2021 Year in Review

So much of this website is a record of what I have read or done. I love that I can look back and check how I did something or what books I’ve read and loved. It comes in handy – especially when I’m trying to remember how I did something and the brain is a little fuzzy – and I hope that it helps others.

In the spirit of record keeping, I’m going to review my year here. This probably won’t be an overly helpful post for you, dear reader, but it does help me to reflect on what I achieved or didn’t achieve this year. I’m the kind of person who loves a good statistic. So, here’s my stats for the year, as well as a bit of a reflection overall.

If you’re a regular reader, I just want to say thanks. Thank you so much. I love connecting with others over a shared love of reading, books, or school libraries. Thanks for joining me this year. I’ve got an exciting year planned for 2022. Hope to see you then.

Reading and Reviews

I’m a Goodreads user. I know, I know. There are good and bad parts of Goodreads, much like all forms of social media. I do, however, love that Goodreads enables me to track the books I’ve read. I also love that it kindly shares how many books you’ve read for the year. In 2021 I have read 100 books!! What a fantastically even number. I am writing this on the 27th of December, and with it being holiday time, I expect to add a few more to the list in the next few days, but 100 is such a great number. This is a little bit down compared to other years. This is a bit surprising, as I wasn’t working full time, so theoretically I should have read more than in previous years, but I am putting that down to how much time I have spent creating professional learning resources this year and writing more.

I also made it to over 1000 book reviews on Goodreads this year, which is awesome. I’ve been adding my reviews there since 2014.

Posts and writing

Over here on Madison’s Library I shared 132 posts this year. As my reading was down, my number of book reviews was also down, but I shared more professional learning posts, including my new monthly professional learning lists. You can find all the lists from the year on my For Librarians page.

As always, my Book Week posts were my most visited pages. It was super exciting to launch the Aussie Book Week Facebook Group and Pinterest Page. We currently have over 2000 members. If you’d like to join us, you can find us on Facebook or Pinterest. The group even got a shout out by Megan Daley on the Your Kids’ Next Read podcast – goals!!

Other popular posts included my review of the Enola Holmes book (guess the movie made that one popular?), a post about easy costume ideas from things in your wardrobe, the ever-popular post about what to read next if you loved Poison Study, and my breakdown of cutting machines in the library. 

I also launched a newsletter, which emails a fortnightly round-up of my latest posts and a monthly professional learning list. You can check it out and subscribe here, if you are interested.

Professional Learning

I mentioned my new professional learning monthly lists above, but I have also started to share my work and experiences across a range of platforms and formats this year.

I was so pleased to present at the National Education Summit in Brisbane. It was a fantastic two days of learning and networking and there were some incredible presentations. I shared here my presentation, as we all as reflection of the overall event. 

I also had the great privilege of presenting a webinar with EduWebinar. This is such a great platform for finding professional learning. You can still access the recording on the EduWebinar website or find my slides here. 

I also was super excited to share my book club blog post series on the Softlink Blog. I so greatly enjoy the Softlink Blog. I’m excited to say I have another post being shared there in the new year.

Social Media

This year, I joined Instagram. Having previously used it for my school libraries, I thought it was the next step for me professionally. There are some incredible school libraries, school library professionals, educators, book shops and more that have sites that share some incredible ideas. I’ve been very inspired and it’s a great place to get ideas for the school library. 

I also took over running the Instagram at my school library. It had been sitting dormant for a while, so it was fun to reinvigorate it. Over the course of the year, we went from 90-ish followers to over 230. We renamed and rebranded and hopefully started a build in connection with community, outreach and advocacy. Some of our most popular posts and reels were about Minecraft, trivia and Library events.

Students Need School Libraries

I have been part of the Students Need School Library advocacy campaign for over 4 years now. We continued the campaign this year, but due to so much else happening in the world, things really went on the backburner. Thankfully, the incredible admin team have built such a wonderful set of resources, films, research and how-tos, that the campaign remains strong and visible.

Professional Life

2021 saw me starting a new job, joining an incredible library team at a new-to-me school. This meant leaving behind the schools I had been working at previously, which was hard. The change was good, and it’s always exciting to see how other school libraries are run, the differences in collections, collection development approaches, and teaching of information literacy. I’ve learnt a lot this year and I am excited to be moving into a full-time role next year.