Program Design in School Libraries


Andrea Hyde, School Librarian
Kathleen Conroy, School Librarian
Caroll-Ann Steele, School Librarian
Suzanne Nesbitt, Educational Consultant

Submitted by Convenor: Effie Patelos

This session focused on a website project started by four librarians from the Lester B. Pearson School Board. Andrea Hyde, Kathleen Conroy, Caroll-Ann Steele, and Suzanne Nesbitt have all at one time or another worked as sole librarians with no staff, and have had to rely on “band-aid” solutions. Rather than having to reinvent the wheel each time they needed to develop programs or activities for their school libraries, as colleagues, they decided to pool their resources and create a website to collect their ideas.

Each took turns describing different aspects of their website, LBPSB Library Resources (, and shared projects they tried in their libraries to promote reading. Andrea presented the “Program Ideas” section of the website which groups together program ideas by school type – elementary, high school and general. At Beaconsfield High School she ran the “1000 Book Crane Challenge”. For every book students got credit and a crane was made that was hung from the library ceiling. The challenge not only promoted reading, but also encouraged students to work together to beautify their library.

Kathleen shared with the audience the many successful projects and activities she has tried at Westwood Jr. High School and Mount Pleasant Elementary. She hosts a pizza party lunch with a book, runs a Comic Book Club out of the library, has a “Blind Date Night with a Book” each Valentines, and also challenges students to a regular “Battle of the Books”. For Kathleen the web, particularly Pinterest is an invaluable source for ideas, and under the “Sites to See” tab of the website she has shared sites and blogs where she has found inspiration.

Caroll-Ann Presented the “Be Creative!” section of the LBPSB Library Resources website. School librarians need to be creative and work under very tight budgets, as usually budgets are reserved for books. Free online resources are invaluable for stretching budgets as far as possible. One project she ran that was very popular with her students, and made great use of weeded books was “Book Dominos”. Carol also presented Block Poster ( Posters are a great way to promote reading and services in school libraries, but traditional printing can be very expensive. Block Posters configures images you want to use to make a poster into a layout that will print inexpensively onto standard letter sized paper.

The four school librarians invited the audience to use their suggestions, links and resources to use as presented, or make their own. They concluded their very creative, and idea-jammed sessions by asking for input, and encouraged all in attendance to share their own ideas on their Pinterest board.


L to R: Suzanne Nesbitt, Carol-Anne Steele, Andrea Hyde, Kathleen Conroy