Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Great Turn Out for BRiMS



On Wednesday, the first meeting of the year for the middle school book group was scheduled in the new library. BRiMS is the short name for our Books Rule in Middle School. I set a maximum of 30 students in grades 6-8 for this club. Students signed up ahead of time and 22 showed up. We meet the last Wednesday of every month during middle school lunch. I let the students bring their lunch to the library, and I serve a snack as well. Generally, middle school students cannot bring food into the library-- so that was a nice perk for them. Even though the new library is big enough to house BRiMS and other students, the library was open only for the club members. 


For the first meeting, we introduced ourselves and shared favorite books or favorite genres. The majority of the students are into sci fi and fantasy. I am excited about that because I am too, and there are so many great newly published books in those genres too. In the past, students all read the same book for our monthly meetings. I put it to a vote to see if this group wanted to continue that tradition. About half did and the other half wanted to read their own choice. So I think that we will do a combination. In the months where they pick their own book, we will require them to choose from a specific genre. We already decided on horror for October. I think that we will all read the same book for September. I am working on a special project for that which I will reveal later. As soon as I set up the BRiMS page on the library website, I will link it here

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The New Library Opens for Business

Some students have already been using the new library since school opened on August 9th, but it wasn't really ready to provide full services like checking out of books. On Thursday, August 22nd, we had the grand opening. Not all the books are on the shelves, and not everything is in its place as of yet, but enough is done for students to use the space and find resources. Please visit the library's new facebook page here and like us.  

A happy student checks out the first books of the  2013-14 year

Students visiting in the morning try to put together a puzzle
Many heads are better than one

Members of senior project visit for a presentation on library resources

New middle school students are excited to find good reads on the shelves 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Voting has Opened for the Teen's Top Ten Awards from YALSA

Vote here!

The high school book group at PFTSTA, Bookmarked, has been reading and nominating books for YALSA's Teen's Top Ten program since 2010. Voting has opened for the 2013 list. You can share the link with your teens, and they may vote for up to three of their favorite books. Voting runs now through September 15th. Winners will be announced during Teen READ Week in October. Vote right here.

Visit Youtube here to watch a video with all the nominated titles.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Evolving School Library


I have been officially at work at the new school for a week and two days. The students have been at school a week. Though there are still lots of little things still needing to be done all over the building, the classrooms are very useable. The library not so much.  The other day they finished the circulation desk.  I didn't even know it was finished because there was no storage as you can see in the picture below.





The blue box that you see is a special box that lights up.  There is one in the office, too. It doesn't serve a practical use. It is just there for looks. 


After a day of panic, when I couldn't imagine how the new space is going to function as a library, I went to school today with a different attitude.  I decided it was time to start emptying the boxes and get the library organized and ready for use. I had students help stock the shelves and set up the computers. 


I am going home this weekend determined to return on Monday and get the library in an order that will allow me to open to students. Next Thursday is Open House, and I want the library to look like a real library when the parents visit the school instead of a home for 100's of boxes. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Read Reviews about Upcoming YA Titles

Laurie Halse Anderson visits PFTSTA in November 2010

I have been a book reviewer for both School Library Journal and Library Media Connection for 18 months. Once I started writing those reviews, I have rarely put a book review in this blog. For this week's edition of SLJTeen, I was lucky enough to have my review of Laurie Halse Anderson's new book included along with a  teen review of Toffler-Corrie's new book, My Totally Awkward Supernatural Crush. Okay, we needed to fill in the review space because I got only one review submitted to me by a teen, but it worked out for the best because I was asked by the publisher if quotes from my review can be used for publicity. I don't think that I have ever been quoted before. Open here to read the reviews.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Better Late than Never

In my younger days, I was a great procrastinator and often waited to the very last minute to get a paper written or complete a project. I have learned as I have gotten older that it is a lot easier to finish tasks way before the date they are due, especially because it gives you time to fix any problems along the way and still meet your deadline. So I am ashamed to say that since March I have had a video that I shot sitting on my computer. Doing something with it was on my to do list for the summer. I go back to work on Wednesday, so I better get moving on summer to dos or they will never happen.

Over the past several years, our school has been lucky to host 5 to 6 authors each year. After every visit, I have taken the photos and video from the visit and posted on this blog, added to the library website, tweeted and shared in the school newsletter. I try to do this within a few days of the visit.  I think thank yous are important, and this sharing allows me to thank the author, the publisher and local bookstore, Octavia Books, who usually send us the authors. The end of the last school year got away from me. Packing for the move to the new building was just daunting. In March, we had author Aimee Agresti visit us. I did post lots of pictures on line, but I never did anything with the student interview that I recorded. Until now. Finally, I had a few moments to put together a video with this interview. Enjoy!

Interview with author, Aimee Agresti


Get Reading Vol. 2 no. 2 from Elizabeth Kahn on Vimeo.
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