Blog Archives

So read me maybe…

We’ve probably all enjoyed some version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s song “Call Me Maybe.” (My favorite is probably Cookie Monster’s version.) But thanks to my Pinterest obsession I found this, and with the dedication of some hard-working library science students, we made this bulletin board. Students can scan the QR codes to watch the trailer and then check out the book of the one they like! Fun with a purpose is always a good thing.


Holly Frilot, Collins Hill High School

Registration Is Open for the GLMA Summer Institute!

GLMA Summer Institute June 15-17, 2011


Summer Institute 2010 (photo by Susan Grigsby)

Registration is open for the GLMA Summer Institute, to be held June 15-17, 2011 at Callaway Gardens! The Summer Institute is a great opportunity for Georgia Media Specialists to get together to work, learn, earn one PLU credit, and network with friends throughout the state! The registration form and the prior approval form can be found on the GLMA website.

The Mountain Creek Inn is offering GLMA members a special price for June 15-17. This offer will expire on May 16, 2011. The rate will be $99/night plus tax and garden admission is included. Call 800-543-7121 for a reservation. Remember to ask for the GLMA Summer Institute Rate. Information about the facility can be found by visiting the Callaway Gardens website.

Summer Institute 2010 (photo by Susan Grigsby)

We look forward to seeing you at the Summer Institute. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda or Kathryn in the Executive Office or the Summer Institute Coordinator, Susan Grigsby.

Being There: Attending the ALA Youth Media Awards

No, I didn’t don a full-length gown and gloves for what some call “The Oscars of Children’s Literature.” I hadn’t packed festive attire for the occasion since I was supposed to be home in Atlanta before the big announcements. But, thanks to the southern snow and ice, I was stranded in San Diego long enough to see the ALA Youth Media Awards a couple of weeks ago. It turned out to be a good thing that I wasn’t wearing a gown, since I ended up sitting on the floor of a crowded ballroom along with scores of other youth librarians and literature lovers.

You can check out the full list of winners here, and reactions to the awards by avid children’s literature aficionados are scattered across the web. For this post, I wanted to share the experience of attending the awards in person. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to be very exciting. In past years, I have listened to the announcements online or watched the twitter stream, so I knew how the program would go. But from the moment I sat down on the ballroom floor and started listening to and tweeting the awards I realized that participating virtually, while wonderful, could not convey the electricity in the room.

It is amazing to be surrounded by people who are deeply committed to youth, libraries, and literacy. Clearly, many in the room had read lots of this year’s potential honorees. The whispers and murmurs (and sometimes squeals and screams) gave the event such an air of excitement. There were books that were clearly loved and celebrated by many, and honored books that many people had not heard of (yet). The winners were greeted with warm admiration.

Each award is selected through the work of a dedicated committee. Being at this event, where the committee is recognized after each award is announced, rekindled my interest in serving on one of these committees one day.  Have any of you ever served on an award committee? Do you hope to serve in the future? Which award would you choose? Two of my recent favorites are the Geisel Award (likely because my youngest child is learning to read so I read a LOT of beginning reader books) and the Schneider Family Book Awards. I reference these lists in my literacy courses often. I hope you’ll share your thoughts on the awards and the committees you’d love to work with in the comments.

As for the awards announcement, it was an energizing experience. I think we all left with good memories, not to mention longer reading lists. It will be wonderful to roll out the red carpet for the Youth Media Awards when ALA’s Midwinter Meeting is held in Atlanta in 2017. (Yes, it’s a ways off, but plenty of time to save up for that Oscar-worthy outfit!)

Beth Friese

Ph. D. Student

Department of Language and Literacy Education

University of Georgia

READ posters are cool?

Who knew? Put cameras in the hands of teenagers, tell them you’re going to display the pictures, and you’ve got some fun READ posters on your hands. You can even do this on the cheap with no software!

I use to stage student READ posters myself. They were ok. But someone mentioned turning the cameras over to the kids, and the posters are SO much better. They take the pictures, and I use to edit, add effects, and add text. I display them in the library and around the school as well. I love seeing students stop and talk about the posters, then ask if they can have one too!

Last year I took it one step further – I had a READ poster contest. Students had to take the picture and do the editing on themselves. The winner would get a big poster displayed in the media center and 2 free movie tickets. My expectations were low, but I was hopeful. I decided in my advertising to use the READ poster that sparked it all – a breakdancer in the library. It was like I issued a challenged to all the b-boys in the school! I got amazing entries and I’m looking forward to doing another contest next month.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Give kids advice on framing, what works well, space to write READ, but then turn them loose. Let them take the pictures. They like their posters so much more.

2. Include teachers and make it personal. I had one teacher dress up as Frankenstein, one in a wedding veil, one doing a karate move – anything that makes kids stop and look. The kids have also gotten the staff involved – from the school officer to the head custodian.

3. Cost: If you have a color printer, you can easily make mini-posters on the cheap. We’re lucky to have a poster printer in the technical drafting department, so I pay $6 per poster for the big ones. Maybe there’s a business that will cut you a deal.

4. Don’t take it too seriously. The fun ones are what make kids come in here asking when I’m holding the next READ poster contest!

Hope to see everyone at COMO!

Holly Frilot
Collins Hill High School

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Things that keep you going…

It’s been a hectic, wonderful, crazy beginning to yet another school year. Here are some of the finer points (think I’d advertise the bad ones?:) that keep me going when I feel like I’ll never catch up:

  • We lost one clerk because of budget cuts, but we still have an awesome team of three to run our high school media center. We are fortunate.
  • We have done SO many 9th grade orientations. I could do it in my sleep. But we’ve gotten good at it. And even though our feeder school’s library looks fancy-shmancy compared to ours, we can usually turn students around by the end of orientation. “This library looks so small” and “Where the second floor?” often turn into “I think I’m going to like this place,” and “Oooh…I’ve been wanting to read this book” and “We can really check out five books at a time?”
  • I don’t know how many checkouts we’ve done (currently at home sick with one sick child too) but it’s about a zillion. Ok, that might be exaggerating…a half zillion. Trust me, it’s a big number.
  • We helped with revamping a couple of our summer reading lists. I had a senior tech student come in and want to see the list again. I assumed he hadn’t finished his summer reading book. “Oh no; I just liked it and wanted another.” My inner dork did a happy dance. (For the record, no actual dancing happened. I have learned that scares high school students away.)
  • We assisted with three research projects by the 8th day of school. It’s going to be a busy year.

We’ve dealt with little air conditioning, no air conditioning, lots of administrative requests, two of our small staff have sent their “babies” off to college, I sent my oldest to Pre-K, I’ve been sick, my youngest is sick, and it’s day 11. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings! I hope all of you out there are getting some good with the crazy that is inevitably the start of the school year. You may be feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated, but know that what you do is incredibly important, even if you don’t hear it every day. Good luck and happy 2010-11!

Holly Frilot, Library Media Specialist

Collins Hill High School