Friday, June 23, 2017

Creating a Library Annual Report to Share with Stakeholders

School has been out for a month. I have wanted to create an infographic as a snapshot of the library for 2016-17. After a week long vacation and taking some time off to read and read some more and visit with friends, I sat at the computer yesterday to make the infographic you will find at the end of this post. I used Canva to create it. I only wanted a snapshot that touches a bit on what happened in the library this year because if I tried to cover everything, the reader would lose interest fast. If you want to know more about the PFTSTA Library then you would need to read posts from this blog or follow the library accounts on Facebook, or Instagram.

I took information from the report that I had to submit to the district on circulation and number of books. I looked at the stats for our databases and subscriptions and included those. At the end of the year, I sent out a form for students and teachers to give me some feedback about the library. It was mostly very positive. The quotes at the end of the infographic came from that Google Form that I sent out. I also got some nice stats on how the patrons read from the survey. Though those stats didn't fit into the infographic. I thought that I would share them here. I think that the graphics are self-explanatory.

Click the above image to enlarge it

Click the above image to enlarge it

Click the above image to enlarge it
When I asked what books that students had read recently and loved, I got some interesting answers. Many of the students listed books that they were required to read for English class: The Lord of the FliesThe Round HouseFahrenheit 451, and The Wednesday Wars. There were the big name authors like Rick Riordan, James Patterson, and J. K. Rowling. There were also titles that were only mentioned by one student: Heartless by Marissa Meyer (a favorite of mine), Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar, The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz (another favorite of mine). Sci fi and fantasy have been the genres of choice at PFTSTA and continue to be popular among those taking the survey. Most responders still like to read print. When asked what they liked about the book selection at PFTSTA, they said overwhelmingly that the diverse and large collection is so vast that everyone can find something to read. In reality our collection is not that large with only 8000 volumes with just over half of those being fiction, but the library was created in 2006 to fit the needs and interests of the students. So what is on the shelves are books students want to read. 

I did not question the students on the makerspace materials in the library. We do have many types of games, robots, and STEM materials with which the students can experiment. I did not mention much about it in the annual report, but we definitely have a busy makerspace. You can read about it and see a video here.

State of the Library 2016-17 Infographic

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Seventh Graders Create an Amazing Product for the Ninth Ward Unit

Book Buddies: 7th graders work with the 1st graders at King Charter School
We had a new to us middle school ELA teacher at our school this year. She has around 12 years under her belt with gifted 6th graders in New Jersey. PFTSTA was so lucky to get her. Every time that we talked about lessons and activities, I was amazed at her ability to think everything through ahead of time. She is very detailed oriented, and it showed in her lessons. She took our 7th grade Ninth Ward unit and turned it on its ear. Her students were required to create a product using Google Slides that would showcase all that they had learned about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina including the rebuilding efforts. They were required to conduct an interview with a family member who was effected by the hurricane and we took them on a field trip to view the rebuilding efforts with our own eyes and complete some service learning when we visited an elementary school in the Ninth Ward. Some of the products were truly outstanding. I am sharing several of them with you here. You may not want to look at all 30 something slides for each presentation. I suggest some slides that you might find interesting and enlightening. One student didn't interview a family member, but instead reached out to one of the television meteorologists for her interview. Now that was some awesome creativity. 

Go to slide 10 to read about Emily's interview with the meterologist
Go to slide 27 to read about Jazzy's reflection of visiting 1st graders at King Charter School
Go to slide 50 to read Faith's newspaper article that she wrote about her experiences with this project

Go to slide 10 to read Gabby's interview with her Mom about losing everything in the storm

Go to slide 36 to read Madison's reflection on the project and her acknowledgements on slide 39

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Filling in the Gaps from April to June

Outgoing NHS officers from the class of 2017 (that is me in the middle)
NHS Induction March 16, 2017
I usually try to avoid writing blog posts where I explain why I haven't been writing blog posts. I believe that you should just get one written rather than waste time explaining why there hasn't been one in awhile. I created this blog in 2009. It was a way to document what I do in the library and share what I have learned. When I started, I had no idea where the blog would take me. Eventually, I decided that I would post weekly making it a goal to write 50 posts a year. I have not always met that goal and some years I have surpassed it. There are lessons that I am thankful that I wrote about because I needed the information to replicate them in subsequent years. There are posts that have been shared and shared again with librarians across the country. You can see below my all time stats for this blog since it began. 

Click the picture above to read the all time stats for this blog since 2009
Anyway, I try to take some time every weekend to reflect on the past week in the library and write a blog post. Since March, I have felt that I have been on a treadmill that wouldn't stop. I needed my weekends to regroup and prepare for the next week. This meant keeping my off time, off, rather than writing about the library. Now that school is out for the summer, I  can stop and breathe. Boy, does that feel good. Breathe. And, I can get back to this blog. 

Before I write specific posts about library activities over the last three months, I thought that I would just list here what I have been doing during that time. I sort of want to see how come I was too busy to document events. In March, we had a week off of school for Mardi Gras (I went away), I had one author visit, I attended the Louisiana Library Association annual conference where I presented twice and had several mandatory meetings because I am on the LASL board, we celebrated Teen Tech Week, I coordinated the NHS annual induction ceremony, and I helped with the 7th grade field trip to the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Of course, there were classes to teach, books to check out, and many visitors during the three scheduled lunches at school. In April, we had another 6 days off of school,  I began the long road of Advanced Placement exams. I am the school's AP coordinator. This year we administered 50% more tests than we did last year. It was brutal. Especially, because the Louisiana standardized tests are now all administered online, and the school began testing April 18th and didn't finish until the AP late testing that was scheduled May 19th. Testing mode took over the whole school, and it was not pretty. Once May hit, I had another author visit, I had an online meeting for the Louisiana Teen Reader's choice committee, I administered eight days of AP testing (teachers help to proctor), I coordinated senior award night and graduation (there were some mistakes this year because my stress level was so high), I mentored three student speeches for graduation, I completed library inventory, and closed out the library for the year. 

It was exhausting. Yet, I do have a lot to share. I will add blog posts over the course of the next few weeks describing some of the highs and lows (not many of those) in the library. I have been trying to reflect on how to prevent this same crazy schedule from occurring next year, but I am not sure if that is possible. The timing of most of the events is set in stone. Our school keeps growing, but there is still only one of  me. I have created a very popular library which keeps me on my toes even when there are no special events happening. 

Here's to summer:
Looking forward to a lot of time for this!
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