Creativity in the School Library
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Recycled books make for eco-friendly art - Melville House Books

Recycled books make for eco-friendly art - Melville House Books | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Maybe if I save enough damaged books I can finally make a standing desk for check-outs!

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Sharyn Anderson's comment, November 19, 2012 6:50 PM
Albany Library (Albany, Western Australia) have a terrific 'bibliograffe' - a 'giraffe' made entirely out of old books!
Mary Reilley Clark's comment, November 19, 2012 7:56 PM
Sharyn, a bibliograffe is way beyond my skills, but it sounds wonderful!
Sharyn Anderson's comment, November 20, 2012 1:27 AM
The 'graffe' is life-size (more or less) with a frame for legs, body, head made from stainlees steel rods - presumably second-hand; the books have a hole bored through them from front cover to back and then the books are 'threaded' along the rods. Not as complicated as it may sound, but very, very effective - instantly recognizable.
Sharing the awesomeness of school librarians and library staff
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Library Makers

Library Makers | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

A blog of maker projects suitable for your library!  I found this via the Library as Incubator blog, which is well worth following.

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Sharlene Lien's curator insight, July 23, 2015 6:57 PM

Blog of maker ideas.

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Are You a Future Ready Librarian? | Knowledge Quest

Are You a Future Ready Librarian? | Knowledge Quest | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Joanna Gerakios  writes: " The Future Ready Librarianswebpage states, “If properly prepared and supported, school librarians are well-positioned to be at the leading edge of the digital transformation of learning.” What about you? Are you ready to champion the future ready cause and lead in transforming learning at your school? I bet you are already actively involved in this effort. I encourage you to reflect upon what you are already doing and consider how you and your library can build from there. I also urge you to explore these resources at the Future Ready website so you can be fully prepared to play a central role in the “future ready” conversation and implementation in your school or district."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Our district has signed on, and I was on the initial planning committee, but we haven't heard anything since. Time to investigate!

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Local school, library unveil story trail at park 

Local school, library unveil story trail at park  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

"Reading and walking might not seem like two interconnected hobbies, but at Municipal Park they are.  That is because the park annually plays host to a story trail.

The trail, which stands next to the paved multi-purpose path that winds through the park, contains an illustrated story.  Each year, third graders from Pataskala Elementary (NJ) create the story as part of an effort backed by the Pataskala Public Library and the city." (NB: Pataskala is in Ohio, not New Jersey.)

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I'm struck by how many ways we could incorporate this in school: create a story trail for our elementary school, make it a contest and install it here at our middle school, or even better, find a way to incorporate it in the local businesses that surround our "town square" and school.  

 

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Pairing novels with informational text

Pairing novels with informational text | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
A short promotion of titles in our library that would provide informational text to supplement literature units.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

How are you promoting your library to classroom teachers? Are they aware of all the ways the library can ease their pain? Making short Powtoon videos works for staff as well as students. 

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Mary Reilley Clark's curator insight, July 25, 6:50 PM

These are only a few ideas for pairing nonfiction with core novels. Check with your library staff to get more suggestions!

Jan MacWatters's curator insight, July 26, 12:11 PM

Good idea to get kids to read fiction and compare it to non-fiction.

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Don’t Be Afraid of Color

Don’t Be Afraid of Color | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
"Color is your friend," proclaims the first chapter of Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style by Will Taylor. Maybe, but in a world where many folks play it safe with white or neutrals color schemes, color can be scary. We know.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:
Such an easy way to update your library! Our major remodel has been pushed back until winter break, but I would love to get our walls painted at that time, too.
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Navigating the Stacks

Navigating the Stacks | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

It's that time of year y'all. We're desperately holding on to our "summers when we know that in just a few weeks we'll be deep in orientations, classes, workshops, and meetings. The important thing is that we're not there YET and we still have some time to get in some great design projects, like today's submission…"

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I was about to email Dan to see the rest of his Dewey signs, but realized I'd have to come up with different images to make this click with middle school. But wait! Why should I decide which images click, when I work with TWO THOUSAND middle schoolers? So, as much as it pains me to not have this ready before school starts, I am going to wait to re-do our nonfiction signage  and let students vote on which images best define each Dewey 100s category for them! And if the art teachers are interested, this can be a collaborative project with the advanced art class. Thanks to Library Design Share and Dan Vinson for the spark!

