Stars are Aligning!

It’s the start of a new year in the Barrow Media Center, and even with our leaky roof and broken air conditioner, the stars are aligning for a great year.  One of our goals for this year is to be a more participatory library.  Two exciting components of this are our star reviews and our leader librarians project.

For star reviews, students will be making recommendations of great books that they have read from the Barrow Media Center to other students in the school.  When students discover a fantastic book, they will place a foil star sticker on the inside cover of the book, and the book will be displayed in a special section at the front of the media center.  This section is decked out with star lights and a star poster.  Students will then have the option to do more with their favorite book.  They can share the book on our morning broadcast.  They can type a review for our Destiny card catalog and blog.  They can record a podcast book review to feature on our blog, website, and card catalog.  The seed for this idea came from a comic strip in the July 2010 issue of School Library Journal.  We hope that this new feature will get students excited about sharing great books in a variety of forums.

In leader librarians, a cross-section of students in grades 3-5 will be involved in a two 8-week projects funded partially by a Foundation for Excellence grant and book fair profits.  These students will survey reading interests from students in preK-5th grade.  They will use these reading interests to seek out vendors to purchase new books for the library and even meet with some vendor reps.  They will be given a budget.  They will examine selection criteria and carefully choose new books for the media center.  They will craft a marketing plan to publicize the new books to the whole school.  After doing a smaller scale project last year with a group of students who purchased books for the library, I’ve seen the power of student choice in the media center.  I’m committed to finding ways for the students of Barrow to be involved in making decisions about purchases for the media center.

In my 3 years in the media center, I have not had an overarching theme for the year, but this year we decided to give it a try.  Our theme is Reading Heroes.  Each mon

th we will feature different kinds of heroes from superheroes to animal heroes to everyday heroes to sports heroes and more.  We’ll have a hero day where students get to dress as their favorite hero.  We currently have a poll posted in the media center asking students who their favorite hero is.  We’re even going to tie heroes into our orientation lessons to the media center and see how heroes can be found in practically every section of the library.

These are just a few of the ideas that are coming together for this year, but I know many more are on their way, including several technology inquiry projects.  Stay tuned for more exciting things from the Barrow Media Center.

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