This post originally was created on 25 March 2021 for the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative's SDG Month. While the global goals set absolute numerical targets that are tracked as discrete targets, no matter where our country of origin or residence is on the continuum of individual goals the wonderful thing is how they tie … Continue reading UN SDGS: GATEKEEPERS, ALLIES, ENABLERS, PERSUADERS

Maths and beyond

A few weeks ago one Friday, just before our WEIRD (WAB Extended Independent Reading Day) there was a sudden surge in interest in maths books from our G8 students. Unfortunately a little further questioning revealed that it wasn't so much math books on demand as some kind of math text very specifically on quadratic equations … Continue reading Maths and beyond


I'm not blogging and it's for a reason. I'm still trying to clear out the detritus of a rather busy and stressful year. Most of it spent online. Part of that is to seriously consider each and every subscription that is creating a digital deluge in my inboxes. It's disheartening as I unsubscribe or delete … Continue reading Hiatus

Picture books as a panacea?

I've always been a huge fan of picture books. I'm the librarian that will read "Maia and what Matters" to a group of Middle School teachers and struggle to continue through tears. I spend a reasonable chunk of my budget on picture books (or as some librarians like to refer to the "sophisticated picture books … Continue reading Picture books as a panacea?

Enough windows – where are the mirrors?

I was prompted to think about this again with the publication of the White Ravens 2019 list at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The issue of increasing diversity in an international school setting is a complex one, and something I've written about at length in the past. There's the linguistic diversity bit - collections of books … Continue reading Enough windows – where are the mirrors?

Resist the list

I am convinced that there are generations of parents (and librarians) who think the main purpose of a librarian is to create age/grade related lists of books for students to read. When parent-teacher conference time comes around, if parents venture into the library and engage - as opposed to using us as a baby-sitting booth … Continue reading Resist the list

Content plus

One regularly hears phrases bandied around schools such as "Every teacher is a language teacher"; or "Every class should start with 10 minutes of reading" and you'd be hard pressed to find a teacher who doesn't agree in theory, that reading is a good thing. But then there is the "reality" of supposed too little … Continue reading Content plus

Why awards?

This week's blog post will be very brief as a function of my extreme exhaustion - just been up and down to Bangalore for the Neev Literature Festival 2019. Beijing-Bangalore is not a commute I'd recommend to anyone who prizes their sleep or sanity but WOW what an intense 2 days it was. The theme … Continue reading Why awards?

How to WINN in the new school year

Part of my vacation time is usually spent doing personal learning and preparing for the new year for both my students and for how I can impact teaching and learning for teachers. Last year was my first in a new environment - both in terms of level (middle school rather than primary) and country/school (Beijing, … Continue reading How to WINN in the new school year

Trust me I’m a …

I've had this vague feeling ever since I started in the middle school that I'm just not serving my population well on the research side of things. I've tried putting my finger on it in the past but the unease has been growing. It started with being dissatisfied with nonfiction and that we're not doing … Continue reading Trust me I’m a …