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Why What We Do Matters

Why What We Do Matters | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

A few weeks ago, I was moved to tears by Jennifer LaGarde's beautiful post about the power of libraries to change children's lives. If you haven't read it, go do so now.

 

This week I've been reading Kate Messner's posts here and here about her latest book, The Seventh Wish. The book is about a middle schooler who loves ice fishing, Irish dancing, and her older sister who is a heroin addict. And because of that last topic, a school principal cancelled Kate's visit. The school also cancelled their book order, because the school library shouldn't provide books about such troubling issues. 

 

Please read Kate's posts, because she is much more eloquent than I am about this travesty. All I kept thinking about when I read The Seventh Wish was one of my former 6th graders who I've known since kindergarten. He'd been bugging me for weeks about a hold he had placed on a popular book. When the book was ready for him, I expected him to fly into the library and start reading immediately. Instead, he asked if I could give it to the next student in line. I was annoyed--I'd made his hold a priority due to his excitement about this book! He looked around to make sure no one else could hear, then said, "Well, I really want to read it now, but my mom is in rehab. I told her about the book, and she said it sounded so good she wants to read it. I thought maybe I could get it when she gets out, so she has something to look forward to, like reading it together." (Yeah, you'd totally guess this family was dealing with addiction, what with that million dollar home, two gorgeous blonde surfer dude kids, and the matching Mercedes SUVs in the garage. Don't think your school is too rich, too white, or too homespun American for this to happen.)

 

Drug and alcohol addiction, poverty, abuse, mental illness, homelessness--the list can go on forever. Things we'd rather our students not know about, but that some students deal with every single day. Let's make sure our libraries are always the place students can realize they're not alone. And if you're fighting a battle with your principal or school district to keep books on the shelf, using Jennifer and Kate's posts together would create a knock-out punch even Muhammad Ali would admire. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Next Donors Choose project--an author visit from Kate Messner! 

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Adopt, Adapt and Improve: Metro Nashville Public Schools Redefines School Libraries

Adopt, Adapt and Improve: Metro Nashville Public Schools Redefines School Libraries | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
Tennessee's Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is blazing trails in innovative library and media center design to bring true 21st Century literacy to 83,000 students in more than 150 schools.   Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is blazing trails in innovative library and media center design
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

What a great article! You'll be inspired to make changes to your library, no matter how small! We've got some big changes scheduled over the summer: a new entrance, which will get rid of a hulking and dangerous glass display case; new counters for student computers which will create standing workspace, and a new area for our projection screen, which will open up a corner for a reading nook and give us a quiet presentation area! In preparation, we've done some heavy weeding to eliminate one wall of fiction.

 

We still need to move two 14 foot long bookcases of nonfiction to accommodate the seating in front of the projection screen, but we have almost 4 weeks left to squeeze that in (in between textbook collection, of course!) I'm looking forward to my "new" library, which should create both more collaborative space and more quiet reading areas!

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Diversity in children's books goes deeper than race

"The thing I'm most fascinated by is class," said author Matt de la Pena. "I like to describe it this way: My goal is to show the beauty and grace that exists 'on the wrong side of the tracks.'"
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I loved reading this, a day after reading Jennifer LaGarde's powerful blog post! Imagine how we can "cover each other's blind spots"!

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Finals Week: It Has Arrived!

Finals Week: It Has Arrived! | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
It's that time of year again. The stress levels are high, the self-care activity is low, and college students everywhere could use an extra 8 hours in everyday. It's final week, and if your library is anything like mine, it's quiet and full of ultra-focused students. Today's design from Jess Burkhardt, Public Services Librarian at…
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

While this is geared toward college students, I'm sure some high school librarians can adapt this for their libraries! (I'm thinking about it for 8th graders, who have testing in English, math and science this year!) Check out Librarian Design Share's site for other great ideas on displays, logos, flyers, signage and much more!

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How Sharing on Social Media Helped Me Become a Better Educator

How Sharing on Social Media Helped Me Become a Better Educator | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
I used to think Twitter was just for celebrities. What they wore, who they’re with, and where they went. Then, I discovered that the true superstars on Twitter
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

When I went to the CSLA conference in San Diego in February, I was shocked at how few library professionals who attended were on social media. Deborah Ford presented about marketing for school libraries, and asked for a show of hands: Who's on Twitter? Pinterest? Facebook? Who uses these SM tools for work? Hardly anyone in the room was!  

 

This is a great article to share with any educator who is hesitant to get started with social media!

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Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations

Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Adrienne Lafrance writes: "Some 88 percent of Americans younger than 30 said they read a book in the past year compared with 79 percent of those older than 30. At the same time, American readers' relationship with public libraries is changing—with younger readers less likely to see public libraries as essential in their communities."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Be sure to read the study in the link: lots more detailed information! Does this make you view your library differently? I love that millenials recognize not all information is on the internet AND that those without internet access are at a disadvantage. 

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The Daring Librarian: Speed Dating by Book Genre: Personal Ads

The Daring Librarian: Speed Dating by Book Genre: Personal Ads | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Deborah Ford says it's marketing, not bragging, so I'm sharing a blog post Gwyneth Jones wrote, featuring a lesson I did. I benefited from the collaboration, as she added her graphics which make the lesson much more visually appealing!  

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AnswerGarden a powerful, minimalistic feedback/brainstorming tool — @joycevalenza NeverEndingSearch

Joyce Valenza writes: "Gathering quick feedback and initiating a brainstorm have never been easier.  AnswerGarden looks like what would happen if Twitter, TodaysMeet, Padlet and Wordle and Tagxedo had a little baby app."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This is so cool! I've already used it to create a QR code to share during our VIP days for textbook distribution, added one to our book club's Google Classroom, and will use it during orientation to gather information AND show students how tech savvy the old lady in the library is:) Thanks to Joyce Valenza for always sharing so much wonderfulness with us!

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Digital Art Gallery--Collaboration in the Library

Digital Art Gallery--Collaboration in the Library | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

When a 6th grade ELA teacher approached me about updating a project, I jumped at the chance. Every year she had her students choose 5 songs, analyze the lyrics, and pick 5 paintings that represented the songs. The work was then displayed on posterboard in the classroom. The teacher was intrigued by an article in our district tech newsletter about app smashing. So, let the planning begin!

 

We decided to take the project digital. Students still had to choose 5 songs, but we asked them to use the Google Art Institute (now Google Arts and Culture) to find their art works. They used Google Slides to create digital art galleries, adding the art works (with citations!), the song lyrics, and their analysis. 

 

Initially students were going to present their Slides in class. While looking at the Common Core speaking standards, I realized screencasting would be a perfect addition to the project! Students came to the library for a quick lesson on using Nimbus Screenshot. When they encountered technical issues getting their screencasts to work nicely with their school Google accounts, several girls worked to find a solution--then made a screencast to show everyone how it worked!

 

While students were in the library working, I mentioned how I visited art galleries while I was in college--sometimes only for the free food! During the ensuing discussion, we decided that these projects begged to be displayed in a gallery--and that gallery would be our library! 

 

On art gallery day, students dressed up (one nailed the hipster look, another very conservative students wore a suit because he was sure he'd grow up to buy and not create art!)  I provided scarves and glasses for anyone who wanted a more arty look. We distributed Chromebooks all over the library with half the classes' projects ready to play. Students could either stand by their project to answer questions, or walk around the room and view other projects.

 

We also planned on using Google Hangouts to broadcast the gallery for families, other classes and administrators to watch. A technical glitch meant we broadcast without sound, but we were able to record several one on one interviews students did with classmates. 

