Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Library Logistics: Little Books

I love it when others share the nuts and bolts of what they do and how they make it happen in their libraries, so I'm starting a feature called Library Logistics here on the 5 blog. I'm not going to say that it's a weekly feature - I'm too low stress for that - let's just call it an occasional feature. 

Earlier this week I shared a video walkthrough of my school library inspired by Sarah Ducharme of Try Curiosity and the walkthrough of her library.

My first Library Logistics post is about the bins you see on the shorter set of tables in the video.
I call these the "primary tables" because they more appropriately sized for the primary grade students, however even our 8th graders end up sitting at these tables at times.

The bins on the tables are filled with "little books". Yep, it's really just a size thing. 

I have a special section for oversized books, and these bins are where I put the tiny titles that otherwise might get lost on a shelf:

There are board books:

Pocket sized fact books:

And other fun little treasures:

There is no order or organization to the bins, so if you happen to be looking for a particular small book you may have to flip through more than one bin.

For the most part these books are heavily used (even by older grades), but not necessarily heavily checked out.
It seems there is often a little time for a little book.

The primary grades love the board books, and there is no feeling that these are "baby books". I often see the emerging readers finding ones they know or can read to share with their neighbor. 

Do you have some library logistics to share?
Feel free to use the logo at the top of this post.
I would love to hear about the hows and whats of your library life.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Aren't you hosting a Caldecott Challenge?

Yes, I am co-hosting a Caldecott Challenge to read all the Caldecott medal and honor books.
So far I have read all the titles from 1938-1949.

After that (around the beginning of February) I had some sort of reading challenge breakdown, and I fell into a challenge reading rut.
I couldn't bring myself to open the next title on my challenge list.

Part of what happened reminds me of a Saturday Night Live skit from 1990 called "The Gross Out Family".

In the skit, a family is sitting down to dinner and the dad (Tom Hanks) tries some milk, realizes it is spoiled and then the rest of the family proceeds to say things like "Oh, let me try... belch, you are right that IS rancid!"

"How old is that milk, it is really bad!"

"You aren't kidding!"

"Let me try.... Whoa, baby!"

"Here let me try...Whoa that's bad!"

It goes on with smelling bad fish, feeling Chris Farley's sweaty stomach, sitting on a nail and finally ends with the family members each throwing themselves down the stairs.
(If you have Hulu plus, you can watch the whole SNL episode here.)

There have been a few #nerdcott conversation threads on twitter that have felt like we've been "passing the milk".
"This was meant for kids?"
"These books really make me appreciate today's picture books so much more!"
"They're just soooo wordy!"

Ok... I'm not really trying to say that the 1940s Caldecott medal and honor books are like drinking rancid milk - there have been some gems in the mix that have truly stood out, but for the most part they did require a different kind of reading energy than the titles I have been reading during my recent "challenge break down" phase.

These recent reads have been helping me to build up my reading mojo again.
I needed them.

I needed to read and get lost in a story.
I needed to fall in love with characters.
I needed to feel that crazy excitement at having just read my "new favorite book."
I needed to remember why I love reading.

So I had a Challenge break down and read...

The Mighty Miss Malone

The One and Only Ivan


Anna Hibiscus and No. 1 Car Spotter

A Long Walk to Water

The Fault in Our Stars


If there is an opposite of rancid milk, these books are it!
With these awesome reads that fed my soul I think I have almost built up my Challenge stamina again and should be ready with a Caldecott book stack for the 1950s very soon.

Thank you for hanging with me through this challenge breakdown, and thanks to the challenge participants who have been blogging and tweeting through my rut. Your posts have been boosting my strength and luring me back.

Click on the links below to see fabulous Caldecott Challenge posts from...

A to Z Library (my wonderful co-host)

Story Time Secrets

Not For Lunch

Picture Book A Day

Gathering Books