Thursday, December 6, 2012

Texts Worth Teaching: East Asia - Saturday, Jan 19, 2013

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, there will be a one-day mini-conference on East Asian literature for teachers at the Centre for International Education, located on the East campus of UWCSEA.

Texts worth Teaching: East Asia is a mini conference for teachers who are familiar with Western writers but who would like to know more about East Asian authors. Learn from some of the experts from this region, including Dr Kirpal Singh, poet, literary and cultural critic and university lecturer in English language and literature at SMU, along with Singapore's 2011 winner of the SEA Writer's AwardRobert Yeo as well as Holly Thompson, author and professor of creative writing at Yokohama City University. During the sharing sessions, you can hear what colleagues have to say as well as share with others an author you've read and feel is worth teaching. 


Target Audience: Anyone who would like to learn more about texts worth teaching from the East Asian region. Breakout sessions for Early Years (3-7 year olds), Younger Readers (7-10 year olds), Older Readers (10-14 year olds), Mature Readers (14 year olds - adult) and librarians

FeesEarly bird until 20 December: S$99 (US$85). From 21 December: S$120 (US$105) Includes access to the event as well as breakfast, snacks and lunch.
There is a 10% discount if you are registering five or more participants. There is a 15% discount for ten participants or more.
Click here for more information - or contact Katie Day ( who will be facilitating the librarian sharing session.  See also this Libguide which has a list of links to East Asian literature resources.

Several booksellers will be at the conference, including APD Books & Epigram Books, Ethos Books, and Monsoon Books.
NB:  Dr. Kirpal Singh was invited to be a keynote speaker at the first Hands on Literacy conference back in 2008, but he was unable to make it.  This is your chance to finally get to hear him speak.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rukhsana Khan, guest speaker this Thursday

As you know, our next general meeting is this Thursday, December 6 at Stamford American International School, 4:00 for a 4:30pm start.  (We get to see Kim Klein's new library!)

Sean Chia from Cengage will be talking to us about their digital products and the possibility of us forming a consortium for reduced pricing.

Rukhsana Khan, the Canadian author, is in Singapore doing a two-week stint at SAS with Kate Brundage and Alison Cuthbert.  So we've invited her to our meeting as a special guest and speaker.
The Official Website of Author & Storyteller Rukhsana Khan ~ via kwout

The Executive Committee has also decided to provide pizza from the Canadian Pizza Company (halal) for delivery at 6pm.  Yes, free pizza to go with the free wine.  So stay and socialize.

Click here to fill out an RSVP form.  Please do it before Tuesday, Dec. 4th, so Kim will know the numbers for catering purposes.

SAIS is located at 279 Upper Serangoon Road, right next to the Woodleigh MRT station.  Please go to Gate 2.  The library is in the Lincoln Building, fourth floor.

Friday, November 30, 2012

February 1-3: Children's Lit Conference @SAS

You'll hear more about this from Nancy Johnson at next week's meeting, but here is a promotional slideshow about the Children's Literature Conference at SAS, February 1 - 3, 2013.

General Meeting Thursday, December 6

Our next general meeting is on Thursday, December 6 at Stamford American International School.   Please RSVP to Kim Klein by Tuesday, December 4.

The school is located at 279 Upper Serangoon Road, right next to the Woodleigh MRT station.  Please go to Gate 2.  The library is in the Lincoln Building, fourth floor.

Here is the agenda for the meeting. Please let us know if there is anything that needs to be added.

See you there.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hands on Literacy November 17 2012

Nearly 300 delegates; 46 workshop presenters! The Hands on Literacy Committee 2012 is to be congratulated for organising another very successful Hands on Literacy conference for ISLN. Their hard work and dedication was evident in the smooth running of the day and the positive feedback received regarding the speakers.

Keynote speaker Joyce Valenza did a fantastic job of opening the conference and inspiring the audience. We were so fortunate to have such a great educator with us.

Judy O'Connell's closing keynote was a perfect conclusion to the conference. She took the audience from a broad sweep and future-gazing to a call for action at the local school and library level.
Links to both presentations can be found on the website, and Judy seeks your feedback on the future direction of teacher-librarian training (also linked on the website).