 

Another 6th grade ELA class came to visit the digital art gallery. Those students took notes, responded to the presentations, and provided thoughtful critique of the work. We also had our functional skills class visit, as well as all of our administrators.

 

Then everyone dove into the chocolate covered strawberries, chips and salsa and drinks the teacher provided, not even realizing they'd just covered so many of the writing and speaking and listening Common Core Standards. Here's a link to some of the photos and interviews, and another link to a few of the student presentations. 

 

This project was a true collaboration, and definitely a lot of work in the classroom and library. There were moments of utter frustration as we struggled with the screencasting and Hangout issues. It was also the highlight of the year in the library! Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, even though they spend much more time on this than if they'd made posters. The other teacher who brought her class in wants to do a similar project next year, as do two other teachers who heard about it. So, all the hard work paid off. Collaboration ROCKS!

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

A very long post about one of my favorite projects this past school year. A great lesson in saying yes, and taking risks. And also a lesson in trusting that you--as teacher or librarian--don't need to know it all. Students definitely helped us past some of the glitches! What are you going to try in the upcoming school year? 

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26 Forward-thinking Programs for Back to School

26 Forward-thinking Programs for Back to School | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
From a picture-book presidential election to a course in cleaning up digital footprints, designer garment upcycling, and TOEFL test prep, these initiatives pack a powerful impact.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

So many great ideas here! We're so lucky to work in a profession that gives us a fresh start every year! I have so many new things I want to share with students and staff.

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The Children Who Grow Up in 'Book Deserts'

The Children Who Grow Up in 'Book Deserts' | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
In many high-poverty urban neighborhoods, it’s nearly impossible for a poor child to find something to read in the summer.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Donate a book today to Reach Out and Read, or First Book!

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Why Sustainability is Crucial for the Maker Movement: and vice versa

Why Sustainability is Crucial for the Maker Movement: and vice versa | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
 Creating something gives you a special feeling. Take a bunch of random objects and violà you have created something else. The problem with making is that sometimes it can cost a lot of money. We're always looking for funds or swiping our credit cards. Constant trips to the local craft store. Can we support this type of making…
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

We packed up our maker space last year, after spending way too much time cleaning up after the 10-15 kids who used it. I'm rethinking it--maybe adding a parent volunteer to keep it organized--but this is essentially what my focus was. We had a few new things, like plastic cord, but most of it was recycled. Don't forget to add weeded books! Making book art was one of our most popular activities, and I still have shelves full of weeded books in our textbook room. When we dip our toes back into the makerspace movement, sustainability will be our focus! I love the tshirt ideas here, and will be asking for donations once we're set up!

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How Would Students Redesign the Learning Space? 

How Would Students Redesign the Learning Space?  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

John Spencer writes, about asking students to redesign learning spaces:

 

So, the following were the most common places mentioned by my students:

  1. Playgrounds: Whether it’s the little kid playground equipment or the skatepark, there is value in finding inspiration from playground design. Playground designers focus on intuitive, fluid movement. I realize that learning isn’t always play. However, there are elements of playground that we could easily incorporate into our spaces. For example, why can’t we have slides that go down from the stairs in our classrooms? Why can’t we rearrange furniture so kids can move more easily? Why can’t we create places where kids can stand?
  2. Libraries: For all the talk of finding inspiration outside of our schools, many of my students described the library as an ideal learning space. They loved the choice and differentiation. They loved the blend of semi-private and totally open. And they loved the totally vintage Michael J Fox, Back to the Future READ poster.
  3. Arcades: This isn’t a surprise, really. Kids described loving the noise, the action, and the fun in an arcade. Although I personally couldn’t handle teaching in an arcade, I wonder what elements of an arcade might work in a learning space redesign.
  4. The Outdoors: When I asked my son to describe the ideal classroom space, he said, “a lake by a waterfall.” About a quarter of my students (often the most introverted) described similar spaces. They wanted to work in quiet. They still wanted to write, draw, edit multimedia, etc. But they wanted to do that in a way that would allow them to walk away from the screen and escape to nature.
  5. Studios: This could have been the result of teaching journalism, but students wanted to be in a space that looked more like a media studio, with moving props, green screens, and scattered places to work.

