International Association
of School Librarianship

26th Annual Conference - Vancouver, Canada
"Bridging the Gap: Information Rich but Knowledge Poor?"

Conference Booklet - pt. 1, pt. 2, pt. 3, pt. 4, pt. 5, pt. 6, pt. 7, pt. 8, pt. 9, pt. 10, pt. 11, pt. 12 

Research and Professional Papers Presented



Bridging the Gap: Information Rich but Kowledge Poor was the theme of the joint conference of IASL/ATLC (International Association of School Librarianship/ Association for Teacher Librarianship in Canada) held July 6-11, 1997 on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Over 270 delegates from 23 countries attended the workshops, seminars and the First International Forum on Research in School Librarianship. The countries represented at the conference were:

  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Botswana
  • Canada
  • England
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Iceland
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan (Palestine)
  • Latvia
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Scotland
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • USA
  • Wales

The conference was the 26th for IASL and the 5th for ATLCProfessor Lynne Lighthall served as the Chair of the Conference Organizing Committee.

The first Keynote Address, "Teacher-Librarians: Irrelevant Stage Managers or Pioneering Voyagers?" was delivered by Dr Jean Brown, Associate Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, during the Opening Ceremonies. Brown stated, "If teacher-librarians are to be pioneering voyagers, there are many gaps that need to be overcome. To bridge these gaps, rather than disappear into them, all of us, whatever level we teach and wherever we work, need to challenge our thinking and help our organizations become learning organizations."

Greetings were brought by City of Vancouver Councillor Lynn Kennedy, the British Columbia Ministry of Education Skills and Training Director Scott MacDonald, as well as IASL, ATLCCSLA (Canadian School Library Association), BCTLA (British Columbia Teacher-Librarians' Association), BCTF (British Columbia Teachers' Federation), UBC (University of British Columbia), and IFLA (Interational Federation of Library Associations and Institutions). The Opening Ceremonies and Reception were financially supported by UBC's Department of Language Education and the Faculty of Education.

Additional Keynote Addresses were the World Book Lecture "Deep Thinking and Deep Reading in an Age of Info-Glut, Info-Garbage and Info-Tactics" by >Jamie McKenzie, Director of Libraries, Media and Technology, Bellingham Public Schools, Washington State, USA; the Weston Woods Institute Lecture "Media 101 -- Myths and Misconceptions" by Shari Graydon, Past President of MediaWatch in Canada; and "Recent Happenings and Future Developments: Teacher-Librarians in an Information Rich World" by Paul Lupton, Head of Information Services, Somerville House, Brisbane, Australia.

Sessions in the First International Forum on Research in School Librarianship included Dr Snunith Shoham (Israel) on "Libraries and Reading Habits among Elementary Students: The Concept of the Classroom Connection", Dr Ross Todd, (Australia) on "Meeting Drug Information Needs of Adolescents", Mary Ann Fitzgerald, (USA) on "Critical Thinking: Tools for Internet Information Evaluation", Dr Ray Doiron, and Judy Davis, (Canada) on "The Impact of School Library Policy on School Programs in Prince Edward Island", and Kay Wilson, (Scotland) on "Information Skills: the Reflections and Perceptions of Student Teachers and Related Professionals".

Other sessions and workshops included Judith Saltman (Canada) on "Cultural Diversity in Contemporary Canadian Children's Literature"; Robert Berkowitz (USA) on "Information Literacy: Education for the 21st Century"; Ted Monkhouse (Canada) on "International Volunteering and Assistance in Teacher-Librarianship: A Program Proposal"Lori Campbell (Australia) on "Zebra's Stripes and Information Literacy: Can You Study One Without the Other?"; Dr Walt Werner (Canada) on "Teacher Cynicism about Educational Change: Implications for the Teacher-Librarian"; Dr Anne Clyde (Australia) on "The Internet: A Bridge to the Future?"; and Lorraine Bruce (Australia) on "Integrating Internet and Curriculum".

The 1997 IASL/SIRS International Commendation Award was presented for Information Technology in Education and Virtual Conference Teacher Librarianship Strand, coordinated by Lyn Hay and James Henri (Australia) and to the Australian School Library Asociation (ASLA) for Teaching Information Skills CD-ROM, Lyn Rushby, Project Officer.

The 1997 IASL/Jean E. Lowrie Leadership Development Grant was presented, for the first time, to two individuals. Dr Iveta Gudakovska is a lecturer in the Department of Library Science and Information at the University of Latvia in Riga and A. Geetha S. Yapa is a Senior Assistant Librarian at the University of Colombo Library in Sri Lanka.

The Takeshi Murofushi Research Award was presented to Dr Iveta Gudakovska (Latvia) for her work on students' and teachers' needs for information and the role of school libraries in providing them with it. This award has been developed through the generous donations of Professor Takeshi Murofushi (Japan) and was given for the first time in Vancouver.

The 1997 IASL/UNESCO International Book Project #554 was awarded to the Scoala Generala Nr.6 in the Covasna region of Romania. IASL member Adela Edith Barti is the school librarian of that school. The 1997 International Book Exhibit will be part of a Multicultural Exhibition Collection to travel around British Columbia for one year before becoming part of the permanent collection of a school in British Columbia. The 1997 Softlink Automation Award went to the Burnaby School District #41 in British Columbia, Canada.

Other cultural and educational opportunities incorporated into the week of professional development included school tours, city and area tours, a traditional salmon barbeque, the Museum of Anthropology, an Exhibits Day, a banquet at the Law Courts Inn on top of the Vancouver law courts, and the ever-popular IASL Auction, which raised USD$1900 for the Support-a-Member Program.

IASL President Dr Sigrún Klara Hannesdóttir announced a new publication which was released at the conference. School Librarianship: International Issues and Perspectives, edited by Dr Ken Haycock and Dr Blanche Woolls, is a collection of the best papers from 25 years of IASL conferences and includes an index to 25 years of conference proceedings and the IASL Newsletter. It is being distributed by LMC Source, PO Box 266, Castle Rock, CO 80104, USA.

The membership approved a By-Laws revision and elected Peter Genco (USA) Vice President for Association Operations; Dr Dianne Oberg (Canada) Vice President for Association Relations; Dr Ross Todd (Australia) Vice President for Special Interest Groups; Dr Sandra Olën (South Africa) Director for Africa; James Henri (Australia) Director for Australasia; Monica Nilsson (Sweden) Director for Europe; and Isabel Gomez (Chile) Director for Latin America. Judy O'Connell (Australia) was appointed as IASL Newsletter Editor. Blanche Woolls (USA) was appointed as Financial Officer.

The 1998 IASL Conference will be held at the Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan (near Tel Aviv), Israel, July 5-10, 1998. The theme will be Education for All: Culture, Reading and Information. For more information about next year's conference, contact:

Dr Snunith Shoham or Dr Moshe Yitzhaki
Department of Information and Library Studies
Bar-Ilan University
52900 Israel
Fax: 972-3-5347601 Email:

Reported by Peter Genco, IASL Vice President for Association Operations. Reprinted, with permission, from the IASL Newsletter, October 1997.

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