Friday, December 9, 2016

New eBook Marketing

The simple answer to our successful eBook program is directly related to marketing.  It's like any other program in education one must present, present, and present again.  My latest marketing strategy came after seeing a tweet about Destiny Discover QR codes.  I was so interested I contacted Follett and started thinking of ideas to make this enhance our eBook collection usage. That's when I decided to make flyers around some of the most popular books circulated at our school.  With the Destiny Discover app already downloaded on my smartphone I scanned the QR codes and was directed to the actual eBook in Destiny Discover.  All one needed to do was log into their account and the eBook was checked out.  How easy to have these flyers displayed in the hallways, bathrooms, classrooms, and cafeteria.  They can also be easily shared on social media. It will be interesting to see if these visuals will make an impact on our circulation statistics.  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Gone Retro With the Help Desk

So how many of you remember from the retro days of a librarian sitting at the Help Desk when you were in college?  Yup, you just approached the desk and asked him/her a question and they were more than happy to help (well at least most of the time). I took an old desk removed the ancient desktop computer and made a Help Desk sign. I gave no instructions to my student aides and witnessed an intriguing outcome. They love to sit at the desk with their personal ChromeBooks and take on the help tasks. Whether it's distributing information on the Spelling Bee, giving out requested print jobs, searching for books in Destiny, or answering basic questions the library student aides love this prestigious position. Notice Helga (the decorated duster per student idea and design) in the photo who accompanies everyone at the Help Desk.  Sometimes those old concepts can find a place in our new diverse library environments. After all, we are all about helping.

Monday, October 24, 2016

October Book Trailers

With 3 years of promoting books using ThingLink presentations during the month of October, I thought it may help others to curate them in one location.  You can either show the book trailers on a large screen for the entire class to view or allow students to pull out their headphones and view only the trailers of interest.  Please feel free to use this in promoting books throughout the month of October.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ways to Make Your eBook Program Soar

As our eBook program continues to grow, I have shared our successes through a blog article in Follett Community.  If you are using Destiny you will want to join Follett Community. Please don't hesitate to contact me about any further information on this topic.

Click here to view my blog article in Follett Community.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Killer Thrillers

This time of year is one of my favorite times to share a variety of genres. Here's one of the Killer Thriller book trailer presentations used with classes to help motivate students to read. Using ThingLink with book trailers has been an incredible asset with my library programming.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Meet and Greet With the Librarian

I changed up my meet and greet this year with a new batch of students.  With returning 7th and 8th graders I need to continually change up my "Meet and Greet" presentation and I was pleasantly surprised at the response I received this year with all 3 graders.  Virtual reality has been introduced into the lives of our students and the Thinglink VR presentation was by all means a hit.  Pictures from our Instagram also helped visually showcase the library.  Using these 2 simple tools and presenting them in a tackk was the perfect presentation to introduce the library program.  

Meet and Greet With the Librarian

I changed up my meet and greet this year with a new batch of students.  With returning 7th and 8th graders I need to continually change up my "Meet and Greet" presentation and I was pleasantly surprised at the response I received this year with all 3 graders.  Virtual reality has been introduced into the lives of our students and the Thinglink VR presentation was by all means a hit.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Top 10 Books for 2015-2016

This is the time of year for reflection on my part.  I look at data, programming, calendars, our Instagram account, and anything that provides information over the school year.  My biggest surprise so far has been the continued usage of our eContent.  I knew our students and teachers were accessing our items on Follett Shelf but I didn't take the time to look closely at the titles.

Here's what I found about our top eBook titles:
  • Our #1 eBook was The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  This wasn't a surprise because the 6th graders read this as a class in ELA.  So many students made the leap from a paperback book in class to reading our library eBooks.  The statistics show that ALL of Mr. Riordan's eBooks were very popular.  In conclusion - purchase even more of Rick Riordan's eBooks.
  • The Dairy of the Wimpy Kids by Jeff Kinney eBooks were the 2nd most popular series.  These most likely were checked out by 6th and 7th graders. In conclusion - look into purchasing more eContent similar to this series.
  • The Testing, The Hunger Games, The 5th Wave, and The Maze Runner series were all very popular.  In conclusion - keep purchasing the high interest books to movies novels. 
  • Our eBook usage was very connected to our hardback usage with many of the top titles being accessed in both contents.  

Pike’s Top 10 Hardback Books:
  1. The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
  2. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  4. The Kill Order by James Dashner
  5. Legend by Marie Lu
  6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
  7. The Death Cure by James Dashner
  8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
  9. The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
  10. The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
In reflection  of our year, I can clearly state that our students are versatile with our content.  Many like checking out and reading hardback books while others prefer reading our eBooks.  I foresee our eBook statistics for next year to continue to climb as our secondary students will be issued  Chromebooks.  It's all about providing choice for our students. 

