Life Update + An Instagram Takeover!

Hello, 2019! And welcome to a brand new year of Books & Beets. One of my goals for this year is to actually post to my blog from time to time (heh). When I started this site in 2018, I was so excited to begin sharing reviews, recipes, and general updates on my life as a school librarian. But as is often the case, life got in the way — I moved into a new apartment, switched jobs, and dealt with some personal struggles that made it difficult for me to really put myself out there. Now, a year later, I have written exactly two posts on this site (not quite the output I was aiming for), and I would really like to change that.

And so, I’ve decided to set myself a new writing goal for 2019. Each month, I’m planning to share a minimum of two new posts. They may not all be brilliant, but I’m forcing myself to push past my perfectionism and just say what I want to say 🙂 I’ll likely be sharing stories and recipes from my new-ish vegetarian lifestyle; reviewing even more wonderful books; and of course, going on and on about my love of libraries. I hope you’ll enjoy following along!

To start things off, I wanted to do a quick recap of a fun thing I worked on last month. A few girls from my alma mater recently started an Instagram account called Life of Librarians. Each week, a different library/information professional takes over the page and shares daily updates about their life and work. I was so excited when they accepted my application to do a takeover — especially when I realized it would line up with my school’s annual Holiday Madness event, which is basically a giant, festive spirit week that leads into Christmas vacation. You can see all my posts here, but I’ve also included two excerpts below as a bit of a preview:

Day One: That’s a wrap on day one of my @LifeofLibrarians takeover! Thank you to everyone who has been following along on Instagram stories. For those of you just tuning in, I thought it might be good to share a bit more about my typical work week. I’m at Elmwood Monday – Friday from about 8-4, but I’m only in the library in the afternoon. I work part-time in the school’s Communications office, so I spend most mornings there. I typically head over to the library midday, at which point I spend some time getting organized before heading out to yard duty. I’m the only staff member in the Junior School library, so some days can get pretty busy, but I absolutely love it. After my yard duty I usually have my first class of the day or one of my clubs. Today I had senior kindergarten — which is such an amazing group of kids! We had a short class today because it takes FOREVER to get the girls out of their snow suits after recess 😂 But we still had time to choose their books for the week and read a story together. Lately in class we’ve been working on how to choose books that are age/level appropriate; where to find different items in the library; and understanding the basic circulation rules. After class I spent some time cataloguing and processing new books (including some for our ever-growing multilingual collection!), and then I finished my day by doing some festive mini-displays (thanks, #Pinterest). I’m at home now and prepping for the day ahead. My book club is making book-themed ornaments tomorrow — so stay tuned to see how they turn out!


Day Three: Let’s talk about Curriculum Integration! As a school librarian, a main part of my job is to support the school’s academic program. Elmwood is an International Baccalaureate school, which means that on top of the regular Ontario curriculum, we also follow guidelines set by the IB. Within the IB framework, each grade is divided up into roughly six Units of Inquiry. These units are embedded into almost every single subject, so if the Grade 3’s are doing a unit on female trailblazers, for example, that idea wouldn’t just be discussed during social studies — it would also be incorporated into their library class, music class, French class, etc. I’m able to support this learning by understanding the various units and developing a collection that reflects the wide range of topics covered. I also try to incorporate them into my weekly lessons. Last week, for example, the Grade 4’s were learning about keyword searching in library class, so I created a mini research activity that was based around their current Unit of Inquiry. This morning I had a bit of spare time, so I started mapping out the next few units by choosing books and thinking of ways to integrate them into my upcoming lessons!


If you’d like to learn more about my week (or you’re interested in reading some of the other amazing takeovers) feel free to check out the Life of Librarians page on Instagram. It’s an awesome place to network, get inspired, and learn more about the rich and diverse field of LIS.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed reading my latest post as much as I enjoyed writing and reflecting on another fun week in the library. Stay tuned for my next update (which *hopefully* won’t take me another year to write).

And as always, happy reading!

2018 Reading Goals

Hello and welcome to Books & Beets!

I created this blog as a way to keep track of what I’m reading and eating. I’ve always been an avid reader, but lately I’ve been finding that work and life keep getting in the way. Even though I’m a school librarian who’s literally surrounded by books all day every day, I often end up watching TV in the evening instead of picking up a book. I’d really like to change this, and so I’ve set myself an ambitious goal to read FIFTY books in 2018. 


Step One of my reading goal is to read all the books in my #TBR pile. Like most bibliophiles, I have a terrible habit of buying books that I never end up reading. By the end of this year, I’m hoping to get through all the books that have been collecting dust on my shelves for far too long.


Step Two is to start reading outside of my go-to genres. When it comes to literature, I’ll admit I’m a bit set in my ways. I love a good character-driven work of literary fiction, and I find myself returning to them time and time again. But I would love to start reading more widely, both for personal growth and to improve my readers’ advisory skills. In particular, I’m hoping to read more YA, fantasy, and science fiction in the coming months. (If you read any of these genres, I’m very open to suggestions!) A few books that are already on my radar include:

war        ready        die

And finally: Even though I’m aiming to diversify my reading habits this year, I still need to leave room for some old favourites. That’s why Step Three is to continue reading and re-reading the kinds of books I know and love. What will that consist of? Probably lots of memoirs, narrative non-fiction and literary fiction. (What can I say? I know what I like.)

Are there any books I absolutely MUST read this year? Let me know in the comment section below! And if you have an ambitious 2018 reading goal of your own, I’d love to hear all about it 🙂

Happy reading!