Friday, May 30, 2014

Must Read Blogs

Everyone has a collection of resources they use to keep current with library news and find out about new books. Though I find Twitter to be useful, I feel like I would miss a lot if I didn't also have a collection of blogs that I follow through RSS.

Here's a list of some of my favorite sites:
  • 100 Scope Notes -If you work with lower school students, you should definitely familiarize yourself with school librarian Travis Jonker's blog which covers news and reviews.
  • AB4T (Adult Books for Teens) - Because I work with upper school students and this site covers an abundance of adult titles with appeal for teenagers, this is one of my favorite resources, though I should disclose that I recently started reviewing for this site as well.
  • Early Word -This site is great for announcing recently published books. They also run a GalleyChat on Twitter for librarians to rave about upcoming books.
  • Fuse #8 - Betsy Bird's blog focuses on reviews and news for the younger set through middle grade.
  • Heavy Medal - Jonathan Hunt and Nina Lindsay discuss Newbery possibilities on this blog that is highly active from September through January.
  • The Hub - YALSA's blog with content by teens and librarians is full of great themed booklists.
  • Library Stuff - This is a great stopping point for general library news.
  • Never Ending Search - If you are a school librarian and aren't already familiar with Joyce Valenza, you should remedy this! She always posts great digital teaching tools and resources for librarians. I also recommend following her on Twitter.
  • No Shelf Required - Sue Polanka's site is one of the best places to get updated news on ebooks.
  • Someday My Printz Will Come - This blog is the place to go for a discussion of literary merit in YA books and speculation on the possible winners of the Printz award. It's most active later in the year before awards season.

Do you have a favorite that I didn't mention? Please add it in the comments!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Innovative Library Spaces

Last Thursday, the HVLA librarians gathered at Collegiate for our spring meeting and heard from a wonderful panel on "Innovative Uses of Library Spaces."  Thank you to our panelists,  Karen Grenke (Williamsburg Northside School), Annah Jones (Marymount School), Karyn Silverman (Elizabeth Irwin High School), LaShawn Ross (Riverdale) and moderator, Kerry Roeder (Professional Children's School.) While all of our panelists used different strategies based on their own school culture, each demonstrated innovation in their own way.

Karen Grenke, our sole lower school panelist, spoke about utilizing the art studio next door as a collaborative partner. When deciding how to decorate the front windows into the library, she elected to ask the kids.  Giving the kids ownership over the space resulted in great ideas and a fantastic display.  Karen has moved spaces before and is looking for innovative ideas since she will be again moving into a new library space.

Annah talked about adding faculty resources to her library space in order to bridge the gap of support services the kids need. With a learning specialist in the library and spaces for reading, writing, or math labs, kids have their learning teams working together in the same space. There is a Maker Lab across from the library, and Annah talked about the importance of being nearby but having separate spaces because of all the equipment, noise, etc.

Karen Silverman is constantly questioning how to be innovative within the space given to her, which is considerably smaller than many other HVLA libraries.  Exciting tools they have added to their library include board games, tea service, knitting baskets, a 3-D printer, legos, coloring books, sudokus, and brain teasers. The entryway and main space of her library is purposefully set into collaborative tables with no screens and technology driven work occurs toward the edges of the library. Karen also uses the interactive bulletin board outside the library to connect with patrons that may never set foot inside the space.

When LaShawn came into her library, she saw room for improvement and decided to speak with her Head of School about it. Together they looked at the space with fresh eyes and the help of a set of students from Pratt Institute.  Ultimately, it was decided to give the kids more ownership over the space.  Resources like a writing center and language center were also added to give students additional support.

Our moderator Kerry Roeder also spoke about keeping maker kits behind the desk at her library that kids could check out. When kids are getting antsy and need a project, she comes over and invites them to make a banana piano.

Overall, it was a stimulating conversation with many ideas shared and questions asked. If you had an additional takeaway from the meeting, please share in the comments what resonated with you.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Library and Literary Events

Looking for something literary to do in the coming months? Here is a list of upcoming events:

HVLA Events:

Misc Happenings:
  • May 5-9: National Library Legislative Day - Read more about what you can do on ALA's Everyday Advocacy Page
  • Through June 14: Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution at NYPL's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - Read about this and other NYPL events here

Authors, Illustrators, and More:

  • May 8-September 2: Peter Sis: Cartography of the Mind at Czech Center NY at the Bohemian National Hall - Details here
  • May 10, 4pm: Gotham: Writers in the City Rachel Kushner at Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, Dweck Center - More info here
  • May 10, 7:30pm: YA Lit at 92 Street Y: Samantha Shannon in Conversation with Kendare Blake - Tickets and more info here
  • May 26, 10pm: YA Lit at 92 Street Y: Casandra Clare in Conversation with Maureen Johnson, Holly Black and Kelly Link - Tickets and more info here 

Do you know of another event coming up soon?  Share in the comments!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Book Club

Join us for delicious snacks, smart conversation, and good company.

Thursday, May 22 @ 5:45

LREI - Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School
40 Charlton Street (between 6th and Varick)

What We're Reading:
What We Hide by Marthe Jocelyn
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

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Books We're Currently Reading
HVLA Book Club 21 members The official book club of the Hudson Valley Library Association. We read a middle grade and young...

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