Category Archives: Libraries

National Library Week America April 12-18

It is the American’s turn to celebrate National Library Week.

Today is National Library Workers Day and Thursday will have a focus on Celebrating Teen Literature.

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library staff created a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” In homage to Taylor Swift and her outspoken support of public libraries and literacy and in celebration of National Library Week.

Julianne Moore for School Libraries

South African Library Week 2015

Libraries in South Africa are gearing up to celebrate the 2015 SA Library Week from the 14 March 2015 – 21 March 2015.

The theme Connect @ your library resonates with the belief that libraries connect people to each other, to knowledge and information, to print and electronic resources, to technology and professional support.

Libraries must take the lead in being active community partners towards developing an informed and educated nation. This means providing access to information about health & hygiene, economic empowerment, poverty eradication and education in desired spaces that foster lifelong learning and knowledge exchange. This is further enhanced by skilled and proficient library staff who connect their communities to relevant and appropriate information & knowledge resources, emerging technologies, as well as dynamic and innovative programmes & services for personal and community development.

Libraries are fast emerging as technologically enabled environments, which provide individuals the opportunity to connect to:

  • The Internet
  • Databases, online learning & research tools
  • Friends, families & colleagues via social networking sites
  • Employment opportunities
  • Digital libraries, which include institutional repositories
  • Emerging mobile technologies such as tablets, e-Readers, smartphones, etc
    This theme also highlights the importance of library practitioners connecting with each other, across all sectors, for the sharing of skills, best practices, global trends and national priorities, so that a strong cohort of professionals emerge with a common understanding and vision for the development of an informed nation.

    South African Library Week is organised by the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)

    Check out the Blown Away by Books Festival being celebrated by the Libraries of the South Peninsula during SALW 2015:

    An Introduction to Using the Library

    Library A to Z

    The launch of the Library A to Z will happen during the week 17th – 22nd November. Packs including copies of books and other materials will be sent to local, national and international politicians.

    The aim of this action is to highlight the continued importance and value of library services, to encourage continued investment.

    What is the Library A to Z you may ask… well it is a campaign created by librarian Gary Green, researcher Andrew Walsh and artist Jose Filhol to highlight the breadth of services, resources and facilities available, and celebrate the importance, value and relevance of well-funded and professionally-run public libraries.

    It is this A to Z that has turned into the illustrations and promotional and advocacy material that is freely available for use on this site. The services, along with the words that have been turned into the illustrated letters, aren’t comprehensive, but are just a representative sample.


    is for access; advice; answers; archives; art (view public art and sometimes borrow it too!); astronomy (some libraries loan out telescopes for stargazing); audio books; author events.
    white barrier

    is for ‘zines (magazines); zzzzz (child sleeping after being read bedtime story).

    white barrier
    Find out all about the project here:

    The Rather Amazing Race: Introducing Students to Finding Information Quickly

    Telling students that finding information in a book can be faster than using the internet is fun!

    I told a class of year nines this morning and I could see the naked disbelief in their faces. The moment the words left my mouth a sea of hands shot up and a clamour of voices stridently disagreeing with me filled the library.

    They shouted that the internet was faster, easier and had more accurate sources. I managed to quieten them down and then one lad stood up and said that he would show me that using the internet was faster. I asked him how he would accomplish this and he challenged me to a race.

    He said that he would use the internet and I would use the books in the library. The rest of the class cheered loudly at this.

    I was rather surprised, as I had been planning on running a books versus the internet lesson in October so I agreed. I suggested that we both stand in the centre of the library and said that the first person to take the information they found to their form tutor who was also in the library would win. I also gave him the choice of subject.

    He said one word: “Football!”

    He ran to the closest available computer while I walked over to World Book Encyclopedia, took Volume 7 (F) off the shelf and looked up Football. World Book is an American publication, so the information contained therein was about American Football, but it did reference Soccer (Association football). So I grabbed Volume 18 (So-Sz) found the entry on Soccer and took it to the teacher.

    By the time my worthy opponent had started shouting that the computer was too slow, so I called him back to the rest of the class who started accusing me of cheating. I disagreed with them but that only made their fury greater, they told me that it was not fair and that I knew where all the information books in the library were and could just walk to them and find the information I wanted.

    At this point I gave a silent thank you to whoever was listening and then agreed with the students.

    The point of the exercise I told them, was not to show off what I can do in the library, but rather to show them what they can learn to do. The point of library lessons for year nine is to continue helping them learn how to find relevant and reliable information for the work they are doing, both in print and online.

    I think that the lesson went well, the class was quieter by the end of the lesson than it has ever been before. They thought about what I was offering them over the course of the year ahead.

    The next lessons will focus on finding information online.

    A Zine adaptation of An Introduction to Using the Library

    A zine (an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier.

