PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: Leadership

Building a Reading Culture Part 2

Building A School Reading Culture – Part 2  Organisational Culture Research

Building a positive reading culture might seem like a pretty obvious goal for a school librarian. It makes sense, right? It’s an admirable goal and the importance of such can be supported with evidence around the benefits of reading across academic, social, and emotional domains. But when I set myself a goal of building a positive reading culture at my school, I was challenged to think more deeply about the process. What exactly is a positive reading culture? What does that look like and how can I measure that? You can read about the start of this journey in my post Building A School Reading Culture Part 1 Getting Started.

In this second part in my journey, I’ve been investigating organisational culture, outside of just the school library realm. This then led me to investigating organisation climate. Before I could unpack what a reading culture is and how to measure and improve it, I first needed to understand what culture is at an organisational level. I started by diving into the literature around organisational culture.

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Professional Learning: October 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities October 2021

I have noticed a massive surge of professional learning opportunities recently, as well as people sharing their experiences online. I am getting to the point where I am signing up for things multiple times, having forgotten I’ve already signed up or having so many recording I simply can’t view them all. Doesn’t stop me from trying, though, as I love listening to people share their experiences or being inspired by what people are doing in their libraries. 

If you are in still lockdown or just looking for some professional learning, then I hope this list of links, webinars, articles, podcasts and more is helpful. Most are targeted for school librarians, but many are transferable to any library or education setting. Please share it with your team, colleagues and network and contact me if there is a link you would like added to the list.  Happy learning. 

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Webinars

SLANSW are hosting a webinar with the amazing Judith Wakeman on the power of bibliotherapy – how reading improves the wellbeing of our students. So important for these current times (and always!).

Developmental Bibliotherapy: What is it and why do our students need it? – SLANSW – 12 October 2021, 7pm – free for members, $35 non-members – online

Adobe are hosting free webinars every second Wednesday evening, combining inspiration for creativity and tips for using Adobe programs in the Education setting. 

Inject Creativity – Adobe for Education – every second Wednesday 6:30pm AEST –  free

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Professional Learning: September 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities September 2021

September has arrived, which means we survived Book Week and now turn our attention towards the end of the year. It’s been a big, exciting and I know stressful year for many. 

If you are in lockdown or just looking for some professional learning, then I hope this list of links, webinars, articles, podcasts and more is helpful. Most are targeted for school librarians, but many are transferable to any library or education setting. Please share it with your team, colleagues and network and contact me if there is a link you would like added to the list.  Happy learning. 

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

Genrefication

I’m so excited to be collaborating with EduWebinar (a fantastic source of PD) to present the webinar Genrefication: Beyond the Buzzword. Join us on September 15, 2021 at 7pm AEST. It’s free for EduWebinar members and $30 for non-members. You can find about more about what we’ll be discussing and register on the EduWebinar website. 

Genrefication:Beyond The Buzzword – Webinar – EduWebinar – Free for members, $30 non members – 15 September, 2021

 

SLAV is hosting a range of fantastic masterclass online webinars in September. The first is all about designing collections to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.

Masterclass series 2021 – Enriching Collections: Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives – SLAV –  2 September 2021, 10am-12noon – Online – $120

This second masterclass is two hours long and investigates Orientation sessions. 

Masterclass series 2021 – Orientation – SLAV – 9 September 2021 – Online – $120

SLAV’s two and a half hour masterclass series offers ideas around why school libraries need to support multilingual students and how this impacts decision making around collection development.

Masterclass series 2021 – Multilingual School Libraries: Why and How? – SLAV – 16 September 2021 – Online – $120

 

I think we can all relate to the challenge of trying to engage reluctant readers with the joy of reading. ASLA are hosting a webinar on this topic with Libby Baker.

ASLA September Webinar 2021 – Strategies to Engage Reluctant Readers – 1 September, 2021, Online – $20 members, $40 non-members.

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Professional Learning: August 2021

Professional Learning Opportunities August 2021

Welcome to August. Almost. Seems like the year is just flying by, but then again we always seem to say that.

