My Best of Library Things in 2021

During this time of year, we often see the “best of” lists from books to toys to movies. I love to scroll through many lists to see what stands out. I decided to create my own “best of” in the school library. The list includes book promotion materials to tech tools to resources. Scroll through the list and add your favorites in the comments section to help create an even better list.

Favorite Book Promotion Item: Book Easels

We purchased additional book easels for our shelves and have noticed a significant increase in our circulation statistics. Every shelf has one to two books facing out. The circulation numbers have increased since adding more easels. For our nonfiction books, we prefer the wire book easels. The books sit higher, making it easier to view the covers.

The links below provide book easel options for the library.

Demco Book Easels

Library Store Selection

Brodart Book Easel Options 

The photo below shows a section of our shelves with book easels. Each day, we are adding books to the easels as students choose books most often off the easels.

Book Easels

Favorite Tech Tool: Online Presentation/Interactive Tools

Tools like Nearpod or PearDeck continue to amaze with the various options to engage students. Students can answer questions, draw, match items, and more. Both tools allow teachers to connect with Google Slides, making it easier to take something already created and add the interactive elements. It adds an interactive element to the typical lecture format and provides a way to give quick formative assessments with the embedded quiz features.

Nearpod How To: A comprehensive video created for teachers to learn how to use all the features in Nearpod.

Pear Deck Help Videos: A collection of videos organized by specific skills needed to use Pear Deck.

Favorite for the Library Classroom: Whiteboard Tables

Our whiteboard tables are educational and fun for our students. We keep dry erase markers at each table for students to use. For our older library tables, we found whiteboard material that sticks to the table. We utilize the whiteboard tables for different lessons including a keyword searching lesson. Students start with the main idea written on the table. As they begin searching, students add keywords and other new terms, drawing arrows and lines to show connections. Many students choose to take a picture of the whiteboard when done.

DIY Classroom Whiteboard Tables Blog Post: A second-grade teacher shows how to apply whiteboard material to a classroom table.

The photo below shows a student using one of our older tables with whiteboard material.

Whiteboard Tables

Favorite Librarian Resource: Library Journals

School Library Journal, Voya, Booklist, and more provide book reviews by us (librarians) for us (librarians). I utilize these journals to help select materials for our collection. I also use these resources when questions arise about a particular book in the collection. It is helpful to have another professional perspective that provides age, summary, and other notable details.

What can you add to this list? Leave a comment below to help generate an amazing list of our favorite library things.

Author: Becca Munson

Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 23 years of experience in education. She is currently a school librarian at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, KS. Becca continues to find ways to positively impact student learning with literacy initiatives, technology integration, and building rapport with students and staff. Follow her on Twitter to view the library in action @bvwlibrary and @beccamunson .



Categories: Blog Topics, Professional Development, Technology

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1 reply

  1. My favorites are a large screen at the front entrance of rotating photos I have taken throughout the years. I use a mini Mac that is connected so I can easily airdrop photos and use them as the screensaver. Students love seeing themselves, friends and siblings from previous years! I have pictures of classes and fun, random photos. I also love my flexible seating/table options throughout. I have standard chairs with a little give to the backs to make them more comfortable, rolling ottomans used for seating, a booth area, cafe style seating, plush style seating, benches, and conference rooms with other styles of chairs and modular shaped tables. Everything is on wheels to make transformation a breeze!

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