Author Archives: aebach

Public Library and School Library Collaboration Toolkit

The “Public Library and School Library Collaboration Toolkit” has been released. Members of AASL (American Association of School Librarians), ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children), and YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) worked together for three years to create a document that benefits both school librarians and public librarians by encouraging them working together collaboratively.

This toolkit provides 5 chapters full of research, information, and examples for librarians to look towards when beginning collaboration initiatives between school and public libraries. There are also scrips and tips for both school and public librarians on how to overcome their different institutional hurdles.

Working together makes libraries and communities stronger. Look through the toolkit here.

ALSC put together a brief explanation of the toolkit here and has a list of successful past partnerships between school and public libraries that can be found here.

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Book Odors and How to Handle Them

What’s the best way to remove the smell of smoke, perfume, or other unfortunate scents from your library materials? It’s a common problem in every type of library. In order to salvage your books, you’ll need a bin with a tight seal; stand the books upright in the bin to let the pages fan out and ventilate. Feel free to try different methods for different smells, but make sure to never spray or rub any of the deodorizers directly on the materials—there should always be a layer of separation. If you are deodorizing materials of archival value, only use the last method listed.

  1. Put coffee into knee-high hose and tie the hose in a knot. This keeps the coffee from getting too messy, but it removes the odor as well. Cover the bin and leave for several days. The coffee will need to be replaced every 6 months.

 

  1. Two similar options are to leave a box of baking soda open in the bin or to leave dryer sheets open and in the bin. Again, these will need to sit for several days and be replaced as needed.

 

  1. One of the most highly recommended options for deodorizing materials is to use non-perfumed, non-clumping cat litter (use the cheapest one you can find). Pour an inch or two layer on the bottom of the bin and cover it in paper towels; set the books upright on the paper towels and cover with the lid. Check the materials once a week, and if the smell is not gone after a month, replace the cat litter. This is the only method listed that is approved by the National Archives for use on archival materials.

Teen Book Clubs in Your Library

Are you looking to start a book club for teens at your library? A teen book club can be challenging in the beginning but will be rewarding once it is started. New teen programs may need to wait until there is an established group of teens that regularly attend programs or a Teen Advisory Group before they start a book club. This ensures that there will be active, regular participation.

Here are some resources to help you get started creating a book club for teens:

 Types of Book Clubs:

Traditional Book Club

In traditional book clubs, participants all read the same book and discuss it at the next meeting. This type of book club works well in larger systems where programs either have the funding to purchase books for members or an ILL system capacity to lend the materials out to every participant.

One of the challenges of a traditional book club is finding books that most of your readers will enjoy. Especially at the beginning, it’s important to talk to your readers about what genres and types of books they want. Consider crafting a ballot with 6 options and having everyone vote for their top three. Select the next 3 months’ books based on the tallied votes.

When choosing books, remember that some books are easier to discuss in a group than others. To encourage a more productive discussion, consider choosing character-driven novels with unique plot elements. Let students lead the discussion by focusing on what elements they think are interesting and relevant to their lives.

It’s also important to remember that teens are coming to this club willingly, and you are not assigning these books as homework. Let the teens know that it’s OK to not finish the book or to not like a book, but that you still want them to come to the book club to share those opinions.

To spice up this book club, consider adding book-related activities or snacks. These are great ice-breakers for both quieter students and new members, and it will help everyone feel included.

Genre Book Club

A genre book club has participants read different books but all of the books are from the same genre. The book club may have a different genre every month (fantasy, nonfiction, graphic novel, mystery, etc.) or maintain the same genre for the duration of the club (a mystery lover’s book club or science fiction book club, for example). Then, during the meeting, each member talks about the book that they read/are currently reading.

This book club format allows teens to read at their own pace and reading level and still be able to discuss books with their peers. As each member takes a turn talking about their book (often either recommending it to others or telling them to steer clear), they should try to avoid spoiling major plot-twists. This is a great way for peers to encourage each other to read new books rather than having an adult tell them what to read.

