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

 

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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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Eleanor and Park

“There’s no love like the first.”
― Nicholas Sparks

Eleanor and Park

My daughters (ages 17 and 13) and I just finished listening to Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I finally decided to coerce my daughters into listening to it with me after my high school students kept telling me how much they enjoyed Rowell’s new book, Fangirl. (Which, incidentally, is now on my short list too.) We started off listening to it together in the car, but that soon turned into running to the car to turn it on, and idling just so we could finish up that last chapter. Eventually Anabel, my oldest, went out and purchased the book herself so she could finish it up– soon, the entire family was racing through the book and the audiobook in a battle to see who could find out what happened first..

The characters, Eleanor and Park, narrate the story through alternating perspectives, bringing the heartfelt story about first love to life. The two meet one day on the bus after Eleanor moves into town; she’s described as a big, wild red-head who wears flamboyant clothes and apparently doesn’t care what others think about her. However, by following the beat of her own drum rather than conforming, Eleanor is subject to bullying by most of her classmates. Park, a shy Asian-American, quietly watches in the beginning, but slowly begins to speak in her defense as the two get closer together and their subtle romance develops.

The two main characters are brought together by chance, pushed together by an overcrowded bus, and spend most of their time together pointedly ignoring each other. But after Park catches Eleanor reading comic books over his shoulder, he warms up to her. Slowly, the two begin to talk. After many shared comic books, gifts in the form of audio tapes (did I mention the book is set in the late 80’s?), and afternoons spent together; Eleanor and Park finally realize that maybe they deserve to find happiness together, no matter the cost.

Rainbow Rowell perfectly catches the awkwardness and desperation of that first teen love, something we all can relate to. Reading this book was a flashback to the past (and the Playlist from the author provided another flashback all it’s own!). Eleanor and Park gets the thumbs up from my family, comment to say what E&P got in yours!

Students who liked this book might also like:

Stargirl by Spinelli
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessin
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green