Professional Learning Opportunities September 2021

September has arrived, which means we survived Book Week and now turn our attention towards the end of the year. It’s been a big, exciting and I know stressful year for many. 

If you are in lockdown or just looking for some professional learning, then I hope this list of links, webinars, articles, podcasts and more is helpful. Most are targeted for school librarians, but many are transferable to any library or education setting. Please share it with your team, colleagues and network and contact me if there is a link you would like added to the list.  Happy learning. 

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I’m so excited to be collaborating with EduWebinar (a fantastic source of PD) to present the webinar Genrefication: Beyond the Buzzword. Join us on September 15, 2021 at 7pm AEST. It’s free for EduWebinar members and $30 for non-members. You can find about more about what we’ll be discussing and register on the EduWebinar website. 

Genrefication:Beyond The Buzzword – Webinar – EduWebinar – Free for members, $30 non members – 15 September, 2021


SLAV is hosting a range of fantastic masterclass online webinars in September. The first is all about designing collections to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.

Masterclass series 2021 – Enriching Collections: Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives – SLAV –  2 September 2021, 10am-12noon – Online – $120

This second masterclass is two hours long and investigates Orientation sessions. 

Masterclass series 2021 – Orientation – SLAV – 9 September 2021 – Online – $120

SLAV’s two and a half hour masterclass series offers ideas around why school libraries need to support multilingual students and how this impacts decision making around collection development.

Masterclass series 2021 – Multilingual School Libraries: Why and How? – SLAV – 16 September 2021 – Online – $120


I think we can all relate to the challenge of trying to engage reluctant readers with the joy of reading. ASLA are hosting a webinar on this topic with Libby Baker.

ASLA September Webinar 2021 – Strategies to Engage Reluctant Readers – 1 September, 2021, Online – $20 members, $40 non-members.


Want endless webinars on demand and for free? Check out LIANZA’s YouTube repository. So much goodness on so many topics.

LIANZA Webinars – Online – Free


An online, 4 hour learning summit about how digital technology can help promote reading.

Professional Learning Summit: Digital Design and Delivery – SLANSW – 4 September, 2021 – Online – $180


Amanda Jones, Matthew King and Lovie Howell share their advice for new school librarians in this online webinar replay. 

LASL Presents Advice for New School Librarians  – LASL – Online on demand – free


Do your students love manga and anime? I know our students do. But as someone who doesn’t read or watch, it can be hard to understand the world. SLASA is hosting a webinar to help us out.

Manga Madness – SLASA – 7 September 2021 – Online – $20 members, $30 non-members.



This one is for October but it’s such a great opportunity, I say put it in your diaries now. SLJ is hosting a free online event on the 28th of October (that’s US hours, so convert for your timezone). While the times don’t work for me, the entire event will be shared as on-demand recordings for three months, so register now. 

SLJ Summit 2021 In Community – SLJ – October 28, 2021 – Free.



This is an online ebook freely available that is packed full of great tips for incorporating tech into your classrooms.

The Practical Ed Tech Handbook – Richard Byrne


This one isn’t directly school or library related, but I am super into branding, so I enjoyed the Brand Yourself book. You can find my full review here. 



You’ve probably heard of the STEM ED magazine (if you haven’t check it out now! First 3 editions are free). Did you know there is now a podcast?

STEM ED podcast


What will schools and education look like in the future? How quickly is change happening? Dr Paul Browning, principal of St Paul’s School, explores change in his podcast Accelerating Change.

Accelerating Change podcast


Articles and Blog posts

Need some inspiration for STEM in your middle-years classrooms? You can count on Jackie Child to help you out with some incredible ideas.

STEM Ideas for Years 5 & 6 – Tinkering Child

And if you are looking for STEM ideas you can do for students during lockdown or learning from home, check out this post from Jackie.

TinkeringChild@Home – Tinkering Child


Kay Oddone shares her experience with leadership in her three part series. 