Workshop presentations provided by some presenters have been uploaded here.
The conference was preceeded on Friday by a School Library Tour, so capably organised by Isabel Jones and hosted by generous colleagues at Tanglin, the Canadian School, SAS, and UWC. This was followed by drinks at Dempsey Hill. Participants commented on the value not only of the school visits but the networking opportunities within the group on the day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

IB Librarian - Continuum Workshop, Jan 18-20, 2013, at Tanglin

Dianne McKenzie from Discovery College in Hong Kong just told me she is coming to Singapore in January to run an IB Librarian Continuum Workshop at Tanglin Trust School -- January 18, 19, and 20.

Click here for details on the IBO website.

You can read about the most recent workshop she ran -- in Hong Kong -- in this post "Learning with new eyes" on her Library Grits blog.

As the workshop will mean other librarians will be in town, I propose we pencil in an ISLN social event that Saturday night.....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Next general network meeting: Thursday, Dec. 6

We hope to see you all next Saturday at Hands on Literacy at AISS.

If not, we will see you at the next general network meeting Thursday, December 6, at Stamford American International School, where Kim Klein will be hosting us in her new library space.

4:00 pm for 4:30 pm start.

Address:  279 Upper Serangoon Road  (1 Woodleigh Lane), 347691

Posters, bookmarks, etc. for Red Dot Books

If you go to, you'll find posters, shortlist stickers, and bookmarks to download - as well as slideshows & videos of the books in each of the four categories.


And if you haven't done so already, go to the four GoodReads groups and see how you and your students can start discussing the books.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Keep the date: 2013 Children's / Young Adult Literature Conference - this February in Singapore

When: Feb. 1-3, 2013
(Friday, Meet the Author Reception; Saturday, Conference; Sunday, Writing and Illustrating Workshops)

Where: Singapore American School
Intermediate School Theatre

Chris Crutcher    
Author of 11 books (including Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Stotan, Whaletalk, King of the Mild Frontier) written for young adults, with short stories in 12 anthologies. Recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.  [GoodReads] [Author website]

Kadir Nelson  
Awards include: 2008 Caldecott Honor recipient for Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, 2007 Caldecott Honor recipient for Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, 2009 Coretta Scott King Award Winner and 2009 Sibert Informational Book Award for We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball .  [GoodReads] [Author website]

Laura Vaccaro Seeger  
Illustrator/Author of 15 picture books including Green, The Hidden Alphabet, and Dog and Bear.  Awards include: 2008 Caldecott Honor and Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book for First the Egg, 2009 and Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor for One Boy. [GoodReads] [Author website]

Deborah Wiles 
Author of four novels and two picture books, including Countdown and Love, Ruby Lavender,  Awards include: 2005 National Book Award finalist for Each Little Bird That Sings and the PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship in 2004.  [GoodReads] [Author website]

Conference specifics will be available soon at
Questions?  Contact Nancy Johnson @

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Red Dot Book Awards website ready

UPDATED 25Oct12:  only good news now! is back online!  Bug resolved (thank goodness)....


OK, good news, bad news...

The new Red Dot website is ready for exploration (read: please let me know if any links don't work - you are my beta testers).

Go to:

The bad news is that in shifting the domain name -- -- from the 2011-2012 Google Site to the 2012-2013 one, I encountered a bug.  I can't get the new site to take on the "" name.  It's small comfort that others in the world are just as frustrated with Google right now.  I've read their same sagas online: we did everything the instructions said to do, but Google balks.  And the bug is such that I can't even set "" back to the old site.


Meanwhile, use the long link above and let me know what I've missed.

I'll promote it with a bit more fanfare and explanation once I get the *^&$#% short link working.



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Two great new sites for Online Book Shopping

I recently learned about two new online book vendor sites that have quickly become as important to me as Book Depository and OpenTrolley.

It's a book price comparison site for Singapore, which opened on August 24 of this year.
Forget about switching between Internet browser tabs - you can now shop on just one tab with, a website that consolidates the best deals from 9 websites. With literary offerings from power e-retailers such as Amazon, Kinokuniya, Popular, Betterworldbooks, Bookdepository, Fishpond, Noqstore, and Opentrolley.
Yes, you type in a title or ISBN and it tells you the cheapest cost - including shipping costs.

One of the book sources it uses is
a free worldwide-shipping book supplier, very similar to Book Depository.  In fact, I'm noticing that they're coming in slightly cheaper than Book Depository most of the time.

I also like how they provide the Kinokuniya costs, where possible.

I'll be pushing out some Red Dot Book promotions soon -- so if you haven't started ordering your copies, you might try these in addition to other suppliers.

Speaking of new sources of books, here's a link to our new Suppliers shared Google Doc.  I just added these two to it.  Feel free to add more.  Anyone can edit the document.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Brush up on your research skills with Research Toolkit.

