Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Teen Read Week - October 18-23

Teen Reads Week is coming up and I want to make sure I do something fun to promote it. I used Canva to create a couple of posters to advertise the event. The first is a general promotion and the second describes the details of the activities.

Since this is new to students, and I'm new to Teen Reads Week, I thought it might be fun to do a giveaway. At the elementary level I typically gave away books, but I know that at this point in time a book giveaway is not going to be the most motivating for my high school students. However, gift certificates to the movies or popular places to eat would be very motivating. So, I brainstormed several different activities of varying levels of difficulty and assigned a number of tickets to the completion of each. Students complete an activity and turn it in to me to get X number of red tickets. They write their name on the back of the ticket and place it in our bucket. Every day from Tuesday - Friday I'm going to do a drawing at lunch for 2 students. Those two students come to the library to randomly choose a gift certificate. So that I'm not the one that decides what is given, I'm placing all of the gift cards in an opaque container and students must reach in to grab a gift certificate. Hopefully the event will be a success and we'll be able to expand it even more next year.

I'd really like to have a cake decorating contest, a book swap, and a reveal party for the Teen Top 10 in the future. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to really plan out the logistics for those events. We are hosting a book drive with the Key Club throughout the week, a New Arrivals reveal at lunch on Monday, and a Trivia contest Wednesday after school. We'll see how those events go and then plan more for next year.

I did use the resources on the Teen Reads Week website to get promotion ideas, the theme, and activity ideas. If you want to plan out something for Teen Reads Week, I highly recommend checking out the ALA website.

Once Teen Reads Week is over, I'll blog again to share pictures and my thoughts on how it turned out.

Monday, October 12, 2015


This year I created a quick Pow-Toon video to start off my orientation.

I had fun creating it. The challenge was in summarizing everything I needed students to know about the library. However, since there hasn't been a certified librarian in this school for 5 years, I knew I had to go into more detail with the classes. I scheduled every English class to visit the library for one class period so that I could see all students. Starting next year I'll just work with freshmen.

These students have never checked themselves out, so I had to do some training in Destiny to show them the procedures. We also had to look at how to use the catalog because it had been a while since they had even seen the library catalog. My understanding from my library aide is that the library has been a hang-out for students over the past several years without a lot of productivity or book checkouts. I wanted to make a clear statement in my orientation that the library is a place to be productive, not to just hang out.

I also wanted to make students aware of the library website I updated over the summer so that they could easily access the library databases and other resources. Again, students (and some teachers) were not even aware that we had these databases available. I also wanted to introduce the idea of Genius Classes in the library this year. This information is also posted on our library website.

For the last part of my orientation I gave students a fairly easy scavenger hunt activity. The idea was to get them used to the various resources available in the library catalog and in the library itself. I thought that the scavenger hunt wouldn't take students long at all, but was surprised that they all thought some of the questions were difficult. I believe this is because they had not been in the library to use the collections or resources consistently over the past five years. I am hoping that I will need to make the scavenger hunt a little more difficult as students in our district are now being trained from elementary through middle school to use the library catalog and check out their own books.