John Heffernan is coming to Melbourne in March 2017

No doubt you are starting to  plan 2017. I know that I am!

John Heffernan will be  launching his new book in March next year.  The “Through My Eyes” HOTAKA disaster series is edited by Lyn White and John Heffernan will be in Melbourne for this event. If you are interested in having him visit at your school particularly as the novel straddles English, Geography, History, Japanese please let me know or contact Lyn White below.

We are getting excited about the series now and believe HOTAKA is another winner for John.




Lyn White

Children’s Publishing Consultant

Freelance series creator and editor – Through My Eyes

Allen & Unwin Books for Children and Young Adults

Mob: 0422 849 998



Term 4 Topic: Genrefication of the Collection

On November 17th 2016, twenty Pakenham SLAV members and guests were treated to a tour of the Beaconhills library where we saw the “Escape to everywhere” polypropylene poster that cost $300. This is a great way for the school to showcase their Book Crossing zone also. For more information go to the website.

We went on a tour of Beaconhills beginning in the junior room. Carmel showed us her space where teachers bring their own classes into the space. Due to staffing this has been good and there is a significant picture book collection. Anna Walker was their in house illustrator this year. The first thing in the genrefication process was signage and this saw a big increase in borrowing. There is a junior fiction section and a middle school fiction area. Cross over occurs and there is an openness between the collections with permission required.


img_8568 img_8569 img_8570 img_8571 img_8572 img_8573 img_8574 img_8575


The year 5-8 section come in once a fortnight. The use of Syba genre signs was used across this section. Recommended not to weed prior to weeding as gentrification can help in the discovery of a new text based upon the new love of a genre. Discussion of shelving, heights and moving them occurred as many schools are in a time of renovation. We looked at another space with interesting furniture where the future of maker space may continue. VEF tables were designed for flexibility where individual spot can rotate and flip. This is great for discussion but some concerns with levels matching. The chairs are also from there and worth half the price that Raeco charge.

We chatted about the book crossing. With more than one million people involved where you launch books into the wild! Sounds like a great plan for the 2017 CBCA book week theme of escape to everywhere. The concept begins with a person who releases a registered book into the wild and you can track it around the world. It’s very successful at Beaconhills. Launch with library captains will occur next year.



The gentrification of non-fiction looks great where there is colour coding to help with locations. In sport the sports books are there as are the books about cars. Labels are important. Craft, cooking,  pets with animals ensured the subject is broad. There was a massive weed with this collection with a donation of 5000 books to the Fiji project. They also had a book sale where proceeds went to the indigenous literacy foundation.

Senior fiction includes young adult where the line in the sand lies with the storylines that include sex. A great question of how people coped with this was answered confidently by Carmel with how logical the system is. They use different labelling in this section through consultation with book group involvement. The use of coloured labels has been used across the collection which helps with shelving. The use of Avery labels at the point of catalogue makes shelving much easier. The use of syba section dividers enables ease of location. We chatted about shelving and Michelle Gummer has some large shelves available for anyone who wants them.

We were then led through a ppp that Carmel spoke about the why – the main idea was to make the library more attractive and increase borrowing rates. The timeline began in Term 4 2014 where they started with middle school fiction. They consulted staff and students as they moved forward and again we were reminded how important it was to weed in a harsh manner. Carmel just bit the bullet and got on with it.

Links to these resources can be accessed here:

The first link is for labels and powerpoint and the second for the poster

The main reaction was how excited students are with their reading. But in reality their independence grew. Students could read their way through a genre enables students to find a new author. This has made way for students to make book requests and suggestions. Circulation increase was dramatic from 2015-2016 as seen in the PPP. The initiate of DEAR and Stephen Krashens PD where key people were inspired is attributed to this. Now in the first 15min of every class reads! Teachers now have book collections in their classes and fully supported by college head. School revolution showed that reading was pivotal to their success. DEAR runs from Year 5-8 across the college. The primary run a cafe style reading program. The idea of increased enthusiasm in reading. Lynne spoke about basto program and what is happening at glen eagles where students are actively involved in reading where they write a reflection. Many people are on good reads and create class groups and share about what they are reading.  Discussion of the good reads reading challenge is great. There has been an 83% increase in borrowing across middle school since beginning the DEAR reading program in 2014.


Beaconhills Pakenham Campus call it “We have the Power” reading where it is incorporated into the power reading challenge and students read whatever they want and get points for what they read. Magazines have a different value to non-fiction or fiction. They have a reading sheet where points are allocated based on level of difficulty. This is teacher tracked and they run class competitions. Michelle shared about the learning curve they went through.  Prizes are big such as a class going to the movies or a DVD with treats. They introduced a bingo reading challenge and the “Summer Fun” reading challenge will be things like where was the best place you read. Angela shared about how important reading for 25hrs reading challenge called a roller coaster ride with prizes across the challenge. This encourages all readers as it is time related and tracked by library staff and parents.


