Archive for category Primary school

Tween Reading List – now thats handy!

tweensIt is booklist time of year again, one of my favourite times,  I keep adding to my most wanted in 2014 lists and finding new ways of spending the budget I want to have, not necessarily the budget I will have.

The ALSC – Association for Library Service to Children have put out a Tween Booklist.  You know those kids, the ones who look like teenagers, act like teenagers and are little kids inside even if they don’t realise it.  You can download the PDF in either black and white or colour which I think is just excellent and it makes good browsing.

Find it here.  While you are on their website check out some of the other fantastic things they have on there.  Very inspiring!

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Maurice Sendak on Children

If you ever wanted to understand a little more about where in the imagination of Maurice Sendak books like  Where The Wild Things Are came from, this lovely video will give you an insight into the man.  100 Scope Notes

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Gender specific book covers – discuss

Book collection

Book collection (Photo credit: Ian Wilson)

I work in a boy’s school.  In recent times I have really struggled to find books with covers that aren’t saying “I’m a book for girls with a kickarse female heroine who will take down anybody who challenges me’  it is doing my head in.  Books for boys are thin on the ground at the moment unless you want zombies rampaging thoughout the shelves of your library ad nauseum.  It is doing my head in (did I say that already, oh yes I did!).  My reading stats are fantastic and yes, the blokes like books like Graceling, Blood Red Rose and Necklace of Souls but could we have a bloke on the cover of the book please.  All these books are great, they all have great female characters but they also have excellent male characters.

There is a movement afoot to try and get publishers to allow a greater readership of books by using less gender specific covers.  Why can’t we have more books with covers like Legend by Marie Lu which has appeal to everyone.  Here is a link to an interview which aired on Monday on Radio New Zealand between Charlotte Graham and author Maureen Johnson

Have a look at Coverflip  It is, frankly, an awesome re imagining of a bunch of bookcovers to alter the target market.  As she says in this article in the Huffington Post

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25 books every child should have on their bookshelf

Fabulous Flavourwire, makers of taste and purveyors of internet good taste have posted this list.  The books are an interesting take on must read childrens classics.  Would you have chosen them?  It got me thinking, I wonder what would be on a similar list if it was made in New Zealand?  Surely there’d be a Maurice Gee or a Joy Cowley, a Jack Lasenby or a David Elliot.  There would also probably be some of the books on this list too.  I know everyone else in the country would insert a Margaret Mahey but my kids never really loved those and I didn’t much love reading her books to them.  My kids would have had Wombat Stew and Possum Magic and The Little Yellow Digger when really little and Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket and Matilda on their middle of their childhood lists.  I guess everyone would have different titles but it is nice to have a think back and remember and also to think about the books which helped form you.  Have they had an affect on your reading tastes in the long term?  I wonder.

prince

 

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Tailored services – that’s how we roll

This fabulous cartoon came to me via Teacher Librarian Network on Facebook tonight.

Libraries of the future

What do you think?  Is this the future?  Swallow a pill and you’ve read a classic?  Have the characters in a book step out and become a projected holograph on the wall in front of you?  Robot library staff?  Will we reach a time when paper books are just a fond memory?

I personally think not – at least not for a while.  A quick pop quiz this week with a bunch of Year 10 classes as they passed through my booktalking clutches and quizzed them on their library usage – ours I know about, but I was interested in whether they used the public library.  Most did not, and it certainly depended on the kind of class they were.  Higher streams using it more than lower.  Students seem to have had a range of experiences when they’ve been mixing it up in the public libraries.  It seems staff there aren’t familiar with the kind of things they need, perhaps remembering from their school days what they required, or even more enthusiastically encouraging them to look at new things about which the particular librarian they approach is an expert.  I think there is some room for public librarians to get familiar with the kind of things our students study, to find out what topics are taught and to make contact with school librarians to talk curriculum matters.  What books work for subjects, what won’t work.  That at least is the feedback I got from my guys.  The quest for information to complete assignments often yields better results at school because we are working as a conduit between teaching staff and students, providing specific titles which match specific topics.  We know the level of the resources the students need, and we can tailor our advice to the right level.  (There is an exception to this though, one public library in our area is hugely popular with the students and has an ex school librarian manager, students report that they have loads of things that are useful and that they want to take home, that is awesome!)  However I know that often the experiences of students at public libraries when on a quest for information are often less successful than if they took their query to their school library.  The school library has purchased specifically for that curriculum area, we know the kind of information which will work for the student.

At school we are tailoring our stock specifically to our target audience, it is youth specific and responding to feedback from teachers and students.  No robots can do what we do!  In a school we are tailoring our services to our students, to the people we see in front of us every day.  Micro tailoring if you will.  This just isn’t possible when you are catering to a while town or city with a Public Library.  They have more buying power than we do, are able to stock more copies of popular items but are more general in their approach because they have to be but in terms of having a specific focus on youth and the curriculum then the school library is where it is at.  We should celebrate our specialness, and think about the students we have who are using the public library for homework and research and think about who is taking them there.  That would in most cases be a parent.  Do the parents think about the resources in the school library in the same way that they think about the public library?  I think that perhaps parents are assuming that information is information and that the public library has a youth section and therefore will be able to cater to the needs of their kids.  But that ain’t necessarily so bro!

Parents, your kids should use the school library as well as the public library, most times instead of the public library when it comes to resources for homework.  This is our specialty area.  Our whole library is a youth section!  This again makes me wonder.  How many parents ever set foot in a school library?  Not many I’m thinking.  There is scope for a parents information blitz here I think.  Something to mull further on.

 

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It’s the list-iest time of the year

And I don’t mean who’s been naughty or nice, though anyone who works in a school library surely has a mental list of those…

But I digress. It’s that time of year when various book-related peeps put together lists of the best books of the year that’s nearly over.

Open in my browser tabs lately are these “Best of 2012” beauties. Why don’t you start making your own “to-read” list for the summer now! Or make notes of titles to buy for your school library in 2013.

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The Indie Next List is out

Get your buying list notebooks or apps out to take notes for when your budget is all filled up again, cos there are some things you’ll want to buy/read on this list folks.  This is a list of the new cool stuff hitting the shops in the States this winter.  Books for every level are here. Some are out already here, a couple are in my ‘I’m taking this home for the holidays box’ right now.   Here is the link to the list.  And look at that, here is a link to the downloadable shelf talkers.  Oh how I love shelf talkers.

Link from 100 Scope Notes – full of the power of awesome.

 

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