The Hungry Bookshelf Blog
So today I learned a valuable lesson...never leave your phone (even if it's locked) behind the circulation desk during lunch. Usually it's in my office, which is off-limits to students. But due to a need to be accessible for a family situation, I had it with me today. While I was checking fees and fines for prom ticket purchases (before the big price increase), a student who has been hanging out a lot in the library decided to use my photo roll as her photo booth. Less than five minutes and eighty-two pictures later...

First, she showed her boredom in ten of the pictures.

Then she checked to make sure I wasn't able to see what she was about to do in six pictures.

She then started taking about 15 cute pictures. Here's one as an example:

Next she decided to recreate Van Gogh's "The Scream" (a version of which was recreated by a student in our art gallery):

No roll of 82 selfies would be complete without at least one (or a dozen) where you stick out your tongue, right?

Or do a series of extremely goofy closeups? 

All of these pictures were posted with the student's permission and approval. In fact, she thought it was hilarious to be the subject of a library blog. I, on the other hand, have kept a very close watch on my phone ever since...

Recent happenings that make my job a definite joy:

We just started the Books Ahoy! Cart. This mobile book cart is visiting English classes upon request to allow students to check out books for reading pleasure. Because we are such a large school, not every student can make it into the the library during lunch. Therefore, only 210 students per day can access the library during lunch (often the same students), and there's not enough time between classes to come, browse, and check out a book if a student's classes are upstairs or in the CTE building. Students can email favorite authors, genres, or specific requests for nonfiction and fiction books in advance. Otherwise I have a selection of all genres of fiction books on the cart for their perusal. So far it's been fun with about one-third of each class choosing at least one book. The art teacher and I have plans for the cart's appearance with some reclaimed on the lookout!

On Thursday, the Foods classes had a guest speaker...a chef, naturally, from a culinary institute. At the end of her presentation and demonstration, one of the Pirate TV reporters challenged her to a pancake cook-off. If you're going to have a cook-off, what do you need? JUDGES! Well, I love to eat pancakes so I became a judge. So much fun. The chef made maple and cinnamon pancakes, using maple frosting in the batter as her secret ingredient. Ethan, the Pirate TV reporter, used chocolate chips as his secret ingredient. For presentation, the chef's experience showed, with her white icing drizzle. But her's was really, really sweet. I had to vote for chocolate!

I also got to share some great info with teachers as the high school DEN Ambassador. We have access to Discovery Education in our county, and there are so many resources other than the videos. It's always nice to show teachers things that will help them in their classrooms. The Spotlight on Strategies section should be in big, bold letters on the home page so teachers see it when they log in!

With my principal heralding the news, I was thrilled to learn I had been awarded an Ed Foundation grant for Live from American History and Silently Going Green Screen, a grant I wrote for expanding my green screen project in the US History and Theater Arts classes. With another iPad on the way and being able to install the Green Screen App and iMovie on all of our iPads (ours are old enough that it did not come pre-installed), greater things can happen with these projects!

The black and white photography is finally being printed as posters and framed to go above the computers just past the art gallery section. It took a year after my vision for the space for it to come to fruition, but thanks to Ethan (yes, the same Ethan who made pancakes!), we have six phenomenal and very large pieces ready to hang. These pieces show parts of student life without actually have students in them so they can be timeless. There are five more pictures to be taken (now that we have lambs in the barn and a greenhouse with plants in bloom...)

Although teaching students how to evaluate sources is something I've always done, the fake news situation permeating social media is more difficult simply because it is EVERYWHERE. Before you have a chance to even start to evaluate a news article, it's viral. Sometimes, the mainstream media picks up on a story, adding to its "legitimacy" when, in fact, it's not real.

One story that I've used as an example of just that situation is the Twitter tale of a man on a airplane who is stuck on the tarmac and regaling his followers with the tale of a fellow passenger who is livid at the flight delay. He goes on and on about her action, complete with photos of notes he sends her and the airplane drinks he has the flight attendant deliver. The saga captures the minds of many people and the woman passenger is vilified by his followers as the story goes viral. It runs on the nightly news broadcast as an example of rage over flight delays during the holidays. Finally, the author admits he made the entire story up. All of it.

During the recent political campaign, election, and post-election events, stories abounded about things that happened only for it to be discovered that NONE of these viral stories were true. Some were made up by the "victims" and posted online. Others were "news stories" created by others to stir the controversies surrounding one of the candidates. None were vetted by police, reporters, or the people retweeting, reposting, or sharing on social media. And so the lies were spread world-wide over and over again.

How to stop this? It can't be stopped. How to fight it? Teach ways to question stories on social media with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Here are some articles and resources to help teach students about recognizing fake news:

School Library Journal Article on Fake News

Temple University Fake News Research Guide
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