Check out the list of new materials received in the Library in November.
Archive for November, 2009
“In addition, July 1, 2009 we formed a Digital Content Alliance with National Geographic and we began including an extensive amount of National Geographic content to our resource (additional 800 maps and 358 videos)!”
Looking for reviews of children’s and YA books? Ever wonder about the magazines whose reviews you see on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com? Here are a few of the magazines we read regularly, both to keep up with the profession and to find good book reviews.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates). VOYA reviews are the only ones that rate books for both quality (Q) and popularity (P). I have written reviews (and a few articles) for VOYA for many years, usually accompanied by one or two ‘teen reviews’ from the Overlake students who review with me. For more information on teen reviewing, email me at email@example.com.
Booklist. This covers both adult and children’s/YA titles, and being a bi-weekly, often has the most current reviews. Reviews are done in-house.
Library Media Connection. This organizes its fiction reviews by age range, and its nonfiction reviews by subject. Reviewers come from around the country.
Hornbook. This is fabulous if you want to read thoughtful, in-depth articles about children’s and YA literature. It also reviews just the best of the books it receives. Reviews are done in-house, I believe.
School Library Journal. This is a staple of the profession. Reviewers come from around the country.
Check out the Library’s newest database, Science Online, from Facts on File. This multimedia database covers biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, environmental science, forensic science, marine science, mathmatics, physics, space and astronomy, weather and climate. To access this database from off-campus, you will need a username and password, found here. You will be prompted to log on to the Overlake network to see the password page. Help in logging on to the Overlake network is here.
If you want a great view of the construction of the new TLC building, just drop by the library! Can’t get much closer than this…
Pictures taken by Karen Wright.
The Overlake Library has always been a well-used resource on the Overlake campus, and this year we’re getting more use than ever! We keep track of student usage each block by doing a count of students in the library, then at the end of the month library assistant Karen Wright adds everything up. In October, we had over 7,300 individual student visits, including 56 classes in the library lab and 23 in the main library. This is nearly a 60% increase over our use in October of 2008! We guess the students like the new layout of the library as much as we do.
Cheryl and I are back from Charlotte. It was a great conference; just packed with activities and possibilities. Here are a few highlights.
Saturday was the last full day of the conference, and we took full advantage of it. I attended a session entitled ‘Graphic Novels, Photo Essays and Illuminated Term Papers: Communicating Deep Understandings.’ The room was so packed I had to sit on the floor, and the presentation was packed as well, with information about different ways to use graphics and pictures to stimulate creativity and higher-order thinking skills. Cheryl attended a session entitled ‘Prada Promotion on a Dollar Store Budget,’ about fun and creative ways to ‘market’ a school library to its community.
My second session addressed how to use author visits to best effect to encourage students’ writing. One of the presenters was new author Emily Pearce, who demonstrated some of the interactive writing exercises she does with students. Cheryl attended a session on how changing names for libraries—learning commons, information commons, media center—affects how school libraries are considered and run in 2009.
Cheryl and I both attended an afternoon session detailing information from an upcoming book: Independence for Excellence: Considering Independent School Libraries. Several independent school librarians wrote a chapter each on a particular topic, and many solicited input from librarians on the various independent school mailing lists to which both Cheryl and I belong. We contributed to many of them, and in particular, I sent a lot of information on our contests to the librarian writing the activities chapter. At least one of Overlake’s bookclubs made the cut! The book will be published by Libraries Unlimited in 2010.
Marco Torres, a well-known speaker, filmmaker, author of digital content, and high school social studies teacher, presented the conference closing session. He filled his riveting lecture with impressive examples of multimedia, and his main message was that with all this amazing new technology available to us, we need to think of new ways to use it to engage and teach students; we should not just use it to convey the same old lessons in a flashy new format.
The last event I attended was the closing gala at ImaginOn, a truly wonderful children’s/YA library in downtown Charlotte. It has everything a children’s or YA librarian could want, from a puppet theater to a large storytelling theater to a blue screen and sound booth and coffee shop for the YAs. The building is also filled with sculptures and artwork related to books, reading, and media, and features an open-plan atrium center. Hearing stories in its theater was a great way to end the conference.
So now Cheryl and I are both home, eager to sort through our myriad notes, catalogs, and exhibitor freebies. We’re also looking forward to exploring the online content for both sessions we attended and sessions we missed, and most of all we’re looking forward to implementing at least some of what we learned into the Overlake Library.
Greetings from Charlotte, where Cheryl and I are taking full advantage of the AASL conference. Yesterday was a full day! It started in the morning with a packed opening session featuring author danah boyd, who explores teen use of social media. It was a fascinating and rhetoric-free talk that gave us all much to think about, though the upshot was that teens are not really doing anything new–they’re just doing the same old thing (hanging out, communicating) in new ways. Boyd urged all adults to become familiar with the social media kids are using, because now more than ever, kids need our help in learning how to use these new communication tools properly–not in terms of technology, but in terms of appropriate communications. Lots to think about!
Following that, I participated in a session on various Web 2.0 applications, many familiar to me, and some new. I’ll look forward to playing with them when I get back to Overlake.
In the afternoon we attended the ‘Exploratorium,’ an extravaganza of good ideas presented by 50 plus librarians and teachers. I got a lot of great ideas, and was particularly interested in geocaching. I would love to find a way to use geocaching at Overlake in combination with the library in some way.
The exhibits opened just after the Exploratorium, so we spent a lot of time exploring the booths of vendors of all types of library products. There was also free food, which helps any gathering!
That evening, Cheryl, as ISS chair, had organized a lovely reception at the Hilton for attending independent school librarians. We had appetizers and chatted about issues relating to our particular fields, and put faces to all the names we see so often on our mailing lists. Kudos to Cheryl for orchestrating such an elegant event!
Today we attended an early breakfast sponsored by Capstone Publishers, and heard about the benefits of using graphic novels with kids (though we knew already!). Following that, we attended a lecture by blockbuster author James Patterson, author of the Maximum Ride and Daniel X series that are so popular in the Overlake Library. Patterson is a great advocate of reading and libraries, and his talk was both hilarious and inspirational.
Most of the day was taken up with sessions on various library topics. I particularly loved a session by author Margriet Ruurs, whose book ‘My Library is a Camel,’ explores how children get books in unusual ways in remote parts of the world. I found it particuarly apt for us considering Overlake’s interest and involvement in global education for our students, and loved her inspiring stories of the differences books make to children who have had such little access to them. I also enjoyed a session on the finer features of Google Earth.
Cheryl really enjoyed the session on all-school reads, and would be interested to implement something similar at Overlake, particularly at the middle school level. It could be similar to the Writers’ Symposium at the Upper School level, featuring an author on campus, and could be something repeated year to year.
One more full day of the conference to go, and we’re looking forward to every minute of it–and then to coming home and implementing all of the wonderful things we’ve learned.