Resources: Programming for Schools/Libraries

Here are two professional resources for programming in schools and public libraries, one for K-5 and the other for middle schoolers, that you might consider adding to your library.  I have included my annotations as well as a review where available.

Stories NeverEnding: A Program Guide for Schools and Libraries.  Irving, Jan.  2004.  Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.  978-1563089978

Designed with elementary-school children in mind, this handbook includes creative ideas and detailed instructions for implementing book-driven programs in both school and public library settings.  The ten chapters cover topics such as art, math, food, storytelling, poetry, and American heritage, and each chapter ends with at least two full-scale programs for consideration.  The guide also contains helpful features such as annotated booklists for each topic, reproducibles and patterns, as well as an index and resource bibliography.

This sound professional resource will enhance programming in either the public library or the school media center. (Booklist)

Center Stage: Library Programs That Inspire Middle School Patrons.  Wilson, Patricia P. and Leslie, Roger.  2002.  Greenwood Village, CO: Libraries Unlimited.  978-1563087967

This third book of the Library Programs That Inspire Series focuses on programming ideas for middle-school patrons, with examples of successful events from award-winning Blue Ribbon schools that helped draw in even the most reluctant students.  Topics include different types of program focus, stages of program planning and implementation, as well as different resources on and off the web. The book contains over 70 programs, index, and various lists and templates.
Awards/Honors/Best Lists:
[This book] would [be] helpful in any university training program. Those already in practice who feel insecure about staging events or in need of revitalization should own [this] title. (School Library Journal)
Well worth considering for all middle school libraries. (KLIATT Review)
The authors provide a rich and valuable programming resource for middle school librarians. (VOYA)
A useful planning handbook, offering ideas for both student and professional development programs that would be of interest to educators….Those looking for a programming resource would be well served by this book. (Booklist)
Advertisements » How One Unkind Moment Gave Way To ‘Wonder’

I love the line “When given a choice to be right or kind, choose kind.”  What an important lesson for not only our children, but ourselves as well!  Here’s more from NPR’s interview with R. J. Palacio, author of Wonder.

Wonder: R. J. Palacio


Author: R. J. Palacio

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf

Publication Year: 2012

Brief Summary: August, a boy with extreme facial abnormalities, leaves the safety of his home and goes to school for the first time as a 5th-grader at Beecher Prep School.  Despite taunts and bullying from some of his classmates and other fears and anxieties every middle-schooler faces, Auggie is able to find beautiful friendships, persevere, and eventually rise out on top.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Amazon Editors’ Picks: Best Books of the Year, 2012
Booklist Book Review Stars , Feb. 1, 2012 ; American Library Association
Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2012 ; American Library Association
Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth, 2012 ; American Library Association
Choices, 2013 ; Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Kirkus Best Children’s Books, 2012
Kirkus Book Review Stars, December 15, 2011
New York Times Notable Children’s Books , 2012 ; The New York Times
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books, 2012
School Library Journal Best Books, 2012
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, February 2012 ; Cahners
Washington Post Best Kid’s Books, 2012 ; The Washington Post

Personal Comments: I think this is a must-read for parents, teachers, and anyone who’s ever battled an issue that seems unbeatable, but especially for every child heading into 5th grade or middle school, perfect as a grade-wide book project or read-aloud.  It covers important themes such as friendship, family, and bullying, as well as gives students a glimpse into the life of someone living with a physical deformity.  Students and teachers alike will learn to see the world through another person’s eyes and hopefully become more empathetic, not just for kids like Auggie, but for anyone who struggles with an issue, whether it’s external or internal.  It is an important work that will appeal to — and touch — both boys and girls, ages 9 and up.

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library; brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Discuss various themes from the book: family relationships, unconditional love, friendships/cliques, middle-school challenges, bullying, human kindness, perseverance, hope, etc.
  • Talk about each of Mr. Browne’s precepts.  Assign each precept to a pair of students and have each pair discuss one precept and present their findings/interpretations to the class.  What does each precept mean?  Can the students come up with examples for each?  How might these look like in the students’ daily life?  Post these presentations in the hallway or in the classroom as reminders for the rest of the school year.
  • Have the students write their own personal precept — make a booklet of precepts for each class.
  • Science: talk about genetics, birth defects, other common childhood diseases.  Have students select a disease (junior diabetes, leukemia, etc.) and research further.  Older students can talk about causes, symptoms, possible cures/treatments, current medical findings, etc.
  • Link to discussion and educator guide.

Accessed at: Personal Library