Staff Newsletter

QHS Information Centre

Volume 5, issue 1

Term one, 2013

Is Facebook a thing of the past for teens?

Has Facebook had its day? Teens and tweens are now turning to newer social media apps such as Instagram, SnapChat and Tumblr. "Facebook has bcome a social network that's often too complicated, too risky, and, above all, too overrun by parents to give teens the type of digital freedom or release they crave" ( The newer apps offer the exact opposite of Facebook: they are simple to use, supposedly secret and fun, and unlike on Facebook, the teens are not connected to their grandparents.

As with all social media, kids still need to be taught how to behave when using the likes of Instagram and SnapChat, because there is still the danger of cyberbullying and inappropriate behaviour. In fact the potential exists for SnapChat to be even worse that Facebook, given that each photo message self-destructs in 7 seconds!

Facebook is well aware that it is facing strong competition for the teen market, which is perhaps why it bought Instagram less than a year ago. However the long term popularity of any social media is not guaranteed. Teens are constantly experimenting with a myraid of new apps, often pushing the boundaries of what the apps are capable of. For example, Instagram was originally a camera app - it was teens who realised its social media potential.

Anecdotally, it seems that many of our students are using Tumblr, not only to share the things they are doing and/or interested in, but also to explore what other people are sharing. One student found her way to free ebooks via someone else's Tumblr page, for example.

To read more, go to

Special Summer Book Bags

At the end of term 4 last year, 37 girls signed up to take part in our inaugural summer reading programme. The idea was to provide students with a selection of books to take home over the summer, with the hopes of keeping them reading over the holiday break. If you haven't already heard, it was a huge success!

All the girls were asked to fill in a short survey about their holiday reading and the book bags. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Of the 31 students who responded to the survey, 27 said that they read more books than they normally would have done. Moreover 30 girls said that they enjoyed their individually chosen books, and 29 said that they would like to do it again at the end of 2013.

While most students identified the books as the best thing about their summer book bag, a large number also loved all the goodies and extras that were included as special treats. Special Summer Book Bags will most definitely be offered to students again at the end of 2013, and will probably be extended to include senior students due to popular demand.

New books popular with staff

Blind Date with a Book

In case you missed it, we had a lot of fun with Blind Dates in the Information Centre earlier this term.

Vyenna Pearcy and Esther Kelly suggested this fun event, and then proceeded to promote it and wrap up the mystery blind date books, roping in their friends to help along the way.

While not all the blind dates resulted in lasting relationships, there were some happy faces and lots of staff and students reading books that they might not otherwise have come across. It was a very successful experience all round, and one that we will repeat later in the year.

The art and poetry in books

Aside from the obvious poetry in books, had you ever conisdered making poems out of the titles on the spines of books? Artist Nina Katchadourian has just released a book of her artistic creations. She uses mostly library books which she aligns to make a short poem or statement. The form of the book is just as important as the words on the spines, as is the font, colour and overall design. This blog post has some lovely examples of Nina's art. This should silence those predicting the demise of books in print - you could never do this with an e-reader!

For more inspiration, visit

What do you think ....

.... of this new format for the QHS Information Centre Staff newsletter?

Please send me some feedback - I'd like your comments and suggestions!

Queen's High School Information Centre

Carole Gardiner