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Showing posts from August, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Puts a Damper on School

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School begins early in southern Louisiana. The teachers' first day was August 6th, and the students entered the building with their smiling faces on August 9th. After August 9th, I was in full-on school mode. In other words, I was incredibly busy. Teachers were scheduling classes, the high school book group was selecting the new ARCs to read, I was soliciting members for the middle school book group, and I needed to do a lot of cleaning and editing of all my electronic resources. Then we hit a snag when Isaac decided to pay a visit. When we left school on Friday the 24th, we had no clue that we would not return for a week. I think that I left my printer and speakers on, though I know that I turned off all the desktop computers. I had reading material at home, but I left a stack of books that I really wanted to read sitting on the circulation desk. The time off did give me a chance to finish the novel, The Teacher's Funeral by Richard Peck, that I selected for the first meetin…

Reading More Books Nominated for Teen's Top Ten

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Lauren Myracle's books are very popular in my school library. When Bookmarked received an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of Shine last year, I knew that I wanted to read it. We get so many boxes of ARCs that I can't begin to read even half of them. I try to save time to read a few authors that I love. Shine is a very different kind of book for Ms. Myracle. It is definitely for the mature teen as it deals with a hate crime and homophobia. Cat, the main character, has some secrets of her own, but she is loyal to a fault. She believes that she must solve the mystery of who attacked her former best friend, Patrick, because the sheriff wasn't going to do it. There is lots of intrigue in this story as Cat's friends and family try to hide what they know. Cat soon realizes that everyone has faults, but she plans to keep at it until she finds some answers. This story is riveting and many of my teens thought so too. 

One of my students wrote a review of the book that we sent …

LaLAMP Tour Across the State of Louisiana

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On September 10th, Lisa Valence and I will start our tour across the state of Louisiana to speak to librarians and hopefully a few teachers, too. We begin at home in New Orleans, then travel to Baton Rouge on the 11th, Lafayette on the 12th and finally, Ruston on the 13th. At each site we will give a 75 minute presentation two times. For the last three years, I have been the site coordinator for LAMP in New Orleans. I suggested that the keynote speaker this year should talk about collaboration. The powers that be said that was a great idea and that I should give the speech. If I decided not to give the keynote, then whoever is selected could pick the topic that interested them. I knew that for me to give a good presentation on collaboration, then I needed to have one of my collaborators with me. Lisa Valence teaches middle school English at PFTSTA. We have created some really excellent lessons over the last few years. I am very proud of the materials that we have created to accompany…

Reading More Nominated Titles for Teen's Top Ten

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Okay, I may have already neglected to fulfill my goal to post daily about the nominated books for Teen's Top Ten. However, since I have posted everyday, I am not going to chastise myself. I am going to soldier on and post as often as I can about one of the nominated books.


Today, I want to spread the news about Divergent by Veronica Roth. There were a slew of really great dystopian novels published last year. This was one of my favorites. I even created a digital book talk in my Get Reading series about this title. You can find out all about this wonderful book right here:

Get Reading 10 from Elizabeth Kahn on Vimeo. I was also a big fan of Delirium by Lauren Oliver that I discuss on this episode of Get Reading. Too bad that title didn't make it into the list of nominated books.

When the second title in Roth's trilogy was published this past spring, I was so excited to purchase it. I started Insurgent. I really wanted to like Insurgent, but I did not make it passed pa…

Special Skype Session for PFTSTA Open House

[<a href="http://storify.com/TaylorLibrarian/pftsta-skypes-with-author-jon-voelkel" target="_blank">View the story "PFTSTA Skypes with Author, Jon Voelkel" on Storify</a>]<h1>PFTSTA Skypes with Author, Jon Voelkel</h1><h2>On Thursday, August 15th, PFTSTA held its annual Open House for parents to meet the teachers. Power Skills teacher, Kelly Maher, wanted to demonstrate to the parents how the Skype TV in her classroom could be utilized. The librarian, Elizabeth Kahn, scheduled Jon Voelkel to Skype with the parents during the Open House that lasted from 6:25PM until 8PM. There were four different groups of parents that moved in and out of the classroom during the evening. Jon sat at his computer the entire evening to speak with each group of parents for about 5 minutes. </h2>&…

