Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Dot Day 2013!

Last week we celebrated International Dot Day at FSUS. Dot Day is just too much fun for just one day - we need at least a week to celebrate!

After meeting author Peter Reynolds this summer at the American Library Association conference, I was so excited to get our kids and teachers involved in the celebration of such a wonderful book. (If you don't know the book The Dot, check out this animated version.) Dot Day is a celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration.
Author of The Dot, Peter Reynolds

When we started school this year, I approached our awesome art teachers about participating in Dot Day activities.  [Side Note: our art teachers are really the best of the best. They're cool, they're hip, they're fun, they're amazing artists, and they LOVE what they do.  I really do want to be one of them when I grow up. I am always grateful when they let me hang out with them and pretend to be cool like they are.]

My dot, made with liquid watercolor paint and shaving cream!
All of our art teachers (elementary, middle and high school) got excited about Dot Day and worked it into their lesson plans. Elementary students painted dots on paper plates (some even used their handprints!), and middle school and high school students drew zentangles, and painted dots with paint and shaving cream!  The high school graphic design students created their dots using computer graphics programs, and hung them from the umbrellas at the tables in the school courtyard. (I made my dot with paint and shaving cream, and I have to say I'm pretty proud of it!)  High school art teacher Debi Barrett-Hayes made us all Dot Day t-shirts!

Even Cat in the Hat has a dot!
Beautiful window art
One of our high school students (also known as our Artist in Residence) created a beautiful Dot Day display in the windows of the library.  She left room for our students to make their mark by signing their names.

We wore dots, we ate dots, we hung dots all over the Library doors and windows... and we talked about how we can make our mark on the world.  What a great way to start our school year.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Banned Books Week!

It's one of my favorite weeks of the year: Banned Books Week!  I love the discussions with the students that are instigated by the display of their favorite books in chains.  This week will be full of great questions from the students, such as: "Why is _________ banned?  I LOVE that book!" or "Why wouldn't someone want us to read THAT awesome book?"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall Book Club

FSUS students in grades 6-12 and any teachers are welcome to join the FSUS Book Club!  Our first read will be Starters by Lissa Price, which is on both the Sunshine State Young Reader's Award list grades 6-8 AND the high school Florida Teens Read list. (Yes, it is THAT GOOD.)

We'll have our first meeting once the set of books arrives, which will be in the next few weeks.  See Ms. Underhill if you're interested in joining!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Last year during National Picture Book Month, I offered the students the opportunity to check out an extra item from the library as long as they checked out at least 1 picture book.  They were able to check out 4 items instead of just 3.  This was especially exciting for the students whose teachers require them to check out only Accelerated Reader (AR) books in their reading level, because their 4th book could be any book of their choice!

I don't know who enjoyed it more - the kids or me!  I was thrilled that they were so happy to check out more books than usual and that they could pick anything their heart desired.  It was F-U-N.

It was so F-U-N that I decided to do more of this. In January, I let them check out an extra book as long as one of their books was a graphic novel.  In February, we celebrated "Four Book Februrary" and in March we celebrated "Magazine March." April was "Actual April" - they could check out a 4th book as long as at least one book was non-fiction.

Fast forward to the beginning of this school year. During a back-to-school library orientation with a fourth grade class, a student asked me if we were going to offer any "specials" this year.  I had to think for a moment about what a "special" could be.  Then I realized what the student meant!  Yep, we'll be offering monthly "specials" again this year, starting with "How-To October." Think: origami, cookbooks, how to draw books...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What a Year!

Let's pretend that I really wrote and posted this post in June. Let's pretend I'm not horribly behind posting to this blog. Let's pretend that I did this during the summer instead of binge-watching shows on Netflix. Thanks for playing along. Now let's see if I can get caught up!

Last year was a great year in the FSUS Library!  Once again our circulation was high.  Students visited the library a record high 57,209 times during the year (this number doesn't include visits as whole classes).  I was able to collaborate with more FSUS teachers than ever before to teach information literacy skills to our K-12 students.  In fact, I taught collaboratively with every English/Language Arts teacher in our middle and high schools.  I'm thrilled about this and am really excited about this year's collaborations.