Moving on #blogjune 21

I’ve been dreaming of leaving this job since about 3 days after I started. I try not to think of anything as a “mistake” (because everything’s a learning experience, right?) but that’s certainly what it felt like here for about…oh, the first 12 months.

Preschool storytime 2016
Action Shot

Yet now, as I sift through work files and school event photos on my laptop and start to Trash and Burn, I have a sudden rush of … feelings.

This is the second-longest job I’ve held. Not necessarily because I have a short attention span – sometimes I’ve moved on in a hurry, but general Life events have also played their part (study, travel, child rearing). My last job before this I stayed 3 years, and it was the first time I left a position because it was the right thing to do, rather than to escape a tyrannical boss or poor working conditions. I was wholly unprepared for how leaving would feel. In the past I had left under cover of darkness, or in such rage against the machine that there was no room for feelings of sadness.

Primary library lesson
Listening intently, which students always do, whenever I speak lolololololololol

Here is a little of the latter, but it has been a long period of my life. And there have been some great moments, and some fantastic people – coworkers, students, random old ayis in the street. It’s also my last school-based teaching job (although, never say never as my teaching college buddy always said). At least by choice. And possibly my last librarian job for a little while. In a few days I will officially be unemployed.

So it’s all a bit emotional. And it will be a bittersweet farewell to China and all who sail in her.

Not the most inspirational 21st century library environment, but I’ve stared at it every day since August 2014. Incidentally, what is it with me and getting jobs in ugly libraries? (Ayi joining the shot…)

Final week #blogjune 20

Last week at school. Racing to get my bi-annual report done before Friday, book my tickets for our 2 week train jaunt around China, pack our bags, prepare gifts, clean the house, finish updating the Library policy, clear my desk…

And I get this page:

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 12.02.51 pm.png

What do you think the Chinese Government have against infographics? Every single site seems to be blocked. I’m even trying with the VPN on (which we are not supposed to use at school) and it still won’t load. *cry cry cry*

At least I have an outline for my bi-annual report – I’m borrowing the headings from my Library Policy, which I think is a stroke of genius but is more likely biting off more than I can chew (a particular skill of mine):

Library Mission, Aims, Goals etc

  • community profile

Library Services

  • Teaching and learning (or curriculum)
    • Overview
    • Library orientation
    • Collaborative teaching
    • Development of resources
    • professional development/training
  • Reader Services
    • Book Week
    • Panda Book Awards
    • Displays
    • Book talks, discussions, book groups
    • Reading lists
    • Classroom support e.g. guided reading
  • Tech support
    • ICT lab
    • laptop / ipad loans
    • Library website
    • Recommended sites and tools
    • Training
  • Use of library space
    • Bookings

Collection development

  • Collection snapshot
    • new books
    • new collections (home language, graphic novel)
    • new digital resources


  • circ stats e.g. top 10 primary, top 10 secondary
  • top borrowing homerooms


  • Snapshot
  • Professional development and training attended

Evaluation and Goals – moving forward

  • Library services
  • Collection
  • Circulation
  • Staffing

Can I finish for this for Friday?? If not, I will blame the internet 🙂


Coding keeps haunting my brain. I was born just a little too late to have caught it the first time around – although I do remember having to enter simple code to get Nightmare on Elm Street or California Games booted up on our friend’s old computer. As I raise my daughter, it is suddenly everywhere – girls need to code: Code like a girlRails Girls,

Kids need to code, everybody needs to code: Hour of code

Including librarians, who are trying to set up new library management systems, or embed their OPAC into websites or blogs.

So I’ve signed up to a MOOC through Coursera: Computer Science 101, which I see other librarians have discovered before me. So far this morning I have discovered the Professor’s voice sounds a bit like Miranda Sings (well worth falling down the rabbit hole for – hilarious), but I have also CODED!

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 10.28.00 am


International library jobs

Speaking of recruitment season… Reblogged from Traveling Librarian (it won’t let me reblog properly)

Hiring Fair: ISS

9/10/15 –  International School Services (ISS) is one of the large recruiting agencies for international educators including librarians.  They offer a range of hiring fairs as well as online fairs: Link to the in-person fair dates Link to the online fair dates

International School Services, International Librarian recruitment, International Jobs, International school, ISS, International Libraries, International School Libraries, International School Librarians, International Librarianship


Too many Americans at our school this year. I’m starting to pronounce things with a twang. My daily blog posting is out of this world. Perhaps monthly would be a better aim?

dole queue

Apparently it’s recruiting season for international schools. A few of the other staff are in a flurry of CV writing and awkwardly asking SMT for references. I’m not sure what I’m doing. I’ve never had to worry about it before. My jobs have always come along when I needed them. I think qualified and experienced Teacher Librarians are a rarity.

Other teachers have registered with Search Associates and ISS and are heading off to job fairs. Kinda wish there was such a thing as an international librarian job fair. Not just school libraries, but all libraries. Imagine!
This time last year I was yearning to be back in public libraries. Now, I’m no longer 100%. I still miss them and miss loving going to work each day (wondrous feeling), but I’m also curious about what library life might be like if I actually worked at a decent school – one with a state of the art library, well resourced, a workable budget, technology in the library – and maybe even another librarian on campus.

Part of me is also curious to see where I could end up.

#blogjune 2 : Flat Stanley

Trying #blogjune with photos to see if that s low maintenance enough! Here is our current library display. – The Flat Stanley Project. Have worked with Years 1 – 4 this semester to make Flat Stanleys and send them around the world. We’ve sent to Ireland, USA, Scotland, New Zealand, Taiwan…

Our Flat Stanley display in the Library

We used this site to find partners for sharing our Stanleys: Flat Stanley but there is an official site by the author. 
Flat Stanley Project – official
I like the first one as the interactive map is great for teaching geography skills. We also learned email, using atlases and Britannica Online to research destinations, and how to create good questions.
The most exciting part was when a Stanley arrived at school!

To encyclopaedia, or not encyclopaedia?

In other matters: I want to buy an encyclopedia set before Christmas.  I did post this to the Oztl discussion list a while back and received a mixed response, including the following gem:

ningbo worldbook

Our library has been challenged as to whether any encyclopedia is necessary, as we have access to wikipedia. This from someone at the head of educational policy here!!!!! TL – NSW

Gar.  I have had a few challenges to the idea, the first from the Principal who wanted to know why we needed one when we had internet access.  Another teacher thought it would be unecessary expense.  Interestingly this teacher was from lower primary.  Other teachers – especially those in the senior classes, are really keen for any reference material in the library.

This is one of my main reasons for pursuing this.  We currently have so little in Non-Fiction/Reference that no matter how many books I purchase I will still just be scratching the surface.  With changes in teachers we also face changes in topics.  An encyclopedia is the best way I can think to cover everything and do it quickly.  From that base we can continue to build up other resources.

I’m also keen (when computers do make their way into the library) to provide access to an online encyclopedia – another version, so kids can see the differences in coverage and viewpoint.

I am also keen to demonstrate to kids that the computer is not the font of all wisdom.  I anticipate these encyclopedias being pretty popular.  It will be interesting to see how long it is before they start wandering upstairs…

I’m leaning towards World Book as that is what my last school were using.  I seem to recall their 2009 copy costing thousands but I’ve found a 2009 set on Amazon for about $900.  I think we have a copy of Encarta floating around somewhere so maybe that will be our online version…