Once again I have collected professional learning links to share with you for the upcoming month. I’ve decided to start grouping them by topic instead of type, so we’ll see how that goes. These links are perfect for school librarians, public librarians, teachers, education leaders and anyone interested in the wonderful world of literature, reading and education. I hope they have some value for you. Please do feel free to share and a massive thanks to all the people who have created these webinars, podcasts, articles, posts and more. 

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

Genrefication

Okay, so I might be a bit keen on genrefication. I’m so excited to be collaborating with EduWebinar (a fantastic source of PD) to present the webinar Genrefication: Beyond the Buzzword. Join us on September 15, 2021 at 7pm AEST. It’s free for EduWebinar members and $30 for non-members. You can find about more about what we’ll be discussing and register on the EduWebinar website. 

Genrefication:Beyond The Buzzword – Webinar – EduWebinar – Free for members, $30 – 15 September, 2021

 

The pandemic changed how we operated libraries. Some things we had to do and some things were fantastic opportunities to reach out clients in new ways. Every Library Institute is offering a free, on-demand webinar that covers things like patron expectations, safe spaces, reengaging communities, and flexibility.  

Designing the Post-Pandemic Library – Webinar – Future Library Institute – Free – Online anytime.

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Book Review: Do What Matters Most

Do What Matters Most: Lead with a Vision, Manage with a Plan, Prioritize Your Time – Rob Shallenberger, Steve Shallenberger – Berrett-Koehler Publishers – Published 18 May 2021

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Synopsis

In researching more than 1,260 managers and executives from more than 108 different organizations, Steve and Rob Shallenberger discovered that 68 percent of them feel like their number one challenge is time management, yet 80 percent don’t have a clear process for how to prioritize their time.

Drawing on their forty years of leadership research, this book offers three powerful habits that the top 10 percent of leaders use to Do What Matters Most. These three high performance habits are developing a written personal vision, identifying and setting Roles and Goals, and consistently doing Pre-week Planning. And Steve and Rob make an audacious promise: these three habits can increase anyone’s productivity by at least 30 to 50 percent. For organizations, this means higher profits, happier employees, and increased innovation. For individuals, it means you’ll find hours in your week that you didn’t know were there–imagine what you could do!

You will learn how acquiring this skillset turned an average employee into her company’s top producer, enabled a senior vice president to reignite his team and achieve record results, transformed a stressed-out manager’s work and home life, helped a CEO who felt like he’d lost his edge regain his fire and passion, and much more. By implementing these simple and easy-to-understand habits, supported by tools like the Personal Productivity Assessment, you will learn how to lead a life by design, not by default. You’ll feel the power that comes with a sense of control, direction, and purpose.

My thoughts

Do What Matters Most has got to be the most helpful leadership, time management and professional improvement book I have read in a long time. Maybe ever. It is full of practical advice that is easy to use and adapt to your professional and personal. Often I finish a professional book and I have a list of all the things I’m going to do to improve my working practice and then I never actually enact anything. After reading Do What Matters Most I am left feeling in control, with a definite plan. I am completely aware of how I will use the tips and skills in this book but even more than that I am also far more aligned with what I need to do in my daily work practice to reach my professional and personal goals. This book has given me the power to enact change. I love it and highly recommend this book.

So many times I have thought that I needed to write down my goals. I had a vague idea in my head of where I was going, but I’d never put it into words. Similarly, there have been many times in my day that I felt I could have achieved more or I haven’t done the important things, instead just getting through a million small emergency fires. Do What Matters Most is all about changing that reactive behaviour into a proactive attitude.

I’d say half of the content in this book is providing evidence that their approach works. For someone who was already on board, I did feel like I could have skipped some of these sections. They are consistently spread throughout the book. For example, you have a chapter on why writing down a vision works before you move into a chapter about actually writing a vision statement. For me, the gold was in the doing chapters. While the evidence is great and the quotes from professionals from all walks of life shows that these practices work, it was more than I needed.

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Book Review: Your Team Loves Mondays…Right?