During the meeting, the club leader can try to direct the discussion towards common themes and elements within the certain genre as well as flaws with the genre, what is noticeably absent or taken for granted? This encourages the students to think deeper about the genres and the books they have chosen

Book Lovers Club

Come one, come all to a book lovers club. All participants are welcome to come to this book club. This simple club is more of a gathering for book enthusiasts to talk about what they’re currently reading and share recommendations. This is an easy gathering for teens to hang out and have a snack or to just attend and listen about all of the fun, wacky, or wild books their peers are reading. Discussions tend to be less structured in this type of book club, but if your goal is to keep teens reading and engaged, this may be the perfect place to start.

 

Tips and Tricks:

  • Make sure participants know that it’s OK to not like or finish a book; encourage them to come to book club anyways to share their opinions.
  • Combine forces with public librarians, local book store owners, and Library Media Specialists at the middle and high school levels to find interested individuals or different places to host the book club.
  • Remember that not all of your books need to be brand new. These are often expensive or have long waiting lists at the library. Choose books that are a few years older so that if you purchase them, they are more than likely available in paperback and if you request or ILL them, they probably won’t have a waiting list.
  • Give your participants buy-in by letting them vote for future titles or submit requests.
  • Supply snacks or other incentives

 

Book Club Questions to Get Teens Talking:

  1. What did you like best/least about this book?
  2. What characters did you like/dislike the most?
  3. Would you read another book by this author?
  4. Did you think the book was too long or short? What important elements were missing? What parts would you have cut out?
  5. What do you think of the book’s title and cover? Do they do a good job conveying what the book is about or were they misleading?
  6. Is this book or storyline unique?
  7. Did the characters and world seem believable or realistic?
  8. How did you feel about the ending? Did it wrap everything up or leave you hanging? Are you satisfied about the ending?
  9. Did the book make you think about anything differently?
  10. Would this book make a good movie? Why or why not?

 

YA and Juvenile Book Club Kits from NDSL through KitKeeper (as of 4-1-2018):

  • After Ever After; Jordan Sonnenblick
  • An Abundance of Katherines; John Green
  • Dairy Queen; Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • Don’t Tell Anyone; Peg Kehret
  • Fahrenheit 451; Ray Bradbury
  • Flygirl; Sherri L. Smith
  • Frankenstein; Mary Shelley
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Msr. Basil E. Frankweiler; E.L. Konisgsburg
  • Going Vintage; Lindsey Leavitt
  • Heist Society; Ally Carter
  • I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban; Malala Yousafzei
  • Maximum Ride #1: The Angel Experiment; James Patterson
  • My Name is Not Easy; Debby Dahl Edwardson
  • The Book Thief; Markus Zusak
  • The Complete Maus; Art Spiegelman
  • The Fault in Our Stars; John Green
  • The Giver; Lois Lowry
  • The Maze Runner; James Dashner
  • Thirteen Reasons Why; Jay Asher

 

Helpful Websites:

ALA Book Discussion Groups: http://libguides.ala.org/bookdiscussiongroups

Book Riot: https://bookriot.com/2017/09/13/ideas-teen-book-club-ilibrary/

Penguin: http://www.penguin.com/read/book-clubs/create/

Teel Librarian Toolbox: http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2017/03/teen-book-club-creating-a-place-to-read-and-belong-a-guest-post-by-sheri-schubbe/

Teen Services Underground: https://www.teenservicesunderground.com/how-to-run-a-teen-book-club/

YALSA: The Hub; http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2015/12/11/teen-book-clubs-library/

Grants for Libraries—December 2017

Dollar sign
Photo by Larry used under CC BY SA 3.0

COLLABORATIVE SCHOOL LIBRARY AWARD

Deadline: FEBRUARY 1, 2018

The Collaborative School Library Award recognizes and encourages collaboration and partnerships between school librarians and teachers in meeting goals outlined in Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs through joint planning of a program, unit, or event in support of the curriculum and using school library resources. Applicants must be a school librarian and teacher(s) who have worked together to execute a project, event, or program to further information literacy, independent learning, and social responsibility using resources of the school library. School librarians must be personal members of AASL in order to be eligible.

For more information and to apply for this grant: http://bit.ly/2AFif5K

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