This Week in the Library

Who cares if it’s October, we decided to go to the beach for a week! The tech coach and I got together last Friday to plan some programming and decorating revolving around Teen Read Week. The theme this year was “Get Away @ your library.” Most of the ideas I saw had to do with traveling the world through books and such. We decided to go a different direction with it. First, we decided to decorate our display case like a beach getaway. The idea actually came from one of the SROs, who suggested having a beach theme with a beach chair so he could get in the case and read a book. I told him I would make that display if he would sit in it. I thought the idea worked pretty well with the Teen Read Week theme so we went with it. The tech coach and I decided to join him one day for a few photos.

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We were trying to figure out what kinds of activities we wanted to do, and we decided it would be nice to do something active that would bring in some students who don’t normally visit the library. We started taking the theme in a different direction and decided to offer a little time when students could get away from the stress of school and relax. So, even though it has pretty much nothing to do with reading, we set up a game of cornhole in the library. We offered it for two days during lunch and allowed students to bring their lunches with them. It was so much fun and I think it did something that I wasn’t expecting: it showed many of the students that the library at our school isn’t what it used to be. I’ve been trying to change the way people think about the library since I started last year and this might have helped shape the idea of the library as a fun place and hub of the school for some students who have never thought about it that way before.

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Of course, I also offered some things that actually are about reading. I declared it amnesty week so the students could turn in their overdue books for no fines, no questions asked. I thought this might have a two-fold effect: to show students that I’m not all about punishing them for turning things in late and to get some books back that I think some students were simply holding onto because they knew they would owe fines. I’m not quite ready to get rid of fines, but it’s an idea I like.

I also offered a drawing for a pizza lunch with five friends for any student who checked out a book during Teen Read Week. I’m not actually sure if how much that changed my stats, but I did want to do something cool to reward a student for reading and using the library.

We ended Teen Read Week by starting the reading marathon. The reading marathon is something the librarian before me started, but I love the idea. The marathon lasts from now until April 22nd. There are five different races: 5K (5 books), 10K (10 books), half marathon (13 books), marathon (26 books), and a double marathon (52 books). I already have a handful of kids signed up for 52 books and I’m going to attempt it, as well. I offer really small prizes along the way. In the end, anyone who finishes their race gets invited to a party where I’ll give away some pretty awesome prizes. Last year, we gave away two Kindles and a bunch of gift cards. Check out the awesome poster I made for it!

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It was such a good week!

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