Teaching students and parents about social media is an important part of our job as high school media specialists. In August, we scheduled a forum on this topic with our PTO to be held in March for both middle and high school parents. After Kate, an aspiring media specialist, started working with us to complete practicum hours, we thought this would be a good activity for her to plan and present to this audience. While Mrs. Lukkarinen and I shared resources, discussed ideas, and helped promote the event, Kate took the reins and was the face of the BI media program during the forum.
We think the parents, students, and staff members who attended the event got some valuable information on this serious topic. We are linking Kate’s presentation website here for those interested. Our many thanks to Kate for being so well-prepared and willing to take on such a big task!
We enjoy seeing book spine poems other libraries have done to celebrate special events like National Poetry Month. Mrs. Lukkarinen had a great idea to complete a book spine poetry activity with some of our students. After collaborating with Mrs. Troupe-Clear and Mr. Wilkinson, we are planning a day when we can work with their students on book spine poetry. The teachers are excited to participate since they are currently studying poetry in their classes. We can’t wait to share the finished products! Here are a few that Mrs. Lukk and I created while preparing our lesson materials.
For those who participate in Georgia’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, January and February are incredibly busy months. For many of the schools that compete in this state-wide competition, teams are formed and practice sessions begin in August. From August until January, students read twenty books from the Georgia Peach Award nominees and study thousands of possible questions about the titles. January and February begin competition season; first with county, then regionals, and finally district, for teams that earn the right to compete at the next level. Only two teams each from the elementary, middle, and high school levels compete in March for the state championship. We have been very excited to earn our spot in the state championship finals over the past two years. After suffering a tough defeat and an ultimate second place finish in the state finals last year to Lithia Springs High School, our team was hungrier than ever for the win.
This year, we represented Division II in the championship against the Division I winner, Marietta High School. Marietta is a great team that has earned the right more than once to compete for the top honor in HRRB. Our team came out strong in the first round, answering the first five questions in the fifteen-question round. After round one, BI had a lead of 100-40. We would only need to answer five more questions correctly to clinch the championship. When the second round was complete, we posted a score of 80-70, easily securing the win and the championship 180-110. We are extremely proud of our students for setting a goal, working harder than we asked them to, and for carrying themselves like true champions at each competition in which they participated. They are fine representatives of Bradwell Institute, and we can’t wait to begin the process all over again with the same group of students next August!
Today is travel day! We are now on the bus and on the way to Athens and the University of Georgia for the state Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl tomorrow. Wish us luck as we compete for the final time this season!
For those outside of the library world, weeding is tedious work done in a yard or garden. In a library, weeding describes the tedious work involved with keeping a collection accurate, current, and relevant for patrons. To do this, items in the library collection must be systematically reviewed to determine whether they need to be removed or replaced. Mrs. Lukkarinen and I decided last year when we started working together that we wanted to make it a priority to thoroughly weed our entire collection. We decided to start with the most difficult section, our non-fiction collection. Here are a few photos that show our progress so far.
We have already noticed an increase in non-fiction circulation, in part because our new book displays are catching our student’s attention, and in part because the old, outdated resources are no longer overpowering the current, quality selections. While we have removed most of the very oldest and most out of date items, we will need to revisit this section over the next few years as our budget permits to replace some resources with newer and better editions. We have been very fortunate to have a media practicum student, Kate, who has taken on the remainder of the non-fiction project. Her displays are really eye-catching, and she is working diligently to make sure that the books are grouped appropriately by section. Mrs. Lukkarinen and I will move on to fiction next week as Kate completes that last few sections of non-fiction.