Creativity in the School Library
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Blind Date with a Book!

Blind Date with a Book! | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Via Janet Kenney on the Google + TL Chat community.  This would be so popular in high school!

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Sandra Carswell's curator insight, January 28, 2013 10:51 PM

Fun 

Rebecca Lainey Thomas's curator insight, February 1, 2013 1:55 PM

Here's another reading incentive idea--make students go on a 'blind date' with a good book.  This would definitely work well for high schoolers.

Sharing the awesomeness of school librarians and library staff
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10 Ways to Feed Your Library Instagram

10 Ways to Feed Your Library Instagram | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

I wanted to share how we use Instagram, and I also am massively jealous of my daughter's blog writing in the BuzzFeed sort of format. I played with several things and finally just made a Google Site so I could upload the photos the way I wanted. 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I hope you get some good tips here! And remember the advice from Gwyneth Jones about blogging: never apologize if you don't post on a regular basis! We're all doing the best we can in our libraries:)

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GwynethJones's curator insight, November 17, 2016 2:32 PM

This is the BEST Post!

I'm stealing & trying ALL these great ideas!

~G

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Then and Now in the Library

Then and Now in the Library | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

I had just taken these then and now photos when I read Sedley Abercrombie's article in Knowledge Quest. I was thrilled to look back at the changes we've made in our library over the past seven years. I wonder what it will look like seven years from now?

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I'm so grateful that Google Photos sent me the reminder of my work anniversary! And that it serendipitously coincided with Sedley's article.  

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Accelerate Learning Through Independent Reading

Accelerate Learning Through Independent Reading | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher write: "It is popular in some quarters to restrict students' independent reading to a narrow band of (mostly) quantitative measures. But this restriction severely limits students' ability to build knowledge and investigate the physical, biological, and social worlds they occupy. These quantitative text measures are primarily calculated using algorithms based on the number of words, syllables, sentences, and rare words. What they can't report on are the qualitative values related to the complexity of the subject, as well as the reader's interests, motivation, and background knowledge. It takes a caring adult to expose students to texts that bring joy, spark questions, challenge assumptions, and deepen perspectives." (Emphasis added.)

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

The studies done by people who actually work with children consistently show that programs that restrict children's reading to their "level" don't really help. They certainly don't build enthusiasm for reading! Experts like Frey and Fisher as well as Donalyn Miller show that exposure to lots of books and student choice help build independent readers. In school libraries, one of our primary goals should be to help every student see herself as a reader. I have seen students move from a steady reading diet of all graphic novels to 250 page novels because they  are allowed to choose their books. I've also seen students who rush to check out books that are very difficult for them come back and get something less frustrating. If we ask students to do independent reading, let's let that truly be independent!  Fill your library with books students want, be an enthusiastic book talker for the books you love, get all staff to discuss and display what they're reading, and help your students develop the same love of independent reading you have! 

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Action Book Club

Action Book Club | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

From the Little Free Library website: 

 

We believe that books can inspire you to make the world a better place—starting in your own neighborhood!

 

In a new twist on the traditional book club, Little Free Library’s Action Book Club™ invites participants to read books on timely topics, engage in lively discussions, and take part in meaningful—and fun—group service projects to benefit their communities. This is reading and social engagement at its best.

 

When Action Book Club members share their experiences online, they help start a ripple effect of positive activity across the country and around the world.

 

The Action Book Club’s current theme is Many Voices, which celebrates diversity, our differences, and the similarities that connect us all.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

We haven't started our book clubs, mainly because: 1) orientation for 1920 students and 2) book fair. Now that we're almost past the most hectic time in the library, we're turning toward our activities. We usually participate in Students Rebuild, but when I found this, via a retired teacher-friend, I thought we'd explore it. 

 

I've created a list of some of the books we have in multiple copies, as well as some titles suggested by the Action Book Club folks. I'd love to see school librarians take this and run with it. When I first read the FAQs, there was NO MENTION of school libraries. I tweeted about it, and 15 minutes later got a very nice reply that they agreed school libraries are important. They also changed the FAQs to reflect that! (If I blogged, I'd have to be The Mouthy Librarian!)

 

So, anyone want to join us on this venture? Even a small book club could do some amazing things! And what if we had our students connect via Hangout, Skype, social media to expand the discussion? Talk about hitting ALL the new AASL standards! Let's do this!

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The FREE Twitter Header Collective

The FREE Twitter Header Collective | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Gwyneth Jones writes: "Your Twitter profile is like a virtual business card. It's good for people to see who you are (not your cat or your cute kids) and what you’re all about. Use the opportunity of your profile picture and header photo accordingly. Sure, I've talked before about 6 Tips to a Super Twitter Profile but today, we're just talkin headers, hon!"

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Summertime is the best time to dust off your social media profiles! I hate to admit it, but I just noticed this week that Twitter profile pics are now circles, which rendered  my Twibbon for We Need Diverse Books meaningless! Check out Gwyneth's post for some quick and easy ideas on how to spiff up your profile.

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How HyperDocs Can Transform Your Teaching

How HyperDocs Can Transform Your Teaching | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Jennifer Gonzalez writes: "A HyperDoc is a digital document—such as a Google Doc—where all components of a learning cycle have been pulled together into one central hub. Within a single document, students are provided with hyperlinks to all of the resources they need to complete that learning cycle."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I've had The HyperDoc Handbook all year and have made a few sample HyperDocs for teachers. Recently I decided to put some library instruction into a HyperDoc, too. This simple Hyperdoc teaches 6th graders how to use the library catalog, introducing them to Destiny Quest, resource lists and more. They'll also learn a few Chromebook tips during this lesson, since many of them will be new to Chromebooks coming into middle school. 

 

If you're sharing this with teachers, show them this awesome presentation about using HyperDocs with novels. It's packed with information and great examples. 

 

And of course, think of all the great things students can create with HyperDocs! I'd love to see a research project that culminates in a HyperDoc full of the resources students used, images, videos, music, their own writing and illustrations etc., etc.  How about students tying facts to a historical fiction novel? Adding interactive features via Forms throughout their HyperDoc to share and get feedback with other students? Once you dive in, the possibilities are endless. 

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30 Storytelling Tips For Teachers: How To Capture Your Student’s Attention

30 Storytelling Tips For Teachers: How To Capture Your Student’s Attention | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

"Storytelling has been around as long as humankind. It is one of the most effective ways to communicate an important truth to another person. It is a connection point between two people. It gives meaning, context, and understanding in a world that is often filled with chaos and disorder.

 

Because of this, educators must use stories if they hope to reach their students. Stories will stay with people much longer than facts or statistics. If a teacher becomes an excellent storyteller, he or she can ensure that any concept they teach will be remembered for years to come.

 

Stories don’t just work well for narratives; they can be used to illustrate scientific or mathematical processes as well. Take for example the difference between learning a formula, and the ability to solve that problem in the context of a real-life example. Stories bring information, knowledge, and truth to life.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I am convinced that we learn best through stories. I intend to design my presentations and lessons with these tips in mind.

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Library at SEMS - Keeping It Organized With Keep

Library at SEMS - Keeping It Organized With Keep | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

If you're not using Google Keep, you're missing out on a powerful organizational tool. Here are some of my favorite tips!

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

One of my student aides starting using Keep last week. Yesterday a reminder popped up about an assignment he'd completely forgotten about. Now he's a Keep evangelist, too!

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PicMonkey: Still My Graphic Go-To

PicMonkey: Still My Graphic Go-To | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Gwyneth Jones writes:


PicMonkey is a free website & app that does wonders with your digital photos in an easy peasy click it and save it kinda way. PicMonkey is free but yes, I enjoy the Royale upgrade - and now it's better than ever!


The graphic at the very top was done on theweb version of the site and this one was done just on my phone. In this post I'm going to give a few highlights about each version of PicMonkey.  Of course, the computer version has many more bells and whistles but the mobile app ain't so slouchy!

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

OK, I simply HAD to share Gwyneth's before and after PicMonkey photo, since I spent an embarrassingly long time playing with the "beauty" touch-ups when I signed up for Royale! PicMonkey is one of those sites that you need to share with students. I think photo editing is an essential skill for students to have in their digital tool box, and this one is easy and fun! Be sure to read the PicMonkey blog, as they have some great tips. I made some cool double exposures, and I have zero graphic design skills. 

