LBPSB Library Resources

A school librarian's toolbox

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High School Programming: Life-sized Board Games

board-39864_1280I received an email from Suzanne the other day highlighting a blog from “Teen Services Underground” about life size board games.  This is a really neat concept and not too hard to bring to your library.  You can have your volunteers pitch in and help too!  Although I have never done one of these, I think it would be a lot of fun to do.  Here are some resources that can help you get started:

Teen Services Underground: Live Clue! at the Library
Pinterest Board:  DIY Games
Live Action Board Games
How-To: Make a Big-As-Life Board Game

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from Westwood Jr and Mount Pleasant Elementary



Creative way to poll your students

question of the monthEvery month I pose a question to the students to answer.  Sometimes the questions are very simple like, if you could meet a book character, which one would you choose?  However, I do use this question of the month for other purposes – for instance – what do I need to work on in the library or what am I missing from the collection?   I received a lot of great answers when I asked what they would change if they were the librarian.  They wanted more seating, a fish tank, more computers and more graphic/manga books.  I found this to be really useful and bought more chairs and talked to the students about what type of manga they would like to see in the library.

question of the month aprilYesterday I posted a new question – if they had $30, which book would they buy at the book store.  I wanted to see the holes in the collection.  There were only 2 books that I did not have so I was happy to see that I am meeting their needs!

2015-04-09 09.00.29In order to get students that do not generally come into the library to participate, I offer lollipops as the incentive.  It gets them into the library and where they write their answer, I surround the area with books that might appeal to them.   I usually can get big bags (100 lollipops) at Walmart after the big holidays for $2.00.

It is really easy to manage and does not take much time to set up.  The reward is that you really get to know your students!

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from Westwood Jr. and Mount Pleasant Elementary

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We are all pressed for time and may even have varying degrees of stage fright when it comes to book talking. What if you could share the work and encourage collaboration with other staff members in the process? Nicholas Warren, a school librarian at EMSB, shared this great idea devised by Alexander Kulczyk and The Team at Focus High School; teacher Tya Collins was also on board.

Staff members come together at the library or in class to present 1 to 3 of their favourite books to students (could be 1 Fiction, 1 Non-Fiction, 1 Book of Poetry etc.). Ideally, the books are ones which really made an impact on the staff member’s life. For example, Nicholas did a presentation at Focus and chose “The Fellowship of the Ring” – by J.R.R. Tolkien (which deeply affected him as a child and affects him still to this day), “Fast Food Nation” – by Eric Schlosser (which opened his mind to healthy eating and the evils of fast food during college), and “A Monster Calls” – by Patrick Ness (a recent YA novel which touched him to the core).

Students are or can be encouraged to do their own presentations based on the staff members’ shining examples. Teachers and/or staff coming together (including library techs, childcare workers, secretaries, caretakers, specialists, etc.) to share their favourite reads is a bonding experience and shows students that the staff values reading – not just the English teacher (or Librarian).

You can start small and make this a regular event. Why not have school administration, your local commissioner, a classroom teacher (on a library visit) or a library volunteer share their must-reads with your students?

 Nicholas strongly encourages you to try this — it’s much more fun than it is work after all!

 A Suggested Format for the Book Talk

  • What is the title? Who is the author? Is it a series of books?

  • Give a BRIEF outline of the plot (NO SPOILERS!)   J

  • Why is this book important to you?

  • When did you realize you liked this book?

  • Who should read this book?

  • Talk about your favourite part!

Submitted by Suzanne Nesbitt from ESD. Thanks to our colleagues at EMSB for sharing , Annette MacIntyre and Nicholas Warren  in particular!

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Elementary Program Ideas

Here are some programming ideas.  What are you doing in your libraries?

Dr. Seuss Programming:

10-facts-about-dr-seuss-books_5029152f245eeThere are a lot of great ideas to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2).  You can make a whole week out of it.  Although we are on March break that week, you can always carry it over to the following week.
Get inspired through these ideas:

Pinterest – Dr. Seuss Program Ideas  + LBPSB Pins


Dr. Seuss Storytime Ideas

Seuss-Tastic Storytime


Poetry Month Ideas:

lego  Lego Poetry

 SLJ Resources for National Poetry Month

Poet-Tree Ideas



Elementary Lesson Plans:

girl-160172_1280Pinterest Plans

Elementary Library Routines

Library Lessons on Pinterest

QR Code Library Orientation




Submitted by Kathy Conroy from WWJR and Mount Pleasant Elementary


Quick Library Display for Valentine’s Day

val 2015 (1)Looking for something quick and easy to do for Valentine’s Day?  Looking for a way to show off books that are just sitting on your shelves?  Here is an idea that will have books flying off the shelf.  Blind date with a book creates excitement.  It is really simple to do and the students will be talking about it in their classes.  It is suitable for all grade levels so have fun with it!

val 2015 (2)Yesterday I put up the display and immediately had students asking about it and checking out books.  This year I chose to wrap up graphic novels – the ones that tend to get lost in the collection.  I think the best part for the students is unwrapping the book.  They of course make all these comments about their date too.

val 2015 (3)I wrapped up 30 books.  Make sure that you put a duplicate barcode sticker on the back of the wrapping paper so that you can check it out.  Click here for the “RATE YOUR DATE” form.  The students have all week to read the book.  Next Monday, after I have received their reviews, I will randomly select one review and that student will win a gift card.

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from WWJR

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National Reading Campaign

national reading campaign

The Reading Matters Campaign is a Canada-wide campaign to share the love of reading. As the website says, libraries are often the place that children encounter a love of reading when encouraged by mentors and parents.

On the website the National Reading Campaign asks us to engage our library patrons to become involved in an online conversation about reading. “We’re asking readers to share their stories with us on readers can post words, pictures, or video to express what reading has done for you. Reading has done so much for so many, and we think it’s time to return the favour. We’re asking librarians to help spread the word on social networks, make the homepage on library computers, and encourage library patrons to join the conversation.”

Check out the link above for the librarians’ toolkit to promote this campaign. There are resources to use personally or with your patrons/students and teachers. For example, there are downloadable posters, bookmarks, and an infographic to post in your library.

Readerly, the blog, has lots of latest news in the reading world, lists of literary award winners, book reviews, quizzes, surveys, parents’ toolkit, teachers’ toolkit, etc.

Specific projects are Reading Matters, Aboriginal Policy Initiatives, CanLit for New Canadians and the National Reading Plan. There is not much going on in Quebec officially with this initiative, but there are elements that can be used and adopted by any library to promote reading.

A last quote from their website:
“Reading is 68% better at reducing stress than listening to music, 100% more effective   than drinking a cup of tea, and 700% better than playing video games”


Submitted by Meg Sinclair, LBPSB Board Librarian