School Libraries and Resource Centers
First of all I want to apologize to you for being absent from the various meetings in Durban. This was quite unfortunate especially given that the other members of the leadership team had already indicated that they could not attend. Unfortunately I was required to have urgent surgery shortly before the conference and was unable to travel until the end of August.
Karen Usher, who has been able to attend all recent Standing Committee meetings both annual and mid-year kindly agreed to represent me in Durban. Again unfortunately, it appears that materials I forwarded to her were not able to be accessed until after the conference.
I want to thank the leadership team for their excellent service over the past two years. Each member of the team has played a major role in the maintenance of the Section’s well being.
I know that we have been particularly blessed to have had a newsletter editor of the highest quality in Niels Damgaard. Niels has managed to create an outstanding product that has arrived on time every time. Of course a newsletter can not flourish without copy and it has been fabulous to see the terrific team effort in providing that copy. Good luck to our new Editor Lesley Farmer who has taken on a major challenge! Lesley is a prolific writer and has a good network and so we can be confident that with your help she will be able to continue to maintain a very high standard of publication. Please tell everyone about our newsletter, so much effort deserves an audience.
I believe that Bruno Vermeeren has been the most active Information Officer that the Section has ever had. The Section is fortunate that he has agreed to accept responsibility for this role for a further term. Thanks Bruno.
Of course the biggest workload in a Section always falls to the Secretary and in Lourense Das we have been fortunate to have had a consummate professional who has a fantastic network of colleagues across the world but especially throughout Europe. Her proximity to the IFLA headquarters has also been invaluable to the Section. Unfortunately Lourense has found it impossible to attend the IFLA conferences on a regular basis and for this reason she did not put her name forward to continue in that role. Lourense did however attend the mid year meetings and much of the work of the Standing Committee has been transacted there.
In her report Lourense has captured the important matters that have transpired during the year and in particular since the mid year meeting. The minutes of that meeting spell out the important decisions that have been made. I believe that the establishment of mid-year meetings has been a very positive move and has enabled much better communication and collegial decision making. It also provides the opportunity for the section to offer a professional development workshop to the local community and facilitates access to the mid year Division meeting.
The formation of the IASL/IFLA Joint Steering Committee provides a wonderful opportunity for the Standing Committee to play a significant role in forging an international agenda for school librarianship. The Terms of Reference for this committee have been established and are:
The Joint Steering Committee is to advise the IASL Executive Committee and the IFLA Governing Board on:
- submissions on matters relating to library and information practice within the school community. Submissions may be in response to a call for submissions or at the instigation of IASL/IFLA.
- the development of policy statements or documents relating to library and information practice within the school community
- strategies to articulate and promote the role of library and information services and staff within the school community;
- other matters as determined by the IASL and IFLA governing bodies.
I am hopeful that face to face meetings can be held and that the committee will be able to make a significant impact in the framing of the strategic direction of both organizations.
I want to thank members of the Standing Committee who are retired in Durban for their contributions to the life of the committee and the Section. Welcome to those members who are joining the Standing Committee for the first time and to Dianne Oberg who is rejoining! To those who continue to serve, I wish you well.