St Andrew’s College host SA School Librarians’ Conference
St Andrew’s College hosted the South African School Librarians’ Conference from the 28th of June until the 2nd of July. The central focus of the Conference was “The Library of the Future”.
Friday the 28th saw the delegates arriving at the Cawse Library which created a happy and chatty atmosphere – it was the meeting of like-minded hearts. The informal Welcome Dinner was held in the Clapham Jubilee Hall. The St Andrew’s Prep librarians who were delegated with the mammoth task of organizing the two dinners for the delegates.
The conference was officially opened on Saturday 29th of June. St Andrew’s Headmaster Alan Thompson and School Librarian Vuyokazi Jamieson welcomed a room full of over 110 delegates from all over South Africa and neighbouring countries. There were 31 speakers and 14 registered exhibitors who added to the success of the conference.
What was quite unique about this conference was not only the involvement of the staff members of St Andrew’s College but also the boys of St Andrew’s College and Nombulelo High School.
Student Champions – Innovations
St Andrew’s College pupil Daniel Roodt who heads up the Reading & Watching Club wowed the audience with his presentation titled ‘Innovation’ In terms of encouraging students to read. He kept the audience of school librarians interested and engaged right up until the end of his speech.
Ayomide Israel-Akinbo, Africa Matshingana, and Jacob Erasmus (St Andrew’s College pupils) also added a unique experience to the Conference when they introduced themselves as members of the Interact Club. They had joined the other Interact Clubs of Grahamstown (ICOG) whose aims are to better the lives of people living in Makhanda. The boys chose to partner with Nombulelo High School and have been helping to renovate the Nombulelo school library for the last 10 months. They touched the audience with their well thought out presentation titled “Community Engagement Through the Library”. The boys received a special commendation from the president of LIASA (Library & Information Association of South Africa) for their work and commitment and for showing such grit and tenacity through this partnership.
Two young and upcoming St Andrew’s College Authors Liam McNaughton and John Marshall, both in Grade 9, formed part of the “Author Panel Interview” on Sunday the 30th of June. The pair are the co-authors of the book series called “The Unkindness of Ravens”. They are in the middle of writing Book 1 of a series titled ‘Let them Eat Cake’. The book is about the Meldrum children, both rich in wealth and misfortune, and have been left orphans after the disappearance of their parents. Would their kind aunt Sarah help them or leave more questions unanswered? Why is there a mysterious figure who dresses up strangely? Why is this factory abandoned? Are their parents dead? Why is Cake so important, and who is that staring through the window? These are some of the many questions that will need to be answered.
Iviwe Gontshi, DSG Grade 9 pupil, also joined the panel of authors. Her novel titled ‘Independent Me’ is about a girl who realizes that she is too dependent on others, so she decides to become more independent. She knows that it won’t happen instantly, so she takes it at her own pace. As she gets to high school she discovers the importance of doing things by herself. Each day she learns and grows more independent. This is the story of her journey.
On the Saturday and Monday afternoons, the delegates were treated to Presentations and Tours which included a visit to Amazwi NELM (South African Museum of Literature) and the South African Library for the Blind. Both these spaces are treasures in South Africa and are unique to Makhanda. Our visit to the South African Library for the Blind coincided with their 100-year anniversary celebrations.
The Conference ended with an ‘Around the World’ dinner. The six Nombulelo learners and the two library interns who attended the conference were acknowledged for their service at the dinner.