 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

The only one of these places that already exists at our middle school is the library! I always think of my library as students' third place, not home, not work (classroom) but a place they can explore on their own and use as they like. All of our upcoming remodeling will reflect this!

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Battling Censorship: Getting the Books to the Kids

Battling Censorship: Getting the Books to the Kids | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Kate Messner writes, about her book dealing with addiction, and the censorship by one school of her book and visit: "It would be wonderful to live in a world where not talking about a thing made it vanish or took away all of its power. But we don’t live in that world. This epidemic is fueled by silence and shame. And keeping kids from stories about the effect of addiction on families only makes that stigma worse."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I just ordered two copies for my library. I'll also be using Kate's beautiful quote if I ever face challenges for books that deal with serious issues: "It would be wonderful to live in a world where not talking about a thing made it vanish or took away all of its power." 

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Professional Development Ideas for Summer Break | Knowledge Quest

Professional Development Ideas for Summer Break | Knowledge Quest | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
The end of the school year is quickly approaching and we are all looking forward to some rest and time to recoup from our busy year. Probably the last thing we want to think about at this moment is putting... Read More ›
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Ideas for any time of the year! I obviously love Scoop.it, but also recommend using Diigo, Pinterest, or any other curation tool you're comfortable with. Just pick a topic you want to focus on, and get busy curating! I also love the idea of catching up on the Edweb.net webinars. Michelle Luhtula's are alway well worth your time. And TL Cafe! Blogs! This article gives you a good foundation for PD that's available anytime, anywhere (as long as you have WiFi.)

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The Adventures of Library Girl: Five Ways School Librarians Can Meet The Needs of Students in Poverty

The Adventures of Library Girl: Five Ways School Librarians Can Meet The Needs of Students in Poverty | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Jennifer LaGarde writes: "But did you also know that, over half of US public school children now live in poverty? Let me allow that to sink in for a moment. Seriously. Stop and think about this for a minute: In the richest country in the world, a majority of public school students now live in poverty. And while I could go off on a rant about how unbelievable, insane, criminal this is, I guess what I’m trying to say is that these are not “other teacher’s students.” Kids living in poverty are all of our kids. "

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

If Jennifer's post doesn't inspire you, you have no soul. 

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YA Books and More: Make Your Library Sizzle, Not Fizzle

YA Books and More: Make Your Library Sizzle, Not Fizzle | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Naomi Bates writes: "And so, it got me thinking....what are some other things that we, as librarians, could tweak just a little, to make a HUGE impact?  Here is my top five list of
habit-breakers for librarians.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Naomi Bates is full of great ideas for your school library! Read her post and see what tweaks you can make to your library--or your library professional little self:)  (NB: I used my own library photo for this Scoop!)

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Weeding the Worst Library Books - The New Yorker

Weeding the Worst Library Books - The New Yorker | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
Daniel A. Gross on the librarians behind the blog Awful Library Books, which calls attention to old texts of questionable value.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

You have to follow this blog! It will make you feel better about how long you held onto those Childhood of Famous Americans books! Keep this handy if you every get questions about weeding your collection:)

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 California School Libraries Focus of Audit Request

 California School Libraries Focus of Audit Request | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
The audit will determine whether California’s K-12 schools are providing statutorily-required library services to the state’s school children.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Is it possible the tide may finally be turning in California? Our neighboring district, Vista Unified, is making strong progress in adding librarians to their secondary schools, along with librarians working with elementary library staff. I would love to work with a teacher librarian at least once before I retire!

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ALL THE WONDERS OF Swap!

ALL THE WONDERS OF Swap! | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Activities, games, crafts, an introduction to the artist--it just doesn't get any better than All the Wonders and their celebration of Steve Light's new book, Swap! I would love to go back to elementary school just to share this book with students!

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

All the Wonders keeps getting better and better. If you're working with elementary students, you owe it to them to check out this site!

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