Final Vision Project Blog Post #3

My future vision

Welcome back to my final post for my Future Vision Project. Below I have incorporated my artifact for this project, which is an infographic I created using Piktochart. I also filmed a video explaining my resource in greater detail, which you can also find below.

CC from my video:

“Hi everyone, Janelle the Island TL back again. This is my final future vision blog/vlog post. I have finished my artifact and printed it out. Ideally it will be bigger when I post it in my library, but this is what I have for now. I will attach it in my blog so you can see it in a bigger version. Here is what I have done, I am quite proud of it. Basically it is all about fostering a love of reading, I have broken it down in five easy tips and steps to follow, in order to create a comfortable and safe environment in your library or your classroom. I will talk a little bit about this, and then I will go into some feedback I received from my staff and fellow educators.

Step One: To Make Reading Comfortable

This is something that is so important. You want to have your pillows, your blankets, your plants. Everything you may need to make it feel like a safe home space. Another thing I included was giving choice for flexible seating. Sometimes kids don’t want to stay in their chair while they’re reading. Even if that doesn’t mean they’re going to the cozy corner, it could mean they are going under their desk, or under a table. It creates a safe cocoon space for them. Some people even have tents in their classroom for reading. A cool, neat, safe, and comfortable reading environment.

Step Two: Strewing

I had a lot of questions about this in my feedback, about what is “Strewing”. Strewing means to leave books along students’ path. The resource that I took this from was a video by Oglesby Ohana youtube channel. She used the word strewing, and I thought that was an interesting word and I really wanted to include it. This basically means to leave books along someone’s path, or to leave things scattered around, so that it motivates the kids to walk passed something, and pick up a book and read it. For example, at home a parents could have not just one bookshelf, but rather different areas in their house that have books. This would motivate their kids at home to read. In my library, or in a classroom this could be, not just having one bookshelf, but having various areas in the classroom so that the kids are easily able to pick something up and read it. In the library, that could look like having new books up on top of the shelf, or in a bin, or somewhere other than just being tucked away on a shelf. It’s for easy access, it gives students the motivation to pick up a book and read it. Kind of like a subtle influence of motivating your students to read.

Step Three: Reading Aloud

This is so important. When I was in the classroom setting, I loved reading aloud to my kids during lunch. It was always my favourite part of the day, and I knew that they felt so calm during that time. They would come in from recess feeling busy, get to sit down to eat their lunch, and listen to me read to them. Now as a Teacher-Librarian, I always make sure to take the time to read to my students (from kindergarten to grade 7). I always have various novels and picture books on the go, at all times. We always take time to brainstorm and remind ourselves what happened the week before. It builds a community in the classroom, as you are all reading the same book, and you’re learning at the same time. Reading aloud is important, because during silent reading we don’t always know if the students are concentrating on their books, and we also don’t know if they are always understanding what they are reading. Reading aloud, and reading with them can really help with this.

Step Four: Give Choice

Let them read what they want to read. It gives them a voice in what they are reading, as well as it encourages them to read for enjoyment, rather than just for academic reasons. If you are allowing them to read what they want to read, they are going to find books they find enjoyment in, thus starting to foster that love of reading.

Step Five: Let Books Be The Answer

This is a really big one, as we often go directly to our phones or the computer when we don’t know an answer. This is fine too, as we don’t know everything, but if you have a book on hand, use that resource to find the answer. It also gives your students to the ability and knowledge to go to a book when they are searching for an answer. To find information and do research out of a book might feel old school, but it is such an important skill to have.

These were the five tips I have put together to foster a love of reading, I am sure there are a lot more, but I liked the idea of keeping it clear and concise. It makes it simple to look at and refer to.

I sent my artifact to my coworkers and educators at different schools to get some feedback on it. The feedback was very positive feedback. (I have posted some of the feedback below). It was really encouraging to hear that this resource I have created could also be helpful for others.

I would love to keep creating these resources. I used Piktochart to create this one, and it was very simple to use. The layout was really straightforward, but still gave me freedom to add my own creativity and my own information. Piktochart could be a helpful resource to use in a classroom, rather than just using powerpoint or poster boards. A simple way to create an aesthetically pleasing resource.

My hope is to continue to share my resource. I have already shared it with my staff, and my next step will be to share it with the other Teacher-Librarians in my district. I am passionate about it, and I know that others are as well. Many are already using these tips in their everyday practice, so having this resource up in their classroom or library will be useful to refer too regularly.

Thanks so much for joining along on my journey!”

Feedback from coworkers and fellow educators:

“This resource is so clear and straight forward, providing simple ways to promote and foster a love of reading in my students, I would definitely utilize it in my class room” -D.F (grade 1/2 teacher)

“With reading being such a foundational skill, these tips to help every child succeed and explore books are so useful and presented in an exciting way!” -M.T (grade 5 teacher)

“This resource is clear and concise. I already use many of these strategies in my classroom already and will absolutely use this resource.” -J.U (grade 2 teacher)

“I love the layout, colours and the images that you have chosen. It is great that you have an image from your library. Looks professional.” -K.M (grade 4/5 teacher)

“Love it! I recognize those bookshelves! Well done, looks like it was a lot of work!” -J.K (Teacher-Librarian)

Janelle, The Island TL


Piktochart Video. “How To Create a Piktochart Infographic Easily.” Youtube, 2014, 

THE OGLESBY OHANA. “Fostering a LOVE for READING in Your Children.” Youtube, 2020, 

Final Vision Project: Learner Consideration

I am really enjoying creating these videos for my final vision project. I am a verbal thinker, so being able to freely speak aloud about my ideas and my process has been a great brainstorming activity. I find myself filming the same video three or four times before my words start to make sense, and my idea comes to light. I really appreciated the positive feedback on my last post. I have created another video, but this time with a clearer focus, and the idea of who this artifact I am creating is for.

