Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This is What a Librarian Looks Like

Last week, I read this post from Gwyneth Jones,  The Daring Librarian, highlighting a new blog called, "This is what a librarian looks like." I immediately followed the link: http://lookslikelibraryscience.com/ to see the pictures. I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to be part of the project, but I couldn't see sending in a pic of me working in the library. Since Mardi Gras was just around the corner, I knew that was going to be how I portrayed myself to the world. Below is the post, click the caption underneath the picture to open in the website and read my commentary .
This is What a Librarian Looks Like

If you are a librarian, you need to submit your picture, too.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Mardi Gras Time

It's Back to the Future for 7th Graders
If you live in the New Orleans area, then you are all about Mardi Gras for two weeks. Even the high school students get into the spirit at school by participating in a parade. Each Advisory designed and created their own float for the parade. It was a great way to kick off the five day holiday. 
Waiting to Roll


Today we are back at school and back to the present reality. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Good News in My Inbox

The above picture shows the table of contents of the January 18th edition of SLJ Teen
Yesterday, I received an email from School Library Journal (SLJ) asking if Bookmarked, the high school library book group, would be interested in reviewing books for them. SLJ has several email/online newsletters. One of them is called SLJ Teen. In that bi-monthly newsletter, four to six teen reviews are posted in each issue.  The students in Bookmarked are already reviewing books for YALSA's Teen's Top Ten (TTT). I require each student to write at least one review every month to submit to the publishers. The student might nominate the book for TTT if they think that it is worthy. I think that the students could use the same review for TTT that they submit to the SLJ newsletter with some nominal additions. The teen reviews in SLJ Teen run about 200 words with half of the review describing plot and the other half describing why the reader liked or didn't like a particular book. I think that it would be a lot of fun to participate. Once we commit, it will be a year stint. I have only asked a handful of students, if they were interested. So far they like the idea, but I have to get a commitment of one review a month from all members before we can sign on.

Then this morning when I opened my email, I had another surprise. Last week I entered an online contest to win a skype with an author. I thought this was an interesting contest because all the authors live in the Los Angeles area, and you could not apply if your school was local to that area. I should be hearing from Cecil Castellucci soon to set up the day and time. I love having the kids talk to authors. This year the students at PFTSTA have had four face to face visits and two webinars with authors. I am not sure which age group she will talk to, and I don't know if it will be during a lunch period or a class period. I will wait to see what she prefers.

Tomorrow I will be filming a thank you note to former first lady, Laura Bush. We have won three Gulf Coast School Recovery grants. The very last of these school recovery grants from the Laura Bush Foundation will be given on March 1st. They are inviting all past winners to attend. A movie is being made with pieces from each school expressing thanks to the first lady. I have two eighth graders on tap to say a few words in the video.

As you can see, there is never a dull moment around here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Jewell Parker Rhodes Visits PFTSTA, Again

Yesterday we had the pleasure of a repeat visit from the wonderful author, Jewell Parker Rhodes. She visited in September of 2010 when her book The Ninth Ward was published. The sixth and seventh graders were the fortunate ones who got to participate in her visit then. This year the English teachers, Cheryl Bordelon and Lisa Valence, and I decided to read the book out loud to all the seventh graders. It makes a great read-aloud. If you ever get to hear Jewell read it out loud, you are in for a real treat. She doesn't read the book, she performs it.

Anyway, the students at Patrick Taylor communicated via Edmodo with a group of seventh graders and their teacher, Shawn Hyer, from Van Meter, IA. The Iowa students read the book, too. When we knew that Jewell was coming to New Orleans, we set up a Skype session so the Van Meter kids could participate in the author visit with us.
The Patrick Taylor students are sitting in front of the author and the Iowans are on the screen

Seventh graders in Van Meter, Iowa

Click here to watch the interview with Jewell and two students
More pictures can be found on the library website.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

William Joyce Nominated for Oscar

I was an elementary school librarian for 12 years before moving to the middle and high level. I loved story time and the picture books. Yes, I miss it, but I am a big fan of young adult literature too, so it is all good.

William Joyce is a Louisiana native like me, and I have always loved his picture books. I think that my two favorite of his books are Bently and Egg and Dinosaur Bob and his Adventures with the Family Lazardo. I would read all of his books at some point every school year. He has had a hand in all sorts of media over the years including books, tv, movies and apps. His new animation studio, Moonbot, has created an animated short called: "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." It is nominated for an Academy Award in the animation short division. It is also dedicated to one of my professors, the late Coleen Salley. I just watched it. If you are a lover of books and the power of the story, then you will love this movie.
Mr. Morris Lessmore in scene from Joyce's animated shor
The opening sequence was inspired by Hurricane Katrina, but there are elements of the Wizard of Oz and the main character looks like Buster Keaton. The animation is pure 21st century, but the images are rendered in the retro design that you find in much of Joyce's work. Anyway, you can watch this movie for free. All you have to do is download from iTunes. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Good Reads is a Good Place

Check out author, Lauren Oliver's post on Good Reads. She has a fun give-a-way for Valentine's Day.

Also, you can now find Bookmarked, the library book group, on Good Reads. The group is private, but you can see what we are reading and reviewing. You can also read any discussion posts. We hope to use Good Reads to keep up with all the books that we receive for YALSA's Teen's Top Ten YA Galley Program. Since we get the books before they are published, you can read the students' reviews to help you decide if you want to purchase a book or look for it in your library. .
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