Will it be Dewey next?


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I’m really just thinking about the possibility of ‘ditching Dewey’ as another project.

Our non-fiction books are sadly under-used, and I’m trying to think of ways to boost their use. I know that there’s more to this than just making them easier to find – there are implications for teaching, and for a collaborative role for me with the classroom teacher to reinforce the idea that they are worthy sources.

Here’s a link to a page of resources on the topic – for reading later on.

ALIA Schools National Online Forum – Commences Wed 29 April 2015

This is very timely as I commence the AITSL Teacher Librarian Challenge. There has been much online ‘chatter’ this week about disparaging remarks made by presenters at PL sessions regarding school libraries. This is something which needs to be nipped in the bud and some reflection and evaluation of ways of improvement is just the launchpad I need. Looking forward to doing these positive professional activities.

ALIA Schools


The first national professional development activity for the year will be an online forum to be held from Wednesday 29 April until Wednesday 6 May. The topic is: Unpacking the School Library Resource Centre guidelines for self reflection and evaluation.

At the recent ALIA Schools half day seminar in Melbourne, participants were witnesses to the launch of the School Library Resource Centre guidelines for self reflection and evaluation. This document, jointly produced by ALIA Schools and the Victorian Catholic Teacher Librarians, was prepared to assist schools with reviewing their school library. The document is available at https://www.alia.org.au/sites/default/files/ALIA%20Schools%20SLRC%20Guidelines%20final%20version.PDF

Over the course of the eight days of the online forum, we will explore the reasons why the school library should be reviewed, unpack each section of the document and identify how you can plan and implement a full or partial review of your school library.

To join the online forum you…

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Things that keep me awake at night (about genrefication)…..


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As the project continues there are several things that are becoming very clear.

1. The management of the project means that I can gain a clearer picture of my collection – its strengths and weaknesses. For example, we have HEAPS of Supernatural, Adventure and Realistic fiction. Conversely, our collections of Sports Fiction and Humorous Fiction are extremely small, and the covers are battered and worn. They are not a very attractive ‘bunch of books’.

– From this, I am deducing that

a) we need to build those collections because the state of the books we do have already indicates excessive usage, and

b) those collections need to be revamped with modern, clean, appealing books.

2. Weeding so that our collection is “lean and mean” is a must. The process of re-classifying resources in the catalogue is arduous so why bother with books that should have been weeded in the first place? Weed ahead of yourself. It makes re-shelving the genrefied items much easier too.

At our College, plans are afoot for a second-hand book sale in August, so we will save our weeded books for that. Anything remaining will be sorted, culled again, and the really ‘good’ stuff boxed up for our contact who supports communities overseas.

3. Lastly, these things don’t keep me awake at night really, but like any project, it does become a focus and the need to complete is compelling. The plan is to attempt to have our four big bays of fiction completed into their genres by the end of the year – four terms, four bays – at least one bay a term to be completed.

Genrefication – a Knowledge Quest booklet


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I am so excited about this find. The American Association of School Librarians publish a magazine called Knowledge Quest – here’s a list of their titles past and present. After one year, they are accessible to anyone, not just Association members. What a find? What a cornucopia of knowledge and experience to tap into.

And one of them is entirely devoted to the issue of genrefication. Here it is. – “Dewey or Don’t We”.


Although I don’t need any further justification to prove that what I am doing with this project fits my school and its objectives, it’s always good to know the thought processes which others have developed as they make decisions.

And what an amazing variety of topical issues are included in the list of publications of Knowledge Quest? Hours of reading for the future.

Again, here’s a link to a blog post on Mad About Media with some interesting data about post-genrefication reading habits, user satisfaction, and so on. SO convinced it’s the right thing to do.

Genrefication project taking shape.

It’s now Week 5 of the term, and things are taking shape.

genrefication shelf flip

We have determined our genres and the colours associated with each genre (it’s all about the colours!!).

It’s going to be a slow process – we are understaffed and I predict that this will take all year, or more than that. However, with the help of a few extra people who read my email to staff (I emailed all staff to tell them what I was doing and I got some very encouraging and supportive responses back), who came down in a free period or two and offered to get involved, things are taking shape. Here’s the step list I have devised so that those involved know the drill.