Others shared;

  • The book whisperer is an excellent book to build a reading culture. Donna Miller books are great launch pads.
  • They have a professional reading group and this has been a great initiative to help the take up of dear across the school. This helps spread the culture.
  • Ann Fuller spoke about the reading culture at Kambrya and the process of change. At that school the library is driven by the literacy team.
  • Lynne spoke about having one genre on focus at a time and how some students then couldn’t find their usual books.Lynne shared about her genre list. This included; action animals, classic, crime, diary, fantasy, grit lit (edgy books), historical, horror, vampire, love other cultures, SCI FI, sport, supernatural, wars, what if (dystopia). Lynne shared about the deteriorating handwriting she has experienced. And that they’ll move to class sets in 2017. She shared about her character bags that she used this year. And it’s fun. Lynne will be 3 days next year with 9 classes. Tracy Ferguson too will change her role in 2017.
  • Ann told us about verse narratives.Ann shared that they will choose to read stories of courage as the college theme is courageousness. This offers different views and texts that are just right to the individual.
  • Carmel shared about her journey and the change to staffing since 2010.

Meeting Minutes attached : 17th-november-2016-minutes

Great ideas were shared with everyone and if I need to edit anything please let me know!

Kind regards and Merry Christmas!

Michelle Nye


Next Meeting:

Tuesday 14th March 2017.

Hosted by Angela Garegarno, Head of Library Services at St Peters College

Topic: CBCA Judges Talk (TBA if available)

Makerspaces at Belgrave Heights Christian School

We had a great PD at Belgrave Heights Christian School on 3rd march 2016 where we looked at all things MAKERSPACE. Again, a huge thanks to Kathy Frater for supporting Pakenham SLAV branch with such an informative afternoon. It was encouraging to see the BHCC teaching staff get on board really quickly and how Kathy made the clear links to curriculum.

Listed are just some of the activities that we were able to explore and I must give thanks to Jessica Gallagher for sharing her notes that have become a part of this blog post.

  • Kinetic sand – from ELC to high school geography (coastlines etc)
  • Inventor bags – full of random bits and pieces (good for literacy, then write something linked to it)
  • Makey Makey
  • Simple circuitry
  • Colouring pages – geometric shapes and fine motor coordination (please beware of copyright laws)
  • Loom bands – super cheap to purchase. Students follow instructions on YouTube.
  • Making Jewellery
  • 3D printers – think carefully before purchasing but the pi cup holder was an inspired piece of art!
  • Lego – keep it in small kits, students have to disassemble at the end of the week.
  • Hot glue guns – six there but Kathy expressed a need for more
  • Smash books – something done with Year 12 during pastoral classes
  • Badge making

At BHCC, the Discovery Centre is open at lunch times. Each week is themed  e.g. Engineering week, then different age groups each day. Booking sheets at the circulation desk are quickly filled and Kathy and her team advertise what is coming up. Some popular themes include:

  • Maze week (in shoe boxes with marbles using straws and twigs etc), this one took one group a whole week (popular activities are repeated).
  • Paper Engineering week
  • Construction week
  • Friendship week (ideas included bracelets)

Advice and words of wisdom:

  • One activity at a time otherwise it gets out of hand.
  • Low tech items have been the biggest success.
  • Recruit older students to support activities if limited staff members.
  • Keep an eye out for students who have a flair for each thing.
  • Also use your community – parents etc. to run workshops
  • Have YouTube videos ready for the students to follow
  • Pinterest is a great resource.
  • Butchers paper (Ikea) on table to help with clean-up.
  • Get a small vacuum and keep it in the space, students expected to clean up the space.

New Ideas and resources to supply:

Image retreived from:

Image retreived from:

  • Zen tangling – a great way to calm down students perhaps before exams. Just need fine liners and dare I say patience. Great in regards to pastoral care as well, engaging so many different students with their various struggles. Great connections with students.
  • Reverse art truck, Arthur Daley’s for resources, Costco

  • Advertise in the newsletter for specific  supplies, e.g. Wool, Lego etc.

  • Shelves on castors and storage containers from IKEA

  • Flip tables from Wood’s furniture

  • Décor containers on sale in supermarkets.

  • Office works for scrap books

The Brisbane based Edu Tech conference is coming up and Megan Daily will be presenting again. I fist met Megan through my Masters of Education studies at QUT at the CBCA Reading Conference in 2014. Last year I attended an online webinar featuring Jackie Childs who is Megan’s colleague and she is just as inspirational.  This link takes you to some of her recent posts about coding and where they are going in the Makerspace movement. Please feel free to share and support one another with what you are doing too!

What is your manifesto on this new wave?

M4 M5 M3 M2 M1


Books Light Up Our World – CBCA Book Week 2015

Each year we have so much fun developing and organising the annual Book Week across our schools. This will be a place where you can add to the list of ideas. This year symbolism of light and darkness really supports a personal belief that we all hold dear – that LIBRARIES ARE A PLACE where we illuminate the world through the knowledge found in books. This year is the 70th birthday of the CBCA in Australia.

Enjoy our list of book week ideas!

Michelle Nye




2015 Logo

2015 Logo

Book Week review card_early childhood

Book Week review card_picture books

Glow Doodle is very simple and has been hugely popular with Year 3-7 students. It’s a free web site that allows students to create pictures using light. You can read about it on this blog or go directly to Glow Doodle at



Parade dress up ideas –

Michelle Vasiliu

Michelle has written her first picture book, My Happy Sad Mummy, published by JoJo Publishing (‘books that make a difference’) and illustrated by award winning illustrator, Lucia Masciullo, on the 6th November 2014.

How to order My Happy Sad Mummy flyer

This unique book has been written in response to a need for quality children’s books about mental illness. It is the first in a ‘collection’ of such books to come. I can’t recommend this more highly.

For orders please fill out this flyer attached.

How to order My Happy Sad Mummy flyer