Friday, May 31, 2013

PD opportunity - IFLA World Congress, Singapore 17-23 August 2013

The International Federation of Library Associations will be holding its world congress here in Singapore in August. The theme is "Future libraries: infinite possibilities."
Here is a link to the programme and the satellite meetings.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Red Dot Longlists.... and the AFCC today....

Six of us met on Saturday (Kate B (SAS), Carla (EtonHouse) , Lisa (CIS), and two middle school literacy specialists -- Scott from SAS and Angie from UWC Dover) and added quite a few titles to the GoodReads bookshelves.

These bookshelves include all the titles on the Listopia lists, but also include ones members suggested either in person or via email. We also looked at the current shortlists of our sibling awards: the Panda ones in China, the Sakura Medal in Japan, and the Morning Calm Medal in Korea.


Criteria in choosing books for the longlist:
  • Mix of genres, e.g., fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic format
  • Balance of boy/girl main characters
  • Balance of nationalities
  • Published (in English) within the last 4 years
  • The shortlists will consist of 8 books at each level
  • Preferably only #1 if in a series
  • Preferably no repeat of an author from previous years

NB:  Titles can still be added - the shortlists are limited to the longlists.  You might find a great book over the summer, so keep reading!

We're looking for someone to head up the Red Dot committee for next year -- and to call a meeting in late August so the shortlists can be announced at our September 4th meeting.  Please let me or Linda know if you're interested.  You might think about a joint-leadership position (i.e., two working together).

Today I'm heading off to AFFC - - the Asian Festival of Children's Content at the NLB main building on Victoria St. 

The line-up includes Holly Thompson, Wendy Orr, Candy Gourlay, people from Shen's Books and the Paper Tigers blog, and lots of local authors and illustrators, not to mention our own Ben Farr on a panel at 4:15pm and Nancy Johnson doing the children's book awards keynote starting at 7:30pm.

Hope to see some of you during the day.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Red Dot longlist meeting, Saturday May 25

Now that Readers Cup is past, it's time to look forward to the 2013-2014 Red Dot Books.

Yesterday at SJII, Lisa Patton (CIS), Kate Brundage (SAS) were chatting and decided to meet up  this Saturday afternoon, May 25,  3 - 5 pm at the American Club, where Kate is a member, to discuss booklists.  The club has wireless, which is useful, and Kate may be able to book one of the conference rooms. 

Anyone is welcome to join us.  Just let us know you're coming, as Kate needs to sign guests in. You can  email me ( or call/ text (8233-2922).

We three feel on top of the best of recently published American literature for children and young adults, so are particularly looking for help on the Canadian, British, Australian, New Zealand, European, and other world-wide titles.

If you can't come, but have some ideas, either email me or go to our GoodReads' Listopia lists where we are collecting titles -- and add or vote on books.
Remember:  only titles published within the past four years are eligible, i.e., 2013, 2012, 2011, or 2010.  For translated works, we look at how many years they have been published in English.  We also aim for a range of countries represented and at least one non-fiction book per category.

Shortlists (to be announced at our September 4th network meeting) will have 8 titles each, so the longlists are typically 20-30 books in each.

We'll publish our recommended lists here on Monday.

(Hint: the longlists make good summer reading lists.....)

And the winners of the Readers Cup are....

We had a very successful Readers Cup event yesterday at SJI International.  For full information, including the scores for each team and the questions & answers for each competition, go to the Red Dot website - Readers Cup page.

In summary, Singapore American School (SAS) won the Younger Readers, St Joseph's Institution (SJI) International won the Older Readers, and the German European School of Singapore (GESS) won the Mature Readers.  Congratulations to all!

The change in format -- from oral questions to written ones with timed rounds -- helped to speed up the length of each competition, though we still went over a bit.  (The Mature Readers event finished at 6:30pm.)  The change in scoring -- increasing the number of questions and adding the selection of a Joker Round for double points and 10% bonus points for finishing within 3 minutes instead of 4 -- did prevent tie situations, though narrowly.  In the Younger Readers event, there was just 0.1 points between 1st place and 2nd place!

I'll put a Google Form up on the Readers Cup page to collect suggestions and comments on how the competition went.

Do you have any photos or videos of the event you'd like to share?  I've made a new Photos & Videos page for Readers Cup and have uploaded a few photos and videos that one of our teachers took for me.

Many thanks to Siti Nurhidayah for organizing things so well at the SJII end.  Lisa Patton at CIS Lakeside has already asked to host next year's event -- and Kate Brundage at SAS says she'll do it the year after.

We are grateful to Cheryle Hum of Bookaburra Books for serving as a judge as well as supplying book prizes.  Thanks also to APD Books for their generous support of book prizes.

Special thanks also to Barb Philip Reid at Alice Smith School for sharing her experiences with Novel Knockout in KL and giving us the idea of timing the rounds and bonus points, as well as the all-important spreadsheet template for the more complicated scoring.  Maybe next year we will go with her idea of using iPads for the multiple choice quizzes.  At the very least I will be suggesting we use laptops and Google Forms for submission of the short-answer quiz as I killed quite a few trees prepping the quiz sheets this year.

