join my local SLANZA committee to provide a primary school point of view. In the beginning I wasn’t exactly sure what I could do to be helpful. But as I learned more about school libraries and how things are done, I became more aware of the work done by SLANZA nationally. In the middle of 2009, a SLANZA initiative was begun — to gather information about a range of library-related things, book lists and so on, into one place for easy reference — and I jumped at the chance to be part of this. The SLANZA wiki was launched not long after the Conference in Christchurch that year, as a result of many many hours of work — often late at night, once my kids were in bed — together with my very dear friend Bridget Schaumann. (For any SLANZA newbies reading this, the wiki is long gone — replaced by the Reading Website and our Google+ community.) In 2010 I joined SLANZA’s National Executive as the Central region’s representative. Being a SLANZA member and part of the National Executive has led me on an amazing learning journey, and I’m so thankful for that. Here are some of the really important things that I know because of SLANZA, and I hope that all our members will experience the value of these for themselves too.

We are creators of social capital. The OECD says we can think of social capital as “the links, shared values and understandings in society that enable individuals and groups to trust each other and so work together.” For me it’s knowing that together, our organisation is greater than the sum of the individuals — together we can accomplish things that you or I could never do alone. By sharing our experience and expertise, our ideas, our passions, and our creations, we all benefit. We can develop a deeper understanding of our profession, and all be the better for it. We can become leaders. In the grand scheme of things, our organisation is a small one. We are something over 600 strong. So it’s relatively easy to have your voice heard, and to see your good ideas shared and put into practice. But you need to speak up! Join in discussions at a meeting, share your ideas and opinions, and you can make good things happen. We’ve all heard ideas being put forward but with a “someone should do that” or “SLANZA should do that” clause added. Right there, is your opportunity to step up and become a leader. Don’t be scared — I know nobody wants to end up doing all the work, but we can and we do support each other to get things done. Say you’ll help, or say you’ll lead — yes it can be daunting at first, but take that leap and I know you won’t regret it. SLANZA membership is enormously good value. Although I’m personally a fan of sharing everything with everyone for the greater good, there are some benefits available to SLANZA members only. In 2009 I received a grant to attend the Christchurch conference. The dollar value of

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that grant alone equated to about six years of membership fees, and without it I would not have been able to go. The intangible and lasting value of it of course was much more, and so I am doubly grateful. All our members can apply for these grants, plus study grants, plus access our online courses, be part of our online community, read this magazine earlier, and pay next to nothing — or sometimes literally nothing! — to attend terrific professional development around our regions. My last word on what SLANZA means to me may sound trite, but as this is my last word (or column, at least!) as President, I’m going to say it anyway. This is true of so many things — you will get what you put into it. We’re a volunteer organisation. Things will only happen if we volunteer to do them. If you take an active part in our organisation and share what you know and can do, you can expect to find yourself learning new skills, being inspired by others, wanting to try new things in your library, having a more satisfying job, and building better relationships within your learning communities. And if you’re very lucky, as I have been and so many of the other writers in this issue have been, you may also find some of the most wonderful friends you’ll ever meet. What could be better than that? Miriam Tuohy President



Incidental learning is unintentional or unplanned learning that results from other activities … [it] has characteristics of what is considered most effective in formal learning situations: it is situated, contextual, and social. (Kerka, 2000, para. 1) SLANZA Central’s flier for one of our Term One PD days promised a morning of book covering, a discussion of the newly transformed Services to Schools’ loan services, a chance to be updated by the National Executive, and time to discuss anything that might take our fancy. An experienced librarian may have looked at the invitation and thought ‘there is nothing for me to learn here’ - but they would be mistaken! The learning began as soon as we walked in the door. Held in the newly refurbished Palmerston North Girls’ High School’s Calvert Library, there was a lot of discussion about shelving, genrefication, furniture, workflow practices, displays and more before the workshop had even begun. All of those in attendance had questions, suggestions and ideas - everyone was learning from each other. None of this had been advertised in the flier. The book covering session was led by Miriam Tuohy, and was punctuated by many comments of ‘is that how that is done’ and ‘I’d never thought of doing it that way’. Even though almost all of us were experienced librarians we all learned different ways of doing this common task. Some of us will modify our practices, some of us will continue to do what we have always done because that is what works best for our users - but we all had the opportunity to think about why we do things the way we do. Book covering led to a discussion about spine labelling. Miriam has taken the radical step of no longer putting spine labels on fiction books - preferring the clean spines that bookshops sport. This led

to a lively debate, with solutions being provided for the ‘cons’ that were listed. However, there was also a learning opportunity for our workshop facilitator, when a participant explained how she attaches spine labels so they can be removed at a later date if necessary. Everyone went away with plenty to think about. Our free range discussion, a relaxed affair over tea and scones, covered a multitude of topics - which would have been impossible to plan for. We discussed the state of non-fiction collections with the rise of eResources; the promotion and marketing of our libraries and ourselves; how our libraries are used and teacher expectation around their use; how our libraries are staffed, the qualifications that are expected and how these are utilised. Everyone contributed to these discussions, and both the conversations and the participants were richer for it. For those of us travelling to attend this event, professional development opportunities were effectively doubled or tripled. With car loads travelling from Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki, these participants had the travel time to not just get to know each other better, and build stronger local networks, but also share their own library news and views. Discussions on our journey to Palmerston North included: new library programmes, latest books read, rebuilding plans, current book processing practices, display ideas, and future programming plans; while the trip home allowed time to digest what had been discussed and reflect on how new learning might change current practices. In discussions after the event, Stephanie Gibbons from New Plymouth Boys’ High School made the comment that there is great value to be had in face to face professional development. While there is so much learning that can now be done online, on your own, and at a time that suits you, there is much to be said about the power

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of the group. With the ability to demonstrate, discuss, clarify and challenge, face to face experiences allow for a greater depth of knowledge to develop within a group dynamic (S. Gibbons, personal communication, April 11, 2016). This value continues after the professional development too. The participants now have a number of people they can reach out to if they want to continue to ask questions and develop their thinking. So the next time you see an advertisement for a regional PD day don’t think ‘I already know how to do that’ and bin it - think ‘I already know how to do that, maybe I should go and share my knowledge. And I might learn something completely unexpected in return’. At the very least, you will develop relationships with people in the same role and feel connected to the wider school library community - and this is no small thing.

NOTE: Special thanks to my SLANZA friends, Steph Gibbons and Miriam Tuohy, who helped me with this article - there was so much unplanned learning I couldn’t remember it all! I’ve made some great friends through being a member of SLANZA and then working on our regional committee. To me, this has been one of the greatest benefits. REFERENCES: Kerka, S. (2000). Incidental Learning. Trends and Issues Alert No. 18.

Stephanie Ellis, Librarian, Napier Boys’ High School

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Random thoughts from the Golden Fields of Retirement LINDA MCCULLOUGH AND PAULINE MCCOWAN – WAIKATO/BAY OF PLENTY

We met on the 1st of May 2000 at the National Library in Wellington at the launch of SLANZA. It was a very exciting and heady time. We were full of plans, ideas and ambitions for the future of an organisation that was our ‘baby’. Eighteen months in gestation, one weekend being born and still here today after a lot of ‘mothering and clucking’. Linda was the Teacher Librarian and Archivist Assistant at Hamilton Boys’ High School, Hamilton and Pauline was the Teacher Librarian at Waimauku School, West Auckland. Pauline joined the National Library School Service in Auckland 2001 and in 2003 Linda joined the Hamilton office of the same organisation. By this time we were friends! We have stayed with each other when there were regional meetings etc. and on many other occasions. We have met overseas, celebrated life in many different forms since those early days (our husbands like each other too!) and we have thoroughly enjoyed a professional as well as personal journey together. Collegiality between SLANZA and National Library enriched our work as School Library Advisers. Imagine a call from a school where the voice announced, “I am a teacher aide and I have had the responsibility for the school library dumped on me and I know nothing about what to do and I only have ‘x’ number of hours per week to do this in. HELP!” A long journey would begin with highs and lows. Achieving a library budget that included professional fees would be a triumph and time for professional development would also be a marvel. The road was hard and long but come the day after lots of seminars, conferences, SLANZA meetings when this voice said, ‘I think I will train as a teacher.’ As professionals who had been there during this time our chests would puff out, our heads would swell and bubbly would be drunk. We had a hand in this person’s journey in enabling an individual to realise their potential while contributing to the nation. Well, it felt that good at the time! SLANZA gave us lots of moments of joy and laughter coupled with

