Welcome Back – 2015

A very happy rentrée to all our QSLiN librarians and to all of you library personnel, teachers, and parents from all of us on the MEEsR team! We hope that you had a great summer and feel rested, recharged, and ready for the school year.

We thought we might take a look back at last year’s achievements to inspire us all to go further with the great projects that we’ve been working on.

Last year, the QSLiN representatives from 8 school boards met on a near monthly basis to collaborate on the creation of an advocacy toolkit and to compile research showing the importance of having qualified personnel in school libraries. Solutions to common problems were discussed. We invited Elaine Julien from GRICS to one of our meetings in order to provide feedback on REGARD and to explore possibilities for training courses. It was a great example of how collaboration and problem solving can be used to improve the work that we do.

Andrea Prupas from ALDI was a guest at the last QSLiN meeting in June; she presented the different ways that school libraries can support special needs students via e-resources. Andrea showed the group different features that are important to think about when purchasing e-resources, and she discussed the importance of reaching out to teachers and resource support staff to see how we can collaborate in order to meet the needs of our special needs students. It is heartening to see organizations like ALDI recognize QSLiN and reach out to us!

The 7th annual two-day symposium was held on March 16th and 17th, 2015 at Hotel des Gouverneurs, Montreal. The theme was “Dream, Plan, Create.” Each day offered nine different sessions with the first day focusing on elementary school libraries and the second on high school libraries. We had a full house on both days. Overall, the symposium was a success with over 95% of the feedback being of a positive nature. Our Keynote speaker was Joanne DeGroot, a librarian/professor from the University of Alberta and branch manager for Edmonton Public Library, who at one time was a consulting member of QSLiN. Thanks to Joanne and the MEEsR team, participants experienced a hands-on perspective on the Maker movement, sweeping both public and school libraries in North America.

The QSLiN Youtube channel had its 1000th view on August 11th! The YouTube statistics for the year demonstrate a significant increase in views throughout the course of the year. This channel was established last year and now contains 10 videos that focus on a variety of areas that library personnel across Quebec have found useful. Our most popular video showcases the library and library technician at Mackay Centre School (EMSB) and how the collection is made accessible to special needs students. Another popular film was made at Harmony Elementary (NFSB); this one looks at the idea of going “Dewey Lite” and making the collection more dynamic and accessible to its students and teaching staff. We hope to showcase more of the dynamic activities in QSLiN libraries in the coming months.

This year, QSLiN also created a Twitter account to help keep school library personnel informed about happenings, and also as a way for all members to share information. The Twitter feed automatically notifies followers of any new videos that are uploaded to the QSLiN YouTube channel and whenever a new post is added to the QSLiN.org website. The account has also allowed QSLiN to be in easier contact with some recognized leaders in the library world who have since shared much of their knowledge with QSLiN and it has helped to broaden the ideas of what is possible in school libraries.

The QSLiN website has grown and is being used more extensively than ever before. The site had 5855 views – a 300% increase over the previous year, a great sign that the QSLiN website is becoming a place to find out what’s new in the library world. Weekly blogs were posted from September to June with information and references to useful online websites and tools that library personnel can use. We appreciate all the positive feedback that we’ve received and the re-posts on your own blogs.

INFORM, EXCHANGE, CONSULT and DEVELOP – this is QSLiN’s mandate. We look forward to meeting with QSLiN librarians again to collaborate on those projects that support our schools, teachers and students.