It’s good to be back and welcoming students - new and old(er) into the library. The word is catching on that it’s a cool place to hang out during break (literally - we’re under no illusions about current humidity and our air conditioning's allure…).
Seriously, it’s a joy to watch Year 7 students especially exploring the library and pouncing on the manga. They bring an open-eyed wonder that’s so precious. We’ll be doing a library orientation with them very soon to show them how to search for treasure - stories for enjoyment and expansion, but also books in our non-fiction collection that can help with their learning and research. Too much reliance on google (not knocking google - it definitely has its place) can lead to unfiltered, oft-repeated generic information, accurate and inaccurate, so it’s great to emphasise to our students that non-fiction specialist books have usually been written by obsessed enthusiasts and experts who make it their mission to know absolutely everything they can about their topic of interest.
We have a policy in the library of supporting and fostering our students and staff’s reading however we can, so students are encouraged to come and ask us to order in books that they’d be interested in reading.
Over the summer break, as we were packing for Tasmania (I’d booked myself 40kg of flight baggage) I was asked accusingly: ‘Don’t tell me you’re bringing those fifteen books on our holiday?’ Actually, it was more like twenty and by the time we went through various Vinnies in tiny mining towns - pushing thirty…
But it means I’ve come back fresh with the thoughts, flavours and reflections of both fiction and non-fiction. My favourite fiction read over the holidays was: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, while non-fiction included 12 Bytes by Jeanette Winterson (a series of essays on the possible impacts of technology for us and our children especially as digitally augmented and dependent humans), and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (a history of how homo sapiens triumphed as one of at least six human species - I’ll give you a hint - it seems like gossip might have had quite a bit to do with it).
Each of these are in our library, available for borrowing, and I would love more people to read them - students especially - so that we can discuss some hugely important themes.
Ms Melaina Faranda