Archive for the ‘Teenagers’ category

Banned Book Report

January 19, 2011

Every year the 10th grade class has a banned book assignment. 
They have an essay that they write in the form of a letter where they either support the reasons for the book being banned or argue for reasons why the book should not be banned, challenged or restricted. They also must include 3 citations/quotes from the book to support the listed court case(s)

 In late October, many students came in individually or as a class to check out a banned book of their choosing. 
Students were given a list of the Top 100 banned books and then told to choose from one of those.  Some of the more serious students purchased the book they wanted to read – gotta love ’em for caring about their education.  But, with over 400 10th graders, we were of course, caught short, having more students than banned books in the library collection.   

Students who came in when they were first told of the assignment were usually able to find the book they wanted to read.  There were also those who waited until the last possible moment…..
Some teachers chose to issue a textbook from the English dept’s core novels – students who had to read
To Kill a Mockingbird or Lord of the Flies could be heard loudly, complaining.  The language/dialect in TKAM proves to be quite difficult for some ELL’s. 

Well, necessity is the mother of invention, so my student helpers and I pulled all novels that were listed in the 2010 copy of Banned Books…
Did you know that every Harry Potter book is listed?  As well as all the books in the Vampire Diaries series, the House of Night series…(even her books yet to be).. and yes, the Twilight series.  It was not for my lack of trying that students did not have a banned book for their report.  We even placed an order with Amazon for 12 of the most popular titles.  So glad there was a sale going on! 

Today all the computer labs were booked with students working on their essays.  Their papers are due on Friday, so that they can be graded before the end of the semester. 
Today…several students came looking for books…today!     
Of course, they were looking for the popular titles such as What My Mother Doesn’t Know and Crank.

I was more than happy to let my librarian deal with the slackers, I mean students, while I took care of other things today. She confided in me later this afternoon that after the 4th or 5th student, she was tempted to say:  “So sad you’re bad!”  And I thought I was the mean one?! 

 

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At the Circulation desk…

November 17, 2010

Today I had a student come up to the circulation desk and ask for a book. 
“What type of book do you need?” I asked.  I don’t usually use the word genre; I get very puzzled looks. 
The teenager responded, “I need a book about somebody who’s dead.” 

Gotta love the Biography unit in English 1.

Twilight – The desire lingers

October 26, 2010

Dear Stephenie Meyer: 

Hi
First let me say that I love your Twilight series; I am looking forward to seeing Breaking Dawn when it comes to theatres.  It will be interesting to see if the director and screen writer can bring your vision and words to the big screen.  

Your books have given me something to talk about with the high school girls.  Like you, I have sons.  Boys will talk to me about Twilight, but usually they are much more “hush-hush” about their interest.  Although when I tell a shy boy – if they are “at a loss for words” when talking to a girl – talk to them about Twilight.  Their eyes will light up like I have told them an untold secret of the universe.” 

Ever since your books became a hot topic, I have had to keep them behind the circulation desk.  Not because they have questionable material in them, not that we have had parents requesting a district form in order to have a book restricted…no, we have to keep them behind the counter to keep them from being stolen.

When I first noticed the books missing, I thought perhaps that my library student assistants were having trouble alphabetizing….but when I couldn’t find the missing copies…and I found just the cover of Eclipse buried under one of the book cases…I decided I could either have a library with zero copies of the Twilight saga or I could keep them behind the counter. 

I’ve kept a sign on the shelf where your books would normally be stating that if students were interested in one of the books in the series they could see Mrs. Hot downstairs and I would check out a copy to them.  I don’t why I feel that I need  to apologize that I have a zero-tolerance for stealing.  Some people have the opinion that students are going to steal and we will just have to do without the books or keep buying cheap paperback copies and going to used book stores.  I think that’s wrong. 

When the movie Eclipse was due to be released, I promoted our Eclipse quiz (we had a contest for Twilight and New Moon too) with the grand prize being tickets to the movie premiere.  I had all of 10 kids pick up a quiz, only 5 returned them.  The questions were not that hard.  So, I thought, “Oh, the Twilight desire is waning. ”

At the start of this school year, the librarian and I thought it would now be “safe” now to return the Twilight series to the shelves.  I had a student help me carry them back upstairs and we re-shelved the novels.  We were doing well until a few weeks ago when I checked the counts of what was on the shelves and what was available.  We were missing one or two copies of each title. 

A few days later, I was picking up trash and pushing in chairs (funny I didn’t think that was mother to 2,200 students) when I found a copy of Eclipse shoved under a table….missing the cover.  We thought that we’d have to donate this copy to a classroom library since it was missing the cover….until I remembered the cover I had found years earlier…missing it’s book.  Voila!  The rescued copy was introduced to a new cover. 