inspiration to keep going. It could be very bleak at the book face sometimes, but spending time with like-minded people, sharing stories, successes or strategising on how to succeed would inform our work in the Advisory and send us back to the book face with new energy and ways of achieving outcomes. Especially, how to get around the gate keepers and see the people who mattered! We were also often “wowed” by what people did achieve with so little time or support and used these examples to inspire the strugglers and naysayers. The SLANZA Awards were another way of boosting morale and recognising a job well done. In education there are not many tangible ways of giving rewards and before the SLANZA Awards, nothing for the work done in school libraries so when we were able to nominate a principal or school librarian and see them get their reward and recognition for their efforts, as School Library advisers, we felt the support of the school library community for the work that we did in schools. This was the best of professional collegiality at work. We are still involved with SLANZA today – Linda on the Waikato Bay of Plenty Committee, fulfilling various roles, and me – attending SLANZA events, and cheering on the team! For both of us it has been a wonderful organisation to be part of, and we have made many lifelong friends. We are both looking forward to the next SLANZA event: the Waikato/Bay of Plenty AGM and workshop, where the The Librarian as Mentor theme has many layers of meaning for us both. From the golden field of retirement we will always have SLANZA at heart as we practise and use the many skills and connections we have made over the years. Keep up the good work! We are proud of the ‘baby’ that arrived sixteen years ago. Linda McCullough and Pauline McCowan, Waikato/Bay of Plenty

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Professional Learning JENNY WHITING – FAVONA PRIMARY SCHOOL I’ve been a library assistant for 20 years now and by being a SLANZA member for most of those years, I have learnt so much regarding library matters and it has encouraged and motivated me in my work. I have grown as a school library assistant by participating in the SLANZA courses and SLANZA networks. • SLANZA Connected Librarians online course via Google+. • SLANZA members network extensively using the school library list serv and #libchatnz. • By attending SLANZA network meetings you meet some wonderful people. • SLANZA Collected magazine is a great read. • The SLANZA Reading website is a great way to check out titles you could purchase for your own school library. I like how they have grouped these into themes and year levels. In 2013 SLANZA gave me an opportunity to present at the NZEI FREE Professional Development Day, which gave me confidence in talking to a group of people. If I wasn’t a member of SLANZA I wouldn’t have known about LIANZA. I am in the process of revalidating my registration as a professional librarian through LIANZA. There is so much to learn and the knowledge SLANZA members share is invaluable. So if you are thinking of becoming a SLANZA member I say “don’t hesitate in doing so!” Jenny Whiting, Librarian, Favona Primary School, Auckland

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What does slanza mean to me? JULIA SMITH – KERIKERI HIGH SCHOOL

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A Life Member Speaks BARBARA MURISON – HON. LIFE MEMBER SLANZA I have been a supporter of this group even before it was SLANZA! My first involvement was when I was working with the then School Library Service and our National Group was called SLAG (School Library Action Group). Our committee meetings went under the heading of Slogging for SLAG and it was sometimes a real SLOG. Our main aim was to gain recognition for the work being done in school libraries throughout New Zealand by trained teacher librarians - it was an uphill battle. As an Adviser to the schools and colleges in the Wellington region I had to contend with being called a Library Lady! We worked very hard on SLAG but we certainly did not gather the respect and the high professional reputation and the power that SLANZA has over the past years, and it makes me very happy to see that this has happened. Barbara Murison Hon. Life member SLANZA, Wellington

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Make SLANZA Work For You BRIDGET SCHAUMANN – KING’S HIGH SCHOOL A long time ago now, it was 1999, I found myself on my first day at Dunstan High School in Alexandra, Central Otago. I had been appointed Librarian and I was feeling a mixture of ‘wow, they picked me’ and ‘dear God, what have I done’. I had been using libraries all my life, in countries all over the world, I had fond memories of being at boarding school and getting out of evening study by spending hours hiding in the school library of Moreau College. I loved finding slightly dodgy books (Chapter 8 of Jaws) and sharing them with my friends. I loved being in the library at lunchtimes and passing notes back and forward in the very tall shelves with my mates because we weren’t allowed to talk. Now all those years later, here I was with a library to run, a budget to buy books with, a computer running MUSAC in DOS (I was a Mac user and hadn’t seen anything so antiquated in years) and no real idea of what I was doing! I think this probably still happens to people now in rural towns, new job in a library, crikey what do I do! I remember stumbling across the listserv, as I tirelessly searched the internet to find out what to do in this library I’d fetched up in, and finding it a wonderful link to the outside world, and I remember that newsletters from The Library Network used to arrive and I loved those, I discovered that there were helpful librarians not too far away from me and I could ask them for help if I needed it. Then, the Network turned into SLANZA and I was a member from it’s first year. The excitement of finding a whole new community of people. I met my first SLANZAites when I attended the IASL conference in Auckland which SLANZA hosted and I thought, yes, these are my people. I had such a good time. I knew nobody but it didn’t matter, I just went along and joined in and found firm friends there. Some of those people are still my friends. Some of those people have been very important in my life over the years. Things have changed in my time in school libraries but some things stay the same. School libraries are still wonderful places for students. Reading is still important in the curriculum. School librarians are still paid poorly, I recently found a payslip from 2001 and I was earning $12,000 per annum, I do better these days thankfully! The local SLANZA crew are for me, a lifeline, a bunch of firm friends who work in my world. They have the same frustrations and joys as I do and even though we all do different things in our libraries and

in some ways have very different libraries, these are my people. I go to meetings, not because I care about the machinations of library minutiae, but because I get to catch up on new ideas, on cool things that others are doing. To have a great sharing of ideas and above all to have a great time and a wine too! I treasure SLANZA, I’ve been on the SLANZA National Executive for a really long time now and my time there is drawing to a close. I’m not done with doing stuff for SLANZA yet though, there are things I want to do after I leave. I’m not going to swan off and never have anything to do with SLANZA again. I have stayed on there because I felt the need to do things for people who were in the same situation that I was in 15 years ago, people who need a hand to know things about running a library, people who want their libraries to be better. School librarians who want to be better at their jobs, who really care about making a difference in their schools. What SLANZA gives me is community. That above all. I have a small group of great friends, my best friends, from across the country who are as snarky as me and we talk library stuff all the time, it is fun, it is irreverent and it is what friends are all about. SLANZA has given me the best friends I could ask for. MAKE SLANZA WORK FOR YOU •

Go to things. Just go. You will have fun. So what if you aren’t being paid. You will have the best discussions. You will learn while having fun and learning new things and making new connections.

Get yourself to conference, if it is in your local area it is doable. And if it isn’t apply for a conference grant. Conference connects you with your people.

Go to PD sessions, or do our online PD. It is free, spend the time to grow, get yourself out of your workroom and learn to do new things.

SLANZA can show you how to add value to your staff. Stop being just about the books. Get involved and be more than that. SLANZA can show you how to be the librarian your students need. Bridget Schaumann, King’s High School, Dunedin

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What does SLANZA mean to me? JEANNIE SKINNER – NATIONAL LIBRARY OF NEW ZEALAND PARTNERSHIP National Library Services to Schools was part of the initiative which created SLANZA and it has been there every step of the way, around the country, in various capacities over the years. In my role as a Services to Schools Adviser/Facilitator, SLANZA has been an integral part of my working life in Northland, and contributing to and participating in SLANZA activity has been rewarding for me professionally and personally. With different strengths, our two organisations are working alongside each other with schools and libraries to achieve common goals, especially the creation of readers, and informed and empowered citizens. COMMUNITY Since SLANZA’s inception in 2000, SLANZA Te Tai Tokerau has been active, seceding early from Auckland to become an independent region. With my former National Library colleague, Dyane Hosler based in Whangarei, and myself in Kerikeri, we were part of convivial and willing committees of school library staff and teachers who planned and delivered a programme of SLANZA events in Northland South and Northland North in alternate years. The focus was, and still is, not only on providing inspiring, useful, local and affordable professional development but also about bringing people together to strengthen the school library community across the region. National Library networks, SLANZA events and opportunities, Kids’ Lit Quiz, Storylines, NZ Book Council’s Writers in Schools… we are all more effective when we connect and collaborate. RESPECT I am full of admiration for the people who make up SLANZA’s National Executive in particular, and those who participate in SLANZA committees regionally. The NE generously give enormous amounts of their time, energy and creativity to make SLANZA what it is, while maintaining their existing full-time careers. They represent school libraries at the strategic level in the library world, the education world, in the media and more, giving SLANZA its credibility and national voice. As for the regions, SLANZA really depends on the contribution of those making up the local committees.

