My name is Ben Koning and I work as a teacher-librarian and technology teacher at Torquay Elementary school in Saanich, BC.. As part of my studies for a diploma in teacher-librarainship through UBC, I have been asked to keep a learning blog. It is a new experience for me. I have not really been a blogging fan but must admit that I really shouldn't knock something unless I have tried it mayself. So here is my first post:
I am originally trained as a high school teacher and taught Social Studies, Math, French, Technology and History at the high school level for a few years. I then took a break from the classroom and worked as an Educational Consultant for four years in the late 90s in a partnership program with BCTel and the Ministry of Education. The purpose of the partnership was to help schools integrate technology with the curriculum. The majority of my work was training teachers in the use of educational software and the Internet and co-teaching with teachers from K to 12. I then worked for five years as school technologist with the Greater Victoria School District. My work involved the automation of some school libraries and establishing and maintaining school computer networks.
I then returned to the classroom beginning with a year as an Adult Education teacher in the area of Business Education and technology. Since that time, I have worked for the past seven years exclusively at the elementary level. I have taught grade 5 and 6 as a classroom teacher and for the past five years have worked as at K to 5 Teacher-Librarian and Technology Teacher in two different schools. I worked one of those years as a Vice Principal as well.
I have completed five courses in the Diploma Programme for Teacher-Librarianship. My primary interests are information literacy and resource based learning. I bring to my role a good working knowledge of the curriculum at all grade levels and some teaching experience at each level as well as a strong technology background.
Our school district has centralized the management of technology over the past few years. Our work stations and library systems are managed at the district level with some management functions delegated to the school. All libraries in our district use a union catalog from Follett called Destiny Library Manager. We order, process and catalog books at the school level but have access to a district clerk who will catalogue items for which there are no Marc records or will provide cataloging advice. Our library manages its own website and subscribes to a number of online services such as World Book Online, Culturegram, DestinyQuest and Titlepeek.
In addition to a district library clerk, our district has a strong teacher-librarian association which meets regularly and shares information and problem solves together through the use of central emailing list. Cataloguing issues are a regular part of these communications. Just recently a committee has been struck to standardize the use of Marc record fields in the union catalog and to develop methods to eliminate duplicate records in the catalog.
I am very much looking forward to this course. I had hoped to have had such a course much earlier in my career as a Teacher-Librarian. I have struggled over the past few years to find ways to make our library holdings more accessible for our younger patrons (K to 2) and at the same time trying to stay true to traditional organizational systems and cataloguing conventions. I am looking for insights into best practices in this regard as well as insights into the organization and management of electronic resources. I also hope to find answers to questions I have regarding the cataloguing of items such as biographies, graphic novels and series written by a variety of authors.