Monday, April 25, 2011

You want to interview me? &

I recently did an interview with Kathleen Fox of about how we use social media to promote our library. 

You can check the interview out here.

Kathleen Fox of

Kathleen, a former educator and librarian, was tired of hearing "the library's boring." To combat the problem, she has developed a dozen library games, professional books, a DVD, a CD of library songs and a children’s book, The Pirates of Plagiarism -- resources all designed to make the library an exciting place. Stop by and check out her blog. It's filled with lots of great ideas to add a little fun to your library.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tanks, Chaos, and Spring Break

We've been invaded. I'm not entirely sure what's going on in the back of the library, but it involves one hundred WII army tanks, cotton balls, and red checker pieces. I think it's some kind of battle reenactment - maybe France vs. Russia? Don't know what it is, but I love it anyway.

This has been a CRAZY five days. Between author visits, National Library Week, Mesoamerican research projects, and general lunacy, I'm about to loose my mind (never mind the engagement ring that went missing for 48 hours only to be recovered from the bottom of the kitchen garbage bag).

I promise updates on this week's events. Just as soon as the crazy dies down.

They just called for a cease fire in the back. Spring break here we come!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Celebrating National Library Week & National School Library Month

April is a busy month in the library world. Besides celebrating National Poetry Month, we're also recognizing National Library Week (April 10-16) and National School Library Month.

Although we've got events scattered throughout April, most of our "BIG" activities will happen next week. What's the point of School Library Month? According to the ALA, "Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career." This year's theme is "Create your own story @ your library" so we're focusing on writing and storytelling activities.

Back in September (How I had time to think about this back in September is beyond me....) I collaborated with our local YA public librarian to plan activities for this week. Up first: an author reception with Ellen Yeomans. Ellen's written a wonderful YA novel in verse called Rubber Houses. It's about a teenage girl whose brother is diagnosed with cancer - many of our students have read it. Conveniently, Ellen lives in Baldwinsville, so she's a "popular author" and a "local author" all rolled into one. I've never been to an author reception, but my YA counterpart, Val, says they're just informal gatherings where people can get books signed, shake hands with the author, and ask questions.

Mark Binder: Author,
Storyteller, Nice Guy

Our second round of events happens on Thursday. It's going to be a crazy jam-packed day, but those are the most fun...right? I'll be hosting my VERY FIRST author visit, sponsored by the PTSA. A little nervous about all the little details coming together, but hopefully it goes smoothly. Mark Binder, an author and storyteller is coming for the day. He'll do a morning assembly with our 8th graders and then hold writing workshops with smaller groups for the rest of the day.

In the evening Student Council is hosting our building's annual Spaghetti Dinner, where members of the community come for plates of spaghetti cooked by staff and students. During the dinner PTSA is sponsoring a Scholastic Book Fair (another first since my time here). Mark Binder, our visiting author, is sticking around, and following the Spaghetti Dinner and Book Fair, he'll do a storytelling presentation at the public library for families.

Cross your fingers and hope that I'm still breathing come Friday morning!

What are you doing to celebrate National Library Week and National School Library Month?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy National Poetry Month

We've never gone out of our way to celebrate National Poetry Month, but this year we've made an effort to focus on poetry. A celebration means a display and this month is no exception:
Our April poetry display in the library.

I don't know if this is true everywhere, but our poetry collection was starting to rot (metaphorically). For the most part, it just sat on the shelves, buried deep within non-fiction or randomly scattered throughout our "Teen Fiction" section. Students who wanted it couldn't find it, and many others didn't realize it was even an option.

Our solution? We created a poetry genre. Our library is already organized by genre, so it made sense to pull out all the poetry books (I'm including novels in verse) and give them their own special shelf. Here are the genre stickers our secretary came up with:
Poetry genre stickers on book spines
Since creating a special section devoted to poetry, we've seen circulation increase -- always the ultimate goal, right?

We're also celebrating National Poetry month with a research project that combines the iPod, biology, animals, and poetry. Stay tuned for details!