in my own professional development. As an attendee and presenter in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, I am grateful for the opportunities the hardworking conference committees have given me to hear engaging speakers – national and international, take part in a variety of workshops run by inspiring school library staff or NLNZ colleagues, put faces to names and celebrate being part of the lively school library scene in New Zealand. GRATITUDE In 2013 I was awarded SLANZA Honorary Life Membership in recognition of my work with SLANZA and with schools, alongside my colleagues Glenda Fortune and Linda McCullough, and this was a meaningful career highlight for me, and I truly appreciated the honour. CONCERN SLANZA seems to have lost a bit of momentum in the North recently and is struggling to find people willing to come on the Te Tai Tokerau committee, take on roles, or even attend events. This is dismaying and frustrating – a symptom of many things – probably distance and that ever-increasing “busy-ness” that fills everyone’s days are factors, but maybe it is also something to do with the status of school libraries and library staff around professional expectations and standards? Anyone reading this issue of Collected, with all the positive accounts of what SLANZA means, needs to think about how they can contribute towards keeping the organisation in good heart in their area! CONGRATULATIONS It makes me smile to think of Liz Probert, back in the day, talking about the name SLANZA, which she suggested sounded rather like some vigorous Eastern European toast where the drinker would cry, “SLANZA!”, toss back a shot of vodka or some such and hurl the glass down onto the stone hearth of a fireplace. So, in that spirit of exuberance, here’s a toast, with admiration and gratitude, to an organisation in its 16th year, run by a host of passionate people who make a vital difference to our profession. Jeannie Skinner, National Library of New Zealand

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SLANZA events, especially the conferences, have been landmarks

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SLANZA Professional Development Report - May 2016 SANDI FAULCONBRIDGE – TARADALE PRIMARY SCHOOL Our SLANZA Google+ community saw a jump in numbers towards the end of 2015 when we started our first Google+ topic discussion. This community is a great place to connect with other SLANZA members and post information and articles that you think others may find interesting and useful. Our inaugural Google+ discussion, based around R David Lankes’ book Expect more: demanding better libraries for today’s complex world, ran from November 9th to December 14th. It was a quick read but highly relevant to our workplaces and the people we serve. There were some really thought-provoking conversations and lots of interesting reflections. Our next group discussion will be taking place towards the end of Term Two. Term One was such a busy time for everyone that we took a holiday from the Online PD – well, from the mentoring of it, not the planning of it! Our first online module for 2016 will have been completed by the time this issue is published. The revised Digital Citizenship module concentrated on the ethical use of information and its attribution. There were 18 participants, with a handful having completed some of our previous modules. I think one of the great things about offering online PD is that people from all over the country can participate, and the conversations and learning we gain from each other (both participants and moderators) only enhances our original learning intentions. It is also a great way to build our personal learning networks. Certificates of completion for our 2015 Connected Librarians modules were sent out early in 2016 after a bit of a glitch in our system. Our apologies for the delay in getting these out. Sandi Faulconbridge SLANZA Professional Development Team Leader Taradale Primary School, Napier

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Let’s stop blaming suicide books for suicides MEGAN DAVIDSON – WESTLAKE GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL

THE POWER OF BOOKS As librarians, we know the power of books. But I think we are overestimating their power when we are led to believe that a suicide book can increase the probability of suicide amongst teens. Many of us read crime books; does that make us want to commit crimes? People read books about murders without committing murder. We read about drugs, anorexia and rape and abuse and all sorts of terrible things in our society without going out and experiencing them ourselves. In fact, that is the real power of books – to experience something vicariously without having to do it in real life. And it’s undeniable that societal ills such as crime, abuse, and suicide make compelling plotlines. Look at any best-seller list. CAUSES OF SUICIDE Suicide is caused by a multitude of factors, and that combination of factors is different for every person. There are genetic, chemical, and familial factors; environmental, economic, and gender factors; emotional, social, and maturity factors. Divorce, addiction and educational pressure are common, as well as lack of resilience and insufficient coping mechanisms (Bazrafshan, 2016). Amongst all those possibilities, everyone has a different formula for which factors - and how much of each one - will trigger them towards contemplating or attempting suicide. EVIDENCE I could find no academic research that reading suicide books increases the probability of suicide in teens (or any other age group). •

The New Zealand Suicide Prevention Strategy 2006-2016 does not present any evidence that books increase suicide, nor does it make any recommendation to censor suicide books, but it specifies six times that “All activities undertaken as part of this strategy should be … evidence based.”

The Ministry of Education’s guide Preventing and responding to suicide : Resource kit for schools offers no evidence that books increase suicide, nor do they make any recommendations to

censor library books about suicide. Their remarks are clearly directed at classroom teachers and required texts, not library books. They refer to the selection of teaching materials and “… the way we discuss this in classroom contexts.” They ask you to consider whether “… the educational reasons for studying the text could be achieved by studying another book?” Finally, they offer Scenario #2 : Suicide themes in assigned novel for Y11 ENG. All of their advice is relating to assigned books that a student is being forced to read, which is very different to self-selected recreational reading.

Media Influences on Suicidal Behaviour : an interview study of young people in New Zealand provides some data on the relationship between suicide and books, but does not report a causation and does not recommend censorship. Their study focuses more on traditional media (TV, newspapers, films, music) and emerging technology, plus a section on books.

They found that “39% of participants had read of suicidal behaviours in a book” which they did not find remarkable presumably because that’s a typical proportion of teens who would have read of suicidal behaviours in a book.

However, they found no correlation between suicide books and suicide behaviour:

“The stories were closely aligned with the way participants felt their own lives were, hence, they were able to relate closely to the characters and their emotions. This did not usually translate to the participants’ self-harming. For instance, reading a book in which a character had self-harmed made participants feel sad, rather than wanting to harm themselves or copy the method of self-harm: ‘It made me feel quite upset how my life was out of control like hers’” (emphasis mine).

Curiously, there was a study whose conclusion said that reading about suicide decreased the likelihood:

“Amongst participants with prior ideation, those who read the original article reported a lower likelihood of future attempt

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relative to either other condition.” (Anestis, 2015)

They found that – even among people with existing sucidial thoughts - the more detailed the suicide information in the text, the less likely they were to attempt suicide in the future.

CENSORSHIP Librarians worldwide have been leaders in promoting intellectual freedom and resisting censorship. The official position of New Zealand libraries can be found at Statement on Intellectual Freedom (there are similar statements from the American Association of School Librarians, Canadian Library Association, Australia Library and Information Association, etc.) Libraries are places where teens should be able to get information about abortion, even if one is opposed to abortion. They should be able to read about human trafficking even if it is appallingly distasteful. They should be allowed to read swear words, and learn about the horrors of war, and research sexual harassment. CONSEQUENCE Without evidence linking suicide books and suicidal behaviour, libraries should not be censoring Falling Into Place, or Forgive Me Leonard Peacock, or It’s Kind of a Funny Story, or The S-Word. They should not be put behind the desk, either. They should be available, just like all the other books, for anyone who wants to read them.

REFERENCES Anestis, M. D. (2015). Dangerous words? An experimental investigation of the impact of detailed reporting about suicide on subsequent risk. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1031. Bazrafshan, M. et al. (2016). Exploring the risk factors contributing to suicide attempt among adolescents : a qualitative study. Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 93. Cain, S. (2014, May 11). YA books on death: is young adult fiction becoming too dark? The Guardian. Ministry of Education (2013). Preventing and responding to suicide : resource kit for schools. Wellington, NZ. Ministry of Health (2006). New Zealand Suicide Prevention Strategy 2006-2016. Wellington, NZ. The National Centre of Mental Health Research (2011). Media Influences on Suicidal Behaviour : an interview study of young people in New Zealand . Auckland, NZ: Ministry of Health.