CC for my video:

“Hi everyone, I’m back! Janelle the Island TL. Today I’m going to be talking about who I am creating my artifact for. My topic is “Fostering a Love of Reading”. This is a topic I am passionate about, want to pursue, continue to implement, to do research on, and continue to grow in this area. What I know so far is that I am going to be creating an infographic. It will be able to be used as a printable poster, or a PDF, or however else you see fit. I am picturing it as a printable poster that can be put up on a wall, so it can be used or referred to. It will be really clear, with clear titles and descriptions, as well as clear graphics. The person that this is for, or the people that this is geared towards is Teachers and Teacher-Librarians. Could even be for admin to pass along to their staff, or people who work in the education field. That’s who I have in mind while creating this. It’s not really meant for the purpose of handing it out to children, or to be sent out in an email to parents, it’s not for that. It’s for in the classroom setting and in the library, to help keep the focus on “How are we fostering a love of reading”, “ What steps are we taking”, “What are we doing well”, “What could we change”. I will be creating this infographic of what I know so far, what I hope to continue doing, and what I’m already implementing. Maybe there are some cool ideas in there that others haven’t thought of. Things that I am doing that others might think “That’s a really neat idea, and I haven’t thought of that”. That’s my hope. Not to do anything revolutionary, I’m sure, but just to spark some ideas. I am passionate about this and I hope to create something that other people may be passionate about as well. 

When I was in the classroom setting, I created a cozy corner in my classroom. I used things like pillows, a bench, and plants in my cozy corner. We made it a really sacred spot, it wasn’t a spot to sit at during lunch, or to hang out with friends. It was for reading, to give them a quiet spot, or to give them a spot to take a break. It was special, and a cool area for kids to read with a friend or read independently. My intention, as I have said, is to create something like that in my library. To create a really awesome space for kids to come and read (when I can open my library again). I will include some pictures of the benches that I have. I am dreaming of the day when I can use them to their full potential. Right now, sometimes I sit on them myself. I’m excited to be able to implement those in the future. This is what I have a vision and a passion for, so this will be part of my infographic. As well as other ways to foster a love of reading in the classroom or in the library. 

Another idea I have is to include reading aloud. Kids love when someone reads to them. It gives them a break, to relax, and have words put over them like a blanket. I remember as a kid being so excited for lunch time everyday to have my teacher read to me. To have that calming voice, of someone I know and trust, telling me a story. I still love being read to. I now get to be that person for kids, which I think is quite neat. I have other steps and ideas that I will be including into the infographic/poster/PDF. I will disperse this to my staff, as well as I hope to share it with the other Teacher-Librarians in my district. If they wish to share that with their teachers, they can do that. That is the purpose behind it. It’s not created for parents, the students, or the community, but it will be an open resource if someone wants to use it for that. My vision and idea behind creating it is more for people in the education world to create that space, that cozy home feel at school. As well as to make reading comfortable, a happy thing, and to foster a love of reading.”

I will be using Piktochart to create my infographic. I used it once before in my education degree, and I remember it being fairly straightforward and easy to use. I have done a bit of research of some helpful tips and tricks that will help me along the way as well. Here is a video I found that helps lay out the basics of Piktochart, to start me on the correct path. My goal is to make it clear and concise, as well as visually pleasing, so that it catches the eye.

Thanks for following along on this journey as I continue to learn and grow in new areas.

Janelle, The Island TL


“Create Infographics, Presentations & Reports.” Piktochart, 

The Island TL, Janelle. “Final Vision Project Learner Consideration.” Youtube, 2020, 

Piktochart Video. “How To Create a Piktochart Infographic Easily.” Youtube, 2014, 

Final Vision Blog Post #1

A vision for the future of my library.

As I was reading through the description for this assignment, I saw the words “Think out-loud” and “production” and my wheels started to turn. I decided that for this post, I would create a video of myself talking about my final vision. Here’s my verbal brainstorm.

CC from my video:

“Hi friends, my name is Janelle Ten Have, and I have self-titled myself “The Island TL” on my blog posts. That’s because I am a Teacher-Librarian, and I work on an island. I live on Vancouver Island and I commute to work on a ferry everyday to Gabriola Island. If you’ve never been, it’s beautiful and a little less touristy than the other Gulf Islands. I love it there, and I love taking a morning ferry ride to work. As I have said in some of my previous blog posts, it is my first year doing this, I am new to this, I don’t know what I am doing most of the time.

