Friday, May 30, 2014

A Voice Has Been Lost....

Wednesday May 28, 2014 the world lost a magnificent voice in Maya Angelou. At 86 years old Maya Angelou died, leaving a hole in the literary world few if any can fill. Angelou has been a popular writer for many of our students who flock to her writings for the senior memoir project and poetry units for all grades. Such a multi-talented individual, she was a author, poet, actress, singer, dancer, playwright, director and producer. She is best known for her amazing multivolumed autobiography that began with I Know Why The Caged Birds Sings. Her chronicle of the black experience in America has been praised and is the standard for anyone who has followed. Her ability to tell a story, provide words of wisdom and touch lives can not be argued. Maya Angelou was a living legend and her place in American culture, literature and humanity will be forever immortalized.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Do You Judge A Book By It's Cover?.....And Is That Okay?

We all have done it...browsed through countless books, trying to make a decision. How do we narrow it down? Where should we start? How bout the covers? I know I tend to let the covers sway me when I am looking for something to read. Unless I go in with a specific book in mind, I will begin my search with covers that speak to me. I think we try really hard to teach our youth not to make judgements on the physicality of anyone or anything but the reality is, we have to start somewhere and often times we look at the physical first. Books are no different!

Library assistant extraordinaire Brian Wong recreated an amazing display depicting the reimagined covers of some bestsellers and classics from Matt Roeser of Candlewick Press. Mr. Wong's display and the tumblr where Matt Roeser has his suggestions for new covers are below!

This is a great article reinforcing how covers impact our choices! Young adults are drawn to book covers they can relate to and are "current." Reading the article you can see how the same book with two different covers, one updated, one the original, makes a significant difference!
Academic OneFile - Document

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Library is Alive with the Love of Projects!

When the new Natick High School was designed, and I was fortunate enough to meet with the architects about the library. One area that was very important to me was having the ability to display. It wasn't just for our purposes but having a place for other teachers to showcase the projects their students have worked so hard on to complete! It has been a gradual process but I am happy to say right now we are bursting at the seams with projects from such a variety of classes. I can't tell you what a difference it makes in the library. Aside from showing the creative effort of our students, the collaboration between the library and subject teachers, it makes the library pop with color, happiness and creativity! We have everything from kites from the preschoolers where we read a book about kites and they painted their idea of the "perfect kite," to projects depicting themes from The Catcher in the Rye from our 11th graders. To really capture the essence of what it looks like, the ever amazing Ms. Carrick assistant extraordinaire, created the following Animotos!

 Ms. Zhao & Ms. Crohan's Project Displays

Ms. Rogers & Ms. Ruo's Displays in the Library

Preschool Art Display in Library

Friday, May 9, 2014

Working Together!!

What a busy week we have had! Between AP Exams and classes and the general traffic through the library it was non stop! This week really was about celebrating work and collaborating on some great projects!

To Kill a Mockingbird Social Issues Persuasive Speech Project

I love watching a project come alive and work on all levels! Ms. Alexander has taken the 9th grade persuasive essay project and tied it in with the class's reading of To Kill a Mockingbird. Students, in partners, will be researching a social issue topic connected to the book. They will look at the issues, choose a side and debate the issue in a speech. What really is exciting for me regarding this project is the work she and another English teacher did prior to the class coming to the library for a lesson on our database "Opposing Viewpoints" They researched the topics beforehand to make sure each had enough information. That way, students would be successful using the database and can see the value of locating quality resources. When I teach the lesson, I am confident the topics will lend themselves to good search! It has been great watching the students locate debatable topics and see how deep some of these issues are!

As I have said before, one of my favorite aspects of our library is the ability for teachers to use it as a showcase for the amazing work that is happening in their classrooms. Not only does it make the library come alive, it also demonstrates the collaborative relationship between the library and classroom as often work displayed is a project where library lessons have been an integral part of the project. This week we are so fortunate to have Mandarin teacher Ms. Zhao display her Mandarin 1 & 2 and Chinese Culture class display their work. I am simply amazed at how beautiful the calligraphy and Chinese paper-cutting has turned out.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Love is in the air.......

We are moving into the home stretch! Back from vacation and only eight weeks left of school! This is such a busy time of the year with MCAS, AP exams, graduation and of course THE PROM! Today is the big day for our juniors and seniors and their guests! "Prom-posals"were happening for months and even the library was the setting for one or two! Now that dates have been procured, dresses and tuxes have been bought/rented it is time to get ready!
One of the great traditions in Natick is the After-Prom Party. So much works goes into creating a fantastic event for students so they can have a safe and fun place to go. The event takes place at the high school and last year, the library was laser tag central! We hope that all of our students have a wonderful and safe night!!
Some books in our collection discussing the "highs and lows" of this special night are:

Prom / Laurie Halse Anderson
Eighteen-year-old Ash wants nothing to do with senior prom, but when disaster strikes and her desperate friend, Nat, needs her help to get it back on track, Ash's involvement transforms her life.

Princess in Pink / Meg Cabot
In a series of humorous diary entries, high school freshman (and Genovian Princess) Mia tries to get her reluctant boyfriend to take her to the prom

Illuminate / Aimee Agresti
A brainy, shy high school outcast interning at a Chicago hotel discovers that the hotel staff has an evil agenda planned for her classmates on prom night.

The Anti-Prom / Abby McDonald
A brainy, shy high school outcast interning at a Chicago hotel discovers that the hotel staff has an evil agenda planned for her classmates on prom night.