Friday, March 29, 2013

The Boy Who Lived...Wins Again!

Inspired by March Madness, we held our first Battle of the Books at high school.  Students, teachers and administrators nominated books for our beginning sixteen brackets. Student library assistants chose the starting line up from all the nominations.  I was thrilled to see not only popular books but all time classics like The Great Gatsby and To Kill A Mockingbird.  The King James Bible was also nominated and made it all the way to the quarterfinals. Our ultimate battle was between The Hunger Games series and The Harry Potter series.  In the end, their could be only one victor.  Yes, The Harry  Potter series was the grand champion by a landslide of votes. I have to admit I was overwhelmed by the amount of participation. We averaged over 300 votes a day!  People were SERIOUS about promoting their favorite book. I had e-mails about how unfair it was their fave book was pitted against Twilight or Divergent. Personally, I loved every minute of it. How awesome is it to have an entire campus excited about books?  It was this librarian's dream come true!  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Create Beautiful Webpages

Need a great webpage for your library? Wix is an extremely user friendly and visually appealing website creator. The above webpage was ready in just a few minutes.  I created extra pages and linked my research tools, online newspapers, e-books and cool web 2.0 tools.  You can embed this webpage or link it to another site.  Create something wonderful for your students!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Virtual Battle of the Books

Inspired by March Madness, the library is hosting a battle of the books!  Students are busy voting for their favorite books to make up our book brackets.  I created a Google Form that students, teachers, administrators (and anyone with a pulse) could use to nominate their all-time favorite book.  Beginning with sixteen books on our bracket, we will have our first round of voting on Friday, March 22, 2013.  We will continue voting everyday until we crown a victor!  I sent out an informational flyer to everyone at high school with a link to the nomination form and a QR code to the link.  My helpful library assistants posted flyers around campus.  Since we are a BYOD school, students can scan the code with their devices and vote at their convenience. We just started today, but it has been heartwarming see how many teachers, students and administrators have nominated books.  And they are serious about wanting their book to win! Competition is not reserved for sporting events.  They are already campaigning for their fave book.  Stay tuned for the victor... Keep Calm and Read On!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Author Megan Miranda has released a gripping psychological thriller in Hysteria.  Mallory's parents want to give her and the entire family a new start after the tragedy.  Her father decides to send her to Monroe, an upscale private school,  and Mallory is finally ready for an escape from the rumors, ugly glances and paranoia.  As she arrives at her new home, she wonders if life can really change for her.  She soon finds out that the rumors of her past have caught up with her at Monroe. Everyone knows what she has done.  Soon the nightmares begin again, the visions come...boom, boom, boom.  

Warning:  Mature Language and Graphic Scenes

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Future of Libraries?

Is the future of libraries in question?  Absolutely! In a world where most students have access to the Internet at their fingertips, the librarian is actually more important than ever  in my humble opinion.  How do our students sort through the sea of information and misinformation? How will they know what is relevant?  Is Google the new librarian? I love Neil Gaiman's quote, "Google can give you a 100,000 answers, but a librarian can give you the right one."  Yes, the role of librarian is changing. Are we ready for the change? We need to be in order to stay relevant. Librarians are curators of information in all formats. As I sit at a local coffee shop and ponder the future, there is a group of students beside me working on an English project. I have to admit I am quite impressed with their intellect and skill. They are using tech tools to create an exciting presentation (Smore, Vocaroo, BigHugeLabs). Places where people can come together and collaborate will always be in demand.  That is what I want the library to be for everyone. The 'go to' place for learning, researching, collaborating, and technology. What excites me about the future is I want to be the person in the middle of it all--challenging, helping, and yes curating the electronic resources to stay relevant.  Are you ready to stay relevant?

Find Treasure in a Good Book!

Go green for reading! Library Lady celebrated St. Patrick's Day early with great books.   Who says reading is not a priority for high school students anymore?  Every Friday the students wait to see what Library Lady (L2) will wear next and what books she will be promoting.  As we prepared to leave for spring break, L2 knew that the students needed great books to keep their minds full of creativity and imagination.  L2 pushes her cart of books to the cafeteria on Fridays at lunch to check out books to all the students, but there is something more important than just checking out books.  The relationship she builds with the students is the number one priority.  There are so many awesome students that she visits with every week.  Some students may never check out a book, but a strong bond is formed.  Students know that they can come to L2 to get help with research projects, homework and a smile.  Sometimes we just need to let our students know that we care.  Remember, for some it may be the only kind gesture they receive that day. Being real and passionate about learning lets students know we genuinely want them to succeed.  In the great words of Robert Frost, "I am not a teacher, but an awakener." 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Need a book? Listen to this....

How many times have students asked you to find them a good book?  Create your own audio book summaries and make it easy to find every student the perfect book.  Using Vocaroo,  students can record  themselves reading a book summary!  My high school students love making their own recordings and then generating the link into a qr code.  We post covers of books and the corresponding qr codes around campus. Students using a qr code reader on their smart device scan the code and listen to the book summary. If they are interested in the book, they come find it in the library and check it out. Now your books can go everywhere!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Must Stache" you a good book in your backpack!

 Looking for great ideas to increase your circulation? Students will be excited about coming to the library and finding good books to read when you have a promotion.  For the month of March we are celebrating "Mustache You a Good Book in your Backpack!"  We created a giant mustache bulletin board and are posting pictures of students holding their favorite books while wearing a fake mustache.  A great librarian, Mary Clark, posted this idea on twitter, and I loved it. I give her all the credit and my thanks for sharing her great idea.  That is one of the best things about our profession--our willingness to share and learn from each other.  I believe it is what keeps us inspired from day to day. Students also become inspired when we share our creativity and enthusiasm.  Students dash into the library between classes and during lunch just to have their picture taken with their favorite book! It warms my hear to see all the excitement.  At the end of the month all participating students will be entered in a drawing for Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Remember to Keep Calm and Read On!

Library Lady wore an enormous mustache to check out books to students at  lunch in the cafeteria. The 'Stache' would not even fit through the door!

Students had a great time putting mustaches on the books!