Blog moving

Hello, but not quite goodbye.  The Stromness Academy Library blog is moving platforms – well not quite as it remains a WordPress based blog, but within the more secure environment of Glow, Scotland’s education intranet.  I lose some of the widgets and functionality I have here, but to all intents and purpose the blog is exactly the same and I have managed to export the whole thing.

Don’t worry, though if you follow this one.  Despite being in Glow, you should still be able to see it and I look forward to seeing you there.

Glow bloghttps://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/or/stromnessacademylibrary/

Cartooning and Drawing – A Wonderful Gift

P1080649

Late last week I went to empty my pigeon-hole to find a large package in it.  There and then I tore (it was well sealed) it open to discover three books on cartooning.  Initially I though they were unsolicited but on reading the accompanying letter I discovered they were a gift from Martin Brown (illustrator of Horrible Histories) via The Scottish Book Trust.  I was absolutely delighted to receive this gift.  The letter from The Scottish Book Trust states:

Martin had an absolutely brilliant time meeting pupils in Orkney and Shetland and was overwhelmed by the warm welcome and enthusiasm which greeted him at every school.

As a thank you, and to continue the drawing craze in Orkney and Shetland, Martin would like to gift your school a set of books about drawing and cartooning to add to the library.  We hope that your pupils will treasure these books and that they will further inspire your young illustrators to get drawing!

Back in May, he visited Stromness Academy and other schools in Orkney and Shetland as part of the Scottish Friendly Children Book Tour.  Stromness Primary School pupils also joined us for this event in the theatre.

DSCN7353 DSCN7343 DSCN7334 DSCN7317

Thank you Martin and The Scottish Book Trust for this wonderful addition to our library.

Postcards, Paintings, Picnic, Competition & Light

Thursday 8th October, yep! – that is next week and the second last day of term.  “Yipee!”, I hear you say.  So, next Thursday sees us returning to our annual celebration of poetry with the return to the tried and tested Poetry Picnic format.  It will be held in the school library at lunchtime (12:25 – 1:30pm).  Snacks, tea and coffee will be available (for small donation towards costs) as well as general banter about poetry on this year’s theme of ‘Light‘ (and maybe just general banter) in celebration of National Poetry Day.

What can you look forward to?

Sharing Poetry – Poetry postcard deliveries will take place during periods 1 – 3 next Thursday 8th October.  Where teachers will ‘drop everything and read’ poems from this year’s (or previous years poetry postcards) if convenient, otherwise the poem will be read out at the end of the lesson.  We will require some S6 volunteers to help deliver these cards.

Poetry Competition – Write a poem on the theme of ‘Light’.  Poem can be based on your own thoughts, feelings, etc. on ‘light’ or use one of the paintings on display in the library and write a poetic response to it.  Staff and pupils can enter.

Competition

Poetry & Plagiarism – As part of the introduction to the poetry competition, S2 pupils have been given a chance in English Library / Literacy periods to start to consider writing a poem about ‘Light’.  Pupils respond to a painting which has clever use of light or has a title with ‘light’ in it.  They write 5-6 lines of poetry. 

They are then asked to swap their work with someone else.  The pupils then writes their name on the piece of work they got.  Pupils head off to do 10-15 minutes of personal reading whilst the teacher and librarian go round and look at the poetry giving out up to 3 stamps each for work which shows promise or is looking good… based on initial impressions.  Those with the most stamps get a peedie prize (sweetie). 

The outcry is tangible as pupils are getting ‘rewards’ for something they didn’t write.  We then have a short discussion on what was wrong with this and why, including how it makes people feel.  Thus, they get a feeling about exactly what plagiarism is and why we insist on pupils using their own words and ensuring they reference their sources of information.  Thank you to the ever useful School Librarians’ Network forum for the idea.

Poetry Picnic – Come along to the poetry picnic held over the whole of lunch. Pop in for a short while are stay the full 40 minutes of your lunch.  We might even bring back the popular ‘tongue twister’ competition. 

