IBSC Ideas Lab

Professional Conversations for School Librarians in Boys’ Schools


Di Laycock

Di Laycock

Di Laycock is head of information services in the Senior Library at the King’s School (Australia) and also president of the School Library Association of New South Wales (SLANSW). During her 20-year career as a teacher librarian, she has received the SLANSW award for Teacher Librarian of the Year for her work in promoting boys’ recreational reading and has also completed a doctorate in education that focused on the use of graphic novels as texts in subject English. Laycock has a long association with IBSC, beginning with her decade-long role as coordinator of the IBSC Action Research program and, more recently, as a member of the IBSC board of trustees. She is passionate about the topics covered in this IBSC Ideas Lab and looks forward to collaborating with colleagues around the globe to explore ways in which school libraries can support teaching and learning in IBSC member schools.

Guest Presenters

Jenna SpieringJenna Speiring

Conversation 1
Practitioner Research in the School Library

Jenna Spiering serves as assistant professor in the School of Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests lie at the intersection of school libraries, critical youth studies, and children’s/young adult materials. Specifically, Spiering’s work emphasizes the school librarian’s role in selecting, promoting, and curating materials for students in k-12 settings. Some of her recent work has explored representations of gender and sexuality in young adult literature and considers how the presence of these topics affects selection practices in school libraries and the inclusion of materials in classrooms.

Spiering believes that teaching and learning are both social and multidirectional. She sees her role in the classroom as a facilitator of critical thinking and is constantly learning alongside and from her students. Therefore, discussion and civil discourse are key components of any course she teaches. She also strives to highlight diverse voices and perspectives in the texts and materials assigned in her courses—often challenging the canon of traditionally taught texts both in schools and in academic settings. She teaches courses in children’s and young adult materials and school library curriculum and program development.

Tanya NotleyTanya Notley

Conversation 2
Navigating the Media Landscape: Empowering Boys as Informed Citizens Through Media Literacy Initiatives

Tanya Notley, senior lecturer in communication at Western Sydney University, conducts research and teaching focused on communication, technology, and social change. She has 20 years of experience working with NGOs, government agencies, universities, and the United Nations in the areas of social inclusion, social justice, and human rights.

Notley's current research projects focus on:

  • media literacy,
  • young people and news media,
  • the politics of digital media infrastructures,
  • the digital mapping of emotions,
  • technology, evidence, and human rights advocacy, and
  • communication and social impact.

She currently leads a project focused on young Australians, news, and democracy, funded by the Museum of Australian Democracy and Google Australia, and a project focused on adult media literacy, funded by the National Association for Media Literacy Education in the United States. Notley is a chief investigator on a new national project to support the digital inclusion of low-income households (led by Michael Dezuanni at QUT).

Notley collaborates with a number of media literacy, human rights, and social justice organizations to design communication initiatives for social impact and has worked on practice-based communication research projects in the United Kingdom, Germany, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia. She is a co-founder and the deputy chair of the Australian Media Literacy Alliance (AMLA).

Mary Ann HarlanMary Ann Harlan

Conversation 3
Reading for Learning: Promoting Inclusivity and Diversity Through the Library Collection

An assistant professor in the School of Information at San Jose State University, Mary Ann Harlan received her master’s in library and information science in 1999 from San José State and her doctorate from the Gateway program in 2012. She has worked in California public schools for 20 years, 11 of those years in middle and high school libraries. Harlan also has served in leadership positions for both the California School Library Association and American Association of School Libraries.

Her current research focus is on information practices in relation to reading fiction.