Gandalf reading a book. "A Wizard is never late, nor is he early. He returns his books precisely when he's meant to"

Making Posters - Productive Procrastination

Some of the most commented-upon posters on my library walls are these classics from the wonderful PaperZip website (click the images for links to high quality downloads): I've also got a few nice comments about this Spock poster I made myself: A student said to me the other week, "You just need a Star Wars […]

Book Review: Skulduggery Pleasant - Resurrection by Derek Landy

Thanks to the Reading Zone and HarperCollins for the review copy. A secret order of dissident sorcerers is attempting to resurrect an ancient being to launch a war against the mortals. Skulduggery Pleasant, skeleton detective and sorcerer, is going to need all the help he can get to stop them. Luckily for him, his protégé Valkyrie Cain […]

Book Review: Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton

I have recently started a book club at work for students in years 9 and 10 (13-15). Thanks to a generous donation from Reading Hack, out club's first read was Rebel of the Sands - the first in a planned trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton (book 2 coincidentally came out on the day of our group meeting). Here's […]

To school librarians, public libraries, librarian knights, custodians of our culture, you taught me well. I'll never forget you.

Chris Riddell and the Campaign for School Libraries

Libraries are having a hard time of it at the moment. The plight of public libraries is well documented, and it breaks my heart. As much as they may want to, however, the government cannot just close public libraries willy nilly. Thanks to the Public Libraries and Museums act of 1964, Public Libraries are protected […]

EPQ Update

Just a short one today to post an update on the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) course I blogged about in February. Quick recap: the EPQ is a mini-dissertation research project, usually offered to A-Level students to help prepare them for University. For the first time last year, our school offered it to a handful of […]

A Newbie's Reflections on School Library Inductions

This time last year, I had to teach 300 children (ten classes of around thirty) how to use a library. I’d never done it before. I had only a vague idea of what I needed to do, and no idea about what the best way to go about it was. Fortunately, I didn’t have to […]

World Book Day Fest 2016

Surviving Your First World Book Day as a School Librarian

Today is World Book Day. We'd been planning and organising events at school for months, and today they all happened! These are some things we did: Whole school Drop Everything And Read: everyone stops what they are doing and reads for 20 minutes. We normally do this every week, but not the whole school and […]

Young woman swamped by research

Celebrating Success

I thought I'd follow up the recent "learning from failures" post with one celebrating a recent success. I am a librarian at a secondary school with pupils between the ages of 11-16. This means that my role involves much less information literacy responsibility than it would for a school that included A-level students (16-18). And […]

Learning from failures

My school took part in Bookbuzz - a programme run by the Book Trust whereby students get to choose a title from a specially selected range of books, and the school buys it for the kids to keep. This was great - the kids were rearly enthused and excited by the process, and it was […]

Quick and Easy Design

Last week - at short notice - I was told that I needed to put together some reading lists to hand out to parents and students when they came in to school on Student Review Day (SRD) to encourage them to visit the school library. I added this job to my never-ending, ever-expanding list of […]