Publications for School Library Staff – Part 3 in the Professional Learning series

Welcome to Part 3 in my Professional Learning Series, where I’m talking about the regular sources of inspiration I turn to for professional development. You can find the rest of the series here. 

Professional reading can be really helpful when you are looking for new ideas or maybe just reading up on the next big thing in school libraries. Maybe you are researching for a project – is it time to jump on the makerspace bandwagon, or are you up-skilling on your marketing and branding plans?

There are lots of different sources for finding professional reading. Maybe you like just turning to Google Scholar, or maybe you like a more targeted approach. From regularly released journals and newsletters, to databases, these are my favourite sources for school library related publications.



My recent article in ASLA’s ACCESS, which you can read here.

Published each month by ASLA, ACCESS is available for members – 

ALIA JALIA, inCite, newsletter and PD postings

JALIA is the quarterly publication of ALIA, focusing on research and development in the information science professionals. For information on how to access this, visit the ALIA website. 

Published 6 times a year, inCite is available or ALIA members, but there are also two free digital online editions which are available for everyone to read and enjoy. 

Anyone can signup for the weekly ALIA newsletter, which has updates on sector news, professional development links and more.

ALIA’s PD postings is a fantastic monthly email with links to articles, webinars, courses, research and more. Available for ALIA members.

SCIS Connections

Published quarterly about key issues in school library, SCIS Connections can be read on the SCIS website

Softlink Reports

Softlink publish a fantastic range of reports and papers on their website. 

IASL Newsletter and journal

Available for IASL members, the School Libraries Worldwide research journal can be found here, with some content available for non-members. 

State Library Organisation Newsletters

Each state library organisation has a newsletter or publication for members, so check your state library organisation for more details.

eBooks and Books

There are some fantastic book titles available and relevant for professional reading as a school library staff. Here are the titles I’ve enjoyed this year.

Reading Engagement for Tweens and Teens by Margaret K. Merga

Creative Library Marketing and Publicity edited by Robert J. Lackie and M. Sandra Wood. 

Raising Readers: How to Nurture a Child’s Love of Books by Megan Daley

Library Marketing Basics by Mark Aaron Polger

Librarians in Schools As Literacy Educators : Advocates for Reaching Beyond the Classroom by Margaret K. Merga

And next on my reading list is:
Making the Most of Teen Library Volunteers by Becca Boland 

The School Librarian’s Technology Playbook : Innovative Strategies To Inspire Teachers and Learners by Stacy Brown.

I usually find my professional reading books via my state library membership, ALIA membership ProQuest ebook access, local library who organise inter-library loans, or personal purchases.

Where to find further reading

State Library

Your state library will subscribe to a range of databases, journals, and ebook platforms, which you can use to access professional reading. We are so used to directing students and staff members to these resources, sometimes it is important to remember to use them ourselves for our own professional reading.

Library Association Membership

If you are a member with a library association, most of them provide access to a range of resources and databased, in addition to their own publications. ALIA, for example, provide their members with access to journal databases and ebooks specifically created for the library sector.

Students Need School Libraries Research Page

As the website coordinator, I might be slightly biased in saying the SNSL research page is a wonderful repository of research and articles about school libraries. Check it out here. 


Have I spoken about Twitter before? To save being repetitive, I’ll just say here that if you follow school librarians or researchers like Dr Margaret Merga, you will find they often share access to their most recent publications.

Contributing your own publication

Many of the sources listed above accept submissions. It is a rewarding experience to write, submit and publish your own article and you don’t have to be a full-blown research to do it, so give it a go. Check out the submission requirements on each of the above’s websites.

Where do you get your professional reading? Share in the comments below. Join me next time for the 4 part in this Professional Learning Series.