International Association
of School Librarianship

  • History of the GiggleIT Project

    The GiggleIT Project was born during the Children’s and Young Adult Literature Special Interest Group (CYAL SIG) meeting at the 2008 International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) Annual Conference in Berkeley, California, with the aim of empowering students to share their creativity and personal experiences with the world by writing together in their school library.

    From August through December 2008, CYAL SIG Chair Patricia Carmichael (Australia) and Dr. Barbara Combes (Edith Cowan University (Australia) formulated the initial GiggleIT writing project ideas for students ages 10 to 14, linking them to many aspects of the Western Australian educational framework. Teacher-librarian consultant Moira Eckdahl (Canada) and teacher-librarian Rhonda Cooney (Australia) also assisted during this time.

    Emily Manck created the first 25 GiggleCritters in September 2008 while at Drury University (USA). She continued designing new GiggleCritters through 2020 in honor of IASL Annual Conference host countries and as requested by students, bringing 44 GiggleCritters to GiggleTown.

    In January 2009, the GiggleIT Project for global student writing through school libraries was launched internationally, providing free lesson plans, thematic writing projects, GiggleCritter mascots, and hosting of student works on the IASL webpage for registered schools.

    Through the next decade, Katy Manck publicized GiggleIT and made many presentations in Texas (USA) and worldwide as she led the development of additional annual themes and Spotlight Projects.

    Dr. Kasey Garrison (Charles Sturt University, Australia) succeeded Dr. Combes on the GiggleIT Project team in 2015 and was elected Chair of the CYAL SIG in 2016.

    From 2009 to 2019, many teacher librarians registered their schools with GiggleIT and submitted creative and informational writing from their students for publication on the IASL website, using one of the five rotating GiggleIT themes as the focus of their work.

    In 2020, the GiggleIT Project pivoted to a ‘publish at your place’ model in answer to schools’ increased capacity to host their students’ writing on school websites, and the Project’s no-cost instructions and resources were updated to reflect this.

    All student works hosted by the GiggleIT Project online from 2009-2019 were compiled into regional eBooks, available free for everyone to read here on the IASL website.

    Our Ambassador Mr. Giggle!

    Mr. Giggle physically traveled around the world from 2009-2012 encouraging student creativity. Many thanks to GiggleCritter designer Emily Manck White (left photo) and Mr. Giggle fabric artist Carole Atkinson (center photo) for their creations. Smaller GiggleCritters (right photo) now make their homes in schools in several countries.


    The right to create, allocate, or distribute three-dimensional representations of any GiggleCritter or derivation thereof is strictly and expressly reserved to the GiggleIT Project Team.

    GiggleIT Personal Envoys & Envoy Schools

    The GiggleIT Project has been supported by many teacher-librarians, teachers, students, and schools around the world since its inception.

    Those who gave exceptional service to GiggleIT in promoting literacy and student creativity were recognized as Personal Envoys and Envoy Schools.

    The GiggleIT Project team is pleased to recognize these Personal Envoys who enhanced literacy and student creativity by promoting the GiggleIT Project locally, nationally, and internationally:

  • Kerry Pope
  • Nijole Cepukeniene
  • Kate Cooper
  • Helen Boelens
  • Carole Atkinson.
  • An Envoy School’s teachers and students created and learned together to promote cultural understanding and excellence through literacy initiatives of the GiggleIT Project. The GiggleIT Project team is pleased to recognize these Envoy Schools for their outstanding participation and support of the GiggleIT Project:

  • Ukmerges Uzupio Secondary School (Lithuania)
  • William Clarke College (Australia)
  • Concordia Lutheran College (Australia)

As a collaborative Project between educators and students around the world, the GiggleIT Project operates under a Creative Commons license which allows everyone to share ideas and resources while still recognizing the work done by the original authors.

© International Association of School Librarianship

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