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 send a blank email to this address and Elizabeth will join you up.
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. You will still need your Yahoo Profile to access the files. 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!