Showing posts from March, 2012

Middle School Book Group's First Discussion

Image I finally created a middle school book group. I am ashamed to say that this is my sixth year at PFTSTA, and my first time including the middle school students in a library club of any sort. Bookmarked, the high school book group, has been in place for five years. Every Monday I close the library during lunch to hold a book group meeting for the high school students. I couldn't figure out how to include the middle school because I did not want to close during lunch on another day. After talking with a few teachers to get their opinion, I decided that I would have a middle school group meet once a month after school. PFTSTA is a magnet school and draws students from across the parish of Jefferson and the region as well. Most of our students ride a bus to school and getting transportation home can be difficult, but if the students want to participate in sports they find a way. So I figured that they could work something out for book group to

Bookmarked Poses for the Yearbook

It is that time again when the book group, Bookmarked, gets ready for its beauty shot that will be immortalized in the school's yearbook. Hopefully, the shot on the yearbook camera was better than this one. You can see everyone, but not everyone is looking at the camera. Here is the group that meets every Monday at lunch to talk books in the library.  We all grabbed a favorite read before posing. I selected Gabrielle Zevin's All These Things I've Done . I had just finished it and found it engrossing. What an idea that chocolate is contraband. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel to see if Anya Balanchine can actually head her crime family now that she has been expelled from school. You can find a video of the author touring you around the sites of New York that can be found in the book:

Student Writes Article on Library for Local Paper

The following article was written by a member of Bookmarked, the high school book group. It was published on Sunday, March 11, 2012 in the Westbank Picayune. This is a special section of the Times Picayune that is only published on the Westbank.    Area high school students are invited to be journalists for the year. They select a topic about their school that they want to share, and the articles are published monthly. This month Kayla writes about the PFTSTA Library. She did a wonderful job, but I didn't even know about it until I saw someone tacking a copy on the bulletin board outside the office. I put so much information on the library website that Kayla didn't need to interview me. I could not find an electronic copy of this article. If you click on it, you can view a  bigger size that is readable.  Way to go Kayla, thanks for making the PFTSTA Library look so good. I hope all the kids at Taylor feel like it is a great place to visit or hang out. 

Visit to Site of New School

The current location of Patrick Taylor Academy is in a 1950's building that was designed for elementary students. The library is in a classroom. There is no auditorium or gym or any place on campus that can hold the whole student body. There are only 300 students, but to accommodate that many students on the campus, the district had to add four portable classrooms in the back field. I am going to say something because it is true. The current Taylor building is one of the ugliest school buildings that I have every worked in. I have been in old buildings before that had lots of issues due to neglect but also had charm and interesting architectural details due to their age. Not so for this space. Sign at new site  When I was hired in 2006, PFTSTA was only two years old. The district promised that a building was going to be built for the new school. There have been no new schools built in Jefferson Parish in over 20 years. So this is a big deal. Originally, the move in date

Article Published in Library Media Connection (LMC)

I was first published in print several years ago, but I haven't had much in the way of bylines since then. Until now. Below is a copy of the table of contents page for the current issue of Library Media Connection. The Gale TEAMS Award that we won in fall 2011 was also sponsored by LMC. The editorial staff asked if Lisa Valence and I would write an article describing the project that won us the award. If you have the current copy of LMC, you can read all about it on page 40. If you can't get a copy, click the link underneath the table of contents below to read a pdf version. One of my colleagues in Jefferson Parish, TerryYoung, has an article on page 14 in this edition, and it is all about STEM resources.  Collaboration is the Key to Successful Research

Meeting Cecil Castellucci

On March 12th, the members of Bookmarked arrived early for their regularly scheduled weekly meeting. Instead of talking about what we were reading, we were going to skype with author, Cecil Castellucci. I had won a skype visit through a contest that I saw on Twitter.  A group of authors living in the Los Angeles area were offering their time for this contest, and the only stipulation to enter was that you could not be in the LA area. I found a number of Cecil's books in the PFTSA library's collection. I chose to read Queen of Cool in anticipation of the event. Okay, I am a girl, and I picked it because I liked the cover. Most of my students do that, too. It was a quick read, and the main character learns how to be a genuine person in the end which was very uplifting. I don't know if Cecil knew that she was being projected larger than life in the library. She was delightful and so gracious to the students. She talked a little bit about her background. She grew up in N

Teen Tech Week 2012 was Tech-tacular

I think that this was the best Teen Tech Week (TTW) ever. I enjoyed all the activities, and I think the kids did too. Let me give you a daily wrap up of each event.  MONDAY: I thought that I would start TTW with a movie and popcorn. That way if students forgot that it was TTW, they could visit the library for a special event that needed no preparation. I didn't ask anyone to sign up for the movie. I just held two showings so that every interested student would be able to view it. Below is a shot from the Oscar winning animated short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore created by William Joyce The kids really were enamored with the movie. The theme is so pertinent to show in a library. It is all about the power of the story, and it begins in the French Quarter only a 15 minute drive from school.  TUESDAY: I had to convince them that it would be a good idea, but I got Jon and Pamela Voelkel to skype with us. They were reluctant because they didn

Wednesday and it's Teen Tech Week

Today at lunch we are going to create a Mech. They are paper doll robots. That is what I am calling them. I printed the PDF on cardstock. They look like this: Another Example Here: There are 27 different Mechs to choose from on the website. I let the kids pick the one that they want to make. That way we will have lots of little creatures moving about the library. They will need to cut with scissors and exacto knives ( I am a little worried about this part). It is mostly middle schoolers creating the Mechs. I have high school students on board to help with the cutting.  We are scheduled to do this at lunch. Wish me luck. 

Teen Tech Week 2012 Begins Today

It is that time again when the library goes TECH! Okay, there is technology 24/7 at the PFTSTA library, but one week of every year we go crazy with technology related activities. We always celebrate technology by participating in the YALSA sponsored Teen Tech Week  (TTW). The event officially began yesterday, but since school only runs Monday through Friday, we started today. I usually over plan. So I decided to tone it down a notch this year. We have a special event every day at lunch. The students can play Research Riddles daily and win daily with a grand prize for two students at the end of the week. I need to thank A Google A Day for their help in the creation of the research riddles. We have a contest for students to enter also. You can read all about our slate of fun right here on the library website . Once Teen Tech Week is over, I will post pictures of all events which you can view at that same link. If you want to see pictures from TTW  2010 and 2011, you can find links

Thank you, Laura Bush!!!!

Laura Bush visited the New Orleans area today to give the last twelve grants for the Gulf Coast School Recovery Initiative . All 116 schools that received awards since 2006 were invited to participate in this event and representatives from 77 of those schools were there. I attended along with my principal, Jaime Zapico. It was held at Chalmette High School in St. Bernard Parish because that is where Mrs. Bush presented the first round of awards in 2006.  It was a beautiful affair. When we arrived, we got to visit with all the librarians and eat muffins and drink coffee. Since I have worked in both Orleans Parish and now Jefferson Parish schools, I knew a lot of the librarians attending the event. There was a wonderful student jazz band playing. After about an hour, we went into this amazing auditorium. A facility that we at Patrick Taylor only dream about. The chorus sang, and we heard more music from the band. Then a video was shown with librarians, students, and principals