The Start of a New School Year

7th graders on August 9th, first day of school
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 that I did not take a picture of the student who checked out the first books of the year. I was excited when Jose stopped in because he wanted to finish the Cassandra Clare Mortal Instruments series that he started by checking out books from the public library. He knew that we had what he wanted, so he rushed in on the first day to continue where he left off. Once Jose got his books,  that first lunch was like a busy bee hive with students finding the books they wanted that never seemed to be on the shelves last year. 

Below are some students in the library on the second day of school. They are standing in back of a table loaded with ARCs. These ARCs are for Bookmarked, the high school library book group. The group is part of YALSA's Teen Top Ten YA Galley program. The three students on the left are part of Bookmarked and will be reading and reviewing books to nominate for Teen's Top Ten (TTT). Voting for TTT begins on August 15th. When the polls open, teens from around the country can vote on the 25 books that my students helped to select. 

Bookmarked is a very busy group. Besides reading and nominating books for TTT, they are also reading and reviewing for SLJ Teen, an online newsletter that is published twice a month. You can check out the archive here and read all their reviews that have been published beginning on June 6, 2012.  Bookmarked will be contributing to SLJ Teen until the end of May of 2013. 

For this school year, I have two words that will be forefront in my mind: collaboration and curation. Both of which I have been working towards over the last couple of years. On September 10th, I begin the LAMP tour across the state of Louisiana by speaking on collaboration to librarians in the New Orleans area. After New Orleans, I will travel to Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Ruston. This is going to be something very new for me. I have not made that many statewide presentations. I will blog more about this later as well as share my wiki for this event in a future post. 

For my efforts to be a better curator, I have begun using Diigo along with my older Delicious account. I have seen so many fabulous librarian and teacher collections on Pinterest, and I want to expand my use of this tool. I learned to love Livebinders last year, and I hope to make more binders to fit the needs of my students. The PFTSTA library website is always growing and changing hopefully getting more user friendly. Though I created this website for the students at my school, I hope that the sites listed there may be helpful to students and teachers anywhere. 

One of the last of my major goals for this year is to build a school of life long readers. I have been feeling that I am losing readers as the years have passed. When I first began at PFTSTA in 2006, each year my circulation stats kept rising. I was so excited to watch the numbers grow until we hit a plateau a couple of years of years ago. The last two years circulation numbers have dropped. The rise in use of electronic devices may be one cause as well as students purchasing more books at bookstores. My collection, especially fiction, has gotten so much better. I have so much wonderful reading material on the shelves. I want my students reading it. I am hoping to get our student government to help me devise a way to win more readers. If we have success, I will be sure to let you know.

Here's to a great school year for all of us. 


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