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It's that time again. I get butterflies each year about this time. That very last free weekend. Please share your best new idea for this school year. We could all use some inspiration!

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We are starting year two of our "reading buddies" program between at-risk kids in our alternative middle school program and preschool program, both housed in our distirict administration building and too small to afford a librarian. As the district library coordinator, I step in when I can. Last year, we received an LSTA grant and were able to purchase books for both libraries. We matched up the middle school students with 2-3 preschoolers, and they read with them at least once a week. The results were heartwarming, and achieved more that we could have hoped for. A new found love of reading and apparent increase in self-esteem for the middle schoolers - not to mention increased fluency and reading skills, and the preschoolers discovering the magic of books and reading. We will kick off this program the end of this month with a Teddy Bear Tea, giving the students an opportunity to meet and share information about their interests. I can't wait!

That is exactly what I want to do at my middle school.... it is a very low income school, we have access to pre-school students in the preschool program at the adjoining High School.  Please tell me more about our progam.... do you have a theme every week?  how much coaching do you give your middle school students?  how many students do you have reading at once? 

Thanks so much... Anne Smith, middle school librarian Sullivan North Middle School

I had a very successful "Bring a Grandparent to the Library" hour of reading on Sat. Sept. 12th. It was an fun way to share grandparent stories and the kids liked showing off the library. Some of the grandparents had never been in our school.
We're getting a new automation system, and to clear out the old patron records, we're doing an amnesty program: kids can bring in canned goods to pay off their debts.

We also have some great student library aides, so we're hoping for some exciting stuff from them.

We did that for Women's History month.. bring a can of food for the Women's Center and your fines were forgiven.. Worked out real good!


Not only have I moved 1000 miles this summer but I have started a new library position in an Upper School. I am starting the programming from ground zero with some reluctance since the school has never had an Upper School librarian. I found some success in starting a faculty literacy/book club. I hope to begin and have f2f meetings along with encouraging teachers to write online book reviews.
The best new idea I am going to incorporate isn't actually a new one, but it is new to OUR library. I am co-creating and piloting a research process unit with an English II teacher. I am very excited about it!

This does sound exciting. Can you share a few of the details?

I am researching the idea of using a proxy server to authenticate students who use the databases from home. I would really like students to have seamless access to those resources.

I'm planning to utilize work-grant students more effectively by asking for their input designing a new library website.

I know what you mean about butterflies.. Our library assistant of 29 years has been moved to clerical in the office. She is going through all the stages of grief. She will still be tech contact for the school. We have 1200 middle schoolers. Thank goodness Joyce is with us. We have to share her with another middle school.. Last year she was on board every other week.. this year we are hoping for every other day!

Things are going to be very different this year. Our library is the hub of our school and we want to keep it that way!

It is so sad to see libraries left with little because they aren't considered to be necessities.

We are a PreK-5 school.  I am planning on installing library "centers" throughout the space, e.g., listening (audiobooks on iPods); drawing/bookmaking; SmartTable; writing boxes (see; board games; ebooks. For this we will need to purchase a few e-readers and iPods.  This is a way of distributing the devices when we don't have the budget to buy whole-class sets, and it encourages independence and choice.


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