OMG this week has been so funny! I usually make BBW a low-key event, and try not to draw attention to the number of books we have that have been banned in other schools. This year I really felt the same way. Since I sponsor the news show, I did find several public service announcements on YouTube that our team decided would be good “spots” for our morning news show. So I went about collecting them (using ZamZar so my students would not be accessing a site that is filterd in my school. (Note: our filter allows me to log in to the specific site to gain access–logging in on the computer the kids use on the show would have meant they had total access. Since the library has students before school, I cannot stay in the studio with the kids, meaning they would have been in there alone unsupervised with me logged in to their “almost” favorite blocked site. I’m such a hypocritical censor!!) Our activities spotlighting BBW also in clude a “Bag it – Book It” lunch, where kids can come to the library to learn about and discuss more banned books while eating a bagged lunch.
Video Spots on the Tiger Chat (our news show):
Just by coincidence, today and tomorrow we are also showcasing new books in the library. Every table (24 in all) has been covered with new books, giving each one “face” time before we shelve them. I was given roughly $11,000 in April last year to weed and update the collection. So we had gotten all these books in during the summer. As they were processed for circulation we put them on about twelve shelves that are designated as “new books.” There were so many though that it was a nightmare looking for them. When the students would say the computer says its in but it isn’t there–generally that meant it was probably on our shelves for new books–no semblance of any order. I would usually check the MARC record to see when it was added, and if that ‘date added’ corresponded to a summer date, I would point to the chaos of new books and cringe. Luckily many students persevered and found what they were looking for. We covered every table in the library and several shelves with the new books, all showing their covers. (NOTE: It had NOTHING to do with BBW!) Invitations were sent to the ELA classes inviting them to bring their kids down to browse around book store style, and we would gladly check out books too. No schedule. No lesson. Just good old fashioned browsing. There were times today where I had three whole classes in the media center, but we managed. We will do it again tomorrow. But I can happily report that our kids and teachers were pleasantly surprised.
One class came in and a 7th grader loudly sucked in his breath in awe and surprise, and then exclaimed, “OMG I had no idea our library had so MANY banned books!” What really is funny is that many of the books we had bought are actually on the list. Because these books have been highlighted each morning, this student recognized them when he came in today.
Ah-ha Moment for the librarian:
8th grade girl: Who’s brainy idea was it to put the barcode on the back of the book?
Brainy librarian: We order them like that so they are almost shelf ready when they get here.
8th grade girl: Oh, sorry. It’s just that some of the books have summaries on the back, and that lame barcode covers it so you can’t read it.
(Brainy librarian makes a mental note to change the location of the barcodes for future book orders. Sigh.)
All in all it has been a successful week…so far, anyway.