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The Mason Senior High School Library is undergoing a transformation. The new Media Specialist is working hard with students, teachers, and parents to turn the library around and bring positive changes to the center. Track the progress here!

 

March 2018

After such an active month, I decided to keep March low-key. I had seen other library blogs talk about a "March Madness" theme, with books in brackets that face off to be the best of the best. So, I chose 8 popular YA books and set out to make a display for students to vote each week and titled it "Battle of the Books". I knew this would also prove to be helpful in determining the type of books our students here prefer.

Students would cast their vote each week for their favorite book in each category! Week 1 was as follows:

"Mental Health With A Twist": All The Bright Places vs. We Were Liars.

"John Green": The Fault In Our Stars vs. Looking For Alaska.

"Dystopian Danger": The Hunger Games vs. The Maze Runner.

"The Illusion of Choice": Matched vs. Divergent.

I tallied the votes Friday afternoon and posted the winners to be seen on Monday, and new ballots put out for the next bracket. Winners for the first week:

"Mental Health With A Twist": All The Bright Places

"John Green": The Fault In Our Stars

"Dystopian Danger": The Hunger Games

"The Illusion of Choice": Divergent

The next week would determine the final two books that would be in the 'showdown'. Votes were cast again, and the winners tallied just like last week:

Finally, week 3 pits The Fault In Our Stars with Divergent. And the winner is: (can you guess?)

Yes, very close. The Fault In Our Stars takes it, 15 to 13! This helped me understand that most of our students prefer romance/sadness/self-discovery novels, with dystopian/adventure coming in a close second. Good to know!

 

February 2018

What a fun month!

This month, I decided that we needed to get students in and realizing that our library has many, many new books. I remembered an event that my favorite bookstore ran once, where they had books wrapped up in butcher paper with just some key words written on it, and you purchased it sight unseen. I decided to use this idea for our students!

It immediately got some attention! I printed a few and hung them around the school. Students were wandering in and asking about it before the event started. I got to work and started pulling the newest books to start wrapping (and some books that were so new they hadn't hit the shelf yet!)

I set them up by the display window, all lined up and ready to go!

The students started pouring in during first hour. The books were flying off of the stand! Smiles were abound as I checked out books to "This makes me want to read again!" and "You should do this all the time!". Books were being unwrapped and exclaims of "Oh, I've been wanting to read this!" could be heard. I scurried to wrap new ones, since by lunchtime, my display was nearly empty.

I kept the event running for all of February, and students kept coming back for more. Gradually, interest waned as the month did, but that was to be expected. My goal was fulfilled: students realized that there were new books in the library and more still arriving; they were now browsing the shelves! Success!

 

January 2018

New Year, New Library! At least, that's the goal!

75 more books were added, which finally brought our average fiction book age up to...30! That may not seem like much, but when I (Mrs. Hopper, the Media Specialist) started here in November, the average age was 35. The books being added are so recent that it raised the age of our collection by five whole years!

A big thank-you once again to those that used the online WishList and donated books to our little library. The students love these new books, and they like knowing that anything they request gets put on that list.

I also cleaned up and reorganized the Professional Library this month. (For those that don't know, the Professional Library is a large room off of the main library that houses all of the student's textbooks as well as provides a common space for presentations and meetings.) This library appeared unorganized, with subjects scattered around the room. Now, the books have all been arranged by subject and title for ease, plus the Teacher's Editions have been removed to prevent accidental checkout by a student!

The rest of the month went by quickly and quietly while I prepared for a major event for February. Stay tuned to find out!

 

December 2017

December was a busy, dusty month! Over 200 new titles were added, (yes, 200!) from donations alone! That makes over 300 new titles since November! The donations keep pouring in from the community, teachers, students, alumni, Mrs. Hopper and the friends and family of Mrs. Hopper, too.

A huge thank-you goes out to everyone that has donated and is continuing to donate! We get at least two new books a week from our online Wish List and the students just love seeing the new stuff! This is an absolutely amazing show of love and support from the community and we could not be more grateful.

We received so many books that the shipping boxes couldn't even hold up!

With all of these new titles, our shelves needed some extra legroom, so to speak. So the dusty process of re-shelving began! The fiction section had to be reworked in order to accomodate all of the extra books, as well as make it more free-flowing and easier for students to navigate. This process will take some time, however, so we will keep the site updated with the progress!

The library participated in the annual Holiday Door Decorating contest this month, too! We used the famous Robert Frost poem, Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening, as our concept.

Finally, we worked on some more cosmetic updates. Our front circulation desk is getting a makeover, courtesy of washi tape! Books of the month are being highlighted on top of the small bookshelves and will see a constant changeover of fresh, exciting themes!

That's all for December! See you in 2018!

 

November 2017

The transformation begins! Mrs. Hopper immediately began cleaning out the reference section. The books here are showing signs of decay and neglect.

Clearly, no student has looked at one of these books in years, maybe even decades!

So the weeding process has begun. (Weeding: similar to pulling weeds from your lawn, library weeding means pulling books that are outdated and unwanted, or just destroyed beyond the point of readability.)

Up next is some simple, quick cosmetic updates: Posters and washi tape!

Washi tape is the best! It's a quick and nondestructive way to add color and patterns, while remaining easy to change and remove. Think painter's tape, but prettier. More of that soon!

Finally, on to the most pressing and important challenge: getting new books. Mrs. Hopper immediately created a public Amazon Wish List and started filling it with books of all kinds that teens would like to see in the library. She adds books that students request, too! (See the Wish List here.)

Donations immediately started pouring in.

For those that have donated, we can't thank you enough! Your name is listed in a 'Generously Donated By' sticker in the front cover, so that teens for years to come can know of your kindness!

That's all for this month. Stay tuned!

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