And I make sure that I select the genre for each item. Along the way I am weeding, so I feel that it’s a productive, if slow, process.

Note: all staff comments have been positive, except for one, and I’m ignoring that one.

Genrefication logistics


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I’m really worried about the logistics of this project. I’m worried about how we are going to get this done, given the sheer ‘busyness’ of a Library for a school with 1000+ students.

Luckily, we now have Nikki helping us one day a week, and so I’m hoping that we will manage alot better than if it were just the two of us. It will be slow, but I think if we are methodical, it will be OK.

I’ve organised some ‘tags’ in the genre colours so that they can easily go inside items which are waiting to be processed.

I have the labels.

And I’m about to create a method step-list.

And then I think we just need to get in and start.

I’ll keep you posted about how it goes.

And the brevity of this post is an indication of how short of time I actually am.

Onward and upward…..


Whoa – Instagram!


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igI think I am a bit of a social media tragic. I have personal and work-related FaceBook accounts. I have a Twitter account which I use (mainly) for Professional Development. I have a personal Instagram Account.

And then I got all organised last school holidays and started some accounts for our family oyster industry business – Port Pearler Oysters. Again, Instagram, FaceBook and Twitter accounts. It can be exhausting posting on different accounts for different entities in a timely, professional and useful manner. By searching other oyster industry Instagram accounts I was able to gather ideas for marketing our product and put that to good use. I do love social media – I do believe that the quality of followers and friends can mean the difference between a positive or a negative experience – I have seen others come undone by a negative social media ‘thing’.

A few months ago I got a bit keen about the possibility of opening a Library Instagram account. I read some articles about Libraries and Instagram.

Library instruction with Instagram

Using Instagram for your Library

My friend Tracie Hartley tweeted me this amazing page of links.

#letmelibrarianthatforyou is an interesting # to follow. NYPL (New York Public Library) has commenced posting IG pictures using reference questions recorded from years past, and IG’ing them… a great talking point.



I know that it will involve yet more time and work, but I do think that it will engage our clientele in a good way. And along the way I can work on students with the concept of establishment of good digital footprints.

Watch this space for progress.

Some amazing links to help me with my genrefication project


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Can I first of all say, Twitter is just the most amazing Professional development tool.

Within a few minutes of posting a plea for advice from my Twitterverse, I received help.

So here’s a list of the sites I have visited in my research into making this project work.

Genrefication of your school’s fiction collection

Genre headings 

Taking the guesswork out of genre

Loving the collaborative nature of this project!collaborate

Genrefication at St Joseph’s Regional College Library




Yesterday, I had a discussion with Brigitte, our Leader of Learning (English).

Actually, this whole thing started a few weeks ago, when I presented to her some concerns I had about the way the Wide Reading Program conducted via English classes in Years 8-10 was progressing. I had concerns about disengaged readers, non-readers, behavioural issues, and so on.

Brigitte took my concerns to a Faculty meeting, and there was spirited discussion about some of the issues raised. At least I knew then that the issues were significant and worthy of comment.

Faculty members were interested in, amongst others, the possibility of arousing interest in reluctant readers and leading them to books that may be of special interest to them.

And so the topic of ‘genrefication’ arose.

We think that re-organising our collection into a ‘bookshop’ type arrangement could add to student engagement. And I have now committed to do this, beginning in 2015. I know it will be a huge task, but I do believe the outcome will be worth it.



Now to determine the genres that I want to focus on. I will use historical data about the most-requested types of books that students ask for when searching, sometimes, desperately, for a book to ‘hook’ them in.



What is sjrcexchange?


Welcome to St Joseph’s Regional College Library blog – sjrcexchange. Why this title? It’s an exchange of ideas as I work through procedural changes in our Library. I’ve got some ideas that I’m working on, such as Genrefication, Student Book Club, Speed Book Dating, to mention a few. All of them are new to me.

Feel free to submit ideas and discuss and comment on existing posts. Remember, your comments will be moderated by me first – they won’t automatically appear on the blog.

I am looking forward to lots of ideas being shared on this blog…