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41 Ways To Have A More Bookish Spring

41 Ways To Have A More Bookish Spring | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Kelly Jensen writes: "To welcome in spring and to keep your love for books and reading alive, how about a round-up of ideas to have a more bookish season? Some of these suggestions are easy, while others might require a bit of work. Some are straightforward, while others might require you to interpret what they mean. The fun is just that; these are meant to be inspiring ideas, sparks for taking your literary life to another level and finding magic in moments where you might not otherwise."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

So many of these ideas are easy to adapt to school library use! (OK, not the literary cocktails one, but if you're interested in that, here's a link to some good recipes! No judgment here!) I want to get some big beach rocks and let students write favorite book quotes or even just book titles on them to fill in a weed-filled space outside our library windows.

 

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How to Build a Maker Culture in Your Library  

How to Build a Maker Culture in Your Library   | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Diana Rendina writes: "School libraries are starting makerspaces all over the world. It’s an exciting time in education as we rediscover the power of creativity. But many schools rush to start makerspaces so quickly that they neglect building the maker culture. Developing a maker culture is a lot like developing a love of reading, it takes time and persistence and it’s totally worth it. Here’s a few ways that you can work to cultivate a love of making and creativity in your students."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I know Diana's library is an incredible example of a makerspace, but that just didn't work for us. We are going to bring back a simpler, more focused version once our remodel is complete. Our high school librarian has set up a monthly maker corner that has been very successful. Projects that can be completed in a lunch period or that allow for collaborative work will be our goal. Diana's tips will help keep us from getting overwhelmed and keep the focus on making!

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Sandra Sawyer McLeroy's curator insight, May 20, 12:21 PM
Good ideas for creating a maker culture in your library and school.
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Make Fabulous Bookmarks with Canva

Make Fabulous Bookmarks with Canva | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Kristen Mattson writes: "I LOVE Canva. It makes me look like a graphic design superstar without much effort at all. This week I used the free online tool to create custom bookmarks that go along with our "Walk a Mile" reading challenge. The "Etsy Cover Photo" template inside of Canva is the PERFECT size and shape for bookmarks."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I am so glad Kristen shared this! I usually stop by Home Depot and Lowes and grab a bunch of paint samples for bookmarks. The kids enjoy choosing "their" color, but the bookmarks weren't reading or library related. Now, I am having student aides create them in Canva and printing on card stock! We stick with black and white because there's one color printer on campus:) Kristen's link to her bookmarks is in her blog post. Here's a link to the latest one a student created for me. 

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30 Ideas For A More Bookish Winter

30 Ideas For A More Bookish Winter | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Kelly Jensen writes: "For some of us, winter feels like it encompasses not a season, but half of a year. It’s a time of quiet and a time when things seem to be dialed back in the world around us (except, perhaps, in places where you get to experience snow or sleet or freezing rain or freezing fog and know exactly what kind of snow is best for making snowmen and what kind will break your back while shoveling). It’s also a time when many begin to really feel the impact of seasonal affective disorder and moods and energy can be low."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Kelly shares a lot of ideas which can easily be translated into displays. (I'm going to be cutting more snowflakes to make a chain of books student read over our three week winter break.) I'm looking forward to her spring list. If you're planning far ahead, here are links to her summer and fall lists

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, January 15, 1:07 AM
Love this idea. I can't wait to get started :)
GwynethJones's curator insight, January 15, 10:06 AM

I especially like "Cozy up under a blanket or beside a warm fire and reread a favorite book from your childhood."

 

One of my fav winter books is  "The Long Winter" from the Little House on the Prairie series.

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Reprioritizing to Make Room for More Reading by Laura Gardner

Reprioritizing to Make Room for More Reading by Laura Gardner | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Laura Gardner writes: "School librarians wear many hats. In my school library, I teach information literacy; collaborate with teachers on technology-rich projects; offer book buffets and book talks on a regular basis; purchase, weed and manage a large collection; promote our library, books and reading on social media; and am in charge of a bustling Makerspace. I also try to find time to read widely from our collection, as well as new books I may wish to add to our collection. In the past, this reading has taken a back seat to other priorities, but in the last six months I have reprioritized to make more time for reading."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I love Laura's suggestions for squeezing in reading. I find it very hard to book talk books I haven't read, so I try to read as much of my collection as I can. Pair this article with Jennifer LaGarde's excellent post about getting teachers to read (with shareable infographics and other resources), and JUST DO IT! I have become much more comfortable reading during passing periods or other times when I'm at my desk because my middle schoolers seem desperate for recommendations. 