In the past few years, I have been in the classroom setting, striving towards being in a library. This year I finally got to do that. It is so peculiar being in this new position, during a pandemic, it’s insane. I’ve always had this vision of having kids come to my library, pick out their books, silent read, and do activities (as normal library would run). Instead, I have to bring bins of books to the classrooms, on a cart, checking out books. It is different than what it should be, but this is what we’re working with right now. I generally take the time to prepare a bin of minimum enough books for every kid in the class to have two or three books. If they have requested a specific book, I take the time to put that aside for them, so that they have the book that they want to read. What I have talked about a lot in my previous blog posts is fostering a love of reading. I honestly believe that kids aren’t going to be able to love reading, unless they are reading a book they want to read. If they’ve requested a specific book, I am going to take the time to give them the book they want to read. I think it’s really important for them to have choice in that, because as adults, we do have that choice. As an adult, I read because I love reading. I read to take time for myself. I don’t want to read a book that I don’t want to read. I choose the books that I want to read, that are relevant to me, so why is it any different for children. Unless of course, it is specifically requested by the classroom teacher. I believe the books from the library should be book that they enjoy reading. This is really why I take the time to hand pick these books for these kids. That being said, I only have 150 kids at my school so much less than most schools. It is a little bit less, but it is still a lot of work. I think that eventually being able to open up my library again will take a load off me, take a load off them. It will be amazing.

I really want to foster a love of reading in my library, I have always been passionate about this. When I was in the classroom setting, I had a cozy corner filled with pillows and plants, and basically made it feel like my home. I really wanted the kids to feel like they’re at home as well, that they have a say, and that they can feel comfortable. It is a cozy time and I wish that I could provide that again this year, but I can’t. I can’t bring pillows, blankets, or plants every time I step into a different classroom. My vision for the future, which this blog post is about, is fostering a love of reading in my library, but in the future. Right now, I can’t achieve what I want to achieve, but I am doing the best that I can.

Basically, my vision for the future is really for once the pandemic is over and once I can open my library again. I want to be able to fill it full of beautiful things and make it really cozy and comfortable for these children. When they come into my library, I want them to feel like it is a safe place. I also want to be able to host several different clubs. When I was a kid, I was one of the children that put the books away. Honestly, I thought everyone did that at some point in time. I remember in university, for teaching, I remember talking about it and some people didn’t even know the club existed, and they definitely were’t a part of it. It was at that time that I realized that I needed to switch gears. It was really cool to look back and realize that I have been passionate about doing this for so long. I really want to provide that for the kids at my school. I want to give them the option to stay in for recess because their best friend is away and they want to hang out with me instead, I am ready for that. I also want to host other clubs, like boardgames clubs, video game clubs, and book clubs, every day of the week. I want to be in my library with these kids, spending time with them. The thing is, you need to be in close quarters for those things, in small groups, and mixing cohorts. Those things can’t happen this year, maybe next year, or the year after.

That’s my vision for what I want my library to look like. I want it to not only be a place where kids can get books, read those books, and feel comfortable. I also want to have this safe place and for me to be a safe person in their life. That’s my heart behind it, that’s where I am at.”

As always, let me change my tone a bit. There is lots I can’t do this year, but there is still some things I can do. I read an article written by Lisa Dabbs, called Read With Me: 5 Tips to Foster a Love for Reading. She shares some great tips that I think I could alter a bit to make them work for this year.

1. Read aloud
I feel very lucky to still be able to visit the classrooms, do book exchange with the students, and read to them. I look forward to this time I get to spend with them, and I know they do too (from the little cheers I hear as I walk into each classroom). With the older grades, I read a different novel to each class. I feel as though this is starting to help us build relationships with one another, and it also gives them a break from reading themselves, as they can just sit back and listen to the words being read to them. In the younger grades, I find new and exciting books to read each week that reflect their classroom theme. This sparks some really wonderful conversations.

2. Visit the library

This is still a bit of a dream, but I can see opening up the library for short periods of time, when things settle a bit. Maybe this will look like just reading a book to one class or one cohort that week. Maybe it will be just for book exchange. Maybe I will be able to run very small clubs.

3. Develop a classroom library

If the students can’t come into my library, I can try to do the next best thing and give them a sense of a library in their classroom. Every week I touch base with the teachers at my school and ask what theme they are working through at that time. I curate a bin of books in that subject area and check it out under their name. This gives the students more choice. They then have their library books they can take out, as well as a selection of books in their own classroom.

4. Start a book club

Another dream of mine, but maybe not totally unachievable. I know that some of the counsellors and child and youth care workers at my school run the occasional friendship club at recess. I have hopes to address the idea of starting a small book club with some of the students that will run once a week.

5. Write stories

In preparation for the upcoming virtual book fair at my school, which is jungle theme, I had all the classes do activities and write stories around this theme. It was both fun and successful, and gave me the idea of continuing to write occasional stories with the classes. It seems to spike an interest in most students, and gave them the chance to be creative!

Janelle, The Island TL


TheIslandTL, J. (2020). Final Vision Post #1. Retrieved 2020, from

Dabbs, L. (2014, February 14). Read With Me: 5 Tips to Foster a Love for Reading. Retrieved November, 2020, from

Reflections on Phase 2

What are your key takeaways, learning and direction after all this exploration?

