Engaging Teen Readers: SLAV Conference 25th Nov 2016

The final School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) Conference for 2016 looked at how to keep students engaged & develop and/or continue to develop a culture of reading into adulthood.

We were welcomed to the State Library of Victoria (SLV) by Andrew Hiskens (Manager, Learning Services) who explained the SLV’s Strategic Plan for the next few years.

Will Kostakis, the acclaimed author of YA literature, gave the Keynote address, Being Brave: ‘Difficult’ Topics in Literature and Writing. His presentation was fantastic. Honest and humorous, he had the audience spellbound and totally focussed on the experiences he had when starting out (he began to write very early in primary school) and how he has developed and grown into his writing

The program included over 10 Concurrent Sessions that gave practical examples of how we can engage teen readers. Those presenting gave us so many ideas about how to approach reading with our teen readers. There were so many interesting things going on in the schools they came from that it will take me some time to reflect on them. I can see so many ways they  will be useful in my school.

The tweets are collected in this Storify


Book Week Activity: What is that book title?

publicity image

Looking for ideas about book week activities I came across one I thought would be fun to set as a quiz. There are a few places to go if you are looking for ideas for book week but two very good sites I like for Book Week ideas are Susan Stephenson’s Book Chook blog and the Book Week for Beginners wiki.  There are all sorts of ideas and things that could be reworked for many libraries or classes.

One idea I liked was  playing around with titles and over the last few days I have had a go. I came up with the following that I will test with staff (and students). They will be able to see the list of CBCA titles (I think I will combine the 2013 and 2014 lists to make them look a little more. I will add a few other well-known titles for staff to try as well.

I have listed my new titles below and will put up this list on my reading wiki along with the answers after Book Week. Can you guess them? I see this activity as one that could be used with students at anytime. There could be many variations on the basic idea.

From the CBCA Short list, 2014

Fabricated stories for uneducated young females

Seasonal regulations

Achromatic fasteners

Unbelievable present

Welcome famous skipper

Notably less than whole

Interplanetary experiences

From 2013 short list

Small change for authoritarian

Majestic offspring

A venerable 24 hours

 Well known novels

Habitation of predatory carnivore (historical fiction)

Young magus deals with miscegentic potentate (fantasy)

Avocation for hereditary seat (fantasy)

Polar Radiance (fantasy)

Liberation money (Australian life)

Traveller, outfitter, warrior, provocateur (mystery)

Entirely me (Australian prize winning novel)

Social media activities for Libraries.

Back in 1973 “The Two Ronnies” did the skit called “Shouting In The Library” It was from series three – Broadcast: September 1973 – January 1974. How to change this image? This one of libraries that the media often harks back to.

However Phil Bradley made this nice poster about social media activities. So many things have changed about library services. Some mentioned below we use, others are new and I have some new ideas for different uses to what we are doing at the moment.

The poster is available under Creative Commons licensing, so you are free to take a copy of this and use it without having to ask. However as always remember that you should attribute it to him and not change it nor make money from it.

Using iconic space images in Book Week

Iconic images are all around us, so much so that they don’t register on our consciousness a lot of the time.
This thought was on my mind and formed the basis of another of our Book week activities.
There are many famous space shots and many, especially on the NASA website, are in the public domain and free to be used.
During one of the lunchtimes in book week we ran a competition that asked students to think of a caption for a Famous Space Shot. Below are 5 of the images.

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We printed and laminated a total of ten A3 sized images (with each being numbered) and put them up on boards in the library

It was really interesting to see how engaged the students were as they focussed on each of the photos and really thought about what they were seeing. The students were given sticky notes on which to write their comments and put them onto the relevant image. Some had ideas for all of the photos and others just the one image caught their imagination. Below is a shot of one of the boards with some of the caption ideas.

Famous photo captions 03

This activity was very popular with the senior students and we had some very witty comments. We will create a new copy of the images, with the  winning captions added, and have them laminated for the students as part of their prize.

We are looking at what generators will suit each image. We may use comic life or one of the tools saved into my Diigo list.

We decided to do this in a low-tech way because we thought it would be quickest and easiest way to run the activity over a lunchtime break. It also allowed all students to see what their peers were thinking. There were a lot of laughs as well as appreciation for some of the better ideas.