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. Students are welcome to use the Centre at any time during the school day and five class spaces may be booked by teachers each period. Assistance for students and staff is available before school, at recess (except Monday), lunchtime and after school Homework Help run by teachers is available until 4.30.
All library material may be borrowed and the Information Centre is open from 8.15 am. The collection (including DVDs, electronic databases, eBooks and audio books) is accessible via the catalogue from any computer on the network or from home.
On-line data bases provide the currency which may be lacking in other resources. Teachers use web-based learning units in most subjects and we subscribe to numerous web-based encyclopedias and databases which students may access from home or at school via school computers or their BYO device.
There are eight computer labs available for specialised subjects and Years 7 and 8. There are 64 laptops available for senior students for use in the UIC or to borrow if their own device is not working in addition to 50 desktops.
The indices provided by external databases give access to a comprehensive periodical collection. Nearly 200 subscriptions, many online, covering a wide range of educational and leisure periodicals give the collection currency and accessibility.
Digital Video Command system allows access to thousands of AV materials individually or in the classrooms through the network. Digital devices such as cameras and voice recorders are also available from the AV room and qualified staff ensures that students are given adequate training.
In Years 7 and 11 students have orientation sessions to equip them to use the many resources available. The assignments set by the teachers and planned with the teacher librarians reflect the process as well as the content for assessment. A substantial fiction collection promotes and encourages reading. The UIC works closely with the English Department in this promotion which includes celebrating Children’s’ Book Week each year. Other faculties are also involved.
The school’s Learning Management System 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 UIC 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.