One of the people I have had the pleasure to get to know through my work with provincial library subject associations is Melissa Jensen, from Simcoe County District School Board. I am fortunate to have her has a colleague, a friend and also my Vice President/President Elect of the Ontario School Library Association! Melissa has spent 15 years in as an elementary teacher-librarian and is currently the Lead Learner in Collaborative Inquiries with her school board. As just one of many great ideas she has shared, Melissa has inspired me to use this blog to keep track of the projects I undertake with other teachers.

The idea of a Collaboration Blog is COOL!  Thanks Melissa!

Follow Melissa on Twitter @mjtlbarrie for great PD and connections to Inquiry, STEAM, makerspaces, GAFE and assessment. She is awesome!

Also – she just hosted a webinar yesterday with another awesome T-L friend, Diana Maliszewski @MzMollyTL through OTF Connects – it should be archived soon.

Teacher-Librarianship: Together for Learning on the Job

This session brings together teacher-librarians to explore issues relevant to their practice. Questions that will be explored include: How do school library professionals transform their libraries into Library Learning Commons? What human and digital resources can we access critically to enhance our teaching practices and thereby help our students learn? When do teacher-librarians have the time to deeply examine and understand some of the most recent and relevant pedagogy around our profession (e.g. Together for Learning [2010] and Leading Learning [2014])? This OTF Connects session will provide the time, the topics, and the teacher-librarians  to help you find answers to these questions and more.

Audience: Teacher-Librarians, K-12

Resources: Coming soon!


The Best Job Ever

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As a Teacher-Librarian in 2016, you need to be a lot of things. On any given day in my amazing school library learning commons, I am called upon to assist in many tasks, including but not limited to:

  • curator
  • IT specialist
  • reader’s advisory
  • detective
  • therapist
  • literacy expert
  • citation goddess
  • archivist
  • barista
  • nurse
  • collection development specialist
  • editor
  • collaborator
  • curriculum adviser
  • scientist
  • event planner
  • facilitator
  • other duties as assigned…

I believe my most important role is facilitator. Collaboration with students, teachers, the community and other teacher-librarians makes this job the most rewarding I have ever had. Each day I look forward to working in a bustling, active-learning space, where students and teachers feel comfortable coming to learn, to hang out, and to try new things; be they a genre of novel they’ve never read or taking apart an old tablet for the first time in our #hackerspace.


Education is about trying things, figuring stuff out, testing theories, learning from our mistakes, and reflecting on our experiences. The Learning Commons philosophy tells us that we are all learners -from the cradle to the grave – and by extension, that everyone has value. The collective contribution of students, teachers and others in our community to the learning environment at BCI is what makes our school and our learning experiences great. It is exciting to contribute to that energy.

My intention is to share awesome, amazing and sometimes even mundane thoughts and events with the wider learning community through this blog. There will be photos of the BCI Library Learning Commons, and links to resources and other stuff I find interesting. I’m hoping that this will be an effective collaboration tool for professional learning, as well – so please feel free to comment or share ideas with me. I’m always open to new adventures!