“So who’s this Ron Harden guy, anyway?”
The challenge of namesakes is that succeeding generations lose touch with the past and struggle to make a connection with those whose legacy they experience daily, without realising it.
The late Fr Ron Harden is one such namesake. The titular identity of Bethany’s library served the parish of St Michael’s for 35 years. Published accounts of his life testify to his unwavering commitment to a spirit of community. He thrived on bringing people together to share their joys and adversities.
So it’s fitting that such a man should become our library’s namesake. Libraries worldwide, including school libraries, have reinvented themselves as community hubs where people meet directly with those they know, or where people come to be alone and connect with the language of writers they don’t know.
An important initiative this year has been the promotion of explicit teaching around information literacy and digital navigation. Digital, media and information literacies are indispensable to the development of critical thinking, lifelong learning, workplace adaptability and independence. We enlisted our SRC leaders from Years 7 to 10 as ‘digital disciples’ to disseminate crucial basic knowledge and competencies around our online catalogue, fondly known as ‘Oliver’, as well as crucial pathways via Compass. Oliver’s news page has also been renovated to present a more welcoming online portal.
Mrs Simonetta’s 2020 highlights: bringing a picture book to life with younger siblings (so cute!) who occasionally visit us from St Mary’s Primary next door; establishing a collegiality with members of staff; the simple act of visiting the library shelves with a student to find that book that ignites and sustains her passion for reading; the simple knowledge that you’re approachable enough to be invited on a student’s journey through an increasingly complex bibliographic universe.
To the staff and students of Bethany. Thank you for your support of us, your new library team of 2020. Guided by the College Executive, we’ve navigated through the twists and turns of a year of pandemic to emerge resourceful. Thank you especially to our principal, Ms Robyn Rodwell, who understands the importance of libraries to secondary schools. That understanding makes everything else we do possible.
Thank you also to our parent community who are critical partners in a world where literature matters more than ever. And to your daughters, many of whom are frequent visitors to the library and avid readers in an increasingly visual world.
We wish you all a happy, holy and literary Christmas, and we look forward to serving you in 2021.
Mrs Jennifer Simonetta
Mrs Damienne Forrester