Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Banned Books Week 2018

The last week of September means it's Banned Books Week! Going strong for more than three decades, Banned Books Week came about as a response to an increase in challenges and organized protests after a US Supreme Court case ruling stated that school officials cannot ban books in libraries just because of questionable content. Since that time, Banned Book Week has become a celebration of the fact that in a majority of cases, challenged books remain available to all who seek them.

The American Library Association tracks the number of challenged and banned books each year, and again this year, the ALA has put together the Top 10 Challenged Book of 2017.

Want to see Top 10 lists dating back to the year 2000 and even earlier? CLICK HERE to access the ALA's website listing books and the reasons behind the challenges. Keep in mind that these lists only represent a small portion of book challenges. The ALA reports that "Surveys indicate that 82-97% of book challenges--documented requests to remove materials from schools or libraries--remain unreported and receive no media."

So why are books challenged? The infographic below shows a variety of reasons. Often books are challenged because of explicit language (profanity, sexuality) or because of topics deemed "inappropriate" by the challenger, such as political bias or religion, LGBTQ issues, or violence.

Want to know more? Take a look at the video below, and visit the ALA's website devoted to Banned Books Week. Feeling adventurous? Maybe even stop by the library to take a look at some of these challenged or banned books!

Friday, September 14, 2018

State Award Book Trailers

It's that time of year again! Time to take a look at preview book trailers for our Iowa Children's Choice Award nominees and Iowa Teen Award nominees. Click on the caption below the picture to access the live document; that's where you'll be able to click on trailer links. Enjoy!
CLICK HERE to access the trailers.
There's plenty of time to read two of the books in the categories; remember, to be eligible to vote in March, you need to have read at least two of the books on the lists. Happy reading!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Library Breakout!

Students in Literacy Studies recently participated in a library-themed breakout activity inspired by a breakout from BreakoutEDU.
In August, World Languages & Cultures teacher Kristine Jimenez shared the BreakoutEDU materials she'd received in a DCG Foundation Grant, and after trying to revise an existing Breakout to fit our DCG Middle School library, she graciously offered to help write a breakout for *our* school. A BIG "thank you" to Mrs. Jimenez--she was instrumental in getting our breakout ready!

First step? Choosing what kinds of locks to use and creating clues with embedded combinations. In the end, we used five locks and provided corresponding clues. 
Receipt link, Letter link, To Do List link (not pictured), Comic available on ToonDo0 (search "Online Catalog ToonDoo")

Based on the information students received in their packets or found around the library, they would have what they needed to open two different number combination locks, a padlock with key, a color-code combination lock, and a directional lock.

A brief introduction day gave students a quick overview of the activity & its many purposes:
•  to share and work as a team
•  to work together & think critically about possible lock combinations
•  to test their ideas
•  to problem solve should initial combinations not open locks
•  and ultimately, to open the box.

During the introduction, students also could see the box itself and the locks to be used with the activity.

Finally, the big day arrived and once in teams, students began their work. Without a doubt, this activity is one of the most engaging things students have done in the library!

Several groups were able to break out (or specifically, break *in* to the boxes after determining all combinations for locks. Always group members were excited, and we often heard exclamations of "We did it!"

More Breakout activities to follow! With the success of our first time out, it's likely we'll be trying another physical Breakout like this one! At least one digital Breakout is in the works, too, so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Circulation Overview

It was a great first week in the library! So many students dropped by to check out, and nearly every student was in the library for the new Literacy Studies class. Here's a quick overview (thanks, Canva!) of our first week: