June/July 2013, Volume 5, Issue 6
Check Your Calendars!!
ALA 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition
June 27– July 2, Chicago, Illinois
SD Festival of Books
Sept. 20-22, Deadwood
Tri-Conference: NDLA, MPLA, SDLA 2013
The Library: All Travelers Welcome
Sept. 25-27, Sioux Falls
Indian Education Summit
Sept. 29- Oct 1, Chamberlain/Oacoma
Featured e-Resources of the Month
Ah-choo! Allergy info for all ages
Why Didn't I Think of That?
Teacher interviews encourage reading
The Teen Advisory Board at Gregory Public Library came up with the idea to conduct teacher interviews. They asked four questions of each teacher:
- What is your favorite book?
- Who is your favorite author?
- What are you reading now?
- May we publish your answers?
They put these up in the library with the teacher's picture to encourage young readers.
Yes, there really is an app for that
The Montessori School of Aberdeen needed to re-organize and automate their small library. They began by creating an inventory spreadsheet of their collection. They hadn't gotten too far in the process when a parent asked, "Isn't there an app for that?" Yes, there is an app for that. Actually, principal and librarian, Susan Dalager, learned that there are several inexpensive iPad apps that met their needs.
After a bit of trial and error, they decided to use Barcode Library. Using either an iPad or iPhone, the Universal Product Code (ISBN) on each book is scanned into the program. A digital record is created that includes the author, title, image of the book cover and category. Category names can be easily edited and additional description and notes added. Books can be checked out and returned using the device's contact information. Searching can be done by title, author or date. Files can be sent via email or uploaded to a Dropbox account.
Barcode Library was developed as a home library inventory system but opens up some possibilities for other very small libraries. It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of an integrated library automation system, but it does come with a much cheaper price tag. Similar apps exist for Android devices.
Charlotte's Web for all at Harrisburg Liberty
by Jackie Wilcox, Harrisburg Liberty Elementary Library
All grade levels got to be exposed to the great book, Charlotte's Web, and had a lot of fun reading a classic story. One of the favorite activities was the picture walk. Each classroom made a large picture of an assigned chapter, and we displayed the pictures in the library. The kids then could walk through the story each time they came to the library. It was a really neat sight to see all the chapters lining our library walls.
We rounded everything up with a "Kiss the Pig" activity on the last day of March. The kids brought in food for our food drive all month, and then we counted up the items. For every 100 items collected, we drew out one teacher's name, and the selected teachers got to kiss a real baby pig. It was great fun!
Our Charlotte's Web activities went great. We are excited to try again next year with a different book.
Reading Bingo program gets results
What kind of reading program evokes endorsements from parents like this one?
I wanted to compliment you on a job well done in regards to the Reading Bingo program! My son* was such a pessimist about the program until he realized that he could make it a little competitive. It hooked him! It was a little harder to get him onto books and to take some time away from the video games and TV he wants to do to excess. Even with the different genres, he was willing to accept diverse subjects in order to complete your requirements so that he could get the charms for the respective color levels. As a matter of fact, this morning he was telling me about knowing 2 answers Mrs. Hord asked in regards to the names of Greek gods. I reminded him that without having broadened his horizons with Reading Bingo, he would have never known that, nor touched on the many other topics he has discovered that he enjoys. He responded how much he would have missed out never having tried them! Therefore, you can know with certainty that it isn't just a parent you won over, but a student.
Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for implementing such a great program. We look forward to continuing it next year, along with any other ideas you share!
Signed by the student's mother*
*(names removed for confidentiality reasons)
THIS is why I am a librarian! Let me tell you about Reading Bingo, a Keller Independent School District (Keller, TX) sponsored reading program used by many librarians in Keller. Though I cannot take credit for "creating" the idea, each librarian takes the idea and makes it her own.
Each September, I send home a manila folder with a parent letter (see Parent Letter PDF) explaining how the program works and the first bingo card. I have six levels (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) for each grade level (see above photo). When children complete the red level, they bring in the card, and I take out the red level and file it and replace it with the next level and a small incentive prize. I use little charms that the students collect on key chains and attach to their backpacks (FitnessFinders is a great, inexpensive supplier of such charms.). Each level gets a different charm (see photo to right).
Now on to the cards themselves [Reading Bingo Cards PDF]. I have different things on each card, appropriate for the grade level. I explain to the teachers and the parents that any reading counts—audiobooks, kindle, print materials, e-books such as Tumblebooks, etc. The only qualification is that I want the child to be reading on his or her own independent level, unless it is a book that the parent is reading to him. (For example, I don't want a fourth grader reading No David by David Shannon and counting it on their chart, for obvious reasons.) Each card has many different types of books to encourage the child to expand their reading repertoire – biographies, humor, history, books with a male main character, etc. Even things like "books with the letter M in the title" are fun for the younger readers to look for. I like to add things like "a book about something gross." Then I tell them that anything will work as long as they think it's gross! I've gotten books on snakes, the brain, and even snot – but they had FUN finding those books! And the main point of any reading program is to encourage kids to have FUN while reading. In each level I try to add an award book or two, a book by a specific author or series, but I still give the kids the flexibility in that area to choose what interests them. I want them to enjoy Reading Bingo.
For those who complete all six levels of reading bingo, a party is the final celebration. (details below). All kids get something for each level they complete, so they are not working for "nothing" throughout the program. Even a child who only completes one level still received the keychain and the first charm. I find that kids see other kids in their class getting excited about finishing and then rush to complete it as well. It becomes a little competitive, but that is okay when it comes to reading!! Competing to read? ROCK ON!! This year, I had 48 complete the program. I bet next year I have double that.
The cost of the program can be as much or as little as you make it, honestly.
- For me:
- Colored paper – six reams of six different colors
- Manila folders
- Charms and key chains (FitnessFinders)
- Certificates at the end for those who complete six levels
- My party is a puppeteer company coming to entertain the kids for 45 minutes during the school day, plus a certificate and a small goodie bag with erasers, bookmarks, pencil, etc. in it. Even a popcorn or pizza party could be fun and inexpensive. The kids just love getting to take time out of the school day for something fun and different.
Librarians DO make a difference, and this program proves it.
(State Library note: Sarah Kringel Hibbitts was chosen as her school's Teacher of the Year for 2013. She is the daughter of Patsy Kringel, State Library library associate. Sarah thanks Assistant State Librarian, Colleen Kirby, for pushing her to get her library degree.)