The next round of the Victorian Personal Learning Network has been announced, with the first ever Victorian PLN short course kicking off on November 12 and running for 4 units. The Research Toolkit course will explore reliable online resources, effective search techniques and tools for organisation and referencing.
The online course is self paced and will feature webinars with research experts. It’s a great way for teachers and library staff to brush up on their skills and keep up to date with new tools and techniques. Research Toolkit is also a good refresher for previous participants in the Victorian PLN course looking to reinforce and further develop many of their own research skills.
Teachers at the Australian International School have been participating in Vic PLN  courses for several years. It's a great way to keep up your teaching skills and awareness of new learning and teaching resources.
Here's a post about this from Bright Ideas, the blog of the School Library Association of Victoria.
Here's a link to previous Vic PLN courses.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Free online PD next Wed-Fri: Library 2.0 Conference

The Library 2.012 Worldwide Virtual Conference will be held October 3 - 5. The conference will be online, in multiple time zones over the course of two days, and free to attend! The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University is the founding conference sponsor. Register as a member of this Library 2.0 network to be kept informed! 
Here is the schedule in Singapore time:

There are some great things on.... in the middle of the night.

though also in the morning....

Perchance, are any of you presenting?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Red Dot SHORTLIST for 2012-2013 -- at last.....

Okay, here are the shortlists.  

Thanks to Lisa Patton, Kate Brundage, and Kim Klein who sat with me last Friday evening and hashed these out -- and the Australian contingent who advised via email.  Very useful!  (And if you still have complaints about the national balance, just volunteer to be on the committee next year.....)

The lists are stored on our ISLN GoodReads shelves.


NB:  Two books have two titles (in two different countries) -- same text!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Add to our YouTube playlist(s)

Ron Starker in the SAS Middle School made some very fun videos with his students to introduce the library.

I've put links to them on an ISLN YouTube playlist called "School Library intro videos". The videos introduce basic library organization, genres, and how-to use Destiny/Quest to find books.

If anyone else has videos they've created and want to share, send me the link and I'll put them on a playlist.  Maybe we'll be able to have some short videos of Hands on Literacy moments that we can upload after the conference.  Just a new place for us to share things we've created.

-- Katie

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New study led by Dr. Ross Todd

School Libraries and the Development of Intellectual Agency: Evidence from New Jersey

Dr. Ross J. Todd
, Associate Professor, Director, Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL), School of Communication & Information, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
This paper presents selected key findings of the first phase of a multiphase research study commissioned by the New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL) in 2009 and undertaken by the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The overall research agenda seeks: (a) to construct a picture of the status of New Jersey’s school libraries and the work of school librarians in the educational landscape of New Jersey, (b) to understand the contribution of quality school libraries to education in New Jersey, (c) to understand the contextual and professional dynamics that inhibit and enable school libraries to contribute significantly to educational agendas, and (d) to make recommendations to key stakeholders to develop a sustained and long-term program of capacity-building and evidence-based continuous improvement of school libraries in New Jersey.

Go to the report here.

(Thank you to Ruth Soeding At GESS for drawing this report to our attention)

Friday, August 24, 2012

PD Opportunity: COETAIL course here in Singapore

There are six places left on a new COETAIL course starting Sept 1 here in Singapore, out of the Center for International Education at UWCSEA East in Tampines.

What is COETAIL?

The Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy (CoETaIL) was developed by Jeff Utecht and Kim Cofino, Google Apps EDU Certified Trainers and Apple Distinguished Educators. CoETaIL is based on best practice student-centered online learning theories and techniques harnessing the newest and latest in Web 2.0 technologies. The program leads educators through a process demonstrating how to use technologies and allowing educators to apply their learning in their own school and classroom.  The full certificate program requires five courses (15 credits) administered by Buffalo State, SUNY.  
Participants in the program can also apply those credits towards the Buffalo State, SUNY Master’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies program. Numerous national as well as over 1000 international educators are currently enrolled in this degree program designed for internationally-minded educators. The degree requires 30 graduate semester credits and 15 of those credits can be earned through completion of the CoETaIL.  
Participants have the option to complete the CoETaIL regardless of whether they choose to continue with a Master’s degree. This is advantageous to those educators who would like to earn credits for licensure renewal or certification purposes in the U.S., Canada as well as many other countries in the world. 
 Educators who have been awarded the CoETaIL can continue their Master’s degree program by completing five additional courses (15 graduate credits). The two required courses, EDF 689 Methods and Techniques of Educational Research (action research) and EDU 690 Master’s Project (culminating curriculum or other research-based project) are offered as on-line courses.

