Pac-Man on our library window

When you step out of the Melbourne High School lift on the fourth floor to visit the library, you may be surprised or delighted (or both) to see Pac-Man on the window opposite.

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According to Wikipedia:

Pac-Man (パックマン Pakkuman?) is an arcade game developed by Namco and first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. It was licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway and released in October 1980.[1][2] Immensely popular from its original release to the present day, Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games, and an icon of 1980s popular culture.[6][7][8][9] 

 

Why, you ask? Why not? Meanwhile, in the time that it took us to set it up, the general consensus amongst students and the odd teacher (yes, we have odd teachers) was that it was ‘cool’.

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Melbourne City Edge Schools Day – librarians’ meetup

This has been cross-posted from Brave New World.

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So, today is the first day of second term, and the Melbourne High School staff attended a curriculum day with faculty-related staff from the City Edge schools which included the Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, Melbourne Girls’ College, University High School, Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, Albert Park College, Princes Hill Secondary College and us. Library staff (as well as Maths staff) met at University High School. 

It was an enjoyable and valuable day, and I thank the principals for organising this opportunity. It makes so much sense to come together and share stories and ideas, to take time out for ourselves and get to know each other. Our session was relaxed and informative. I loved meeting everyone and taking in the diverse personalities and talents. There were a few short presentations, including mine on my use of Pinterest, one from Melbourne Girls’ College about their recent reading initiative and also from Andrew Finegan who has recently taken up the position as head of library at VCASS. After morning tea we decided not to split up into teams of teacher librarians and technicians, and I thought that worked very well. We fit comfortably into a space which was both open and intimate, and we shared and discussed library-related issues ranging from practical aspects, such as security, to controversial issues, such as the relevance of non-fiction in a contemporary school library and the changing nature of information access. I thought that everyone spoke honestly, and that we felt supported by the larger network which understood shared experiences. We are fortunate to have this opportunity, especially since professional development days are usually packed with guest speakers and intensive sessions with little time to socialise.

Later in the afternoon we were treated to a visit from Mike Shuttleworth, Program Manager at Melbourne Writers Festival, who predictably spoke about the Melbourne Writers Festival program and authors. Not really a talk but more of a conversation. Mike was interested in learning from us how we select authors for school visits, how many of us had attended previous festivals, and our feedback from these events. Again, I was grateful for this informal, interactive session – so much more valuable than formal talks which place us as passive recipients. The afternoon ended with several people sharing books they had recently read and enjoyed. Mike shared with us a book by Carol Ann Duffy called 1914: Poetry remembers

To mark the centenary of the First World War in 2014, the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, has engaged the most eminent poets of the present to choose the writing from the Great War that touched them most profoundly: their choices are here in this powerful and moving assembly. But this anthology is more than a record of war writing. Carol Ann Duffy has commissioned these same poets of the present to look back across the past and write a poem of their own in response to the war to end all wars. 

We thought that we might organise a poetry competition for students to do something similar.

Big thanks to Rob Castles and his team at Uni High for welcoming us into their spaces and organising such a great day.

Official opening of our new library spaces

The first of April 2014 saw the grand, official, opening of Melbourne High School’s new library spaces, including a welcoming, attractive entrance, more spacious reading spaces, and study rooms. Attending were principal Jeremy Ludowyke, assistant principals Dr Janet Prideaux, Andrew Sloan and David Smyth, school council members, architects Michael Fooks and Leah Reynolds, patrons and friends of the school including many old boys, student representatives and library staff.

We were honoured to welcome Mrs Mary Crean, long-standing volunteer and patron of our library for more than 30 years. Mrs Crean was assisted in the official unveiling of the donors’ plaque by her two sons, Simon Crean (former Leader of the Federal Opposition) and David Crean (former Tasmanian Treasurer) - both Melbourne High School Old Boys.

Principal Ludowyke gave a potted history of the library, and reminded those present that Melbourne High School was one of the first government school libraries to employ trained librarians, setting a precedent for other schools to follow.

This is the first in a staged plan for the renewal of our library spaces to provide more options for our students and assist in their transition to the tertiary environment and into the wider world.

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                       Mary Crean with her sons, Simon and David

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          Principal Jeremy Ludowyke at the unveiling

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   Assistant Principal, David Smyth, chatting with guests

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 Students serving the food. Assistant Principal, Dr Janet Prideaux, in the background

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