Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The poetry comes to an end...for now

As poetry month comes to an end today, we wrap it up by posting a video of a poetry reading by Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Enjoy!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Humor Me!

They say humor is the best medicine and as students prepare for the final weeks of classes (which can be a cause of great elation, yet great angst,) we were happy to put the display pictured to the left together. We have created a fun and interactive display titled “Humor Me”. We found some fantastic posters and have paired them up with a variety of humor books from our collection and together they make an engaging and entertaining display. Each poster is labeled with a “Caption Me” sign and we encourage people to create their own captions for the posters. We will see what the week brings and the responses we receive from the display. Stay tuned and hopefully next week we can report on the outcome!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Poetry in motion

Poetry month is the perfect time for us to highlight our magnetic poetry boards! They are constantly on the move in the library, we never know where they will end up. The surprise is always seeing what others have left behind; how have they put words together, what message have they left behind for others to read? This “community” poetry is in constant flow and motion and the fun of it is not knowing what will be on the boards the next time you find one about.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New at the Circ Desk

New at the Circ Desk
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
As the Academy's trees burst into glorious color, so did we want to shed the winter look. To celebrate spring, we set out colorful clips, paperclips, post-its, and "Love my Library" bookmarks. The butterfly and dragonfly paperclips have been seen holding many a student paper together. We've already had to make a restocking run to Staples.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Will!

Fictional Shakespeare
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Thanks to my husband who always reads aloud the interesting bits and pieces of This Day in History from The Boston Globe, I was reminded that today is the day ascribed to Shakespeare's birth. Wandering through a Shakespeare search in the catalog, I was struck by the amount of fiction listed.The fiction is now on the table in the foyer. Stop by and have a browse or click on the display picture for the titles.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day with Gary Snyder

This is the first of a four part documentary on ecology and poetry. Celebrate Earth Day with poetry! Find his poetry at 811.54 SNY.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nature inspires the poet

April is Poetry Month
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
It is easy to see why April has been designated National Poetry Month, especially as Mother Nature seems to be slowly waking up and offers many reasons for inspiration. One of our display cases focuses on nature and poetry and includes one of my favorites from our collection, The Gardens of Emily Dickinson (811.4 FAR). The book provides insight into the poet’s personal love of gardening, how it is reflected in her poetry, and personal letters. Another title in the collection offering natural inspiration is House of Light by Mary Oliver (811.54 OLI). It is on days like this when the air seems to be a bit warmer, the birds seem to be signing a bit louder, and there is an energy in the air, that poetry and nature seem to go hand in hand. (This was a fun display to pull together - can you find our little critters {bugs} hanging out with the books? )

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dance Music

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The sound of music brought me to the Group Study Room on the first floor of the library. It turns out that there was going to be a dance this weekend and students from two student organizations called "Pride" and "Nexo" were busy picking the music for this dance using our laptop computers. After the weekend of the dance, I again asked the involved students about the dance, and they were happy and proud to report that it went well and most everyone was dancing. Students from the surrounding private schools were invited and everyone had a fun time. The many ways our students use our library never cease to amaze me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Puzzle in Progress

Puzzle in Progress
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
As the year moves along we have some students who continue t o puzzle in the library. They have chosen a challenging piece, Munch's The Scream with 2,000 small pieces. With only a few weeks left in the school year, we will have to see how it moves along...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Time for some inspiration

As a first time attendee at Computers in Libraries this year, I was impressed and inspired by the broad range of topics covered at the conference. The days were long and chock-full of informative sessions on all aspects of library service and technology. The push in the library world has been on 2.0 applications such as, blogs, wikis, Flickr, and gaming. At the Pesky Library, we have adopted many of these applications, some we use quite well and others we have had to tweak over the years. The key for us has been to try something new and see where it leads. While 2.0 technologies were still at the forefront of the conversation at Computers in Libraries, making connections with the people we serve was highlighted time and again. The interactions that are happening around technology are at the heart of library service. We see this with our own students as they work in groups around the library. The idea that technology can expand service beyond the library walls to connect with users wherever they may be is something we will continue to build on.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My takeaway from Computers in Libraries 2008

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Computers in Libraries is an exhilarating experience. My notebook is filled with asterisks, light bulbs, and post-its highlighting all kinds of ideas – some do-able, some dream-able, and some to be part of today forward. My takeaway from the conference for today forward was the result of a talk on Learning Commons in Libraries. A Learning Commons is where learning happens in a flexible, wireless environment. Students define their spaces, whether by dragging tables together, huddling around desktops, or creating little groups with laptops. The space facilitates learning and supports collaboration. Technology and library services are easily integrated. And, in addition to physically supporting the tools and methods of learning, students are given a positive emotional experience which leads to better learning. As I listened to the speaker, I realized we are an L.C. Our furniture never stays still. Our laptops are always checked out. Our students in the Electronic Classroom are often grouped around a single workstation.

Are there other ways we can support the active construction of knowledge by our students? This question will guide some of our planning for the fall. We have started by ordering two additional portable whiteboards which we shall place in spots where students reconfigure seating for study groups. We’ve asked that purchasing additional laptops be added to the technology plan now being updated. This spring we shall also be taking pictures and documenting the ways students interact with our space. We’ll also survey some of them for their input on how to support their learning. In addition to looking at our library with slightly different eyes, we shall create a video to share with faculty at the opening of school in September.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jeannette Walls visits the Academy

Yesterday, we were fortunate to have author Jeannette Walls visit the Academy and stop by the library for a book signing and luncheon. Ms. Walls spoke to the community about her best-selling memoir, The Glass Castle. Many of the students clearly connected with the message Ms. Walls was sharing as a large group stopped her in the hall of the library to speak with her and share their own stories. It was an inspiring day filled with many important messages including the importance of respect for others, the power of education and reading, and while following our dreams, still remaining true to ourselves.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Computer Game Development Internship Club

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
A little hooting and hollering brought me down to the electronic classroom where I discovered a group of students playing an interactive war game. This group, the Computer Game Development Internship Club, came about through a relationship with a game software company from Newburyport. This activity promotes fun, multi-player interaction, and historical knowledge. The group provides feedback to the software company.
The students are also creating material by videoing and documenting the game for a market presentation.
The faculty involved is Mr. Werner, Mr. Mandel and Mr. Brace.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Seminar on Teaching and Learning

Today's luncheon Seminar on Learning and Teaching followed up on our summer faculty read - Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Art teacher Belle Struck talked about what she did in her freshmen classes to get her students to shift between the hemispheres in their brains. As teachers walked into the Bragdon Reading Room, their eyes widened as they saw all the supplies awaiting them. We did countour profile drawings (gaze upon a person and without looking at the paper or lifting the charcoal, draw them in 30 seconds,) folded envelopes from hand painted papers donated by their freshmen creators, colored squares to be fitted into a giant quilt, and ended with more profiling. We display some of the freshmen projects in the library and relished the opportunity of trying them for ourselves. And as always, these seminars are wonderful opportunities to learn new skills or absorb new ideas with colleagues during a designated period of time (meaning NO interruptions!)

We shall not be blogging the beginning of next week. Jen and I are attending Computers in Libraries and decided not to take our laptops. As I write that it seems an odd thing to do. But, we are going to absorb ideas and contemplate their implementation without actually starting the process. There is so little time during the school day for reflection with a colleague and we are consciously taking time for it during this conference. We will be returning in time for Common Book next Thursday.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Good news!

Counting down the Moments
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Much whooping and cheering could be heard in the library this week. Seniors were congratulating each other on finally learning to what colleges they were accepted as a stressful waiting period was finally over. Villanova, Bucknell, Williams, Northeastern, Davidson, and Dennison were some of the schools that we heard mentioned, and the overall feeling was one of relief and joy. Hearty congratulations to the Class of 2008.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Poetic Inspiration

As students prepare to write poetry and short stories for the Spire this week, the library is hoping to inspire poets and those who may shy away from it, to fall in love with it! Our reading and writing poetry display offers words of encouragement to our poets: collect words, write about life, write a song, relax! As Billy Collins is quoted from the Poetry 180 site, “Let the words of the poem do the work.” Once you start exploring it and talking to others about it you may be surprised what you will learn. For example, after discussing poetry with a fellow library staff member, I found she has quite the talent for creating limericks. Below you will see she has dived into poetry, here is Mrs. T's library limerick:

I am a young woman who attends The Academy
My favorite subject by far is Anatomy
I have lots of papers
But I am more interested in fun capers
And this is why the librarian is mad at me.

Academy is not a very easy word to rhyme, as we soon found out. We would love to hear if you have any limericks to share, and here is the challenge, they must be about libraries!
Good Luck, dive into Poetry Month, relax and have fun!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008