Earlier this month I was invited to participate as a speaker in EduTech Asia 2018. This event is Asia’s largest education conference bringing together over 3000 attendees from across the globe to learn, be inspired and exchange ideas.
My speaker role involved moderating two roundtable discussion on the topic Disruption is the New Black: How to adopt a mantra of disruption to innovate space, staffing and services in your school library, and facilitating an un-conference style EduSLAM for the Library stream of the conference.
I often use a provocation within my presentations, specifically, asking the audience ‘What is the mission of school libraries?’. (Yes, I stole this idea from Howard Gardner – you can read my post on my experience at Harvard here!)
I used this provocation as part of the roundtable sessions at EduTech Asia, and learned from principals, teachers, eLearning integrators, Librarians and other education-related professionals who all believe the library is a community space that encourages lifelong learning, collaboration, and innovation. But, most importantly, who all agreed that the library should be the heart of a school.
The most inspiring speaker (in my humble opinion) was futurist Bryan Alexander. Bryan shared his perspective on the future of libraries, suggesting that we should soon expect librarians to shift from collection curators to information literacy consultants, and that libraries have the potential to become hubs of research entrepreneurship. Sounds exciting to me!
The highlight of my stay in Singapore was the opportunity to meet other like minded educators and to visit local Singaporean Libraries and bookstores in my spare time (because, fact: even on a day off 46% of librarians will visit a library!)
My favourite local library to visit was Library@Orchard, located on the iconic Orchard Road, and with a very Instagram worthy, curved shelving collection.
And my favourite bookshop was BooksActually, an independent bookstore specialising in Singapore literary publications (of which I MAY have purchased quite a few titles to add to my summer holiday to-be-read pile) and who are run by cats (no joke!)
Here’s a photo of Cake, who has been lurking in the bookstore for 10 years!