Posts tagged ‘School Libraries’

Post #4 What Do You Do With Weeded Books?

This is my second year in my K-8 school library. When I came into the library last year, it hadn’t been weeded in….forever, the books were covered with dust, there was no organization system, the previous librarian wasn’t letting the kids check out books, there was no automated system and no card catalog. To say the least, the library was in dire conditions. I had no idea what kind of books were in there and what condition they were in.

Weeding

Before I began weeding, I located my school districts’ policy on weeding and used that to determine what books should be weeded and which books could stay. After about a week or so of non-stop work, I finally had the library weeded (I had dusty, dirty hands and clothes to prove it). I weeded out over 400 books!! There were books that said “when we go to the moon someday…”, computer books from 1970, and country books about East and West Germany. Come on! It took me several more weeks to re-organize the library and put the non-fiction books in order by Dewey, establish my fiction section, create my easy book section and find room for my (little) Spanish and Polish bi-lingual sections. I later also decided I needed to separate my Young Adult (YA) books out from my fiction so my older students could locate them easier.

My dilemma with the books that I weeded out of the library was what to do with all of them! My principal wanted me to give the books away to students, however I disagreed. I weeded these books out of the library because they contained incorrect information. I didn’t want my students to take these books, read them and think the information inside was factual! I conveyed my concerns to my principal, but she wanted the students to have the books. So, I HAD to give them away to my students. I felt awful and torn. As a librarian I am supposed to provide knowledge; correct knowledge; and I was leading my students to false information. As a teacher, I need to follow what my principal says. What to do! I came up with the following solution: to satisfy my principal and also keep my conscience clear, I told the kids that these books contained incorrect information and challenged them to each take a book and then identify the incorrect information by finding sources that provided the correct information. My students really enjoyed this! They gained experience with encyclopedias, the web and other reference sources. It was an excellent teaching tool!

So, if you are a school librarian and you have weeded books and your principal can’t stand to get rid of them in any way and insists the books be given to the students, here is a way that you can at least put them to good use. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

November 6, 2007 at 11:49 pm 4 comments

October Is Polish American Heritage Month

Polish Heritage Month

Chicago has a very large Polish population. As elementary school librarians we have to recognize the populations we serve and have resources available that will interest and educate them. Check out the Polish American Center website for activity ideas and great information to share with your colleagues and students.

October 8, 2007 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Assignment: Using LibraryThing in Your School Library (Web 2.0 Tool Review)

“LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone. Because everyone catalogs together, LibraryThing also connects people with the same books, comes up with suggestions for what to read next, and so forth.” (LibraryThing, 2007)

 

LibraryThing Homepage

Learning how to use LibraryThing is very easy. All you do is create an account by entering your information into the green box at LibraryThing.com and you’re ready to go! If you want a tour of how to use the site, there is one ready for you to take at any time. LibraryThing gets all it’s data from Amazon.com, so when you’re entering books all you have to do is enter the title, author, or ISBN to find the books you’re looking to add to your LibraryThing library!

Some school libraries are already using LibraryThing to enhance their students’ learning experiences. Piedmont High School, in California, has created it’s own LibraryThing page so that it’s students, teachers, faculty and parents can connect with each other about literature both inside and outside the library. Hunter College High School, in New York, tells it’s students about using LibraryThing in their school blog. St. Margarets School in Berwick, Victoria uses LibraryThing to host their bookclub titled Fantales Club del Libro.

LibraryThing also has ‘Groups’ that members can join. These groups usually have a specific audience in mind. For instance; a perfect group for all of us school librarians to join would be the group titled Teachers. This group is for teachers of all sorts (elementary, middle, high school, college, etc.) to come together and share information about books and strategies they use with their students.

LibraryThing can be used for professional reasons (as in the Teachers Group example) or can be used with our students. In his article School Library 2.0, SLJ’s Christopher Harris recognizes that, “in the hands of school librarians, LibraryThing can be a powerful tool, providing an OPAC interface that actively engages students”. As school librarians, we could create Groups for our own school libraries and have students create their own libraries and be able to communicate with other students, teachers or parents, from their school, about the books they’ve read. Instead of challenging this Web 2.0 tool (as some parents have challenged MySpace), I think parents would welcome a new way to connect with their children and their children’s school. LibraryThing is a great way to foster strong school and community ties.

September 30, 2007 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment


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