School libraries: Excellence in practice — Ormiston Senior College

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Rose Nisbit and Diana Patience as well as students from Ormiston Senior College talk about how their library supports academic achievement.


Rose Nisbet: I used to be a teacher, I really like helping people find stuff. So, for me this is perfect.

Diana Patience: We've been very fortunate that our librarian is thinking forward
not looking back to what's happened in the past in libraries.

We're wanting our librarian to, ah... push the boundaries, to be curious, to be flexible, to be open to what students need.

Natalie: I find that our librarian is very friendly, very energetic and she is always willing to help us.

Shaniel: Miss Nisbet knows almost all of us, so like.. and she knows what assignments are going around the school so it's easy for her to know what we need and when we need it. And she's in contact with all our teachers at most of the times.

Dwayne: Whenever I walk in here I feel a friendly vibe. We all like coming in here 'cause missus likes helping us, and it's... and it's kind of like a fun atmosphere, like with the beanbags.

Diana Patience: Our librarian Rose is central to our library. We couldn't exist without her, the way she operates the library.

First of all she is relationship focused, she ah is highly responsive to a) the staffs needs and b) the students needs.

She um... works with staff very closely in that she attends our staff meetings. She attends our professional learning each week, she knows what we're all, we're all doing in terms of curriculum and she's always looking for new ways to access information for us as staff but also for students.

So if students are in here she will sit along them, find out what they're doing, find out what they might need or find out what their library might have to offer them.

Rose Nisbet: I definitely do see myself as an educator and my place is inan educational environment.

I'm part of the professional development of the school, I'm part of their professional learning group, I'm not isolated I'm part of the conversation.

Diana Patience: We've put resource into this library and to our librarian because of our philosophy of learning, which is seated in inquiry , we are seeking to develop students who are taking responsibility for their own learning.

Rose Nisbet: The explosion of internet is amazing because now inquiry learning, the information is all there.

Diana Patience: Students can come in, take out an iPad and take it anywhere in the school.

They can come in and look at the um, screen in here, which they can watch DVDs on. They can borrow headphones, they can borrow portable DVD players, there's all sorts of things that they can borrow. We're talking about what sort of Apps that they might be able to put on their phones from here, having accounts for Apps that might be useful.

Dwayne: Ah... the librarian is there too like, support you and not really judge you on anything. She's not really there to get us in trouble, she's there to help us.

That's why we like her so much.

Shaniel: Having a person like that is.. it's not as formal as the teacher but it's more of a friend.

In a way she's uh, an information coach.

Diana Patience: This library is the center of everything. You could say that it's a thoroughfare, it joins two of the wings of the school, it has access points at both ends.

Rose Nisbet: What that does, is it allows it to be somewhere were peopleare constantly flowing so there's constant movement and what they can do is that they can come in and they can flow through and they'll talk to their friends or they'll come and look for resources or you know... on the way they are stimulated to think what might be there, nobody has to make a special trip anywhere 'cause it's on the way.

Natalie: It's a really good place to find extra information, I know that I use this space a lot, for actually each subject

Rose Nisbet: There's often in a school a perception that the library is just for the History and English and for the Arts subjects but I want to break that down, I want, everybody, everybody comes in here.

Natalie: It's helping me overall achieving better grades, and information and resources that I need, that I can't get from my subject teachers.

Everything's in here.