Adding Pizzazz to your Library Program

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Walt Disney Company

 

I’m getting so excited about the yearly Kentucky LMS refresher. It’s one of my favorite professional development days of the year. The event is hosted at various schools around KY every July. It coincides with the location/home of the KASL president and where they want to host the event. This year, James Allen, of Eminence Independent School system (formally my partner in crime) chose to host at North Oldham High School. NOHS is only twenty minutes from my house! What a treat… no cross-state drive this year!

I have decided to revive my presentation about infusing creativity in your library program. It’s called promote-your-library-with-pizzazz. I marked it as middle/high in the session description, but in the past, elementary folks have walked away with a few ideas too. I keep track of all of my library happenings through photos. Oh, how I wish I had a smart phone when I first began my career as a librarian! I can remember a lot of fun activities that I did with elementary students, but I didn’t take pictures to record it all.  Yes, I had a camera years ago, but it just didn’t seem as handy as snapping photos with my phone. This past weekend, I looked through hundreds of photos in my google photos, searching for creative ideas and activities that we held at OCHS in the past couple of years.  BTW- if you aren’t familiar with google photos, it’s the bomb! Check it out! Every photo I take on my iPad, iPhone, downloaded to my mac at home etc… are all uploaded to one storage facility. It is so easy to search for images when they are in google photos.

My hope is that all participants will take away a few ideas that they can implement immediately in their own school.

How To Keep Them Coming Back – KASL Presentation – Fall 2015

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Kentucky Association of School Librarians sent out a call for presenters last spring. I always love going to presentations about good books. One professional development day that I look forward to every year is when the Bureau of Education sends someone to Louisville to present “What’s New In Young Adult Literature”. I sit and listen to someone else talk about great books that she has read in the past year! When I read the call for presenters this past spring, I thought “I could talk about good books for an hour. I could probably fill a whole day!” This blog post contains my presentation and some of the helpful tips and websites that I will share with the attendees during my presentation.

When students come in the library, I approach them. I don’t wait for them to come and find me to ask for assistance. I’m out on the “floor” offering my assistance. “Selling” books is my favorite task as a high school librarian. I first try to position myself to “sell” the right book. I ask them background questions like “Tell me a book that you have read in the past, that you enjoyed”, “What extra-curricular activities do you do outside of school”, “Do you have a hobby”? With 1600 students at OCHS, I don’t know all of the students on a personal level. I have to try to “get to know” them in a few minutes. I know this sounds stereotypical, but sometimes I can “guess” what they might like by their dress or friend group. A student in a football jersey would probably like Carl Deuker, Tim Greene, Mike Lupica etc… I have a few books that are sure fire winners for the majority of teens if they will only read them! The attached Powerpoint contains my favorite go-to books. We have multiple copies of most of these books. I hope that you’ll find some to add to your shelves to share with your students from my suggestions!

KSMA Conference presentation 2015

Sometimes I’ll have a student who stumps me. When these kiddos come in, I go to my computer and type in a title that they have enjoyed and see what certain websites can help me recommend to them. If you are new librarian and don’t know your collection very well, these sites would be a life-saver. I’ve been reading young adult lit for over 20 years, so I can usually come up with at a least a couple of titles to recommend off the top of my head. If you can’t, rely on these sites until you can!

Here are those websites that I use in a pinch:

http://bookseer.com/

http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/

http://www.yournextread.com/us/

If you are reading this from the state of KY, we are so fortunate to have Novelist as part of the KY Virtual Library. It’s another wonderful, helpful website, but it is subscription based.

Happy Reading!

Super Hero Day

“Superpowers, don’t always make you a superhero. – Duck”
Michael Grant, Hunger

 

We held our last photo booth of the year yesterday. It was put together by our community’s awesome OC Public Library’s teen librarian, Julie Wilson. Julie has all sorts of cool summer programming for the teens in our community and we partner with her every year to promote summer reading. This year the public library’s theme is “Every Hero has a Story”. Julie purchased all of the goodies to do a photo booth and took her show on the road to every school in our district who would partner with her! She had a rolling cart full of a complete photo booth set up.

We set up a table in the front of the library and had laptops out so that students could sign up for the summer reading program on the spot. We played all of the theme songs from Super Hero tv shows and movies. We were able to do this easily through a Google music account!

We also put together a super hero scavenger hunt for our students. I’ve attached it so that you can replicate. I altered one that Jennifer, our tech assistant, found on the net to suit our needs.  Scavenger Hunt Explanation hunt for OCHS

These are some of the photos from our Super Hero Day!

I hid an envelope that contained a letter (helped them solve the riddle) and their next clue.

I hid an envelope that contained a letter (helped them solve the riddle) and their next clue.

Students had to look up about half of the clues in Destiny to know where to find the envelope that was hidden on the shelf.

Students had to look up about half of the clues in Destiny to know where to find the envelope that was hidden on the shelf.


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One student was heard saying "I love our library. They do the coolest things!"

One student was heard saying “I love our library. They do the coolest things!”




