PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: Social Media (Page 1 of 2)

Book Review: No Filter and Other Lies

Girl with dark hair and skin holds a camera with photos of other teens around her

 

No Filter and Other Lies

– Crystal Maldonado –

Holiday House

Published 8 February 2022

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Social media is such a massive part of our young readers’ lives and yet its reach and impact is so often left out of YA fiction. No Filter and Other Lies addresses the addiction of social media, it’s dangers and its benefits head on. It also addresses the inherent racism and sizeism of social media and the challenges teens face in navigating this online world.

Kat is a photographer, friend, granddaughter and dog lover. She’s also pretty good at lying. For years, she’s been lying to everyone but her best friends about where she lives. Most people think she lives with her parents, as evidenced by the perfect family photos her mother shares on Facebook. But Kat actually lives with her grandparents. So, when the opportunity arises to share her work as a photographer on Instagram to a much wider audience, Kat takes it. It’s only a small lie and what’s that in the scheme of her life? Yes, she has to borrow her friend’s (perfectly gorgeous, white, thin) face after she expressly said she didn’t want to go back on social media. But, Kat will also use the account to share about the dogs at the shelter she works at, so there will be some good come from the whole thing. But when Kat starts to fall for a girl she chats with online, things get complicated. Especially when that girl thinks Kat is a 21-year-old college girl called Max.

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Book Review: Icebreaker

 

Icebreaker

– A.L. Graziadei –

Henry, Holt and Co.

Published 18 January 2022

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Icebreaker is an addictive sports fiction novel, about LGBT+ identity in sports, mental health, family and romance.

I think I start every sports book review with a statement about how much I love sport fiction. And I stand by that statement. I love sports novels. Icebreaker is a mix of YA and new adult, with our main characters in their first year of college but with less sexually explicit content that what one might expect from a new adult novel.

Mickey James the Third is ice hockey royalty. Ever since he was born, it’s been ordained that he will follow in his father and grandfather’s skates. He just has to survive his first year of college before he is drafted as the top pick and then he will have fulfilled that destiny. But when his draft ranking rival is placed on the same team, Mickey knows he will have to work harder than ever to prove he is worth all the hype. And when he starts to fall for that rival, despite also arguing and fighting non stop with him, Mickey will have to chose – destiny or a chance at a future he might finally, actually care about.

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Ramblings: Failed Goals

Failed Goal: Social Media For My School Library Over the Holiday Break

Have you ever fallen short of a goal you have set for yourself? I know have. Many, many times. Just recently, I set for myself a goal of increasing engagement on our school library social media account. I started using Reels and Stories and posting more often. I used a scheduling tool to post on the days I wasn’t working and to ensure we had a consistent presence. And it worked. We increased our followers over the term by 26 and increased accounts reached by 5745% to over 47,000 accounts and 3229 content interactions.

So where does the failed goal come in? I was determined to continue this over the school holidays. That’s the time the students are most likely to be scrolling on Instagram, right? It makes sense for the Library to be active then, sharing tips on how to access ebooks and promoting holiday reading. I’d even lined up a connection with the local public library so that I could share their holiday programs and collections. But. Instead, I did nothing. Nada. Not a thing. I didn’t post once on our school library account over the two week period.

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Ramblings: That time I created a viral video for my school library social media

That time I created a viral video for my school library social media – well almost

I had a bit of a surprise last week. I created a viral video for our school’s social media account. I must add a caveat. While I created it, I did have some help and technically it’s not a viral video, as Google tells me I have to have over 5 millions views and our video certainly didn’t do that. But! We reached over 23,000 views and over 600 likes. For us and our little social media account that was massive. And honestly a little scary. Here’s how it happened.

I relaunched our school library’s Instagram account this year. The Library Team had created it a few years ago, but it had been sitting dormant for a few years. When I joined the team this year, I wanted to start using it again. I had a great basis from which to work – just over 100 followers, most of whom were students. My goal was to increase engagement, promote the library and connect with both our school community and the wider school library community.

