Tuesday, July 17, 2007
More from IASL Taiwan
I just got back from my first school visit, a hallowed tradition of IASL conferences. We visited Taipei County Chin-shui High School, a junior-senior high school with 5,000 students!
(I tried to find the school's website but my Chinese is not so good so someone is going to have to post a comment about where it may be found. I know it exists since it's mentioned in the school's brochure.)
As you might imagine the campus is massive--not so much in area as in height. There are several multi story buildings and the library itself comprises six stories. The top two are not yet developed fully but will be eventually. We were given a beautiful, slick brochure about the library as we arrived. The brochure describes the services and history of the library illustrated with pictures of various library happenings. The library opens to a traditional circ desk, reading area with current periodicals, and various offices. There is also a "Wisdom Tree" which blooms with the fruits of the students reading accomplishments. The principal, who, along with the president of the parents' association, greeted us thought it would be a great idea to encourage kids to read by rewarding them with such a display. Several other reading promotion initiatives were also mentioned.
I must say that I didn't see a lot of books but I assume they are available when needed! The only bank of computers in evidence were for the OPAC.
The library is not only a place for the school students but also aspires to be a community cultural center as well. On the second floor there was a large open room with picture books along the walls where parents could come with children to read or hear stories.
One the third floor there were teaching areas with projectors and screens and we watched a presentation about the history and services of the library. Following the presentation I was asked accept a gift on behalf of everyone of a small banner with the school's logo and pottery item from a local famous pottery. At the end of the visit everyone got a gift bag containing a set of illustrated playing cards(!), a brochure describing the school, and a hand-painted tea cup.
The fourth floor, which was a large open space was set up most spectacularly for our visit. The first thing we saw was a famous local artist painting a waterlily scene on a large glass window and the adjacent wall. The music teacher was strumming a 20-string zither, another teacher was demonstrating Chinese calligraphy, an older gentleman was declaiming poetry, a tea ceremony was being conducted at two different tables and coffee was available from a full coffee bar, as well as various finger foods. All in all, it was quite a demonstration of local hospitality.
The fourth floor also serves as a gallery for student art work from the primary through college level with changing exhibits of drawings and paintings on the walls.
More later about Tuesday and Wednesday morning. I will also upload more pictures to the web album when I get the chance. This afternoon I will be attending the Association General Meeting where we will vote on new officers for the Association, Regional meetings, and later this evening the gala dinner at the Grand Hotel.