LGMAP 2017 – Year 9 Library Guide Mentoring and Advocacy Program
The Library Guide Mentoring and Advocacy Program (2017) was a proposal that came out of the “Joy and Power of Reading” initiative run by Dandenong High School in partnership with the Dandenong Public Library. The central aim of this program was to acquaint our students with the long-term benefits of reading and the central role of libraries in advocating a reading culture across our school. The LGMAP involved 21 year 9 students, with 3 students selected from each of the 7 Houses. This group attended 4 two-hour mentoring sessions at Dandenong Public Library, beginning in early May. The program content was developed by the Public Library, in liaison with our school LGMAP Team involving myself, Mr. Reeves, Mrs. Papazoglou, and Mr. Morcos. Important input was also provided by Mr. Juan Sanchez.
Throughout this Mentoring program, students were afforded the opportunity to receive some basic training on library resource promotion, advocating reading as a tool of empowerment, identifying various genres, displaying books in libraries, keeping collections organized and tidy, practising giving tours of the library, exploring ICT/e-books, and learning basic book repairing skills. A special final session, with catered lunch, was organized to celebrate student achievement and growth, with speeches from the Mayor Jim Memeti, Dandenong Public Library Operations Coordinator Monique Godbehere, and our head of LRC Maria Papazoglou. Speakers emphasised the significance of the community partnership between the Greater City of Dandenong and Dandenong High School.
Student verbal and written feedback on the program were quite positive and most found the experience engaging and rewarding. The feedback from the Public Library staff who organised the details of the training and mentoring component was equally positive and encouraging. Dandenong Public Library staff were exceptionally professional, friendly, and enthusiastic to continue working with us into the future. The LGMAP was reported on in the Dandenong Journal (12 June, 2017). This program is a great opportunity for our school to further build more partnerships with the broader community.
The benefits and future opportunities opened up for our students and school as a result of the LGMAP are immense. These include participating students heading Public Library tours during parental programs that focus on literacy and reading culture at home. The students were also encouraged to undertake follow-up practical work at our school library, especially on book displays and book repairs. Mr. Sanchez’s mentoring guidance on this front has been quite useful. Interested students have also been encouraged to discuss with Careers any future opportunities in Work Placements in libraries. Finally, the Public Library has also mooted the idea of future employment of “junior librarians” to assist them in their Primary School reading initiatives.
I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the school to thank our students for their great commitment, effort, enthusiasm, and positive representation of Dandenong High School. A very special thank you also to Mr. Skoutas as the head of Literacy for all his encouragement, guidance and support.
Tameem Moslih – School LGMAP Coordinator