I’ve been posting regularly over the past three terms and when Instagram announced Reels, I happily gave them a try. I had been reluctant to join TikTok as I thought I wasn’t so great with videos – but maybe I need to rethink that.

Book Week 2021. We’ve got lots of competitions and events planned. The week prior, I am posting to our Instagram and trying to generate excitement about the following week’s events. I grab a 10 second video of the regulars playing Minecraft. I ask them for permission to share and then for some music suggestions. They chat a bit and argue over a good song and we finally select one. I add it, add a caption about next week’s comp, hit post and off we go. A week and a bit later, we have over 23k views and 651 likes. Our usual average for Reels views is 300-600 and the highest we’ve ever hit was just over 3000, so 23,000 was a massive leap. Same for likes.

This one Reel managed to reach more people, added lots of new followers to our account and generally created a buzz about our school library social media account. The boys were pretty impressed with their fame. I was curious. Was it the music? Was it the hashtags? Was it the algorithm magic? I’ve gone back to those boys for some more music suggestions and I’m going to try to recreate our success and see if it is possible. I’m also changing the way I interact with our social media account – focusing on engagement and student-driven posts and information.

I’ll continue to share my successes and failures here.

Is your school library on social media? Share in the comments below.

Book Review: All That Really Matters

All That Really Matters – Nicole Deese – Bethany House Publishers – Published 6 April 2021

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Molly McKenzie’s bright personality and on-trend fashion and beauty advice have earned her an impressive social media following, as well as a big paycheck each month. When her manager-turned-boyfriend says she has an audition to appear as a host on a makeover show that nominates underprivileged youth, her dream of further fame seems to be coming true. There’s just one catch: she has little experience interacting with people in need.

When her manager-boyfriend convinces her to partner with a local organization, she begins volunteering with a summer youth program. The program’s director, Silas Whittaker, challenges her at every turn, but she swiftly grows more attached to the kids–and him–every day.

As Molly experiences an acceptance unlike anything she’s known, she wrestles with the lies she’s been believing about herself for years. She thought she knew what mattered most in life, but maybe she’s had it wrong this whole time, and there’s more to being truly seen than what she’s built her entire life on.

My thoughts

All That Really Matters has to be one of the best books I’ve read in ages. It was exactly what I needed, totally addictive – I literally couldn’t put it down – and just so good!!! I really must go back and ensure I have read all of Nicole Deere’s books because she is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

All That Really Matters is an uplifting story that had be smiling right from the start. It is a book with so much heart. It is a wonderful romance and the relationship that builds between the two main character is genuine and caring and full of trust and patience, which is so lovely. Be still be beating heart. I loved, loved, loved this book.

Molly Mackenzie is an Influencer. She has built a very successful career and successful business for herself. When her manager suggests taking on a good cause to help boost her followers she asks her brother to pass her the name of something suitable. She doesn’t expect what she finds at the The Bridge Youth Home. The first surprise is Silas – young, good looking, very formal and unimpressed with her interview. She doesn’t expect to get turned away. Molly is also surprised by how her quick glimpse of The Bridge intrigues her. When her determination finally impresses Silas, Molly is surprised by how quickly she comes to care for the program and the special young people it helps.

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Ramblings: Social Media for School Libraries series

Social Media Series

Social Media for School Libraries series

Social media accounts for school libraries are something of which I am hugely supportive. Many school libraries have now joined in and have a social media account or two. I am in no way an expert, but I thought I would share my reasoning behind my thoughts and the steps I have been through to create my school libraries social media accounts and what I do to create content each week. In this series I'll also share some of my favourite school library social media accounts to follow and gain inspiration from, as well as some further reading and research.

Why social media for school libraries?

Connection. Marketing. Communication. Promotion. Networking. Ensuring parents, students, staff and leadership know what's going on in the library.

