PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: Displays (Page 1 of 3)

Resource: Which Cricut machine is right for my school library?

Which Cricut machine is right for my school library?

Are you wanting a Cricut machine for your school library? Maybe you’ve heard others talk about how helpful they are or the displays they’ve created with a Cricut. Maybe you already have one and are wanting to upgrade. If you are not sure if a Cricut machine is right for your school library, you might like to start with my Cutting Machines post, where I explore what a Cricut is, what you can do with it and why you might like one for your school library.

But, if you are ready to purchase and just not sure which machine to choose, read on.

I love having a Cricut machine in my school library. Over my time in school libraries I have had and used all the different types of machines, from the very early and now outdated Expression, to the tiny but powerful Joy and the super Maker 3 and a few others in between.

In this post, I’ll explore the current Cricut machines and help you decide which one you should purchase for your school library.

Which Cricut machine should I choose?

Well, you are spoilt for choice. Don’t forget, Cricut is a brand. There are other cutting machine brands out there. You might like to explore what Silhouette offer. I’ve always used Cricuts, so I’ve always stuck with Cricuts.

Cricut currently has three main cutting machines – Joy, Explore and Maker. Cricut also produces heat presses, mug presses and other tools.

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Technology: Canva for School Library Staff

Canva for School Library Staff – Getting Started

Working in a school library is busy. Never a dull moment and a job that can see you doing everything from sharing the new resources you’ve just catalogued, writing a newsletter, posting to social media or creating displays. To get everything done, we need great tools to help. If you are looking for an online tool that will help you manage all the above plus so, so, so much more then you need Canva in your life.

What is Canva?

It might be easier to tell you what Canva isn’t than what it is because it does so much! Every time I use it, I learn about a new tool or feature. But basically, Canva is an online graphic design platform. Using the online platform, you can create anything, with templates for everything from social media graphics to resumes, posters and websites. Canva is also a publishing tool – it allows you to plan and post content to social media channels, share with others for online collaboration or will print products for you. Did you know that Canva was started by two Australian design students? Their goal was to make design easy and accessible for everyone. You can learn more about Canva here.

 

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Ramblings: Graphic Novel Collection Updates

Updating the Graphic Novel Collection

I love graphic novels but that love doesn’t come close to how much my students love graphic novels. They adore them. I’ve seen that time and again at all the school libraries I’ve worked in. However, their engagement with the graphic novel collection always varied and that’s because the graphic novel collections in all of those libraries varied significantly. Some were tidy and small, others large and outdated and one was big, plentiful and beautiful and let me tell you the students adored it!!

So, when I took over as head of library this year, I knew one of the first things I wanted to do was show the graphic novel collection some love. Lots of love.

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Book Week 2022: Resources and Links

Book Week 2022: Resources and Links

Book Week is often one of the biggest events in the school library calendar. Book Week throws into the light the importance of reading, school libraries, children’s literature and Australian literature. It is a chance to celebrate all of that and more.

The theme for Book Week 2022 is Dreaming With Eyes Open… The theme is decided and announced each year by the Children’s Book Council of Australia and they do an amazing job of creating resources that fit the theme and official artwork.

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Ramblings: Planning Library Displays for the Year

Planning Library Displays for the Year

I love planning my school library’s displays. Whether I was working as a library aide or as a teacher librarian, one of my favourite parts of my job is to plan and prep the displays – physical and digital – for the library. I know it’s not a favourite task of all librarians, while other love it. I am constantly amazed at the creativity people reach and the lengths they go to to achieve jaw-dropping arrangements. I am not that creative or skilled by any means, but I am pretty good at planning. And, I’ve found, that if I have my displays planned for the year, including pop-ups, big creative displays and simple book collections, then I am far more likely to actually achieve a rotation of displays, rather than just leaving one up for the whole term (been there, done that). Continue reading

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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Resource: Cricut Refurbishment

Refurbishing a Cricut Machine

I have been fortunate to have a Cricut machine in each of my past 3 libraries. I love them. I love getting creative, love how these machines can make displays, signage and crafting activities easy. So, I was excited and – let’s be honest – relieved when my new library said they had a Cricut machine.

However, I was a little shocked when the Library team mentioned that they didn’t use it and found it easier to cut things by hand. Seriously? That didn’t make any sense to me. It only took the first time me getting it out to use it to understand where exactly they were coming from and why they were finding it so frustrating. I found it frustrating! It took longer than it should and even making a simple project wasn’t easy. Why? The machine had been given to the team without the proper tools and with no training or instruction. The mats were old and either had left over paper struck to them or had lost their stick altogether. And the team had only ever been told to use it with an iPad rather than on a desktop. It was like trying to use the machine with our hands tied behind our backs. Completely impractical and a waste of time.

Thanks to having used a Cricut before, I knew what it could and should be like. And I knew I could refurbish the machine to make it fun and easy to use. Here’s what I did.

How to update a machine

If you’ve decided to purchase a secondhand machine or have inherited an older machine for your library, here’s a few simple steps and tips to get the machine running again smoothly and so you can enjoy using it.

These tips are not going to help a machine that isn’t functioning properly – I leave that to someone with technological and mechanical knowledge, but these should help you get the basics of the machine working well.

Not sure if a Cricut is right for your Library? Check out my post Cutting machines in the Library which goes into the pros and cons.

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Book Week: Wrap up 2021

Book Week – Wrap Up 2021

Well, as I write this, I can hardly believe that Book Week is over. At the same time, I feel so tired it might as well be the end of the year.

Grey background, black text reads CBCA Book Week, yellow text that reads Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds, characters on bottom of image

I love Book Week. Love the buzz it brings to my school and library. Love the excitement it generates online. Love how it gives libraries, books and reading the spotlight they deserve. Love how my school’s marketing team suddenly want to talk about what’s happening in the Library because the Book Week tag is good for their SEO. But this year, Book Week kind of took a back seat for me.

In previous years, in previous roles, I’d shape my whole planning around Book Week, the theme and the activities I had planned for the year. My new role and the tasks I’ve taken on this year, along with the climate of sudden lockdowns and online learning challenged me to look at Book Week in a different light and to reevaluate my planning and approach to this very special week.

Not top priority this year

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