Where did it all begin?

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I studied early childhood teaching, always with the intention of completing further studies in teacher librarianship and children’s literature. My mum is also a teacher-librarian, and she absolutely inspired my choice of career.

After several years of classroom teaching, I was put in charge of my first school library: a one-room demountable building in a carpark at the back of the primary school. It doesn’t sound ideal, and yet I deeply loved that library and am proud of what we created there to this day.

When I had my first child I quickly realised that I was not cut out to be a stay-at-home parent, though I greatly admire any parent who chooses this path.

My colleagues gave my newborn a jumpsuit that had ‘Future Librarian’ emblazoned across it and she was certainly immersed in the world of children’s literature. She spent many evenings as a baby sleeping under the table at Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) meetings, flew around the country with me to literary conferences and attended two official functions at Government House Qld before she was 12 weeks old.

A second child followed, and it was around this time that I began my blog, Children’s Books Daily. My brother had just passed away and my blog filled the long night-time hours when I couldn’t sleep. The blog became my own little escape from my grief where I connected with other parents, educators, readers and creators of books about all things children’s and YA literature.

A few short years later my ‘bookish blog’ got another large side-serve of grief and became a therapy of sorts and a written journey through grief and loss after the unexpected and tragic death of my aunt and my adored husband, Daniel John Daley AKA ‘Disco’. In what was the darkest of times, books, libraries, colleagues, family and friends provided shimmering and stable light.

The girls and I became a team of three, surrounded by family and a village of people who supported us online and offline in ways that astound me to this day – we have truly experienced the absolute best of people.

And then, some years later, the very strangest thing happened. Somehow, inexplicably, quite astonishingly…I met my now partner Murray Arkadieff AKA The Beekeeper – raging extrovert, father to two young boys, widower and commercial beekeeper.

You can read the full story here.

Covid meant that we all rumbled together as a team of six fairly quickly and the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns afforded us the loveliest, albeit loudest, of times. There was lots of what The Beekeeper called ‘storming and norming’ amongst the kids who were 4, 7, 9 and 12 at the time. I had a few meltdowns because that is how I roll, while The Beekeeper remained calm and kept proclaiming how much he loved having four kids – I would go so far as to say he looked content in the midst of the early chaos.

We are now a blended family of six and very Brady Bunch – though we definitely need an Alice. Our life is chaos, laughter, road trips and schoolbags, hats and cellos left on trains.  I still work as a teacher librarian and greatly enjoy the energy of kids and school libraries.

To me, a school library is at the very centre of creative school communities. Our library welcomes staff, students and families; it offers overworked little minds refuge from the busy curriculum, a cool escape from a bustling playground, a place to inquire and wonder, and a space to connect with quality literature and engage with like-minded readers.

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I’m Megan

I’m passionate about children’s literature and am the author of ‘Raising Readers’ and ‘the Beehive’ and editor of ‘Teacher, Teacher’.
I am also a multiple award-winning teacher librarian, speaker, podcaster, widow, beekeeper, literary judge and wearer of bright colours.

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