So often, the role of the school librarian now includes that of marketing director and advocate. If we do not promote our libraries and our roles they will continue to go unnoticed. Social media is an easy way to spread the word about the amazing things happing in your library, as well as the everyday awesomeness.

It's also a great way to connect with your students, parents and fellow staff members.

Promoting the school library is so important. Even more so in today's climate of disappearing school libraries and the undervaluing of school library staff. Social media accounts allow an insight into the daily happenings of the school library. It creates excitement and engagement. It also meets students where they are. Most teens are on social media of some sort and connecting with them in that environment can allow modelling of good conduct and positive social media engagement.

 

Connection

Networking

Advocacy

Promotion

Part 1 of the series is all about Getting Started. Maybe you need some ideas about where to start, want help around writing a social media policy document or are unsure about which social media channel to choose. I'll discuss how I approached these first steps. We'll also talk about creating a brand and I'll share some of my favourite resources for learning about branding for your school library.

In Part 2, we'll talk about creating content and making a way for this to be easy and manageable. I'll share my favourite scheduling resources and templates.

Part 3 will give you some inspiration for your own social media accounts. I'll share my top favourite social media influences, school libraries you can follow and lots of further reading.

Social Media Getting Started

Coming soon

Book Review: Far From Normal

Far From Normal – Becky Wallace – Page Street Kids – Published 22 September 2020

♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Maddie McPherson is sick of Normal—both her hometown of Normal, Illinois and being the ‘normal’ sibling. But when she lands a summer internship with a sports marketing firm, she finally has a chance to crawl out of her genius brother’s shadow. Not to mention, a glowing letter of recommendation could secure her admission to her dream college.

But Maddie’s nickname is “CalaMaddie” for a reason, and when the company tasks her with repairing the image of teen soccer phenom Gabriel Fortunato, she wonders if she’s set herself up for embarrassment. Gabriel is a tabloid magnet, who’s best-known for flubbing Italy’s World Cup hopes. As Maddie works with him to develop “pleasant and friendly” content for social media, she also learns he’s thoughtful, multi-talented, and fiercely loyal—maybe even to a fault. Falling for a footballer is exactly how CalaMaddie would botch this internship, but with the firm pressuring her to get the job done, perhaps her heart is worth risking?

My thoughts

Far From Normal is a sweet and light YA romance about soccer, summer, and social media.

Maddie McPherson has landed an awesome summer internship working at her aunt’s sports marketing firm. Within ing days of being there, Maddie is presented with the opportunity to create and post the social media content for teen soccer star Gabriel Fortunato. The goal is to repair Gabe’s image, but Maddie has to decide between doing her job well enough to get a glowing recommendation letter for college and falling for the boy who is quickly capturing her heart.

Far From Normal is perfect if you are in the mood for something very light. There are meet-cutes (a bike, a dog and a soccer ball, you do the math), working relationships that cross into romantic territory, a mean-girl work colleague Maddie must contend with, and romantic meals in Italian restaurants.

While Gabe and Maddie do discuss a few things about Gabe’s life in the spotlight, the incidents he has been involved in are never fully discussed and they never have any really deep conversations about this, so the book remains on the fluffy side. Fine, if you like cute and light stories, but I usually enjoy something with a bit more depth, so I didn’t connect that much with the characters.

Despite this being about a soccer star and sports marketing, the sports side of things don’t come into the story at all, so I’ll be shelving this under romance and not sport.

A quick read, perfect if you are looking for a fun and light YA romance.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Young adult fiction

Genre: Contemporary

Themes: Romance, internships, soccer, social media, family, college applications.

Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.

Advisory: References to drug and alcohol use and related accidents. Drunk driving. Sexual references and references to sexual relationships.

Published: 22 September 2020 by Page Street Kids.

Format: Hardcover, ebook. 240 pages.

ISBN: 9781645670568

Find it on Goodreads

Professional Learning Series: Networks for School Library Staff

Networks for School Library Staff – Part 2 in the Professional Learning Series

Welcome to Part 2 in my Professional Learning Series, where I will talk about the regular sources of inspiration I turn to for professional development. You can find the rest of the series here. 

