School Library Scoop! Why Does Checkout Stop So Early?

I was at the public library yesterday and overheard a conversation between two moms/guardians of what seemed to be elementary school aged children. They were lamenting about the fact that their children are unable to check out books from the school library for the rest of the school year. They weren’t angry, but obviously disappointed that their children are not allowed to check out books anymore. Kudos for them on being at the public library!

That had me thinking – how many school librarians are clear with teachers, administrators, and parents about what goes on in the school library at the end of the school year? I know that in my experience, I would typically stop checking out books about two weeks before the end of the school year. I never really shared the reasons why with my stakeholders. Looking back and thinking ahead, I think it is important to do so.

If you are wondering why your school librarian has stopped checking out books, even though there seems to be plenty of time left in the school year to do so, here is what’s going on in the library (when they aren’t still seeing students on a fixed schedule or doing “other duties as assigned”) – the school librarian is…

  • checking records everyday to see how many books are still out.
  • sending reminders to parents and teachers about which books they have out.
  • visiting classrooms to look in desks, bookshelves, etc. to find missing library books.
  • planning incentives to celebrate classrooms who have turned in books.
  • running circulation reports for state surveys and annual reports.
  • shelving books as they come in.
  • organizing devices (iPads, Chromebooks, etc.) that do not go home with students and teachers over the summer.
  • scanning each and every book in the collection for inventory (this can mean touching more than 15,000 books…not to mention items like laptops, tablets, and other materials housed in a school library…inventory means scanning EVERYTHING…not just the print materials). Inventory is important for several reasons. I would often find books that were checked out to students and teachers; I would locate items we thought we had lost; I would find books that needed to be weeded. An inventory updates the online catalog so that when someone goes to find a book, it is actually on the shelf. For more reasons why inventory is important, here is an excellent blog post explaining why inventory is so important. 

There is a lot of “behind the scenes” work in a school library. Inventory is just one small part.

And, now you know 🙂

VBF

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#IMWAYR It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 5.20.19 I’M BACK!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book! Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts are the smart folks behind giving It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus! Join me! 

*NOTE – it’s been so long since I posted a IMWAYR post that it was fun to look back and say, “oh yeah! I remember that book!” If you are trying to get in the habit of blogging, this is a good way to do it (even though I seem to stall for months on updating…I promise it’s helpful…I’m back, right?!)

Listening to:  With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (Young Adult/Adult). In love with this book. I just want to listen all the time. The author reads it. It will make you hungry.

On my nightstand: Reading before bedtime is SO HARD. I tend to fall asleep after just a few pages so I can never really keep up with the story. I have found that reading graphic novels at this time helps…I read more and it is easier to pick back up with the story. Last night, I finished Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley. And now, I have all of her books on request from the library. Loved it.

Reading with the preschooler: She LOVES Golden Books and I think I have read this one a MILLION times (literally). Read it last night. The Good Old Days. 

What are YOU reading?

VBF

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Hi!

Oh goodness, readers. I haven’t updated this blog since SEPTEMBER?! Apologies! I just now noticed that I haven’t even updated my About page in ages. This blog needs some love.

I’m still reading. Still posting (consistently) to all the social media (FOLLOW ME! Links in Contact Valerie Byrd Fort).

Came to the blog today to post about NATIONAL SCHOOL LIBRARY MONTH! April is my most favorite month because it highlights my heart = school libraries! When I was a practicing school librarian, I would do a variety of things to celebrate events in April (National School Library Month, Library Week, Poetry Month). I’ve done BINGO sheets, where families tried to complete certain activities throughout the month; I’ve shared daily tidbits on the library’s social media feeds; lessons I did with my fixed classes (typically Kindergarten and 1st grade) were usually focused on the events of the month. If you scroll down and look at my old April newsletters on Smore, you can read more details about what I did at my school.

Check out these resources you can share with others, use for yourself, or do whatever you want with! Just some links I like about school libraries along with links to help you show your impact on student learning.

And, some links to show your impact…

If you are a school librarian, give yourself a high-five, you are doing an awesome job! If you know a school librarian, bring them some coffee or tea! They deserve it!

VBF

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 9.24.18

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book! Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts are the smart folks behind giving It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus! Join me! 

Listening to:  The Shining by Stephen King. Still listening – we went to Disney last week and it just did not feel right to listen to this while at the happiest place on Earth. Got back to it this weekend (got home Saturday).

On my nightstand: Reading before bedtime is so hard. I read a page or two and then fall asleep. I just started Cross Her Heart by Pinborough. Only on page 3, but into it so far!

Reading with the toddler: She is back into a telling time book with Peppa Pig. This is one I bought for her when she was just months old. It’s interesting to me how she goes back and forth between new books we check out from the library and old favorites. She even has been revisiting board books from time to time.

What are YOU reading?

VBF

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 9.17.18

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book! Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts are the smart folks behind giving It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus! Join me! 

You can tell when life is getting a little too extra for me – my Monday posts drop off! I’m still reading – OF COURSE!

Listening to: Just started The Shining by Stephen King. Would you believe I’ve never even seen this movie? Already planning to watch it after I finish listening to this book.