It runs over a year and the cost is S$ 3,999  (roughly SGD $800 per course and there are 5 courses -- so hopefully your school might be willing to sponsor you)

For more information about this PD opportunity, go to

(I'm doing it along with other UWCSEA colleagues.... would love to have more librarians join. )

-- Katie

Vote for the Red Dot SHORTLIST via GoodReads

The Red Dot subcommittee published longlists for the four categories back in June.  (Read the blog post here.)

Did you get to read some over the summer?

We are starting the discussion of which books will make the shortlists -- which will be announced at our September 13th meeting in the AISS Junior Library.

You can add your vote -- literally -- by going to the Red Dot lists in GoodReads Listopia.

Vote for Early Years books on the Red Dot Longlist for 2013-2014 here!

Vote for Younger Reader books on the Red Dot Longlist for 2013-2014 here!

Vote for Older Reader books on the Red Dot Longlist for 2013-2014 here!

Vote for Mature Reader books on the Red Dot Longlist for 2013-2014 here!

Alternatively, feel free to email us (via about any particular book -- yay or nay.

The committee greatly appreciates all your input.

-- Katie

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Global Education Conference November 2012

The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity.

During International Education Week (November 12-16), the 2012 Global Education Conference will take place entirely online and around the clock using the Blackboard Collaborate platform.

Call for Proposals is now open.

More information:

Science and comic books - Otto Fong

From local author Otto Fong:
We are now releasing Book 4. On top of that, I'm also excited to introduce you to my new App for iPad! 
It features the science comic book (Book 1) and also 5 science games. These games allow users to play and learn about basic science topics like Atomic Structure, the Periodic Table, and Electrolysis of water. A promo video is here on Youtube: 
This App is suitable for readers aged 9 - 14.  
As part of the promotion, I will also be conducting a workshop with teachers and students (upper primary/lower secondary) during the Singapore Science Festival. If you know of teachers and students eager to explore using Apps to learn, I recommend this workshop. 

Otto Fong

Author visit October - Jan Latta

I'm the author and wildlife photographer of a series of 12 True to Life Books educating children about endangered animals. To create each book I've travelled to Africa eight times, Borneo and China twice, also to Sri Lanka, India and Uganda. I follow wild animals each day taking photographs and writing about their survival.

My books, videos and information can be seen on  

My new exciting presentation was shown at the Beijing and Shanghai Literary Festivals and schools in China this year. 

Please let me know if you would like to book me for a  presentation.  Dates available 15, 16 October.

Jan Latta.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Welcome Reed Baxter Emerson!

And here is his best smile for us! Wonderful news from the Emerson family!
Jenna and Chris  welcomed Reed Baxter Emerson into the world on Saturday June 30th at 2.46am, clocking in at 7lbs 2oz and 20 inches tall. Jenna says they are loving the world of parenthood, and promise us a visit after the summer break.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A look at ISLN dates for the next 10 months

A look-ahead at the upcoming (northern hemisphere) academic year, in terms of dates.

CORRECTION re location of Sep 13th meeting at AISS.  Not in the Senior Library, but in the Junior one (enter via Gate 3).

ISLN Network meetings
  • Thursday, September 13 @ AISS Junior Library
  • December @ SAIS
  • February @ OFS
  • April @ UWCSEA Dover (AGM)

NB: We rotate the day of the week for our network meetings, in fairness to people's other after-school commitments.  So the December, February, and April dates will be on a day of the week that suits the host librarian, but will not be on a Thursday.

Hands on Literacy Conference - Saturday, November 17

Red Dot Awards & Readers Cup
  • September - shortlist announced
  • March - Red Dot voting and announcement of subset of books to be used in the Readers Cup
  • May - Readers Cup

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Red Dot 2012-2013 Long Lists Announced

The Red Dot Awards Committee has decided on the Red Dot book long-list for 2012-2013.  We'd love for people to read the books and let us know what they think about them.  An easy way to do that is to add your reviews to your Goodreads account (if you have one).

Click here to see our ISLN Goodreads bookshelves, where the long-lists are identified -- or click on the individual shelf links below.

