Book Reviews, Lists, Discussions, and Displays

Tag: Professional Development

Professional Learning Series: Conferences and Courses for School Library Staff

Webinars for School Library Staff – Part 7 in the Professional Learning series

Well, we have finally reached the final part of my Professional Learning Series. What started as one blog post to share my favourite places to find and connect with professional learning, turned into 7 long posts. I did mention I’m a bit addicted to professional learning, right? This time, I’m going to be talking about courses and conferences. This is where the money you saved from finding free resources from my last 6 posts is going to come in handy because courses and conferences can be expensive.

I love going to conferences. Maybe it’s the free stash you get at the booths, maybe it’s the chance to catch up with other library staff, or maybe it’s the intense learning and inspiring that gets squished into one or two days. Whatever the case, you’ll find me making any excuse to attend as many courses or conferences as I can. I’m going to share some of my favourite places to learn about new courses and conferences and luckily some of them are free! I’ve love to hear about your experiences or fav courses and conferences to attend, so please do share in the comments.

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Professional Learning Series: Podcasts for School Library Staff

Podcasts and Videos for School Library Staff – Part 6 in the Professional Learning series

As we continue my Professional Learning Series, part 6 focuses on podcasts and video channels that are helpful for professional learning for school library staff. This is the area in which I am still growing and learning. I don’t watch videos or listen to podcasts very often, I’m new to the whole podcasting thing. If I’ve got time to spare I turn straight to an audiobook and even less often, just listen to music. But I’ve been directed enough to a school library podcast and surprise, surprise, actually really enjoyed it. Now, I find time to squeeze in a listening session every now and again. As I’m still growing in this area, I’d love to know what video channels or podcasts are your favourites? To whom do you turn when you need inspiration? And when and how do you tune it?

Recently, I’ve been doing a bit of vinyl cutting while making some new dividers for our school library (you can see them here), which gave me a bit of time at work where my hands were busy but my brain not so much. So, I grabbed the library iPad and tuned in to School Librarians United. If a student or teacher approaches, I’m quick to whip out my earphones, but it’s been a great (and time effective) way of getting in some professional learning while working at the same time.

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Professional Learning Series: Webinars for School Library Staff

Webinars for School Library Staff – Part 5 in the Professional Learning series

Part 5 in my Professional Learning Series is all about webinars. COVID-19 may have pushed us even further into connecting and learning online, but webinars have always been a great way to up-skill and learn from others in the profession.

Here are my top favourite places to find great quality webinars on a variety of topics, but all useful for application in a school library.

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Professional Learning Series: Blogs and Websites for School Library Staff

Blogs and Websites for School Library Staff – Part 4 in the Professional Learning series

Are you ready for Part 4 in my Professional Learning Series? This time I am focusing on blogs and websites that are part of my professional learning. Honestly, this could be a sub-series of many, many posts. There are so, so many blogs and websites that provide inspiration and professional learning. So, this is not a comprehensive list by any means. Instead of creating a massive list, that honestly would feel more overwhelming than helpful, I thought I would limit myself to just my top ten favourite websites and blogs, the sites I consistently turn to and return.

I personally find it time consuming to check in on websites. While you can get blog feeds or newsletters delivered to your inbox or check out the latest posts via blog subscriber readers, it’s not a practice I use. I should. Every time I check in with my favourite sites I see something that grabs my attention. Does that work for anyone else? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Instead, blogs and particular websites for professional learning and development are resources I draw upon as the need arises, rather than just routinely checking. For example, if I need something for a display or if I need guidance on policy or copyright, if I need something for the makerspace or integrating STEM into my lessons, I have my usual sites to which I turn. So, that’s what I am going to share with you.

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Professional Learning Series: Publications for School Library Staff

Publications for School Library Staff – Part 3 in the Professional Learning series

Welcome to Part 3 in my Professional Learning Series, where I’m talking about the regular sources of inspiration I turn to for professional development. You can find the rest of the series here. 

Professional reading can be really helpful when you are looking for new ideas or maybe just reading up on the next big thing in school libraries. Maybe you are researching for a project – is it time to jump on the makerspace bandwagon, or are you up-skilling on your marketing and branding plans?

