The library is a learning commons – we learn from our students

Our library houses our book and magazine collection and electronic resources, but, without a doubt, people are our most valued resource. We like to think that we provide a positive learning environment here for our students, and we watch them learn from and with each other in the library. Our students are a wonderful resource to us also, and we often look for experts who can help us or help other students with a variety of things.

The value of technologies in a learning context is often their ability to connect us to people. Using social media with this intent will lead to the most valuable and satisfying kind of learning. People are our greatest resource.

Recently I found a comic I couldn’t understand so I stuck it on our “Learning Commons” common (whiteboard) hoping that a student might be able to help me. In this case, it was a student who pointed a teacher in the direction of a book.

The library is full of words and they don’t all live inside books

Words tell a story. You’re thinking about stories in books, aren’t you? What about the words that are free-floating – on walls, shelves, boxes? Some have been created recently while others have lived in the library longer than the current library staff. Many of these are forgotten, invisible – not worthy even of a fleeting glance. All tell a story we are too busy to notice.

Awaiting. Sense the anticipation experienced by the inanimate objects.

Not working.

“Entertains with a friendly personality”.

The popular whiteboard with renewable problem solving attracts thinking and small crowds.

Ah yes, IBM…

Very scary.

How old is this radio?

The library is like a rock pool. You need to bend down and peer in, stay there for a while to see everything. The library is a time capsule where people and objects live together harmoniously, blending past and present.

The library’s in the bag!

After thinking about how we could promote the library to staff on the first day of our 2015 school year, we decided to greet them with a show bag of library goodies. We wanted to remind staff about existing services and also highlight new features of our contemporary library.

Inspired by The Unquiet Librarian’s goody bags, we set about compiling a MHS version. We contacted suppliers, designed informational postcards, created coffee vouchers, bought lollies and began compiling 130 lunchbags! Bags Bag contents We were very appreciative of our freebies, ClickView pens,Trove bookmarks and AustLit fliers. I created a postcard that promoted what the library can do as well as advertising our libguides, facebook and twitter accounts. Postcard A second postcard promoted the responsibilities of each library staff member. Added to the bags was a coffee voucher redeemable in the Library, nougat and raffle ticket. Two bottles of wine up for grabs meant everyone delved into their bags for their raffle ticket. Wine 1 To top it off, Tom Gauld, a cartoonist and illustrator from London, granted us permission to use his incredible illustration ‘Library’ on the front of our bags. We were thrilled! Bag front We had great fun creating the bags, making them something that reflected us. It seems that staff appreciated the personal touch, as we’ve had positive feedback, with one staff member commenting that she felt it came from the heart’. There has also been a noticeable shift in the way staff connect with us.

Experience the power of a bookbook

Ikea takes off Apple advertising to make us laugh. This is a worthy tribute to books in general in this age of e-everything. By the way, we have plenty of these things in the library. Come up and browse – they’re getting restless. Thanks to all who have shared this gem on social media.

Recess @MHS: a choreographed piece

We’re pretty busy at recess – as well as before school and during lunchtime. I used Instagram’s new app, Hyperlapse, to film a section of the library during recess. This was hand held – for 21 minutes.

Recess Melbourne High School Library from Tania Sheko on Vimeo.

Treasures from the archives of Melbourne High School’s magazine, OURS (1920s)

One of the most delightful aspects of Melbourne High School library is its archival collection which includes the school magazine, OURS, dating back to the early twentieth century.

Take a look at a bygone era which had its own language and humour, old-fashioned advertising and unique school activities. These magazine issues date back to when the school was co-educational – before it split in 1927.



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Sorry about all the different sized photos. Hope you can still read most of these blurry shots.




Staplers have been our undoing.

I don’t know why, in this age of technological innovation, it is so difficult to find a reliable stapler? How many times a day do we try to fix jammed staplers? What’s going on?

Here is a blogger who has devoted a whole blog to the lifespan of staplers. Read the blog here, it’s a detailed archive, complete with stapler analytics. Much as I appreciate the dedicated archives here, I’m not sure we would be doing the same at MHS.

Stapler 11, the old man, is dead. It was 279 days old, making it the longest living stapler of 2013. Cause of death: flaccid spring.