Where do you turn for tips and advice about running a school library? I hope the Knowledge Quest blog is your favorite go-to resource! Here, thousands of readers interact with posts on relevant topics. You’ll learn about transforming your library on a budget and connecting readers to your collection. A search bar on the home page will help you find a topic that’s on your mind. Help others in the quest for knowledge by adding to the comment boxes in each post. Your experience is valuable!
Take a look at the 25 top viewed Knowledge Quest posts of 2019. It’s interesting to note that some of the posts have been around for a while. Keep the conversations going by sharing your insight. We can continue to learn from each other!
#1 “Ancora Imparo” by Susan D. Ballard and Blanche Woolls. What are you learning today? If there’s one thing I know about school librarians, we are always excited about learning. Susan Ballard and Blanche Woolls state that “no matter where you are on your professional pathway, learning never ends and the learners we serve need us to shine!” After reading their post, comment how AASL helps you grow as a professional.
#2 “12 (mostly cheap) Teacher Tricks That Work in an Elementary Library” by Kelly Hincks. Read Kelly Hincks’s post to find great ideas for your library. My favorite tip was using Sit Spots on the carpet for group gatherings. Sit Spots will send you a free sample if you want to give it a try. What tricks do you use to make learning and transitions fun in your library? Please share in the comment box at the end of Hincks’s post.
#3 “Friday Finds-So Many Books to Movies This Year” by Judith Deichman. Although this post is from 2015, it’s still a popular topic. To find the latest movies adapted from books, search the Internet for “books to movies 2019.”
#4 “2019 AASL Social Media Superstar Finalists Announced!” by Marifran DeMaine. Take a look at these impressive social media rock stars! Build your personal learning network by following them today. Each biography blurb includes links to their social media pages.
#5 “How to Transform Your Library Space on a Budget” by Diana Rendina. Are you looking for ways to invigorate your library space? Check out these great ideas from Diana Rendina. How are you improving your library? Please share in the comment section following Rendina’s post.
#6 “Stop Literacy Shaming! Engaging the So-Called ‘Non-Readers'” by Steve Tetreault. What does reading look like? It would be interesting to ask learners this question. “Stop Literacy Shaming!” reminds us that some ideas of reading are just wrong. Tetreault’s post will help “non-readers” see themselves as readers.
#7 “How My Outlander Binge Inspired a Netflix-Related Plan to Get Teens Reading” by Karin Greenberg. Are you looking for ways to connect learners to books in your library? Just ask what they are watching on Netflix! Learn about their favorite movies and research book titles that would go along with favorite shows. Read Karin Greenberg’s post to learn how to make these engaging connections.
#8 “How to Weed by the Numbers and Clean Up Your Collection” by Diana Rendina. Diana Rendina’s post on weeding will help you gain support from your learning community. Rendina explains how spreadsheets will guide you as you weed. There are useful suggestions in the comment section of Rendina’s post. Take a look and join in on the conversation!
#9 “6 Active Learning Spaces Your Library Should Have” by Diana Rendina. Here’s another post by Diana Rendina that readers loved! After reading Get Active: Reimagining Learning Spaces for Student Success, Rendina applied what she learned to her library. Her new spaces look lively and purposeful! Imagine how you can transform your library into these active areas.
#10 “The 5 E’s of Inquiry-Based Learning” by Sam Northern. Take a look at the inquiry model in Sam Northern’s post. The 5E model supports lessons in STEM education. The five E’s stand for Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. Helpful graphics dictate the roles of the educator and the learner during each phase.
#11 “Encouraging the So-Called ‘Non-Readers’: Fine Tuning Book Displays” by Chiquita Toure. Are your learners excited about the displays they see in the library? If not, read Chiquita Toure’s post to learn how to help learners see themselves as readers and encourage them to engage with books.
#12 “Retelling with Ozobots in 5 Easy Steps by Kelly Hincks.” An Ozobot is a little robot that teaches learners basic coding skills. Kelly Hincks gets creative with Ozobots and uses them with reading activities. Her ideas are perfect for making those classroom connections with STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math) education.
