BiblioBlog: BWS Library Blog September 2020

BiblioBlog: BWS Library Blog September 2020
Welcome to the entire BWS Community. We started this newsy letter last September and you can see them all in the archived News section of our website. It’s a one-year anniversary!

As usual, the BWS Library was closed during the summer in order to do an inventory of the collection. We responded to Distance Learning this month by “zooming” into scholars’ homes, much like dragons flying into cozy caves full of treasure. Indeed, our school-wide theme starting the year was the Dragon of Fantasy. As our Library program of Finding a Good Story was high jacked last spring by the Corona virus, we decided to continue the exploration of different fiction genres and the rich Fantasy in children’s literature.

Each week we met with every grade for 30 minutes but had homework expectations. For the older boys it meant independent chapter reading of a longer novel and drawing dragons. For younger boys it meant sharing books and making paper bag puppets or creating artwork and a show at home.

Our lending library is closed so the Librarians organized kits full of books and supporting arts and crafts so that each boy could step away from the screen and bury his nose in a book and put pencil or paint brush to paper. Blank books, colored pencils, paper bags and watercolors filled the kits. A focus on illustration and retelling a story with puppets enhanced the Story-time and Book Clubs.

Much like the big, bad wolf, the dragon presents a scary obstacle full of fire and fury. Some stories showed how a child could master that scary beast and others showed that the beast isn’t really scary at all. Our book for 5th grade represents the first in a large book series that has only  dragons as characters. (Ava DeVernay is making an animated series) Not surprisingly, fear, bias, courage and compassion feature in dragon tribes as well as human groups. The main Mudwing character learns to find the courage and strength from within, even as his enemies try to defeat him.

And, finally, just like dragons protecting their treasure, we librarians spent much of the summer and into the fall taking a strict inventory of the books we have, processing new donations and culling books that are duplicates or outdated. When we return to a more normal school day, we may be able to bring volunteers back to the building. Until then, Barbara Ochmanek carted boxes and boxes of books home to review every entry in the catalogue and change each label. We are talking about the entire non-fiction collection…thanks Mr. Dewey for your decimals!

The publishing world is offering more new books written by African American authors and illustrators. Our very own Brian Harris has a new book out, I Am My History, which is on display at the Library. Hoorah!!!

Please check out the list of books we need to fill out the collection. See it on Amazon: BWS Library Wish List. Thank you for your interest.

Catherine Marquardt