Advertise Nominated Books for Teen's Top Ten

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On August 15, the voting poll opened for the annual Teen's Top Ten (TTT). There are 25 nominated books. This book list is created by teens, and the teens have the final vote on which books are their top ten favorites of the year. The teens have one month to cast their votes. They can select their three fav titles from the list of 25. Only teens, 12-18 years of age, can vote. There are many other lists that librarians can help select. 
I like to have the books front and center so the kids will remember to read and vote. I have some cards that you can copy and put in each book to help get the word out about TTT. 
I did not create these cards. I found them online last year. I edited them to fit on the page and updated the URL and QR code to reflect the voting poll for 2012. I copied on cardstock and when cut the cards are about the size of a business card.  I hope that you can use these cards to advertise the books in your library. 
Vote for me cards to put in books from Taylorlibrar…

Bookmarked Members Review Upcoming YA Titles Part 3

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It is Wednesday, so that means it is time again for a new edition of SLJ Teen. Bookmarked members have continued to show their excellent reviewing skills by writing more reviews of upcoming books.
You can open this link and find their reviews here of A World Away by Nancy Grossman, Blind Spot by Laura Ellen and Son by Lois Lowry.

Maybe you want to read more than the students' reviews. You can open this link to read the entire August 14th issue of SLJ Teen.

Reading Titles Nominated for Teen's Top Ten

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I hope that I am not going to give myself an impossible goal, but I would like to blog every day about one of the books nominated for YALSA's Teen's Top Ten (TTT). I have read many of the titles but not all. I figure that I can find something interesting to say about all of them because I know that for every title I can find at least one student who has read it. 
I am going to start with Hourglass by Myra McEntire. I started this book the other day, but I haven't finished it yet. Though I got a good chunk of it read this afternoon as I waited in the room for the doctor to arrive. 
Anyway, Myra McEntire is going to be our first author visit of the year. She will visit PFTSTA on September 17th. Over the last three years we have had many author visits both face to face and virtually on Skype. Almost every visit has been a big hit--though I will never schedule a visit on the last day of school again. I did that twice, and I think that I have finally learned my lesson. I am ex…

Teens Get Ready to Vote

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Tomorrow the polls open for the Teen's Top Ten (TTT) list sponsored by YALSA. The 25 nominated titles were selected by teens in 16 book groups across the country. Bookmarked, the high school book group at PFTSTA, is one of the book groups that has nominated books for TTT. The students and I have had a great time reading all the newly published and pre-pub books that the publishers have sent to us. This group of 25 is one of the best that I have seen in recent years. 

I don't have a lot of space in my library. The library is about 650 square feet with 6500 print volumes on the shelves. That means that I have little room for display. If I want my students reading and voting for TTT, then I need to put the books in a prominent position in the library. Above is the display that I created. I have printed out the description of the books from the YALSA site so the kids can make their choices of what to read. Tomorrow when the URL link to vote goes live, I will post the link and a Q…

The Start of a New School Year

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We started school for the 2012-2013 school year on August 9th. That is earlier than most of you out there. I don't know why we start so early when it is so excruciatingly hot in southern Louisiana, but I really did enjoy seeing my old friends and meeting so many new ones. I hope to have lots of avid readers this year. 
I found Buffy Hamilton's Unquiet Librarian Photoblog Tumblr page with pics of students on opening day. This photoblog is going to record pictures in the library every day that it is open this year. I love that idea. However, my library is so small that most pictures would look exactly alike except with different students. Maybe I can do something like that next year when we move into our new facility. I am counting down the days to the new building. I have never worked in a new library or even a library that was younger than 50 years old!
On the first day, I was so busy with running around the school to help where I could and getting the library ready to open t…

Why I Blog . . .

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I have been blogging for awhile. I have had four separate and very different kinds of blogs. There was a particular impetus for creating each one of them. However, each time I had a purpose and goal in mind. The blogs evolved over time, especially this one, but I always knew the kind of message that  I wanted to impart. 
I began blogging in 2005 when I returned to New Orleans after being in exile for 6 weeks due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Our friend, Christian Crumlish (aka mediajunkie), had recently started a web magazine and encouraged us to blog about our experiences. Blogging was still new. My husband and I felt that we had a lot to say. Everyone returning home from their exile had a distinctive experience, and the world was watching.  We were lucky because our house was located in the sliver by the river, so we experienced no flooding. There was some minimal exterior damage to our home, and the gutters had to be replaced. Our home was safe, but we lost our jobs and…