IBSC Ideas Lab

Professional Conversations for School Librarians in Boys' Schools

This IBSC Ideas Lab has reached its full registration. Please check back for more opportunities soon.

IBSC Ideas Lab invites school librarians in member schools to connect virtually using the free online tool Zoom. Limited to 12 participants plus the facilitator, this IBSC Ideas Lab includes three one-hour sessions for participants to discuss relevant topics.

Designed as an interactive exchange among colleagues, IBSC Ideas Lab engages dedicated educators who learn and grow together. Each session starts with a 10-minute introduction from a global guest to jumpstart a facilitated conversation on the topic. Together we surface fresh ideas and build mutual support structures and enduring professional friendships.

Available exclusively to IBSC member schools, first-time participants who can commit to joining all three sessions get preference in registration to support the success of each small group.

Who Should Attend?

School librarians in IBSC member schools


IBSC Ideas Lab attendees participate in three scheduled one-hour calls using Zoom. Dr. Di Laycock, head of information services at The King’s School (Australia), facilitates each session with thought-provoking input from guest presenters who contextualize each topic. 

Conversation Topics


Conversation 1
Practitioner Research in the School Library 
Guest Presenter: Jenna Spiering, Assistant Professor, School of Information Science, University of South Carolina
Tuesday, April 20, 5:00 PM EDT, 10:00 PM BST, 11:00 PM SAST
Wednesday, April 21, 7:00 AM AEST

This discussion will focus on the value and use of practitioner research in the school library environment.

In a research study into teacher librarians as evidence-based practitioners, Gillespie and Hughes (2014) suggest that, “teacher librarians need to provide sound data to demonstrate how they impact on teaching and learning, student achievement, and the social and cultural aspects of the school community” (p.31). In a global climate of budget-cutting and the devaluing of school libraries, this call to arms for school librarians to “prove their worth” is as much an imperative as it was seven years ago; perhaps even more so. This conversation will provide a valuable forum for the discussion of strategies through which evidence of practice in school libraries can be collected and communicated.

Gillespie, A. & Hughes, H. (2014). Snapshots of teacher librarians as evidence-based practitioners. Access, September, 26-40. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265786959_Snapshots_of_teacher_librarians_as_evidence-based_practitioners


Conversation 2
Navigating the Media Landscape: Empowering Boys as Informed Citizens Through Media Literacy Initiatives 
Guest Presenter: Tanya Notley, Senior Lecturer in Communication, Western Sydney University
Tuesday, May 11, 5:00 PM EDT, 10:00 PM BST, 11:00 PM SAST
Wednesday, May 12, 7:00 AM AEST

In this discussion, consideration will be given to both the challenges facing the boys and young men in our schools as they navigate the information “ecosystem” and the role that school libraries can play to support their growth into informed citizens.

The key findings of a recent study into young Australians’ news practices and experience indicated:

  • Social news consumption is a significant trend that requires attention.
  • Young Australians do not trust news media organizations.
  • Misinformation and disinformation are not being challenged by many young Australians.
  • Adults need to initiate supportive conversations with young Australians about news.
  • There is an urgent need to support media literacy initiatives, in and out of school.
  • Many young Australians regularly consume news and care about its future (Notley et al., 2020).

The literature around media literacy suggests the issues highlighted in this study are also global issues and, therefore, of interest to school librarians worldwide. This conversation will offer participants the opportunity to share ideas, strategies, and resources used in their libraries to promote and develop media literacy in their students.

Notley, T. Dezuanni, M., Zhong, H.F. & Chambers, S. (2020). News and young Australians in 2020: How young people access, perceive and are affected by news media. https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1717875/News_and_Young_Australians_in_2020_web.pdf


Conversation 3
Reading for Learning: Promoting Inclusivity and Diversity Through the Library Collection 
Guest Presenter: Mary Ann Harlan,
Assistant Professor, San Jose State University, School of Information 
Tuesday, June 1, 5:00 PM EDT, 10:00 PM BST, 11:00 PM SAST
Wednesday, June 2, 7:00 AM AEST

Some 30 years ago, Rudine Sims Bishop (1990) noted that:

When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.

According to Bishop, however, providing books as “mirrors” in which children can see themselves is only one facet of having children understand their world. Children also need books as “windows” that allow them to see and “sliding doors” through which they can enter the multicultural world in which they live. 

Thirty years on, Bishop’s metaphor of mirrors, windows, and sliding doors continues to hold validity regarding the need for school library collections to be diverse and inclusive. The current global spotlight on issues around race, gender, and disability, for example, offers learning moments not to be overlooked by school libraries. This conversation will consider ways in which school librarians can promote diversity and inclusivity through the library collection and will also explore the associated celebrations and challenges.  

Bishop, R.S. (1990). Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors. https://scenicregional.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Mirrors-Windows-and-Sliding-Glass-Doors.pdf 



IBSC member rate: $150

Refund Policy

IBSC will refund 90% of registration fees if a written request is received two weeks prior to the class. No refunds will be made for cancellations received after this time. Schools seeking to register an alternate to replace a participant unable to attend should contact IBSC@theibsc.org.

Please note: Participants will receive detailed call information and meeting invitations after registration closes.