Book Reviews, Lists, Discussions, and Displays

Ramblings: 2019 – Year in Review

Year in Review – 2019

Well, 2019 has come and gone. I know everyone is saying the year has just flown by. And yes, I agree with that, but I can also see that the year has been very busy, with lots achieved and even more packed into each and every day. 2020 seems set to be an even bigger and better year.

So, here is my year in review. I’ll start with my favourite books and then add some library highlights, and then I’ll finish with some things I am looking forward to in 2020. Don’t forget to check out my lists of most anticipated titles due for release in January 2020. The list is HUGE and promises a fantastic year ahead in the world of book publishing.

Favourite Books of 2019

The Queen’s Resistance – Rebecca Ross. Sequel to The Queen’s Rising, I and my high school book clubers loved this amazing novel. Full review here.

Katie McGarry gave me two amazing reads, Only A Breath Apart and Echoes Between Us (which is due for release in January 2020, but I had the privilege of reading it in 2019, so it’s going on this list.) And if you like that edge of the supernatural, try another of my favourites from this year, Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia.

Jenn Bennett did it again with Serious Moonlight and the response from my YA contemporary library readers was the same “it’s just so good!!!”.

Everything I’ve Never Said by Samantha Wheeler is incredibly powerful and just such a wonderful read for young teens. If you are looking for something with the same heart as Wonder, this is the book for you.

I loved the mystery in Orson Scott Card’s Lost and Found. If you liked this one, try Kate Hendrick’s The Finder, which has the same underlying mystery theme, with a fantastic foreground focus on family, grief, belonging and friendship.

If you love sports fiction I cannot more highly recommend Michigan vs The Boys and Throw Like A Girl. Both empowering novels and so much fun to read.

Fireborne was a delightful fantasy novel from 2019. Perfect if you also liked A Crown of Feathers, because dragons. Another fantasy I just loved was Sisters of Shadow and Light. 

And then of course there is the unmatchable A Heart So Fierce and Broken. Another January 2020 release, this one is worth the wait and so very good!!!!!

I loved the magical realism in A Constellation of Roses but really loved the themes of family and belonging (and pie.) And that cover is just. so. pretty.

Raising Readers by Megan Daley is the perfect novel for librarians, teachers and parents alike, with heaps of tips and tricks to capture or encourage young people’s love of reading.

And other favourites included Abigail Johnson’s Every Other Weekend, Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz, Spellhacker by M.K. England, and Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Library Highlights of 2019

2019 was a very busy year in our library (but seriously, when is it not?!).

Our focus on promoting our young adult fiction collection to our high school readers went well (see our Genrefication journey here). Our stats are up, student feedback is good and the best reward a librarian can get is students coming back to ask for personal recommendations because the last book you gave them was just so good. Our Genre Quiz was popular, as was our Wheel of Reading. 

We celebrated 50 Years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar with activities, displays and fun competitions.

Joining with our new (and totally amazing) career guidance counsellor for National Careers Week was awesome. Our ‘Before I was a Teacher I Was A…’ display board was a hit with students and staff alike… who knew we had such multi-talented people working at the school!

Our four term library themes were Reading Is Sweet, Reading Makes Your Mind Bloom, Reading Is My Secret Power and Reading Can Take You Everywhere. Our junior reading room’s themes were a winter wonderland for the release of the new Diary of A Wimpy Kid and new David Walliam’s books, Alice in Wonderland, Superheroes in Bookopolis, and Around the World Adventure.  

Book Week 2019 was a highlight as always, with displays, activities, competitions, reading retreats, author visits, and lots of fun.

Attending the Brisbane National Education Summit Capacity Building School Libraries stream in 2019 was such a privilege. There were so many fantastic presenters, ideas and experiences shared, and it was awesome to network with other librarians. You can read my summary of the two days here.

Towards the end of the school year, we started to rearrange our library collections. We renamed the collections to bring them into line with traditional publishing terms, (Young adult fiction replacing our old Senior Fiction) and updated our spine labels thanks to Mel at Vipa Library Supplies. We have also reshuffled the library to provide better access for our readers.

The Students Need School Libraries Campaign, of which I am a leader and website coordinator, celebrated its one year birthday. The campaign continues to work to demonstrate the importance of school libraries. There are plenty of resources and research available on the website, so check it out and spread the love about school libraries.

Looking Forward to 2020

The end of 2019 provided the biggest changes and surprises. In 2020 I am super excited to be starting a part-time teacher librarian role at a nearby school. Yay!!! I will also be continuing my role at my current school library, splitting my time between the two school libraries. I can’t wait to get into teaching library lesson and working to promote a new library collection.

I was selected as a co-presenter at the 2020 Brisbane National Education Summit library stream. I loved it so much last year, it is an absolute honour to be listed as a presenter for 2020 alongside some amazing researchers, librarians, authors and booksellers. You can find information about the presentations and buy tickets on the NES website.  

Obviously, I also plan to do a whole lot of reading in 2020. I won’t list all my most anticipated reads here (because that could go on forever), but watch out for my monthly most anticipated lists that come out on the 1st of each month.

I’ve got big plans for promotions, activities and displays for 2020, so watch this space.

I hope you all had a fabulous 2019 and are looking forward to 2020.

9 Comments

  1. confessionsofayareader

    I loved some of your favorites, too.

  2. Rachael

    Excellent post! I love that you change the theme of the library every term. I’m curious to know what themes you have chosen for 2020! 🙂

    • Madison's Library

      Thanks so much! This year our themes have been guided by the Book Week and ALIA Information Week. So term 1 is Connect, term 2 Create, Term 3 Curious Creatures Wild Minds and Term 4 is tentatively Christmas (we are a Christian school, we always do Christmas in the last eew weeks of the year and while I will probably add another c word theme for the start of Term 4 I haven’t got to that bit of planning yet. Do you work in a library and if so, do you have term themes?

      • Rachael

        These are excellent themes. Yes I work in a Primary school library. Fairly new (third term in the job) so i’m constantly learning! I really like the idea of the themes. At the moment, I use themes as specific days/weeks come up. For example, “tell a fairy tale” day is coming up next week and of course Book Week in term 3. Loving your posts. It’s very inspiring!

        • Madison's Library

          Congrats! Libraries are the best place to work. I found Term themes were good for fitting in special days or celebrations and it helps me chose what to celebrate when. E.g I’m hoping to run a lego comp during our Create term. I’d love to know what you are planing for your tell a fairytale day. Do you have a website or social platform we could connect on?

          • Rachael

            I’ve recentl;y started an instagram page that I share the displays i do in the LIbrary. It’s called “Styles of a librarian”. Would be great to connect with fellow librarians! 🙂

          • Madison's Library

            Thanks so much for sharing Rachel. That sounds awesome. I’d love to connect and see your designs.
            If, like me, you want to see what Rachel will create next, check out her Instagram page here
            https://www.instagram.com/styles_of_a_librarian/?hl=en

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