Monday, May 6, 2013

School visits by local authors available through APD.

Our friends at APD have advised that they have local children's authors available for school visits at no charge. What an opportunity!
One such author is Maranna Chan, creator of the Triple Nine Sleuths series. Triple Nine Sleuths is targeted at upper primary to lower secondary students (ages 10-14). 
The series follows the adventures of Secondary One students Corey, Colton and Stacy as they encounter and investigate a series of intriguing mysteries in their neighbourhood and around Singapore. As they search for answers, big secrets are revealed and surprising connections are drawn between old cases. Think Nancy Drew or Enid Blyton's classic Secret Seven series, but with a fresh, local twist: familiar locations like Serangoon Public Library, Nex mall and even St John's Island, and tech-savvy leads who use their smartphones and Facebook to aid them in their sleuthing missions.
To purchase this series, or discuss a possible school visit, email Frizal at APD:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Possible Storyteller Visit: Courtney Campbell


Click here for brochures, price information, etc. about Courtney Campbell.

Courtney is already booked to perform at some international schools in KL and HK -- and is interested in stopping over in Singapore.

Dear Singapore International School Librarians,
I'm a singer/songwriter, storyteller/writer.  I've been performing in international schools world-wide for many years.  I'm going to be on tour in KL in September/October and in Singapore November 4-15.  Leanne Windsor of IIlliawara school in Australia recommended me to Katie Day.  In KL I"ll be performing for Siobhan Roulston at Garden International School as well as many other schools.  I"m available in your area November 4-15. To find out more about me you can go to my website:  I"ve also attached some " information about myself, my fees and my work.  I would love to come and perform for your schools.  Please contact me at:   I look forward to hearing from you.  It would be helpful to hear from you within a few weeks  as I am in the process of booking all my tours for the coming school year.  

All the best,
Courtney Campbell

Readers Cup: Sample Questions & Posters Available

Sample questions for all the books (5-10 each) are ready, in Google spreadsheet form.  Have your students create their own in the same vein for prep purposes.

SJII also made some posters to help everyone advertise the event.

Professional Development

I've just updated our page of professional development links -- which you can always check by clicking the Regional PD box in the header.

Please let me know if I should add other links.

A Special Plug for Learning 2.0

Learning 2.0 will be in Singapore Friday, October 10 - Sunday, October 12, at our UWCSEA East campus -- after years of being in China.  Early Bird Registration (until June 1st) just opened, so do what you can to reserve your place now.

Jeff Plaman, the secondary digital literacy coach who sits with me on my front desk, is the coordinator of the conference, so I know what a great experience it will be.

The call for workshops form isn't up on the site yet, but they promise it will be soon.  So be thinking of what you might be able to offer.  I hope there will be enough library-related ones to qualify as a strand of sorts.

There will also be a wide range of pre-conference offerings on Thursday, October 9th -- for $75 per person.  So even if can't attend the 3-day event, you might get an interesting day of something else, e.g., digital tools for Readers/Writers Workshop.  Click here for the full list.

-- Katie Day

Possible Author Visit: Susanne Gervay

Read below about another author who will be in town at the end of the month for the AFCC.  Please contact her if you'd like to arrange a visit -- or meet her at AFCC.

 I am an  Australian author, Susanne Gervay, who will be in Singapore to speak at Asian festival of Children's Literature 26-29th May. 

I am an award winning picture book, children's and YA author, and have spoken at festivals and conferences throughout the world including keynotes from Delhi, New York, Bologna Book Fair, UBUD, throughout Australia and many places. I spoke a few years ago at the Beijing Literature Festival where I spoke at international schools there and also in Hong Kong.

My 'I AM JACK' is a rite-of-passage anti school bullying book used throughout Australia, endorsed by Room to Read, Life Education Australia, The Madeline and Alannah Foundation and Australian schools. It has been released in the USA with my other JACK books following.  It is translated into Korean, Slovenian, Bahasa  and under negotiations with Taiwan.

My background is an educational consultant as well as an author.  I speak frequently to all age groups and to parents and teachers about anti school bullying.  Story and emotional engagement with characters is one of the effective ways of engendering cultural change and empowering young people to work towards a safer world.

I AM JACK has been adapted into an acclaimed play by Monkey Baa Theatre ( and has had four seasons in Australian theatres across Victoria, NSW and Queensland. It will be doing a 3 month theatrical tour of USA theatres in 2014.  Currently my JACK books  are in preproduction as a feature film which uses humour, life, the ups and down. Driven by the narrative of anti-bullying on a personal and international stage, it also includes strong sub themes of inclusion, family, Vietnam refugees, gaining grandparents, cancer and love.

I will be booking my flights soon, but could stay on in Singapore Friday 31st May, 3 and 4th June.  Otherwise it'd be great to make contact as I travel quite a lot speaking internationally and Singapore is a great stop over.

Susanne Gervay OAM
(61) 413 050 922

AGM Minutes & Nancy Johnson's Caldecott Presentation

The minutes from our April 22nd AGM are available here.

And here is Nancy Johnson's slide presentation.