What will you do with your new year?

Professional goals

The new year is here, and many of us are making resolutions regarding our health and personal time. But how many of us make professional goals for the new year? I am challenged to think about ways to grow and stretch in the new year. Work-life during the school year is hectic, to say the very least. Right now think about summer and the things that you might be able to do when school is out to build your professional life. Many state library associations offer professional development during the summertime; one goal could be to make plans to attend a summer workshop. To step it up a notch, think about presenting this summer. Check bordering states to see if there are unique presentations you might attend.

Personal goals‘Educated,’ by Tara Westover

A prominent individual goal that is also a professional goal is reading. Making time for reading is difficult during the school year, but I still try to complete about two books per week. Check out this earlier post on reading apps to see how to read and review more books in less time. When looking for an excellent read, there are a couple of places to go, including Bill Gates’s reading list and Oprah’s Book Club list. To keep on top of the latest books, another great source is the New York Times bestseller list. To kickstart reading this year, I recommend Educated by Tara Westover.  This book made both Oprah’s top ten and Gates’s top five. This memoir will inspire and remind us how important and valuable an education can be and make us grateful for the opportunities we have.

Students goals

One thing over which we have less control is the goal setting for our students in the new year. Challenging students to also have some “professional goals” as well as personal goals may be a great way to start. We can teach them about reading for personal growth. Perhaps make a reading challenge for the new year. Also, think about an activity where students can set goals for the future. This year I have noticed a number of local events where individuals are creating vision boards. Perhaps host a student vision board activity in your makerspace. 

What will you celebrate in the new year?

Finally, make plans to celebrate in the new year! The first big event I look forward to in the new year is the ALA Youth Media Awards held at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. This year I will not be able to attend in person so I will be following the awards on Twitter with the hashtag #alayma19. Each year, one can prepare for the awards by reviewing various mock lists including but not limited to the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz medals.   

Other celebrations in the spring include NEA’s Read Across America Day on March 2 (Dr. Seuss’s birthday), Teen Tech Week during the week of March 3-9, School Library Month in April, D.E.A.R Drop Everything and Read on April 12, Children’s Day/Book Day – El día de Los niños/El día de Los Libros (Día) on April 30, and Choose Privacy Week  during the week of May 1-7.


Author: Hannah Byrd Little

I’m a dedicated Library Director at The Webb School of Bell Buckle, leveraging my background in higher education libraries to guide students through the crucial transition from school to college and beyond.

I am honored to have served as the AASL Chair for the Independent School Section in 2023 and am excited to begin my upcoming role as Director-At-Large for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) later this year, following my previous experience as a Member Guide in the AASL Emerging Leaders program. These appointments reflect my commitment to advancing library education and professional development on a national scale.

With experience in state-level leadership through the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL), including serving as TASL President in 2012, I bring a wealth of knowledge to my role. My educational background includes certifications as a Library Information Specialist for PreK-12th grade, a Bachelor of Science in Communications (Advertising & Public Relations), a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies (Education & Information Systems), and a Master’s in Library and Information Science.

Categories: Blog Topics, Collection Development, Professional Development, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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