LKSW Conference in Singapore Ideas, Free Resources & My Main Take Aways

I had the pleasure of attending the EAST Librarians Knowledge Sharing Workshop 2017 (LKSW2017) in Singapore. I am buzzing with ideas that I just have to share. There was so many amazing ideas, creative lessons and inspirational people. Check out the link to see what the conference was about, this is an annual conference so keep an eye out for it in the future. 

Thank you to those who worked so hard to organize this. I can't imagine how much time must go into planning every detail. This was a wonderful experience. 

I wanted to share some of the inspiring books that were mentioned that I now want to read:

Making thinking visible

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – The danger of a single story

This is the author's TEDtalk, which I just watched. It's really inspiring and would be great to show a bit of to students. 


Make just one change – Question formulation technique

This is a book that was highly recommended in helping to get kids to think about learning through inquiry and it includes templates which you can use.

All students should and can learn to formulate their own questions
All educators can easily teach the skill as part of their regular practice

I'm always really happy to leave with a list of new books to learn from. Those were the top ones that were recommended throughout the 4 days of the conference through presentations or through conversations. I think these would be helpful for really any kind of educator, not only librarians. 


Some Great Ideas about learning to think about…

From Dianne McKenzie's pre-conference workshop she got us thinking about the three things that are necessary for learning to occur. She is truly a professional that knows education. I always leave her presentations with lots of ideas, and practical action plans that I can start using right away.

1. Students need to feel connected to the material.

2. They need to see the material as relevant to their lives.

3. They need to feel bothered, as in they need to feel emotional or some kind of drive to learn how to do something or to want to understand. An example that was given is that there are a lot of things that we don't know how to do, like fixing a car. You have to feel bothered in order to learn how to fix it yourself, otherwise you'll just hire a mechanic. 

I've been thinking about what I can do to make my lessons incorporate these three. Lately I have been focusing a lot on trying to improve my teaching to make it more memorable for kids. I don't want them to think of research or citation lessons as boring. I want them to feel bothered, connected and see the relevance!


Do you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


Creating a Strategic Plan for your Library

In order to keep your library moving forward it's a good idea to think about creating a plan for changes you want to implement over the next 2 or 3 years. Making a strategic plan can really help with this. Think about...

What is your library’s primary role?

Check out a wonderful example of this at Edmonton Public Library

A Sad Idea that I hadn't Thought About

If you haven’t gotten kids interested in reading by age 13 or around grade 7 you’ve probably lost them and they likely won't read again until adulthood – if ever.

I think there is truth to this, although from a quick Google search I couldn't quickly come up with evidence to back up this statement from a research study. However, in my own experience I see this happen in students all the time. 

Tech Trends in Libraries

It seems to be becoming more and more common for libraries to have their IT departments working closely with them. Both departments tend to play supportive or service oriented roles to assist teaching staff/faculty and students with resources. There were several libraries in Singapore and in school libraries that I have worked in where there will be either an IT Help Desk or the IT Dept.'s main office is located in the school library. This makes it a central hub for people to do with any and all questions, this works especially well with our growing digital resource usage in libraries. 

Some Great Resources to Check out

1. Looking for stories from around the world?

Check out:

2. Great Short Film Websites


This website is amazing for finding short clips to use in starting off lessons or conversations on tough topics. Some have very little dialogue making them easily accessible for those who don't have strong English language skills. 


Great multicultural videos

PBS Films 

They have some great films from their film festival that are very worth checking out.

Kanopy Streaming

This website has been recommended to me by several librarians now, I really need to get around the properly checking it out. I haven't personally gone through this one yet! 

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 2.09.30 PM.png

3. Kath Murdoch's website

She is an education consultant and author. Check out her downloads section for excellent free resources to support inquiry based learning. 

4. WattPad and FanFiction

Two great places to check out independent writers who are putting some of their work out there to socialize with the reading world. There are tons of great short stories, manga, comics, literature from every genre imaginable, etc. 

5. A Great Blog Post "Having Students Analyze Our Classroom Library To See How Diverse it is"

A really interesting read with great ideas.

6. A great supplier for library furniture:

7. Wheelers ebooks

An ebook provider that allows you to set up a consortia with other schools! Note at the time of writing this company does not offer their services in Korea. 

8. An inexpensive and easy to use counter so you can keep statistics on how many people use your library:

Counter to suit doorway beam (LA-5193)

9. A Great Fact Checker Website: Snopes

This post was kind of a random collection of ideas. I hope you do check out the link to the conference (at the top of the post) it was really full of too many ideas to write about in a single blog post, but I just wanted to share some resources that I thought might be helpful in inspiring new happenings in your library.

On an unrelated note, I read this really interesting book recently called When To Rob a Bank by Levitt and Dubner (the Freakonomics economists). In the first chapter they discuss what libraries world look like today if they were created today. It was kind of a sad but very true comment on how they believe that if a rich person wanted to propose the idea of starting up a place that would allow a book to be purchased one and then loaned an infinite number of times that model would likely not be approved by publishers. There would probably be additional fees or limitations put on the library much like what's happening with digital resources now. It's really lucky that libraries started when they did. I think they do a lot to help people access books that they otherwise may not be able to read. Well, that's just my two cents, I highly recommend checking this book out from your local library like I did. It's a great read.

Levitt, S. D., & Dubner, S. J. (2015). When to rob a bank: And 131 more warped suggestions and well-Intentioned rants from the Freakonomics guys. London, United Kingdom: Penguin Books.


Kendra Perkins

Ambassador of China for the ILN