IBSC Ideas Lab

Professional Conversations for School Librarians in Boys’ Schools


Pooja MathurPooja Mathur

Pooja Mathur is a teacher librarian at The King’s School (Australia) Senior Library and coordinator of the school’s Reading Club. Her extensive professional experience includes serving as vice president, operations of The School Library Association of New South Wales and as a member of the IBSC Action Research cohort for 2022-23, investigating Shattering Stereotypes: Helping Boys Cultivate Healthy Masculinity. She believes in the transformative, healing, informative, and educational power of good stories. She is passionate about advocating the essential role school libraries and qualified library staff play in boosting academic and well-being initiatives for all students. The Australian School Library Association presented her with the Early Career Teacher Librarian Award 2023 in April.

Guest Presenters

Jenna SpieringJenna Speiring

Conversation 1
Practitioner Research in the School Library

Jenna Spiering serves as assistant professor in the School of Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests lie at the intersection of school libraries, critical youth studies, and children’s/young adult materials. Specifically, Spiering’s work emphasizes the school librarian’s role in selecting, promoting, and curating materials for students in k-12 settings. Some of her recent work has explored representations of gender and sexuality in young adult literature and considers how the presence of these topics affects selection practices in school libraries and the inclusion of materials in classrooms.

Spiering believes that teaching and learning are both social and multidirectional. She sees her role in the classroom as a facilitator of critical thinking and is constantly learning alongside and from her students. Therefore, discussion and civil discourse are key components of any course she teaches. She also strives to highlight diverse voices and perspectives in the texts and materials assigned in her courses—often challenging the canon of traditionally taught texts both in schools and in academic settings. She teaches courses in children’s and young adult materials and school library curriculum and program development.

Mary Ann HarlanMary Ann Harlan

Conversation 2
Reading for Learning: Promoting Inclusivity and Diversity Through the Library Collection

An assistant professor in the School of Information at San Jose State University, Mary Ann Harlan received her master’s in library and information science in 1999 from San José State and her doctorate from the Gateway program in 2012. She has worked in California public schools for 20 years, 11 of those years in middle and high school libraries. Harlan also has served in leadership positions for both the California School Library Association and American Association of School Libraries.

Her current research focus is on information practices in relation to reading fiction.



Michael DezuanniMichael Dezuanni

Conversation 3
Boys' Reading in the Digital Environment

Professor Michael Dezuanni undertakes research about digital media, literacies, and learning in home, school, and community contexts. He is the program leader for digital inclusion and participation for QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre, which produces world-leading research for a creative, inclusive, and fair digital media environment. He is also a chief investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child. Dezuanni has been a chief investigator on six ARC Linkage projects with a focus on digital literacy and learning at school, the use of digital games in the classroom, digital inclusion in regional and rural Australia and in low-income families, and the use of screen content in formal and informal learning.

In addition to authoring Peer Pedagogies on Digital Platforms—Learning with Minecraft Let’s Play Videos (MIT Press 2020), Dezuanni has edited three academic books and written more than 45 journal articles and book chapters.

Dezuanni has served on advisory committees for the Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance, the Australian Media Literacy Alliance, national charity The Smith Family, the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACARA), the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, and Facebook Asia Pacific.