Despite what you may hear, young adults are adults too. Sometimes they die; sometimes they know people who die. To deny YA readers the chance of finding comfort in literature is only a comfort for those denying them, out of some misguided pomp of moral authority. Whether they are grieving or curious about death (or life), young adults can be reassured by the power of knowing that their innermost feelings can be mapped on to others; that despite whatever feelings they are feeling, it is not unimaginable that someone else (fictional or real) has felt it too. (Cain, 2014) Megan Davidson, Westlake Girls High School, Auckland

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Inspiring In-School educational productions BOOK WEEK and STORYLINES FESTIVAL 2016 IS COMING SOON! Touring into school libraries during Term 2 & Term 3. Our multi-disciplinary educational musical for 2016 celebrates books & reading and is the ideal creative and interactive format to engage and inform children across your primary school! SHINE A LIGHT is an exciting theatre incursion that presents both a gateway into accessing the best in children’s literature and a tale that explores the themes of self-esteem and positive psychology. Featuring these fabulous New Zealand children’s books below – CONTACT US now to reserve a date for your school library or Book Week activities in 2016. And check out more details online at: www.performmusicals.com Current productions touring into schools for 2016:

Making books come to life

Perform! Educational Musicals is a multi award winning producer of educational theatre for primary and secondary schools. Touring to both the North and South Islands of New Zealand since 2005, our specialty educational musicals have been performed to over two million students across New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

Live in Schools for


Our in-school musicals provide the ideal creative format to engage, inspire and educate children. Each production is highly interactive, giving students the unique opportunity to learn through direct engagement with professional performers.

Storylines Festival




Reinforcing vital educational themes and key learning areas across the topics of literacy, reading, bullying and cyber safety, our high energy-productions bring the magic of live music theatre and engaging performance direct to your school and students. Our teams of writers, directors, actors and educators combine their talents to ensure a detailed focus on the content and outcomes of each production in order to inspire, educate and entertain our school audiences. Teacher Testimonials: Book Week in Schools “Awesome!! Best show I’ve seen at school! Thank you so much!” – Waitakere Primary School “A brilliant performance. The level of engagement with the children was excellent. ” – South Hornby School “You really captured the children. Very clever the way you linked the books together.” – Stanley Bay Primary School

by Craig Christie


“Great energy and enthusiasm from the actors. Great storyline – very relevant to the curriculum and very entertaining thank you!” – Fendalton Open Air School “Wow! Every child in the room was completely entranced by the story and how it all related to their own lives. Perform lived up to my expectations again!” – Rutherford Primary School “The children responded well to all elements of the show... Showed the children that books can come alive in your imagination. Very inspiring and motivating.” – Maungawhau School

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SLANZA is a great portal for us to make contact with existing true “Hydestorian” customers and potential new converts to our fantastic library shelving. Our product is New Zealand made and supported by our dedicated and well informed specialist consultants. We appreciate and look forward to this opportunity which enables us to have discussions about, and gather feedback on, our product and service. Having the time to talk to the librarians about their requirements and show them the various possibilities leads to a fulfilling outcome for all. The options for the modern library are sometimes a challenge, but one that the team at Hydestor are up to! Modern learning environments and incorporating libraries within classrooms are an opportunity to make the limited floor space work for all concerned. Face out, spine out, display, rollaway and static shelving can usually all be achieved within the school’s brief and provide shelving that will encourage all young people to pick up a book. Welcome to Hydestor For more information visit: http://www.hydestor.co.nz/library-shelving

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New eResource for Young Learners provided by the Ministry of Education –- Kids InfoBits We’ve all been waiting for an eResource specifically suited to young learners and it has arrived! All schools in New Zealand now have access to this excellent resource through EPIC and the Ministry of Education. Kids InfoBits is a content-rich resource featuring a new, modern, inviting interface with intuitive navigation. The well-formulated design helps kids explore naturally and gain comfort with database searching - making it the ideal introduction to researching using eResources. With full- text proprietary content from Blackbirch Press®, U•X•L and more, the information is reliable and geared to fit the needs of today’s young learners. The content is indexed and fully searchable and includes a variety of content types - books, magazines, news and more than 13,000 images. FEATURES A BROAD RANGE OF EDUCATIONAL TOPICS: • Animals • Arts • Geography • Health • Literature • Music and Movies • People • Plants • Science • Social Studies • Sports • Technology TEACH YOUR KIDS HOW TO USE DATABASE TOOLS Kids InfoBits features all of the best Tools to support 21st century learning: • • • • • • • •

Highlighting and note-taking tools Citation tools, including EasyBib integration Powerful search tools, including easy subject searches and more Precise advanced searches ReadSpeaker text-to-speech technology with the ability to play translated content The ability to share content over social media Text translation into 12 different languages including Arabic, Spanish, French and more Merriam-Webster®’s Dictionary

GOOGLE EDUCATION INTEGRATION As a Google for Education partner, Gale uses the most current and popular Google tools within its digital content, including Kids InfoBits, to support students as they develop key study and organisational skills. By integrating Google Apps for Education, which encompasses Gmail, Classroom, Drive, Docs and more, Gale helps educators improve student engagement, encourage collaboration, and foster critical thinking— from anywhere and on any device. Schools in NZ can access this resource via the following URL http://tinygaleurl.com?z7c3lpk ; please use your EPIC school login. If you don’t know your school login please email epic@epic.org.nz. For more information on these resources and the latest upgrades please contact the Gale team: anz.gale@cengage.com. If your school does not currently have access to EPIC, sign up now at www.epic.org.nz. www.cengage.com.au/gale

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Digital Literacy - what are we really talking about? LAURENCE ZWIMPFER MNZM – 2020 COMMUNICATIONS TRUST The term “digital literacy” is increasingly being used in New Zealand to describe a new competency required by all citizens in digitally-enabled communities and countries, for learning, for work and for life. Like other “literacies” such as information literacy, financial literacy, health literacy etc., the term itself is often not well understood and can have different meaning in different contexts. The Ministry of Education has recently (2015) launched a new strategy 1 that recognises the need for all students to be digitally “fluent”, a concept that goes beyond ‘literacy’. NetSafe promotes the concept of “digital citizenship” that emphasises the importance of responsible and safe online behaviour. Digital literacy is considered as one critical element of digital citizenship. DIGITAL LITERACY Digital literacy is about a person’s confidence and ability to use digital devices and the internet to find, evaluate, create and communicate information. This requires an understanding of digital technologies as well as some technical skills to use them. Digital literacy is typically recognised as the second stage of digital competency. The first stage is digital awareness that involves basic digital tasks like sending emails and knowing what a computer can do; this is followed by digital literacy which includes skills for everyday life, then digital competence (skills for the workplace) and finally digital expertise (skills for advanced job roles).2 A digitally literate person: • • • • • • • • • • •

Has access to digital technologies, including computers, tablets, smartphones and the internet. Uses search engines like Google to find information and is able to verify sources. Keeps in touch using email, instant messaging, video calls and social media, e.g. Skype, Facebook. Understands and uses online marketplaces to buy and sell, e.g. TradeMe. Buys and installs software or apps on a digital device. Books travel online and manages bank accounts. Teaches themselves simple tasks using online tutorials, e.g. YouTube. Creates simple text documents and shares photos or videos online. Completes online application forms. Uses security tools to manage the potential risks of being online. Solves problems with digital devices or services using online help.

DIGITAL FLUENCY Digital fluency is about a person’s confidence and ability to apply their digital skills to enhance their learning, their work-readiness or their everyday lives. This requires not only the motivation to use the technologies but also the trust in them for communicating and transacting online. A digitally fluent person: • • • • • • •

Has the skills and confidence to use digital technologies. Has the motivation to use digital technologies. Uses digital technologies for learning, e.g. for school homework, university assignments or further education. Uses digital technologies proficiently and efficiently for work. Uses digital technologies to save money or time. Is able to protect their personal data and avoid malicious websites, scams and pop-up windows. Understands copyright law.