Phase two was a time of learning, researching, and personal growth. It gave me the opportunity to communicate freely where I am at now, and where I hope to be in the future. I think a consistent theme throughout my phase two blog posts has been “I am here, learning and growing, but if it weren’t for a pandemic, I would be at a different point in my journey”. While this is still true, I think I need to shift my focus a tad, and instead stay in the mindset of “What can I do and where can I go from here, despite the circumstances I am in”.

What are the new avenues for development in your personal and professional practice?

A goal I have is to continue on my journey to implement and incorporate more technology into my teaching practice. I know I still have a long way to go in this respect, as I have spent a lot of time being reluctant to change. I have always felt more comfortable and confident using things like pen and paper, and physical books. Technology can fail, but tangible things like paper have yet to do me wrong. I do know that technology can enhance my teaching, so this is an area I would like to continue to push myself in. I would like to start with incorporating e-readers into my practice, as I can see them helping to provide a wider range of books that I may not already have in my library.

What are you going to take with you, moving forward from your own explorations and also from the explorations of others in this class?

Yet another area of growth I see myself working through is to start the process of weeding in my library. It has been years since it has been weeded, so I know this will be a huge undertaking. I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the idea of it, as this is all new to me, but I know my library will become a condensed and more useless version of itself when that is done. I have gathered a few ideas from my classmates in this respect, and I think I will be give first priority to the teachers at my school to choose from the weeded books. After this, I will place a “Free Books” table outside of my library so that the students will have access to free books of their choosing. Lastly, before I discard of them completely, I will check to see if there are any relevant books remaining, and offer them up to my community.

If you could pick just one topic from Phase 2 that resonated with you, which is it and why?

The topic that resonated with me the most from phase two was fostering a love of reading. I hope to continue to foster a love of reading at my school. In my first inquiry blog post ( I mentioned a video titled Fostering a LOVE for READING in your Children by THE OGLESBY OHANA. In the video she carefully outlines some steps you can take to be able to foster a love of reading in children. These steps are very well applicable to the classroom, as well as my position as a TL.

Step one: STRUING: Make books accessible to children, leave them along their path so they can grab them when they want to read.

Step two: MAKE READING COMFORTABLE: Get pillows, blankets, couches, to make reading comfortable for them. Take them outside. Make the energy gentle and accepting. 

Step three: READ TO THEM AND READ WITH THEM: Reading becomes special when they foster relationships. Make the time to reading aloud with your students. Don’t be afraid to stop reading to explain things, to laugh, and make connection points.

Step four: LET THEM PICK OUT THE BOOKS: Let them read the books they want to read, because at least they’re reading (if it is appropriate). Let them know they have a voice in their reading.

Step five: LET BOOKS BE THE ANSWER: Instead of going straight to your phone, get them to look it up in the books they have on hand or a dictionary.


THE OGLESBY OHANA. “Fostering a LOVE for READING in Your Children.” Youtube, 2020, 


The Island TL

Developing World Libraries

Inquiry Blog Post #4

This is a topic that has been near to my heart for sometime. I started covering the idea of weeding in my last post, and how this is something I would like to tackle this year in my library. I have talked about how difficult of a concept it is for me to grasp that most often, the books that are being weeded just end up in the trash. Is there no better way to discard of these books? Could they be read by anyone else before their life comes to an end? I had the idea of maybe offering up my discarded books to the classroom teachers at my school to have, creating a “free” table outside of my library for students to come by and grab some if they would like, or even to the public. I work on a very small, community minded island, so it is possible that they may have a need for the books which are merely taking up space in my library. What about children in developing countries, would they want to read my outdated, well-loved but worn through books? Likely not. The thing is, if I deem them unnecessary or irrelevant for my library, are these books worth reading?

Ideally, all children and adults across the globe should have equal rights and access to books, but this is unfortunately not the case. There are a number of programs out there that have the ability to take used books, and give them to children in developing countries so that they have access to these materials. If this is the case, the books need to be not wildly outdated, they must not contain violence or war content, have no rips or tears books, as well as no books that have content that may be culturally confusing.

Can a Library be a Library if it does not contain any books?

An idea that has been approached in the past, is the idea that instead of giving the libraries in developing countries books that we no longer have a use for, we could give them e-readers or other mobile devices to them give them access to new and relevant material. This idea opens up a variety of options, in which these children would have access to new releases and more well-known and trusted reference materials. Another really neat aspect of using a mobile device, rather than a book, is that it provides the opportunity to access books in more than one language, which is such a blessing! There is a company called “Worldreader”, and their main goal is to get reading material in the hands of children in developing countries, and give them the opportunity to choose books they want to read so that they keep reading! They have an app that can be accessed on most mobile devices, as well as they have a program called “BLUE box” which gives schools and libraries everything they may need to have access to digital reading. I have posted a link to video containing more information about this organization.

In my own library, I see a need to include more mobile devices and e-readers. We have access to Chromebooks at our school, but we do not have hand held devices for student use. Things look different this school year than they usually do. One day, once I am able to open up the library again, I would love to have an e-reader station that can run during my library blocks. I also imagine maybe running a book club at lunch, where we each have access to an e-reader of the book we are reading. The ideas and possibilities would be endless. In our current situation, I incorporate digital devices by letting the intermediate students to have access to Chromebooks during our library block together. In this time, there are able to have access to Destiny Discover, where they are able to search for books we have in our library, and place them on hold. I receive a notification on my end and I am able to put that specific book aside for that student. It’s far from where I dreamt we would be this year, but it is working for the time being.


The Island TL


Worldreader. (2013). Worldreader Program: Gets Books Into the Most Remote Places. Retrieved from

Supporting Teachers’ ICT Curriculum and Pedagogy

On going professional development: Inquiry blog post #3

Professional Collection:

Most school libraries have a “Professional Collection” of resources, journals, articles, publications that can be signed out by staff members at the school. I actually did not know about this Professional Collection as a teacher, in the past schools I have worked at, and I am worried that some of the teachers at my school currently may also not be aware of the full capacity that our library holds, for themselves and their students. The first day I walked into my library, I took some time to take it all in, analyzed the way it was organized, and started to brainstorm ideas of what I may like to change.

One thing that I really appreciated about my current library is the placement of our Professional Collection. It covers one entire wall and is clearly labeled that it is for the staff, and not for student access (although no students are coming into my library at this point anyways).

One issue I see with our collection is that it is PACKED so full that it would be overwhelming for a staff member to come into the library and independently find what they are looking for. I have plans to weed this section in the coming weeks, to condense it down to the more recent and relevant materials. I will take before and after pictures and post them once I get around to accomplishing this task.


On the topic of weeding, I think it has been years since my library has been weeded. Putting books away can be a challenge because the shelves have reached their limit. The idea of weeding makes my environmental heart screech. I had a conversation with a more experienced TL the other day, and she said “when all the teachers are in their classrooms, I sneak outside with a cart full of weeded books and throw them in the dumpster”. THE DUMPSTER?? (my heart hurts thinking about it). She explained that the books that need to be weeded are not books kids should be reading, or in this case we are also talking about the professional section, so these books are no longer helpful or relevant to the teachers either. Many recycling companies will not take discarded books, as they are often a mix of paper and plastic. I am hoping to find a way around throwing them in the trash, but I have yet to figure that out. My first step is to dive in and start weeding. Once this is done, I will have a smaller, more condensed, professional section but it will be much easier to find relevant resources, rather than sifting through a mess before coming across something that will be helpful.

How can we evolve and adapt this practice to be more responsive to the personalized needs of the educators, staff, admin, parents, and other members of our educational community?

I personally like to see my role as Teacher-Librarian as the behind the scenes “helper-elf”. I am often given requests, and I do everything in my power to make it happen (sometimes through my very specific set of skills, other times just pure elf magic). If a teacher needs a bin of books put together on a certain subject, I can do that for them. If a student wants a specific book, I can put it aside for them until their book exchange day. Sometimes parents ask for books on a certain subject, and I can help them with that too. If someone comes to me with a question and I for some reason don’t have an answer for them, I spend time researching until I am able to help them.

I found this video called Teachers + Teacher Librarians = Better Learning by Students Need School Libraries to clearly lay out how Teachers and TLs can work together to create a better and more cohesive learning environment for the students.

What can I do differently, or new, this year that better support their inservice?

Unfortunately, most of my time this year so far has been taken up my in class books exchanges, and preparing the bins to bring to each class. This leaves very little time for collaboration or co-teaching with the inservice teachers. My hope is that next year will look so much different than this year, so I will be able to fulfill all the plans I have brewing in my mind. It is very peculiar to enter a new job, at a new school, during a pandemic, but we are making it work!

We as TL have so much to offer, but we are often overlooked. The article 12 Ways a School Librarian Can Help Teachers by Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog outlines well a variety of ways in which TL can support teachers. Below are just a few of the many things we are, and that we are able and qualified to do.

We are Experienced Teachers:

  • We teach the 5 essential literacies: reading, content-area literacy, information literacy, digital/technology literacy, and media literacy
  • We specialize in teaching student inquiry & research skills
  • We know how to foster & promote independent reading 

We are Instructional Partners:

  • We can help create cross-curricular projects with other subject area teachers
  • We can show you how to integrate and teach technology skills 

We are Informational Specialist

  • We can curate print & digital resources for your every need
  • We have a comprehensive understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use guidelines for using a variety of materials, and we can teach students, and advise teachers and administrators, on their proper use.

We are School Leaders:

  • We communicate with parents and the community about school activities and events
  • We make the School Library the “go-to” place for students, teachers, and administrators


The Island TL


2 Peas and a Dog. (2020, June 14). 12 Ways a School Librarian Can Help Teachers. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

Students Need School Libraries. (2020, October 15). Teachers + Teacher Librarians = Better Learning. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

Developing ICT Skills and Pedagogy

Blog post #2

This week’s blog post is all about exploring how I can continue to develop my own skills, pedagogy and professional development on my own, back in my own library and environment.

What strategies, tools, resources and networks can I implement to maintain my explorations and development?

I read Steve Pavlina’s 10 Ways to Improve Your Technical Skills. It was a bit humours at times, but here are some of my key takeaways.

1. Read technical books and online tutorials

Pavlina’s first tip to improve technical skills is by reading books. This seems like the obvious answer, especially to Teacher-Librarians, but sometimes we may not have the books we need on hand. Another option would be to take advantage of online tutorials, as they are “accessible, timely, and of course free” (Pavlina, Steve).

2. Take classes

Taking University level courses on this subject matter is a great start to improving ICT skills. “A key advantage of classroom learning is the opportunity to interact with an experienced educator. Teachers with decades of experience know plenty of educational distinctions you won’t find in books or online tutorials” (Pavlina, Steve). This is a great way to get some hands on and personal experience while improving and enhancing ICT skills. If taking a University level courses are not an option for some, they could seek out workshops for a similar experience.

3. Create your own web site

“When you have a compelling reason to learn, your goals will accelerate your learning, and you’ll learn with a focus on practical application” (Pavlina, Steve). This one really resonated with me. I found for so long that I was very unmotivated to do research on subjects that were not of interest to me while in high school and early university. I often told myself “just wait until you get into the education program, things will come easier then”. Which was partly true, but this did not come to light for me until recently, while doing my library courses. It is much more motivating to research ways to improve my library, and my own skills, now that I am actually in that role.

4. Embrace a variety of software

Getting to have an experience with several different types of software would help create a wider breadth of skills, that may be able to be transferred from one software to another. While creating my blog for this course, I had to play around with various blogging platforms until I found one that worked for what I needed it to. Did you know there are SO many different types of blogging platforms, all very similar, but they all have varying features that take a bit of a learning curve. I am still learning all that this platform has to offer.

5. Learn to program

“Programming is the art of instructing a computer to perform a task. The key to accomplishing this feat is learning to think like a computer. Programming is one of the most mentally challenging tasks a human being can perform, but nothing compares to the satisfaction of engineering a piece of code to solve a specific problem” (Pavlina, Steve). I am still not entirely how to accomplish this task. I want to be tech savvy, to be able to be helpful for my colleagues and students, but programming is something I have yet to dip my toe into. My experience began by creating a MARC Record for one of my courses (which was actually a blast), but I am not sure if that counts as programming. I have much to learn.

6. Marry a geek/Hang out with geeks

“Your final salvation on the road to geekdom is to — gasp — marry a geek. If you aren’t a geek yourself, then do what you can to recruit one into your family. If that’s too much to ask, at least find a geek you can befriend” (Pavlina, Steve). This one is a bit funny to me, but not entirely untrue. If you spend enough time with people who are fluent in tech, some of their knowledge will rub off on you. Many of my closest friends are self proclaimed “geeks”, and I use their skills as resources regularly.

What are some of the ways that educators and professionals are connecting and sharing their learning?

In my experience, the best way that educators can connect and share their learning is through social media. I am apart of many Facebook groups and pages that have been so helpful, as educators are able to share their learning in a safe space of likeminded people. Being part of so many groups has given me the opportunity to hear the experiences of many different people, both locally and internationally. Some of these groups and pages include:

French Immersion Teachers:

BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association:

La Classe Nature:

Partage au 1er cycle:

Primary French Immersion Teachers:

Bitmoji Craze for Educators:

What can I do during this class and after it is over to maintain my connections and networks, to further develop my knowledge, experience and skills?

I can continue learning, experimenting, and connecting. The idea of ITC can feel a tad overwhelming at first, but once it is broken down bit by bit, it feels a little more achievable to implement it into teaching and learning. The video I have linked below by Mohamed Adly lays out what ITC is in a very clear manner and gives useful tips on how to implement it.

ICT in Teaching and learning

Finally, I believe it is important to conclude this post with a little reminder to myself (and the readers) that the role of a teacher-librarian is multi-fasciated, and ITC, though very important, is merely one of many aspects of the job. It is a useful skill to have, but not the only department we are qualified in.

Role of the school librarian


Adly, Mohamed. “ICT in Teaching and Learning – YouTube.” Youtube, 

Pavlina, Steve. “10 Ways to Improve Your Technical Skills.” Steve Pavlina, 4 Nov. 2015, 

Students Need School Libraries. “The Role of the School Librarian.” Youtube, 2020, 

Inquiry Blog Post #1

Fostering Reading Cultures in Schools

No one ever needed to foster a love a reading for me, well they probably did, but I don’t remember feeling reluctant to the idea of picking up a book, reading it, and falling for every word. I have loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember, so when I hear a child say “I don’t like reading”, it breaks my heart, but also confuses me. How could anyone not like reading?

When I taught in the classroom, I always made sure that we had at least twenty minutes of silent reading each day. Understandably, the younger grades would need to read for a shorter amount of time, but in my intermediate classroom, we made silent reading a ritual part of our day. We would either start off the day this way, or instead read after lunch to recenter before we continued on with the afternoon. My students knew that they could sit anywhere in the class, in our cozy reading nook, on the floor, or even outside. My class was located directly next to the library, and twice a week it was empty, so we used it as a “special treat” to be able to read in the library too. I had a lot of students with anxiety, and this quiet reading time provided them with the opportunity to find a calm spot and refocus. When the weather was kind to us, we would take our lunches and books over to the provincial park next to our school, and read in the woods, next to the ocean. It was beautiful, relaxing, and inclusive, but I understand that not every student has this relationship with reading.

Reading in the library.
My grade 4/5 class enjoying reading in the sun.

I have a new role now, the role of someone who walks into a classroom, with a bin of books to deliver to students in which I have not yet built deep and meaningful relationships with. I bring them these books, in hopes there is something they’ll like, despite not knowing their stories, or their history with books or reading. I don’t know the kinds of books that bring them joy, or the books that create fear in their hearts. It is a rocky and uneven ground that I walk upon, and its been a tough beginning of the year, trying to foster a love of reading in the hearts and minds of the young ones in my life.

I watched a video by THE OGLESBY OHANA titled Fostering a LOVE for READING in your Children, in the video she carefully outlines some steps you can take to be able to foster a love of reading in children. It is geared towards parents who are homeschooling their children, but the steps are still very well applicable to the classroom as well.

Step one: STRUING

Make books accessible to children, leave them along their path so they can grab them when they want to read.


Get pillows, blankets, couches, to make reading comfortable for them. Take them outside. Make the energy gentle and accepting.


Reading becomes special when they foster relationships. Make the time to reading aloud with your students. Don’t be afraid to stop reading to explain things, to laugh, and make connection points.


Let them read the books they want to read, because at least they’re reading (if it is appropriate). Let them know they have a voice in their reading.


Instead of going straight to your phone, get them to look it up in the books they have on hand or a dictionary.

In Will Richardson’s Why School he speaks of a time when he approached parents, asking them the question “Why School?”.

Not surprisingly, the first answer on their lips is not “I want them to be good test takers.” Nor is it “I want them to know a lot of stuff.” What I hear instead are things like: “I want them to love learning.” “I want them to be able to solve real problems.” “I want them to be independent thinkers.” Those, and many similar outcomes, are what I want for my kids, too.” (Richardson, Why School).

This is a great representation of my heart for the students at my school. Not only do I hope they build a fluency for reading, are able to read, decipher, and articulate information into knowledgable presentations. It’s more than for them to be able to access resources, to then be able to contribute intellectually to a conversation. For me, I aspire to inspire my students to foster a love for reading, to know that they can come back to this calming activity when everything else in their life may seen overwhelming. They can pick up a book, and escape to another world, for a little while. I don’t want reading to be a scary thing for them, I want it to be beautiful and wonderful, as it it for myself, and so many others.


Richardson, Will. Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Kindle Single) . TED Conferences. Kindle Edition.

THE OGLESBY OHANA. “Fostering a LOVE for READING in Your Children.” Youtube, 2020, 

Reading Review #3

Digital Literacy

Welcome back! Thanks for following along on this journey as I dive deeper and deeper into my search on Digital Literacy. I will be referencing some links I included in my last post ( but will link there here too, for easy access! Here are some questions I have been asking myself along the way:

How many articles did I find?

I found an abundance of articles. Digital literacy is a topic that is well discussed and well researched. This is a blessing when doing my own research on my topic, but also a curse as I have a pile of articles and journals to sift through before finding ones that align with topic, as well as shake up my way of thinking. In my last post, I brought forward three articles, and two videos to support my topic of interest, and these are the same resources I will be using in this post. I chose Supporting young children as digital citizens: The importance of shared understandings of technology to support integration in play‐based learning by Kelly Johnston, Digital Literacies by Julia Gillen, and Can we teach digital natives digital literacy? by Wan Ng. I will link them below.

What is their relevance to my interest? and How is my topic discussed in the literature?

Supporting young children as digital citizens: The importance of shared understandings of technology to support integration in play‐based learning by Kelly Johnston discusses how technology can be used as a cultural tool in children’s lives, but different definitions, concepts, and understandings of the relevance of technology integrated into the classroom can hinder the integration of technology in an early learning setting. She discusses the opportunity to use technology in play-based learning. Johnston places value on the importance of creating connections and shared concepts between key stakeholders (education, family, and service management), as this can help support children as digital learners.

Digital Literacies by Julia Gillen discusses the enormous impact Digital Literacy has on our literacy and learning. She believes that linguistics have failed to rise the possible opportunities presented by studying language in a digital context. There are a vast range of approaches to the study of writing and reading language online. Gillen touches on the history of literacy studies, and contemporary approaches to language online (such as linguistic ethnography and corpus linguistics). This article is very informative and helpful for someone (such as myself) studying the multimodality of literacy.

Can we teach digital natives digital literacy? by Wan Ng discusses the concept of digital natives, and whether or not they have the knowledge to adopt digital technology in both informal and formal educational contexts. There was a study done on undergraduates in Australia, to see where their knowledge of educational technology lies. They were introduced to eLearning, and observed to see if they were able to adopt unfamiliar technology into their learning. Their “digital nativeness” was determined by investigating their degree of digital literacy, and the ease in which they were able to learn new and unfamiliar technology. As a result, yes they were able to do so, with ease, but they did need some guidance on what exactly constitutes educational technology, and they were given opportunities to use this technology for a meaningful purpose.

The two youtube videos I found, How to put a book on hold in Destiny by SUSD Library Media, and Using Destiny to hold books by Elizabeth Tremper cover many of the same points. I found SUSD’s to be a much more in depth walkthrough, although it is geared more towards Teachers, and Teacher Librarians. This video was great for me to see, so that I am able to better understand the process of putting a book on hold in Destiny. Tremper’s video used a different version/platform of Destiny than I am familiar with. Hers was much more geared towards younger students, but after watching the video, I think it would be best to show the students myself, rather than showing them a video explanation.

