Courtesy of Kim McLean
Even while apart, school librarian Kim McLean is connecting Cougars through Reading Month.
“Obviously we want to promote reading throughout the year, but March is a time that we highlight it,” McLean said. “We bring attention to the importance of it and the pleasure that we get from reading and how important that is as well.”
To celebrate reading month, the library has a few different activities going on, including an online Scholastic Book Fair that happens to end March 14. Buying books will help support the Clague Library and all book orders over $25 will have free shipping.
“I do read ebooks and listen to audiobooks but I definitely miss the physical books,” McLean said. “That’s one of the main reasons why we hosted this book fair, is that it gives kids a chance to actually get some physical books during this time.”
But, the book fair is not the only thing happening this month. Clague started reading month with an online author visit by well-known middle-grade writer, Sarah Weeks, which had over 200 participants.
“It was very interesting because Sarah Weeks grew up in Ann Arbor,” McLean said. “She went to Tappan Middle School and Huron High School, and she’s published many middle grade books. To have one of them, So B. It, made into a movie that did really well is very neat.”
Because students are online this year, they have had to think outside the box a little bit with library-related activities, so there are different things like a Sora badge achievement contest happening this month. In Sora, as students read books, they can earn different badges, so students can submit each of those badges to enter for a surprise reward.
“Being online this year has been challenging in some ways,” McLean said. “Obviously I can’t connect students with physical books or do things physically in the library, so we don’t have that direct connection. In person, generally students are coming in and out of the library so I have a lot of opportunities to share resources with them and just talk.”
Even though it’s hard being online, there are also some positives to it.
“We are able to collaborate with all the other librarians in the district, which has enabled us to pull our resources together and collaborate on things like the author visit,” McLean said. “This way it’s opened us up to things that we wouldn’t have been able to do before.”
This month there will be an Ann Arbor District Library webinar presentation for all five middle schools in the Ann Arbor Public Schools on Wednesday, March 24. They are going to talk about how the library is working right now, as well as different programs that they have and some of the most popular books for middle-schoolers.
There is also a Flipgrid site that they have for students to share what they are reading here. To get more information about these different events, you can visit the media center’s website or look at the library Schoology page. (Join code: FQQ3-G489-6PDJ3)