SHARING: A CHALLENGE FOR ALL: PROCEEDINGS OF THE ELEVENTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL LIBRARIANSHIP, AUGUST 1-6, 1982 RED DEER, ALTA
Compiled and edited by John G. Wright.
Volume 11 Number 5.
This is an important compilation of the papers presented at the August 1-6, 1982, IASL conference held in Red Deer, Alberta. The chair, John Wright, has done an admirable job collecting and editing as well as providing sources for the audiovisual presentations, rather than attempting to summarize them. Wright has been on the board of the IASL for many years, and this publication reflects his grasp of the problems inherent in such an undertaking. He has given us an eminently readable, well-structured presentation.
The presentations range from the role of children's literature in the process of learning and social development, through library networking and the related aspects of communications technology, to assessments of current school library developments in seven countries. Other papers cover research projects in bibliography, networking attitudes, use of statistical data, and evaluation of school library programs. The papers reflect many of the seventeen countries but the western ones predominate.
From a Canadian perspective, it is refreshing to see so much that is relevant between one set of covers. There is an overview of not only the National Library's program of children's literature awareness, but also a valuable presentation on African children's literature, dealing with the problems many of these works create in images of Africa by outsiders. Since Africa appears somewhere in most Canadian school curricula, this paper alone recommends itself to all teachers and their responsibility in developing accurate portrayals of countries, if only for international goodwill and understanding, let alone factual content.
"A Comparative Study of Juvenile Fiction Dealing With The Second World War," "Images of Canada in Inuit and Indian Literature for Children," "Images of Canada in French Canadian Literature for Children," and "Images of Canada in English Canadian Literature for Children, or, After Anne of Green Gables" are of great value as bibliographic essays in their own right ažd should be part of every librarian's collection.
Many of us might tend not to read much about the state of school libraries and librarianship outside of Canada, Britain, the United States, and Australia, but the problems in the papers representing Grenada, Ghana, Japan, Nigeria, and the English-speaking Caribbean closely parallel some areas of Canada. The strategies employed to overcome them are worth reading about by all school librarians. This reviewer personally picked up quite a few excellent ideas to be used in his reasonably affluent and well-developed system. The whole theme of the conference, "Sharing," is evident in each of the presentations and bespeaks areas into which many Canadian school libraries could or should begin moving.
One section has eight papers, dealing with resource sharing and networking, delineates its present status in school libraries. Coupled with the school library evaluation project as presented earlier in the book and the presentation on the image of the school library and librarian, it makes this complete publication a first-class professional experience for present practitioners and those considering joining the ranks.
The proceedings read easily and with authority. They are objective in nature, stating the case with minimal use of jargon. It is often difficult to even contemplate reading such works as most of us are busy, pragmatic types who regard "how-to-do-it" material with joy but other material with a sigh, if at all. This collection offers an excellent blend of theory and practice and is recommended for all who regard themselves as professional in the field of school librarian-ship. An excellent base for school library education.
Ted Monkhouse, Wellington County Board of Education, Guelph, ON.
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