Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sharing With Your Stakeholders

Last year the librarians in my district were able to meet with our district administrators about the need for funds to update our collection in response to the new Common Core standards. They requested a report that could be shared with our school board and superintendent. Each of us provided basic information about our schools and collections as well as details about how we would spend additional funds to impact our collection. They were put into an infographic style to make it easy to read and understand. This is what they looked like.
We were ecstatic to find additional funding in our budgets this year. As a thank you for the funding and for their continued support we followed up with an update on our collections. Last night all of the librarians in the district attended the school board meeting. Our lovely spokesperson, Monique, shared a few highlights of how the funding impacted our libraries and we shared an updated infographic of our collection including a personalized thank you from each librarian. Here is my update.

In addition we collected photographs all year of our new books arriving, being unpacked, and being enjoyed by our students and teachers. I put the photographs into an Animoto video that we shared at the meeting. I won't share it here because of the number of students included, but here are a few of the pictures to give you an idea of what we included.

Finally, we recognized one of our administrators that is constantly fighting for us, speaking up for us and singing our praises with a gift. I believe it was a powerful presentation and I'm so proud that everyone was able to come and advocate for our libraries.

It is so important to share both concerns and successes with your stakeholders. How do you share the great things going on in your library?

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/25

This has been a productive reading week for me. I'm still working on reading at least 25 titles for my faculty reading challenge.
I read a few titles from the YALSA's Best Fiction for YA list.

I read one from the Newberry prediction list for the challenge, even though the blogger had to remove this title later because it was originally published as an e-book.

Finally, I read an adult novel, which I almost never do, but I made an exception because this is about one of my favorite historical figures, Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
I'm hoping to get started on the books that I haven't read yet from our SCASL Junior Book Award list for next year. I'm down to the genres that I don't usually enjoy so I'm going to have to make myself read them. Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover

Today we had a great time with this activity, Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover. Sixth graders came in and sat at a table with a stack of books that I preselected. I placed about six or seven books at each table from different genres. I tried to choose books that would appeal to boys and girls and find books that I feel are overlooked because the cover might not be the most eye catching. We used the worksheet above. Students had 30 seconds to write the title and author and put a check or Y if they would read the book just after looking at the cover or a X or N if they would not read the book after looking only at the cover. Then they had one minute to read the back or jacket flap and put another check or X. Finally they had two minutes to start reading the book. We rotated the books until everyone looked at five books.
Then we had a discussion about whether or not they changed their minds after exploring the summaries and reading the first few pages. We talked about the importance of cover art. Several students shared a book that they explored where they changed their mind after reading more. Some liked the cover, but then did not like the summary and vice versa. Everyone had at least one book that they would read on the list and many students checked out books from their table. This was a great lesson about the art of choosing a book.
I shared an example with them, The Girl Who Owned a City. This is one of my all time favorite books, but the cover is dreadful. After showing the book and telling them a little about the story, students were arguing over who checked it out first.
Students agreed that these books did not have the best covers, but the story sounded great. All of these (and more) were checked out today.
If you are looking for a fun, easy to prepare lesson idea, I urge you to give this a try. The students were all enthralled, active participants and the discussion was excellent. I saw this idea on a blog somewhere, but I can't find it to give credit for the life of me. If it was you, please let me know and I'll give you credit and link back to your post.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Treat Tuesday 3/19

Little fellow and I have been reading picture books from the National Science Teacher's Association. Our favorites this week were ABC Zooborns and Open Wide. Our treat was Swiss Cake Rolls. Yum.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/18

I've been busy reading books for our faculty reading challenge and a few just for fun as well.
This week the book that really stood out for me was Fourmile by Watt Key. I loved this book! The perfect mix of dogs, soldiers, action and sports. I know so many boys that I'm going to recommend it to this week. I'm going to order his other books, Alabama Moon and Dirt Road Home. I'm not sure why I didn't know about this author already because his books are great for boys. The books have the outdoor survival drama engrained in the stories. I highly recommend this one for middle school and upper elementary boys.

I've noticed several books lately with dogs on the cover so I think that will be one of the trends shared at our Best of Summer Reading session with our ELA teachers in the Fall. For this session we share the best of the books we read this summer with our teachers so that they can be aware of trends, hear about titles they might want to read and have a few fresh titles to recommend to their students. We did this session last year and created posters showing trends with book covers and gave out as prizes. Dog books will definitely be on our posters this year.
The books I've noticed so far are:

Buddy by M.H. herlong
Shadow by Michael Morpurgo
A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean
Almost Home by Joan Bauer
Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods

Have you noticed any more recent titles with a dog on the cover? I would love to add to my list.

Luck of the Irish Recap

The Luck of the Irish scratch off tickets were a lot of fun. After a big push to get overdue books renewed or returned and lost books paid for there were three homerooms that cleared every student. There were several homerooms with just one or two so this was a big help in getting books back in.
I divided the 60 scratch off tickets between the three homerooms and went around with my prize wagon.

I had ten books to give away, several Shamrock necklaces and scented bookmarks. The students really enjoyed getting prizes. Making the scratch off tickets was pretty easy so I'll probably do this again or use scratch off in another promotion.

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/4

This week I finished two more books from the South Carolina Junior Book award nominee list for next year, Ghetto Cowboy and Saint Louis Armstrong Beach. I enjoyed both of these, but really recommend Ghetto Cowboy.

I also read What Do You Want to Do Before You Die. I heard about this title on the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list. Unfortunately it is not appropriate for middle school, but I loved the inspiring stories.