Madison's Library


Ramblings: Updates, end of year and looking forward to 2022

Updates, end of year and looking forward to 2022

Well, it’s that time of year again. We are on the countdown to holiday season. Reports are due, there are preparations for farewell presents, my living room looks like a bomb went off (and maybe took down a bit of Santa’s workshop with it), and my brain has decided that it’s already holiday time, so I’m spending just as much time getting things done as I am fixing mistakes. Oh, well. I must say I am super grateful for everything in my life right now, crazy busy though it might be.

A new job (sort of)

As we wind up to the end of the year, I wanted to share a few updates with you. If you’ve been following along with my professional journey, you’ll know I started my career in school libraries as a library volunteer while studying, stepped into a library aide role and pieced together part-time or short-term teacher librarian roles where I could get them. It is with great excitement that I get to share with you that from next year I will be taking on a full-time, on-going role as teacher librarian and acting head of library. I am super excited to be returning to full-time work (part-time work is for the birds, people!)

I am also excited by the opportunities next year is set to bring. We have a new library building just starting construction, we have big plans for our collections, will be continuing our reading initiative program, starting tech and makerspace sessions in the library and have a whole range of other exciting things planned.

Professional learning for 2022

I am also looking forward to what 2022 will bring in the way of professional learning (you all know I am addicted to professional learning by now, right?)

I am super excited to share that I’ll be presenting at the National Education Summit in Brisbane in August with Dr Kay Oddone. The line up for the event looks AMAZING. You can find all the details on the NES website. 

I’ll also be running a session with SLANSW in March about escape rooms and library programing. Stay tuned for more information to some soon.

I will be continuing my monthly PD lists, to which you can subscribe or check out the lists from this year. 

I also have lots of plans for this website, updates, new pages, more posts on my adventures in the school library and some professional learning courses. I’ll share more details soon, but for now you can find more on the For Librarians page. 

Happy holidays

To everyone, thank you so much for reading along, dropping in and generally giving me an audience to write this to. I am so grateful you are all part of my journey. I love collaborating and sharing with you, being inspired by you and joining with you in this crazy ride.

I hope you have a refreshing and relaxing holiday break, no matter what that might look like for you. I look forward to what 2022 will bring us all.

Activity: Escape Room

Escape Room in the School Library

I’ve always wanted to run an escape room activity in my school library and this week I finally had that opportunity. This year, my amazing Head of Library and I launched our new Reading From The Heart program. It was a mix of special reading events and library sessions with our middle schoolers. For our second special Reading From The Heart event, we wanted something that would appeal to a wide audience and be easy for us to put together in a busy term 4. When my Head of Library suggested an Escape Room, I was super excited to get started.

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Book Review: Adventures in Architecture for Kids

Adventures in Architecture for Kids: 30 Design Projects for STEAM Discovery and Learning

– Vicky Chan –

Rockport Publishers

Published 21 December 2021



Adventures in Architecture for Kids is a brightly coloured and attention-grabbing non fiction book with heaps of hands-on activity ideas.

The book is divided into five sections: General Construction, Architecture and History, Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Architecture, and a Brief Introduction to City Planning. Each section then has between three and eight projects to make that step you through an aspect of architecture. Examples of projects include building a 3D model of a house using pasta, designing a treehouse model and building with indigenous construction methods. Each project has multiple pages of photographs demonstrating the materials needed, step-by-step construction and the finished product. While each project can be followed exactly, once that has been created, readers can use the same techniques to create their own designs.

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Ramblings: 8 Things I Did To Advocate For My School Library Last Week

8 Things I Did To Advocate For My School Library Last Week

Advocacy is a bit of a funny word, I think. Sometimes it can be daunting. Maybe it’s something we know we must do as school librarians, facing budget and staffing cuts and increasingly challenging times, but equally something that we think we might not have time for or might be something that is too hard or too out of our reach to do. Advocacy might conjure up thoughts of national or international campaigns or perhaps having to go and fight for the job you are about to lose or the 80% cut to your school library budget or perhaps the loss of the school library space altogether. And while these things do form part of advocacy, I believe that advocacy can also be far smaller and simpler. It might also be things you are doing each and every week.

Simply put, advocacy is defined as supporting or arguing for something. And that is something we do each and every day.

Here are eight things I did to advocate for my school library and my role as a teacher librarian last week.

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Book Week 2022: Theme Announcement

Book Week 2022: Theme Announcement

Yes, I know it feels like we only just made it through Book Week 2021, but it’s time to talk about Book Week 2022. The theme has been announced. The illustrator has been announced. The official artwork has been teased. Let’s talk Book Week 2022.

Drum roll please….. The theme for Book Week 2022 is Dreaming With Eyes Open…

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Book Review: How Not To Fall In Love


How Not To Fall In Love

– Jacqueline Firkins –

Clarion Books

Published 21 December 2021



How Not To Fall In Love is a cute, sexy and slightly exasperating (just kiss him already!! or maybe don’t kiss him!!! arghhh!!!) YA romance novel.

Harper knows all about love. Or at least how phoney it is. She has seen enough bridezillas in her mother’s wedding shop to know love is fake. And let’s not even talk about her last relationship. It’s better of avoiding. When her best friend, heartbroken after another failed relationship, asks for her help on how not to fall in love, Harper makes him a deal. She’ll start dating and prove she can keep her emotions out of it, if she can teach him how to protect his own heart. But as Harper finds herself falling for her new not-her-boyfriend and Theo finds himself inundated with interested girls, Harper discovers love isn’t as easy to figure out as she thought. Especially when the only guy she finds herself thinking about might just be that boy next door after all.

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Building a Reading Culture Part 3

Building A School Reading Culture – Part 3 Culture Change Research

In my last post on Building A Reading Culture, I shared my dive into the research around organisational culture. You can read my journey into building a reading culture from the start, in this first post Building A School Reading Culture Part 1 Getting Started.

When I decided to investigate the reading culture at our school, I wanted to do it properly and I was inspired to look beyond the school library context by my mentor, Dr Kay Oddone and her fantastic post on her website LinkingLearning. So, I began my journey within the business and organisation context. Looking at the research around organisational culture helped me to understand that culture is not only the “way things are done around here” but also the underpinning beliefs, values, assumptions and thoughts around the future of the organisation.

However, this is just a starting point. The true power rests in being able to change the culture we have.

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Book Review: SuperSight


SuperSight: What Augmented Reality Means for Our Lives, Our Work and the Way We Imagine the Future

– David Rose –

BenBella Books

Published 9 November 2021


In SuperSight, author David Rose paints for readers an image of the not-too-distant future. What will this future look like? It’s more about how we will look at that future – through AI and AR enhanced vision.

SuperSight begins with an introduction where the technology behind the concept of the book is introduced. This might be future technology for some of us but David Rose explains that is very much real and happening now. Throughout the book he provides examples of the current prototypes and technology being designed by the big names we all recognise.

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Professional Learning: November 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities November 2021

As we draw near the end of the calendar year and school year for those of us in Australia, there is still time for a bit of PD and to make sure we’ve met those CPD requirements. While this list of professional learning opportunities is a little Aussie-centric, most of them are online so they are open to all. I hope you find something worth learning. 

You can now sign up to receive these posts delivered straight to your inbox each month. 


It is so important to ensure that our library collections, however old they might be, reflect the truth about history and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and perspectives. This webinar hosted by ASLA and presented by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies is all about ensuring our libraries are free from offensive materials and are full of quality resources. 

Decolonising Your Library – ASLA and AISTSIS – 3 November 2021 – online – $20 members, $40 non members.

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