March Madness

Thank you, Cathy Nelson, for sharing her March Madness idea.  I so totally stole it.  Since I’d fallen down on focusing on my school lately, I’ve been trying to do a reading promotion every month (or two) and this one was a perfect follow up to our Blind Date with a Book promotion from Jan/Feb.   We started by printing off the Follett report showing the top circulated titles to determine the top 16 (in some cases, we combined them if there were titles in a series to only count the series not the individual titles).   Most of the books our students read are part of series! Students were asked to complete their bracket predictions and return the Wednesday before voting was to begin.  Voting is every Thursday in March.  Students whose bracket predictions prove correct receive a prize and any student whose entire bracket proves correct will receive a “big” surprise.   [Yes, I left it vague as at the time I hadn't decided on prizes!  Now, they get candy for correct individual bracket predictions and I have $25 Amazon gift cards if anyone's entire bracket proves correct.]

Since our building is scheduled to be painted this summer, I didn’t hesitate to use some black duct tape to tape up our bracket on the hall directly opposite the library entrance! While Cindy, my library aide, was putting it up she got some weird looks.  Everyone wondered what on earth she was doing!  Of course, we ran out of duct tape half way through!  Since Cindy is part time, I finished up the rest of the bracket the next day after restocking our supplies.  [My side - the right- isn't quite as straight and meticulous as Cindy's!]

March Madness Bracket







Our initial Sweet Sixteen bracket:

  • #1 Bluford High (series) vs. #16 Virals by Kathy Reichs
  • #9 Bitter End by Jennifer Brown vs. #8 Vampire Kisses (series) by Ellen Schreiber
  • #5 Beautiful Creatures (series) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl vs. #12 Matched (series) by Ally Condie
  • #13 Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter vs. #4 House of Night (series) by P.C. & Kristin Cast
  • #3 Cirque du Freak (series) by Darren Shan vs. #14 Darkness Rising (series) by Kelley Armstrong
  • #11 Infernal Devices (series) by Cassandra Clare vs. #6 Maximum Ride (manga series) by James Patterson
  • #7 Mortal Instruments (series) by Cassandra Clare vs. #10 Alex Rider (series) by Anthony Horowitz
  • #15 Luna Chronicles (series) by Marissa Meyer vs. #2 Vampire Academy (series) by Richelle Mead

Our Elite Eight:

  • #1 Bluford High vs. #8 Vampire Kisses
  • #5 Beautiful Creatures vs. #4 House of Night
  • #14 Darkness Rising vs. #6 Maximum Ride
  • #7 Mortal Instruments vs. #2 Vampire Academy

Our Final Four

  • #5 Beautiful Creatures vs. #8 Vampire Kisses
  • #7 Mortal Instruments vs. #6 Maximum Ride

And after today’s voting, our Finalists are:

  • #5 Beautiful Creatures vs. #7 Mortal Instruments

march madness book coversAfter the first round of voting, only one student had predicted all of the Elite Eight titles!  However, after the second voting, no one had a perfect bracket!  As of the last voting, only two students and one teacher still have any books on their bracket – and all three have correctly predicted the two finalists!  We’ll see if they can predict the winner!  The winner will be announced next Friday!

Blog Undergoing Overhaul?!

If you are a faithful follower, as you no doubt have noticed, I’ve not been a very regular blogger.  Life and professional duties have kinda gotten the best of me lately.  As you may know, in March 2011 I agreed to be President Elect of the SC Association of School Librarians (SCASL) which is a three year commitment (President Elect, President and Immediate Past President) that comes with a range of new responsibilities on top of those already incumbent upon me as the full-time librarian of a high school!   No excuses, it just meant that the blog took a back seat on my priority list.  I’m also not one who likes to toot her own horn so writing about what I was doing here on my personal blog seemed inappropriate if I wasn’t going to be doing so in the official SCASL spaces — and much of what I’ve been doing was devoted to SCASL and less was devoted to my school and students.  Which now that my leadership term is up I can remedy! But I digress.

If you are reading this from an RSS reader you may not know that the blog is undergoing an overhaul.  New theme, new header image (one of my own!) and I’m updating the sidebar widgets.  I’m also considering changing the title if I can come up with a catchy one – especially since this really hasn’t been much of a “Timely Tidbits” blog lately nor have I been sharing any “Tech Tips”.  [Suggestions for a new title are welcome - leave them in the comments or email them to me!]

So those of you who are still with me, thank you, and I hope those who have abandoned me will come back!


Its Official – Another School Year is about to Begin!

As I write this I have just (well a couple three or four hours ago) finished updating our school’s faculty AND student handbooks and they’ve been sent off for printing.  Yep, almost last minutes as always!  Hopefully, not too many errors will be found.  Time always seems to sneak up on me and summer seems to slip by so quickly.

With new beginnings logically something has to end, and for me it just wasn’t summer.  June 30th marked the end of my term as President of the SC Association of School Librarians.  I do have to say the organization has the best going away “gift” of sending outgoing Presidents to ALA Annual – this year in Chicago.  I was there with current President, Anne Lemieux, President-Elect, Diana Carr, and Past President, Kathy Sutusky.  We had a blast exploring Chicago and attending ALA events and AASL Affiliate Assembly.   My photos can be found on my Flickr account.

Since School has let out I have attended SCASL Summer Institute, ALA Annual, Upstate Technology Conference, SCASL’s Board Retreat, and one day of my district’s iPad 1:1 initiative’s 3 day training.  In between all that I had a “regular” doctors appointment for follow-up blood work (all normal!) and a neurologists appointment for my migraines (of which I’ve had 7 days of migraines and 6 days of ‘regular’ headaches this summer).  Only one very mild migraine episode since going on new medication, but vertigo symptoms as a side effect so not sure its been a good trade off!  hopefully it will taper off.  This to say that I’ve been very slack and not read a single young adult book or school related/professional journal, book, or magazine all summer.  Oh, but I been reading plenty of “me” books (in other words complete waste of time, entertainment, or as my uncle says “smut books”) and have been looking through my three travel guides to London and Edinburgh for my upcoming trip in September (Yippee!!)

More immediate excitement for both me and my students stems from the library (and most of the school) getting brand new carpeting/flooring – it looks really nice – well as nice as institutional carpeting can look! I’m told I’ll we’ll be getting paint touch ups, on the door trimmings, too!  I wish I’d taken some before and after photos.  Darn it!   The custodial staff is gonna help me move furniture back where it belongs next week.   The carpet guys did a pretty good job putting most of it where it was, but not quite where it should be – or where I want.   It will probably take me weeks to get everything else put back in place – or find new homes for things.

The computer guy(s) are working diligently to get the desktops and laptops back up and running – as not only did the computers get moved out, they were migrated from the Novell to Windows!  I don’t envy the tech guys their jobs!  We have WAY lots of computers and laptops for them to deal with and it seems every time I turn around they have to come back and tweak each and every one of them all over again!

Gonna be lots of changes for both faculty and staff to adapt to when they get back in a couple weeks!  Yep, I said it.  Only two weeks from today teachers come back!