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Digital Literacy - what are we really talking about? DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP Digital citizenship is about a person’s confidence to use digital technologies to fully participate in society. This means that people must not only have access and the skills, but also the understanding of how good citizenship values apply online. A DIGITAL CITIZEN 3 : • • • • • • • • • 1

Is a confident and capable user of ICT (information and communication technologies). Uses technologies to participate in educational, cultural, and economic activities. Uses and develops critical thinking skills in cyberspace. Is literate in the language, symbols, and texts of digital technologies. Is aware of ICT challenges and can manage them effectively. Uses ICT to relate to others in positive, meaningful ways. Demonstrates honesty and integrity and ethical behaviour in their use of ICT. Respects the concepts of privacy and freedom of speech in a digital world. Contributes and actively promotes the values of digital citizenship.

Ministry of Education Towards Digital Fluency http://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Towards-Digital-Fluency.pdf

This framework is based on the internationally recognised ICDL (International Computer Driving Licence) programme, managed in New Zealand by the 2020 Trust 3 Netsafe https://www.netsafe.org.nz/digital-citizenship-and-digital-literacy/ 2

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2015 Softlink Australia and New Zealand School Library Survey Report Released The Softlink School Library Survey provides information on key trends and issues affecting school libraries. The online survey was initiated in Australia in 2010 and in 2015 it was extended to include New Zealand schools to develop a broader regional view of the state of school libraries. The subsequent report was released in April 2016. FINDINGS REGARDING SCHOOL LIBRARY BUDGETS A core objective of the annual Softlink survey is to assess the impact of school library budgets on reading literacy levels. Historically Australia’s NAPLAN results have been used in the analysis. In the absence of a comparative testing scheme in New Zealand, the correlation between school library budgets and literacy levels could only be applied to Australia. However the survey was able to provide a comparison between the budgets of Australian and New Zealand Schools. In 2015 22% of New Zealand survey participants received a budget increase, the same percentage as their Australian counterparts. However, 26% reported budget reductions which was slightly higher than the Australian experience. Median budgets were also broken down according to location and school size which provides New Zealand schools with a means of assessing their individual budgets against Australian schools with a similar student population (see Figure 1, Median School Library Budgets by Location). Through this analysis, the report showed that the median budgets of New Zealand school libraries varied from $1,950 for schools with less than 200 students through to $25,000 at schools with 1,100 or more students. SCHOOL LIBRARY STAFFING The data from the survey indicates that fewer New Zealand school libraries experienced staff reductions in 2015 than Australian school libraries. 81% of New Zealand respondents reported that there were no changes to Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staffing levels in the twelve months prior to the survey and only 11% had reductions. In Australia these figures were 67% and 22% respectively.

Figure 1 - Median School Budgets

Overall though the average number of library staff in New Zealand was lower. Primary schools in both countries have similar levels however, as shown in Figure 2 below, there was a large gap between Australia and New Zealand for Secondary and combined Primary and Secondary schools. The survey also looked at the percentage of schools, by type, that have at least 1 full time equivalent (FTE) staff member in specified roles. In Australia, it was found that 32% of primary schools, 81% of K-12 schools and 74% of Secondary schools have at least 1 FTE qualified Teacher Librarian or qualified Librarian. In New Zealand 37% of primary schools, 84% of K-12 schools and 83% of Secondary schools have at least 1 FTE qualified Teacher Librarian or qualified Librarian. Figure 2 - Average staff


Historical data for New Zealand was not available to facilitate the analysis of local trends, however the report provides New Zealand school libraries with a solid basis for advocacy. The survey can be downloaded freely from the Resources section of the Softlink website.

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Contains Graphic Content BLASTOSAURUS : WELCOME TO FREAK OUT CITY // ISBN 9780473220464 BLASTOSAURUS : EXHIBIT B // ISBN 9780473238445 – WRITTEN BY RICHARD FAIRGRAY AND TERRY JONES One of the pleasant things about being a comics and graphic novel fan is that there are always new things to discover. There are many comics both local and international that I have yet to get round to reading.

story is interestingly told through a variety of viewpoints. Blastosaurus wanders through it all, taking each event as it comes, having only a gun and wearing initially only a bathrobe. (He was cold).

In this particular case I hope to remedy that. One New Zealand cartoonist I have been aware of is Richard Fairgray. Fairgray, a talented cartoonist in his own right, has co-written and drawn many features. Over the last few years he has self-published his own work and that of others, promoting his own comics and other New Zealand creators at events both local and national. I had the pleasure of meeting Richard at the 2016 Dunedin Armageddon. His work can be found online at squareplanet.com. The website is well worth a look, as he presents a wide selection of the different styles of his own comics.

Blastosaurus encounters a group of kids Richard, Emma, Alana, and Sam - all raised on comics and TV. One of them, Richard, is totally unfazed by a talking dinosaur, and happily accompanies Blastosaurus on his adventures. In fact, he’s the one who coins the name Blastosaurus.

I became acquainted with Richard’s work through his self-published comic Blastosaurus, co-written with Terry Jones. The story recounts the adventures of an intelligent dinosaur in the environs of Freak Out City. A combination of time travel, augmented dinosaur intelligence, smart kids, intelligent raptors and a dinosaur museum all come together to provide a convoluted fast paced, fun, tongue in cheek adventure story. Usually time travel stories make my head hurt but this one overcame that, by being well drawn, ironic, witty, and well told.

There are lots of good touches and some well observed characters. Richard lives in his own reality and he and the other children are well realised characters. There is a wonderful sense of humour at work in the story, with some clever dialogue, some wonderful supporting characters (the mad police chief; the three vagrants in search of a meal, who almost become one; and Blastosaurus’ eventual partner Officer Fenton). The playfulness of the humour is evident in the dialogue and the wonderfully “pun–ish” Dinosaur Museum attractions. Fairgray has a distinctive style that handles the storytelling well, especially with all the flashes forward and backward in time. His design of the main characters gives them distinctive identities and he handles the action well, especially in the fight scenes with the raptors. His style also manages both the comic moments and the quieter moments well.

The story is set up in a novel way and the

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It is a credit to both Fairgray and Jones that the writing is so seamless, and that it has a distinct humorous sensibility of its own. Blastosaurus is a genuinely fun and funny read that I think would appeal to readers aged 10 to 14, and those who enjoy science fiction. Reviewed by Greig Daniels, Tokomairiro High School


THE INSPIRATION DUNCANS // ISBN - 9780473213640 – WRITTEN BY WILLIAM GERADTS AND RICHARD FAIRGRAY This is a story co-written by Fairgray and William Geradts and drawn by Gonzalo Martinez. While it is on the whole a good story, it does have one or two weak moments. A young man named Patrick discovers a secret. Aliens have since the dawn of time attached themselves to humans. These aliens - the “Duncans” - reflect and feed off our natural emotional state. Patrick tries to warn everyone, but his own Duncan has a plan to save humanity. He helps Patrick get rid of the other Duncans, but that only increases Patrick’s Duncan’s power (which had been its scheme all along). Many of the humans have reverted to cavemen (Patrick’s friend Ben) and some are mutated with their intelligence increased (like his girlfriend Dane). Together the three of them defeat their enemy, but at a great cost to themselves. The story is told from Patrick’s view point, and his inner monologue is very funny in places. His initial paranoia is displayed in some very amusing moments and reactions. There are some side swipes at computer nerds and gamers, via Ben. Most of the heavy intellectual work is done by Dane.

Patrick is our goofy everyman, prone to panic, but there in a pinch for his friends. Martinez’s art is smooth and the characters are cleanly designed. The characterisation is beautifully done. Dane is upright and exhibits assertive behaviour while Ben’s modern behaviour suits his eventual reversion. There are some great visual moments – Patrick’s alien fighting gear, Ben’s reversion to caveman status, and some nicely frenetic action sequences. Perhaps the only thing not really realised well are the Duncans. They are a bit too “cartoony” and not as well melded into the visuals and plot. Martinez’s combination of drawing and storytelling skills make sure the narrative is clear and well-paced, as is the whole conception by both writers and artist. The story is nicely rounded off, even if the ending is a little melancholy in tone. This would be a fun read for older students and those who are fond of science fiction and gaming. Both titles are available from Square Planet Comics. Reviewed by Greig Daniels, Tokomairiro High School

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Book Reviews RED RISING – BY PIERCE BROWN Reviewed by Jan Clothier, Karamu High School, Hastings So, where to start on this compulsive can’tput-me-downer? It’s dystopian, it’s science fiction, it’s a war story, it’s a love story, it’s a bildungsroman, it’s a bit of all sorts of things, with echoes of other fictional worlds, but the sum is greater than all the parts. The hero of my new favourite dystopia is Darrow, a hell-diver in the mines beneath Mars. He and his people live their whole lives below ground and believe their sacrifice will one day make Mars habitable for humanity. The long hours, the shortages and brutal laws are leavened for Darrow by his family and his beloved wife, Eo. One of the things I enjoyed about this novel is the way we are plunged into a fullyrealised world which reveals itself to us. I’ve heard some people say they were put off by jargon and not understanding the society but to me, part of the pleasure was realising what a different world the story is set in without frequent didactic passages. And what a place it is! It’s not giving too much away to say that society is stratified by colour, each with its own function and each with a degree of genetic and social manipulation to make sure they fit their purpose. Darrow’s Reds are the bottom of the heap while Golds rule the world; in fact, they rule the solar system.

