2022 Year in Review
I absolutely love reflecting on the year that has been. I do it with my library with an annual report and I like to keep a bit of a reflection here on my blog. So many posts that I share here are for my own benefit (sorry!!). I know that it helps others, but it’s really handy for me to have a reflection of what I have done (and how I did it), so I can reuse, adapt, reflect and change.
Last year I shared a similar review of the year and it really is amazing reading back over it, looking at what I hoped to achieve in the year ahead and how much has changed in just the past 12 months.
Again, massive thanks to you, my regular readers. Thanks for visiting my little corner of the web, thanks for inspiring me and thanks for joining me on this fun journey.
I wrote last year that I had an exciting 2022 planned and oh, boy, that’s exactly how it played out. What an epic, exhausting, super exciting year.
Reading and Reviews
My reading is way down this year. It’s no surprise. I know I have been reading less this year. In part, this is because I’ve had a lot on my mind for work and found myself busy with continuing projects when I’d otherwise be reading. I also blame social media. I won’t look at how much time I spent on various social channels. While the number of books I’ve read is about half what I usually read, I have read some incredible books. I have really loved reading graphic novels this year.
Posts and writing
Here on Madison’s Library, I have shared 114 posts this year. I’ve been focusing on sharing more posts about my work in a school library, as well as continuing with book reviews and monthly professional learning lists.
My Book Week posts continued to be my most viewed pages. Other top posts including Planning Library Displays for the Year, my Special Events Calendar, 2022 Australian School Library Day, my Cutting Machines in the Library guide and my post about Non Fiction Genrefiction.
Top viewed reviews were Twin Crowns, Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess, The Inheritance Games and Icebreaker. It’s easy to see the influence of TikTok and blockbuster movies on what books people are searching for.
My newsletter hit over 500 subscribers this year, which is awesome. I did have to drop my fortnightly newsletter to a monthly roundup, as I just didn’t find time to fit it all in. If you’d like to subscribe, you can do so here.
It’s been another big year of incredible opportunities to share and network with other school library professionals.
I was honoured to be invited to present for SLAV, ASLA and SLANSW this year about authentic reading responses, supporting wellbeing in the school library, and running escape rooms in the school library. I had a lot of fun joining the class of ETL501 from Charles Sturt University to talk about what makes a Dynamic School Library. I loved connecting with these incredible people joining the profession. I also presented again at the National Education Summit in Brisbane alongside the incomparable Dr Kay Oddone. We spoke about leadership, reading cultures and culture change. Kay and I also appeared on the School Librarians United podcast, episode 185 Creating Culture Change. Way back at the start of the year, I had a post shared on the Softlink blog Genrefication: Beyond the Buzzword and I presented alongside the Concord Infiniti team for EduWebinar’s free webinar Content Curation for Teaching and Learning.
While I wasn’t able to attend any meetings of our local teacher librarian network, I did have the opportunity to visit two school libraries in the area and chat with their library teams. It’s always so great to share ideas and check out another school library’s spaces and collections.
After joining Instagram last year, this year I spent way too much time on it! Oh, well. It’s a good platform for connecting with other school library professionals.
I remain on Twitter, despite the recent challenges to the platform. It’s still such an excellent platform for connecting with school library professionals, finding professional learning opportunities and putting questions out to the network.
I’ve been meaning to use LinkedIn a little more purposefully. It’s a platform I struggle with, but know it could be great for networking with school library professionals. If you are on LinkedIn, please do connect with me. I’d love to find more school library professionals to chat and share ideas with.
Students Need School Libraries
I stepped down from the Students Need School Library advocacy campaign leadership team late this year. I’ve been part of the campaign for over 5 years. With everything else happing at work, I felt I just couldn’t give the campaign the attention it deserved. The admin team has seen two other members join recently, and I love the enthusiasm and ideas they have brought. I know the campaign is in good hands and look forward to seeing what it achieves. For now, I’ll stay connected by helping out with updating the website.
Did I mention before that this was a busy, exhausting, exciting year? Most of that came from my work. This year I stepped into the acting head of information services role. I’ve done this before at two other school libraries, but only for a term at a time. This was for the whole year, with some understanding that it might become a permanent gig next year. On that note, I am very excited to announce that I will be the official Head of Library Services at St Paul’s School from 2023.
