The Ruyton Reporter - Spring 2014 - page 10

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the ruyton reporter
The Ruyton Girls’ School (RGS)
Virtual Library – incorporating an
Australian first
It has become increasingly evident that the role and function of a modern school
library is no longer confined to school hours, nor solely located within the physical walls
of the library building. With this in mind, we have been working towards creating virtual
spaces and services that facilitate and support student engagement and inquiry,
anytime and anywhere. This year we have been involved in the implementation of
a number of technology-related projects aimed at meeting our goal of becoming a truly
21st century library.
In our planning for new and virtual library services, we acknowledge our responsibility
to encourage students to function effectively in an information society, as creators of
knowledge rather than consumers of facts. We also aimed to create virtual spaces that
nurture and reinforce connections within the school community based around an
intellectual curiosity and love of literature. Included in this initiative has been the design
and development of our new library website and the provision of eBooks and eAudio
books via an eBook consortium.
We are very proud of our new library website. It serves as a welcoming doorway to our
virtual library. The interface is inviting, intuitive and engaging, reflecting the needs
and personality of the Ruyton community. It is a critical entry point to the rich and varied
electronic resources we provide to the School community.
The modern library must reach beyond its own domain and into broader online
communities. Our website is more than an access point; it is a forum to present and
showcase not only library events but also student work and feedback. Acknowledging
the phenomenon of social media and its power to allow users to communicate, connect
and collaborate, we have incorporated a range of social media into the site, including
the library instagram account, the Lit Club blog and our tumblr account.
New and exciting possibilities become evident when we accept that the modern library
is no longer constrained within four walls. As we move towards providing some of our
resources in a digital format, opportunities arise to work collaboratively with other
schools and share resources in a manner that was impossible previously. As a Melbourne
first, Ruyton has entered into an eBook consortiumwith Mentone Girls’ Grammar
to pool and share an Overdrive subscription. Overdrive is the largest international
provider of popular and educational eBooks. Pooling our resources in this way provides
both school communities with the advantage of accessing a significantly larger shared
database of high interest eBooks. Within an Australian educational setting this type
of resource sharing is both innovative and ground breaking. The deeper and broader
collection assists students to satisfy diverse reading needs and interests. It not only
maximises the School’s financial investment in eBooks but also creates possibilities for
students to experience a shared reading experience in a broader community. This
consortium has been established in a spirit of co-operation, with the view that working
collegially within education is important not only for our students but also for our
staff, as we continue on the digital journey as a learning community.
Mrs Julie Purcell,
Director of Library Resource Centre
‘We will call Australia Home – Seeking Asylum’
This was the title for the 2014 Ruyton Foundation Masterclass, held on Friday
8 August. The Masterclass began with a compelling performance by Unit 3/4
Drama students portraying the chilling story of a family’s flight from Syria and
the miseries faced. Keynote speaker Julian Burnside QC AO touched on his work
as an advocate for asylum seekers as he spoke to students and staff of the Senior
School. Following this, Years 11 and 12 students had the opportunity to participate
in a ‘Q & A’ style forum with a panel that included Julian Burnside and three
remarkable women making a difference in our community: Hannah Colman (‘01)
is General Manager of SCARF, a volunteer organisation which provides hands-on
training, mentoring and employment in the hospitality industry to young people,
including many who have come here as refugees; Megan Reinwald is the
Sunshine campus co-ordinator of the SAIL (Sudanese Australian Integrated
Learning) programme; and Sue Mitchell, a Médecins Sans Frontières psychologist
who has worked extensively with refugees in South Sudan.
Mrs Cathryn Furey,
Assistant Principal and Director of Learning
‘The Masterclass Q & A panel was an invaluable experience both to further develop
my knowledge of the asylum seeker issue and also to hear about some of the
experiences of the panelists. The asylum seeker issue is complex and multi-faceted,
and the Masterclass was incredibly helpful in highlighting some of the key aspects
we must focus on to improve the situation for asylum seekers who reach our
shores.’
Margarita Ainsworth,
Year 11
‘The Masterclass was a wonderful experience and offered the girls involved
a significant insight to the works and opinions from the individual members of
the panel. We were able to gain knowledge about those who are seeking asylum
due to persecution from their country of origin. It was an insightful morning that
provided students with a unique opportunity to meet and speak with different
Human Rights associates.’
Nicola Bonin,
Year 11
‘Friday’s MasterClass was testament to the fact that gaining an education is about
far more than passing exams; it is about understanding the world in which we live,
the issues of that world and how, through the empowerment of knowledge, our
efforts may act towards achieving a more equal and just future.’
Lauren Sibree,
Year 12
A Virtual Reality
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