In August the Committee will meet and discuss the long-list titles -- and will announce the shortlist for 2012-2013 in September.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Red Dot Readers at Lycee Francais de Singapour

Recently LFS celebrated their students' involvement in the ISLN Red Dot Awards with their own awards ceremony.
Individual and Class awards were enthusiastically received amid much excitement. The children shared poetry, reflections and songs inspired by the themes explored in their favourite Red Dot 2012 books. Congratulations to Daniele Weiler and the teachers at LFS for inspiring such enthusiasm for reading in their students.

Hands On Literacy - Call for Papers

Hands on Literacy 2012. Call for papers.

The call for papers for Hands on Literacy 2012 has been  announced.
The conference will be held at the Australian International School on Saturday November 17th and will feature internationally renowned educators and innovators,  
Joyce Valenza and Judy O'Connell.

Proposals for papers and workshops may be submitted until July 31st at

This professional development day is aimed at educators from across all curriculum areas, thus reflecting the important role literacy has across a school.

Proposed workshop themes include:

v Digital Literacy (e.g. Web 2.0 Tools, Social Software, iPads & iPods, e-learning)

v Engaging with print (e.g. Engaging readers, phonics, Literacy Circles, teen fiction)

v Visual Literacy & The Arts (e.g. Drama, Graphic Novels, knockout displays)

v Research and Inquiry (e.g., Information Literacy & the Inquiry Cycle, Note-taking)

v Librarianship (e.g. collection development, information literacy, e-books)

These themes will be explored for early years, elementary, middle school and high school students.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

ISLN Readers' Cup 2012

8 schools, 18 teams, 102 contestants across 3 divisions! Great participation and lots of fun at the 2012 ISLN Readers' Cup. The students competed with great spirit, and certainly knew their books well, as is reflected in the tied result for first place in the Younger Readers' Division.
Results were:
Younger Readers - Equal First Place tp SJI, UWC East and UWC Dover. Second place CIS. Third place SAIS.
Older Readers - First Place UWC Dover. Second place CIS. Third place AIS.
Mature Readers - First Place SJI. Second Place AIS. Third Place GESS.
A big congratulations to these teams, and to all teams that participated.
A special mention must go to SJI which was the only school to compete in all three divisions. Well done.
Our grateful appreciation to our hosts, UWC East; our judges; our wonderful Quizmaster Mr Bruce Home, and our sponsors Bookaburra Books for the major prizes  and APD for the audience prizes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Librarian Knowledge Sharing Workshop & Job-Alike -- in KL Oct 5-6, 2012

FYI:  for librarians from FOBISSEA (Federation of British International Schools in SE Asia) and the Kuala Lumpur Librarians' Network.

Two of our former Tanglin colleagues -- Rob George and Barb Philip -- are hosting a librarian PD event in KL with special guest Marj Kirkland, former National President of the Australian Children's Book Council, who was the keynote speaker at our first Hands on Literacy conference in 2008.

For more information, see this site --

Hands on Literacy @ AISS, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012

Thanks to the result of the poll, the decision has been made to continue with Hands on Literacy in its full form this November.

The Australian International School will be the venue with Ben Farr (TTS) and Linda Twitchett (AISS) as the Co-convenors of the HOL committee.

They are looking for volunteers for the various subcommittees as well as any suggestions of a theme for this year's conference.  Fill in the form below and press the Submit button at the bottom.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

AGM Minutes & Membership Fee Reminder

The minutes of the AGM held April 23, 2012, at the new Lakeside campus of CIS are now online -- on the wiki.  See

Note that the subcommittee which agreed to meet to continue discussing Hands on Literacy and other network PD initiatives is still exploring options.  Watch for updates very soon.

DUES now due

A reminder that our membership year starts on April 1 and ends on March 31, so we are already into 2012-2013 in terms of fees.

Click here for this year's Membership Form.  It contains all the information you need.


Debbie Diaz from UWC has a teacher-librarian friend in the US who highly recommends Jerry Pallotta -- and indicates he would love to come to Asia.

She writes:

"He is definitely one of the best we have had in the last 20 years, if not the best....If you go on Jerry's website (, you will see he has written hundreds of books which makes for a great bookfair.  Don't know how parents react over there, but here they went crazy.  He is definitely for elementary kids.  Extremely funny—the kids adore him.  He is very charismatic and is like a kid himself----thus--- their adoration!!  His presentation is amazing, he will autograph until the cows come home.  There is so much you can do with his books because they are mostly non-fiction.  Older kids love them too.  There are wonderful projects you can do in advance.  Classrooms can make their own alphabet books, etc"

Jerry is probably best known for his many alphabet books, e.g.,