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A Guerrilla Librarian
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A Guerrilla Librarian


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How to develop an online library to assist reading development using Web 2 tools

How to develop an online library to assist reading development using Web 2 tools

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  • 1. A Guerrilla Librarian Or, how to fight back against the threats to reading today Find this presentation online at:
  • 2. About me
    • We are using Accelerated Reader in Project Based Learning lessons to boost low literacy levels
    • We also use it with SEN pupils up to age 16
    • I have used Accelerated Reader in three schools in Kent to raise standards
  • 3. My web presence
    • My personal blog:
    • My Library blog (new):
    • My screenname to find me on these applications: carolineroche
    • Delicious; Diigo; Twitter; Slideshare
  • 4. Why do we need to fight?
    • School libraries are closing all round the country
    • ‘It’s all on the internet now’ – isn’t it?
    • The rise of e-books and reading online
    • It is no longer a ‘given’ that schools have libraries
  • 5. Threats to reading
    • Reading ages and literacy are dropping
    • Computers and television are taking up time previously used by reading
    • Reading can be done elsewhere – books are no longer physical
    • Concentration spans are becoming shorter – children find whole books too long for them
    • The English curriculum no longer requires pupils to read whole books, only extracts
  • 6. Other ways of reading
  • 7. So, do we need libraries?
    • YES – where else would you find professionals whose job is solely dedicated to finding the best resources for you to use in your project?
    • YES – where else would you find professionals whose job it is to read the latest children’s literature and make recommendations?
  • 8. So what?
    • ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish’ (Proverbs 29:18)
    • To remove reading means that you remove imagination and empathy from pupils
    • Is this what you want for the students in your school?
    • To be another brick in the wall ? (2.27)
  • 9. Is this your view of a library? Is this your student’s view too? Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
  • 10. How about this library?
  • 11. Creating your physical library
    • Buy appropriate shelving – we used folding shelving from a library catalogue, or use spinners
    • You can create a comfortable space at the back of a classroom using beanbags and soft seating
  • 12. Creating an online library
    • There are lots of free Web 2.0 applications you can use to help you
    • Making the library ‘virtual’ and available to all students increases its visibility
    • You can build a large online community, and then grow your demand for more physical space
    • (All websites mentioned in this presentation are referenced in a list at the end)
  • 13. Building an online library
    • You could use your blog to flag up the ‘Reader of the Week’
    • You could use the blog to advertise new purchases of books
    • You could use the blog to advertise competitions and author visits
    Author Joe Craig at a book signing with one of our pupils
  • 14. LibraryThing
  • 15. Uses of LibraryThing
    • Can be used to catalogue books for free – after 200 books you pay a small fee monthly
    • You can put a ‘widget’ on your blog for people to search your books
    • It is very easy to use – well trained pupils can help you with this
  • 16. How do I use a blog?
    • There are several good free blog providers, two recommended ones are Wordpress and Edublogs
    • Both will allow you to have free blogs, you can upgrade if you choose
    • Paying for your blog will mean you have more control over content, your own address, and extra features
  • 17. An excellent library blog Dixie Grammar School online library blog LibraryThing book search Covers of books in your library Online bookmarks hosted at Diigo List of previous blog posts Delicious online bookmarks tagging tool
  • 18. And another one …. Hinde House School Library Pictures of library space being used Most used tags in blog seen as word cloud Welcome and introduction to the library
  • 19. Features you can use to promote your online library
    • Flikr or Picasa – to store online photographs
    • Diigo or Delicious for online bookmarks for students to use
    • Have links to lots of exciting online book and author sites for them to enjoy and get enthusiastic about
  • 20. Other features
    • Use online book trailers (from YouTube and elsewhere) to create interest in books you may have
    • Ask pupils to create their own videos or podcasts about their favourite books and feature them on your blog
  • 21. Student participation
    • Start topics, and allow students to make comments to gauge their views
    • Hold online polls and questionnaires for favourite books
    • Have an online suggestion box where pupils can ‘post’ book requests
    • Have an online chat box where students can ask questions
  • 22. How do I win the reading war?
    • Use your blog to stimulate love of reading in pupils
    • Use borrowing figures to prove to Senior Management team that a library is invaluable and necessary
    • Insist that your library is staffed by someone who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about children’s books
  • 23. Keep the enthusiasm going!
    • Have lots of information posted to your blog all the time
    • Keep up to date with the new books, have a good mix of fiction/non-fiction/comic books/magazines/ebooks
    • Have visits and workshops from authors and poets to boost interest
  • 24. Outside people who can help
    • Have you thought of using parents to help with reading?
    • How about approaching your local football club to see if they have reading champions?
    • Use the expertise of your local public library or Schools Library Service
  • 25. Can I really do this?
    • Yes – if you have the enthusiasm and heart to build reading back into lives
    • Yes – if you don’t want to see school libraries disappear and be replaced by computers, we need to act now
    • Yes, embrace other forms of reading – get an ebook reader! – but encourage reading for pleasure, always!
  • 26. List of websites referenced in talk
    • Blog providers: Wordpress Edublogs http://
    • LibraryThing
    • Photo sites: Flikr Picasa
    • Online questionnaires: SurveyMonkey:
    • Online chat box to add to blog: Meebo http://
    • Football clubs link: from the Literacy Trust site: http://
    • Author booking site:
    • Storyteller booking site:
    • Performance poets booking site:
    • Collaboration with other professionals:
  • 27. Online book trailers and author sites
    • See these on
    • Meet the Author:
    • Reading Rockets:
    • Wikireadia:
    • Readergirlz:
    • Children’s Book Sequels:
    • Some American books, but some relevant:
  • 28. Websites continued
    • Excellent examples of school library blogs to have a look at:
    • Dixie Grammar school library blog,
    • Hinde House school library blog,
    • A blog with a slightly different look, on a website called a ‘ning’:
    • Excellent wiki site which brings a lot of the best web tools together – a good place to start looking: