Friday, March 17, 2017

Red Dot Voting -- has begun!

Yes, it's time again for the winners to be determined.....

March 1 through May 1 is the voting season -- for each school to decide which book in each of the four Red Dot reader categories is the winner for them..... and then we tally all the votes to say which book wins for all of Singapore.

As the Red Dots are a "children's choice" award (after we librarians have come up with the shortlists), only students may vote.  And the rule is one vote per student per category (Early Years, Younger Readers, Older Readers, and Mature Readers). 

There is no minimum number of books that must be read (though we assume you have read at least two - as voting implies comparison between two or more things.)

Simply one vote per student per category.

There is an online Google Form for voting on the Red Dot website:

Or you can direct your students to the voting form via this short URL:

If you collect votes in your school in some other way, there is a form for librarians to tell us what your local votes are (so they can be included in the country-wide tally):

One week later the Singapore-wide winners will be announced on the Red Dot website.

There is a Voting Poster you can use to advertise the event:
 To download a size suitable for A3 printouts, go to the Red Dot Voting webpage:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

News about EPIC!

After the discussions about EPIC at LKSW2017 I have been writing back and forth and finally, have some firm news to report.
My contacts are MaryAnn (Support) & Tahleen (Sales & Marketing), these are the issues we have resolved.
1. Concerns over international schools signing up when they state that it is only available to educators in USA, Australia, Canada, Great Britain and NZ.
2. How to handle 1:1 devices
Regarding item 1 - I asked
Can I tell my Network to write to Epic if they want to use the product and request an exception for access? That way you can track who wants it and why. My networks are International School Library Connection and International Schools Libraries Network.
If they wrote introducing themselves and requesting access you would know that they are genuine users who want to respect your terms and conditions and promote personal subscriptions- most of these people are American, Canadian, Australian or British teachers working in schools that serve students of those nationalities and delivering one of those countries curriculums.
and MaryAnne replied
We would be happy to review each request that is sent to Epic! directly and Ill be sure to alert my team as well.
So, they are aware and I believe that if you introduce yourselves theynwill answer favourably. If you have a problem please let me know and I will follow-up.
Regarding item 2 - the answer was
When an educator signs out of the app, students will not have access to the app until their teacher signs back into the app. All the student profiles are contained within the educator account and students would need to access their profile through the educator account. Students have no way of accessing their profile unless the educator is already signed or logged into the Epic! app. If a student is at home attempting to log into their profile without the educator being signed in on their device, the student would not be able to access their student profile.
Therefore, as long as the devices are signed out of the teachers account before leaving school, students can use EPIC on their 1:1 devices. This would mean that the teacher would need to sign everyone in (we do this - the kids put in the teachers email and we quickly scoot around putting in the password) or the teacher could change the password after they had signed out so that each time they use it they input a different password.

My feeling is that EPIC are very happy to work with us as long as we promote their product to parents. It is a great product, so personally, I dont find this hard to do. I am building some answers to FAQ at our school at
- please feel free to submit any questions that you might have as to how we use EPIC there as it will help me to build my database.
Happy reading - Barb

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Copyright Issues In Libraries, Education and Open Access. - PD at SMU on 25 January

Pam, Safirna, Mathew (UWCSEA Dover) and  & I attended this session on copyright at SMU. These are some notes that I took at the time. Please feel free to ask one of us for more details.

The speakers were -

Derek discussed changes in in copyright and shared some great resources.

The OEL toolkit is a useful resource for checking how you can use resources

Did you know that all ANU press books are free and open access? They even come with MARC records. He recommended What if we could re-imagine copyright? by Rebecca Giblin

Australian National Database provides free data

We may all be aware that copyright belongs to employers, but did you know that an email thread infringes copyright ? Australia has no fair use policy which is a contributing factor in the average Australian breaking copyright about 80 times a day!

The barriers  to copyright are:
  • legal 
  • technical (drm) 
  • accessiblity (geoblocking)

Paul Ng from Ngee Ann Polytechnic says that all teachers are required to take a course on Copyright for Teachers 

Copyright is Singapore is for the life of the creator plus 70 years. Singapore has a fair use policy. 

Ultimately, whether or not something is fair use should be management decision.

He reminded us that plagiarism is about ethics and copyright is about law.

