Book Reviews, Lists, Discussions, and Displays

Category: Ramblings (Page 1 of 4)

Professional Learning: May 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities May 2021

Here is my list of professional learning opportunities for May 2021. Some of them are time sensitive, others are just what has come to my attention this month. It’s a way to help me keep track of things that I find or that are recommended to me. They mostly are for school librarians or the school library setting, but many are transferable to any library or education setting.

Looking for more resources? Check out my Professional Learning Series.  

Last month’s Professional Learning list.

Most of the opportunities below are free and easily accessibly by following the links, others are require a fee.  If you have any suggestions or links, I’d love to hear from you. Comment below or contact me here. 

Publications and Websites

I’ve just recently discovered Rachael Yates’ website. She is the Primary eLearning Facilitator at St Peter’s Lutheran College. She has some great articles and tips about tech use for children and teens and tech tips for teachers. Check out her website EducationalTechAndInnovation

Reading in the Age of Distrust by Alison J Head. Are educators equipping students with the analytical and deep reading skills they need for the future?

State of America’s Libraries Report 2021 – featuring the ways that libraries across sectors in the USA responded to the COVID-19 crisis.

April 2021 edition of the School Library Journal. The SLJ is currently enabling free digital access to their journal library. Once you enter your details in the link here, you’ll get access to the current and previous editions. The April 2021 edition features the School Librarians of the Year in the US.

Library and Information Week via ALIA. 17-23 May 2021. Access lots of free resources and tips for promoting your library programs on social media.

ACCESS from ASLA, Vol 35, Issue 1, March 2021 is available for members or via subscription on the ASLA website.


Conferences, Courses, Webinars, Podcasts and Meet Ups

National Education Summit. This one is for June, but it’s time to put it on your radar now. The Building Capacity School Libraries conference is spread over two days (5 and 6 June 2021) and has a great list of presenters (I might be biased, as I am one of them). There is a fee involved and this event is face-to-face in Brisbane. Find out more here. 

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Ramblings: School Libraries During and Post COVID-19 Webinar Series

Webinar Series – School Libraries During and Post COVID-19

School libraries reacted quickly to COVID-19 and the lockdowns and changes to schooling systems from 2020 and into 2021.

EduWebinar put together two free webinars about school libraries and the way they quickly pivoted to continue to serve their school communities during COVID-19. I was proud to be part of the first webinar. You can view both webinars on the EduWebinar website, as well as access the fantastic range of resources listed there.

While your school may not be as effected by lockdowns or COVID in general, there are many great ideas and programs that the presenters share.


Ramblings: Countdown to National Education Summit 2021

Countdown to the National Education Summit Brisbane 2021


I’m so excited that we are nearing the National Education Summit 2021. Rescheduled from 2020, I can't wait to meet face-to-face again with school library staff and educators. I'm also pretty excited that I will be one of the speakers at the 2021 Brisbane National Education Summit Capacity Building School Library Conference. I was fortunate to attend in 2019 - you can read my summary of the event here - and now I am thrilled to have the opportunity to present in 2021.


The conference runs across two days - Friday 4th June and Saturday 5th June, 2021 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. There is also a conference in Melbourne, with a 1 day event for school libraries-  Melbourne NES July 2021. . As well as the conferences there is also a free expo and free seminars.

In 2021 the Capacity Building School Libraries conference's focus is the power of reading, diverse collections, and the power of evidence. There will be four streams across the two days. Keynote speakers are Dr Margaret Merga, lecturer and researcher who is doing great things for school library research, and Clare Thorpe, Associate Director (Library Experience), University of Southern Queensland. There are also heaps of other amazing researchers, teacher librarians, authors and booksellers who are presenting. Head to the National Education Summit website for full details. The list of presenters has been updated recently, so check it out. Every time I look it sounds more and more exciting.

I'll be speaking on the Friday about genrefication and the steps we took as a library team to increase student engagement with reading and our fiction and non fiction collections. I'm really looking forward to presenting and to listening to all the other presenters.


You can find information about the presentations and buy tickets on the NES website.  I hope to see you there.

Ramblings: Library Design Resources

Library Design Resources

I am extremely excited that my new school is building a new school library in the next few years. While I have entered at a time when first designs have already been created and the general idea of the space is already known, there is a long road ahead as we finalise the library design and what the space will look like. I’d like to document this journey on my website. 

Following librarians on networks and social media, there seems to be a wonderful trend of school libraries being renovated or redesigned. Hopefully this is a sign that school libraries and their staff are being valued by their school leadership and communities.

I needed a place to start collecting the library design ideas and research I was finding. I’m putting it here in a hope it might be helpful for others as well. Continue reading

Professional Learning: April 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities April 2021

Here is my list of professional learning opportunities for April 2021. Some of them are time sensitive to April, others are just what has come to my attention this month. It’s a way to help me keep track of things that I find or that are recommended to me. They mostly are for school librarians or the school library setting, but many are transferable to any library or education setting.

Looking for more resources? Check out my Professional Learning Series.  

Most of the opportunities below are free and easily accessibly by following the links, others are require a fee.  If you have any suggestions or links, I’d love to hear from you. Comment below or contact me here. 


STEM ED Magazine Issue 2 – 10 April 2021.

When Kids Say “I’m Not a Reader”: How librarians can disrupt traumatic reading practices. KQED. 

Conferences, Webinars, Podcasts and Meet Ups

Librarians & Dragons presents Dragons and Zombies. A face-to-face event about gamification, role-play games and escape rooms. Brisbane. 24 April 2021.

Australian Media Literacy Research Symposium – Face to face in Canberra, 13 April 2021

ASLA Keys To Learning Conference – 12-13 April 2021, online.

Future Ready Librarian Challenges

Our Primary Libraries 2021: Collective Collaboration 3 – 28th April 2021. Online

ALCC Copyright Training workshops and webinars – 15th April 2021, Brisbane and online.

STEM2021 On Demand. Free. Online. Starts 19th April 2021 but retain access to all keynotes and presentations until 31 December 2021.

Future Skills, Future Schools, Future Libraries with Karen Bonanno, National Director, Eduwebinar – 28th April 2021, 7pm. Online.

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Ramblings: Non Fiction Genrefication

Non Fiction Genrefication

If you have followed by blog at all or worked with me, you’ll know I have a great interest in genrefication. I started my journey with genrefication in 2017 and since then I have experimented with genrefying fiction collections and monitoring what made it work and what didn’t work so well. You can read my initial genrefication process of a young adult collection, a one year follow up here, and a review of genrefication. While I had been tweaking non fiction collections over the past few years, it wasn’t until 2020 that I got to fully genrefy my first non fiction collection.

Here is the process our library team undertook to complete this genrefication of our non fiction collection and our initial results.

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Professional Learning: March 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities March 2021

If you followed my blog or know me at all, you’ve probably noticed that I enjoy professional development. I enjoy learning and I enjoy my work. Putting the two together is just the most addictive combination for me.

You might have seen my Professional Learning Series, where I shared my favourite resources for finding a variety of professional learning opportunities. However, these past few months I have been struggling to keep track of all the professional learning opportunities that I have seen, had emailed to me, been offered or want to investigate. I’ve been writing them down as I came across them, so I thought I would share them here each month, adding links and resources as I come across them.

Here are my picks for March 2021. Most of them are free and easily accessibly by following the links. Most are online, with just a few being paid face-face events. If you know of any more, I’d love to hear from you. Comment below or contact me here. 

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Ramblings: Social Media for School Libraries series

Social Media Series

Social Media for School Libraries series

Social media accounts for school libraries are something of which I am hugely supportive. Many school libraries have now joined in and have a social media account or two. I am in no way an expert, but I thought I would share my reasoning behind my thoughts and the steps I have been through to create my school libraries social media accounts and what I do to create content each week. In this series I'll also share some of my favourite school library social media accounts to follow and gain inspiration from, as well as some further reading and research.

Why social media for school libraries?

Connection. Marketing. Communication. Promotion. Networking. Ensuring parents, students, staff and leadership know what's going on in the library.

So often, the role of the school librarian now includes that of marketing director and advocate. If we do not promote our libraries and our roles they will continue to go unnoticed. Social media is an easy way to spread the word about the amazing things happing in your library, as well as the everyday awesomeness.

It's also a great way to connect with your students, parents and fellow staff members.

Promoting the school library is so important. Even more so in today's climate of disappearing school libraries and the undervaluing of school library staff. Social media accounts allow an insight into the daily happenings of the school library. It creates excitement and engagement. It also meets students where they are. Most teens are on social media of some sort and connecting with them in that environment can allow modelling of good conduct and positive social media engagement.






Part 1 of the series is all about Getting Started. Maybe you need some ideas about where to start, want help around writing a social media policy document or are unsure about which social media channel to choose. I'll discuss how I approached these first steps. We'll also talk about creating a brand and I'll share some of my favourite resources for learning about branding for your school library.

In Part 2, we'll talk about creating content and making a way for this to be easy and manageable. I'll share my favourite scheduling resources and templates.

Part 3 will give you some inspiration for your own social media accounts. I'll share my top favourite social media influences, school libraries you can follow and lots of further reading.

Social Media Getting Started

Coming soon

Ramblings: Reflection on Genrefication

Reflection on Genrefication

Have you genrefied your library? Searching blogs, library consultants ideas, and library journals, it seems most school libraries have given genrefication a go, or at least thought about it. I first tried my hand at genrefication back in 2017, when we genrefied the Young Adult section of our P-12 Library. You can read about my process genrefying the fiction collection in this post, as well as a one year follow up here.  I have also written posts about genrefication for the National Education Summit blog here.  I will be speaking about my experiments with genrefication in my presentation at the 2021 National Education Summit in Brisbane – find more information or buy a ticket to join us here. 

But is genrefication still relevant? Is it still a buzz word? Does it deserve to be? How many libraries have genrefied and moved on? How many have decided it isn’t for them?  I have worked at five school libraries over the past six years. Of those, four had genrefied their fiction section (or we genrefied while I was there), and none of them had a genrefied non-fiction collection. Since then, two of those libraries have now or are about to genrefy their non-fiction collection. I have also recently attended a genrefication workshop with Kevin Hennah, who has been a long-time supporter of genrefication. So, does this mean genrefication is still of interest to school library teams? Is it the way in which we will all move? After the 2020 we had, it seemed like many school libraries used the learning from home period to take the opportunity to genrefy their library. I’d love to hear whether you have genrefied, have it planned or chosen not to. Let me know in the comments below or connect via your choice of social media platform.

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Ramblings: Two Goodbyes and a Hello

Two Goodbyes and a Hello

The end of 2020 has been a bit of a busy, wild and yet very exciting time. Coming to the end of 2020, it has come time to say goodbye to two schools and hello to a brand new school and school library.

Two Goodbyes

I took on a long service leave contract at a Junior School Library in Term 4, 2020. This short-term contract was such a wonderful opportunity and I loved getting to know a new student body, group of teachers and fantastic, amazing library staff. Despite only being there for 9 short weeks, it was lovely taking library classes each week and getting to know the students and what they loved to read. It is always so interesting and inspiring to see how other school libraries are run and what they promote. I loved how visually appealing this Junior School Library is. Honestly gorgeous. I also learnt a lot about using beautiful artwork and nice frames to highlight literature in a very classy and appealing way.  The library had a great aesthetic that I can attribute to a wonderful teacher library and library aide. It was a privilege and pleasure to step into this role and while it was sad to say goodbye at the end of the term, it was a wonderful term. I want to thank the school community and leadership who were so welcoming, the teacher librarian who very trustingly let me step into the role and the amazing library aide who helped me through the entire process.

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