Blogs and Websites for School Library Staff – Part 4 in the Professional Learning series

Are you ready for Part 4 in my Professional Learning Series? This time I am focusing on blogs and websites that are part of my professional learning. Honestly, this could be a sub-series of many, many posts. There are so, so many blogs and websites that provide inspiration and professional learning. So, this is not a comprehensive list by any means. Instead of creating a massive list, that honestly would feel more overwhelming than helpful, I thought I would limit myself to just my top ten favourite websites and blogs, the sites I consistently turn to and return.

I personally find it time consuming to check in on websites. While you can get blog feeds or newsletters delivered to your inbox or check out the latest posts via blog subscriber readers, it’s not a practice I use. I should. Every time I check in with my favourite sites I see something that grabs my attention. Does that work for anyone else? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Instead, blogs and particular websites for professional learning and development are resources I draw upon as the need arises, rather than just routinely checking. For example, if I need something for a display or if I need guidance on policy or copyright, if I need something for the makerspace or integrating STEM into my lessons, I have my usual sites to which I turn. So, that’s what I am going to share with you.

Displays

Instant Display – I love, love, love this site. It has saved me so much time and work over the years. Alphabet sets, printouts, there is literally something for every theme or display you will ever think to create.

STEM

Tinkering Child – Written by teacher librarian and STEM teacher Jackie Child, Tinkering Child is full of ideas for incorporating technology, coding, robotics and making into library lessons and the curriculum.

Book Lists, Literature and Australian titles

Children’s Books Daily – Brisbane teacher librarian and author Megan Daley’s blog is full of book lists, reviews, decor ideas and tips for getting kids reading. If you want to stay updated on the latest in the Australian book scene, Megan is your person.

LoveOZYA – for all the latest on publishing, authors and new Australian young adult fiction, look no further than the LoveOZYA site. It is inspiring and so helpful if you are looking to increase your library’s collection of Australian literature for our teen readers. There are also posters and recommended lists you can use and share. It’s a great way to stay up to date about new releases.

Edelweiss Plus – I love, love Edelweiss Plus. I use Edelweiss Plus daily to check in about publisher new book catalogues, review copies, reviews of new titles, publisher age guide ratings, subject and theme tags for books and finding specific titles for student requests. This is primarily helpful for overseas publishers and book releases, and I set my access to US trade to ensure I have access to that wider range of publisher listings, but I hope Australian publishers get on board this amazing resource.

Librarian Stuff

Hafuboti – Rebecca McCorkindale is an Assistant Library Director, Creative Director and self-described ‘Punk Rock Book Jockey’. On her blog, she shares her work in her public library. The great thing about Hafuboti is that everything is under Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike, so you are free to use her artwork, signs and graphics, which are awesome.

Libraries Are For Everyone graphic from Hafuboti – in a range of languages.

Ontarian Librarian – Karissa is a Children and Teens services librarian at a public library in Canada. She shares book reviews, display ideas and I love her program ideas.

Copyright

Smartcopying – knowing about copyright is really important for librarians. I always turn to Smartcopying when I have a question about copyright or sharing sources. As a bonus, check out the Copyright 4 Educators course – (just ignore the archived notice, sign up via the Google Form link and the team use the archive materials for each week’s work).

Advocacy

Students Need School Libraries – the SNSL campaign website was designed (I know, because I designed it) to be a tool for parents, school library staff and members of the community to aid them in advocating for school libraries. If you need resources, films, research, success stories, presentation notes and slides, brochures, links to other campaigns and resources, flyers – basically anything you need for advocacy, you can find it on the website. And please do use the contact page to reach out to the admin group if you have an idea for a new resource, have a success story or research article to share or want to become involved.

Policy

ASLA Policy Pages –  if you are looking for policy examples, statements to reference or further research and resources related to policy, check out ASLA’s Policy menu. It’s been extremely helpful to me over the years.

What are your favourite websites and blogs? Share below in the comments.

It was so hard to limit myself to just ten websites and blogs. There are so many great resources out there, so I am going to start building a more comprehensive list. Check it out here.