Pupil helpers – There will be a requirement for some pupil volunteers to help with the poetry picnic and to tidy up afterwards so anyone interested should get in touch with Mrs Sinclair. (NB. We have three already so one or two more would be helpful.)

Playing with Light – We are also hoping to enlist the help of the science department so that a small display or quick experiments in light can be done during the poetry picnic.  Watch this space!

Display with poetry competition images and poems from the poetry postcards.

Display with poetry competition images and poems from the poetry postcards.

So, a lot is planned and without you, the pupils and staff, this event wouldn’t work so well.  Let’s see if this can be our best yet.  See you next Thursday!

Half Way

Wow! On looking at the calendar, it appears were are over half way through the term.  Where have the last 4 weeks gone?

Everyone is now settled into a routine.  The library feels busier than ever with English classes coming in regularly for their library periods / library & information literacy lessons as well as S2 Geography classes who are doing their Earth Forces research project.

Lunchtimes

Lunchtimes are as busy as I can remember for a long time with up to 40 pupils visiting at any one time – although the average is between 15 and 25.  Pupils, in particular S1, are using the computers, some are joining in with the established Magic the Gathering games, some are playing chess or drafts.  Others have been using the Reading Zone for ‘relaxing’ but noise levels will need to be lowered as this section is meant to be a quiet area for folk to do personal reading, work or quietly relax.

It may be timely to once again remind library users at lunchtime of the following behaviour expectations:

  • Use the library (@lunchtime) for: Homework; Study, research or revision; Reading (books or magazines); Use computers; Play board games, Magic the Gathering, or other games; Help the Librarian.
  • You are expected to:
    • Be seated in chairs
    • Leave furniture where it is
    • Chat quietly
    • Respect those doing school work
    • Use the Reading Zone for personal reading
    • Keep mobile phones and personal music players switched off and out of sight

 

Activities

The Tuesday Dungeons & Dragons afterschool activity continues a pace with a regular group of five pupils adventuring in the Forgotten Realms and so far in the region of the town of Phandalin, whilst searching for their mentor, they have been waylaid by goblins near to Cragmaw Cave.  We have now switched over to 5th Edition D&D which is proving somewhat ‘easier’ than 4th with faster play happening.

Friday afternoon activities sees 23 pupils arriving to play Magic the Gathering or D&D. A small group of 5 play MtG, organising and running the games themselves.  There are three (yep! THREE!) groups playing Dungeons & Dragons.  This, if memory serves me correct, is the most we have ever had.  Pupils are Dungeon Mastering these games which means your erstwhile librarian actually gets a chance to play a character.  Not only do we have three groups, but three different editions of the game are being played.  The lasses (mostly) are playing 3.5 ed.  A senior group is playing 4th edition and the other group is playing a hybrid 4th / 5th edition. Good times for all!

Up coming events

  • Scholastic Book Club leaflets available in library from 25th August.
    • Deadline for school orders: 3rd December 2015. Online (preferred)at http://schools.scholastic.co.uk/stromness-academy
    • OR… fill in order form on leaflet and hand to Mrs Sinclair, Librarian with correct payment. (NB. if you want delivery from to home P&P is extra.)
  • National Poetry Day – Thursday 8th October
  • Spooky Happenings – Hallowe’en storytelling – Friday 30th October

A New Term, New Pupils, Library @Lunchtime & Upcoming Events

So, once again we are into the start of a new session and most of us have hit the ground running. I am now safely ensconced back in my library, clean (mostly) and tidy after the upheaval of the building work. The windows are in, the insulated cladding is on the external walls and the radiators are turned off (well as off as old valves allow). There is no doubt the library is substantially warmer than it has been over the last few years. There is still some external work yet to do in the form of rendering the walls but I am looking forward to when the scaffolding is down and allowing more natural light back into the library (just in time for the darker days of winter).