Tragedy strikes Darrow after an illicit excursion to an above-ground domed garden, set aside for higher colours, results in Eo’s death. Rescued from his own fate by the militant group Sons of Ares, Darrow’s double life begins. When shown the truth of his world – that Mars is already habitable – he agrees to infiltrate Gold society and bring it down from within. Once launched into this plan, he begins to discover that every colour pays a price and that not all Golds deserve to die. He experiences doubt and uncertainty. However, having been accepted into the elite Gold Academy his first and only task is to survive the experience. Quite aside from the physical struggles and battles, he also has to survive jealousies, power struggles and politics both on and off the field. However much I enjoyed this book, it is not a book to hand to just any student. Life at the Gold Academy makes up a large portion of this book and it does make The Hunger Games look like a kindergarten outing in comparison; even Lord of the Flies begins to look tame. Murder, rape and cannibalism all make appearances, although the last two are off-page. I’m not completely convinced this is YA fiction at all. Although he seems much older, Darrow is about seventeen when the

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story begins. Most of the protagonists are in their teens but this alone does not make a novel Young Adult. The vocabulary is rich enough, the ideas complex enough, and it is certainly violent enough, to be considered an adult novel with a Young Adult crossover. It’s a good addition to the library but will sit firmly in Senior Fiction. Red Rising is not without its faults but I am already reading the sequel, Golden Son, and the final book Morning Star, will be jumping to the head of my ‘to-read’ pile as soon as it arrives.


RUNNING GIRL – BY SIMON MASON Reviewed by Jan Clothier, Karamu High School, Hastings At first glance, I thought this book would be another clone of Smart or Colin Fischer. While it is a book that will no doubt appeal to readers of those off-spectrum boy mysteries, this book has more in common with those who enjoy Elementary and Sherlock on television. Garvie Smith lives with his Jamaican mother, hangs out with friends who seem destined for a criminal career and also happens to be the smartest student to ever attend Marsh Academy. To say he is underachieving at school would be an understatement. His curiosity in life is re-awakened when the body of his former girlfriend, Chloe Dow, is dragged from a pond on a remote running track. Garvie begins conducting his own off-beat investigation, using his knowledge of Chloe’s friends, some of the less-than-legal skills of his friends and his own skills of observation and deduction. His nascent detective career stutters when he encounters Detective Inspector Singh, who is determined that his first murder case will be handled swiftly,

efficiently and by the book. As time passes without an arrest and pressure from his bosses begins to pile on him, Singh becomes more inclined to listen to the comments and suggestions made by Garvie. Thrown together by circumstance, Singh and Garvie solve the case of Chloe’s murder. It is a satisfactory ending after a number of red herrings, false arrests, encounters with psychopaths and night-time chases through the mean and deserted streets. Garvie is an appealing hero with an eclectic band of friends such as Abdul the cab-driver, willing to drive him anywhere any time, but the interesting relationship is the one between the unconventional Garvie and the very upright, uptight Inspector Singh. This is clearly the start of a series and I look forward to seeing how this relationship develops.

suspension of disbelief is required. This book is a great addition to the library and is sure to be popular in mine. Because of some of the grittier elements, such as casual drug abuse, minor criminal activity, a suicide and elements of sexual abuse it is perhaps more suitable for older students/more experienced readers.

On one level, this is a classic whodunit wearing Young Adult clothing: Garvie and Singh, Poirot and Hastings, Holmes and Watson, complete with a confession scene at the end. While it is entertaining, a willing

LILY MAX : SATIN, SCISSORS, FROCK – BY JANE BLOOMFIELD Reviewed by Jayne Downes, Kaikorai Valley High School, Dunedin Lily Max loves designing and wearing zany clothes and that upsets the school secretary, Miss Sprotts who would prefer it if everyone wore brown. Lily sets out to design the winning outfit for the school ball and win the Snow Queen crown but has competition from her enemy Violet Hughes. Along the way there are the highs and lows of school and family life. This is Queenstown author Jane Bloomfield’s first novel for children and is aimed at 8-12 year old girls. It is written in a lively and imaginative style with plenty of humour.

The story comes alive with great illustrations by Guy Fisher and is the 2016 Storylines Notable Book Awards Winner, Junior Fiction. “I hope this book inspires children to be creative and a little experimental - not be afraid to rock their own style.” Jane Bloomfield.

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DARE TO DISAPPOINT: GROWING UP IN TURKEY – OZGE SAMANCI Reviewed by Angela Soutar, Sunny Nook School, Auckland This is an eye -opener, a view of the fairly recent history of Turkey, from 1923 onwards. It is an account of the attempts to make Turkey a modern secular nation amidst majority Muslim dominance, and the attempts of minorities such as Kurds to be able to live without conflict and discrimination. It is also gripping, highly engaging and largely autobiographical. The young female main character, Ozge, has a hard time finding the right path in life. She is an eager learner, but there is a conflict between what her parents want her to do and the qualifications which will give her a comfortable life, and what will be satisfying for her. She struggles, in a time when her civil- servant parents’ wages are low, eventually gaining a scholarship to high school and then for tertiary study. Her choice of a Maths degree is not the best for her, but is the one that gives her entrance to a good university. She struggles to gain good marks or even pass marks and is helped by

friends. She creates even more of a challenge by studying Maths and acting at the same time. She also tries to live up to the high standards of her older sister. Her social life is virtually nil but she and her friends do try to enjoy western music and attitudes. At one stage she had hoped to have a career like Jacques Cousteau, and he is a reminder to her of her past ideals right through to adulthood. While other teens have posters of pop stars on their wall she has a poster of Cousteau.

background. Production quality is excellent. The novel includes themes of parental approval, the value of education (childcentred or not), politics, coming of age, goals, real meaning of success, friendship, family relationships, opportunities for women, valuing oneself and finding one’s best talents and skills.

There are many comments on the politics, repression, brainwashing and the conformity of Turkey, during her childhood and into her twenties, and I suspect this book would not be welcome there, despite their reasonably open society. The illustrations are not in the panel style graphic format but more open and without borders.... much easier to read and the style is varied and attractive on a white

BRONZE AND SUNFLOWER – BY CAO WENXUAN Reviewed by Angela Soutar, Sunny Nook School, Auckland Cao Wenxuan is also the 2016 winner of the Hans Christian Anderson Award, the highest award in the children’s literature field and is extremely well known in China. He will be at the IBBY Congress in Auckland and at the Auckland Storylines Family Day on 21 August. This is a haunting book. It starts slowly, introducing us to Sunflower, a seven year old girl whose life is changed when she comes with her father from the city to live in a cadre community during the Cultural Revolution. (We would call it a forced resettlement and reeducation centre.) She is allowed to live there, as her mother has died, and she has no other relatives. She is lonely because she is the only child there. She notices another isolated child on the other side of the river in a farming village who is the other main character, the mute Bronze, a very capable and resourceful boy about twelve years old whose best friend is a buffalo who he feeds and rides when his family do not need it for agriculture. The

children get together and Sunflower learns his form of sign language. We learn a great deal about premodernisation village and farming life in China and how decisions were made. I found that very interesting although some children may find it boring and a bit slow. The story is mostly about coping with grief, poverty, hardship, trauma and the way people care and take responsibility for each other, and has a very sympathetic tone. When Sunflower’s father drowns in the river after escaping a fire in the cadre community, Bronze’s family take loving care of her as their daughter (with the agreement of the city folk). Five years later however a city leader proposes that Sunflower should return to the city to be educated further and given more opportunities. (Such a reversal of outlook by them!) An agreement is reached about her being able to visit the family when she wants and at every holiday. However the story ends with everyone

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heartbroken and Bronze most of all. It ends with him crying out her name and breaking his muteness! There is no real hint that there will be happiness again. Because of that sadness I would not recommend reading this to a whole class until Year Five. Because of the length and the treatment of the subject, readership may be limited to Years Five to Eight. Overall, though, it is a delightful and appealing book.