Paul answered specific questions from the audience. Here are some interesting points to note

  • Students copyright in Singapore belongs to institution
  • You can stream from a YouTube link even if it is pirated - it is YouTubes responsibility to monitor illegal uploads
  • Using a VPN is not illegal but might breach terms of use of the site you are accessing
  • Ted video by YouTube is copyright 
  • Malaysia allows YouTube downloads 
  • Australian students can use Australian content (i.e Clickview exchange / ABC videos)
  • A video of a lesson that includes a YouTube clip shown on the intranet is okay in not for profit institutions
  • If you search in google slides you only get copyright free images
  • Hyperlinks are often sufficient attribution
  • Images on websites should include a link
  • How long do you wait for an email for permission? As long as it takes, but go ahead and use it if the owner is not likely to lose by your use.
  • Adding a date of access to your attribution allows use of Internet wayback
Whether you are profit or not-for-profit makes a huge difference
For profit schools do not benefit from any exceptions 

If you make a decision based on fair-dealing you should inform your management
Record keeping important 

Paul tells his students to use Zotero for attribution- it is just good manners and required in academia.

FYI - Ngee Ann Poly pays $7 per head to CLASS. All institutions required to subscribe

Here is Paul's copyright flow chart to help you check if you are within the law

Barb Reid

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

JAW for library staff in KL in December -- a report back from GESS library officers

When we first heard about JAW 2016 @ISKL, we knew we it would be a great opportunity for us to meet people who shares the same profession as us but comes from a different country. We quickly signed up for the workshop and before we know, it was time for us to pack our bags for this trip.

To make it more enjoyable, we decided to bring our spouses along and did a road trip to Malacca and KL before attending the workshop. We got to experience the beautiful KL city and definitely enjoyed the makan there! Buffets after buffets, food trucks – we loved it!

We made our way to ISKL on the morning of 20th Dec 2016. The session started with the groups introducing themselves. The first presentation was on the topic of ‘Readers Advisory’ done by Azlin Library Assistant from ISKL followed by groups discussions on how ‘Readers Advisory’ are handled at the different schools. The different sources librarians use to provide book recommendations for our readers.  In between breaks and the different sessions we had throughout the day, participants were encouraged to try quizzes and participate in ice breaking games which promises great prizes for winners. One of the most interesting activity was the part where we had to guess the total no. of pages from a book tower that was on display! Both Rosnita and myself were happy to walk away as winners for two of the games – Unlock the Ring and Kahoot game.  Another good topic was on Weeding where we shared amongst ourselves some best practices used to give the book that got weeded another chance to ‘live’ and we discovered a few schools there donate their books to refugee centers.

It was enriching to learn from our friends there and we surely picked up some practices that we can apply back in GESS. We also had the opportunity to share our knowledge with the participants and we got to work in groups and everyone was given a chance to present their ideas through active group discussions. We discovered that in KL they also have something like the Red Dot Awards but it’s called Novel Knockout.  Some other topics covered at JAW was ‘how to handle student behaviors in school libraries’, weeding practices, library displays and also what I personally like best is the last topic for the day on how ISKL successfully implemented EzProxy in their school. It’s a one stop sign-on for all the databases that the school have subscribed for their school community.

Last but not least we want to thank ISLN for offering some sponsorship for our trip. It was a great learning experience for the both of us and we look forward to future JAWs!

-- submitted by German European School Singapore (GESS) Library Officers
  • Rosnita Mohamad
  • Sharifah Nooraiza

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

LKSW 2017 & Speed Dating Picture Books from around the world

A reminder that Barb and I are closing registration at the end of the week for the Feb 17/18 Librarians' Knowledge Sharing Workshop 2017, being held at UWCSEA East.   Go to for registration details.

Note that all our network members are invited to join us for any of the social events (even if you don't register for the conference itself).  Details of the social event offerings are here:
where there is a Google Form to fill out to let us know if you want to come along.
We have about 70 people attending the conference, plus Dianne McKenzie and Brad Tyrrell, our workshop/keynote speakers.

Note that Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal, from the National Institute of Education here in Singapore and author of the "Gathering Books" blog, is also going to present.  Her session will be on "Speed Dating: Picture Books from around the world - Expanding the Socio-Emotional Learning (SEL) bookshelf" -- which will be similar to the talk on her ongoing "Social-Emotional Learning Project" which she gave at Tanglin last November.  For those of you who enjoyed that, it will be another chance to look at many of the picture books she has collected.

You can browse Myra's collection online as her group has cataloged all the picture books using LibraryThing.  See her lists and tags here: