April is School Library Month and it brings an opportunity to highlight the work done and impact made by librarians and media specialists. It is also a time where we can help students to build their media literacy skills. First sponsored in 1958 by the American Library Association (ALA), it originally got its start after the creation of the National Book Committee, a non-profit organization in 1954. After some concerns were raised about the amount of reading and research being done by students, they kicked off the First National Library Week in 1958 which had a theme of “Wake Up and Read.” There are several days that highlight the work of the librarians.
National Library Outreach Day
Take Action for Libraries Day.
“Connect With Your Library” is the theme for National Library Week which will be held from April 3-9. The purpose is to highlight libraries and how important it is for people to continue to build their literacy skills especially when it comes to changing technologies and access to more information than ever before. The American Library Association (ALA) wants to promote the idea that “libraries are places to get connected to technology by using broadband, computers, and other resources. Libraries also offer opportunities to connect with media, programs, ideas, and classes—in addition to books.”
Another recognition is World Book Day which is celebrated on April 23rd this year. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) proposed the creation of World Book Day as a way to celebrate reading and the joy that comes from reading. More than 100 countries celebrate this every year; after first being established on April 23rd 1995.
In Our Schools: Recognizing the Importance of Libraries for Learning
It is important to take time to recognize all that our libraries provide in our communities and our schools and the difference that librarians make in libraries every day. As a child and even in high school, I always enjoyed going to the library to do research, to look through all of the books, to explore old newspapers. Whether at school or at our public library, we all relied on the help of the librarian for many things. Whether to find books, to learn how to use some of the machines to access older periodicals, to correctly prepare a bibliography, they provided so much for students and teachers.
The work done by librarians and media specialists is essential and in schools, these educators take on many different roles. They lead book chats, they help students to develop research skills, they promote digital citizenship especially when it comes to accessing and evaluating the information that they receive.
Celebrating Librarians and Libraries with Capstone and PebbleGo
There are many different activities that students can engage in depending on grade level and content area. For students that need to do research, making a connection with their school librarian and learning about all the resources that are available to them is essential. In upper grades, having librarians available at all schools because of their impact on student learning, and being available to help students to build skills in this highly digital world full of information is vital to a supportive and enriching learning environment. Via Capstone, “School librarians achieve better educational outcomes. In fact, 34 statewide studies confirm links between strong school libraries and student achievement.”
Capstone posted a great quote by Author Neil Gaiman which said, “Google can bring you back, you know, a hundred thousand answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” But more importantly, librarians teach students how to discover and discern credible information for themselves.
Looking at the resources available through Capstone, librarians can make recommendations for books for students to read and help to guide them as they create a representation of what they have read. Leveraging Capstone and PebbleGo Create, students and educators can join in this month-long recognition of books and reading and boost creativity!
PebbleGo Create is a great way to share learning and bring it to life. There are so many backgrounds that represent a library or media center, that students can really find something to create that is authentic and meaningful, and would be a wonderful way to recognize the work done by librarians in our school.
Seven Ideas to Join in the Celebration!
Here are some ideas for having students join in the celebration of librarians and libraries. Using Buncee, students can record audio or videos to share how librarians have made an impact on their learning process and then post them on a Buncee Board or send their creation directly to their librarian!
- Interview a librarian: A great way to learn about all of the impactful work that librarians do in our schools.
- Design a library: Create a new library space and add your favorite books to the shelves.
- World Book Day: Students can share what they learned in their book, design a new book cover, or write a book review. Choose from the amazing titles in the Capstone Library which promotes student choice and voice in learning and gives them a way to highlight their creativity.
- Publish a library newsletter: Create a newsletter to inform classmates and the school community about resources available in the library and also to highlight the librarian!
- Curate a group of books: Interview your librarian to get book recommendations and then create a virtual bookshelf!
- Launch a campaign for librarians: Create a flyer about why we need libraries and librarians. Include some quotes from students or teachers about the impact librarians have.
- Lessons from the Library: Create a reflection on what you’ve learned during your time in the library and how the librarian has helped you during the year.
Want to get started with some fun designs? Check out the “School Library Month” and “Library Week” Buncee templates here, If you want to find more, simply go to the search and look for relevant words such as “books,” “reading,” “library” or choose from some of the awesome ideas in the Ideas Lab!
Head to Capstone and visit these blogs for more ideas! Additionally, check out these book collections curated by school librarians that both reflect their communities and expose students to ideas and experiences beyond their own neighborhoods.
Capstone loves librarians! Learn more about their resources here!
Meet the Author
Rachelle Dené Poth is an ed-tech consultant, presenter, attorney, author, and teacher. Rachelle teaches Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology at Riverview Junior-Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle has a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. She is a Consultant and Speaker, owner of ThriveinEDU LLC Consulting. She is an ISTE Certified Educator and currently serves as the past -president of the ISTE Teacher Education Network and on the Leadership team of the Mobile Learning Network. At ISTE19, she received the Making IT Happen Award and a Presidential Gold Award for volunteer service to education. She is also a Buncee Ambassador, Nearpod PioNear, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.
Rachelle is the author of seven books and is a blogger for Getting Smart, Defined Learning, and NEO LMS. Follow Rachelle on Twitter @Rdene915 and Instagram @Rdene915. Rachelle has a podcast, ThriveinEDU https://anchor.fm/rdene915.