Thursday, June 29, 2017

New Feature: The Daily Booktalk

One of my favorite jobs as school librarian is reader's advisory. All students in my school are required to carry a book for independent reading every day. My library doors are always open. My colleagues know that they can (almost always) send me a student in need of a book. I never know who's going to walk through the doors looking for their next favorite book. I like to think I'm pretty good at this. They keep coming back. I do occasionally get compliments. My favorite this year (and possibly for all-time) came from an eighth grader who said, "Could you just pick a book for me? I have loved every book you've recommended to me since fifth grade. I trust you." No pressure.

Some students arrive knowing exactly what they want. Others like to browse until something speaks to them. Occasionally, a student will ask for "a book just like this one." Still others have no idea what will speak to them and ask for help directly.

Readers advisory can also take the form of "booktalking" to an entire class. One LA teacher loved the energy generated from a book talk that she committed to scheduling her class to come once per month to keep that energy going. Other teachers have asked for specific themes or genres.

During the 2015-16 school year, I started doing occasional themed mini-book talks on the morning broadcast. I would either pop on camera or I would write a script for the student anchors to read. I wasn't sure how many students would actually pay attention and was gratified the occasional student would come to the library asking for "that book that was on TBN." That was all it took for me to commit to a daily booktalk during the 2016-17 school year. I started picking books last September. Books from the current week reside on my library home page and the entire year is archived on this sub-page. The booktalks are under a minute and there's a set theme for each day.

Middle Grade Monday
Teen Tuesday
Waiting on Wednesday
Fact Friday

A teacher stopped me in the hall one day and asked where I get the booktalks. I'm not sure he believed me when I told him that I write them daily. They do take a fair amount of time, but it is a labor of love. Sometimes I have trouble choosing and sometimes I'm scouring my brains trying to come up with ideas. I had planned on taking the summer off to recharge but during a summer reading booktalk to fifth graders, I decided to keep them up. Then, I thought, why not add the content here? So here we are! I hope you find them helpful.

1 comment:

  1. Love the themes! Thank you for sharing. I've been thinking about doing this on our morning news show.