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24, March 2018

Life is too short to say I can't...

“Mary Kay is one of the secret masters of the world: a librarian. They control information. Don't ever piss one off." — Spider Robinson, The Callahan Touch

Contact-new.svg Renee-amanda Heywood
Renee-amanda Heywood.jpg

Employer:National Library and Information Systems Authority
Occupation:School Librarian based at St. Joseph's Convent, P.O.S.
Country:Trinidad and Tobago
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My parents loaded a 4lb mite down with Renee-amanda, but I've grown quite a bit since then and now I prefer to be called Renzii. Since graduating from U.W.I. Mona, Jamaica with a degree in International Relations, I have been a French teacher, a Public Relations Specialist, an entertainment coordinator, a wedding planner and even a lecturer in Economics! But now I'm back home in beautiful Trinbago, I think I have found my true calling and I get to use everything I've learnt ... as the School Librarian at the St. Joseph's Convent, P.O.S. Library.

As a Convent old girl, I was very excited to return, but I was dismayed when I actually saw the library. The school has a rich tradition of academic excellence and is indeed the oldest girls' high school in the Caribbean. But it almost seemed as though there were items in the collection that might been there since the school's founding in 1836! Since then, my assistants and I have worked hard with outstanding support from the school's administration, the School Libraries Services division of NALIS, the National Libraries and Information Systems Authority and the | Ministry of Education through the Secondary Education Modernisation Program, to provide an inviting, accessible and stimulating environment in which our students develop into effective and efficient users of information in all formats and to promote the habit of reading for pleasure.

My passions

In between managing the library media centre, collaborating with the teaching staff and liaising with my administrators, I enjoy most of all working with my students, helping them to become information literate individuals and developing a lifelong love of reading. When parents and visitors see my girls reading in the corridors, on the bus, everywhere and anywhere and remark that my school now has a reading culture, I get all warm and tingly inside, which may be a sign that I need to get a life or... I may be approaching menopause... hmmm...

SJC reads!

I'm crazy about books, and vampires, and books about vampires, tennis, golf and international politics. My best friends joke that Barack and | Michelle Obama, Roger Federer and Tiger Woods would probably take out restraining orders on me, if only they knew how obsessively I follow their exploits!


I also write about my adventures (comic and otherwise) in school librarianship in a blog called Ranting in the aisles.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Media Centre Manager
  1. Selection of materials in all available formats to support the school's curriculum in conjunction with subject Heads of departments
  2. Preparation and management of the annual budget
  3. Supervision of para- professional staff and library prefect body.
  4. Setting the LMC policies, in conjunction with School Library directives and the school administration.
  5. Overseeing the daily operations of the Library Media Centre.
  • Information Literacy Teacher
  1. Preparation of lesson plans
  2. Delivery of the Information Literacy Curriculum
  • Educational partner
  1. Collaborate with individual teachers to foster best practice in information management among students.
  2. Delivery of the research methods unit of the CAPE Communication Studies program.

Workshops conducted

  1. Where in the world? - Library orientation 2009
  2. Googling to the max- searching without boundaries..
  3. Do you do Dewey?..How the library is organised
  4. Finishing your paper... completing an APA bibliography.

Workshops attended

  1. Lesson planning in Information Literacy
  2. Work plan preparation
  3. Wikis in education, conducted by NOSTT, led by Wrenel Roberts and Elia Grant-Frazer where we got some some really useful Wiki shortcuts. It was a very worthwhile experience- the satisfaction of seeing the immediate impact of my learning was fun. The challenge of the change in venue was more than offset by the refreshingly beautiful vistas around Naparima College in San Fernando. And the increased camaraderie with my fellow school librarians, most of whom I rarely meet, was an added but especially rewarding aspect.

Friends and fellow Wiki workshoppers!

My WikiEducator plans!

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I am very interested in the possibilities of using wikis... maybe as a way of monitoring group work which is very popular in every subject area in my school and as well to offer the teachers the opportunity to share ideas and information with other educators around the world... I hope to become proficient enough that I can hold a weeks' worth of lunchtime sessions, hopefully to get my fellow staff members as excited as this workshop and this video made me, excited enough to have a full Learning4Content workshop maybe during the August vacation. Wish me luck!

I would also like to start [a clearing house for ideas about helpful hints in school library management]. Ideas welcome!

My Information Literacy projects!

Here I'll try to put some of the units I use with my girls using the pedagogical templates we learned.

My Sample Lesson Plan


School Librarian at work!

This is a "living" page. Contents will keep changing. This image is Free Content from WikiMedia Commons.

I can be incredibly anal about my work, so I'll work things out here before I post, otherwise the revisions could drive one to drink and madness, lol.

Enter at your own risk

So what do you think?!

I'd love to hear from other users... hint, hint...that means you.