Friday, October 30, 2015

Creating a Culture for Reading

 There are so many ideas shared in the educational community on how to create a reading culture within the schools.  The ideas are unlimited but we need to take into consideration what is best for our patrons.  As a middle school librarian I feel we have established a positive pathway for life-long readers and here are a few of our techniques.
  • Our library has a high interest hardback and eBook collections
  • Students are invited to participate in a school-wide reading incentive program
  • Faculty members display logs of what they have read outside their classroom or office
  • Students regularly visit the library with their ELA classes
  • The library is open before school, during lunch, and after school to students
  • The school sponsors a virtual summer reading reading program
  • Frequent book talks and book trailers are presented to classes
  • Librarian collaboration with district programming
  • District book competition
  • School-wide DEAR time
  • Literacy and book commercials on the student video news program
  • The use of social media (school Facebook and Twitter accounts)
  • Posting reading pictures to the library Instagram account
  • Student driven book clubs 
  • Student driven library program
  • Collaboration with the PTA
Sometimes the small incentives can surprise you the most.  On the way to work one day I decided to purchase candy as a surprise to anyone who checked out a hardback or eBook the week leading up to Halloween.  This small act was overwhelming with almost everyone checking out books during this festive week.  Some may interpret this as a bribe but in the long run if 1 piece of candy motivated a  student to read than I am convinced we do what it takes to accomplish our goals. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dare to Read!

I love to share paranormal, supernatural, and horror books with my students and faculty this time of year. I also found the audio of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark on youtube. I designed a new Dare to Read thinglink for 7th and 8th graders but I can use last year's Dare to Read with 6th graders. It was extremely easy to modify the original graphic in canva to produce a new presentation this year. What a time saver! Here's to the Dare to Read campaign at our middle school this week.

Last year's presentation was easy to tweak for some new titles.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Teen Read Week 2015 in Review

Teen Read Week 2015 was a successful adventure in our library program. Here's a tackk filled with visuals from the festivities during the week.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Can You Say eBook Success?

It was during the awesome #TXLChat on eBooks that I was inspired to reflect on our community's eBook successes.  I've been able to attribute our thriving usage to 4 basic reasons.

#1 - Librarian "BUY IN!" Get excited about your eBooks!!!
  •  You must be excited in order to generate an enthusiastic environment for eBook usage.  I hear many say I prefer books rather than eBooks.  DO NOT say this in front of your students and faculty.  You are condemning your eBooks usage before you begin.
  • Model by using your eBooks.  Start a conversation by saying, "I just read an awesome eBook that I think you would love."
#2 - Look at your eBook collection.  Are the titles INVITING?
  • An eBook collection is much like a hardback book collection.   If it's old and musty no one will read them.  If you don't have cool high interest eBooks no one will access them.
  •  Take time and input with your eBook selection and collection development.  
  • Take advantage of programs such as implementing a district collection to give your patrons a much larger choice.  We have an option with Follett that allows our school's to share eContent taking our school's collection from 100 eBooks to almost 1,400 eBooks in just 3 years.  
#3 - It's all about MARKETING.
  • I mention eBooks in every part of the library program. 
  • Have signs placed around the library and school with eBook access directions.
  • Design an eBook information bookmark.
  • Make visuals that can be used on social media, the website, or teacher moodle pages with eBook information.
  • Demonstrate!
  • Host an eBook book talk day such as I did with this thinglink. 
  • Send out eBook access directions via email before any reading event such as DEAR Day.  
#4 - Follow through with your statistics.  Give eBook "SHOUT OUTS!
  • Include eBook data in annual reports, parent newsletters, when sending out information to the faculty, and more.
  • Share your successes in PLCs, faculty meetings, Twitter chats, or any venue.
In my opinion our eContent is here to stay with yet another changing role as a librarian.  I have embraced the usage of eBooks enthusiastically and will continue to promote and market their usage to give our community a choice.  It allows usage of our collection beyond the library walls and beyond our school hours.  The success of eBooks in your community is at your finger tips.

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