PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: Displays (Page 1 of 3)

Ramblings: Graphic Novel Collection Updates

Updating the Graphic Novel Collection

I love graphic novels but that love doesn’t come close to how much my students love graphic novels. They adore them. I’ve seen that time and again at all the school libraries I’ve worked in. However, their engagement with the graphic novel collection always varied and that’s because the graphic novel collections in all of those libraries varied significantly. Some were tidy and small, others large and outdated and one was big, plentiful and beautiful and let me tell you the students adored it!!

So, when I took over as head of library this year, I knew one of the first things I wanted to do was show the graphic novel collection some love. Lots of love.

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Book Week 2022: Resources and Links

Book Week 2022: Resources and Links

Book Week is often one of the biggest events in the school library calendar. Book Week throws into the light the importance of reading, school libraries, children’s literature and Australian literature. It is a chance to celebrate all of that and more.

The theme for Book Week 2022 is Dreaming With Eyes Open… The theme is decided and announced each year by the Children’s Book Council of Australia and they do an amazing job of creating resources that fit the theme and official artwork.

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Ramblings: Planning Library Displays for the Year

Planning Library Displays for the Year

I love planning my school library’s displays. Whether I was working as a library aide or as a teacher librarian, one of my favourite parts of my job is to plan and prep the displays – physical and digital – for the library. I know it’s not a favourite task of all librarians, while other love it. I am constantly amazed at the creativity people reach and the lengths they go to to achieve jaw-dropping arrangements. I am not that creative or skilled by any means, but I am pretty good at planning. And, I’ve found, that if I have my displays planned for the year, including pop-ups, big creative displays and simple book collections, then I am far more likely to actually achieve a rotation of displays, rather than just leaving one up for the whole term (been there, done that). Continue reading

Book Week 2022: Theme Announcement

Book Week 2022: Theme Announcement

Yes, I know it feels like we only just made it through Book Week 2021, but it’s time to talk about Book Week 2022. The theme has been announced. The illustrator has been announced. The official artwork has been teased. Let’s talk Book Week 2022.

Drum roll please….. The theme for Book Week 2022 is Dreaming With Eyes Open…

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Resource: Cricut Refurbishment

Refurbishing a Cricut Machine

I have been fortunate to have a Cricut machine in each of my past 3 libraries. I love them. I love getting creative, love how these machines can make displays, signage and crafting activities easy. So, I was excited and – let’s be honest – relieved when my new library said they had a Cricut machine.

However, I was a little shocked when the Library team mentioned that they didn’t use it and found it easier to cut things by hand. Seriously? That didn’t make any sense to me. It only took the first time me getting it out to use it to understand where exactly they were coming from and why they were finding it so frustrating. I found it frustrating! It took longer than it should and even making a simple project wasn’t easy. Why? The machine had been given to the team without the proper tools and with no training or instruction. The mats were old and either had left over paper struck to them or had lost their stick altogether. And the team had only ever been told to use it with an iPad rather than on a desktop. It was like trying to use the machine with our hands tied behind our backs. Completely impractical and a waste of time.

Thanks to having used a Cricut before, I knew what it could and should be like. And I knew I could refurbish the machine to make it fun and easy to use. Here’s what I did.

How to update a machine

If you’ve decided to purchase a secondhand machine or have inherited an older machine for your library, here’s a few simple steps and tips to get the machine running again smoothly and so you can enjoy using it.

These tips are not going to help a machine that isn’t functioning properly – I leave that to someone with technological and mechanical knowledge, but these should help you get the basics of the machine working well.

Not sure if a Cricut is right for your Library? Check out my post Cutting machines in the Library which goes into the pros and cons.

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Book Week: Wrap up 2021

Book Week – Wrap Up 2021

Well, as I write this, I can hardly believe that Book Week is over. At the same time, I feel so tired it might as well be the end of the year.

Grey background, black text reads CBCA Book Week, yellow text that reads Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds, characters on bottom of image

I love Book Week. Love the buzz it brings to my school and library. Love the excitement it generates online. Love how it gives libraries, books and reading the spotlight they deserve. Love how my school’s marketing team suddenly want to talk about what’s happening in the Library because the Book Week tag is good for their SEO. But this year, Book Week kind of took a back seat for me.

In previous years, in previous roles, I’d shape my whole planning around Book Week, the theme and the activities I had planned for the year. My new role and the tasks I’ve taken on this year, along with the climate of sudden lockdowns and online learning challenged me to look at Book Week in a different light and to reevaluate my planning and approach to this very special week.

Not top priority this year

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Book Week: Easy costume ideas you can make with things around the house

Book Week – Easy costume ideas you can make with things around the house

Book Week has officially begun in Australia at the time this post will go live. If you are reading this is 2021, you might be needing a costume right at the last minute. Or maybe you are reading this in preparation for next year. In any case, it’s always handy to have a costume backup. And these ideas are good, not just for Book Week but any dress-up occasion.

 

Book Week, especially the costume parades, can be particularly stressful for parents, students and staff. It seems there is always a last minute rush for costume ideas. It’s a busy time of the year and having a costume you can pull together with things you’ll find around the house is handy.

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Book Week: Easy costume ideas from things in your wardrobe

Book Week – Easy costume ideas from things in your wardrobe

I love Book Week. Maybe as a teacher librarian that would be obvious but I also know it’s a high-stress and very busy time.  Book Week is all about celebrating reading, Australian literature and libraries. However, I have seen first hand when the stress and requirements of the big events can overwhelm the joy.

 

I personally and strongly believe that Book Week should be fun for everyone. But I know that might not always be the case. Time and time again I have seen that the most stressful element of Book Week celebrations are often the character dress-ups. On the other hand, these character parades are often the highlight of Book Week celebrations. The joy of seeing the children and teen’s faces as they celebrate all things books and reading is so worth it. If we can make costumes easier, hopefully Book Week will be easier for parents, students and staff.

I am going to share below some simple Book Week book character dress up ideas that you can create with things you’ll find in the family’s wardrobes. While there are plenty of ideas, I’ve tried to use a range of books from picture books to YA fiction. I’ve also included some more obscure ideas, in case you want a unique costume and Australian fiction-based characters.

You’ll find below costume ideas for individuals, as well as pairs and groups.

Top Advice

Print out a copy of the book cover and attach it to your costume in some way. You could safety pin it to the front or back of your costume or attach it to string or a lanyard around your neck. It makes it easy for others to see who you are dressed up as, relates it back to the book (which, let’s not forget, what it’s all about) and can make even a simple outfit a character-related costume.

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Book Week 2021: Useful Links

Book Week 2021 – Useful Links

I love Book Week. Working across a few libraries in the past few years, I have found that despite the different cultures and focus of each library, Book Week remained the highlight of the library calendar. Yet, despite the fun, it does take a lot of work and a lot of planning. Fortunately, there are lots of resources available to help.

The theme for Book Week 2021 is Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds. #OWNWOW

When pulling together a plan for Book Week, it can be a little overwhelming, so I am sharing a few helpful links I’ve come across.

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