and received the 2019 Peggy Hallisey Lifetime Achievement Award
After the initial volunteers, I sent out emails and went classroom to classroom showing the examples and asking for help to promote literacy in the high school. After I assuaged their fears of being on camera, many more teachers signed on to help. Once the number increased, we put them on display and eagerly awaited the students’ reactions.
The first group of girls who walked by were very curious. Once, I explained that they didn’t need a specific app, just their camera app on their phone to view the videos, they all huddled around one student’s phone to watch the video. Then they moved on to the next book and they kept on going. The next hour, a cluster of boys sauntered by and immediately took out their phones and started scanning. “Wow, this is actually cool”, one student said. “I love seeing what the teachers are reading”, “How did you do this?” and “This is awesome” were actual phrases uttered by high school students. In my twenty years as a library media specialist, this display sparked more reactions than any other display I have ever created.
After a week of the display being up, two positive things happened. The first was that students started checking out the books and the second was that students expressed interest in making their own videos to promote books. The display also sparked discussion between students and staff about book genres, favorite titles and authors, and the use of QR codes for marketing. The next step will be to create a student display where students can view videos of other students promoting books they have enjoyed.
This project can easily be replicated for all levels for both students and staff. With younger students, all you would need is one or two tablets to scan the QR codes. Using technology to promote reading and creating an interactive book display increased circulation, piqued interest in a myriad of books and genres, and sparked discussion and excitement about reading.
The work flow:
- Ask/plead for teacher volunteers. Explain that the book doesn’t have to be their absolute favorite book and doesn’t have to be a classic or book of literature. It just has to be a title they have enjoyed reading.
- Take photo of teacher holding the book using phone.
- Take video (short clip) of teacher talking about why they enjoyed the book.
- Make a folder in Google Drive and upload the video and the photo. Rename them the name of the teacher. Example: PerkinsPhoto, PerkinsVideo.
- Get a share link for the video and set to “anyone can view” mode.
- Use a QR code generator ( I used https://www.qr-code-generator.com/) with the share link to make the QR code.
- Put the QR Code, the teacher photo, book title, author, teacher name, and directions into a document.
- Print on card stock and place into the book so it is visible.
- Wait for reactions.