Sunday, September 27, 2015

This Week In The Library @JCHS: September 21-25, 2015


Wendy Cope, Librarian at Woodstock Middle School and Media Specialist of the Year for Cherokee County, GA, came to visit the JCHS Library during her Fall Break.  We were delighted to have Wendy come see how we have shaken things up this year from genrefying the collection to setting up our MakerSpace.  

I had the pleasure of meeting Wendy Cope at the Georgia School Librarians Association Summer Conference this past summer.  I attended her MakerSpace session and learned so much.  What I liked most about Wendy when I first met her was her enthusiastic personality.  She is a dynamic individual filled with wonderful ideas that she is willing to share! 

Wendy jumped right into the day helping and talking with students, faculty members and administrators.  I was excited for Wendy to see how James Clemens High School runs "lunch" as we ditched the traditional lunch waves for a Refuel Hour.  Our students love this change and it allows for students to choose the direction that hour will take.  I am pleased to say that many students use this time to tinker, explore, discover and create in the new JCHS Library MakerSpace.  

Together, Wendy and I were able to collaborate, think out and put up the beginnings of a Banned Books Week display.  During this time we discussed how important it is for librarians to get out of their little isolated spots in the library and visit other libraries, public and school, as often as possible to keep your mind fresh and sharp looking for new ideas to incorporate for your patrons.

After Wendy left for Georgia I looked at the JCHS Library through new eyes and made some changes to the arrangement of the MakerSpace.  I certainly wish Wendy had stayed for another day or two because the changes I made caused traffic to the JCHS Library MakerSpace increase dramatically!

I hope to visit Wendy Cope soon at her school during my Fall Break in October!  Watch out Wendy! Here I come!

Class Visit

Ms. Humphrey's students came to the library this week for story time. We read, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.  After reading this story we talked about food chains and played a food chain game from BrainPop.

After story time was over we made our way from the Harvard Room into the JCHS Library to check out books and spend time in the MakerSpace.  

Professional Development

Dr. Jim Knight, Instructional Coach and author, brought his years of study and wisdom to Madison City Schools leading two 3 hour workshops on building better communication skills.  

This was definitely one professional development session that I felt was well worth my time.  It has provided me with realistic strategies I can use to become a better communicator.  I also loved how Dr. Knight had us divide into groups using a "clock".  I plan on stealing and using this idea next time I present! 

Library Collection

In the realm of "behind the scenes librarian stuff" is working on a book order.  This week I was finally able to take a moment to get our first book order created.  When preparing the book order many factors were considered.  Genrefying the collection this year let me know what areas we need to build.  I also reviewed our automated system to see what long term missing books needed to be replaced.  The most important part of creating a book order is listening to your patrons and what they want to read.  To get student and faculty input regarding books they would like to see added to the library collection, a Google Form was created and widely advertised.  

Tech Tips of the Week: September 21-25, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Not Your Average Book Club (NYABC)

(Not Your Average Book Club)

I have been waiting for this week to come ever since the school year began because it is the first week that our new Not Your Average Book Club (NYABC) got to finally meet!  

To get members signed up I released a video detailing what type of book club we would have this year and asked students if they were cut out to be a member of the NYACB!

At James Clemens High School clubs are held during the day during Refuel Hour, not before or after school.  Due to this change, most clubs only get to meet for 30 minutes once a month.  Fortunately the Not Your Average Book Club is mostly virtual so time and date restrictions don't bother us; although was nice to all be together in the same place and the same time!

Unlike other book clubs you might be familiar with, the NYABC does not focus on all members reading and discussing the same book.  The NYABC focus is to connect club members with other school book clubs across the country. The two clubs we are currently connecting with are the #2JennsBookClub and the SWVBC or Somewhat Virtual Book Club.  

The #2JennsBookClub meets via Twitter.  During their twitter sessions participants discuss the book chosen for that date. Additionally, the #2JennsBookClub has the authors of the book participating LIVE during the twitter chat! As if that wasn't awesome enough, the #2JennsBookClub also gives away great prizes during each session!  

NYABC members get to choose whether to participate in the #2JennsBookClub or not. The choice is theirs to make. 

To learn more about the #2JennsBookClub click HERE.

The SWVBC or Somewhat Virtual Book Club meets using Google Hangouts. This way students from around the nation can see and talk with each other about the books they have read.  

The SWVBC meets once a month at 5 pm CT. Since this is after school students from the NYABC who would like to participate do so from home.  

The first SWVBC was September 2nd.  We decided to let students share some of their favorite books from the summer.  I was so proud of my NYABC member, Hailey, of making it onto the Google Hangout as there were some crazy technical glitches.

The next SWVBC meeting will be Wednesday, October 7 at 5PM Central Time to discuss I'll Give You the Sun. Mira Costa will be moderating.

The SWVBC November book is The Impossible Knife of Memory.

Again, NYABC members can decide if this is something they would like to participate in or not.

In addition to joining in the conversation with #2JennsBookClub and/or the SWVBC, NYABC members will get to help create a budget for purchasing new books for the JCHS Library, create book talkers, and more!

During our next meeting on October 16th we will have a NYABC "social" with punch, finger foods, and snacks.  While club members are eating and socializing they will also be given the opportunity to create book talkers or work on the book budget.  

As you can see, the NYABC is student centered and student driven.  Members get out of the club what they put into it and I love that it feels relaxed and happy and doesn't add to the stress of a full school load. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

MakerSpace Ribbon Cutting & Big Reveal

Thursday, September 3, 2015 Sandy Brand, Librarian at Liberty Middle School, held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new library MakerSpace.  

Creating a MakerSpace for the Liberty Middle School library has been a dream of Sandy's since she came to Liberty a year ago.  She had worked hard all last year and over the summer to make this dream a reality.  

Students started the school year a month ago and have been chattering about what could possibly be behind the big area covered with a black curtain in the library.  With the ribbon cutting ceremony students, teachers, parents and community members were finally able to see all of Ms. Brand's hard work and the amazing array of items students will now be able to use to create, discover, explore and learn.  

In attendance at the ribbon cutting were Madison City central office personnel, PTSO members, students, parents, Mayor Troy Trulock, and the local news media.

Students are certainly in for an exciting school year in the library at Liberty Middle School!

See more posts about the Liberty Middle School MakerSpace below: