Jul 15

As I work during the Summer I will be constantly adding my thoughts to this mindmap, made using Mindomo. A fantastic US teacher librarian , Buffy Hamilton, gave me the idea – so I am running with it!

Why not try this the next time you need to think something through:

See this on Mindomo and make one for yourself!

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May 17

Mrs Robinson, the Librarian, recently wrote an article for SecEd magazine about the development of our Library. You can read it online here:

SecEd Article

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Apr 01

The new Michael Parker Library has now been open for five months and it is time to look at how far we have progressed. This report will take a different format to the ones produced in the previous academic year in order to focus on how the library is beginning to have an impact on teaching and learning in the school. More detail will be included in the Annual Report, published at the beginning of September 2010.

Easter Eggs

Collection of Creatively Dyed Easter Eggs from around flickr by Dot D from the Flickr website.

1. Library use and impact on teaching and learning

1.1. Inductions
Year 6: triple lesson used for induction, including orientation using a “Clue Hunt” and “Dewey Detective” covering non-fiction. Finding and choosing Fiction, using “Reading Game”, took place during English lessons in Spring Term.
Years 7 and 8: basic inductions during weekly English lessons covering Fiction and Non-fiction, using similar materials. Will change next year as only new entrants will need this kind of induction.

1.2. Reading development
Years 6-8: from January 2010, weekly English lessons in Library. Working with staff, Librarian covered range of induction lessons, mentioned above. Sessions also used to develop reading for pleasure – will continue in Summer Term. Some evaluations and observations made in order to discuss development of structured reading programme for academic year 2010-2011 with English Department.
Year 9: visits by one class using “Reading Game” and “Speed Dating” to develop reading.
Reading Champions: Reading Group met regularly. Many students developing their wiki pages to show books they enjoy. Planning to meet weekly during Summer Term to work on Carnegie Shadowing with group of up to 10 students.
Book Week: range of events held in Library including Book Trailer Show, Book Swap, Year 6 Book Quiz and “Caught Reading” competition. Varying levels of success. Excellent visit by Dave Cryer on World Book Day – worked with Years 6 and 7 classes on creative writing. Some activities took place during lessons.
Impact of improved stock and professional staffing can be seen on increased borrowing figures and response of students. Many students now asking for books to be purchased. Some parents have also reported improved reading levels amongst students.

1.3. Progress in Information Literacy
Year 12: two presentations delivered – “Working Independently: Being Organised” and “Effective Research: Avoiding Plagiarism”. Handouts distributed and presentations and resources uploaded to Library Online for students to access in their own time.
Librarian acquired excellent booklets produced by Ofqual on plagiarism for teachers, parents and students – should be distributed next term.
From April, school subscribing to Leicestershire Library Services for Education – enabling borrowing of resource collections to supplement library stock. Also number of e-resources available as part of LSE package. Can be used in classroom or library and will facilitate development of IL lessons. Support needed from SMT to enable Librarian to begin working collaboratively with departments to plan whole school progression of IL/research skills teaching.
Librarian has been observing students’ use of ICT and book resources for research in order to assess needs for support and formal teaching of skills. Ad-hoc support with range of research queries by students and staff continuing to develop.

2. Meeting the needs of the school community

2.1. Extra-curricular activities
Lunchtimes and after school: open every day for whole lunchtime session and well used by students. Librarian supported by small Student Helper Team. Library open after school until 5.15 every day.  Range of activities on offer during Book Week etc.

2.2. Provision of resources
Old library stock
: All weeded, re-catalogued, cleaned, mended and re-labeled.
New library stock: “Normal” library plus Development budgets for 2009-2010 almost all spent – resources all processed and added to stock. Feedback from subject teachers essential to ensure purchases from 2010-2011 budgets meet and extend needs of school curriculum. Development of multi-media resources, including online subscription databases, could be included.

2.3. Provision of services and facilities
Information services: Library Online Services developing as virtual library with range of Web2.0 sites including Delicious, Flickr, LibraryThing, Netvibes and YouTube. Some of these demonstrated to HODs and other staff. Notable uses: Netvibes with MFL, Animoto with Music (to be completed), Flickr with Marketing Manager.
ICT facilities: laptops used extensively during day by range of students and staff. Students bringing in own laptops can re-charge using floor sockets. Screen & projector very useful for lessons, meetings and events.

