PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Category: For Librarians (Page 1 of 13)

Ramblings: Year 7 Orientation Sessions

Year 7 Orientation Sessions in the School Library

The start of a new year means new incoming year 7 students. For my school, that means a mix of students coming from our Junior School and a large cohort of new students. There is something so fresh and enthusiastic about year 7 students. A mix of nervousness and an eagerness to try things. They get exciting and they are not afraid to share that excitement and I absolutely love working with them. But how do I get them excited about the library.

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Ramblings: Genrefication Myths and Questions Answered

Genrefication Myths and Questions Answered

I was reading a recently published book about school librarianship and was surprised to discover a few throwaway comments about genrefication. It was represented negatively and raised the usual comments you might see on Facebook posts or in email lists, arguing against genrefication. I’ve decided to call out some of these comments and write my responses and thoughts to each of them. I’ve worked in many school libraries that have both genrefied collections and collections in traditional layouts. I am unashamedly for genrefication, but I have also been in schools were we chose not to genrefy some collections. It just wasn’t for the reasons below, and here’s why. 

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Ramblings: Everyone’s talking about AI, chatbots and ChatGPT

Everyone’s Talking about AI, chatbots and ChatGPT. What does it mean for school libraries?

It’s everywhere on my socials and in my inbox at the moment – Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPD. We’ve been told for years that technology is changing and will have big impacts on the world, jobs and education. We’ve gone from fearing AI to encountering it on a daily basis (and possibly still fearing it). These past few weeks seemed to have reignited a focus on what AI and chatbots can do and how they are set to impact our lives. As a teacher librarian, I know I need to up-skill and learn about this area, as it is set to impact how student search, research, write, edit and submit their work. It will change how teachers prepare lessons, mark, how we check for plagiarism and how we teach students about AI. 

If you, like me, need to read up in this area, I’ve collated a few of my favourite articles and courses that I’ve found in the past few days. Most come from a teacher or library perspective.

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Resource: Double-sided bookmarks with Canva

Making double-sided bookmarks with Canva two ways – with templates

Are the students in your school library bookmark mad? Mine are. While you can buy beautiful bookmarks to give out to students, perfect for author visits, book week or special events, I find that most readers, especially the younger students, go through too many bookmarks for me to be able to afford to keep up a steady supply. I’ve always printed bookmarks to have at the circulation desk. The students love picking out a new design, it prevents the dreaded dog earring of pages and they are easy to tie into special events. I used to search online for free printable bookmark designs, and while this did find me some great deigns, I was limited in what I could use.

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Professional Learning: January 2023

Professional Learning Opportunities January 2023

Happy new year! Well, almost. Another year, another chance to learn, experience and grow. There are so many incredible learning opportunities coming our way and I can’t wait to share them with you this year. I hope to make these lists relevant for all school library professionals. If you have any suggestions, ideas or have a professional learning opportunity you’d like me to include, please get in touch.  

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Ramblings: 2022 Year in Review

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.

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Ramblings: School Library Annual Reports

School Library Annual Report

It’s the end of the school year and that means it’s annual report time. Or does it?

When I mentioned to a colleague this year that I needed to put together the library’s annual report, I was a little shocked by their reply – “Why bother. No one is going to read it.”

It made me reflect on why I create an annual report each year and why I firmly believe it is worth the time and effort to create an annual report. 

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Ramblings: Magazines in the School Library

Magazines in the School Library

Do magazines belong in the school library? It’s not really a question I ever asked myself until recently when it came time to audit our magazine subscriptions. But in our changing world, do magazines still belong in school libraries? If student interest drops, is it time to unsubscribe?

The first school library I volunteered and later worked in had a lovely magazine collection. It also had a most magnificent non fiction collection, but that’s another post entirely. The magazines were well used, as indicated by loan statistics and student use for browsing and reading during reading lessons.

This year, when I took over the library at my current library, I undertook a bit of an audit of the magazine collection. The magazines in the secondary library were hardly touched, let alone borrowed. Some of this could attributed to our new location while we awaited renovations. The magazines had to be tucked into a back corner. But stats from the previous years demonstrated loans half of that from my first school and only 12 loans total for magazines from the secondary library. It wasn’t for lack of promotion or choices.  We had over 25 magazines in the secondary library and just a few in the junior library. Yet the interest and use of magazines in the junior library was huge. Massive loan stats, sneaky visits from junior students to the secondary library to borrow some of our titles, interest and love for magazines from the junior students was high. Continue reading

Ramblings: Dungeon and Dragons

Starting a Dungeons and Dragons Group in the School Library

I want to start this post by saying, I’m not the expert when it comes to starting a Dungeon and Dragon club, far from it, actually. The expert would be Lucas Maxwell. He blogs about Dungeons and Dragons, has a podcast and is even writing a book about it. So why then, you might ask, would someone who is not Lucas Maxwell want to share her tips about how to start a D&D club? Because maybe you, like me, want to start just such a group but, like me, are not a D&D expert or maybe, also like me, have never even played D&D. This post is for all the complete and utter beginners (we need a word for someone is less experienced than a beginner, perhaps a prebeginner?), who have maybe heard of D&D but have no idea what a DM is or how to even actually play but want to start a D&D group in their school library anyway. 

      

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