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, December 6, 1:42 AM
The importance of reading and the difference it can make to students seeing their teachers reading. Let us all try to read more. 
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Creative Constraints, Passion Projects, and Those “Bird Reports”

Creative Constraints, Passion Projects, and Those “Bird Reports” | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Connie Williams writes: "Librarians have been thinking long and hard about how to help redefine the “Bird Reports.” We help far too many students in the library locate information on subjects the student neither cares about nor really has an understanding of the scope of the topic, much less the task. Inquiry – that wonderful process of directing our work through the asking (and answering) of questions – is central to the process of redefining report writing into a task where students work from an initial place of wondering to an ending with a presentation (whether an essay, infographic, or media) of their claims and/or conclusions on a topic of their choice."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

So many great tips in here from Connie Williams! Too often students are paralyzed by research projects that give them unlimited choice (after years of "bird reports", who wouldn't be?) Connie gives suggestions to help boost their creativity and their critical thinking. I know I'll be incorporating a few of these immediately in a blogging project I'm working on with a 7th grade teacher and her students. 

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On the Level by Donalyn Miller

On the Level by Donalyn Miller | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Donalyn Miller writes: "Restricting children’s reading choices to books that fit within their reading level warps children’s positive reading identity development and their perceptions of what reading is. Requiring students to read books “at their level” at all times limits children’s reading choices and derails intrinsic motivation to read, which is driven by interest, choice, and reader’s purpose—not reading level."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Share this with every administrator in your school district! 

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, October 17, 2:19 AM
Interesting blog about why restricting children to reading levels is not conducive to engaging new readers. Personal choice is important. 
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English Language Learners + Graphic Novels

English Language Learners + Graphic Novels | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Sara Stevenson writes: "These English language learners are an integral part of our library program. Their ELL teacher sends them to the library frequently, and they are avid readers of graphic novels. Graphic novels are perfect for English language learners because they are high interest, and the images can fill in, giving clues when they don’t know a word. Rather than stopping to look up the meanings of every few words, they can intuit meaning."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I have built my graphic novel collection with several grants, to support ELL as well as students in special education. It's essential that every student can find something to read from the school library!

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Confessions of a Librarian Who Does Everything Wrong | Knowledge Quest

Confessions of a Librarian Who Does Everything Wrong | Knowledge Quest | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Angie Miller writes: "The premise of a library lies at the intersection of truth and justice. It is the heart of the school where all are welcome and safe, where needs are met and potentials challenged."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Oh, preach it, Angie! I loved this post, mainly for affirming what I've been doing (and sometimes not doing) in my library. Thinking about your library as a student-centered space should drive all your decisions about what's essential. I bend many rules, but I'm confident that if they are decisions that benefit students, I'm doing my job!

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Middle School Summer Reading Bingo

Middle School Summer Reading Bingo | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Encourage summer reading with some of these suggestions! Feel free to make a copy and change the squares as needed. 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I put this together to share with our incoming 6th graders. I'd love to get them reading over summer break, even if they're not on Instagram:) I know a lot of current 6th and 7th graders who will fill the card, possibly during their first week of vacation. 

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The Transforming Role of Librarians (and Libraries)

The Transforming Role of Librarians (and Libraries) | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Susan K.S. Grisby writes: "Personalized professional development in schools has been a rising trend for years, but what many schools don’t realize is that their greatest asset for professional development is already in their building. The librarian, to be exact. Librarians and media specialists are some of the most highly trained, highly versatile staff a school has at their disposal. The library is not just “the room where the books are,” but the entry point for new, innovative technologies, as well as the hub from which those new technologies are introduced to the entire school."

 

(Image: SEMS Library)

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I love Susan's insights here! Our libraries truly are the epicenter of our schools. If not, it's time to think about what you can do to change that. My favorite quote: "The key to a highly functioning library is the balance between print and digital, intimate and open, quiet and active, consumption and creation." That's a balancing act we deal with every day!

