Staff Newsletter

QHS Information Centre

Volume 5, issue 3

Term two, 2013

After much planning, the brand new website for the Queen's High School Information Centre is finally here! It contains blog posts on book and library news, student book reviews, reading and literacy and other cool stuff, links for research and resources for specific classes (previously housed on the Queen's VLE/moodle).

The website is aimed at the entire Queen's community, with the twin goals of generating enthusiasm for reading (and therefore increasing reading mileage and improving literacy rates), and of providing a reliable first port of call for research needs specific to our students. It also provides a means of contacting the librarian and enables students to contribute to book discussions outside of their usual circle of friends.

Please have a look at the site and provide some feedback. And because it is being constantly updated, you will want to bookmark it or even sign up with an RSS feed so that you don't miss anything!

Lunch time book group reinvented

We are trying a new approach this term to our lunch time Book Group @ Queen's to extend some of our keen readers. In collaboration with staff at the National Library, a group of around 10 students are reading fiction and graphic novels and then posting reviews of the books they have read on the new Information Centre website.

Earlier in term 2, the girls filled out a brief survey to identify the types of books they like to read. The results were sent to staff at the National Library Curriculum Services Centre in Christchurch, and they selected a box of 30 books specially for our book group. The girls were very excited when the books arrived! They are now reading their way through the books, many of which we don't have in our library.

We have shared our Book Group @ Queen's blog page and will also be providing additional feedback to the National Library staff to use when selecting our next box of books. Early indications are that our new approach is a great success.

10 ideas to increase enthusiasm for reading

  1. Talk about what you are reading with your students (this also shows them that you are a good reading role model).
  2. Keep up with current reading trends. Know what books your students are reading and which authors are 'hot right now'.
  3. Share your books. Lend your own copies to others.
  4. Preview a book by reading the first chapter aloud to your class. This will hook some of them in much better than just reading the publisher's blurb.
  5. Try speed dating with books. In pairs, have the girls tell one another about the book they are reading, with a 60 second time limit. It will be loud and chaotic, but it will be fun.
  6. Show your class book trailers. They are short and designed for maximum impact. You can usually find them easily by searching YouTube (but make sure you watch them before you show them to a class!)
  7. Introduce students to series - if they like book 1 in a series there next few reads are sorted.
  8. Encourage students to keep a "What to read next" list. This helps them keep track of the good books they see or hear about but can't read straight away.
  9. Let students know it is ok to stop reading a book if they don't like it. We can always try and find them something else that they will like better. There is no one book that fits everyone!
  10. Talk about books a lot and at every possible opportunity.

This article is based on a blog post by Pernille Ripp.

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New resource now on the library shelf in the staff room

Queen's High School Information Centre

Carole Gardiner