Annual Reports – Loan Statistics
Do you put together an annual report for your school library? I think it is an important task to complete each year and sometimes I even create term reports, if I think they are needed. Annual reports are a fantastic advocacy tool for your school library, but they are also a wonderful way to collect data, make comparisons and reflections about your library service and can help in setting goals for the future directions of your library.
Fantasy Library Lessons – Intro to Fantasy
This semester in English, the Year 7 students are studying Fantasy. It’s a genre I love reading myself and I love that we don’t allocate them a class novel, instead the students can pick anything from the genre – graphic novel, novel, manga, short story – to read for the semester. They can read multiple books or just stick with one. They also do a film study and a creative writing piece. It’s a fun unit that has changed over time and I love where it is heading. Because I see each class once a fortnight, I can tie my library lessons into their fantasy unit.
Mentors for School Library Staff
I’ve been incredibly fortunate over my school library career to have had some amazing mentors. People I’ve worked with, people I’ve learnt from, people I can turn to when I have a question or just need to talk out a situation. Having mentors has allowed me to discuss, plan and set goals. It’s helped me to look beyond my skills and experience and gain a whole new perspective, drawing on their years of wisdom and experience. Having mentors, both formal and informal, has made a significant impact in my professional life and I highly recommend identifying mentors for any school library professional.
Here’s a few things I’ve learnt from my mentors, what I have learnt about having a mentor, how to get a mentor and how to get the most from a mentor.
Reinvigorating Non-Fiction – part 4 of a 2 year journey
Non-fiction has been a bit of a hot topic in school library discussions in recent months and for good reason. On one hand we are embracing genrefication and challenging the status quo of using problematic library layout systems and on the other hand school librarians are investigating the importance of non-fiction and its place in the school library.
I believe that a beautiful, vibrant non-fiction collection is vital for all school libraries for students of all ages.
Genrefying The Teacher Reference Collection
What is your teacher reference collection like? Dusty and unused? Tiny and unhelpful? Large and overwhelming?
When I inherited my current school library, the junior school’s collection was in the Junior Library but the secondary school teacher reference collection was not located in the library. The junior collection was large, with class sets, literature circles and teaching resources. The secondary TR collection had been housed in a staff area under the guidance of those responsible for guiding the pedagogy of the school. A move that made sense. The collection was certainly not as large as at some of my previous schools, but that was because junior and secondary was separated and the textbook TR was housed with the textbooks. The Secondary collection was books only, no resources. The majority of items are stored within departments in different storerooms, squirrelled away and a disaster zone all of their own. In this post, I am talking about the genrefication process of the secondary school teacher reference collection.
Creating A Leadership Collection
Being slightly competitive (at least when it comes to my school library) might have been one of the reasons I created a leadership collection.
As part of reinvigorating our non-fiction collection, we have genrefied and added books on a range of topics. One of those new sections is our Entrepreneurship collection, which features a strong collection of leadership books. This collection happened quite by chance, but now that I look back, it makes so much sense.
The Benefits of Reading Non-Fiction
The benefits of reading fiction are well established. Reading supports wellbeing and mental health, develops comprehension, expands vocabulary, develops empathy and aids sleep, just to name a few. The lists of benefits from reading fiction, immersing oneself in an imaginative world, of joining a character and facing their world and emotions, are endless.
But how does non-fiction stack up? Does reading non-fiction provide the same benefits to readers as reading fiction does? Diving into the research around this turns up some interesting results.
Genrefying non-fiction – a few quick tips
I get it, a non-fiction collection, especially one that hasn’t been touched for a while can be extremely overwhelming. But all it takes is that first step.
The Importance of Non-Fiction
I’ve been writing about how I have been reinvigorating the non-fiction collection in my secondary school library. But why? Aren’t school libraries culling their non-fiction and students turning to online sources? I believe that non-fiction still plays a vital part in the school library for all ages. Here’s my thoughts around the importance of non-fiction, why it deserves pride of place in any school library and how to get it right in your school library.
Is My School Library Good Enough?
I wrote this post a year ago and was never brave enough to post it. Thanks to Lee Crockett’s keynote at the ASLA 2023 Conference, I am finally hitting the go button. His talk about practice never being perfect but always a work in progress and change being neither painful or personal inspired me to share my thoughts on this topic.
As I have been digging into reading culture and assessing reading cultures recently, I have come across many checklists and guides for good school libraries. It had me questioning, how does my school library stack up? Is my school library good enough?