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Questions about international school library standards

Hi all

I’m about to start my first international school library job. I have a few questions about the unique difficulties of working in the international scene, particularly in SE Asia.
- What standards are people following to develop their facilities, collections and services?
- What associations have people found useful to join and what have they done for you?
- Where do international librarians buy their books from?
- How do you go about finding good foreign language books that have appropriate content?
- how have different people responded to the curriculum needs and learner profile of the IB? There seems to be very little official policy available.

That all I can think of for now but I’m sure there’s more. Please muck in and write anything important that comes to mind.

Cheers – Alan Jacques

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Hi Alan Jacques,

That's awesome!! I'm finishing my 11th year of teaching overseas; you're in for a treat. Where will you be moving to?

Currently I'm the head librarian at the American School of Bombay. I don't have answers to all your questions, but I have a few ideas that have helped me.

I created--with the elementary librarian and finally at the end the IT director--a information literacy matrix for our school. Use info from other schools. Use ALA. Use AASL. There are many models of standards and benchmarks to use. I'll send you what we created here at ASB.

I haven't been a member of this ning for too long, but it's awesome. I just formed a group of International School Librarians--join us! I'm really benefitting from this network. It's easy. I take a few minutes each day and get a chance to share with other librarians. I was feeling lonely, but this has been a great place to go. For organizations in the East, NESA is good. ERCOS too. One other idea is to start blogging. The Edublogger--Sue Waters, is phenomenal. I've started a blog for little techy tid bits: Dear Librarian. Feel free to visit.

I buy from Titlewave--they're awesome. I also have found many ways to purchase locally. Do this! It totally helps out with meeting the demands of books now! Use to Titlewave to help with the record.

For foreign titles, I totally take advantage of the parent population. Since they can read the foreign language, I rely on them. Also, go to your language department for recommendations and help.

About IB, my advice here would be to work on helping out with the Extended Essay. I always try to offer workshops on searching the net, searching the subscribed databases, creating a writing plan and outline, citations, even notetaking. The more you can get involved with helping them access academic articles and understanding how to use them, the better. Also, order literature from the IB book lists, so your school library can offer support there.

Ok, I hope some of these comments help. Welcome to the international experience. Like I said before, I love it! (Well, I don't know any different!) My husband and I have lived in El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and India. Our two kids were born in Venezuela. While I miss my family and friends back home in Spokane, Washington, I cherish the experiences I am having around the globe.

Cheers to you too.

Hi Jack, I can very much relate to your questions. Especially, where to buy the books from. Right now I am kind of stumbling my way forward, using some of the providers that the previous librarian here used. However, a lot of things seems to be bought by sending checks and DD:s all over India, Asia and sometimes the rest of the world. Or through "local" importers and providers. "local" since our nearest books provider is a nights journey by train away....

When it comes to IB books - at the moment I am buying only what the IB and MYP coordinator asks for.

I have never been a school librarian before, I used to be head of the department for LIbrary user education at a large medical university - very specialized. Now this is a broad job, and I like it a lot, and there are so many things to learn....

Anns comments very really helpful for me though!
Hi Alan I'm Solomon working as librarian in an International School in China.May I know which country are you working ?If its China please let me know.I can tell you more about the ordering procedures in China.


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