Friday, October 24, 2014

Let's celebrate School Libraries Month, reading !

"A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket."

Chinese Proverb

Every October school librarians - United States is on April - are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career.

Throughout October, every year, the world celebrates International School Library Month, the perfect time for students to visit their own school library and browse through the hundreds of books and nowl e-books as well, available.

October is the International School Libraries Month. In Portugal, schools celebrate this event on 27 October. This is the reason I am writing today about the SLM, thinking in all students and school libraries that will be celebrating it on the next Monday.

The SLM theme 2014 is "Your School Library : Mind-Map Central"

International School Library Month allows those in charge of school libraries around the world to choose a day, week, or the entire month in October to celebrate the importance of school libraries.

The first International School Library Day was celebrated on 18 October 1999, with the theme, "A Day in the Life..."

The change to International School Library Month was approved by the IASL Board in December 2007.


“I don't know where I'd be without my school library,” said Kinney. “Our librarians were passionate about putting great books in the hands of kids, and making us into lifelong readers. School libraries introduce kids to whole new worlds and new perspectives and are so important in broadening kids' minds. It's crucial that we support our school libraries, especially in times of tightening budgets. I'm so grateful for the well-stocked libraries and knowledgeable, dedicatedschool librarians that were a part of my childhood."

Jeff Kinneybestselling author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

Kinney is right. School libraries and Languages teachers are passionnate about putting great books in the hands of our students and making them into lifelong readers. If you speak Potuguese, you must read my post Concurso Literatura Portuguesa : Achas que sabes ler?

Activities :

You will find some suggestions to celebrate this day on my post International School Libraries Day 2012

Hoping some of the activities could inspire you.

But the ISLM is organizing special activities. There is information on the ISLM website to help you. Take part in one of the special activities : 

  • ISLM Bookmark Project

The ISLM Bookmark Project involves matched schools making homemade bookmarks (any style, shape, etc - be creative) that reflects the International School Library Month theme. 

Ask your students to be creative !

The Bookmark Exchange Project is a simple, fun way of sharing the pleasure and delights of books and libraries and of making new friends through school libraries worldwide. 

If you and your students did not get involved last year perhaps you will in 2014. If you have a matched school early enough you may wish to your students communicate with each other before you make your Bookmarks exchange in readiness for International School Library Month in October.

I am sure you registered your school early in September.

Please note the following:
  • You should aim to send the bookmarks to your matched school in October
  • In order to avoid disappointment for students and teachers in your matched school, please follow through on your bookmark commitment.

  • ISLM Skype Project
Would your students like to talk to others in a far away country during International School Library Month? 
The trick is finding someone in a time zone where you can link up via Skype during a school day. Next Monday will be perfect here in Portugal.

Luis de Camões 
illustration : Gonçalo Mar / Miguel Ram

  • What people are doing for ISLM 2014

Send in your submissions for "What people are doing for ISLM 2014" by email to the IASL Secretariat.

Subject line: ISLM activities

Include in your email message the following information:
  • Country
  • Name
  • Title of your position
  • School or organization
  • Brief outline of the ISLM activity
  • Web link, if appropriate
  • Up to 6 pictures to accompany your report [more than 6 will not be used on the web)
If sending images to accompany your report on ISLM activities, please send them as *.jpg or *.gif files. Keep them as small as possible, for example under 500KB. Send no more than 6 pictures with your report.

Please note: Submissions received after 8 November 2014 may not be included on the ISLM "What people are doing" web pages.


Some thoughts:

A school library in the XXI century must have the new books, e-books, e-readers and other kind of material in order to motivate the new generations.

A school library meets the needs of all kind of learners. Never forget chidren's preparation for e-readers, especially  the students from disadvantaged social backgrounds or having special needs.

Integrating digital and media literacy as critical elements for education at all levels is essential to keep our students near the school libraries.

As I already wrote on this blog, implementing these new digital books is about more than just jumping on the latest technological bandwagon or attempting to reinvent the library and printed books in order to stay relevant.

School libraries must be prepared to introduce innovative devices but also not to forget the enchantment of printed books. The smell of paper, the illustrations, some times in relief (children's books), the pleasure to turn the page. Just beautiful things that we must keep.

Teachers librarians anda languages teachers must be innovative of course. Both are awesome. Printed books and/or e-books. Even reading online. Remember Digital Reading in the classroom.

At school, the teachers librarians around the world are always looking forward to a future with e-books and printed books.

School libraries are integrated learning spaces that values connections between home, school, community, and the world.

Encourage students to be creative and never let them lose their sense of wonder. So let's keep reading all over the year encouraging our students to become lifelong avid readers.

"We should teach great books; we should teach a love of reading."

B.F. Skinner


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