Library report March 2015


Donna Jo and students

Donna Jo and students

Donna Jo Napoli – writer in residence 2015. One whole week with a writer of this caliber was a real gift to our school community. We tried many new events while Donna Jo was with us – a writers’ workshop during the weekend, a TED talk – keynote for the middle school and a poetry cafe in the library to conclude the week. Special thanks to Jane, Suzy and Jen for all their work in the many hours of planning for this visit. We will meet to reflect on how it all went and some ideas for next time.

Here is Donna Jo’s reflection about her visit, “From the tiniest folk through the high school, I found the students at IICS lively and responsive. They are always ready to consider others’ ideas and to discuss their own, and in an atmosphere of complete respect. That feeling permeates the school. The teachers are inviting and encouraging, both to visitors (like me) and to the students. There is nothing better than seeing a smiling, nodding face when I am facing a group of people I don’t know and presenting ideas that might be controversial — and at IICS there were many such faces.

Donna Jo and students

Donna Jo and students

We did writing workshops and the students happily consulted with each other, gave feedback to each other, and raced along on their own creations. Perhaps the highlight of my visit (or, really, one of so many) was the writers’ cafe on the last day. Students shared original work that simply made me dizzy with admiration. But what I loved most was how very kind they were to each other’s offerings. Sharing your poetry or stories is an intimate event, really — and they did it forthrightly, knowing they could trust each other. It was beautiful. I’m so very grateful I had the privilege of visiting IICS.”

Poetry Cafe – we transformed the library into a Poetry Cafe and invited our student writers to share their work with each 803other over lunchtime. The primary school writers were very enthusiastic. Some students shared more than six poems throughout the course of the event.

The secondary students were less forth coming – possibly because they had been asked to bring their own poetry. Those who did come and contribute were exceptional. Perhaps next time for secondary we will simply invite poets and their fans to come.

The students are asking us when the next cafe will take place – I am wondering about “Poetry day” which is 30 April. Special thanks to Coskun, Cemil and Sezai Bey (both of them) for all their help in creating the cafe.

Follett Library training Ozlem, Lindsey and Maria went to the Follett Library training days in Mid March. They felt the days were excellent value and they came away with new understandings about what we could offer our community through Destiny. They wrote up their reflections and shared it on this Google doc. Follett is prepared to bring their experts to us in Istanbul and we make the most of working with them and our Library colleagues in the other schools in the city.

Puppet theatre comes to Hisar Lindsey sent these photos of EY5 telling stories in the puppet theatre created under the loft.

Istanbul Librarian Network presentation at IASL conference. My personal PLC this year has been to develop my Readers’ Advisor skills. To do this I started a monthly meeting, Book Chat, for our Istanbul Librarians’ Network. We meet once a month and bring three books we have read and enjoyed from our collection. We record these books on our Good Reads group. We have been doing this since October and have all found we can offer our own students better book suggestions because of the knowledge shared at these meetings. Three of us in the network developed a workshop for the IASL conference in the Netherlands at the end of June to describe the work of our network as a PLC. I will not be able to attend as there is no PD funding left but my colleagues at Uskudar American College and Isik school will give the workshop. There were only 13 workshops selected this year and ours was one of them
Challenges and Opportunities

Making sense of statistics. We collect statistics each month to see the use of our print and electronic collections. Below are the stats for both Marmara and Hisar campuses for the physical resources circulation for the past two and a half calendar years. You can see the impact of changes to our circulation policy which came into effect at the start of this school year, snow days and summer borrowing. Ozlem collects this data and maintains the graphs.

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I have been monitoring EBSCO over the calendar year of 2014 and the impact of extended essay searches is very interesting. I have started the monitoring process for 2015 as well. We are entering a time of high use for EBSCO and eBrary with Exhibition and Extended Essay reference interviews coming up for grades 6 and 11.

We only choose electronic resources which we can monitor in terms of their use. I am collecting statistics for all of them and considering carefully the value the give and the use they get.

Library a popular place to be. We are finding that grades are now booking the library to have whole grade teaching and presentations. More students are coming to use the quiet, focus of the library for SDLT and teachers are sending groups to work here while the rest of the class is engaged in something else in the classroom. This is both wonderful and challenging at the same time. Our library team is working hard to maintain the balance of student needs in our open plan environment.

Quote for the month

“A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.” ~ Susan Sontag. We certainly saw this quality in Donna Jo who could speak knowledgeably about frogs, flowers, languages and life.

Amanda Bond
Teacher Librarian