School Libraries Promote International Understanding

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Inaugurated in 1999 by the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL), International School Library Day highlights school libraries as essential partners in educating young minds, not only in the United States, but around the world, by connecting students from different cultures.

On October 22nd school libraries will be embracing the theme Learning Powered by Your School Library.”

Last year school libraries in over 30 countries, from Australia to Mozambique to Egypt, connected with libraries in other countries.

The school library at Eltham College in Victoria, Australia connected their students with students in Venezuela and Canada. Students in each of the schools emailed each other about life in the other country; likes and interests, the types of houses people live in, what school is like, what people wear, what kinds of pets they keep, the wildlife and weather of each country and many more questions.  They also created bookmarks that they sent to each other.

The Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and the Irmak Schools in Instanbul, Turkey established a collaboration that allows for a sharing of school programs. This exciting relationship extends the mutual understanding different cultures. The Cranbrook School Library celebrated International School Library Day by displaying all of the library materials related to the Turkish culture and history.

At Smiths Station Intermediate School in Smiths, Alabama 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students also prepared bookmarks for their partner school in Nigeria. 581 student made bookmarks, a map of Alabama, and brochures on places to visit in Alabama which were sent to students in Nigeria. The students viewed pictures of Nigeria in a PowerPoint slideshow, researched Nigeria and wrote and illustrated ABC books about what they learned.

The IASL web site offers a great online resource to assist school libraries in planning their celebration, suggested activities to do this year. 


From School Library Association of Victoria Australia