Posts Tagged secondary

The future of libraries is in the hands of librarians

So says R. David Lankes in the opening moments of his presentation School Librarians as Facilitators for Learning embedded below.  We represent the fundamentals of the future of libraries.  Yes!  High Five Folks!  His Atlas of  New Librarianship is a bible, a book to take so much out of.

He says:  The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.  And he is talking to you school librarians.

I’m quite a lot in love with his messages, pretty much all of them.  Watch this presentation and take on board what he is saying.  He is going to give you lots of examples of how you can think about why you do the things you do.  Not the what you do.  Yes, it takes an hour but yes it is an hour well spent.  Great PD.  Really great PD.

It comes from here.

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Teen speak – or you know you work with teenagers when ….

Let me count the ways – with a little bit of help from a blog post over on TLT: Teen Librarians Toolbox.  Have a look at their post

English: SPOG students

English: SPOG students (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and then if you are a secondary school librarian you might want to add a few of your own.  Here are some from me.

  1. You greet student librarians with Yo G!  Or it’s alternative What up G!  Instead of Hello there sweetie!
  2. You know major players in various bizzarre sporting codes despite having little to no interest in anything remotely related to sport.
  3. You are as obsessed with 4 Pics 1 word as your students and you are constantly being asked for help, “cos Miss you know everything right?”
  4. Given that the library is gossip central you know the details of far too many teenage relationship breakdowns/startups/on holds, and constantly surprise the students by saying “oh yes I know her Mother!”
  5. You have become incredibly sick of telling the students to “Go ask your Mum if you can borrow her copy of 50 Shades of Grey, because no, we will not be having it in here!”
  6. You have to guard your Mockingjay pin because even though other staff have no idea what it is, you know that if you take your cardigan off with the pin still on it, you may not ever see it again.  In general you are prepared to have your fashion sense critiqued every day by the fashionista crew who are always hanging in the library – at least that is how it seems at our school.
  7. You are well aware that even though the adults may have moved on from vampire romance that is isn’t dead in the hearts of some of your most loyal clients.
  8. You know exactly how cool you are if you show year 13 students a clip that they haven’t seen yet, but which is ridiculously funny.
  9. You keep having to tell the students that “versing someone is quoting them poetry, not going against them in a match!”  This is a pet bugbear at the moment.
  10. Your students stop you in the street and say “hey Miss remember that time when …..”  and you laugh and laugh.
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An evening of awesome with Hank and John Green

Watch The Vlog Brothers perform a live concert at Carnegie Hall.  It is great!  the music is lovely and the sentiments in the songs resonate!  Lovers of the Green Brothers will be in heaven!


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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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Younger Americans Reading and Library Habits – the Pew Report

Numbers using a library in the past year

I stumbled upon this interesting story via a Storify link.  There are three parts to Linda W Braun’s Young People, Reading and Libraries.  You will need to delve into it yourselves and pick out the gems but there are certainly some gems for secondary school librarians in the report  but also in Linda’s storify which has plenty to mull over without even leaving the first page.

Items which I found particularly interesting were the ebook readership, interesting stats.  I’m interested in these figures as I decide whether to delve into the ebook platform and these stats make me feel rather better about delaying my decision.  Go look at the figures there.

Also interested in the graph on where teenagers get their book recommendations from.  I wonder if these stats would be the same here in New Zealand.  Probably the same.  And what would happen if they surveyed younger students, I think in my school it would be quite different statistics with many of them relying on my recommendations – possibly equal to those of their peers.  I do like the idea of students recommending books to each other.  That is my ideal world, a sharing of reading joy the “I loved this book, you should read it too!” which happens all the time with adults who read.

Anyway the Report itself is here.  Part one of the YALSA Storify is here.

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The Role of Science Fiction by Gareth Powell

Science Fiction author Gareth L Powell presented this marvellous speech three years ago, The Role of Science Fiction in our Understanding of the Future, yet it is just as relevant today.

Powell refutes the role of the science fiction writer as a predictor of the future, rather suggesting that their aim is to dream up plausible futures, to model a vast range of possible outlooks. By assessing the sociological and technological trends, they show us what may happen  if man continues on their current path.

Good science fiction looks at the world we know and asks, “What happens if?”
  • What happens if the ice caps melt and sea levels rise by fifty feet?
  • What happens if we discover a way to halt the ageing process and everyone lives for 1000 years?
  • What happens if the government puts a CCTV camera on every street corner?

“This is my job as a science fiction writer: to speculate and imagine, and tell stories. The future is truly an undiscovered country. Futurology and philosophy can give us a map of the terrain. But if we want to know what it’s going to feel like to live and work and love there, one of the best tools we have is science fiction.”

He says that futurologists and philosophers can tell us the possible outcomes but that the science fiction writers make the future human by creating characters that must adapt and survive in, generally, these dystopian worlds. The author must take the reader on a journey to really understand what living through such a scenario would be like, to experience such an event, and so the reader asks themselves, “What would I do?”

Gareth Powell’s speech is well worth reading – it puts a clear voice to what science fiction is all about.

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The most enthusiastic teacher you ever saw

Just imagine being in a class with this guy!   I dare you to role model him in your library tomorrow!

(via School Library Journal A Fuse #8 Production)

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Best of the best YA fiction

From NPR’s Best-Ever Teen Fiction poll where the incredibly huge number of  75,220 people voted for their favorite young adult novels.  The list of finalists to choose from is here.  That list is very probably the best buying list for a high school ever – discounting Australian and New Zealand books – yes I did see Marcus Zusak there, but you can’t leave Scot Gardner off any list of YA fiction in my opinion.

Anyway the final list has all the usual suspects like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but there are some unexpected titles on there as well.  Ann of Green Gables?  Call of the Wild?  I guess the voting is open to one and all, but I can’t imagine any of the teenagers I work with voting for this kind of book.  There are lots and lots of recent and old school wonderful books on the list.  Crikey John Green makes the the list 5 times!

If you are new to school libraries these are exactly the sort of lists that make life easier.  Read your way through this list in a year and you’ll have lots of wonderful books to recommend to your students for years to come.  Or check your shelves to make sure you have these books and if you don’t, it makes a great starting point for making buying plans for next year.  Here is the link again.

I found it here.

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Is there *nothing* those Green brothers can’t do?

Not sure how I didn’t already know about this. If you’re a fan of John Green’s books, the Vlogbrothers, or Nerdfighters, and/or you have anything to do with students of history or biology, please add this to your list of awesome videos to watch:

Crash Course

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