Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Year, New Things for 2012

It's the time of year when you start hear a lot of talk about New Year's Resolutions. People either seem to love them or hate them. Personally, I'm a fan. You could easily argue that making resolutions implies that you need improvement, perhaps even a large amount. I like to think of resolutions as enhancements or, to use a nice techie term, upgrades. I'm very excited about all the new events and programs we have planned here in the Media Center for 2012.

We launch the Not Your Mother's Book Club Book Club on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 with Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. I'm looking forward to finally reading this first book in the popular trilogy. The Book Club will meet the second Wednesday of the month from 2:15-3:15 here in the Media Center.

February is the month for Horizon's first ever Scholastic Book Fair. There's nothing more rewarding to a librarian than putting a good book in the hands of a student. With that in mind, I convinced Scholastic to take a chance on us (they rarely do high school book fairs). We'll have Middle Grade, Young Adult and a few Adult titles to offer to the Horizon community as well as an opportunity to raise money for another district library in need. The Book Fair will be Feb. 9-14, with special hours during parent conferences on the evening of February 13.

Also new for 2012- Teen Tech Week. This is an annual national event sponsored by the good folks from @YourLibrary. We'll have programs and activities for students to evaluate and experiment with  different types of technology. The Science and IT departments will be collaborating with us on this.

That's just a sampling of what we know is planned for 2012. Ms. Orest and I like to leave some room for unplanned fun as well!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

T-Shirt Tuesday

Connecting with patrons is a priority for any library. It's easy to connect with adult patrons, but high school students can be indifferent toward the library. This isn't something I take personally. Given the rise of home and hand-held devices and online streaming, today's teens have other options for media consumption.

When they do come to the Media Center I want them to not only have a positive experience, but to have some fun too. With that thought in mind, T-Shirt Tuesday was born.

Every Tuesday I wear a geek-inspired T-shirt. The students have to guess what it's from- Star Wars, Dr. Who, Lord of the Rings, etc- and the correct answer earns them a red vine licorice candy. Sometimes there are bonus questions related to the shirt and two red vines can be earned.

Now that we're at the half-way point of the year, the students have caught on. I have Tuesday regulars, kids I only see on Tuesdays, as well as my daily regulars. Most of them have no clue what my T-shirt is about because I am a serious geek, but they happily turn to Google to try and find the answer.

What began as a game has turned into a learning opportunity. Ms. Orest teaches an internet research class and one of the key points discusses Google reliability. The kids assume the correct answer is always the  first link on a Google search. This isn't the case. I've watched students spend a majority of their lunch period searching for a T-shirt Tuesday answer (the power of red vines!).

Every Tuesday I see a few new faces. Some kids look at me like I'm crazy, some look forward to the day because it's the only time they're allowed to eat food in the library and others arrive with their smart phone in hand, ready to take me on. It's always a fun day for them and me.

We've seen circulation increase as the semester has progressed. T-Shirt Tuesday is just one factor in that. The more comfortable students become in the Media Center, the more they end up using it.

Let's face it, the only fun library is a busy and used one.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Welcome to Page Girl!

It seems that everywhere I turn some news item, link or blog is offering more insight on the demise of publishing, hard copy books and the future of reading and literature.

The role of support staff in a library is vital to its success. We are the ones who support the patrons, the faculty and, most importantly, the librarian or Media Specialist. I'm so fortunate to work with the wonderful Stacey Orest here at Horizon and together we're transforming the Media Center one book, one Tweet, one blog post at a time.