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's comment, May 25, 2:23 AM
It's great to read such straight forward words about how school librarians can support teaching and learning. I's not rocket science to use the resources you already have in school :)
Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, May 25, 2:25 AM
An article full of suggestions on how you could and should be using your school librarian. Open your classroom doors and let them in. 
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Illustrating Library Usage

Illustrating Library Usage | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

"If you haven't had time to look up from the frenzy, the end of the year is HERE! And with the end of another academic year, often comes the annual gathering of stats. Jess Denke, Public Services Librarian at the Trexler Library at DeSales University, has created an infographic that really illustrates how her library was used."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This is such a great idea! I am seeing more history and science classes this year, so while my circulation numbers are down, the number of students doing research in the library has increased dramatically. If you're not already following, the Librarian Design Share blog is full of great tips! 

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Sandra Sawyer McLeroy's curator insight, May 20, 12:20 PM
This is a great idea. 
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Coloring Pages for Your Library - Justcolor.net

Coloring Pages for Your Library - Justcolor.net | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Over 1300 free coloring pages!

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

It's time to print out coloring sheets for those students doing make-up testing in the library. Hate the month of testing, love to help students relax in the library!

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Sandra Sawyer McLeroy's curator insight, May 20, 12:20 PM
Most adults and students love to color.  Try these.
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Selling Nonfiction with Student-Created Ads

Selling Nonfiction with Student-Created Ads | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Last week, a teacher asked me to help her students explore “our amazing nonfiction collection.” (Her words, really!) Students have always been reluctant browsers in our nonfiction section, even though we put our most enticing titles on display. With our construction project this year, it’s been even worse, as we weeded and condensed nonfiction from five to three rows and the new signage isn’t up yet. I thought about revising our speed dating lesson with all nonfiction categories. Then at lunch another teacher asked me to address persuasive techniques with her class. I recently found the Break Your Own News website and used that to introduce a website evaluation lesson. First flash of brilliance--I realized we could use the site to create book talkers for our nonfiction books! I quickly created a presentation about persuasive techniques in advertising, with videos for each technique.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Our 6th graders enjoyed this lesson. Now they're working on either argumentative essays or a propaganda project, so they are using the techniques learned in the library.

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Elizabeth Hutchinson's curator insight, March 20, 5:33 PM
A brilliant lesson to generatie interest in your non-fiction. 
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Without libraries we are less human and more profoundly alone | Nicola Davies

Without libraries we are less human and more profoundly alone | Nicola Davies | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Nicole Davies writes: "Librarians are far more than stackers and catalogers. They are creative curators of their book collections. They review and renew their flocks of books, adjusting what they have to fit their readers, highlighting certain sections and topics to reflect the world. They are on hand to guide and encourage, to foster relationships between books and people. Subtly, quietly, inexorably, they weave individuals into a community. They make a library shimmer, as if the books were the scales of a dragon flexing as it folds and flies."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

If you ever feel what you do doesn't matter, pull out that one gorgeous paragraph by Nicola Davies and remember why you do this!

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GwynethJones's curator insight, March 5, 6:52 AM

"They are on hand to guide and encourage, to foster relationships between books and people. Subtly, quietly, inexorably, they weave individuals into a community. They make a library shimmer, as if the books were the scales of a dragon flexing as it folds and flies.""

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, March 6, 5:05 AM
Without libraries we are less human and more profoundly alone
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Zen and the Art of Librarian Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Librarian Maintenance | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Some tips on how I plan on hitting reset midway through the school year. None of them involve sneaking kittens into the library!

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Please share your tips, or why you don't need any. I promise not to be jealous. 

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Ambient Mixer: Listen and create ambient sounds easily

Ambient Mixer: Listen and create ambient sounds easily | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

From the website: Listen online to relaxing sound atmospheres, ambient music or chilling sound effects. You can even create and mix your own moods, all for free.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

While the free version limits you to one download a month, I think this would be a fun book project. Students can create a sound track for a book they've read, using sounds from FreeSound or remixing tracks they find on Ambient Mixer. Or, just use one of the tracks to play in the library--the Hogwarts library would certainly encourage reading!

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