ThingLink VR Challenge

I have enjoyed this summer's ThingLink VR (Virtual Reality) Challenge.  Here's  a VR look at my library.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Map Your Summer Reading

Each year I brainstorm for creative ideas to market and promote reading throughout the summer.  This year I've teamed up with geography for a fun visual summer reading promotion.  Where in the World are the Pike Panthers Reading is a simple idea for our students and teachers to share geography, reading, and fun pictures to share with our Pike family. As the summer progresses I hope many partake in this fun summer reading visual. Make sure to click on the actual tackk graphic to view the interactive reading map.

Monday, May 16, 2016

ThingLink Teacher Challenge

Click on the graphic for more information on the ThingLink Teacher Challenge
It's almost time for summer and I am looking forward to some much needed rest and relation.  That being said, it's also time to take advantage of the many professional development opportunities offered during this time.  I participated in the ThingLink Teacher Challenge a few summers ago and I'm ready to partake in the ThingLink VR (Virtual Reality) Challenge this summer.  Join the amazing Susan Oxnevad for this challenge.  I promise that it will be well worth your time.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Librarians As Lead Learners

Join Becky Calzada (@becalzada), Neil Krasnoff (@TXlibraryguy), and Sue Fitzgerald (@sue_fitz) on Tuesday, May 17th at 8:00 p.m. CST for an evening of summer professional development opportunities from an amazing PLN.

May the Force Be With Your eBooks Usage

Many have asked for my advice on developing interest in the use of eBooks in their school communities.    Let's face it folks eBooks are here to stay and they should be an important part of your collection.  It's all about providing choices and eBooks should be a choice in your learning community. There is no exact formula but here is how I used my powers to launch a successful eBook program in my middle school.

Collection Development - This is one we should all be consumed with regardless of the format  If you don't have content that everyone wants to read then your collection development process needs improvement.  This is an all consuming expectation for all librarians to provide a high interest collection while enhancing the curricular needs of your learning community.   Some of my favorite collection development tools include:
  • School Library Journal
  • VOYA
  • Follett's Titlewave - I have used this one for many years now.  We use Destiny and the seamless integration between the two have helped me numerous times over the years. I have recently joined Follett Community, and I am looking forward to connecting with other educators.
  • Goodreads -This is my favorite site to help me keep track of the many series.  I have signed up for a monthly newsletter and have joined some reading challenges.  
  • Youtube - Follow publisher channels and others in your PLN who produce book trailers.
  • Conventions and/or opportunities with authors - I love to see the new gadgets, collaborate with others, along with speaking with the authors.  
  • Blogs from my PLN - Follow those who lead and we have many amazing librarians willing to share.
  • Book Clubs - Conversations within book clubs can lead to so many more conversations, friendships, and collaborations.  
  • Twitter Chats - Join the many chats including #TXLChat with endless ideas and topics.
Practice What Your Preach - How many times have I heard others say they prefer the feel of a real book while turning the pages?  Let's make this clear that we are providing choices for our students in getting them "future ready".  That includes not persuading their choices with our biases.  I model the process by using the Brytwave app, iBooks, Overdrive, Kindle app, and more.  We need to be versatile and feel comfortable in providing content in many formats across many devices. You need to be 100% enthusiastic.

Provide Learning Opportunities - Demonstrate, demonstrate, and demonstrate more.  Have demonstration lessons (I prefer to call them infomercials) at least 3 times per school year.  Start with one lesson at the beginning of the school year, revisit the process before the December holidays, and finish the year with a "kick off" to summer reading with a final demonstration. Provide these learning opportunities to parents during Open House, faculty members during meetings or PLCs, or any other opportunity and/or event.

Use Your Website - Provide easy directions on your website for FAQs.  When I receive an email about eBook access it's simple to reply with the link to our website with step-by-step directions. It's also easy to provide the website link via social media throughout the summer or school year to peak interest after I receive a new batch of eBooks on our Follett Shelf.

Put Up Signage -  Is there a better way to remind your students about accessing eBooks than a colorful sign?  Don't limit your signage to the library and make sure you offer your teachers signage for the classroom.  My favorite website to design signs is Canva.

Inclusion- Include information on eBook usage with ALL your programming.  As an example I even included listening to our digital audio books during our Let's Move It! @ Pike faculty program.

Use your librarian powers and provide your community with choices.  Encourage versatility with content usage across the curriculum and across devices.  We are preparing our students for a fast passed ever changing world.  Prepare them well.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Coloring Contest in the Library - YES!

Top 10 Reasons to Sponsoring a Coloring Contest:
  1. It was a fun activity sponsored and promoted by the library
  2. It didn't require extensive planning my part
  3. The items were easily found and purchased
  4. All students were invited to participate
  5. No creativity was required 
  6. It made a colorful display
  7. It helped celebrate School Library Month
  8. It was a new program and received much positive attention from both teachers and students
  9. It brought students into the library before school and during lunch
  10. It helped create a positive welcoming environment to all students and teachers

This year I tried a new library program and it was not only fun but a welcomed success.  With many blogging, tweeting, and commenting on adult coloring I decided to host a  bookmark coloring contest in honor of School Library Month in April.  I found awesome bookmarks on the Demco website along with some colored pencils and that's all it took.  Students were given almost 3 weeks to complete the contest and the results were so phenomenal  that I had a difficult time choosing a winner.