3. Library management and administration

Procedures Manual setting out all library administrative systems continuously updated. Handbook gathering evidence of the Library and Librarian’s impact on teaching and learning in the school was shown to inspectors. Annual Report for 2008-2009 submitted in the Autumn Term. Development Plan written in Autumn Term. Library Policy still in draft version and will be sent to SMT for comments as soon as possible.
Librarian continues to attend school INSET and meetings, local school librarians’ meetings, CPD (including Literacy Forum and online training from YSL) and has contributed to wider profession through presentations and online collaboration.

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Mar 23
Library Opening with Kay Alexander

Library Opening with Kay Alexander

The Library was officially opened on Thursday 18 March by Kay Alexander, a very familiar face as she is a presenter on BBC Midlands Today.

The ceremony began just after 12.00 with John Wood, our Headmaster, speaking about the importance of the library and how so many people had worked together to create it. Anne Robinson, the Librarian, followed – the text of her speech is at the bottom of this post. Kay Alexander then spoke about how much libraries mean to her – it was lovely to hear this from our guest. She then cut the book-shaped cake and posed for lots of photos with our students and guests.

Kay Alexander with Michael Parker (left) and John Wood (right)

Kay Alexander with Michael Parker (left) and John Wood (right)

A fantastic buffet lunch was provided and all our guests seemed to be very impressed with our great new facilities and plans for how the library service will develop in the future!

This is the video made to show guests the development of the Michael Parker Library:

The text of Mrs Robinson’s speech:

What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education.  Harold Howe, former US Commissioner of Education

You can see around you what this school thinks about its library! The library has come about because of vision – the vision of the school management. To put a library fit for the 21st century into this 1828 building was a challenge. We had to contend with a number of issues with this listed building – the sagging floor, the high ceiling, the lovely windows. The room that you see is the result of teamwork and collaboration: the Library Committee bringing together wide ranging skills from school management, academic staff, admin and technical staff; and consultation: with students, staff, parents, governors, local interest groups, suppliers and colleagues in the wider library profession.

So, what is special about this Library?

  • Bespoke furniture, thanks to a collaboration with Stan Tarver – clever shelving design that tilts and displays the stock to the best advantage.
  • Flexibility of use with specially designed tables and seating.
  • Modern ICT facilities – including wireless access, floor sockets that allow students and staff to use laptops anywhere in the room, a drop-down screen with projector.
  • Attractive, up-to-date book stock – students are enjoying borrowing and reading the new books and also are welcome to suggest new titles.
  • Plans to develop multi-media resources, including online databases and e-books.
  • Access 24/7 to our Library Online Services – our virtual library, which you can see on the screens if you wish.
  • Keen and enthusiastic Student Helper Team – the students who you see here.
  • And I must say it – a committed, experienced professional Librarian. My job is to get this wonderful facility used by collaborating with staff to develop programmes across the school to encourage reading for pleasure, the teaching of research skills and the use of exciting new technologies. These will help our students to be lifelong independent learners able to achieve in Higher Education and deal with adult life in the 21st century.

Here is a slideshow of the best photos from the event – more will be added as soon as possible:

written by Mrs Robinson \\ tags: , ,

Mar 15

We had a great time during Book Week! Lots of exciting activities took place in the Library at lunchtimes, including a visit from Dave Cryer on World Book Day and a fun competition all week.

Here’s a fun video of what we did during the week!

Monday 1 March – Brilliant Book Trailer Show

On the Monday, we had a film show with a difference: book trailers and author videos. Book trailers are great little videos that tempt you to read a new book. There are also some really awesome videos from authors available. Here is an example:

Love this great video from a school in the USA!

If you want to see the videos we showed, or keep an eye out for new ones – then watch Library Online’s YouTube Channel. Mrs Robinson will “favourite” videos as she finds them.

Tuesday 2 March – Year 6 Book Quiz

Four teams from Year 6 entered our first ever Year 6 Book Quiz. Each person who entered will get a prize, with a special prize for the winning team members.

