Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bonbons: a bookish Christmas tree

So you're in the library, and you've got the Christmas tree up....

and hey, it's another chance to not only celebrate the season and goodwill and so forth, but also to be distinctly library, maybe do a bit of marketing that's a celebration of the year's popular books.  So we asked the kids for suggestions, and then made up some special decorations for the school library Christmas tree...

A closer look.  Hands down, the most popular book in the library this year (gad, that was a frightful pun!)
and finally, my origami boys came through big time - 32 sheets of luminous lime cardboard turned into this fabulous star:
How to make the decorations? (you're on your own with the star!): find copies of favourite book covers (eg. from bookdepository.co.uk), create a Publisher document with them, print in colour on glossy photo paper, stick onto a sheet of stiff cardboard (we used the luminous lime) and cut them out.  We could have done fancier than paperclip hangers, maybe, but what the heck - it's real, and fun, and reflects the kids' interests and enthusiasms this year.
What do you think?  The kids think it's cool!

Bonbons: Pride and Prejudice, in Facebook style

...this screenshot is just the beginning.... read it all (chuckling madly! - I did!) here.
They do admit to reversing the usual Facebook order (most recent first) since I guess we are most used to reading P&P in narrative order...
Charles Bingley created an event: Ball at Netherfield.  Snort!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bonbons: Christmas cards from the Twilight crowd

As a teacher librarian, you don't necessarily get a bunch of Christmas cards - but every one you do get is special.  The evidence follows...
And this student has already started telling me which new books to buy NEXT year...
I think she meant 'voracious', since it was a word I kept using in relation to her reading habits.  Isn't the comment on the left fabulous?
This is the envelope for the one from the 'vivaceous' reader.  Great postcode!
This was the winner of our Twilight competition (she won a limited edition Twilight Tshirt which I sourced from special sources...she also spent much of November writing an intense vampire romance novel of her own.
This message may relate partly to Twilight, but the sentiment is one that would have any teacher librarian incandescently pleased.  I am.
Whether this is the tip of the iceberg, or the whole iceberg, each one is delightful and very much appreciated.  What lovely kids! (as so many are).
(Names have been blacked out for privacy reasons)

Friday, December 12, 2008


With next week being the final week of the term and the school year, I've lined up some bonbons to share with you.  Twilightery, other fun stuff as Christmas approaches.  Avagoodweegend!*

*that would be Have A Good Weekend in Australian slang.

Twilight dolls

Hmmm.  Did you notice something odd about that image?
Here's a hint....
Yup.  Twilight character dolls.  Likely to be over $100US.
Read an article here, and the manufacturer's website is here.
(Images sourced from those links).
Verdict on the Twilight film?  I enjoyed it, and am hearing positives from the kids who've seen it (released yesterday in Australia).  Very amusing to hear audience responses to favourite characters, scenes, quotes, events.
Busy times in the library right now.  Stocktake, end of the school year (which it is in Australia, we're heading for the summer holidays) and so forth.  So there'll be another week or so of entries, and this blog will take a summer break.  Woohoo!

Monday, December 1, 2008

How the internet affects reading

"Is Google Making Us Stupid?" asked Nicholas Carr in an article in The Atlantic. He has a number of useful links, including this quote from a research study:

It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users “power browse” horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.

Damon Darlin in the New York Times disagreed: "Technology Doesn't Dumb Us Down, It Frees Our Minds", he concludes:

...the engineer’s point of view puts trust in human improvement. Certainly there have been moments when that thinking has gone horribly awry — atonal music or molecular gastronomy. But over the course of human history, writing, printing, computing and Googling have only made it easier to think and communicate.

All teachers teach reading and research skills. These are both pieces worth considering.