LAKEVIEW COTTAGE – BY MARY CROSSON Reviewed by Jayne Downes, Kaikorai Valley High School, Dunedin “Lakeview Cottage”, written by Dunedin author Mary Crosson, tells the story of nine year old Dunedin girl Sarah, who goes to Queenstown to spend the winter school holidays staying with her aunt, uncle and three cousins. Her holiday starts with her catching a bus alone to get to Queenstown. Her cousins live in a large, old house by the lake and their lifestyle is different from what Sarah is used to. She enjoys joining in with her cousins exploring Queenstown and participating in activities like table tennis, picnics, gold panning, snow fights and midnight feasts. Her aunt seems to spend all her time in the kitchen creating wonderful food and the family always say grace before their meals. There is a television but the children seldom watch it because they find

plenty of activities to entertain themselves.

kiwi version of Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five”.

As well as a theme of family values the story contains adventure and mystery. Uncle Ben owns a pharmacy and it is broken into by criminals wanting drugs. Could this have something to do with the mysterious lights the children see down by the lake at night? They even find a secret passageway in the house.

I think the pixelated book cover is unappealing and does not create interest in the book.

This story is aimed at eight to eleven year olds. I think it will appeal more to girls since Sarah, the main character, is a girl. It is great to have a book in a local New Zealand setting and I think children who have been to Queenstown will identify with this. In some ways the story style reminded me of a

THE ELEPHANT MAN – MARIANGELA DE FIORE Reviewed by Angela Soutar, Sunny Nook School, Auckland Many adults will think we know, from the 1980 film of the same name, most of the background to the life of Joseph Merrick, known in Victorian times as the Elephant Man. His life was presented there as someone who through disfigurement and disability had little alternative but to spend his adult life as part of a freak show in a small theatre in London.

How books can help you lead a more interesting and fulfilling life.

Historical awareness: what happened in Victorian times to poor, disabled, and unemployed people and how the class system allowed or enabled Merrick’s hardship, but also allowed privileged people to help him once alerted to his situation.

This book presents a more balanced approach to telling the story of a man who started life as a normal child in a loving family, became a child worker as his disease took hold, was one of the oddities in a sideshow, and later became the subject of research by Dr Frederick Treves who both wanted to study him and offer him help.

Self-esteem and body image issues

Coping with disability, hardship or disadvantage; hope and the possibility of happiness.

The issue of how best to help the disabled today.

The author has made some interpretations of Merrick’s life and has speculated about what she thinks might have happened, so this could be a good lesson in how to present biographical works for older students. Many themes could be discussed after a reading of his book: • Understanding, tolerance, empathy and compassion.

The style of illustration is interesting and quirky.... line drawings with carefully placed photographs, sometimes just the head of a person and a limited colour palette reflecting perhaps sepia photographs and the dingy atmosphere of city life. At the end there is some more colour reflecting the hope of spring. Overall, this is a haunting book for almost all ages, starting with Year Five. I have had one Year Five and one Year Six boy poring over it for three consecutive lunchtimes,

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both say they found it absolutely fascinating. I expect that some of the boys who exclaim over the ghoulish photos in the Guinness Book of World Records will have to overcome their usual basic sensationalism, but the sensitive and sometimes emotional writing style will help. It is also helpful to have an addition to the often sparse and repetitive resources available in the biography area for primary and intermediate level.


Brief Reviews Reviewed by Angela Soutar, Sunny Nook School, Auckland

THE ROAD TO RATENBURG – By Joy Cowley This will make a really good read aloud for Year 3 upwards. It has enough tension, and is well-paced with places to stop and wait until the next reading. Heaps of adventure is involved, as well as some delicious humour, which some of the children will appreciate.

RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE – By Kate Di Camillo This is another terrific, sensitive book from this author with strong, resourceful female characters who find solutions to problems and deal with their emotions. Simply written, so capable Year 4s to Year 7s can read it themselves. I had thought from the marketing that this would be for intermediate aged girls and so was delighted to find it was suitable for primary age readers.

KEVIN THINKS... ABOUT OUTER SPACE, CONFUSING EXPRESSIONS AND THE PERFECTLY LOGICAL WORLD OF ASPERGER’S SYNDROME. – By Gail Watts Explains to junior primary students how children on the autistic spectrum and those with Aspergers think differently from many of us (with a logic that is often astounding) and have special interests and enthusiasms which we can learn from and appreciate. This book explains ideas that will appeal to children and build their understanding.

ART FOR CHILDREN BOOK 2 – By Amanda Renshaw This text is easily understood by junior school children, and if read to students would appeal up to Year 8/9. The reading level is approximately Year 4 upwards (some

readers may need help). It has a repetitive but appealing layout with one of the sections being ‘What made you become an artist?’ Thirty artists from all over the world are included and it is great to see it includes John Pule. Although the artists are well regarded in their fields I am not familiar with many of them. I see this as a positive in education, as it is so easy to churn out another book about Monet, Degas et al. Some of the art activity ideas are very simple and would be useful for both primary and early childhood education.

HOME SWEET HOME AND SEVEN HEARTY TALES – By Ed.Maria Gill This title is not new but I wish to include this collection of short stories from children who were prizewinners in the Youth Reading Challenge last year. Some of our children are entering the current year’s challenge which closes June 4th (for Northland and Auckland). Teachers have used the stories as good examples of writing. Other collections which have proved useful long term are Submerged, 2011 and Leprechaun Ice cream 2010 from prior NZ Post competitions. These are suitable for year 2-3 up. Some of the stories are written by intermediate aged children but most are by primary aged children.

THIS IS NOT A BOOK – By Jean Jullien Board book format. This title is aimed at 2-5 year olds. In the style of Herve Tullet, this book invites play and reinterpretation of visual images. The book can be manipulated to be a tent, a laptop, a crocodile chomping, hands clapping but then it changes to a toddler’s (we hope) back side. Mostly it is just an inventive title which is enormous fun.

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Concentrate on the inventiveness and don’t look too hard for a consistently high standard as this Kirkus review points out. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/bookreviews/jean-jullien/this-is-not-a-book/ This was the second most popular book at a recent public event where Auckland Libraries had a stand. The most popular was a board book in the shape of a tractor with wheels that spun... so I won’t go on. I occasionally buy board books for our primary school library as they are so hard wearing and sometimes are the only format available.

TOITOI: A JOURNAL FOR YOUNG WRITERS AND ARTISTS. Collections of writing by young New Zealanders aged 5-13 years. – Toitoi Media, Devonport This journal is of a high standard, if the Anzac version is any representation. Published since October 2015, it has great illustrations, an appealing design and features relatively short stories and poems, presented in colour. It can be purchased from http://www.toitoi.nz/ or Wheelers.

ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE – By Laurie Wallmark This is a realistically illustrated picture book about the woman (they can’t help mentioning she is Byron’s daughter even though he had no part in her upbringing!) who is now credited with inventing, alongside Thomas Babbage, the beginnings of computers and computer programming. She lived from 1815 - 1852 and Babbage referred to her as ‘The enchantress of number.’


Region News TE TAI TOKERAU Unfortunately, due to insufficient interest in the SLANZA Professional Development opportunity offered in Term One, the event was cancelled. The Term Two event, still being planned, is “Effective Book Buying: From Selecting to Promoting and Everything In Between”. Julia Smith, Te Tai Tokerau Representative to the SLANZA National Executive

CENTRAL Tēnā koutou We’d like to welcome our new and returning members and wish you all a fantastic year of camaraderie, learning and sharing. We continue to see a growth in our membership with 58 members in our region. We held two PD days in Term One. Our first was a Publishers Evening hosted by Taradale Paper Plus. It was a great chance to catch up with other booklovers - both from schools and loyal Paper Plus customers. We got to find out some of the current trends in publishing and got a sneak-peak at new books being released in the coming months. It was a chance to network and shop for new books, and we all went home with a bag full of goodies and lovely books kindly donated by the publishing houses. Our second event was hosted by Miriam Tuohy at Palmerston North Girls’ High School. It was a morning of book covering, library processes, and National Library Services to Schools updates. This was a brilliant opportunity for a road trip with much learning and networking taking place on the trip there and back. We had three make the trip from New Plymouth and two from Napier. Steph Ellis has written a fantastic article for this issue of Collected about the ‘unintentional learning of a regional professional development day’ it is a must-read.