Once again I have stacks of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn behind the counter and it looks like a Borders book store on the day that Breaking Dawn was released. 
I have to say that I’m actually glad I have never been able to catch a book signing with Mrs Meyer.   
The Twilight series…autographed? 
I would have to keep those under lock and key.   : )

Happy Birthday – Stephen King

September 22, 2010

While researching the latest bulletin board – Next Monday starts Banned Books Week – I discovered that today is Stephen King’s birthday. 
Happy Birthday to yooooouuuu Mr. King.   
The HotLibraryTech will refrain from turning your greeting into a video complete with the birthday song because, well quite frankly, that would be too scary for even you. 

Besides all the novels that Mr. King has written, he has another  “claim to fame” with the honor that he has twenty-two count them, 22 books listed in the research guide entitled Banned Books by Robert P. Doyle. 

This resource guide for librarians and technicians is invaluable.  We have to put a “Do not remove from library” sticker on the cover so that it stays on the counter.  Every fall, students receive an assignment in their 10th grade English classes to check out and read a “Banned Book” from the library.  We appreciate the boost in our library circulation as fresh-faced little sophomores come looking for a book for their assignment.  They usually look for the ‘skinny’ books – a fast read – but then the teachers started telling them that they would have to read two books.  Kids often check out Christine or Carrie for this assignment.  This year, a few students picked up It and Pet Sematary

In case, I have made you curious, here are some of the reasons that these books by Mr. King were, challenged, restricted, banned or “placed on a special shelf.”  Just makes them all the more desirable in this humble Library Tech’s opinion. 

Christine:  In Alabama, (1985) the board of education voted unanimously to ban the novel from all county school libraries because the book contains “unacceptable language'” and is “pornographic.”  (Bet the public libraries in the county saw a jump in their circulation stats….)

Carrie:  Challenged in a high school library in Las Vegas (1975) because it is “trash.”  Placed in a ‘special closed shelf’ at a Vermont high school library (1978) because it could “harm students, particularly younger girls.”

It:  Challenged in the Lincoln, Nebraska school libraries (1987) because of the novel’s corruptive, obscene nature.” Placed on a ‘closed shelf; at the Franklinville, New York Central high school library (1992) because of explicit sexual acts, violence and profane language.  Students will need parental permission to check it out.  (Seriously, I read this book while my husband was under going cancer treatments – the book was a ‘walk in the park’ compared to what I was going thru.)

Pet Sematary:  Challenged, along with eight other Stephen King novels, in North Dakota (1994) by a local minister and school board member, because of “age appropriateness.”

The library is a flurry of activity now with students checking out the book they have picked for their project.  I just love it when they wait until the last minute…..I look at them and smile when I see the choice for their assignment, I say, “This one’s scary, hope you have a nightlight!”

And the winner is…..

September 10, 2010

School started two weeks ago – that first day I could have confiscated no less than 6 cell phones.  Instead I just barked in my drill sergeant voice, “Do you really want a detention on the first day of school, private?” 

Today after school I had a dozen little darlings on the student computers.  They were actually all working – having finally mastered the new requirement of their own login and password.  It was quiet except for the sound of busy little fingers and one girl’s voice…..talking… I was hearing a one-sided conversation. 

I should have known something was up – the other students on computers kept glancing at me – looking away and then back again.  Some of them were giggling.  Ah, they have seen me in action before…..
Then it hit me…I am a bit rusty after the long summer…somebody was on their cell phone.  A 9th grader on computer Ten was chatting merrily, oblivious to the Great White who was circling behind her….cue music…

I must say, my compliments to the rest of the students who were  kept doing their work.  Not one of them tried to give her the “heads up” or the complimentary “LOOK OUT behind YOU!!”  As I stepped in front of the student and caught her eye, the color drained from her face. 
“Ohh Mommy!” she squeaked and disconnected her phone. 
Keeping my voice as interesting as a bowl of oatmeal, I said, “Bring your self and the cell phone to the counter.”  She went into the usual dramatic teenage girl freak out.  The rest of the students on the computers turned in their chairs to watch the floor show….Wow!  No cover charge!  No two drink minimum! 

When I reached the portion of the cell phone violation form that states, “Cell phones will only be released to the parent or guardian…” the color in her cheeks she had recovered, quickly dissappeared.  I think she realized it was pointless to struggle. 
Perhaps I need to make a special certificate for having one’s cell phone confiscated by the HotLibraryTech – I had one for the First Lost Textbook of the Year – back when I dealt with textbooks…I called it the “Kiss It Goodbye” award.  This year it only took two hours on the first day for someone to earn that honor.) 

After finishing the form and contacting the office on the radio, I walked the student to the office – policy states that you send the student and the form along their cell phone to the office…but quite frankly that’s like turning your back on a 2-year-old in front of an open cookie jar.

Patriot Day 2010

September 2, 2010

This year’s 9/11 bulletin board is more subdued than in past years.  You can see that previous board at the top of my blog.  The 9th grade class of 2014 were kindergarteners when the twin towers fell. 

Stephen Pastis is following me…

August 26, 2010

A fellow hot library tech found this and shared it with me. 
Stephen Pastis must have been following me.