January Displays

“Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity”
Novala Takemoto

 

Thought I would post about a few things that we have been up to this month in the OCHS library. We recently ordered a huge banner from Stumps. Internet address is for this company is stumpsparty.com   I was browsing through one of their catalogs for inspiration when I noticed they sold banners.  I went online and created the one in the photo below for $40. I’m extremely pleased with the product. I actually ordered two and tied them back to back so that they would be viewed from either side.

Banner purchased from stumpsparty.com

Banner purchased from stumpsparty.com

I feel like this will really help bring attention to the Young Adults’ Choices collection. We have several teachers who have been offering extra credit to help facilitate the circulation of the books.

President Day Display

President’s Day Display

So… as most of my ideas, this President’s Day snow display was inspired by Pinterest. This falling snow has been the biggest flop that I’ve ever tried from Pinterest! I purchased some large needles, super fine fishing line and two sizes of cotton balls. I thought our aides would enjoy this- WRONG. We first tried to knot the line so that each ball would sit on the knot. This didn’t work and they kept pulling through. We ended up stringing all of the cotton on a line and then using a hot glue gun to glue the cotton balls on at various points. It was quite a cumbersome undertaking. The plan was to do enough for all of our front windows. We soon realized this wasn’t an enjoyable craft project. We stopped when we had enough for a small display shelf. I brought out President Obama from our storage closet. We purchased him for a mock election a few years ago. I’m saving the Mitt Romney cutout that we purchased just in case he runs again! After president’s day, we’ll leave the snow and snowman out and change the books for some other reading material.

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We have also hosted an art show and a display of projects from one of our design classes. We have such talented students!

 

Art Show

Art Show

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Merry Christmas from the OCHS Library

 “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
Charles Dickens

 

It has been quite festive in the library for the past couple of weeks! We have been promoting reading by encouraging our students to select a wrapped “gift” to read over the holiday break.

Santa's Check List

Santa’s Check List

We are trying to circulate a particular group of books. We were chosen to participate in the International Reading Association’s Young Adults’ Choices reading program. We applied last year along with two of our districts’ middle schools – East Oldham Middle and North Middle. We were chosen as one of a handful of schools in the US that will receive free new books from publishers for preview. We agreed to secure two students to read and rate the books. We will be sending the ratings to the International Reading Association. They will then publish a Young Adults’ Choices list of recommended titles. Brochure from 2014 selections. After the students read the title, they rate them by filling out this form provided online. We will be participating in this program for three years.

Selecting a wrapped gift was a huge hit! This even enticed our young men to read!

Selecting a wrapped gift was a huge hit! This even enticed our young men to read!

We held a photo booth for our staff and students on the Friday before school was out. We have the most traffic for our booths before school begins. We also take pictures for students during hall breaks and lunch. We print them out for free on brochure paper and sit them out for students to come and collect throughout the day.

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We always host a holiday party for our wonderful library aides during 4th period a week or two before our Christmas Break. We play several games with them and have pizza, cookies etc…

Our aides always enjoy our holiday party for them before Christmas break. We try to treat them several times a year for all of their volunteer work.

Our aides always enjoy our holiday party for them before Christmas break. We try to treat them several times a year for all of their volunteer work.

Every aide gets a wrapped gift when we play a game.

Every aide gets a wrapped gift when we play a game.

 

More library decor photos…

We had our aides make paper chains for our tree and decor from old discarded books.

We had our aides make paper chains for our tree and decor from old discarded books.

 

Every year our school has a door decorating contest. We always participate.

Every year our school has a door decorating contest. We always participate.

 

Jodi Crouch, our library clerk, created this awesome bulletin board!

Jodi Crouch, our library clerk, created this awesome bulletin board!

Exciting News! ———————— #ReasonsWhyYouMatter #50StatesAgainstBullying

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
Michael J. Fox

We have some exciting news to announce! Last year we entered an application for OCHS to be part of a tour stop for author, Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why. In 2009, Thirteen Reasons Why won the KY Bluegrass Award! We found out last week that we were selected as the only school in Kentucky where Asher will stop. His visit will be held on Tuesday, November 11th.  http://www.penguin.com/static/pages/forms/yr/13rw/50statesagainstbullying.php#tour

 

ThirteenReasonsWhy

 

For more information on the Jay Asher anti- bullying tour visit this video link.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeVJkE2pAl8

Author- Jay Asher

Author- Jay Asher

 

 

 

Welcome Back!

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”
― Dr. Seuss

 

This year we greeted our students with a Western theme! We purchased our items from Oriental Trading and Stumps. We have had many positive comments from parents, students and staff. The plan is to rotate our themes every four years so that our students never see the same theme. Students see our library as fun and exciting…. Just the we like it!

 


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Cowgirl Annette

Cowgirl Annette

Hallway bulletin board

Hallway bulletin board

 

 

We ended our first week with a western themed photo booth. We purchased straw hats, sheriff stars and handkerchiefs. We also offered a special treat to anyone who wore their cowboy boots. All of our beginning emails, papers etc… given to staff included a “howdy”, “partner”,  “down on the ranch”  etc… western slang.

Our photo booth brings all students. Now that they know what they are, we don't have to encourage them to come and see us. They are excited when they hear we are hosting a photo booth.

Our photo booth brings all students. Now that they know what they are, we don’t have to encourage them to come and see us. They are excited when they hear we are hosting a photo booth.

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