Category Archives: Senior Library

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Senior Bookclub

Talking about books and eating snacks – is there a better way to spend a Friday afternoon? Our Senior Bookclub doesn’t think so!

During our last meeting we discussed how an extensive range of YA books has been written about catastrophic events, including virus pandemics, as well as teenagers surviving in a post-apocalyptic world.

In a strange similarity to 2020 events, Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel, The Eyes of Darkness, mentions a deadly biological weapon ‘Wuhan-400’, developed at the RDNA lab outside Wuhan.  In Emily St. John Mandel’s novel Station Eleven, published back in 2014, the highly contagious Georgia Flu is transported around the world from Russia, and kills 90% of its victims within 12 hours. Within a few short days, the world is in chaos as transport and essential services grind to a halt.  A doctor urges his friend to stock up on food and stay in his apartment, so he purchases seven trolley loads of food and essentials from the supermarket, including one of toilet paper! Planes full of virus-laden passengers are reminiscent of this year’s cruise ships laden with Coronavirus patients, waiting out at sea and denied access to ports.

Along with these interestingly similar scenarios, we discussed whether or not we are living now in an apocalyptic world; how authors might write about this time period in the future; whether the dissolution of law and order is an inevitable outcome of a cataclysmic event; and which three things would be the top priorities to save for future generations.  Suggestions were: seeds, animals, books, and artworks/artefacts.

All in all, it was a very thought-provoking afternoon!

 


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2020 Photography Competition

On Friday the winners of the annual Photography Competition were announced. With so many outstanding submissions it was a very difficult decision for the judges.

Congratulations the three winning entries!

Middle School Winner: Arnav

Japan’s Culture – I have chosen this picture because it shows Japan’s people and it’s culture. In Japanese culture the lamp symbolises light to help one spiritually in finding the way when faced with darkness (difficulties). That is why lamps are such a common feature in every Japanese temple.

Senior School Winner: Jasper (Jasper won last year in the Middle School category also!)

Light and Dark – My photo depicts the Nakesendo Highway cutting through a forest in Japan. The Emperor during Feudal Japan would be carried by his servants the near 600 km from Kyoto to Tokyo along this highway. This photo shows the forests around the trail that highway robbers used to hide in before attacking the Emperor and his convoy.

Staff Winner: Deb

Solace – After days of navigating through a city of Beijing, every street, every train, every bus, every road, every restaurant, every monument, every temple swarms with thousands of citizens and tourist but as I turned back for one last look through the tunnel to Tiananmen Square there was just one man standing guard into the Forbidden City.  For a split second it was a sense of quiet and solace.


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Libraries for Vanuatu

Knowing what to do with books from a down-sized collection is always a challenging conundrum. However, there are a number of organisations willing to take donations and sort them to stock libraries in developing countries. After earlier donating trailer loads of metal library shelving, this morning we were able to donate over 200 boxes of books to The Library Project Vanuatu, who were extremely grateful for such a huge donation – particularly after the devastating cyclone which hit Vanuatu a few weeks ago.

According to The Library Project Vanuatu:

In 2015, Vanuatu was at the bottom of the list for South Pacific countries for literacy and numeracy. The government and stakeholders believe that lack of resources is one of the key factors for this statistic.  We believe that the installation of libraries in Vanuatu can help to raise the standard of literacy and numeracy. This in turn opens up new opportunities for the children, widening their future prospects. 

We partner with schools, churches, clubs etc to help them build libraries in remote villages in Vanuatu. Our vision is to see a well resourced library installed in every school in the country.  

To donate books, DVDs, posters or shelving, email  vanuatu@libraryproject.com.au.


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New Wellness eBook Collection

Made up of around 300+ fiction and non-fiction titles (both eBook and audiobooks) the Wellness Collection offers credible resources to help across lots of different areas – Teenage anxiety, depression, exam stress, sleep problems, sports competition pressures/ performance, emotional dysregulation, PTSD, bullying/ cyberbullying, eating disorders, grief… to name just a few. These resources include positive psychology resources that are proven effective in empowering you with your social, emotional, physical and mental well being, strengthening resilience and equipping you with knowledge, skills and confidence to best navigate life’s challenges.


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What are you reading today?

Have you seen our extensive Wheeler and Overdrive online collection? Find the direct links on our website.


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Tea Duel Challenge

Our annual Tea Duel, a tradition begun in the Senior Library in 2016 to celebrate the Steampunk genre, was held last Friday lunchtime much to the entertainment of a very large crowd.  Volunteers from our Year 12 Prefects and School Captains invited a favourite teacher to duel against them by dunking a biscuit in hot tea for five seconds, then holding it up to see who could last the longest before eating it as it collapsed.  Our long-time Tiffen Master, Mr Michael Moloney, was once again the MC of the event, and each pair of contestants was avidly watched by a Deputy Tiffen Master to ensure no cheating occurred!  While the teachers looked unbeatable before the competition began, they were gradually eliminated by the boys, with Angus and Rishi ending up being the last two battling for the honour of 2020 Tea Duel Champion. Congratulations to Angus, whose name will now be added to our new Tea Duel trophy for perpetuity.


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May the 4th – Star Wars Mania

Last week the BGS Libraries celebrated Star Wars with an assortment of activities, all marking the special day, May the Fourth. Middle School boys had a chance to decorate cupcakes in a Princess Leia design. Following instructions, boys proved themselves to be eager and successful cake decorators, and of course, cake eaters!

Two of our teachers donned costumes to host a special Star Wars Kahoot competition in the Middle School libraries. Boys were challenged to be fast and correct in order to be announced the winner. Years 5 and 6 boys also had the chance to enter a colouring competition.

A highlight of the week was the Droid Race Challenge in the MS Amphitheatre with eager particpants competing and one of our IT staff hosting the event in costume. Senior School boys were also given the opportunity to pit Yoda against Darth Vader with droid races in The Lilley Centre, compered by two of our Year 12 students.


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Live Music in the Learning Commons

This week the Lilley Centre was again host to some of our talented musicians here at Brisbane Grammar School for this year’s  ‘Music in the Learning Commons’.  This event saw the debut of Table 64, an original student band, performing four contemporary pieces of music for their peers at lunchtime.  The packed-out Learning Commons was not disappointed as the boys entertained both students and staff with guitars, drums and the baby grand piano.

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A huge congratulations to the boys for their wonderfully entertaining performance, which can be viewed here:


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Banned and Challenged Books

Many books have been banned over many years for a wide variety of reason. Some for challenging a set of a beliefs held by sections of a society, others for concerns for the reader’s virtue or fragile mental health.

Occasionally the comedy writes itself.  For instance, George Orwell’s 1984 was banned in the USA for being pro-communist and in The Soviet Union for being anti-communist.

More recently, The Kite Runner, 13 Reasons Why and George.  For promoting Islam, discussing suicide and depicting a transgender child, respectively.

Banned and challenged books offer an important opportunity to view the world through differing perspectives.  To experience different ways of thinking about the world, and learn from uncomfortable or foreign experiences.  The freedom to read and express controversial ideas are essential elements to an excellent education and a healthy society.

Rebel! Stand up for your right to be amused or offended, frightened or insulted, devastated or exalted.  Read something that someone, somewhere thinks you shouldn’t.

Ray Bradbury once said “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.  Just get people to stop reading them.”