Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Books Too Good to Miss

As most librarians do, I host a teacher coffee morning with books every now and then. In getting ready for the morning, I spend some time writing sticky notes on the covers about how I would use the book with students or why I thought the book was so great. As I was setting up for one last school year, a parent walked by and said how much something like that would help her with her book choices.

Such a smart mama. Because of her, "Books Too Good to Miss" was born.



Our literacy coach, Tammy, and I wanted to keep the morning simple and casual--give parents time to look at quality titles and take some home with them. We chose four major areas and set up tables filled with titles related to those themes:

Reluctant Readers, Non Fiction, Early Literacy and Family Readalouds.

The morning was a smashing success! Over 65 parents showed up, and after a short introduction of reading aloud the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds (parents love to be read to as well!) and an overview of the themes, most of the 90 minutes were spent browsing books and talking, talking, talking. My big aha of the morning--parents are hungry not only for good books, but also for time to talk to librarians. Time to talk about their child who only reads Junie B. Jones or to deeper understand the importance of reading in their home language.

Two more "Books too Good to Miss" are scheduled for this school year. Hoping that is enough!

7 comments:

Dyann said...

What a fabulous idea! I know a lot of parents at my school would love this. We don't have a Librarian who could put an event together, but maybe some teachers could......Thanks for the tip!

teacherdance said...

This is such a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing. I know the parents in our school would love it.

Becky Maher said...

Sixty five parents is fantastic! I want to try this at our school. Did you put sticky notes on all of the books that you put on the tables? Thanks, Tara, for sharing your great ideas!

Tara said...

Becky, I didn't put sticky notes on everything, but I had about 60% of them with something on it. Even something like, "Great snuggle book" or "Love this one for discussion." :)

Tiffani said...

I LOVE this idea! I've been looking for something to get parents more involved in their kid's reading - beyond just sending books back on library day... I think I just may try this. How did you advertise? How did you approach your administrator? Any other helpful hints you'd like to share?
Thanks!
Tiffani

Tiffani said...

I LOVE this idea! I've been looking for something to get parents more involved in their kid's reading (beyond just sending books back on library day!). How did you publicize? How did you approach your administrator? Any helpful hints you'd like to share? Thanks!
Tiffani

Tara said...

Tiffani,

Glad this resonated with you! We have been working on educating our parents to make good choices for their kids with books, so admin was keen to support this. Sending out notes in the newsletters and advertising outside our library seemed to work well, but we have a community where most moms do not work being overseas. Parents are so hungry for good titles!!

Best hint is to keep it simple: it was about the books and the connections. Our focus was to talk and get those burning questions answered one on one. Our plan is to have 2 more during the year--it was suggested we could do it once a month! :)