What are the key learnings and takeaways that I have generated through this deeper exploration into my topic of interest?

My key takeaways have been:

-This topic is well discussed and well researched, so as a result there is an abundance of information out there. A tad ironic, considering I am hoping to help students feel less overwhelmed while processing information online.

-The generation of students in school right now are “digital natives”, so they bring with them knowledge about technology before stepping foot into a classroom. This does not discount our role as educators, or the need for technology in the classroom. They still need guidance on how to be good digital citizens, and how to use and incorporation educational technology into their learning.

-The importance of building relationships and creating a mutual understanding between the key stake holders in the lives of these children, as this pertains to supporting the children as digital citizens.

-The enormous impact in which digital literacy has on our literacy and learning.


Gillen, Julia. Digital Literacies. Routledge, 2014.

Johnston, Kelly. “Supporting Young Children as Digital Citizens: The Importance of Shared Understandings of Technology to Support Integration in Play-Based Learning Supporting Young Children as Digital Citizens.” British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 49, no. 5, 09/2018, pp. 896-910, doi:10.1111/bjet.12664.

Ng, Wan. “Can we Teach Digital Natives Digital Literacy?” Computers and Education, vol. 59, no. 3, 2012, pp. 1065-1078, doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.04.016.

SUSD Library Media. “How to Put a Book on Hold in Destiny.” Youtube, 2020, 

Tremper, Elizabeth. “Using Destiny Discover to Hold Books.” Youtube, 2020, 

Janelle, the island TL

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Reading review #2

Literature Research and Data Collection on Digital Literacy

As a continuation from my first reading review, I have chosen to broaden my topic a bit, as to leave room to research and find new ideas around this topic. I have chosen to dig further into Digital Literacy. This is something that I believe will be relevant to the current situation in my library. In my district, and specifically at my school, we are not having the students enter the library, instead I go from class to class with a bin of books, in hopes that I have chosen books that these students will be interested in reading. The little ones are fairly easy to please, but the intermediate students are very specific in the books/genres they will read. 

I have heard many times “I like that series, but I’ve read all of the books except the most recent one”, and “I only read books about adventure/dragons/haunted history”. How am I supposed to know ahead of time what they are precisely looking for? I am on the hunt for a new system I can implement to be able to satisfy their reading thirst, as well as not add heaps of extra work on my plate. I came up with the idea to introduce a bit of digital independence into the lives of these students, by teaching them how to browse, choose, and put books on hold through the system Destiny. This will make our lives much simpler (I hope!). The next step is “merely” teach them all how to do this.

Digital Literacy covers a wide range of topics, in which I will cover many as I dive deeper into the research this topic. Some of which will include helping students decipher between good and bad information online, how to find good and credible resources online, and being a good digital citizen.

Follow along with me as I embark on a learning journey of digging deeper into Digital Literacy, in order to provide practical techniques, good information, and new ideas for myself, my colleagues, and my students.

A weekend trip to Russsel’s books in Victoria. This picture represents an influx of information, and the ability to decipher between the good, the bad, what is needed, and what is not.

The first resource I will be using to do my research is Digital Literacies by Julia Gillen. In this book she covers a range of topics such as applied linguistics, particularly in the areas of literacy and multimodality. This book will be able to aid me on my search to discover ways to decipher between good and bad information online.

The second resource I will be looking into is Can we Teach Digital Natives Digital Literacy? by Wan Ng. This will be an interesting and insightful read, as I first need to find new and engaging ways to teach the use of technology in the classroom, so students who have known nothing other than technology in their life. It is likely they have things to teach me as well. Some highlights from this book include a study showing that digital natives are not familiar with educational technologies, thus they need to be made aware of and taught about these educational technologies (this is where I come in!).

The third resource I would like to use is Supporting young children as digital citizens: The importance of shared understandings of technology to support integration in play‐based learning by Kelly Johnston. This will be a great support for information on being a good digital citizen. This paper provides an understanding of the complex and interwoven nature of factors that influence the belief of educators and practices in integrating technology.

Finally, I found a few youtube videos in which I can use to demonstrate to my intermediate classes how to place books on hold in Destiny. They both explain the process quite easily and simply, these will be helpful to provide visual and auditory examples of how to search for a desired book, and put said book on hold for future library checkout and book exchanges.

These resources and ideas are merely the beginning of my journey, but I am excited to embark.

Janelle, the Island TL

Gillen, Julia. Digital Literacies. Routledge, 2014.

Johnston, Kelly. “Supporting Young Children as Digital Citizens: The Importance of Shared Understandings of Technology to Support Integration in Play-Based Learning Supporting Young Children as Digital Citizens.” British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 49, no. 5, 09/2018, pp. 896-910, doi:10.1111/bjet.12664.

Ng, Wan. “Can we Teach Digital Natives Digital Literacy?” Computers and Education, vol. 59, no. 3, 2012, pp. 1065-1078, doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.04.016.

SUSD Library Media. “How to Put a Book on Hold in Destiny.” Youtube, 2020, 

Tremper, Elizabeth. “Using Destiny Discover to Hold Books.” Youtube, 2020, 

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