February 2014, Volume 6, Issue 1
Check Your Calendars!!
Digital Learning Day
Read Across America Day
Teen Tech Week
PLA Virtual Spring Symposium
School Library Month
National Library Week
World Book Night
Featured e-Resources of the Month
Welcome, Learning Express Library 3.0
In this month's issue
Siouxland Library starts book club for adults
By Jeri Light, Prairie West Library (Siouxland Libraries)
Prior to working at Siouxland Libraries, I attended book clubs sporadically to ensure I would read some "grown up" books in between all of my teen items, but I longed for a group of adults who shared my teen reading interest. When I started at Siouxland, I wanted to try a book club for adults who read Young Adult books and was given the green light when the brand new Prairie West library branch was opened.
Our group formed in October and is almost at capacity after only four meetings with thirteen members. We have read Ally Condie's "Matched", Newbery award winning "When You Reach Me" by Rebecca Stead, "A Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, and a sampling of 13 YA titles published in 2013 for our Mock Printz discussion. Some future book discussion titles include Clare Vanderpool's "Moon Over Manifest," David Levithan's "Every Day," and Elizabeth Wein's "Code Name Verity." We've included some excellent children's books with the reasoning that an amazing Newbery book is a better selection than an okay YA book. Our group ranges from 20-something middle school teachers to retired librarians, and most every occupation and age in between. Some members are YA enthusiasts like me and others have joined to read books out of their normal reading habits, but everyone contributes greatly and we have a lot of fun!
Book Talk Tonight
By Amy Clare, Siouxland Libraries
"Book Talk Tonight" is a weekly book chat that Siouxland Libraries hosts on Facebook. We saw Cuyahoga County Public Libraries in Ohio hosts a weekly book chat on Thursdays called "Night Owls". Every week they get over 100 comments on many different books. A couple of us at Siouxland loved the idea and decided to try it ourselves. We came up with a name for our book chat "Book Talk Tonight", and a graphic that we use every week so people know it's time to chat.
We were not sure which day to host the chat, so four of us take turns Monday through Thursday. We stagger the days so that there is at least a week between each book talk, and it lands on a different day each week. That way, each person facilitating the book talk only does it once a month. So far we have found Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most popular. We always run from 7:30-8:30 and our closing post reminds people to tune in for the next chat.
Some nights require quite a bit of moderation by our staff member; other evenings we get great interaction among the participants and we don't have to say much. Many of our colleagues have also been willing to participate, and do a great job of sparking conversation.
What do we talk about? Anything! We have had talks about Stephen King because one person started talking about it, and others joined in, and we have mystery talks because everyone that day had read mystery. We've even had people chat about "Game of Thrones"- the book and the TV show.
We started the book chat in October on Facebook, and recently noticed people joining in the conversation via Twitter, so we decided to open up that venue at the same time to see if that will take off. So far, the response has been good on both social media sites, and we love all the book suggestions we get!
Electronic Resources Challenge for Middle School
Shelley Rath, librarian at West Middle School, Rapid City Area Schools, modified the SD State Library Electronic Resources Challenge into a powerful database teaching tool utilizing free education friendly resources.
Shelley teamed up with the 7th and 8th grade English teachers to implement a database learning opportunity into library time. She used the "database a week" plan the SD State Library Electronic Resources Challenge uses and Edmodo as the communication platform the students use. The students learn a new database every two weeks. Over two months, students have learned about World Book Student, World Book Discover, SIRS Discoverer and SIRS Issues Researcher. The English teachers use the Challenge as an English grade.
Each lesson is uploaded to Edmodo as a word document. As part of the challenge students need to find information in the resource of the week and copy and paste the citation into their response. In addition to learning about the databases, the students are learning the importance of following directions and about using Edmodo.
Shelley says "I often ask teachers what topics they are currently teaching. I then incorporate the topics into the searches. Students often comment on something new they learned on the subjects covered. The expectation of including citations with every lesson is working. Repetition of the required citations is helping students recognize its importance."
Putting a new twist on holiday parade of homes fundraiser
By Melissa Hutmacher, Cozard Memorial Library
Big or small, old or new, country or contemporary, every home tells a story. It is these stories along with unique holiday decorations, traditions, treasures, and all-around holiday bling that the Cozard Memorial Library asks each host to share with our guests during our Annual Parade of Homes fundraiser. Guests on the tour purchase their $10 ticket at Charly's Restaurant where they enjoy a wide assortment of holiday treats and refreshments sponsored by the restaurant. We have 4-5 fun raffle items (including a Kindle) available during the the parade and at the library during the week. The guests are given a map and a punch card for each home that also includes a little treasure hunt game for an "Elf on the Shelf" that guests turn in for door prizes at the end of the parade.
This year's holiday tour featured a newly built two story cabin on the river as well as homes that were built in 1882, 1900, 1918, and 1986, all of which have been recently updated or remodeled in some way for family homes or businesses. To finish up the tour this year, each guest was invited to the library's 100th year open house. We served 10 cent tea and cookies from old fashioned tea cups and platters just as the ladies from the local travelers club served in 1913 in their homes to help raise money to start the original library.
The library staff and board members work very hard every year to make this a successful annual fundraiser for the library.