Thursday, March 27, 2014

Check Out Our New Look!

For at least the past 10 years, the DCG Middle School library has retained the same look with very little variation: fiction on one side of the room, nonfiction on the other; desktop computers running the center of the room essentially splitting the room in half.

It was time to "walk the walk" with our school theme and Dream Big in the library! In the past month, we've been talking with the principal and IT director--as well as the custodians--about reconfiguring the furniture and desktops. One of our goals was to allow more students to easily view the projection screen. (Can you see it hanging from the ceiling in the picture above that shows the "nonfiction side" of the room?) Another goal was to improve traffic flow, both of people and of mobile laptop carts that come in and out of the library nearly daily. 

Our initial hope was to create 4 pods of 2 tables each. Below are pictures showing our progress toward that effort:

Remember that expression about "best laid plans?" Well, that was us when we discovered that the length of power cords and the placement of floor outlets weren't going to allow for the arrangement we'd hoped for. And that's when the principal strolled in and offered what became Plan B--rather than pods, why not form the tables into a "V" shape? This allowed us to make the most of our outlet placement and cords, as well as equalize the size of the two sides of the space. Here's the work in progress:

So after 4+ hours plotting, dragging, pushing, pulling, crawling, and scooting, we have a new arrangement for our many tables and desktop computers. We couldn't be happier with the setup, and every student and staff member who came to see what we'd done had only positive things to say! 

Many, many thanks to our wonderful library associate Mrs. Howard who helped move everything and plan our furniture arrangement! Also, a big thank you to Mr. Hlas who suggested our now-in-place Plan B, and to our custodians who helped with vacuuming and who provided a quick zip-tie lesson!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Thank You for Another Successful Book Fair!

Earlier in the week we wrapped up our second Scholastic Book Fair, and it was a great success! The fiesta theme allowed for all kinds of fun decorating, including our "photo booth." After students made a purchase, they had the opportunity to hit the photo booth!

With the movie release of Veronica Roth's Divergent, it was by far the best-selling item at the Book Fair. The third release in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cress by Marissa Meyer, was a quick mover as well!

Also popular were S.A. Bodeen's The Raft, Jo Knowles' See You at Harry's, and Sarah Beth Durst's Conjured

Didn't get a chance to stop by or didn't make a purchase this time around at the Book Fair? No problem! Look for the BOGO 1/2 Off Book Fair coming later this spring!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Connecting with Authors & Others on Twitter

In late January 2013, I joined Twitter as a way to expand my circle of colleagues and to connect with others in my field. What a great year it's been! Not only have I met some wonderful teacher librarians from all parts of the country--and world!--but I've also been surprised and pleased with the interactions with authors and others.

In the last 14 months, many authors have replied to tweets, like David Baldacci, S. A. Bodeen, and Jeff Hirsch:

One of my favorite interactions has been with the author of The Ascendence Trilogy Jennifer Nielsen.

Another interaction that was meaningful to me and many students came from Laurie Halse Anderson when she saw the resilience literature work students completed earlier in the year--you can read about it HERE.

And it's not just authors who tweet responses. Websites like Epic Reads and Heartland AEA11 have people who follow Twitter feeds, and they reply, too!

Twitter has been a great tool for us to connect with the authors and others who relate to our work and reading. We're eager to connect again!