This is always a challenge. When I get in a big order of new books of course I can put them on a cart and make signs and show everyone but after a week or so everything gets shelved or is being circulated and the excitement dies down. There are also many books that I know won’t be big hits but they’ll fit in with certain needs later. Books that will be great read alouds or that can be used in a unit on WWI or poetry or whatever.
With nearly a hundred staff members and over nine hundred students there is no one way that’s good at letting all the right people know about all the new books when get in periodically. Last year I tried just making a short video clip only showing off the covers of all the new books in one order. I was planning to add it to the morning show but just sweeping over all the covers took over 8 1/2 minutes long. Couldn’t do it.
This time I’m trying something new. I decided a long time ago that I just like the blog format for my media center website. So sticking with that idea I made one post about the new books and “pinned it” to the top of the blog. Then I made a post for each book. It was pretty quick to do. I just used Titlewave and copied a picture of the cover and copied the publisher blurb and/or a quote or two from review sites. Cut/paste/cut/paste. That’s it. It took time but over a few days it wasn’t that bad. I made sure to use a few labels on each book. “Read aloud,” “WWI,” “poetry,” that kind of thing. Then I send a group email to all the teachers with a link to the blog and that first post (which explained everything) and waited to see how it went. I’ve also showed it to a few classes and a number of random students. I’ve gotten all positive feedback. Not everyone jumped on it but I did get a few requests for things based on it from both a couple of teacher and a few students.
I also think it will come in handy later when someone asks me, for example if I have anything new in folktales, I can hit that label and there they are.
I may even add a few more books. For example if I notice the 5th grade teachers using it to see what new civil war books we have, I’ll add posts to other civil war books they might miss (especially ones in Fiction or Everybody that they might miss if they only look in the 900s). If I see students often use it to see about new scary or funny books I’ll add more of those. That way I can have a fast and easy way to share something for a request of “second grade read alouds” without having to keep up a whole massive database or wiki or wrack my brain every time.
It’s an experiment but it’ll be interesting to see where it goes.