Page Turning Tool

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I played with a fun new tool this past weekend called Page Flip-Flap.  It turns Word or PDF documents in online booklets, complete with a rustling sound when you turn the pages.  (And we book people sure do love us some paper rustling sounds!) 

Page Flip-Flap

All you do is upload your document and fill in your email address, which is used to email you the link to your online flipbook.  No registration or login necessary, and they promise not to use your email address for spam.  It’s free, so there are ads on your online booklet page, but you can banish them by clicking the “full-screen” button, which is at the bottom of the page next to the printer icon.

I used it to transform the S.C. EdTech Conference summary I created last year into a nice online report that my new principal could view.  (I’m requesting permission to attend as usual this year, and wanted to make sure she understands what a valuable experience it is for me.)  You can view it here.  Maybe. 

Or maybe the site is blocked where you are.  Like it is in my district.  As I found out this morning when I skipped to my school computer ready to copy and paste the link into an email to my principal.  And luckily tested the link first to make sure it was working.  And it wasn’t.  Sigh.

So there go my grand plans for Page Flip-Flap, such as converting our school newsletters into this nice online format for our parents to view, or publishing my policy and procedures manual as an online booklet, or anything else creative I might want to do but can’t because once again I’ve been thwarted by our filters.

Oh wait, this is supposed to be the happy sunshine blog where I celebrate good things.  Well, I guess I could request that the site be unblocked.  It could happen.  No, really, it could.  Right?

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Library Card Sign-Up Month

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Library Card Sign-Up 

 

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, and as always ALA is providing some free resources to promote the event, including a customizable poster featuring Cal Ripken Jr., some audio PSAs, press releases, and clip art.  While you’re there, take a look at the “52 Ways to Use Your Library Card.”  (Word document)

 I always take some time during my library classes each September to pull up the Sumter County Library website on the Promethean board.  We discuss what the public library has to offer, what special events are planned for the month, and how to search their OPAC.  I close by reminding students that it doesn’t cost anything to get a library card, and then I seal the deal by promising a trip to my Treasure Basket to any student who brings in a library card to show me!

This year I am going to add an extra twist by taking a photo of each student proudly holding up his or her library card, and create some sort of Animoto video or Photo Story project for our school website.  (I’ll post a link once I set up the page.) 

“A library card is the most important school supply of all.”library card

 

 

 

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Summer Reading Celebration

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At the end of each school year I make a promise to my students:  Anyone who brings in a reading log (signed by a parent) or a reading certificate, showing that they participated in some sort of summer reading, will be invited to an Ice Cream Sundae Party when school starts back in August! 

Once students are back in school, we allow two to three weeks for students to bring in their “proof” of summer reading, and then we hold the party in the Library Media Center.  I provide reminders on the library web page, on the morning announcements, via emails to the teachers, and in person during Library classes.  And finally, the big day arrives!

This year’s party was held last Friday (Sept. 2) with 41 excited participants crowding around the check-out counter chattering loudly.  We had three flavors of ice cream, two flavors of syrup, whipped cream, and five different candy/cookie/nut toppings for students to choose from.  Two of our other related arts teachers helped me serve and my assistant took pictures. 

(Normally I would have a couple of faithful parents involved, but this year our newly unified school district is requiring SLED background checks on anyone wishing to volunteer in our schools.  To date only two of my regulars have filled out applications, and neither has received the results of the investigation yet.)

Now, maybe 41 students isn’t a large number, compared to our total enrollment of 762 students.  But I’m encouraged that since I started doing this in 2008, the number of participants has approximately doubled each year.  If this trend continues, we’ll have outgrown the library by next year, and we’ll need to move our celebration into the cafeteria!  Hooray!

Here’s the Animoto video I posted on my Library page:

 

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Vote for The Reading Express

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The South Carolina Center for Children’s Books and Literacy needs your help.  They have entered their Reading Express project in the Pepsi Refresh competition in hopes of winning $50,000 in funding.  You can help by clicking on this link and voting for The Reading Express.  The goals of the program are to:

  • Break the cycle of illiteracy through education and outreach
  • Give books to approximately 7,000 school children in 35 schools
  • Provide literacy kits for 1,200 families
  • Educate families about the importance of reading at home
  • Empower families by giving them tools to raise life-long readers

You will need to register with the Pepsi site and be sure you sign in before you vote.  If you click the “Vote” button and then sign in, your vote will not be counted unless you click “Vote” again.  You can vote once a day throughout the month of November.

If The Reading Express is one of the top ten vote-getters, they the children of South Carolina win!

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What’s Your Slogan?

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“Branding” is one of the buzzwords that media specialists are hearing a lot about lately, but because we are often locked into using our school name and mascot on everything we create, having a unique brand can present difficulties for a school library.  But what if we tied a slogan to our name, and used it on everything?

Think about marketing slogans that have resonated with the public.  I bet you can easily name the companies that use these taglines:

Have it your way.

Where shopping is a pleasure.

Expect more.  Pay less.

These slogans indicate that customer satisfaction is a priority, and that the needs of the consumer are being carefully considered.

So what’s your library slogan?

No one is allowed in the library without a pass.

You can only check out two books at a time, and if you return them late you have to pay a fine.

No food or drinks allowed.

There will be no emailing, games, or talking in the library.

Stop messing up the books.

“Oh no,” you say, “no one would choose any of those sayings as a tagline!”  Then why do I see these exact sentences (well, okay, maybe I’ve never actually seen that last one, but it’s been implied) in some form or another on nearly every library web page I’ve visited lately?  I won’t link to any of them here, but in my search for inspiring library sites I’ve looked at quite a few that feature a stern list of do’s and don’ts.  (Mostly don’ts.)  And most of them aren’t discreetly tucked away in a “Library Guidelines” corner; they are right there on the home page!

Yes, we need policies, and yes, we need to communicate them to our users, so a “No rules, just right” approach won’t work in the library.  But we have to “think outside the bun” and make an effort to show the many resources and services we have to offer our students, their parents, and the community.

Therefore, I hope these are the slogans that describe your library:

We never stop working for you.

You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers.

That was easy.

And perhaps most importantly:

The choice of a new generation.

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Old Spice Guy On Libraries

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I kind of took the summer off from posting and reading other blogs, so I totally missed the Old Spice Guy speaking about libraries. Maybe you missed it too? If so, enjoy it here!

Now that’s a refreshing way to begin a Monday morning!

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