Your Team Loves Mondays…Right? – Kristin Sherry – Black Rose Writing – Published 20 February 2020

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Synopsis

According to Gallup research, 9 out of 10 people are not naturally wired to manage people. Yet, two-thirds of managers are thrown into supervising people without direction. Kristin Sherry had a similar experience leading a team of 31 people for the first time without preparation.

Packed with practical tools, frameworks and tips to grow your confidence and people management capabilities, this book will help you discover if management is the best fit for your talents, reveal directing and delegating styles, offer strategies and tactics for hiring, onboarding, training, developing others, and retaining and offboarding employees.

Readers will find step-by-step support to create development plans, give feedback, motivate others and facilitate feedback sessions in this toolbox of actionable guidance.

Hard learned lessons combined with experience coaching managers to improve their skills are delivered in this easy-to-follow guide to earn your team’s respect, get better results and help your team love Mondays.

My thoughts

The title of this book is what caught my eye. I thought it was the perfect way of capturing when a team can have some difficulties working together, when personalities get in the way of productivity or working together. Your Team Loves Mondays…Right? is a practical guide to management, and encompasses a range of topics from key management traits to the entire process through onboarding to offbording.

This book is suitable for managers or for would-be managers. It’s also helpful to those of us who are not managers but must work in a team and under managers. There are practical tips and plenty of examples. Kristin A. Sherry writes from her vast practical experience.

The book starts with breaking down the most effective characteristics of managers and moves into an assessment for the reader’s management style and fit for managerial work. The book then moves into the many possible stages of management, from hiring workers, induction training, working with their teams and training them up to the way in which to best go about discharging employees.

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Book Review: Heart of Flames

Heart of Flames – Nicki Pau Preto – Crown of Feathers #2 – Simon Pulse – Published 11 February 2020

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Synopsis

Veronyka, Tristan, and Sev must stop the advancing empire from destroying the Phoenix Riders in this fiery sequel to Crown of Feathers, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake calls “absolutely unforgettable!”

You are a daughter of queens.

The world is balanced on the edge of a knife, and war is almost certain between the empire and the Phoenix Riders.

Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire.

Veronyka finally got her wish to join the Riders, but while she’s supposed to be in training, all she really wants to do is fly out to defend the villages of Pyra from the advancing empire. Tristan has been promoted to Master Rider, but he has very different ideas about the best way to protect their people than his father, the commander. Sev has been sent to spy on the empire, but maintaining his cover may force him to fight on the wrong side of the war. And Veronyka’s sister, Val, is determined to regain the empire she lost—even if it means inciting the war herself.

Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin.

As tensions reach a boiling point, the characters all find themselves drawn together into a fight that will shape the course of the empire—and determine the future of the Phoenix Riders. Each must decide how far they’re willing to go—and what they’re willing to lose in the process.

My thoughts

Heart of Flames is the second book in the Crown of Feathers series. This is an amazing fantasy series, with phoenixes (which are even cooler than dragons, if you can imagine that), and a cast of heart-strong and determined characters who must fight for the freedom to be themselves. I loved the second book even more than the first book – we get far more insight into the phoenixes, the complex world Nicki Pau Preto has created, and more romance – though with that ending I am now desperate for the third book.

Veronyka has been revealed as the girl she is, bonded with a phoenix and proved herself in the battle between Phoenix Riders and the advancing Golden Empire that was just the first step toward the promised war. Her sister, Val, who is actually Avalkyra reincarnated and determined to reclaim the throne no matter the cost, wants to use Veronyka to achieve her goal. Tristan is now a Master Rider but no closer to convincing his father Commander Cassian to use his Phoenix Riders to actively defend again the Empire. And Sev has returned to the Empire’s armed forces, this time as a spy reporting directly to Cassian. War looms but there are big secrets that, revealed, will change everything.