#13 “How to Identify and Reframe Design Problems in Your Library Space” by Diana Rendina. Do you have problems with furniture, shelving, and meeting spaces in your library? If so, read how Diana Rendina advocates for what learners need in the library. She reframes her complaints into language that stakeholders can stand behind. Try one of her suggestions today!
#14 “Using School Library Newsletters to Communicate” by Karin Greenberg. Read Karen Greenberg’s blog post to see examples of her newsletters. She includes favorite podcasts, pictures of patrons, and a link to her Knowledge Quest blog posts. If you have a newsletter, consider sharing it in the comment section of her post. Your work could inspire others to communicate with their learning community.
#15 “Web Evaluation: Does This Site Smell Funny to You?” by Amy Gillespie. I bet you’ll grab the attention of your learning audience if you use acronyms like CRAP and FART. In this blog post, Amy Gillespie explains how she uses these terms for web literacy lessons. Read the comments in her post to learn about other acronyms that are making their way into web literacy instruction.
#16 “How to Start a Makerspace When You’re Broke” by Diana Rendina. No money? No problem! Read how Diana Rendina started her makerspace with a K’NEX set she found in a storage room. Rendina shares ideas to get you started with a makerspace today.
#17 “The Magic of Tidying Up Your Library” by Diana Rendina. Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo? If so, you’ll enjoy reading Diana Rendina’s post about using this book to tidy up your library. Kondo instructs us to hold objects to our hearts when decluttering. If the object does not spark joy, we need to give it away. Diana Rendina explains how to modify this thinking to clean up your workspace. She also gets serious about weeding books that haven’t circulated in ten years. If you need help organizing your library, you’ll appreciate Rendina’s tips.
#18 “5 Kinds of Nonfiction” by Tom Bober. What kind of nonfiction do you enjoy reading? How about the learners in your community? What type of nonfiction are they drawn to? In this blog post, Tom Bober captured Melissa Stewart’s presentation about nonfiction during the 2019 AASL National Conference. I was surprised to read that school librarians fancy narrative nonfiction, while young learners enjoy expository nonfiction. This is important to realize as librarians build their collections. Bober included a chart to help you provide a balanced collection.
#19 “Information Bias” by Hannah Byrd Little. Check your sources! This is one of our mantras as school librarians. But sometimes, even we need reminders of this as we read graphics, memes, and social media posts. Hannah Byrd Little walks us through her process of trying to find the most reliable news outlets in her blog post about information bias.
#20 “Using Picture Books for Beginning Coding Concepts” by Ashley Cooksey. Ashley Cooksey does something brilliant in her post about coding. She explains basic coding concepts and matches them to picture books we all know and love. Try one of her lessons with learners today!
#21 “5 Makerspace Books You Need to Read” by Diana Rendina. Do you have a favorite makerspace book? If so, please add it to the comment section in Diana Rendina’s post.
#22 “Confessions of a Librarian Who Does Everything Wrong” by Angie Miller. Take a look at the conversation around Angie Miller’s post about her library practices. Read how Miller puts learners first when making decisions with her program. Add your thoughts in the comment section at the end of her post.
#23 “Passive Readers’ Advisory” by Brandi Bowers. A passive reader is someone who is looking for a book but doesn’t ask for help. They may be too shy, or you may be too busy to help them. To reach these readers, Brandi Bowers markets her collection in different ways. Read her post to find out how to make your collection stand out to passive readers.
#24 “How Do You Stay Organized in the Library?” by Mica Johnson. Mica Johnson needs your help! People are noticing her messy library! Johnson truly wants to know how you stay organized in the library. Please come to her rescue by adding helpful tips in the comment section of her post.
#25 “Sketchnoting and Why It’s Important” by Karin Perry. Do you doodle when you take notes? If so, you are sketchnoting! Karin Perry explains the value of sketchnoting. She also offers tips and resources about this subject in her blog post. Inspire your learners to try this valuable note-taking skill. Who knows, they may end up in a career in graphic recording!
What topics would you like to read about in 2020? Please post suggestions in the comment section below.
Author: Maureen Schlosser
Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades published by ALA Editions