A brief update from the Bermuda Book Girl

Gosh, its been a while… but, I’ve been tremendously busy!


My hubby, oldest son and I just after my graduation ceremony.

Firstly, I graduated from Robert Gordon University with my MSc in Library & Information Science (with Merit!) in July last year, and our whole family got to make the trip to Aberdeen, Scotland.

Then, I took this year to continue my education, working to become a qualified teacher by obtaining my PGCE from the University of Sunderland. This included doing my student teaching at Sandys, teaching English in the M1 and M2 classrooms. In addition, I have also been teaching English as a second language privately.

While things did not work out for me to stay at Sandys (they still are without a library, and therefore can’t hire me as their librarian), I have been offered a post at another local school. More details to come in the future – but suffice to say, I should be pretty busy next September…

Taking on the world one middle schooler at a time…

I am so excited!

This fall, I’ll be taking on my very first librarian post as the school librarian at a school that has become near and dear to my heart – Sandys Secondary Middle School! I see so much potential and I have so many ideas to help develop and build literacy initiatives that will give our students the skills they need to become life-long learners. I really want to create a space that students are comfortable and encourages learning, as well as help bridge the gap between the classroom and parents.

There is still so much to do. I’ve already put in some time weeding through books that have been in storage since the library was shut down. It was painful, but I had to throw away more than 80 books because of mold.

Also, we are continuing to wait for the interior work to be started…

I am also continuing to read like a mad woman! There are now only 20 days left in the “50 in 5” reading challenge! Can I do it???

I have finished reading 42 books so far, so 7-1/2 books to go! (I’m more than half-way through #43!)

The last time I gave a list was up to book #30, so here are the latest additions:

  • 101 Ways to Be A Great Mom, by Vicki Kuyper
  • Rachel Saint, by Janet & Geoff Benge
  • The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink
  • The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
  • The Lost Boy, by David Pelzer
  • Anna and the King of Siam, by Margaret Landon
  • A Man Named Dave, by David Pelzer
  • Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff
  • She Did What She Could, by Elisa Morgan
  • Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
  • The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
  • China Dolls, by Lisa See
  • And I’m currently reading The Seville Communion by Arturuo Pérez-Reverte…

To date, I’ve raised $273, but I’d really love to at least get to $500 before the end ($10 per book). Even better would be $1,000 ($20 per book)! Can you help? Would you be willing to donate? All the money will be going towards developing the new library and multi-media centre at Sandys! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


Will you donate to the SSMS Library?

It has been one tough ride – the end of month 3 in the 50-in-5 Challenge came and went on April 15 and at that time, I had only finished reading 27 books leaving me 3 books behind schedule… 😦

At least, today I can say I am now on book #30!

April is National School Libraries Month and I’m pleased to say that many from the SSMS family have joined in for a month-long challenge, including the principal! We do hope you’ll join in and sponsor someone from the SSMS family (or me!).

And as I’ve not given you a full list of everything I’ve read since January 15, here it is… 🙂

Just As I Am, by Billy Graham
Arclight, by Josin L. McQuein
Meridian, by Josin L. McQuein
Strategic Human Resource Management, by Michael Armstrong
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
Lady Susan, by Jane Austen
Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened, by Jason Rodriguez, ed.
Run Baby Run, by Nicky Cruz
Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larsson
When Mountains Move, by Julie Cantrell
Pillsbury Pizza Night, by Pillsbury
Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks
Bermudian Folk Remedies, by Dr. Kuni Frith-Black
Half-Scratch Kitchen, by Linda West Eckhardt
Perelandria, by C.S. Lewis
Developing Collections to Empower Learners, by Sue Kimmel
That Hideous Strength, by C.S. Lewis
Excellent Dissertations!, by Peter Levin
The Girl Who Played With Fire, by Steig Larsson
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Steig Larsson
The Indispensable Librarian, by Doug Johnson
I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem, by Maryse Condé
Codex 632, by José Rodrigues Dos Santos
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney
The Good Research Guide, by Martyn Denscombe
Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Raising a Reader, by Jennie Nash

And #30 (already started!) is:

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini


And by the way… feel free to ask me about ANY of these books!


Yup… Stuck on book #22!