There are lots of different sources for finding professional reading. Maybe you like just turning to Google Scholar, or maybe you like a more targeted approach. From regularly released journals and newsletters, to databases, these are my favourite sources for school library related publications.


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Professional Learning Series: Networks for School Library Staff

Networks for School Library Staff – Part 2 in the Professional Learning Series

Welcome to Part 2 in my Professional Learning Series, where I will talk about the regular sources of inspiration I turn to for professional development. You can find the rest of the series here. 

Networking is an important part of professional learning (and let’s face it, often de-stressing) for any professional. However, many school library staff work in isolation. They might be the only school library team staff member, or perhaps if they are lucky to work in a team, the only teacher librarian or library technician at the school. Whether working in a large team or by yourself, it is important to connect with others. Not only for inspiration and ideas gathering but for those casual chats, those moments of shared understanding that only another library staff member would understand (like, yes of course you found that item being used as a bookmark, or of course you are run off your feet as the library is the busiest place in the school!).

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Professional Learning Series: Twitter for School Library Staff

Twitter for School Library Staff – Part 1 in the Professional Learning series

Welcome to Part 1 in my Professional Learning Series, where I will talk about the regular sources of inspiration I turn to for professional development. You can find the rest of the series here. 

I love Twitter. Well, actually, sometimes I don’t love Twitter all that much, but most of the time I love using Twitter to connect with like-minded professionals, librarians, teachers, creators, authors, publishers, and bloggers. If they are inspiring or useful to my PLN, I follow them (I might also follow a few #DogsOfTwitter for cute relief).

I started using Twitter while completing my studies in librarianship. It was a requisite of the course to sign up to and use Twitter. I was reluctant. I’ve never been a big social media user. But slowly, over the years, I have come to rely on Twitter to connect me with librarians around the world, point me to great learning opportunities, give me the heads up on new book release,s provide opportunities for engaging in chats, promoting my own learning and reviews, and provide me with a few cute golden retriever videos.


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Professional Learning and Development Series

Professional Learning and Development Series for School Library Staff

I love learning. I love professional development (confession: I might also be slightly addicted to professional development). I love learning new things. Challenge me, throw me something new to puzzle over or research and I am happy. I love attending conferences, watching webinars, collaborating in Twitter chats, listening to podcasts, searching Pinterest, reading articles and more. If it is new, inspiring, or helpful, I want to know all about it.

I believe, whether you are a head of library, teacher librarian, library technician, library aide or other, you should be learning and up-skilling constantly. There is always something we can learn, something new we can try. I find that learning is what keeps me excited about working in a school library. But sometimes it can be hard to find professional development or learning opportunities specifically for school librarians. It’s also hard to find the time. We in school libraries are so busy, when do we actually have the time to sit and read or watch? I’m going to share my top favourite resources for finding professional development for school library staff and share some tips on how I fit them all into my schedule.

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Ramblings: ACCESS Articles

ACCESS Articles – June 2020

I have been extremely fortunate to be able to contribute two articles to the ASLA ACCESS June edition 2020.

Both articles wouldn’t be possible without the contribution from all the wonderful library teams around Australia who shared their experiences in their roles and during COVID-19.

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Ramblings: I’m Speaking At NES 2020

I’m Speaking at the National Education Summit Brisbane 2020

I’m so excited to announce that I will be one of the speakers at the 2020 Brisbane National Education Summit Capacity Building School Library Conference. I was fortunate to attend last year – you can read my summary of the event here – and now I am thrilled to have the opportunity to present in 2020.

The conference runs across two days – Friday 15th May and Saturday 16th May, 2020 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. If Melbourne is more your area, there is a Melbourne-based conference that runs in August 2020. This year, the Brisbane conference is bigger than ever with 7 conferences and symposiums run across the two days, focusing on leadership, wellbeing, additional needs and, of course, libraries. As well as the conferences there is also a free expo and free seminars.

In 2020 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 Dr Ann Gillespie, Doctoral Research Fellow at QLD Institute of Technology. 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.

I’ll be speaking on the Friday with my Head of Library, about genrefication and the steps we have taken to increase student engagement with reading. I’m really looking forward to presenting and to listening to all the other presenters – it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business and take home lots of practical tips and ideas.


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

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