Professional Learning Opportunities December 2021

Finally, the end of the year. In some ways it seems like it’s been a very long year and in others it has flown by. Maybe professional learning is the last thing on you mind as we head into the holiday season, but just in case you are looking for some learning this month, here are a few links. 

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I know Wikipedia can be a sensitive topic for librarians. This webinar explores how we can best use and teach students about Wikipedia.

Why Wikipedia Matters – SLA UK – 7 December 2021, 3:30pm-4:30pm (UK time) – £24 – online

Wish you could attend a book festival this month?  You can, at the Penguin Random House Winter Festival. Author interviews, panels, new releases, exhibits, prizes and more featuring everything from picture books to young adult. And it’s free!!

Penguin Random House Winter Book and Author Festival – Penguin Random House and SLJ – 9 December 2021, 10am-5pm ET – free – online

ALIA Schools is offering their four for the price of three webinar package again for 2022. The end date for this deal is December 10, 2022, with payment due in early February. You’ll find all the details on the ALIA website.


This resource is a podcast episode, website and library award structure all rolled into one. If you listen to the School Librarians United podcast, you might have heard the episode with Carrie Friday on Purchasing Power. In that episode, she mentioned her status as a Florida Power Library and the process she went through to obtain this status. Looking at the Florida Power-Library School criteria, the documentation and application process is quite useful should you wish to evaluate your own library. Carrie also very kindly shared her Power Library application website, which is incredible. 

Faith Huff joined the Tech+Books Podcast for an episode on Marketing the Library with Social Media.  

Articles and Blog posts

Softlink have shared some early insights from the 2021 School Library Survey.

Sometimes it can be hard to make our work as school librarians visible. This post from Digital Dexterity might help: I Didn’t Know the Library Did That: Making Library Work in Curriculum More Visible. 

What are the important steps for building independent readers? Learn more in How to provide less structure for independent readers from Hoa P. Nguyen. 

Looking to build or update your manga collection? Or maybe you just want to understand manga and its genres better. CILIPS School Library Group have put together a helpful blog post. How to Build a Manga Collection – CILIPS 

Looking to start a makerspace or get some ideas for next year? Kelsey Bogan has shared a post on her site Don’t Shush Me about Low Tech Makerspace in the H.S. Library.

I’ve recently discovered and enjoyed reading through a site called It Happened in the Library. While it hasn’t been updated since 2019, there are a great range of posts about VR and media literacy.

Over the past few months, Judi Moreillon has recently been sharing posts on her site School Librarian Leadership about the research conducted to put together the book Core Values in School Librarianship. Over these posts, Judi and her fellow chapter authors explore topics around leadership, partnership with principals and taking action, as well as diversity in collections and other key topics. 

A Twitter thread on Wikipedia and why we maybe should be using it more. 

YA follows many trends and is changing over time. But Did Twitter break YA? Nicole Brinkley explores why the YA publishing industry in the US predominately targets adult readers. While I don’t agree with all Nicole’s points, that’s okay. It’s an intriguing read with some thought-provoking points.

Jennifer Zimny, teacher librarian, creates and shares resources, posters, programming ideas and so much more on The Lively Library. It’s a very helpful site. Check it out!


With the current climate of book challenges in the US, Jennifer LaGarde from The Adventures of Library Girl has created and shared a very helpful guide for responding to book challenges. A Proactive Approach to Book Challenges- Library Girl

Martha Bongiorno recently shared a link to a Padlet that she had created about using augmented and virtual reality. It’s an incredible resource. 

Want more VR resources? Check out this Padlet created by Melissa O’loughlin. Another incredible list of resources. 

When @LiamOwens24 shared a template for Bookopoly, instructions and student reading log on Twitter, everyone (including myself) might have got a little excited. Especially when Liam shared  the link so that anyone could download and use it for their own school library.

Did you attend EdCamp Cardigan Camp 2021? If not, you missed out on an AMAZING session with Samantha Wasson on library design. She very kindly shared her wakelet of resources.

Earlier in the month I share a post about running an escape room in the school library. It was a fantastic afternoon. You can find out how we did it and lots of tips and tricks. I‘m also excited to share that in March 2022 I’ll be presenting a webinar with SLANSW on escape rooms and other library programs. 

Want more professional learning?

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