There are many facets to being a librarian in the 21st century; one of the most important parts of their role is to inspire people they interact with to read. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “I am a part of everything that I have read.” Learning to read for pleasure and for information is essential in leading students to become productive members of society, and sometimes simply handing a book to a person is not enough. Shaking things up to reach different students and reluctant readers is one of the challenges of my position. In artifact 1, I explore booktalking with poetry for a middle school audience. While online booktalks are a way to listen to myself and give myself feedback, booktalking in person is much more engaging and as a speaker I can adjust my pace based on the body language and facial expressions of the audience. Booktalking on a variety of subjects for different students, or even secretly targeting a specific student in a class, is one way to get circulation numbers up, but creates a hype around various books of focus, nudging readers into reading something they might not normally pick up, or inspiring a student who does not like to read to try it out. I also dissected the different aspects of book reviews and wrote my own. Really looking at what is said or even not said in a book review helped me to feel more confident in my purchasing choices for my students.
In my very first semester of library school, I researched e-books as a different way to get resources in the hands of students. In an age where many school districts are moving towards each student having a computer or tablet in the classroom and at home, e-books are becoming a more popular source of information in the classroom, and sometimes a more accessible way for students with physical or learning disabilities. The two artifacts containing information about e-book accessibility enabled me to share my research findings with my principal to reinforce the relevance of e-books and their ability to promote reading for pleasure, growth and enjoyment.
I am empowered by the idea that I can encourage my students to read by hosting a series of Book Fairs both in house and at outside retailers. I ask my students to create posters that would entice their classmates to come to the Book Fair, booktalk some of the books for sale and I showed the classes that come in for check-out several book trailers. Finally, I also am proud to have created a solid Battle of the Books program at my school. Many students are excited to have a chance to show-off their book knowledge in a competitive setting as evidenced in artifact 3.