Janice Alpert, Library Media Specialist at Lynnfield High School
Blind Date with a Book...Speed Dating...Makerspace Chocolate-Making
As a high school library media specialist, I am continuously seeking ways to spark excitement in high school students about reading, books and the library media center. I strive to make the activities and displays fun, educational, and eye-catching enough to get them to avert their eyes from their phones and perhaps even pop out an airpod.
Blind Date with a Book
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I created a “Blind Date with a Book” display. I chose a variety of books with different genres and wrapped them in red paper and bakery string. I used descriptions from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and I made sure to include the barcode number on the description tag to make the checkout process easier.
Speed Dating with a Book
The other activity that has been extremely fun and successful is Speed Dating With a Book. I must credit Waltham High School Library Media Specialist, Reba Tierney with this idea. My daughter came home from Waltham High so excited to tell me about her speed dating adventures with her English class in the library. The next day, I had two different English teachers approach me with ideas about independent book reading projects for their classes. Once presented with the idea of speed dating with a book, both teachers were extremely excited about the idea.
The library tables were set with pink tablecloths and adorned with fake rose petals, battery operated candles, and chocolate kisses. I created a google doc and then printed it out double sided on pink and purple paper. Students had eight different dates with books and rotated through the tables every 4 minutes. 80’s love songs were blasted while the students speed dated. The music would stop when it was time to change tables. At the end of the eight rotations, the students checked out one of the books that they had enjoyed meeting. The students seemed to really enjoy the activity and appreciated the music and the ambiance.
Makerspace Chocolate-Making Class
Finally, this year, we are hoping to bring back our LHS Makerspace chocolate-making class. One of our staff members generously volunteers to teach students and staff how to decorate cookies, pretzels, and fruit with melting chocolate and all the accouterments. We also discuss the chemistry of chocolate while everyone is feasting on their treats. The hope is that through these displays and activities, the LHS staff and students fall in love with books, reading and the LHS library.
Building Fifth-Graders' Critical Thinking by Investigating Banned and Challenged Books at Hardy Elementary School
Winthrop School Library
Librarian: Karen Sekiguchi
In the 2016-2017 school year, Winthrop School, a PreK-5 elementary school in Ipswich, purchased new computers and podcasting equipment to create a media production center in the library. Winthrop has encouraged content creation vs. consumption over the years by providing cameras of all types to students and teachers, but the school did not have a dedicated space for working on multimedia projects.
Librarian: Pamela Vallee The new Lunenburg Middle-High School library opened in August 2016 and includes a sunny room of comfy chairs, outdoor seating, a Media Cafe, library classroom, and lots of group work spaces. The new library is gorgeous and spacious, and my goal has been to transform the empty space into a welcoming library shared by all students in grades 6 through 12. I have been the Lunenburg High School library media specialist since October 2000, and this is my second year as both the middle and high school library media specialist. Although it has been a challenge trying to assist so many students and teachers, I realize I am uniquely situated to know and reach every student in the building.