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Your Easy Guide To International School Library Month

Your Easy Guide To International School Library Month

Thanks to Debbie from Affinity Agency for this guest blog.

 


 

International School Library Month is an opportunity to teach your students all about the school library. From the books to the librarian, computers, and support, it’s a celebration of all that a school library is and what it can be. This handy guide discusses why you should celebrate International School Library Month and how you and your students can get involved.

 

The school library is an invaluable resource, so let’s get the children up to speed…

 

The International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) created International School Library Month to celebrate and spread awareness of everything school libraries offer the student population. It’s all about recognition and educating others about how they can help.

 

They have a theme every year, and the focus for 2022 is ‘Reading for global peace and harmony’. The idea is to encourage everyone who gets involved to understand how to be more supportive and accepting of others through reading, writing and learning.

 

Why you should get involved

If the theme of this year’s International School Library Month isn’t enough to convince you to encourage your children to visit the library, there are plenty more reasons to show them how a school library works:

 

  • Libraries are designed to encourage learning and healthy habits.
  • They are full of educational resources and materials to support your lessons.
  • They are quiet spaces that aid in concentration and focus.
  • They are safe spaces where children can feel free from day-to-day worries like bullying.
  • Libraries are full of books of all genres and can have a positive impact on a child’s opinion of reading. Here are some other options to encourage reading for pleasure.
  • Librarians are specially trained researchers and are knowledgeable in the best ways to find the information a child might need.
  • Libraries offer technological support for those that may not have internet access or the facilities to complete homework elsewhere.

 

School librarians and libraries are incredibly valuable to a child’s education, whether it’s to encourage them to read more or to support their homework and research. Add in the fact that everything is free, and it just makes sense to encourage your students to learn everything about using them.

 

Children sitting in a circle being read a story by an adult.
School librarians and libraries are incredibly valuable to a child’s education

 

Ways to get involved

Any kind of activity that gets children into the school library and using the facilities is ideal for ISLM, so here are a few suggestions:

 

IASL activities

This IASL has a couple of activities organised in support of ISLM. One of these is the Bookmark Exchange project. The idea is you and your students create your own bookmarks based on this year’s theme, then these are exchanged by post (or digitally – whichever you prefer) with another school. You have most of October to create these bookmarks and register for the project.

 

This activity allows the children to make use of the library to come up with ideas for their bookmark, be it a favourite book, a historical period or something else. Plus, they will make friends from other schools through the novelty of sending these items, which will help cultivate a positive opinion of the library.

 

Get competitive

Competitions are a surefire way to get children excited – especially if there’s a prize. So, why not challenge your students to take part in a creative writing or reading contest?

 

For instance, ask them to look throughout the library to find a theme, story, character, or author to use as inspiration for their own short stories or poems. Think Roald Dahl’s silly words in a limerick or the tale of Ronald Weasley discovering coca cola. The idea is to get them to explore the library and see how it can help develop their literacy and creative skills. Here are some other writing ideas for KS1 and KS2 that they can have a go at with help from the library.

 

Another option is a reading challenge to see who can read the most books. School libraries tend to organise their books by age and/or theme, and they often have special displays too, so tasking your children to read as many books for their age or on a specific theme is a great way to get them to use the library services.


Incorporate International School Library Month into your lesson plans

If you’re learning about a specific historical time, figure, author or theme (like the current energy crisis), then ISLM is the ideal opportunity to introduce your students to the library. Having them explore the information on offer and produce a poster or presentation on the chosen topic using only the library resources will help them understand how it works and can benefit their education. 

 

Encourage diverse reading

The theme of this year’s ISLM is peace and harmony for all. So why not encourage them to read about different places, people and experiences to expand their knowledge and understanding?

 

For example, if someone likes reading boy-led action and adventure books, ask them to try a female or LGBT+ led one. Or if someone prefers reading fantasy stories, why not encourage them to try poetry or books set during another time? 

 

Any way you can get the children involved in the library and using the facilities is going to help them learn and understand the longer-term benefits of having the service at hand. So, give it a go, share the wonders of the school library and librarian, and see if your students realise the value they have at hand.

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