By Derrick Grose, Editor
More than one year has passed since the final issue of School Libraries in Canada was released; slightly less than one year has passed since the Canadian Library Association was dissolved and, with it, the Voices for School Libraries Network. Without a forum for sharing ideas and information of interest to the supporters of Canadian school libraries, I retreated into retirement as the editor of SLiC.
Even before that, a team who recognized in the importance of the continued existence of a national school library organization in Canada had started work on the creation of a new organization to preserve the networks and resources that have served Canadian school libraries as they have been, promoting inquiry, collaboration and literacy in all of its dimensions.
Anita Brooks Kirkland, Carol Koechlin, Judith Sykes, Jo-Anne Gibson and Liz Kerr took the lead in rallying Canada’s school library community to support the formation of a new national organization, Canadian School Libraries. Thanks to Anita’s work exploring on-line publishing options, I now have the pleasure of contributing to a new Canadian school library publication with new format that takes advantage of the possibilities of digital publication in ways that School Libraries in Canada never did. I would like to thank everyone behind the new organization whose work has made this publication possible. I would especially like to give credit to Anita who did all of the design, layout and technical work on this issue.
This first issue of the Canadian School Library Journal reflects the exciting times in which we are working. In her articles, “Arising from the Ashes: The Canadian School Libraries Story” and “Models for Technology Integration in School Libraries” Anita Brooks Kirkland describes organization development and professional practices that are feeding the forward momentum in the school library community. Richard Beaudry outlines judicial decisions and political developments in British Columbia that should create opportunities for revitalizing many school libraries in that province. Judith Sykes outlines a strategic framework for building on all of this positive energy in “Moving Forward: Implementing and Sustaining the School Library Learning Commons (SLLC) Through Mentoring, Accountability, Research, Community (MARC).”
This issue also reflects the actual work being done in school libraries. Author interviews and Publishers’ Highlights reflect the continuing interest in the technology most traditionally associated with libraries: books. Lisa Ainsworth talks about working with a Grade Five teacher in helping students develop critical thinking and questioning skills in “Teacher/Teacher Librarian Collaborative Inquiry: Exploring Aspects of the Inuit Way of Life.” Taking advantage of its on-line format, this issue also includes an embedded video in which Mark Carbone interviews Carlo Fusco and Leah Crowell about the challenges of future orienting their school libraries. A very practical approach to professional networking is offered when Alanna King writes about the energizing things that can happen when you “show up and share” in her article, “A Book Club for the Ages: An OSLA and TVO Collaboration.” How have you energized or been energized by your students, colleagues or a teaching idea? Share your story.
I invite all of the teacher-librarians, school librarians and technicians, teachers, administrators, authors, illustrators, publishers, vendors and others who supported School Libraries in Canada to take advantage of the Canadian School Libraries Journal as a vehicle for continuing to support school libraries as they promote learning in elementary and high schools across Canada.
I would like to express the appreciation of Canadian School Libraries to Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, for his support of this venture by making available Sandra Nicholl’s article from Library and Archives Canada outlining the digital strategy for making resources available to learners and researchers across Canada. Discover some of the resources that Library and Archives Canada makes available to the students and teachers in your school. Enjoy this article as well as the wide variety of other articles, interviews and features that you will find in this and future issues of the Canadian School Libraries Journal.
I am excited. I hope you will be too.
I grew up in southern Ontario, the Yukon and Germany before pursuing the undergraduate Canadian Studies program at Carleton University and beginning a thirty-four year teaching career that took me from Nigeria and northern Manitoba to Lisgar Collegiate Institute in Ottawa. In 2001 I began working as a teacher-librarian and I soon became involved on the editorial board of the OSLA’s Teaching Librarian and CASL’s School Libraries in Canada. I retired from teaching in 2014 but I am still excited about school libraries and making connections with “memory institutions” that help us to understand who we are and how we got here.