This is how I like the library to look. Lots of kids, tons of books on display, art work, too. (This is an old photo--we also have larger, more colorful directional signage on the bookcases!) The problem is, I'm not just running the library. I collect textbooks. An average of three books for each of our 1651 students. So all those books on display on the low cases? Gone by the third week of May. Those kids? They're gone, too, because it's just too risky to have them around the shelves, when the textbooks are stacked 25 books high.
So how do I keep the library relevant when I don't see classes the last three weeks of school? I take the library to the students! My library has floor to ceiling windows facing into a high traffic area in between two classroom buildings.
From a distance, our end of the year display looks a bit too twee for middle school . Bee a Good Summer Reader--really?? Lots of die-cut flowers. Some incredible bees made of recycled book pages. But come closer, and check out the cool top-secret interactive part! The center of each flower contains a QR code! Yes, Gwyneth Jones made me do it! I made QR codes for each of the summer reading lists highlighted on my library webpage. (Here's a link! Loads of good lists from people like Elissa Malespina and Barb Landridge.) Since we don't do summer check-outs, I made sure our public libraries' lists were both featured. After scanning them to make sure they all linked properly, I realized it was too text-heavy , so I added YouTube book trailers from our SEMS Library channel.
Our students aren't allowed to use their phones at school--YET! Luckily we're very busy before and after school, so I made sure to stand outside with my phone and oh so casually scan some QR codes as students walked by. A few minutes later, there were clusters of students with phones out, asking me how to scan the QR codes. (My, it's a good thing I'm only pushing books, or I'd be really dangerous!)
I hope that I get some feedback from returning students about the lists. I've run into a few of them at the public library already, and school's only been out for 4 days!