Most – though not all – of Heart’s readers know about SLN (School Librarian’s Network) and are members of this Yahoo Group. Most of the work on Heart comes from members of SLN. However, if you are a school librarian anywhere in the world, and you are not a member, you are missing out on a fantastic source of support and CPD. The group was set up by Elizabeth Bentley, who is on the SLG Committee, more than 10 years ago. The group runs as a completely free chatroom where we can exchange ideas, put those questions that only another librarian colleague can answer, and have the occasional moan! The group also has a large collection of very useful files. If you would like to join, create a Yahoo profile which includes the fact that you are a school librarian. Then search Yahoo Groups for SLN and apply to join. It is a closed group, but it doesn’t take too long for you to be approved. Then you can join the most lively and informative online group of school librarians I have ever come across. See you there!
Three tweets on the subject of Graphic Novels caught my eye today, and I thought that I would share them with you. The first was from a blog called Talking Books, which is a blog by the CILIPSLG London and South East Group. The group had recently had a training event at Forbidden Planet, and had come back with several good websites and a list of the top ten graphic novels every school library should have on their shelves. In response to this tweet by @dawnafinch, who is one of the leaders of the group, came a tweet from Matt Imrie (@mattlibrarian) who runs the Teen Librarian blog. If you haven’t read it yet, do subscribe, it’s great! Matt sent two links for historical graphic novels to be used in schools. The first is a general historical list, and the second is specifically about the Holocaust. Both of the lists should find a place in every school library. Thanks to Matt and Dawn for tweeting these lists.
In my inbox this afternoon was one of those emails that just brightens up your day! Jenny Bartlett from the North London Collegiate school emailed me to show off this wonderful display that her colleague Mr Chan had created in the library. She told me that it is creating quite a buzz – as well it might! Jenny explained the reason for the display:
‘Our school has an annual ‘Fantasy Fashion’ event, a charity fundraiser where pupils design and produce fantasy fashion outfits around a given theme, culminating in a fashion show complete with catwalk. We like to create library displays to tie in with school events, and for this year, bought some new books on fashion, design, creative textiles etc. Mr Chan, one of our librarians, has created an incredible display that is placed right at our main entrance. We’ve extended the theme by incorporating and adapting well known book titles – so we have ‘A Streetcar named Denim’, ‘To Kilt a Mockingbird’, ‘Tender is the Nightgown’, ‘All the King’s Menswear’, amongst others!
He has also dressed a mannequin using withdrawn books, and this will be placed outside the library to publicise a competition, ‘Strike a Prose’, where pupils are invited to write a piece around the year’s theme. It will be interesting to see if extending our display beyond the library itself will bear fruit. We are hoping that the mannequin itself will take part in the fashion show, possibly on a set of wheels!
‘Fantasy Fashion is inspired in memory of a pupil. She spent part of her gap year working with the Karenni refugees in Burma, changed career direction and ended up working and living amongst them, but was sadly killed there in a motorbike crash. Fantasy fashion each year is in her memory, and money raised goes to the refugees. Always a big thing here, and still attended by her parents.’
This is one of the most beautiful and innovative displays – especially the mannequin! – that I have seen for a while. Don’t forget if you have a great display in your library, we would love to share it on Heart.
The Hay Levels is a new YouTube channel, with 3-5 minute short films by leading academics and experts on various subjects to do with AL subjects. They include Simon Singh talking about the Big Bang Theory, Marcus du Sautoy talking about Trigonometry and Logarithms, Richard Dawkins on Irreducible Complexity in religion and Simon Schama on the Weirdness of History. Great as lesson starters to get pupils thinking – and free!
Annabel Jeffery, the school Librarian, writes:
‘It was National Poetry Day on Thursday 2nd October. The Library and English Department made the most of the opportunity to celebrate poetry with activities to promote this year’s theme of ‘Remember’ (which also ties in with the WW1 Centenary). A poetry competition drew over seventy entries from pupils. Many chose to respond to the theme by writing poems of Remembrance for WW1 soldiers, but we have also received many moving poems in memory of pets and loved ones. These are displayed in the Long Gallery alongside a display of classic ‘Remember’ poems, and will be judged next week.
At lunchtime the Headmaster, teachers, and Library staff read their own choice of poems in the Library. Amongst war poems (from the Illiad to Vergissmeinicht), poems that were about memory, poems that brought back memories, or were memorable to the reader for a particular reason, a highlight was Miss Lewis’s reading of one of her father’s recently published poems, about the moment when his mother heard that her husband had been killed in WW1. Dr Head also read a poem written by his grandfather, one of the founders of the Worcester Writers’ Circle. It was a delightful occasion, enjoyed by pupils and staff.”
What are you planning to do for World Book Day – March 5th 2015? This great idea from last year was sent in Shirley Greenough, Librarian at The Lancaster School in Leicester. Shirley explains:
“Each boy (I am librarian at an all-boys state school) wrote the title of their favourite book or books on a leaf. I then added these to a Book Tree Display. The staff did the same on coloured flags which formed the border of the display.
I was amazed at the amount of boys who completed the task and my tree grew and grew. Not as many staff completed their flags, but it made a wonderful display and I would recommend it for any school librarian on World Book Day.”
Have you visited the excellent IFLA blog yet? You don’t have to be a member to access their excellent information, and it gives you an international perspective as well.
If your school is teaching the EPQ this year, you may want to consider this free course from FutureLearn, which is designed specifically around the EPQ. These courses are free, online and developed by universities. There are lots of other courses on there too, which you may want to point your students towards.
It’s that exciting time of year again when the shortlist for the School Librarian of the Year is announced, and we get to read about our amazing colleagues! This year it is the amazing Helen Cleaves, Liz Millett, and Tracey Needham. Click on this link to find out more about them!
Do you want help in training your student library assistants? Would you like them to meet other student library assistants nearby and have a really good training experience? Can you easily travel to London? Then book them on to this FREE event held in Elmgreen School, in the West Norwood area of Lambeth. All details on the poster (click to enlarge) – but book quickly, as places are limited. You can ring Michael Margerison on: 020 8766 5020