December has been a fun month with school librarians on Twitter. We decided to build this fun book display and challenge other school librarians to keep warm by the fire while building their own displays out of books.
I'm so impressed with the creativity of these school librarians!
We challenged several librarians in the area to top our Sanborn Regional High School display and this is what they came up with.
And now the librarians from Vermont have joined in the fun:
Our friends in Maine got in on the action with this creative idea. We are coming up with a winter carnival challenge like this for next month. Thanks Casey Brough at South Portland High School Learning Commons!
Which one is your favorite?
Happy Holidays to all school librarians, book lovers, technology integrators, lifelong learners, and school leaders out there!
If you are looking for suggestions for something to read over the holiday break, take a look at Pam & Kathy's Holiday Book Picks for 2015!
10. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
The comedian teams up with a NYU Sociologist to explore the nature of modern relationships, evaluating how technology is shaping contemporary relationships and considering the differences between courtships of the past and present. You will laugh out loud and feel gratitude for not growing up in this age of techno-dating!
9. So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
For the past three years, Jon Ronson has been immersing himself in the world of modern-day public shaming--meeting famous shamees, shamers, and bystanders who have been impacted. This book is fascinating, sometimes funny, and definitely eye-opening.
8. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Explores the true story of Helen Macdonald, who purchases Mabel, a goshawk, as she battles with the reality of losing her father, a falconer, ready to embark on the business of trying to train the bird as a way of dealing with her grief. This memoir is eccentric, weird, and funny!
7. The Prize: Who's In Charge of America's Schools by Dale Russakoff
Examines the fallout after Mark Zuckerberg, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and mayor Cory Booker announce on the Oprah Winfrey show their plan to reform Newark, New Jersey's failing schools despite strong opposition from local politicians and union leaders, including Newark's own school superintendent. This book is engrossing!
6. The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett
Jamie Bartlett takes us deep into the digital underworld and presents an extraordinary look at the internet we don't know. Bartlett reports on trolls, pornographers, drug dealers, hackers, political extremists, Bitcoin programmers, and vigilantes--and puts a human face on those who have many reasons to stay anonymous. This is definitely a look at a world that doesn't want to be known.
5. The Martian by Andy Weir
A real page turner! Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded and completely alone on Mars, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive, but Mark isn't ready to give up and drawing on his engineering skills and determination, he faces each obstacle with resourcefulness, but will it be enough for him to survive?
4. Purity by Jonathan Franzen
Pip Tyler accepts an internship in South America with the Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world, in order to find out who she really is, but for reasons she can't understand, she is drawn to Andreas who is on the lam in Bolivia. It's better than Franzen's last book Freedom.
3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
A blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.This book is more about the lives it affected than the battles that took place.
2. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this expansive novel, Groff presents the story of one marriage over the course of 24 years told from two perspectives.
** 1. A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara **
The most heartbreakingly disturbing but amazing story of the year!
Four friends' relationships darken over the years, especially in regards to Jude, who is unable to get over an extremely traumatic childhood.
What are your best books of 2015?
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act." Amelia Earhart
So, you want to move to a learning commons? I am with you! But, I have some questions before you get started ordering furniture, buying whiteboards, and choosing paint colors.
Why do your students need a library today?
Why will they need one tomorrow?
Think about this: Wifi has become ubiquitous in most of our schools, homes, and towns and we have devices available in our pockets, in our classrooms, at our homes that provide access to amazing resources. The information we can find on the internet is sometimes better than what we have in our library. It's certainly more current. In the case of ebooks, the information is identical and this is where the Internet and the library intersect and provide multiple ways to access the same information. So why do we need a library now if I have this mobile device with better, more current info than is available in my school library? The information on my device is interactive. I can read books, do research, type a paper, communicate with experts, chat with friends… all of the things a traditional library provided for me-- but I can do all of these things on my phone now! from Starbucks or my classroom or my bedroom.
How have you changed what you're doing to address this?
Before we begin advocating for our programs, training our teachers on the location of resources, and teaching students about all of the exciting new tools available to them, we must first shift our mindset. We need to think about our space more as a lab than as a place to organize books and provide access to computers.
Students are now creators of information and new knowledge and less consumers of it. Our learning commons need to be the place where everyone turns for tools, resources, and space to create new knowledge, projects, and products.