Refresh and refocus

At the end of 2019, I graduated from the Master of Education Teacher Librarianship – Charles Sturt University. The learning journey over the past three years provided me with guidance to grow professionally and enhanced my passion for librarianship and the role of the school library. At the end of the course, I admit I felt burned out, hence the limited activity with this Blog in the past few months. However, outcomes of study include the ability to focus constructively on change, enhancement of attention to detail and most enjoyably, the spark for creativity and extending my learning in different directions.


My Sewing Tool Kit

Truth be told, during my final assessment, I became a little distracted and found myself viewing sewing machines. It was not long until a sewing machine arrived, it did sit in the box for a while, then one day I had the confidence to give it a go.

I am certain the recent dedication to study provoked me to immerse myself into a new interest, sewing books (borrowed from my local library), sewing Blogs and sewing Youtube clips have made it possible for me to endeavour a new learning journey. To start with Learn To Sew and Guide To Commercial Patterns from the Stitch Sisters kept me occupied for hours. The discovery of the site CreativeBug and the fact that one of the patterns I had planned to make was outlined step by step enabled me to complete a full task.

Over the school break, I have been able to dedicate time to sewing which provided many hours of relaxation and challenges, there were times I felt I had set up a sweatshop at home (the Sydney humidity did add to this). Sewing projects included simple envelope cushions, a dog bed (with piping) and two different styles of skirts. My Pinterest ‘Sew What’ has allowed me to collate many ideas which I have been frequently adding to and visiting, I now have many projects in plan – an important aspect will be managing my time and planning accordingly to allow this new interest to flourish.

It has not all been sewing since completing my studies and particularly during the summer break, I have had family time and many hours absorbed in audiobooks by Bolinda Audio (again loaned from my local library via the Borrow Box app). Jobs around the house, strength training, dog walking, cooking – mini meringues and cheesecake just to add variety to the summer salads, visits to the library and oh I almost forgot, time spent at the fabric stores.


The importance of clarity about the role of the teacher librarian is highly significant. Although day to day capabilities as a TL are similar, depending on the school the day could look very different. What I have found very valuable for my own clarity is to review key guidelines and standards regarding TL’s and the role of a school library. The process of consulting research literature and professional publications allows us to stay attuned to the challenges, changes and directions of our profession. Compiling a succinct profile for the school library assists guide not only the library team but provides insight and direction to class teachers, the executive and the school community of our purpose and value to education. Below is the library mission statement that was creative during Term 4, 2019.

[wmd-accordion tab_background=”#066196″ tab_color=”#fff” content_background=”#2196d1″ content_color=”#fff” border_radius=”4″ ls-id=”5e2dfa4f07085″][wmd-accordion-tab title=”Library mission statement “]To engage learners with access to relevant information%2C literature and recreational reading resources to promote a culture of reading. To deliver information and digital literacy learning opportunities to the school community that contribute to inquiry-based learning. To provide a flexible learning space for active learning that fosters creativity.[/wmd-accordion-tab][/wmd-accordion]

The library profile focuses on three key segments:

  • Culture of Reading
  • Inquiry learning
  • Flexible learning space

The following books and weblinks are well worth investing time into, they certainly assisted my planning and focus for the library and provide direction and inspiration for teaching and learning opportunities:

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On reflecting on the purpose of School Library Owl, it was encouraging to read Elizabeth Hutchinson’s post Why blog? 6 concepts I’ve learnt along the way. Having a break from my Blog has allowed me to undo other passions. Taking time to consider the purpose of this Blog, I strongly feel my original idea is still there to be explored and extended.

[wmd-slider animation=”0″ autoplay=”1″ autoplay_speed=”3000″ arrows=”1″ dots=”1″ interface_color=”#333333″ width=”100%” height=”0″ ls-id=”5e2d517298033″][wmd-slider-tab]School Library Owl – a place to share lesson ideas%2C work samples%2C displays%2C accomplishments%2C professional learning and library knowledge that needs to be told.[/wmd-slider-tab][wmd-slider-tab]Specialist in delivering literature-based and information and digital literacy teaching and learning experiences.[/wmd-slider-tab][wmd-slider-tab]Strength in school library collection development%2C literature and reading promotion.[/wmd-slider-tab][/wmd-slider]

As the new school year promptly approaches I look forward to what is ahead and making the most of all teaching and learning opportunities.


  1. Congratulations on finishing your Masters! A real challange you should be proud of! I laughted when I read about your distraction as I felt the same way when I was studying for mine. Even the housework and ironing seemed more interesting than actually studying at times…

    I have always followed your blog with interest and was very surprised (and delighted) to see a link to my latest blog which I thank you for! I look forward to a more focused blog in future 🙂 Continue writing as you do and all will be well. You write in a very to easy to read style which I feel is half the battle!


    1. School Library Owl 09/02/2020 at 4:11 pm

      Thanks for the kind and encouraging words Elizabeth. Much apprecited!


  2. Michele Rutter 27/01/2020 at 5:41 pm

    Hi Josephine, Congratulations on your Masters! I graduated with my TL Masters in 2016, also after 3 years study while working full time, so I can certainly relate to that burned out feeling. I just wanted to thank you so very much for your blog. I am a keen follower and am often inspired by your ideas, reflections and passion for the Primary School Library. It also makes me feel less alone in this role. The current focus on research that you share is also very heartening. Your posts are so reflective of the great work TLs and libraries are doing. We just need to ‘shout’ about it a bit more. After I graduated I had good intentions of starting a blog. I tweeted a bit and wrote an article for our state professional magazine but then moved interstate (Brisbane to Melbourne). Starting at a new school and settling into a new city kept me away from the keyboard. Maybe this year is the year. Thank you for sharing your practice, and please keep sharing! I’m sure there are many TLs like myself who greatly appreciate your work. All the best for 2020, Michele


    1. School Library Owl 09/02/2020 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you Michele for taking the time to send your encouraging and helpful feedback. Hoping that you have a good year ahead. Kind regards,


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