Daramalan College takes the view that the latest networked technology and a well planned, stocked and professionally staffed library is an essential part of the overall vision for excellence and equity which it holds in its educational mission. It has fostered and supported the creation of Information Services which seeks to encourage in every student the development of independent learning and the provision of those essential skills and attributes of mind which will enable them to grow into information literate, capable and contributing Australians of the 21st century.
Extensive library and resource services are provided by Daramalan Information Services in the Uhr Information Centre incorporating the High School and the Senior College Libraries, Audio Visual and Technical Computing Services. Students are welcome to use the Centre at anytime during the school day and five class spaces may be booked by teachers each period. Homework Help is available to students before school, at lunchtime and after school.
All library material may be borrowed (even reference books) and the Information Centre is open from 8.15 am. The collection (including DVDs, videos, vertical files, and Internet sites) and the text book hire are accessible through one data base which contains over 150,000 items available from any computer on the network.
On-line data bases provide the currency which may be lacking in other resources. The Information Centre is on-line to many external databases and the Internet, which is accessible throughout the school. Teachers use web-based learning units in most subjects and we subscribe to numerous web-based encyclopedias and databases.
A fibre-optic backbone connects every classroom, staffroom and office in the school to the Information Centre and Internet. There are some 900 machines including 8 computer labs and a laptop for every teacher. In the Information Centre students have a total of 60 computers to access the catalogue, electronic resources and email including a cyber-space room.
The indices provided by external databases give access to a comprehensive periodical collection. Nearly 220 subscriptions to a wide range of educational and leisure periodicals give the collection currency and accessibility.
The Video Command system enables teachers to be in command of the video in the classroom by means of a remote handset without the need of operating the equipment. All classrooms may access this service and staff may choose from 5000 videos and DVD’s. Qualified staff ensure that students are given adequate orientation and their needs are met without delay in whatever format is required.
In Years 7 and 11 students have orientation sessions to equip them to use the many resources available. The assignments set by the teachers reflect the process as well as the content for assessment. A substantial fiction collection promotes and encourages reading.
Daranet, the school Intranet, provides access to bulletins, classes, assessment items for students, staff and parents, and is also accessible from home.
In this digital age it is essential that students become information literate and independent learners. The Daramalan Information Service has the latest technology and the personnel to ensure Daramalan students will be both.
The qualified Teacher-Librarians work closely with teaching staff to ensure that student work directed through the library provides a valuable learning experience both in terms of content and developing essential information skills. Regular whole-class and/or small-group sessions are provided at the beginning of the assignment to discuss research strategies and the essential skills required to successfully use the sophisticated information retrieval tools available to students. The Teacher-Librarians are always available to give advice and assistance to students whilst they are working in the library, this aspect is very important when using electronic sources of information.