These days, the library at Lamar High School in Houston, Texas, is looking a lot more like a café than a library. And Principal John McSwain has never seen so many kids in the library before. As a matter of fact, the library’s hours have been extended; it is now open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Kids are showing up in droves to grab a laptop, an e-book, a cup of coffee, and a snack as they dive into books – online. The library’s newest additions include hundreds of e-books and a bunch of large databases for academic research.
"This place will be full at lunch, full before school, and even after school," McSwain told Houston’s Fox TV station. "The resources we now have are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the world for all of our students." [read more]
A handful of private schools are taking the leap too. After a lightning fire destroyed the 100-year-old library at the Hackley School, a K-12 boarding school in Tarrytown, New York, school leaders decided to switch from print to digital.
"We went to the different departments and said, 'This is your chance to create a perfect collection. You tell me what you think we need on our shelves,'" Laura Pearle, head librarian, told THE Journal. "When they said, 'We need these reference books,' I looked to see if we could purchase them digitally."
The decision to go digital wherever possible was not hugely popular with the faculty at first, Pearle said. “Now the majority of teachers feel that, for reference, digital is absolutely the way to go." [read more]
Lamar High and the Hackley School are leaping into territory where few schools have gone before. But lots of other schools are taking steps in that direction too. A 40-minute drive north of Houston, the library at Wilkerson Intermediate School in The Woodlands, is planning some changes. Librarian Jennifer Minichiello says the school's library will become more interactive, provide a variety of e-books, and adopt a café style.
"We're going to make it a little more interesting," she told the Houston Chronicle. "We want it to be more active, with a variety of things going on. If we want [students] to keep coming in, we have to use the technology they are used to." [read more ]
CELEBRATE SCHOOL LIBRARIES!
April Is School Library Month
School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs. The 2011 theme is "Create Your Own Story." This year, AASL will help school librarians tell their stories and advocate for the value their school library program brings to their school and local community.
National Library Week
National Library Week (April 10-16, 2011) is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate in this celebration spearheaded by the American Library Association (ALA). Are you looking for ways to raise awareness about libraries and library services during National Library Week? Check out the ALA’s free promotional tools for new ways to promote the message of National Library Week.
Education World Special Theme: Library Week
Education World presents dozens of book-themed activities, lessons, and projects from our archive. Included: How to write better book reports, stage a "Literature Day," compose Harry Potter haiku, plus additional classroom activities for teaching about fairy tales, folk tales, biographies, and more.