You could blame it on being a library science book, or on the fact that I’ve actually been working on a paper this week (currently on 2300 out of 300 words), or that I’ve been sick for a week… BUT, I still have a stash of books waiting for me to read!

We’re also stuck at $223 towards the fundraiser, but we do have a nice collection of books developing. SO, if you’d like to take part in helping to build the Sandys Secondary Middle School Library, PLEASE, let me know! It’s such a wonderful cause, don’t you think!?!

So busy!!!

I have been SOOO busy lately!

I’ve been managing, somehow, to keep most of my balls in the air – from keeping the kids on track at school, to getting school work done, oh, and reading!

Thus far, I’ve completed 20 books! That means I’m right on target, as I need to have read 20 books by today – so, 3 months and 30 books to go!

I’ll try to post an updated list of the books I’ve completed in the very near future….

Don’t forget why I’m doing this – if you would like to support the Sandys Secondary Middle School Library, please let me know!

Can you guess what I’m researching?

IMG_4509 A lovely box from Amazon arrived today filled with this selection of books… so, can you guess why?


Okay, I’m not quite at the dissertation stage. I’ve just started my last two classes (Research Methods and Fieldwork Placement) for my PGDip, which I should have by June of this year – and successful completion will actually make me a ‘qualified’ librarian, but who would do all that work without going the next step and finishing the full MSc?!?!
In our Research Methods class, besides the obvious learning about different methods for conducting research, one of the most important things we have to do is to write our dissertation proposal – what we want to research and write about 20,000 words on (the proposal alone is about 4,000 words!). In fact, I have to tell my professor before the end of next week what it is I’d like to focus on!

It was a hard decision – I actually had two topics – but after discussions with my professor, I’ve decided to look at developing learner-centered school libraries. That’s broad enough as it is, but I’m going to focus on the resources – collections, technology, etc. – all the things that help promote learning, enhance the curriculum, and help students develop the necessary information literacy skills that is necessary for success at higher learning.

So here it goes! Lots of work ahead of me… lots of reading… and just note that there are still 3 more books that aren’t in that stack, not to mention the stacks of journal articles, papers, and magazine articles that I’ve got downloaded onto my hard drive, as well! It’s enough to make your head spin!

50-in-5 – Week #4

Apologies, but the last week has been pretty busy, so I’ve not been able to give you an update on where I am with this challenge, BUT, that is not to say that I haven’t been reading!

As of today, I can say I have completed 12 books, totaling 4231 pages!

That includes completing:

Run Baby Run, by Nicky Cruz
The Girl with Dragon Tattoo
, by Steig Larsson
When Mountains Move, by Julie Cantrell
Pillsbury Pizza Night, by Pillsbury
Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks

I have to admit I’m still reading Strategic Human Resource Management, but who wouldn’t put a dry management textbook to the side when you can read books like those listed above!

On the fundraising side, things have slowed down – we’re at $208 – but I am hoping to see some new people either join the challenge or sponsor me, thanks to the official ‘endorsement’ at our last SSMS PTA meeting by our Principal, Dr. Jackson.

We’re really excited about the plans ahead, and providing our students with the tools they need to succeed! GO PANTHERS!

50-in-5 – Week #2 Update

I’m now 2 weeks and I’m pleased to say we’re at $200 pledged!

This weeks completed books have included:

The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis

Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened, by Jason Rodriguez, ed.


I’ve also started the following:

Strategic Human Management: A Guide to Action, by Michael Armstrong

Run, Baby Run, by Nicky Cruz


If you’d like to donate, you can click on the link below the “Support the ’50 in 5 Read-a-thon Challenge” at the top of the column to the right. Thanks in advance!

Quick Post – 7 Days in to 50 in 5…

So, we’re now 7 days in and where am I on the totals? 3-1/2 books out of 50 read including:

Just As I Am, by Billy Graham (735 pages)

Arclight, by Josin L. McQuein (428 pages)

Meridian (Arclight #2), by Josin L. McQuein (458 pages)

And I’m about half-way through:

Lady Susan, by Jane Austen


I’ll be joining up for the Bermuda National Library’s “Winter Reading Escape”, which starts next week, so that’ll count for a few great reads, too!