Archive | December, 2010

A new addition to our library family

15 Dec

No, it is not a baby (those are way too loud for a library anyways).

A week and a half ago, my brother and I spent our Saturday morning hauling the world’s largest loveseat into the library. And the kids have been loving it ever since! I managed to find a quiet second to shoot some photos of it. It was a little tricky since every break and lunchtime the couch is overflowing with students.

A big thank you to Ms. Rubio for donating it to the library!!

It's the Big Comfy Couch

It is a perfect addition to our new fiction display and reading centre

Dear students; You belong here.


Weekend Website (a bit after the weekend)

14 Dec

So this post is a little bit late but I will make it worthwhile.

Today was a day spent finding great online resources and I found some doozies!

Thinking back to some of those atari-style cellular biology videos, they can now be supplemented with this amazing resource from the University of Utah. The view inside a cell is dynamic and has audio support but I found the interactive exploration of relative cell size unbelievable and a great way to put size into perspective.

This video shows the correlation between lifespan and wealth for the countries over the world over the past 150 years. Very interesting and entertaining. It also helps that the presenter (Hans Rosling) has a fabulous accent.
 David Suzuki has done an interesting short video called The Test Tube about finite resources and exponential growth. The video combines interactive video with live data pulled from Twitter. Also an applicable way to teach the concept of half-life and doubling.  

This Conflict History site allows the user to search conflicts by time period and place. It is a combination of Google Maps and Wikipedia data. Students can use the timeline on the bottom of the page to select and era and zoom in to the map to select a location to learn more about. There are multiple levels of information presented here. I must admit that looking at the conflict map of the present day was a little stressful. There is so much more going on than we read about in our daily newspaper.


A new go-to bookstore

11 Dec
On Tuesday I spent the morning catching up on my purchasing list. We bought book stands for our new fiction section (the books were getting tired of standing and they kept laying down), some new DVDs for the collection and four bags full of new books (Book Warehouse has a new $3.99 price point for old stock paperbacks! I picked up lots of great ones for almost nothing. Christmas certainly has come.). Book warehouse will have to be visited more often!
Book warehouse may be a new regular store to check out!

I’m going to be so busy reading over Christmas break!

It’s Christmas at the library

10 Dec

Take a peek inside to see the exciting things that are happening in the library this month… if you look hard enough, you may see our new library couch! The students are so excited about it. I haven’t seen it free since my brother and I hauled it in there this past weekend. Awesome!

Part of making the library exciting is to keep it constantly changing. Here is the look for the month…

I have a group of students who help me create the painted window displays. It took 2 hours in total because we had at least 10 people working hard on it. It turned out really well and the Christmas lights look great on gloomy days.

‘Tis the Season

6 Dec

When I was teaching elementary school I understood the importance of bribery. I am not above it. I have bribed students in many different ways and with many different rewards. I have done individual and group point systems, weekly review systems, homework lover cards similar to coffee cards, straight-up candy bribery and class money where the students could buy items or donate towards class charity projects in other countries (not to toot my own horn on this one, but – toot, toot – we managed to donate enough money to save 3 children from the streets in Ethiopia, buy 2 roosters and 6 hens, and pay for 12 meals at the Union Gospel Mission). Sometimes I even bribe myself; if I clean the whole house I can watch a whole uninterrupted episode of the Vampire Diaries and not feel ashamed that I am a) wasting time like that and b) loving it.

So I thought, what better way to increase library use than bribery?! For the month of December our library is giving away books. As an incentive for students to come in and check out books they get a draw entry for each book that they check out this month. During the last week before Christmas break we will pull a name and they get to come pick a book (we have a selection of new duplicate books that we will be giving away). It has only been a week and we have quite a few people entered. I tell you, it may be illegal but bribery works.

Weekend Website

5 Dec

Here is some more horn tooting for myself (I admit, this shameless self-promotion may be becoming a bit much but I guess that doesn’t stop me). This week’s weekend website is…drumroll…my own! Well, not really my own, but our new library website which I have created. There are a few links which are a little iffy and I’m still adding more but I’m super excited about what I have done so far.

The library website was done on Blogger (so I have had to learn another blogging program) and I think I may enjoy Blogger more than WordPress (eek, I’m hoping that my blog isn’t wiped off of WordPress for saying that). I like WordPress for its clean look and easy to use interface, but I enjoy the customization allowed in Blogger.

So here is the unveiling of the new library website

It has links for subject resources, teacher resources and old assignment resources. It also links to our catalogue, research sites and school sites. Through LibraryThing I created a slideshow of the new and hot books that we have in the library. This site is easy for this because you simply need to scan the ISBN on the back of the book and the book’s image is automatically updated in the widget embedded in your blog. Fabulous!

How to make a librarian’s day

2 Dec

We have done so much work in the library in the past few weeks and, I have to tell you, yesterday it was all worth it. After 3 weeks of putting up my “New and Hot” display I was beginning to wonder how much of an impact it was having. I have two displays that I change weekly – one in the library window facing out into the hallway and one in the library study area. I put up the cover images and reviews of 6 or 7 different books in each of these display areas to try to entice students to come in and check out a book that interests them (I’m hoping that these displays will attract the attention of students who wouldn’t normally wander through the library to look for a book). 

New and Hot

Yesterday, I was changing the book display in the library study area and there was a student working at the desk right under the display. He kept working as I put up the images and blurbs for another set of books and just as I was about to finish he asked, “Do you have those books in the library?” I told him we did and he replied, “Oh, well, I was reading the last signs that you had up and the books sounded pretty good. I will have to come in and take a look.” It was music to my ears. I tried my best to wipe the shocked/elated look from my face, told him that sounded great and managed to resist jumping for joy until I was out of his sight line. That made my day!