Here are the bookmarks from Demco.  There were 5 templates to choose from.  I had some leftover for next year as I hope to continue this tradition.

I put the bookmarks on display in a case with many students, visitors, faculty, and parents stopping to admire the colorful arrangement.  This easy to manage program brought so much interest that I continue to get requests for the coloring bookmarks even after the event is over.  Who said library programming was difficult?  Make it easy and think about adding a simple coloring program to your library for a positive overall outcome.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Let's Move It! @ Pike

Should we lead by example?  I say yes and so did my faculty with our 2nd year to introduce this very popular program. Back by demand we merged digital literacy, exercise, health tips, collaboration, and enthusiasm in our school. In the first day 24 faculty members logged in 728.972 miles with many more miles yet to come. As an ambassador for literacy, I joined with the school nurse and our PTA for this dynamic collaborative program. Amazingly every department is being represented in participation.   Think outside the box and take your programming beyond the walls of the library with some unique ideas and collaboration.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Middle School Book Brawl

It was an amazing event as described by my fellow middle school librarians. The 5 district middle schools collaborated on a literary book competition for the first time in our thriving district. Following the example of our elementary competition, the event was a huge success with 15 district teams filling a middle school cafeteria. Our library roles and collaboration made this exciting competition one we will continue in the future. Click on this link for more details.

Friday, April 15, 2016

#TXLA16 and #TXLChat

Many will be attending the Texas Library Association convention in Houston soon while others many not have this awesome opportunity.  The next best option is to follow two incredible hashtags on Twitter.  Join the convention remotely and use #TXLChat and #TXLA16

Monday, April 11, 2016

How Do You Say No?

As I sat in our district meeting recently it was brought to our attention that there had been complaints about librarians unwilling to help.  I contemplated the scenario where one would  come right out and say, "No, I will not help you."  But do we really have to use the word "no"?  Can our actions, facial expressions, body language say no?  As a librarian I took an oath to help my learning community.  Can the problem be a perception rather than my fellow librarians denying the services so needed?  When I began my career the perception was that we stayed in the library stamped books and read all day.  It was far from the truth but I realized that I alone MUST change this misconstrued perception of my role as a librarian.  I challenge everyone to eliminate any negative perceptions that my be lurking in the school or district.  Be a positive role model willing to help even when overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities.   As many may know, unwanted perceptions can be devastating to the profession. Smile and use NO sparingly. 

Literary March Madness 2016

Our Literary March Madness winner is  official with over 70% of our 520 votes going to The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey in our final round of voting.  Some may say they don't like the fact that students may watch the movie rather than read the book but with my experience the movie generates so much interest that we cannot keep any copies of The 5th Wave or The Infinite Sea on the shelves.  I also love the conversations with students about the differences between the book and movie.  I am proud of the interest that this single program has generated about literary in our school.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lone Star Reading List 2016 Interactive Poster

Here's the 2016 Lone Star Reading List made interactive with ThingLink (my favorite presentation tool) and Canva.  Please feel free to use this for the purpose of promoting this awesome reading program. I thank everyone who devoted their time in selecting such wonderful stories that it makes my job easy to entice my students to read. This online poster may be updated as new book trailers become available.

Friday, February 12, 2016

ThingLink Brings Virtual Reality to the Classroom

I just received this awesome news and I couldn't wait to share it with my Professional Learning Network. Read all about the new virtual reality coming soon to ThingLink.

Susan Oxnevad's article on ThingLink's new virtual reality features

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hour of Code Marketing

Did you have a successful Hour of Code event? What better way to archive an event than through an online presence such as using a tackk. Even after our celebration it appears many are viewing the Hour of Code online flyer. As a librarian, I hope many of us continue post successes so other may be inspired or learn.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Increase Database Usage!

When I was a librarian in a very large high school I would introduce the databases through the research process with most students delving into the information provided.  Fast forward to my new middle school library position and this was not the common practice with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade research.  Through frustration of awesome resources not being used, I made this one of my challenges for this school year.  It was during a Gale presentation at the beginning of the year that birthed the simple idea.  Although the data provided by our databases is phenomenal selecting the correct resource(s) for middle school students appeared challenging. Thus with the help of my Gale representative we collaboratively designed a smore with direct links to resources.   Now when I present a digital resource kit or introduce the research process I include this online flyer and make database suggestions depending on the topic.  Teachers include this flyer as additional resources on their moodle (online) teacher page.  In conclusion, this simple online flyer with direct links has generated usage and enthusiasm in our learning community for awesome resources. 

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