Year 6 Book Quiz

The winning team were:

“Fatkid Pony Tellytubby Commandos”!!!!!!!!!

Year 6 Book Quiz Winners

Year 6 Book Quiz Winners

Wednesday 3 March – Book Swap

We tried something different on the Wednesday. After discussions with students to see if they were interested, a Book Swap was planned. Students were encouraged to bring in unwanted books and swap them with their friends – a quick and easy way of finding something new to read. Huge thanks to the staff who helped with this event.

Thursday 4 March – World Book Day with Dave Cryer

Lesson time: Year 7 met with Dave Cryer during the morning and Year 6 worked with him in the afternoon. Students really enjoyed developing characters and writing their own stories.

Year 6 with Dave Cryer

Year 6 with Dave Cryer

One student said, “I’ve just written more than I have ever done before!”

Mrs Robinson also wrote her own story! Some students are writing more chapters of their stories at home too.

The Reading Group met with Dave Cryer over lunchtime and had great fun in acting out scenes from Darren Shan’s books!

Reading Group with Dave Cryer

Reading Group with Dave Cryer

Caught Reading Competition

Caught Reading

Caught Reading

All week we ran a fun competition – members of staff had been “caught reading” – students had to work out from the photographs who each person was.

The competition answers were:

Photo No. Staff Name Photo No. Staff Name
1 Mrs Coussens 15 Mrs Hannighan
2 Mrs Burke 16 Mr Kirkwood
3 Mrs Lambourne 17 Mr Burns
4 Mrs Harland 18 Mr Macmillan
5 Mr Stone 19 Mrs Scott
6 Mrs Knight 20 Mrs Plumpton
7 Mrs Prasher-Malde 21 Mrs Maddison
8 Mrs Perkins 22 Mr Roe
9 Mr Hollingdale 23 Mrs Robinson
10 Mrs Wardle 24 Blank
11 Mr Thirlwell 25 Mrs Colby
12 Miss Daumeyer 26 Mr Dalton
13 Mr Ketchion 27 Mr Wood
14 Mr Madigan 28 Mrs Mallard

written by Mrs Robinson \\ tags: , , ,

Jan 13
SearchStar Logo

SearchStar Logo

Everyone in school can now visit the Library and easily see what we have in stock by searching our catalogue. The program SearchStar has now been installed on one of the laptops and it is very easy to use. Just ask Mrs Robinson or any of the Library Helpers if you need any help with it.



SearchStar will tell you if we have a book in stock or if it has been borrowed by someone. You can search for your favourite author or title, or you can enter a subject keyword for a list of books.

If you are at home, you can search our catalogue by using the LibraryThing box on the right-hand side of this screen.

Why not give it a go! If you cannot find the book you want, then please call in to the Library and talk to Mrs Robinson and she will do her best to get it for you!

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Nov 25

Are you a member of the Dixie Grammar School Community? Have you got a favourite book that you would like the Library to stock? Then please fill in this online form by clicking the image below.

Mrs Robinson will then consider the book in line with the needs of the Library and in accordance with the Library Policy. Please call in to see if your requests has been successful.

Requests Form

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Nov 25

Fantastic! We are now at the stage where we can start our Year 6 inductions – the girls are coming in today for three lessons with the Librarian. We are going to have a lot of fun – just wait and see!

The boys will get their turn very soon.

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Nov 09

Mrs Robinson has made this video to show you how the Library was created during the Summer and Autumn of 2009!

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Nov 06

Your Library needs you!

New Trainee Helpers are now needed in the Library. We have several spare places for Year 7, 8 and 9 students.

  • Are you a mature and sensible person?
  • Can we rely on you to turn up in the Library  on time and on the right day?
  • Do you enjoy reading and handling books?
  • Are you good with computers?
  • Do you like helping other people?

Then please ask for an application form. You will need to be prepared to work in the Library one lunchtime each week. When you have proved that you are reliable, you will then be fully trained as a Library Helper.

Ask Mrs Robinson for an application form now! Or you can download it from the link below. Please hand it in by the 16th November 2009.

Helper Application Form

Helper Application Form

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