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Showing posts from October, 2016

Louisiana Book Festival 2016

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Last year, I had planned to take members of Bookmarked to Baton Rouge for the annual book festival. The predicted rain storms kept us away which was a good thing because the festival closed early due to the rain, and the book tents had ankle deep water. For 2016, I again planned a trip to Baton Rouge for the festival, and the day was glorious with sunshine and warmth.
Four students met me on the steps of the State Library of Louisiana to begin our day. We started in the cooking demonstration tent where Shelly Rushing Tomlinson was reading a story from her cookbook. She is a humorist, but I don't think her funny family stories were appreciated by the teens. They did eat her crackers and pimento cheese, though. 
Next we went to hear authors Susan Vaught and Rita Williams-Garcia. This was so cool. We walked into an almost empty room where Susan was sitting and waiting to begin. When she started, it was like we were getting a very personal presentation. Rita Williams-Garcia walked in …

Book Fair and Teen Read Week are Both a Memory

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I really did myself in by planning a book fair one week and Teen Read Week the next. Unfortunately, both weeks were out of my control. We now schedule the book fair during the two days that the grandparents visit the school for breakfast. This has proven very lucrative for the library, and I like promoting a fund raiser that promotes books and reading. The grandparents like buying books for their grandchildren. It is a win win situation. This year we grossed $300 more than last at the book fair, and the library received a net profit of $1500 plus just over $300 in Scholastic dollars to spend on new books for the library. This is the only fund raiser that the library holds during the year. I also raise a few hundred dollars a year in fines which I strongly believe in. More on fines at a later date.



I always try to schedule Teen Read Week (TRW) during the week that YALSA has it on the calendar. I know that really isn't crucial, but it is what I like to do. Most of the TRW activitie…

Students Weigh in on Banned Books and the Freedom to Read

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Every year, for Banned Book Week, I prepare a lesson for our 8th graders. It was always teacher directed with discussion until last year. The English I teachers and I created a lesson for the students that included research and writing. I pulled the materials that I wanted them to read, and the students would write a very short essay declaring their belief in the need for teens to be able to exercise their freedom to read what they want to or the need for certain books to be taken off the shelves of the library or pulled from the English curriculum. 
Above is the slide presentation that I have made for the students. Included in the slides are several videos that I thought would get the students thinking. There are slides with links to specific articles that we want the students to read and use for the concrete evidence to support their stance. A rubric is included at the end so the students know exactly what is expected. The teachers and I want the writing to have a real world applic…

Getting Ready for TRW 2016

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When October nears, I know that it is time to plan for Teen Read Week. We have been celebrating this YALSA sponsored festivity in the PFTSTA Library from the first year I was there back in 2006. We started very small with one or two activities until it has grown to be a big deal at our school. However, I have developed a game plan that we use yearly for this activity so that I don't have to start from scratch each year. When I ask students, if we should make changes they let me know that they like things just the way they are. Some of our events are passive and can be completed any time during the week, but we also have a special event each day during lunch which requires active participation. Sure the regulars visit the library, but this is also an opportunity to have visitors who don't usually walk through the library doors. That is a very good thing. Visit the library website for more info and pictures after the fact. Want to know what we are doing? Read below.



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