Move those books!

6 Jan

In December we tried a new approach to getting students to check out books – bribery – and now we know that it worked.

In November, 567 fiction books were checked out. Our month end reports for December showed that 551 fiction books were checked out of the library. I was pretty happy when I saw this number. I was happier still when I realized that there were 22 school days in November and only 13 school days in December! That means that in November, on average, 26 paperback fiction books were borrowed every day but in December, 42 paperback fiction books were sent out each day! It is like a little army of books is marching out of the library, ready to change the lives of the students that they encounter.

This definitely is not teaching me a good lesson about the success of bribery!


Back to reality … sort of

5 Jan

Because of the strange work schedule I have, after 18 days off, I had one day of work before another 6 days off. Today was a fabulous opportunity to catch up on some work and plan a few things for the upcoming weeks (like a new window display that is percolating in my brain – stay tuned for that).

But before I check out of Christmas break mode and officially take down all of my Christmas decorations (which will be hard because I feel like I have made an emotional connection with our tree), here are some pictures to show you what kept me busy over the break.

I spent quite a bit of time making Christmas gifts - like this tutu for my second cousin

...and this pencil pouch

My dad and his brothers are obsessed with clamps (yeah, I know) so for Christmas this year I created a Fabulous Clamp Calendar for the upcoming year. Like they always say, you can never have so many clamps! Now they have a new clamp every month.

I did a ridiculous amount of baking. Seven hours one day! I was so exhausted that I forgot to take pictures of the 6 types of cookies, two types of bars and peppermint chocolate but, I promise you, it look delicious!

I don't know what it is about these chocolate chip cookies but I have friends who refuse to come over unless I have cookies... though that may say more about me than my cookies.


I think I do too much baking during the holidays!

The rest of my time was filled with visiting with my lovely sister (she lives in California so I don’t get to see her as often as I would like), seeing good friends who are in town from all parts of the world, spending time with family and playing board games.

Board games are the one thing that I may love more than books. For Christmas, my husband bought me Settlers of Catan and, though he refused to play it at first, since opening it we have become addicted. There may be an intervention staged shortly.

It doesn't look wild and wonderful but it is a fabulous game!

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.