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Top Tips from the Experts

Begin Early

  • Book Week is held each year in late August - this year it is August 20-26 following the announcement of the Book of the Year Awards. Claim the date in your school calendar NOW.
  • From 2016 Notables for each category will be announced in late March/early April and the shortlists will follow in mid-May.. It is time to start reading the titles and considering whether they are suitable for your collection. If so, put your orders in early because a nomination makes them very popular, existing stock soon sells out and reprints take time.
  • Consider the theme - this year it is Australia: Story Country and consider how this might be celebrated in your school
  • If you want a visit by an author, book and plan early. Many are booked up to a year in advance so be prepared to compromise on time or the person you want.

Getting started
  • Be prepared to take the leadership role - it's a great opportunity for advocacy.
  • Talk to your principal and other stakeholders and get their support. Include the P.& C. - they might be able to support you in many ways, perhaps paying for a visit by an author or illustrator.
  • Plan ahead and give lots of notice to all involved - planning, consultation and communication are critical especially in large schools with competing priorities.
  • Identify what you want the students to achieve as a result of the celebration, both through the library program and their regular curriculum so that it is an integral part of the school's program rather than an added extra.
  • Acknowledge that other staff have other commitments throughout the year and may not be in a position to give you the amount of assistance you'd like.
  • Seek ideas from other teacher librarians and prepare a draft outline that you can take to your committee - you can't edit a blank page. be open to new ideas from staff and students.
  • Keep things simple and manageable so you can be organised and be kind to yourself. It is better to have staff and students enjoy and remember something simple rather than be tense and embroiled in an extravaganza.

Create Committees
  • Enhance promotion and collaboration by inviting staff members to help you.
    1. Brainstorm and collate their ideas for embedding the theme, Notables and shortlisted titles into the curriculum
    2. Seek suggestions for celebrations so they have ownership and commitment. Identify what has been done in the past and its level of success.
    3. Consider those things that are considered traditions and how these might be continued or revamped. If you are new to the school, ask others who are familiar with what happens to take a leadership role.
    4. Create and allocate a budget. Official merchandise is available but consider what can be produced as part of the curriculum.
    5. Delegate responsibilities, create a timeline and draw up a master plan so all know who is doing what and when it needs to be done. Keep notes so you can plan more effectively next year.
    6. Meet regularly with a focus for each meeting.
    7. Keep other staff informed through email alerts, staff meetings, pathfinders and so forth. Demonstrate how this event is an integral part of teaching and learning.
  • Enhance ownership and commitment by inviting students to help you
    1. Identify those things that students can be responsible for such as advertising or organising an author visit. If these sorts of things are part of their community service, enable those students to have first option to complete this.
    2. Ensure their ideas are realistic and achievable and the equipment and supplies they need are available.
    3. Share responsibilities, create a timeline and draw up a master plan so all know who is doing what and when it needs to be done
    4. Meet regularly
    5. Recognise their contribution formally.