Miriam Tuohy

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Homepage: https://extracurly.wordpress.com

What I did in the holidays

My summer break for 2012/2013 has come to an end, and it will be back to work as usual from Monday. I’ve had a lovely break away from school, spending time with family and friends, reading, getting things done around the house. For me, the school holidays over the last few years have also included doing a bunch of stuff for SLANZA, and this break is no different.

Soon we will be launching the next iteration of the SLANZA wiki – a new website that will stand alongside the recently redeveloped main site, so that’s been one of my holiday projects. Here’s a sneak preview of how it’s looking so far (click to embiggen):

SLANZA reading site

The other project that’s taking shape is a new Professional Development programme for SLANZA members, urged on by our survey last year that showed 80% of respondents want PD around the use of online tools in school libraries. It’s a big project, and one that the SLANZA PD team are keen to deliver ASAP. As part of the programme design, we’ve been investigating the use of OpenBadges as a method of recognising and displaying the skills that  participants will learn as they progress through the course. Here’s a diagram I’ve made (using Triptico’s ‘hexagonal thinking’ tool Think Link) to show my thoughts about how this PD might connect with ‘what school librarians do’.

What school librarians do

I’d love to get your feedback on this, so please leave a comment with any thoughts or suggestions that you think could be incorporated. I tend to get a bit tunnel-vision-y at times, so if there are glaringly obvious omissions please help me fill them in!



It’s the list-iest time of the year

And I don’t mean who’s been naughty or nice, though anyone who works in a school library surely has a mental list of those…

But I digress. It’s that time of year when various book-related peeps put together lists of the best books of the year that’s nearly over.

Open in my browser tabs lately are these “Best of 2012” beauties. Why don’t you start making your own “to-read” list for the summer now! Or make notes of titles to buy for your school library in 2013.

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Blast from the past – Title Page and Verso

The last installment in a series of “librarian advice” notes from the 1970s.

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Readers advisory, with bonus EBP ideas

The other day I came across this blog written by two Australian librarians, about their QPLA scholarship-funded research into Readers Advisory: “Embedding readers advisory in professional practice as a key collaborative strategy in Queensland public libraries”.

ImageThe blog has loads of links to all sorts of useful RA sites, and also a survey the researchers have opened up for Australian and NZ librarians, particularly public librarians. As I looked through the survey, it seemed to me that along with containing loads of excellent ideas for services and programmes your school library might offer, it also had some good ideas for collecting and sharing various data about the impact of what you do.

Do take a few minutes to help the researchers with their survey, and have a think about the possibilities it suggests. These are a few of the ideas that particularly struck me, I’m sure you’ll find more to get you thinking.

A few ideas for actions/tasks:

  • Living room or genre layout for non-fiction 
  • Readers Advisory posts on social media
  • Recommended Reads or genre booklet 
  • Shelf-talkers (book reviews on display) 
  • Staff picks displays (staff recommendations). 
  • Staff recommended packs (bundle of 2 or more books for fast issue) 

EBP ideas:

  • Anecdotal evidence of community connections with reading
  • Collection issues of specific collections (e.g. Hot Reads, Fastbacks, new books)
  • Collection performance (borrowing rate of each resource)
  • Number of reading related interactions on Facebook or other social media
  • Number of reservations placed
  • Number of reviews added online to the library catalogue

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Another blast from the past – technical terms

Today I bring you another glimpse at school library life circa 1980. Brush up on your “Technical Terms”, people!

Notes for the teacher in charge

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Is there *nothing* those Green brothers can’t do?

Not sure how I didn’t already know about this. If you’re a fan of John Green’s books, the Vlogbrothers, or Nerdfighters, and/or you have anything to do with students of history or biology, please add this to your list of awesome videos to watch:

Crash Course

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Maintaining staff morale

While we were having a tidy-up in my library this week, we found a folder of information prepared in the very early 1980s by the then librarian for the incoming Teacher with Library Responsibility. Inside it were some absolute gems, the first of which I present here today for your edification and amusement: