Shwew… what a week! Monday feels like a vague memory…
Exploration seemed to be a theme this week; we started off with a fun visit from the 5th graders to research black explorers and see what the “big kids” library is like. The rest of the week, there were lots of freshmen coming in for help with researching an explorer for their history class. They had to use an actual book and were amazed at how useful a good subject encyclopedia can be.
Lunch time was extra busy- Monday we visited the Multicultural Alliance to talk about our upcoming African American Read In, Tuesday reading club met, Thursday 6th grade book club got together, and today we had students come to work on our AA Read In decorations. (I can’t wait for them to go up; we have some AMAZING artists.)
It was also a week of meetings. Professional development, advisors lunch, grade team, academic committee, scheduling…
Weekend, here we come!
How is it already February?!? January, we barely knew thee.
There was a lot on tap in the library this week. In the upper school, we went to sophomore debates in chemistry classes, helped with junior poetry research, and attended Unity Day sessions. For the middle school, we read a handful of new sports books to prepare for the 8th grade book talks this week. (We got 59 checkouts from our 8th grade visits; not bad for 69 kids.) We also did a lot of reader’s advisory, for everything from “a book that everyone should read” to “a book about a woman who was the first to do something” to “a book with no boring parts.” Piece of cake. We had our first Battle of the Books lunch meeting, so that our teams could work out their reading strategies, and we made a display to go along with the Upper School’s Unity Day.
Today we enjoyed being snug in our library snow globe as the world turned white outside, and we worked on back office stuff – cataloging, budget, book orders, eBook updates, etc…
The week started off with a couple of super fun activities – grading bibliographies and proofreading comments for a teacher. Juuuuuust kidding. (Not about doing those. That happened- but they aren’t the super fun things). The actual fun was having a pizza party to celebrate our students who read nine books or more in the second quarter. Then we brought the juniors in US History to peruse books for a topic they want to explore in a research term paper. We got to tell the sixth graders about our upcoming trip to the public library, where they will take a tour and get library cards for anyone who doesn’t have one already. It was also a week with plenty of meetings: Upper School Academic Committee, Middle School Academic Committee, Grade Team Meeting, Extended Advisory, etc… To balance out the work, we played Super Fight for the first time, a game we heard about at a Young Adult Library Association conference. It’s going to be added to our board game enrichment activity for the upper school kids. I’ll even be here tomorrow – playing on a team for Hoops Madness, our school’s four-on-four basketball tournament. Can’t wait!!
Until next Friday….
Your friendly librarian baller
Books for Junior Research Papers
Today we were joined by 16 intrepid readers, who finished nine or more books during the second quarter of school. They were treated to a pizza lunch with Capri Suns and chocolate chip cookies. Congrats to these readers, and everyone else who participated in the reading challenge. Can’t wait for next quarter!
We started off the week with a snow day!! Let’s be real; no matter how much we love our jobs, there is nothing like a surprise day off of work. Then it was back to business.
6th grade Shakespeare wrapped up: citations finished, paraphrasing refined and presentations made. A student with a concussion needed A Single Shard read to him; a teacher wanted to figure out how to cite her own photography from a scholarly journal article, and THE PRINTER DOWNSTAIRS STOPPED WORKING. Thankfully, it was only out of commission for a day. We mapped out Book Club and Battle of the Books meetings through March and concocted some plans for our April author visit. (Steve Sheinkin is coming!!) There were new books to catalog, which is always exciting, and we added some awesome titles to the collection (see photos below). To wrap up the week, our second quarter reading challenge comes to a close this afternoon, so it’s time to tally up the books and go shopping for some sweet prizes.
We are excited about the start of a new year here in the library. There’s something about a fresh calendar that makes the possibilities seem endless. Already, in just the first week back to school, we’ve been helping 6th graders study Shakespeare and 8th graders research Ancient China. We’ve done jelly bean bamboozling with some very brave sophomores and had our first Tuesday reading club of 2019 with the middle school. We’ve helped about one million students print something for class (give or take) and ordered Brandon Sanderson read-alikes for some big fans of his novels. Can’t wait to see what happens next week!
The start of the school year brings creative, yet informative bulletin boards, plenty of plagiarism lessons, but most importantly new customers! In an effort to get our 6th graders off on the right foot loving the library, we hosted an introduction class with a scavenger hunt. After introducing ourselves and attempting to learn every student’s name, we got to work with the online catalog. Students got their first glimpse at Destiny Discover and the possibilities of requesting new books, putting books on hold, and renewing before the due date. New this year is our single sign on for ebooks through our Destiny catalog. Some students actually prefer using their iPads to read, so we had some takers. Then we went over the layout of the library as well as a few general housekeeping rules to remember. To bring back the excitement of the library, we talked about book club and our reading contests, then set them loose on a goosechase.
Literally – we used the app Goosechase, available for free through the Apple store.
Since some students didn’t have Apple IDs and others required parental permission to download, only 1 student per group downloaded the app. Our 5 groups of 3-4 students were each named after a genre, which later came into play for a mission. With Goosechase, teams can only submit photos or videos (something we set up ahead of time) to complete missions within a certain amount of time. Our missions included:
- Team selfie in front of your genre
- Picture of a book by an author whose last name starts with the letter M
- Video of a team member logging onto the computer (and logging off!)
- Snapshot of a book search in the catalog
- Picture of a graphic novel by a particular author
Our 6th graders zoomed through the stacks racing each other to finish. They learned how to use the catalog, where to find books, how to use the library computers, and how the library is organized. Once the scavenger hunt wrapped up, they used these skills to find a book to read and explore a little more. Based on the silliness and number of books checked out, we’d call it a success!