    In December I adapted a powerpoint presentation that I originally created to introduce students to the Dewey Decimal System into a general introduction to the Library. I did this as the original incarnation of the presentation was over-complicated and not very user-friendly.

    I preferred the library introduction as it was simpler, shorter and had a better flow but I have found that students don’t learn from powerpoint presentations alone so I adapted it further.

    Into a zine:






    I printed the A4 pages individually, then using a photocopier I copied them as an A5 booklet.

    If youa re interested in creating a copy of the zine for use in your own school or library then you may download the pages here:

    Introduction to the Library Zine download

    Dewey Decimal Classification Card Game

    For the past few months I have been tinkering with ways of teaching the Dewey Decimal Classification System to my students in a manner that does not make their eyes glaze over.

    I am a bit of a stereotype as a Librarian inasmuch I love Dewey and what it does, but will admit that to the casual user it can seem a bit complicated andconfusing in places.

    To that end I have designed a card game that can be used from Year 7 and up.
    It is currently called the Dewey Decimal Classification Card Game but that lacks a certain je ne sans quoi, so if anyone comes up with a blinder of a game name please let me know!

    I made test prints to see what they would look like and decided that the cards were a bit too stubby, so I lengthened them slightly as can be seen in this comparison between a first and second generation card.
    ddc card game cards

    These are the first eight cards I made, four from the Picture Deck and four from the Dewey Deck.
    ddc card game

    There are two decks, a Picture Deck and a Dewey Deck, with 32 cards in each.

    Each card is unique and has been created with posed Lego minifigures. I am currently creating supplementary cards which I will make available as soon as I am able.

    The game rules are as follows:


    Each game set should have two decks, a Dewey Deck and a Picture Deck consisting of 32 cards each.

    There should also be game rules, please note that players are welcome to adapt the game to the players.

    Players encountering the Dewey Decimal Classification System for the first time can play the game using the main classes at the top of each card and at the end of the game get an extra point if they match up the Picture Card with the correct Dewey Card.

    Advanced gamers and Librarians can play using the subject specific Dewey Numbers at the bottom of each card

    Game Rules

    Card Game:

    Shuffle the decks but keep them separate

    The aim of the game is to have no cards from either deck by the end of the game

    Deal out both decks to people playing the game

    The Picture Decks must remain face down in front of the players

    All players must hold their Dewey cards

    The person on the left of the dealer flips their first Picture Card (face up)

    If the player to the left of the player that flipped the Picture Card cannot match it with a corresponding Dewey Card they must pick up the card and place it in the middle of their Picture Cards

    If the player can match the Picture card with a Dewey Card then the two cards are placed face up next to each other in the middle of the player circle

    This continues until a player runs out of Picture Cards

    When this happens the Player with no Picture Cards must put down a Dewey Card and gameplay starts to go anti-clockwise

    At this point players must swap their Picture Decks for their Dewey Decks

    If the person to the right of that player cannot match a Picture Card to a Dewey Card then they must pick up the card

    If a player runs out of Dewey Cards then the game reverts to the clockwise direction using Picture Cards

    Gameplay can continue until all the cards are used or until a player runs out of both types of cards

    Book Hunt:

    This uses only the picture cards

    Deal random cards from the Picture Deck to students and ask them to find a relevant book that will match up with the card

    The winner is the student that finds the most books

    Memory Game:

    Place both decks of cards face down on a table

    Flip one Picture Card and one Dewey Card

    If you can match the Picture Card and the Dewey Card put them together, if not flip them face down again and try to match another two

    You can download the beta deck and rules by clicking on the card image below
    ddc card 13x

    Or click here

    Please note: the game is still in active development and as such the rules and cards may change with little to no warning. The game is stable enough to play.

    The game is free to download, use and share but please credit Teen Librarian as the originating source if sharing with colleagues.

    If you would like to offer comments, criticisms and suggestions on how the game can be improved, please leave them in the comments field below.

    Huey, Louie & Melvil Dewey in: the Quest for the Missing Duck an Introduction to Using the Library

    Many of you may recognize this slide presentation as it was originally an introduction to using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, but owing to a lot of feedback I received I decided to redo it as a general introduction to using the library as it was too cumbersome and complicated in it’s original form.

    So with a few tweaks, language and slide changes may I present:

    An Intro-duck-tion to Using the Library

    “Every secondary school in the UK should have a good library” – call by MPs and Peers

    A new report by Westminster politicians calls for every child in the UK to have a good library in their secondary school.

    The Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group’s report calls for the Department for Education to start collecting figures about the number of schools that have a library and librarian, and for Ofsted to look at school library provision when they inspect a school. It is vital that all schools have a good library to ensure children develop essential literacy and digital literacy skills in order to fulfil their potential and to contribute to the success of the UK economy, says the report, The Beating Heart of the School.

    See more at: