Log in

Log in

Member Login

Free SLANSW Professional Learning Resources


Megan Light, Rhonda Creasey, Melanie Walker - 15 February 2022

How do you recommend books to your students?

About this presentation

In this first session of the year Megan Light (K.O.A.L.A.) and Management Committee members Rhonda Creasey and Melanie Walker will share their experiences and ideas on innovative ways to effectively recommend books to students across K-12. The content of this webinar will assist participants to provide informed reading recommendations to their students through consideration of the knowledge and strategies offered by the presenters and through discussion with colleagues.

About Megan Light

Megan has taught in public and independent schools for 32 years in various roles including Classroom Teacher, Stage Leader, IB PYP Facilitator, Digital Literacy Leader and Teacher Librarian. In 2021, she was nominated for the ASLA Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year Award. In her current TL role and as K.O.A.L.A. President, Megan is passionate about the importance of reading and the value of Australian children’s literature. She actively pursues the promotion of reading and literature through student agency; and connecting readers with the creators of the books they discover and love.

About Rhonda Creasey

Rhonda is a teacher librarian at Wallsend PS in Newcastle. She has had wide experience teaching in Sydney, Perth and Darwin both in classrooms and libraries. Rhonda majored in Children's Literature in her original degree (B.Ed) and has been connected to libraries for most of her teaching life. She is passionate about connecting students to quality literature and being a reader for enjoyment. She has had the opportunity to refurbish two libraries-Harrington Park (SW Sydney) and Wallsend (Hunter). These experiences have taught her the importance of connecting and engaging both students and teachers to see the library as the central learning hub of the school. Rhonda's Wallsend library is colourful and vibrant with artwork connected to every school student, displayed on the walls, created annually from each book week celebration. In addition, Rhonda spends two days a week as Teacher Librarian at Merewether PS. When you enter her libraries you want to stay and absorb some of the magic and warmth that surrounds you.

About Melanie Walker

Melanie is currently Teacher Librarian at Catherine McAuley Catholic College Medowie, a brand new secondary Catholic high school in Port Stephens. She has over 16 years of teaching experience across grades 7-12 along with experience as Teacher Librarian in K-12 school settings. Melanie is passionate about working with other teacher librarians and has a particular interest in developing the School Library Association Mentoring SIG, to be trialled in 2022.

Further resources


Suggested Standard Descriptors for this Meet-up: 

2.5.2 Apply knowledge and understanding of effective teaching strategies to support students’ literacy and numeracy achievement.

6.2.2 Participate in learning to update knowledge and practice targeted to professional needs and school and/or system priorities.

6.3.2 Contribute to collegial discussions and apply constructive feedback from colleagues to improve professional knowledge and practice.

7.4.2 Participate in professional and community networks and forums to broaden knowledge and improve practice.


SLANSW Celebrates National Science Week- 17 August 2021

About this presentation

An online meetup about how Teacher Librarians and Library teams can collaborate across the curriculum and across the school to design and deliver exciting learning activities for students.

The School Library Association of NSW  presented an online meetup in the SLANSW Zoom Conference Room on Tuesday August 17 from 7:00-8:00pm. The presenters were Science Teachers, Classroom Teachers, Teacher Librarians and Library staff from Cherrybrook Technology High School and Broughton Anglican College. They shared  cross-curriculum initiatives and teaching programs used in their schools and explained how Science faculties and Library teams can collaborate to engage students in exciting Science based learning activities.

Secondary School Setting

Our presenters shared their experiences relating to the implementation the Murder in the Library program at Cherrybrook Technology High School. Whilst this program is aimed primarily at Year 10 Science (forensics) it is also a cross-curricular program and is used for English (Year 9 Investigative Journalism and Year 10 Crime genre study) as well as Legal Studies and sometimes as a fun activity for Gifted and Talented junior classes. The activity also involves staff from across the school, including everyone from the Principal and Deputies to Head Teachers and classroom teachers from a variety of faculties.

Primary School Setting

Our presenters from Broughton Anglican College shared their experience about how collaboration between Teacher Librarians and Primary Classroom teachers to integrate information fluency skills into Science programs leads to greater student engagement, an improvement in the quality of work produced and greater support of teachers in planning units, developing assessments and rubrics.

Presenter Bios

Amber Sorensen has been a teacher-librarian at Cherrybrook Technology High School (CTHS) since 2014. She began her career as a corporate librarian before retraining and working as a secondary History teacher. Amber is passionate about encouraging a love of reading, developing student information fluency skills and supporting teaching and learning through collaboration with classroom teachers.

Magali Mello has a background in laboratory management, specialising in Food and Environmental Testing and has also taught at TAFE and Western Sydney University. She retrained as a secondary teacher to pursue her passion for Science and education. Magali is a big advocator of student-centred learning that encompasses practical tasks to encourage a love for Science in her students.

