Jul 23

Each week, Mrs Robinson is going to post here with an update to show how the work is progressing at the Junior School Library. This is what she has done this week:

1) Catalogued over 360 books

This is not going as fast as it should because we have not had internet access at the Junior School all week, so Mrs Robinson is having to type all of the details on by hand!

2) Labelled around 200 books

This is so that pupils and staff will be able to find them easily.

3) Sorted out and weeded books that are damaged, out of date or unsuitable for the Library

This is very important so that the Library will meet the needs of the school and to make room for lots of new books!

4) Begun to make a “wish list” for new books.

Mrs Enston has compiled a list of the topics that are taught in school and Mrs Robinson is matching that against what we already have. She is also looking to see where there are gaps in our stock so that we can buy lots of new books to fit with what the pupils and staff need!

5) Started a list for new equipment needed for the Library.

We need lots of things that will help us to run the Library smoothly.

The photos below show you what the Library has looked like this week. (Yes, it is a bit of a mess! Check back each week to see how it goes):

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May 06

If you don’t know what to read next, why not have a look at this great site! It will help you find a fantastic new book to read and you can ask Mrs Robinson if she will buy it for the Library.

Guardian Children's Books

Guardian Children's Books

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Apr 27

Mrs Robinson has been back in school working over the Easter Holidays! She is not completely better yet, but is hoping that she will be able to return next term working part-time for the next few weeks.

You will be able to see some of the things she has been doing when you come into the Library. To help you find books more easily, she has been making new shelf labels:

Fiction Shelf Labels

Fiction Shelf Labels

Non-fiction Shelf Labels

Non-fiction Shelf Labels

Mrs Robinson is looking forward to seeing everyone at The Dixie Grammar School in the Summer Term!

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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:

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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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