When I first became an elementary school librarian, I was, admittedly, in over my head. There was so much to take in – so much information coming from all directions, as well as all of the on the job impromptu training that I was going through. So, when I met with all of the other elementary school librarians each month, I didn’t always retain everything we talked about. The other day, I was reading through this blog, Another Day in First Grade, when I came across this author study resource. The author of this blog, a primary school teacher, created laminated author folders. These folders contain pictures of the author and a little bit of background information and book titles written by the author. They are created to be displayed right next to the books!
Reading through that blog post caused a little bell to go off in my head.. I had discussed this very idea with my fellow librarians! But instead of using laminated folders for authors, we did them for particular books.
The front cover would include a picture of the book cover, an the inside would have a number of different things: background information on the author, an excerpt from the book, other books within that same genre, research ideas (for nonfiction) and more
The idea was to put these folders all over the library, and not just in ‘normal’ display areas. In our meeting, we discussed how students ‘stumble’ upon books, and oftentimes those are the books that stick with them. So we had ideas to put them next to the computers, sprinkled throughout the nonfiction section, on display by the circulation desk, near the dictionaries, and more.
Thinking about it now, displaying these folders throughout the library adds another dimension to student browsing, as well as encouraging students to interact with different stories and genres in new ways. I also find that they are really helpful in connecting students with fiction/nonfiction pairing. For instance, placing a folder about the novel Shiloh near the nonfiction pets section. Or World War II novel folders near the nonfiction section dealing with war. They are excellent resources for adding depth to topics of interest for students. Making these kinds of parents really allows the students to immerse themselves in subjects that they like to read about.
After making the connection between the blog post and my librarian meeting, I started to think about how this could be adapted for middle of high school students. The high school I volunteer for has a number of student literature projects on display.