The school has now been back seven days. The new S1 pupils are now finding their way round. Most were issued with their library cards last week and will start on a programme of Library & Information Literacy Skills lessons this week.

The library is proving to still be a popular gathering place at lunchtime with the usual regulars and increasing numbers of new S1 pupils coming along to use the space, in particular the computers. This may be a timely reminder to regulars and new users alike that even at lunchtime the library needs to be properly used. We are usually fairly relaxed in what activities take place at lunchtime, but do remember the library is still a work space for many. There are guidelines in place in the form of a leaflet available from the library , but here are some salient points:

  • Use the library (@lunchtime) for: Homework; Study, research or revision; Reading (books or magazines); Use computers; Play board games, Magic the Gathering, or other games; Help the Librarian.
  • You are expected to:
    • Be seated in chairs
    • Leave furniture where it is
    • Chat quietly
    • Respect those doing school work
    • Use the Reading Zone for personal reading
    • Keep mobile phones and personal music players switched off and out of sight

Enjoy your use of the library. Remember if you have any suggestions as to activities we can offer or you want to suggest new books then please let Mrs Sinclair know.

Upcoming Events

  • Scholastic Book Club leaflets available in library from 25th August.
    • Deadline for school orders: 3rd December 2015. Online (preferred)at http://schools.scholastic.co.uk/stromness-academy
    • OR… fill in order form on leaflet and hand to Mrs Sinclair, Librarian with correct payment. (NB. if you want delivery from to home P&P is extra.)
  • National Poetry Day – Thursday 8th October
  • Spooky Happenings – Hallowe’en storytelling – Friday 30th October

Back to the Library

DSCN7553

The end of last term saw a pop-up library established in English Room 4 whilst new windows were being put in. This ended up being three plus weeks of work instead of the one and a half to two weeks that was I was originally told. Well, I suppose four of the windows were the full height of the library and caused complications as the old ones proved very difficult to remove – they ended up breaking the glass to then buckle the old metal frames to get them out… will probably still be hovering up little teeny pieces of glass from the window area for ages.

DSCN9108

A week away at the beginning of the school holidays meant I didn’t see the final mess that was left but I was worried about what I would see on return – it was not good, but I have to say better than I expected. Dust everywhere, and although some polythene screening was used around he windows the builders were working on, and some shelves cover, not everything was. It took a week for me to clean shelves and books, as well rebuilding those shelves that were dismantled and unboxing and reshelving books (including the three trolley loads from the pop-up library).

I can’t emphasise enough my extreme thanks to the cleaner who does this space as she has done a heck of a lot too. Carpets are now cleaned too and anything that was on floor can go back. In the meantime, though I have got distracted (writing this blog post) and stripping and tidying my peedie 2m x 2m office.

Re-guiding

Re-guiding

During this process I have also taken the opportunity to rearrange stock: weed and consolidate non-fiction (so now no NF books on very low shelves); weed and consolidate reference books to enable study support books to be moved from the project shelves; reorganise Orkney collection (so The Orcadian back copies not on floor anymore); create new library guiding and signage (still main info posters to do but need to wait for info on any general changes which might effect library opening); weed magazines; give plants tender loving care and potting some on (at home); sort the big storage boxes of display materials and Xmas decorations (including dumping old tatty decorations); lots of paperwork dumping (recycle or shredding); create a couple of new archive folders for newsletters and old school magazines (still have a box of school and library archives to go through – another year!); clear out small filing cabinet and tidy drawers (How MANY pens does a school librarian really need to have in stock?); tidy office and clear out stuff that hasn’t been looked at or use in ages; oh… and I need to do all the prep for next term.

At least I will know the library and my workspace has had a darned good clean and is neat and tidy. Hopefully that will infuse into my head to organised all the thoughts and ideas flying around. Now – where is my ideas book?

A Virtual Tour of the Library

Prezi

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28 other followers