This year held a lot of opportunity for change. While I was just acting head, I did have lots of freedom to make changes. First on my list was an audit of the fiction collection, thorough weeding, new spine labels and a thorough maintenance of the collection, involving updating catalogue records, cleaning and refreshing spine labels. The bulk of this work fell to my #AmazingLibraryTech, and together I think we have done an excellent job of updating the fiction collection. There are a few collections still to be finished off in the new year. Alongside this, I did a massive overhaul of the graphic novel collection. As well as selecting a new identifying spine sticker and weeding the collection, I split the collection into two – separating the comic style books from the others, creating new signage and purchasing as many new titles as I could. This resulted in dramatic increases in the loan stats for this collection and a general buzz around this area in the library.
Our new space was being constructed just outside our window. It meant a few meetings with architects to be updated on layouts and shelving and making lots of plans with the other teams who will be moving into the new space. Early in the year, I was given the incredible opportunity by my principal to dream big for the school library and my role and what it could look like next year. It coincided with our brand audit and updating our vision statement, so it was the perfect opportunity to dream big. I’m really excited about the opportunities I’ve been given and the direction I can help guide our school library to in the future.
I knew we had a move coming up, as our new space was being built and we spent the year in a reduced library footprint, but midway through the year my principal let me know we’d need to move out of our current space at the end of term 3, spend term 4 in a temporary location and then move into the new space at the start of 2023. All my attention turned to this endeavour, with plans, many discussions with the library team, decision making, and spreadsheets. Packing commenced in term 3 and my audit of non fiction was put off. The move went very smoothly and term 4 was actually really fun in our little, temporary space in the staff lounge – great views. During this time, my #AmazingLibraryTech and I finalised our plans to genrefy the non fiction collection. With most of the collection in storage, we had to work with the collections we knew we wanted to create, selected titles, spine labels and had lots of fun purchasing new titles. At the end of the year, it was back into the boxes with everything and we left our little space, ready to move into our new building early next year.
If you’ve followed my A Year in the Life of A Teacher Librarian series, you’ll have read about some of the other major events of my year.
Goals for 2023
The first goal of 2023 might be pretty obvious – successfully move into our new space and be prepared for the grand opening. I’ll be heading back to work a few weeks early to pull this off and I’m super grateful to my incredible team who are also coming in early. It should be a fun few weeks, if very busy. I really want to make our space beautiful, a reflection of our library’s vision and the vision of the building. I want our collections to shine, for the space to evoke a warm, welcoming atmosphere and for a sense of fun and creativity to shine through.
Bringing our vision to life. Part of my new role next year involves overseeing our new building, as well as both the Junior and Secondary Library. As a team, we have a big task ahead of us. I really want to finalise the new strategic plan for the library, bringing our new vision statement to life and breaking it down into achievable goals. It will take the whole team to achieve this, so the whole team will be involved in the process of creating our strategic plan and goals.
A strong calendar of events and programs. Again, our new space and new vision statement provides us with plenty of opportunity to extend the reach of the school library and what we offer our community. A new team member and new spaces will give us a lot more flexibility for lunchtime and before and after school events, pop-up activity installations and other forms of inspiration.
Genrefying the non fiction collection. Once our non fiction collection comes out of storage, the full genrefication process can get underway. While we’ve created most of the collections, we’ll need to add a few more and sort the bulk of the collection. Again, I’ll rely on my #AmazingLibraryTech for the bulk of the (much needed) collection maintenance and our wonderful Library Assistant has put up her hand to help.
Online learning. I really struggled to meet the demand for information literacy sessions this year. If I can’t be in three places at once, then I hope to use some online learning platforms to create online courses and how-to videos. My goal is to create an interactive learning experience for things like referencing and multimodal creation, two of the biggest requests this year, and then save my face-to-face sessions for other topics or Q&A sessions. It’s a bit of a flipped learning model, but I am hoping it will give teachers and students more access to the skills and information they need and free up my time a little.
I am also hoping to create some online learning modules on my website for school library professionals. I am often asked about how to get started with online design tools, or library procedures and I’d love to do so in an online, interactive, accessible way. I’ll hope to launch Madison’s Library Courses in 2023.
So, 2023 should be a pretty quiet year, right? I hate being bored and 2023 promises to be anything but boring. What’s on your to-do list for the year ahead? I’d love to hear all about it.