International Association
of School Librarianship

Worcester, England

"Sustaining the Vision" was the theme of the 24th Annual Conference of the International Association of School Librarianship, held 17-21 July 1995 at the Worcester College of Higher Education in Worcester, England (United Kingdom). Over 150 delegates from 21 countries attended the workshops and seminars which were divided into subthemes of Librarianship, Technology, and Children's Literature. The countries represented at the conference were:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Namibia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Sweden
  • Togo
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

The conference was organised by Dr Jean Webb Senior Lecturer at Worcester College of Higher Education.

World Book International sponsored the opening evening of the conference with a reception, dinner, traditional IASL flag ceremony and lecture. IASL President Lucille Thomas opened the conference and introduced the welcomers, Dorma Unwin, Principal of Worcester College of Higher Education, and Councillor Liz Smith, Mayor of Worcester. Greetings from IFLA were delivered by Dr Blanche Woolls (University of Pittsburgh). Margaret Meek, Emeritus Reader in Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, shared her vision of the direction of school librarianship in her presentation entitled "Exploring the Vision".

Keynote addresses included Vida Conway "For Better or Worse? School Librarianship in the UK: Problems and Developments", Anne Taylor (Queen's University of Belfast) "Literature in a Divided Community", Michael Rosen "Did I Hear You Write?", Peter Hunt (University of Wales) "The Child, the Book, and the Internet", and Margaret Kinnell Evans (Loughborough University) who presented the Weston Woods Institute Lecture.

The 1995 IASL/SIRS International Commendation Award provided by SIRS Inc was presented to the Brant County Board of Education, Sandra Hughes, Coordinator, of Brantford, Ontario, Canada for the project activity entitled Teacher-Librarian Resource Book: Partners in Action Support Documents (11 volumes). The plaque and cheque for US$600 were accepted by Sabdra Hughes on behalf of the Board of Education. An Honourable Mention certificate went to the Namibian Children's Book Forum for their project entitled National Readathon Namibia.

The 1995 Leadership Development Grant was awarded to Dr Andree-Jeanne Tötemeyer of the University of Namibia. This year's Annual Auction (always a conference highlight with Gerry Brown in the role of auctioneer) raised over US$1500 for the Leadership Development Fund.

Softlink International made a special presentation of a library automation system and scanner to a local school selected by the Worcester School Library Association. Worcester College of Higher Education has generously given a computer to run the system.

Cultural activities that were incorporated into the week of professional development included a traditional barn dance, visits to schools and cultural institutions, poetry read by students from the Royal National Institute of the Blind (works of David Holbrook, Elizabeth Jennings and Worcestershire poet AE Houseman), a performance by the Sabrina Duo (including works of Handel, Mozart, and Worcester composer Edward Elgar), and a Conference Banquet in the historic Guild Hall of Worcester in the company of the Mayor.

The membership has elected Dr Sigrún Klara Hannesdóttir (Iceland) as President of IASL, Cherrell Shelley-Robinson (Jamaica) as Director for the Caribbean, Paola Faúndez García (Chile) as Director for Latin America, Marvene Dearman (USA) as Director for North America, and Mary Jamil Fasheh (Palestine/West Bank) as Director for North Africa and the Middle East.

Report reproduced (with permission) from the October 1995 issue of IASL Newsletter.

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