Browsing the stock at Heroes for Sale.

Auckland traffic, commandeered a car park, and fought wind and rain, to meet up at Stu Coulson’s “Heroes for Sale” store in Auckland on Wednesday 23rd March. Heroes for Sale is an amazing store. Located on busy Karangahape Road, it is spacious, airy and full of the most magnificent collection of graphic novels, posters, models and games. The collection includes “comics” some of us would have grown up reading, up to the most recent heroes and villains our students know about. Stu and his team were welcoming and informative about the books and matching them to the intended audiences. The stock in this store is the most current anywhere in the world, as Stu gets the most recently published editions sooner than anyone else in the world.

Ka kite ano

Stacks of novels were carefully selected with the help of Stu’s knowledgeable staff. Our members had smiles on their faces, with the anticipation of the joyful reception these books would get by our students.

Sandi Faulconbridge, Central Region Representative, SLANZA National Executive

For those of you who were unable to attend or who live out of Auckland, visit Stu’s website for more information heroes.co.nz


At the end of the evening we put our Super Hero persona back on, to combat our way home through the evening rush hour.


Lorie Pushon, Marist College, Auckland

In true “super hero” tradition 27 school librarians battled through

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WAIKATO/BAY OF PLENTY The Waikato / Bay of Plenty region has four events planned throughout 2016, one for each term. The Term One event was held at Melville High School and was called Books and the Brain. There were 5 speakers. Wendy Nelson from The Brainwave Trust explained how children’s brains develop, and stressed the importance of attachment for children. Reading to them is vital. Miriam Tuohy, current SLANZA President talked about the importance of reading and gave us personal insight into techniques and resources to encourage children to read. Margaret Black, HOD of English at Melville High School discussed the criteria people need to apply when choosing titles for NCEA requirements and Vicki Stephens explained the service changes provided by National Library. Glenys Bichan, Chairperson of Waikato / BOP SLANZA encouraged members to join the Committee. The event was well attended and everyone found the topics interesting and responded positively. In Term Two the workshop ‘The Librarian as Mentor’ and the AGM will be held on May 28 at Hamilton Boys’ High School. The workshop will be an interactive panel discussion about the topic. The librarian as mentor panel will discuss how school libraries can help students with problems and students who use the library as a haven. In Term Three a Café meeting is planned. Watch this space! The annual visit to school libraries in a different region will take place in Term Four. Watch this space part two! Another project for 2016 will be to boost membership. There are still many school librarians who have not joined in the region and it would be good to see them involved. Nick Vincent, Waikato /Bay of Plenty Representative, SLANZA National Executive

WELLINGTON On the 9th March Wellington SLANZA held its first event of the year. Thank you to Helen Muxlow of Karori West Normal School for hosting this meeting. Helen is also the newest addition to the

Wellington SLANZA committee. The topic this term was ‘Genrefying Your Collection’. It was great to start the year off with a lively discussion on the pros and cons of genrefying your collection. Sue Levine, an American teacher/librarian, who is visiting New Zealand at the moment as part of her Fulbright Scholarship, also attended our meeting. Sue spoke about her ideas and thoughts in regard to her research into school libraries in New Zealand. The Wellington Committee is looking forward to the challenges ahead for the year; next up is our AGM. See you all there. Karen Clarke, Wellington Representative, SLANZA National Executive

OTAGO The Otago Committee has been busy since the beginning of 2016. Currently our Chairperson is Jan Simpson, our secretary Carole Gardiner, and our Treasurer is Jane Smallfield. Our NE rep is Greig Daniels and the committee members are Bridget Schaumann, Pam Garry, Jayne Downes, and Lynne Vare. There have been two events so far this year: one a formal PD event, ‘Discover New and Creative ideas to Give Your Library Displays the Wow! Factor.’ This was held at Otago Girls’ High School and hosted by Carole Gardiner. There were some great ideas on show and lots of sharing. Members retired to a local restaurant after the event. The other event was a “Pubrarians” evening in the April Holidays. Much fun was had. At the moment planning is underway for our regular SLANZA Otago Weekend School which is to be held in early September. We are also planning for our AGM to be held soon. Our third committee meeting of the year was held on May the 11th. We look forward to reporting back on our Weekend School in the next issue of Collected. Greig Daniels, Otago Representative, SLANZA National Executive

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AORAKI Where has 2016 got to? Local librarians seemed to hit the ground running at the start of Term One and it just keeps on going. In light of the crazy-busy daily timetables in Term One for most of us, Aoraki Region committee kept the load light. We held a well-attended publishers’ evening during March hosted by the very generous Merivale Paper Plus shop as our Term One event. Representatives from Lonely Planet, Scholastic and MacMillan publishers talked about new publications, and author Soraya Nicholas showed us her new series Starlight Stables which was snapped up by primary and intermediate librarians. The committee was pleased with the turnout and felt it was a good time of year for members to meet up, catch up and spend some of their book budgets. This term, Aoraki is gearing up for a big PD day in June and will hold the region’s AGM at this event. Sue Bridges from CORE Education is headlining the day, talking about literacy development in children and teenagers. She will also facilitate two workshops around growing readers - one for primary librarians and the other for secondary. The afternoon session takes a totally different tangent as Lee-Anne Tarling from MHERC (Mental Health Education and Resource Centre) will talk about mental health, trauma & the MHERC Library. Local school and public librarians are facilitating book-talking sessions for different levels and a talk about the experiences with “Genrefication”. We have divided our morning sessions to acknowledge and cater for the differing perspectives, resources and needs of primary and secondary school librarians. In developing the programme, and from previous discussions, the committee has been looking at how we support primary school librarians in particular and how to best meet the needs of people running these usually smaller, often less well-funded and under staffed libraries. We are also looking

at the possibility of extending our sessions out to our more far-flung areas. While we are awed by how far some of our members travel to attend PD days in Christchurch we realise that for a number it is just too distant. We would like to spread the love and learning and have been brainstorming ways to do just that. We are looking ahead to Term Three and the possibility of running workshops around library displays and book covering. Sally Stanley-Boden, Aoraki Representative, SLANZA National Executive

SOUTHLAND Southland SLANZA joined the “Pubrarian” bandwagon this term. School librarians met up with public librarians at a local bar for casual chat and a small amount of serious work talk. This was a very enjoyable evening and more are planned for the future. After our big Summer Reading Programme, in collaboration with the region’s public libraries, a debrief was necessary. We have identified plenty of areas to focus on for this year to ensure our joint project continues to grow and meet the needs of Southland students. There are some fantastic PD opportunities for our members in the pipelines for 2016 so I am sure it is going to be a productive year for Southland SLANZA. Kirsty Adam, Southland Representative, SLANZA National Executive

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WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN SLANZA The benefits of membership include: Connection and networking with other school library staff locally Discounted conference and professional development registrations SLANZA is committed to providing quality professional development opportunities to its members, and we are very grateful for the ongoing sponsorship of professional development provided by Book Protection Products. This sponsorship is invaluable and greatly appreciated by the National Executive as it significantly broadens options for regional committees. The funding provided by Warick Ashton and his team goes to the regional committees so they can organise professional development sessions that will fulfill your personal learning needs. Please continue to support Book Protection Products as they are SLANZA’s major sponsor, and if you have an idea or topic for professional development in your area, let your committee know!


Support for school libraries at a national level Opportunities to gain skills and professional development from people who do what you do Opportunity to apply for the SLANZA awards Opportunity to apply for study grant assistance with library–related studies Permission to use the cover images of publications of major publishing houses Access to the LIANZA professional registration scheme


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Collected Magazine // www.slanza.org.nz

SLANZA Collected issue #18  

The magazine of the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa.

SLANZA Collected issue #18  

The magazine of the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa.

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