The world in which Heart of Flames is based is rich with details of a glorious and horrendous past. It’s all messy and complex. This doesn’t feel like a wonderful magical world that is only slightly out of balanced and in which the actions of just one or two people might be able to put it right again. In fact, it honestly all feels a little hopeless. But that’s what makes this book so epic and the roles of all the characters so important. Veronyka might be special in ways she is only just discovering but she alone could not even dream of creating a secure future, if one can be achieved at all. It will take the work of many and even then, the future of their world, much like our own, will be tainted by the war, destruction and mistakes of the past. There are many characters in this book and over 5 of them share the chapters in this book, but each one is vital to the story. I do admit to being a little confused about the complex history of the lands and ruling forces of each, but the little segments from history books that are spaced between each chapter help to reveal important details.

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Book Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken

A Heart So Fierce and Broken – Brigid Kemmerer – Cursebreakers #2 – Bloomsbury – Published 7 January 2020

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Synopsis

Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

My thoughts

A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the stunning, beautifully written sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Just when I thought I couldn’t fall any more in love with the complex, layered characters, Brigid Kemmerer changes everything you thought you knew, and then adds more backstory, more details, new characters, and basically rips your heart to shreds while also tenderly caring for it by giving us new characters to love. The setting is the same lush, detailed fantasy world, but now with more countries to explore and learn about. And there is a mix of action, politics, suspense, friendship, romance, alliances, war brokering and heartbreak to keep you gasping cheering, crying and basically salivating the whole way through the book.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken picks up where A Curse So Dark and Lonely finished. Grey is in hiding after learning that he not only has magic but is the secret heir to Emberfall. Rhen hunts the heir as rumours of his existence divide the already fractured kingdom and entice the neighbouring country of Syhl Shallow. Lia Mara is the eldest daughter of Queen Karis Luran. When Karis Luran tries to negotiate with Rhen and fails, Lia Mara sees the flaws in her plan and sets out to try to broker her own deal. With old friendships torn apart and nw alliances forged, the fight for peace may mean moving ever closer to war.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the second book in the series and you must read book one before starting this second book. The ending will also have you desperate to get your hands on a copy of the third book.

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Book Review: The Girl The Sea Gave Back

The Girl the Sea Gave Back – Adrienne Young – Sky in the Deep – Wednesday Books – Published 3 September 2019

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Synopsis

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

My thoughts

The Girl The Sea Gave Back is a thrilling and sweeping fantasy, with magic, fates, wars, betrayal and destiny, all linked together through two young people who wield the power to change their people’s futures.

I did not realise this was the second book in a series when I started reading it. I had not previously read the first book, Sky In The Deep, which is set ten years prior to The Girl The Sea Gave Back. Fortunately, The Girl The Sea Gave Back is a complete story in its own right, and while there are apparently some character and setting crossovers, both books can be read as standalones.

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Book Review: War of Storms

War of Storms – Erica Cameron – Ryogan Chronicles #3 – Entangled:Teen – Published 5 November 2018

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Synopsis

Khya arrived at the Ryogan coast too late to stop the invasion. Now, cities are falling before the unrelenting march of an enemy army, and Khya’s squad is desperately trying to stay ahead of them. Warning the Ryogans, though, means leaving her brother imprisoned even longer. Time is running out for everyone.

But how can her squad of ten stand against an army of ten thousand?

Calling in help from every ally she’s made in Ryogo, Khya tries to build a plan that won’t mean sacrificing her friends or her brother. It’s a tough balance to find, especially when the leadership role she thought she wanted sits heavy on her shoulders, and her relationship with Tessen is beginning to crack under the strain.

The end is coming, and there’s no way to know who’ll be left standing when it hits.

My thoughts

War of Storms is the third and final instalment of the Ryogan Chronicles, an action packed, diverse and thrilling fantasy series. The Ryogan Chronicles is a unique and highly enjoyable series, and War of Storms is a brilliant third book, providing the ultimate climax and conclusion to the ongoing story of a fight for freedom and truth.

Khya and her friends have crossed oceans and visited strange lands, pushing their knowledge of the world, skills and endurance to the very limit in a bid to remove Varan and the other immortals from power and save their friends and family and the rest of Ryogan from their wrath. Now armed with a deadly secret that could give them an edge over the ruthless ruler, they must make a final stand and hope that their few numbers and allies can win against Varan’s army.

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