On my nightstand:  I just finished a graphic novel, As the Crow Flies by Gillman. Great, coming of age book.

Reading with the toddler: She discovered Pete the Cat! ABOUT TIME! We are reading all the Pete books – over and over.

What are YOU reading?

VBF

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AJC Decatur Book Festival

Each year, a group of friends and I go on a #Nerdcation. For the past several years, we have gone to the National Book Festival in Washington DC. Last year, we started seeing posts from folks who were at the Decatur Book Festival and realized that a few of the authors we were seeing in DC were also going there and that it actually seemed BETTER (if you can imagine)! So we decided to switch things up this year and head to Atlanta. Was it better than DC? ALL THE YES!

First, it’s closer. We could drive there. Granted, we took a scenic route getting there on Friday, BUT if you stay on track, from my house – it’s about 3 and half hours away. That totally beats all the hassle of air travel (also, it takes almost 7 hours to drive to DC).

Second, it is the ENTIRE weekend, starting on Friday evening. The National Book Festival is a one day event and they pack a lot of fun into that one day. The Decatur Book Festival kicked off with keynotes on Friday evening (we actually missed them – see science route above), but we were able to eat awesome food and relax before our big time on Saturday and Sunday.

Third, there is SO MUCH to do at the AJC Decatur Book Festival. The National Book Festival is great, don’t get me wrong, but we have been going for over five years and basically you go from room to room listening to authors. It is inside and there is a small Exhibit Hall. There is not much to walk to in the DC area where the festival is located. DBF, on the other hand, has almost TOO much to do! The speakers were in a variety of locations (all close together), so there was plenty of time spent outside. There were exhibits and other things to do and explore. The area where the festival is held is full of awesome restaurants and shops. We will be going to the DBF again, for sure.

Now for the good stuff – who did I see at DBF?

I actually ended up spending a lot of time listening to authors who write for ADULTS (shocking!). Here is my wrap up of speakers:

Saturday

Angela DiTerlizzi speaking about her new book, Just Add Glitter. She was dressed, head to toe, in glitter and talked about the publishing of the book – how the artwork was created, how they got SO MUCH glitter on the book, and more. She also read the book aloud and I loved it.

I love a great book for the beginning reader and so I naturally loved the panel about these books with the authors of Ivy & Bean, Charlie & Mouse, and Jasmine Toguchi. All excellent series with spunky girls as the main characters. Great for kids who love Junie B Jones. 

Then I saw Yuyi Morales present about her new book, Dreamers. You guys – GO BUY THIS BOOK! Beautiful illustrations, beautiful story about Yuyi’s experience coming to America from Mexico in 1994 with her infant son.

Karin Slaughter was talking about her books in one of the sessions I attended. She is a mystery writer for adults and I’ve read a couple of her books. She apparently has a huge following and has written tons of books that I added to Goodreads.

Mac Barnett and Mike Lowery presented about their new book, Mac B., Kid Spy. Seems like a great one for 2nd – 3rd graders who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Nate the Great.

Ended the day with two awesome presentations – Teens Talk Activism and Angie Thomas! The Teens Talk session was a group of teen poets who write about things they see going on around them. Things they want to stop (racism, guns at school, etc). They are so talented and so well spoken. Amazing. I have seen Angie Thomas speak before and I love hearing her talk about her book and about diversity in books, in general.

Sunday

Sunday did not get started until noon, but there was goodness packed in the whole day. Started the day with Jason Reynolds.  He was, OF COURSE, amazing. His story is so important and really one that shows it really just takes one book, one teacher to get you hooked on reading. If you can ever hear him speak in person, it is a MUST DO.

Next up was a panel of YA authors speaking about their books and answering questions about how they get their ideas. They were mostly authors who write mysteries and books that have a kind of surprising twist at the end, so it was interesting. I added quite a few books to my “to read” list because of this session. The authors were David Arnold, Tiffany Jackson, Sandhya Menon, and Kara Thomas.

After that, I went to two sessions aimed squarely at grown ups. Clever Resistance with Hannah Jewell and Bonnie Siegler and Dopesick with Beth Macy. Both were fascinating. Clever Resistance was humorous (hence the name) but important…all about ways people can resistance and not be violent or overly angry about it. Dopesick broke my heart and the author’s talk has stuck with me for days. I am looking forward to reading all of these author’s books.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend of books and friends! I cannot wait to go back!

VBF

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#imwayr It’s Monday! What are you reading?! 8.27.18

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book! Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts are the smart folks behind giving It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus! Join me! 

Listening to: Almost finished with Hunger by Roxane Gay. Such a truthful book of essays on weight, hunger and sense of body.

On my nightstand:  I am part of the Launch Team for Swing by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess, so I am lucky enough to have an advance reader copy of this awesome book! Reading it on my Kindle (which I never do – it’s making me want to download more for the Kindle, actually!)

Reading with the toddler: Our “again and again” books for this week – Yummy Yucky!, Higher! Higher! and Binky! all by Leslie Patricelli…she loves this author! We still go back to Potty every now and then…

What are YOU reading?

VBF

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