Monday, 24 August 2009

Rethink, Reinvent, Rejuvenate

Kim and I had the pleasure of hosting over 30 librarians from the Asian region here at ISB. A few short months ago, we met Kevin Hennah as he was passing through Bangkok, and his presentation of redesigning library spaces struck a chord with us. We immediately asked him to come back and do a presentation in Bangkok.

Not only was it wonderful to connect with so many librarians, Kevin's presentation was engaging, practical and inspiring. Since his background is in retail, he looks at the books as products and how to make them move just like a bookstore would.

Or, as he put it,

"What would you do differently if you were given one dollar for every book that left the library?"

Great way to look at it. Here are a few things I took from the presentation:

*Use vinyl stickers for areas where you would normally use a poster. They look better and add a bit of coolness to the library. These are the types of stickers you see on the sides of busses or on store windows. Luckily, we live in Bangkok where this is quite affordable.

*Uniformity of signage is key and also professional. I was drooling over this funky signage that Kevin brought. You can find it here.

*Come up with a brand for your library. It can then be included in the letterhead for notices, up on the walls, and it ties the whole thing together. We are already putting our heads together here to come up with a cool brand that incorporates Thai culture.

*The focus is on books. Getting them out the door, displaying them in such a way that kids are drawn to them. And as many front-facing shelves as possible!

Looking forward to implementing many of his ideas in our Learning Hub. Interested in having Kevin come to your school? I know he's keen on doing more presentations!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Visiting Authors

I vividly remember being a classroom teacher and being envious of the librarian while s/he was hosting a visiting author. With a dynamic speaker and a good author, there is such palpable inspiration that it's more than a bit intoxicating.

So lucky me to have hired Sheree Fitch, a Canadian author and poet, as our visiting author at ISBangkok coming up in March of 2010. She comes highly recommended as a passionate writer and speaker. Plus, she has one of those vibrant personalities that I feel like I already know her just from emails going back and forth.

Doesn't she look just fabulously fun?! I can't wait until March.

Check out her interview on Just One More Book

image taken from

Monday, 10 August 2009

A New Year

The new school year has begun, and oh, does the second year feel smoother than the first! Always the case, I think. I love seeing faces I recognize and knowing many of the students as readers.

A goal of mine this year is to advertise books more. Here are a few things I'm working on this year to be more visible in promoting literacy: (first two ideas taken from the AAIE conference last summer)

1. Wearing a lanyard around my neck and sticking a book through the lanyard as a book necklace of sorts. (this can be painful with thick books!) Kids now know that whatever I am wearing is something I recommend, and they can ask me for the book. It's working well so far as it gets people's attention.

2. Having a sign on the library door showing what I am reading. LOVE this idea, and then I take the book cover and add it to my recommendation bulletin board when I change it. In the future, I'd love to get more teachers to put something like this outside their classrooms.

3. And lastly, I'm trying to house all the books I recommend for various units of study and genres in one place. I tend to come across something wonderful and then forget what it was later on. Hopefully, my new Fabulous Books wiki will be utilized by teachers this year. I'm still using 22books as the platform with which to add the book covers. Easy, cheesy!

Feel free to share any ideas of how librarians are promoting books in school.