Teacher Librarian as Leader: Lessons from the Literature – LinkingLearning


A quick guide to inspiring ways to ensure that library spaces are inclusive and welcoming to everyone. So important and well worth the read.

Library Spaces are Made for Everyone – EveryLibrary


We all know how much the power of reading can help and heal, but this is especially true during the pandemic. Dr Margaret Merga returns with another fantastic, readable article that explores why books and reading are so important. 

Books offer a healing retreat for youngsters caught up in a pandemic – Dr Margaret Merga via The Conversation 


And another great article from Margaret Merga, this one around the perceptions and value of reading by children. 

Children’s perceptions of the importance and value of reading – Margaret Merga and Saiyidi Mat Roni – Australian Journal of Education


Ahh Margaret Merga, you’ve done it again. Check out another of her fantastic articles. This time around reading culture.

Building a school reading culture: Teacher Librarians’ perceptions of enabling and constraining factors – Margaret K. Merga and Shannon Mason via Sage. 


This article discusses the research that found in the US, the districts and schools that needed school librarians most were the least likely to have the staff.

Study Finds Fewer School Librarians In Districts that Need Them The Most – Melanie Kletter via SLJ. 


Love virtual reality? Want to experiment with how you can integrate it into your library? This article has some excellent examples in a public library setting that could easily be used in a school library. 

Virtual Reality to develop new forms of storytelling and story creation in Angelholm Public Libraries – Pirkko via IFLA Public Libraries Blog


Another article that cites the importance of reading and the value of school libraries

The Importance of Reading and School Libraries – SLAV Connects


How do you like to learn? How has that changed due to the pandemic? Elizabeth shares a great piece on her blog about the transition to online learning.

Virtual or face to face? What does the future of professional development look like? – Elizabeth Hutchinson


Another great article that exposes the racism and bias in the Dewey system and calls for change.

Move over, Melvil! Momentum grows to eliminate bias and racism in the 145-year-old Dewey Decimal System – Christina Joseph via SLJ


Do you use SMART, CRAAP or SIFT to teach website and source evaluation? I know I do. This fantastic article discusses how the way we access information has changed and so too should the way we approach evaluation. Fantastic read.

Dismantling the Evaluation Framework – Alaina C. Bull, Margy MacMillan and Alison Head via In the Library with the Lead Pipe.


Interesting article about how we market our programs and looks at how we might take them to the digital platform, as well as evaluating their effectiveness. 

Passive Marketing Going Digital 


Lucas Maxwell shares his insight on what makes a good library display and why they are effective.

Great Library displays and how effective they are – Lucas Maxwell via BookRiot


And just for fun, check out these cute book-related cat photos.

This Library Attracts The Public By Dressing Up One Librarian’s Cat as Literary and Movie Icons – Hidreley via Boredpanda


Overdue The Value of School Libraries – Its on Us


Want a personal tour around the innovative EdHub? Check out the virtual tour that James Allen kindly shared.

EdHub Virtual Tour



It’s time to nominate for the Queensland Library Achiever of the Year. These awards are so important for promoting our profession. Criteria here. Closes 31 October 2021



In the same vein as the awards, completing survey’s about the profession is a great way to advocate for school libraries, school librarians and the profession. Set aside some time to complete the Softlink 2021 School Library Survey, open to schools in Australia and New Zealand.



Have you subscribed to ALIA Weekly? Open to anyone, this weekly newsletter is great for staying updated about the latest trends in the library world, PD opportunities and more.

Subscribe here. 


Lucas Maxwell shares a short and easy to read newsletter with some great ideas for school libraries. You can find the Portable Magic Dispenser on the Glenthorne High School Resource Center Blog or ask Lucas to add you to his mailing list.

The Portable Magic Dispenser newsletter – Lucas Maxwell.



Want more professional learning?

Check out my professional learning series or have a look through last month’s professional learning list.