Thursday, February 28, 2013

9th Graders Prefer Print Books

I work in a 1:1 iPad environment. All of our 9-12 grade students have iPads. I have slowly been collecting a fiction and pleasure reading e-book library with Baker and Taylor's Axis 360. Currently my Magic Wall has about 120 books.

This semester's 9th grade students in Human Development class  have a reading assignment.  They are going to read a fiction young adult novel of their choice, as long as it has a human development-y theme (identity, sexuality, divorce, family issues, drugs, addiction, cutting, romance, teen pregnancy, etc). In a month or two we are going to have a book party with refreshments, where they will present creative interpretations of the books - slide shows, playlists, collage, painting, monologue - whatever they want to do to celebrate and share the book.

This week I have seen this as an opportunity to teach Axis360. I show them e-books in our collection to read  by Chris Crutcher,  David Levithan, and other important authors. I also have print books for the students to check out. Can you guess how many students decided to use the e-books? Answer: about three out of sixty.

The students use their iPads for so much: e-textbooks, assignments, games, everything. I thought this was a great opportunity to teach how to access our e-books, and the students checked out print books. With e-books nobody can see what you are reading, there are no real scary due dates, you won't lose the book, you can read it in the dark (on the iPad).

The teacher thought maybe they like having a print book because it becomes almost like a transitional object when they are getting really into the book. Was she comparing it to a comfort blanket? I think so, and I love the comparison! The kids are attached to the book. They don't want the book for fun to be attached to their other stressful school work, perhaps. I understand that too. 

Providing e-books for this population isn't really taking off the way I had expected. But I am a bit delighted with their attachment to the print book. 

Coming up next: The Library Overnight - will the 20 students attending want to read the free e-book book on their iPads, or do they want the print book? Find out in the next post! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

6 Word Story Contest

I have been looking for ways to make the library a hub for a growing community of writers at Brentwood School, so on the heels of NaNoWriMo, and before the yearly spring short story contest, I was ready for another writing incentive.

The idea for this contest came from Kate Hammond, librarian at Perkiomen School, who sent out her idea for a multi-school 6 word story contest via the listserv for AISL, the Association of Independent School Librarians. I responded, and the 6 Word Story Contest was born. Brentwood School community members competed against each other, with 223 entries, submitted via a Google form embedded on the library blog. A committee from Perkiomen School judged our entries as we judged theirs. The students who participated eagerly awaited the results.

The winners from both schools were announced on twitter a couple of weeks ago. The librarians enjoyed slowly tweeting out all the winners, @bwslibrary tweeted the Perkiomen School winners, and @perklibrarian tweeted the Brentwood School winners.

We had 3 faculty winners, 3 middle school winners, and 5 upper school winners from each school. The results were tweeted (see the twitter stream here). I look forward to holding this contest again next year!