Archive for July, 2012

L is for libraries

Gorgeous video from the Australian National Year of Reading.  Enjoy!

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Parents & Teachers Of Boys This Is For You! (and librarians obviously)

The report of the All-Party Parliamentary Literacy Group Commission in the United Kingdom compiled by the National Literacy Trust  report is just out.  It is a large document at 28 pages but well worth the time spent browsing it.  Certainly it is worth sharing with your Senior Management Team and with your English Department and Literacy teachers whatever school you are in if you have boys (or indeed are the parent of boys).

There is much for librarians to nod and agree with, some things of course we well know already from being at the coalface of literacy, but there are some recommendations we can work with too and it is always great when they are written in a report from an authoritative body.

The Commission’s Recommendations
1. Schools should have access to an evidence framework to inform
effective practice in supporting boys’ reading.
2. Every child should be supported by their school in developing as a
reader. Crucially, schools must promote reading for enjoyment and
involve parents (overtly fathers) in their reading strategies.
3. Every teacher should have an up-to-date knowledge of reading
materials that will appeal to disengaged boys.
4. Parents need access to information on how successful schools are in
supporting boys’ literacy.
5. Libraries should target children (particularly boys) who are least likely
to be supported in their reading at home.
6. Social marketing and behavioural insight need to be deployed
to encourage parents to support the literacy of their children –
especially boys.
7. Every boy should have weekly support from a male reading role model.
8. Parenting initiatives must specifically support literacy and fathers.
9. A cross-Government approach to literacy needs to be developed and

I thought this quote interesting too “Three-quarters of schools are concerned about boys’ reading”  and the skeptic in me has the comment in return “then why are you busy chopping libraries of every kind and school librarian hours – surely there is an irony there!”  I’m fairly certain that the UK is not dissimilar to us in respect of boys reading.  Get this document out in your school and shout out the need for great books for boys.  Boys of all ages!  And maybe your school will sit up and note that school libraries are vital to getting boys interested in reading and give you a great big enormous budget next year.  (Well you can hope!)

Get the report here

Image from: Image: ‘Doctor Who’

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Top 100 blogs for school librarians – musings on culling and adding

Yes, it is best of the blogs season.  Here comes another list of the best and brightest.  This one from  This list is well respected, and has been updated from this older list which was published in 2009, there are still some good ones to check out on there.

Why are these things worth looking at?  Because they are chock full of juicy ideas worth looking at and which you can use in your libraries to enhance the way you do your thing and connect with your students.  I also thing that you should cull your lists of blogs you follow.  People move on, change jobs, retire, their interests change and they stop updating their blogs.  To keep fresh I think you should update your reader – or however you follow the blogs in  your life – and cull the stagnant and add new exciting voices to your library life.  The way it works for me is that if I don’t see new blog posts on the blogs I’m following I tend to delete them after three months.  There have been some tragic losses in my blog life, Skerricks is a blog have I loved and admired for a long time, but it’s owner is on a leave of absence, and while I hope she comes back soon I’m putting it in a holding pattern until she does.

I think it is worthwhile going through and having a cull – just like you do with your irritating Facebook friends and their oversharingness (some people may have done that to me to be fair) and have a revisit of what is still good and what you’ve moved on from.

New to me in the update of the list is:

Hi Miss Julie – primary school librarian with lots to say!  I like very much.  Especially this post!

Archipelago – if you are into iPads you find much to see here.

K-M the librarian – you want relentless optimism?  See this blog first!  Awesome.


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Without libraries we’d be dumb!

Daniel Handler and Maria Kelman who have written the book Why we broke up, are seen in this video singing an ode to libraries.  Sing it loud and sing it proud!

When you’ve finished singing along go check out the Tumblr for Why We Broke Up.

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Lighting the Future (presentations)


In early June, the weekend course “Lighting the future – Libraries, learning, reading:  Access and opportunity for children and young people” was held in the UK, a joint venture put together by the School Library Association, with CILIP’s Youth Library Group and School Library SIGs.

Many of the presentations from the weekend are now available online. Lots of great material there – definitely worth a look.

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Two funny things

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been rather busy working on the next incarnation of the SLANZA website, which – fingers crossed – is due to go live very soon. As a result of that, I’m not spending so much time online, as I’m finding I just want to turn the computer OFF! Maybe there’s a future post in that – internet exhaustion.

Anyway, for now I’ve got nothing much that’s useful to share. So instead I have two completely random offerings.

Case #1: Scholastic’s Listen and Read siteScholastic Listen and Read

This actually could be useful for primary school librarians, but I have to say it gave me a good laugh. Check out the “Librarian” title.

Primary school librarians – do you wear cream slacks to work???
I chose silly answers for the quiz at the end and was told “At story time, the librarian reads and children do not cry. Try again!”

Case #2: A 6 year old  judges classic books by their cover

Over on Babble, SunnyChanel blogs, “What happens when this recent kindergarten graduate judges a book by its cover? Here are the results.” And they’re hilarious! Lord of the Flies, for instance:

“This is all about a tiny town, beneath the ground. And it looks like it has a lot of people in the town. I think they live in Africa. It looks like a fun book for kiddies! Teens! All ages!”

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The best blogs

Every year Salem Press names it’s top library blogs of the year for all the fields above.  This year the fabulous In the Library with the Lead Pipe is the overall winner.  I’m a little in love with this blog and yep, I’m going to all it a deserving winner!  In other highlights (actually every one of the nominated blogs is a highlight to be fair) one of my absolute fave is School Librarian Blog of the year.  Jennifer LaGarde is all kinds of awesome.  Her musings on school librarianship give me much to mull over, process and then try to put into action in my daily library life.  I am a huge admirer.  Here she is delivering a keynote recently.  I’m also delighted to note that Cathy Nelson and her professional thoughts was the highly commended blog in this category.  If you are looking for awesomeness in school library blogging these guys are the bomb!  Add them to your RSS feeds and get inspired.

Here is the full list of award winners.  The blog centre will take you to lists of blogs of many types where you find find lots of inspiration.


Every minute on the internet …..

Too wide for the page here but click the pic and you’ll get a full screen view.  These figures are mind-blowing!  Also interesting how these stats have changed since social media became so ubiquitous in our lives.
How Much Data is Created Every Minute?
Infographic by Visual News


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Information Fluency

This is awesome.  Hover over the  diagram and links will appear, if that doesn’t happen then go to the source here  or the Thinglink here.  Each of the embedded links takes you to really useful help section where you can learn how to teach each of the skills, there are lesson plans, posters and all manner of useful tools.  The detail is fantastic and I’ll be spending some time on their pages.  I for one salute you 21st Century Information Fluency Project.  

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