Networking is an important part of professional learning (and let’s face it, often de-stressing) for any professional. However, many school library staff work in isolation. They might be the only school library team staff member, or perhaps if they are lucky to work in a team, the only teacher librarian or library technician at the school. Whether working in a large team or by yourself, it is important to connect with others. Not only for inspiration and ideas gathering but for those casual chats, those moments of shared understanding that only another library staff member would understand (like, yes of course you found that item being used as a bookmark, or of course you are run off your feet as the library is the busiest place in the school!).

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Professional Learning Series: Twitter for School Library Staff

Twitter for School Library Staff – Part 1 in the Professional Learning series

Welcome to Part 1 in my Professional Learning Series, where I will talk about the regular sources of inspiration I turn to for professional development. You can find the rest of the series here. 

I love Twitter. Well, actually, sometimes I don’t love Twitter all that much, but most of the time I love using Twitter to connect with like-minded professionals, librarians, teachers, creators, authors, publishers, and bloggers. If they are inspiring or useful to my PLN, I follow them (I might also follow a few #DogsOfTwitter for cute relief).

I started using Twitter while completing my studies in librarianship. It was a requisite of the course to sign up to and use Twitter. I was reluctant. I’ve never been a big social media user. But slowly, over the years, I have come to rely on Twitter to connect me with librarians around the world, point me to great learning opportunities, give me the heads up on new book release,s provide opportunities for engaging in chats, promoting my own learning and reviews, and provide me with a few cute golden retriever videos.

 

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Book Review: Keystone

Keystone – Katie Delahanty – Entangled: Teen – Published 7 January 2020

♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

When Ella Karman debuts on the Social Stock Exchange, she finds out life as a high-profile “Influencer” isn’t what she expected. Everyone around her is consumed by their rankings, in creating the smoke and mirrors that make them the envy of the world.

But then Ella’s best friend betrays her, her rankings tank, and she loses—everything.

Leaving her old life behind, she joins Keystone, a secret school for thieves, where students are being trained to steal everything analog and original because something—or someone—is changing history to suit their needs.

Partnered with the annoyingly hot—and utterly impossible—Garrett Alexander, who has plenty of his own secrets, Ella is forced to return to the Influencer world, while unraveling a conspiracy that began decades ago.

One wrong move and she could lose everything—again.

My thoughts

I went through a whole range of reactions while reading Keystone. I couldn’t have hated the beginning more. I was disconnected, confused and ready to put the book down and never pick it back up. However, I reasoned I was very busy at work and was only reading the book in short fits and I really should give it a better chance to capture my attention. I’m glad I did. One week into my holiday, I picked it up again. There were sections in the middle that made me cringe, but the story comes together and I was intrigued by the mix of social commentary, dystopian story and heist novel. By the end, I was hooked. What a fabulous turn around. The end reads like a thrilling action movie. I’m intrigued about where the series is going to go next.

Keystone dumps the reader right into the middle of the plot and action. So much so, that I actually stopped reading and went to check if this was a second book in a series. The story starts in the middle of big events for Elisha, the main character, and readers must just go along for the ride, picking up details about who she is, why she’s just jumped off an exploding yacht, who and what the Disconnects are, the slightly futuristic world, and what on earth is going on, along the way. This sudden start makes it hard to connect or care about Elisha’s trauma (because we are not sure what really happened anyway) or grief (how can we mourn characters we never met?). It only gets more confusing from there, as she somehow joins (or has already joined??) a group of spies. After reading on a bit and some backstory is provided via journaled flashbacks, it made a lot of sense for the book to start after Elisha (or Ella) has left her Influencer life as she is rather unlikeable before and that is more palatable as she reflects on her mistakes and how she wants to change. I would have liked a few more details about what she knew of the Disconnects and Keystone as she started there, but I did eventually figure out the essential details.

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