Cath works as a Teacher Librarian at Broughton Anglican College, a P-12 College in South-West Sydney. She started in the position in 2020, along with commencing her Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) at Charles Sturt University. Cath has been teaching Primary since 2014, after moving out of a 20 year career working as an Intensive Care Paramedic. Term 4 in her first year of teaching seemed a good time to throw out the rule book and integrate all her Year 5 programs to conduct a Guided Inquiry unit around Global Connections. Working closely with the Head of Information Services, Cath was hooked. The move to Information Services was inevitable – although it took a few years to get there. Cath’s current focus is rebuilding collaborative relationships with primary classroom teachers to integrate the teaching of information fluency and inquiry skills into curriculum programs. Her favourite book series is Alan Bradley’s Flavia De Luce series, and she is currently reading, Am I Just My Brain, by Sharon Dirckz.

Suggested Standard Descriptors for this Meet-up: 

2.2.2 Organise content into coherent, well-sequenced learning and teaching programs.

2.3.2 Design and implement learning and teaching programs using knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

3.3.2 Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem-solving, and critical and creative thinking.

6.2.2 Participate in learning to update knowledge and practice targeted to professional needs and school and/or system priorities. 

7.4.2 Participate in professional and community networks and forums to broaden knowledge and improve practice.


Disaster Preparedness: Dealing with compounding disasters - 27 October 2020

SLANSW in collaboration with the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) and Blue Shield Australia facilitated this online meet-up presented by Heather Brown, Sue Hutley and Susan Mapleson.

About this presentation

The goal of this Online Meet-up was to provide our members with practical strategies to deal with disasters, should their library be directly impacted in the future. Presenters shared their experiences, guided participants through creating a 'preparedness document' and looked to strengthen support networks across the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sectors. 

Presenter Bio

Heather Brown is an Assistant Director at Artlab Australia/State Library of South Australia and is the co-author of the ALIA Disaster Management for Libraries Guide. Heather will discuss practical tips for disaster preparedness, the ALIA template documents and scenarios and other useful resources available.

Susan Mapleson is the Senior Teacher Librarian at Christian College, Geelong. In her 21 years at the school the last couple have been the most challenging as the Senior Library was flooded twice and then in 2018 the Library and Administration building were destroyed by fire. This experience is not something that you are ever prepared for, but I hope to share some of the positives that came out of rebuilding a new library.

Sue Hutley is the General Manager, Library Customer Services at Bond University Library.  During her career, Sue has worked in managerial positions in special, public and academic libraries and well as a not-for-profit Executive Director.  Sue is currently the volunteer Chair of Blue Shield Australia, a national committee of Blue Shield International, working to protect cultural heritage threatened by armed conflict and natural disasters.  

Additional resources provided by Melissa Fraser

The St Joseph's Experience.pptx

The St Joseph's Experience.pptx.docx

Suggested NESA Descriptors for this Meet-up: 4.4.2, 6.2.2, 7.4.2


Lynette Barker - 21 May 2019

“What makes you say that?”: Using visible thinking routines to deepen thinking

About this presentation

In this presentation, Lynette challenges the audience, "If we see learning as a product of thinking, then as educators we must take time to ensure our lessons are rich in thinking opportunities and that the thinking is made visible to us. How can we achieve this?"

In 2005 at the conclusion of a 5 year project into cultivating thinking dispositions, Ron Ritchhart and his Project Zero colleagues developed a set of simple strategies for scaffolding thinking, known as thinking routines. These thinking routines are at the heart of visible thinking. During the session, Lynette provides a brief overview of thinking routines, shares practical examples of routines she has used in her library, and provides resources that will help you to take the first step towards using routines to enrich learning for your students. Lynette also explores how the routines are easily adapted to suit students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Presenter bio

Lynette Barker is the Teacher Librarian / Learning Technology Coordinator at St Therese’s Primary School, New Lambton. As a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, she is passionate about the use of technology to enhance learning and loves demonstrating how technology fits naturally with thinking routines. 


Helen Stower - 25 September 2018

Evidence-based practice: How do we measure the impact of literacy promotion in school libraries

About this presentation

The session is presented by Helen Stower who is the Programme Leader of Information Services & iCentre at Mt Alvernia College in Kedron, Qld.

One of the cornerstone programs in the Mt Alvernia iCentre is the literature promotion program called Campfire. This program is run formally in Year 7 & 8. The program is well received at the school and the TL team at Mt Alvernia had some great anecdotal feedback about our Campfire sessions.

They also had loan statistics that showed Campfire sessions have dramatically increased the number of books borrowed by students. But is a book borrowed a book read?

It had long been Helen's concern that the TL team did not have any hard evidence that the program has merit and is beneficial to the literacy outcomes of our students. Throughout 2018, the Mt Alvernia TL team endeavoured to gather such evidence. This project is a work in progress and this presentation shares what they have learned so far.

Q&A time
The question and answer part of this session is presented in this separate recording:

Follow our activities

© School Library Association of New South Wales
19 653 510 071


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software