Tag Archives: library

The Easy Reads Section is now complete!

The library has finally finished our transformation of the Easy Reads section.  In addition to all the changes I discussed last time we’ve also

  • Expanded the Books that are not in English section significantly, buying various visual dictionaries and bilingual stories.
  • Bought a rack for the magazines, making them easy to browse.
  • Bought a number of interesting, non-fiction hardbacks for the Books about Facts section.
  • Manipulated this existing image of a talking cartoon book into various different poses using Photoshop.
  • The Talking book now introduces each section with simple language that SEN/EAL students will understand. He even speaks in  foreign languages.

A huge thank you to Student Librarian Greg for helping me out every Thursday with this. He’s done an excellent job with every task I threw at him.

‘Mystery and Mayhem’ Book Review

The book is a range of stories with a mystery in each of them and they are all nearly impossible to solve. The book contains multiple authors, so you get a range of different mystery writing.
I thought that the author Susie Day was a really good author, when she writes mysteries they are real brain teasers to solve and when the answers present themselves you realise how clever they are.
Clues for the mystery are found by reading ‘in between the lines’.
It’s very interesting and when you start reading it you’ll want to continue until you get to the end. It’s not a book that will have answers at the back or at the end of the story; the answers are told to you throughout the novel. It contains a lot of AH-HA moments!
I’m looking forward to continuing this story collection and mainly the books by Susie Day!

Careers and Further Study Section

We’re rapidly expanding our career and further study section and will continue to do so over the coming months. The library is working cooperatively with HHA’s career adviser Ms Dhanda to bring library users up-to-date and relevant info on everything from writing your first C.V. to deciding what to do after you leave school.

We’ve already bought in ten new books and we will continue to expand the section until it is deemed complete. We’ve also brought in prospectus guides for the top Uni destinations for HHA pupils. Be sure to check it out and give your feedback at the desk about what you want to see there next.

New Student Librarians

After two years of service our student librarian Rupali has decided to leave the team. Similarly Maeesa is taking a break from duty in order to focus on her studies. We’ll be sad to see them go and we’ll be seeing them off at our librarian Christmas meeting this Wednesday.

Rupali and Maeesa’s absence means that we can finally welcome both Hariya and Tayba to the library team. For the last term they’ve both been diligently working as cover librarians. This post is now taken by Greg, who got interested in library duty after volunteering here for his Duke of Edinburgh award. We welcome all three to the team.

Easy Reads Reboot!

easy readsSince September the Library Team have been hard at work updating what was known as the ‘Skinny Reads’ section. With the help of year 10 pupil Greg we’ve transformed it from it’s old dreary state.

-We’ve added 12 brand-new books with 5 more to come.

-We’ve created a 3-D book-shaped sign which shows our new ‘Easy Reads’ title.

We’ve updated all the signage to simple language that SEN and EAL pupils will understand easier.

-We’ve moved around the sections and resources to make it really approachable and interesting.

But we’re not done yet. This week Greg is designing signage which will appear to the left of the section which will advertise each shelf’s content. We’re also working with the EAL lead in the Academy to expand the ‘Books that are not in English’ Section.

Keep checking back, we’re hoping the section will be something really special when it’s finished.

The Hamstead Hall Mock US Election is underway

Our policy display and ballot box

Once again we’re running a mock election within the library. This time we’ll be deciding who we think should win the US Presidential election. You’ll be able to choose between Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
We’ve got a display at the back of the library which goes over both candidate’s thoughts and policies on matters of refugees, foreign policy, taxes, immigration, law and order, climate change, job creation, abortion and gun laws. Read them all and see which candidate’s views match up with your own. Once you’ve done that mark the oval next to your chosen candidate on the voting ballot and place it into the ballot box.

Anyone caught tampering with the voting system will get in real trouble. Votes will be counted on the evening of the 8th November and announced on the 9th November concurrently with the real results.

Our student librarian Maeesa has written a blog post about her thoughts, but keep in mind that this is her opinion as opposed to objective information. It can be read here.

Welcome Back!

We’re back for another year at Hamstead Hall Academy Library. It’s going to be a pretty great year. To start with we’ve enrolled on the Bookbuzz scheme which allows us to give every year 7 a free book! Options this year range from the award-winning The Lie Tree to the side-splitting My Brother is a Superhero. If you are a year 7 you’ll be asked to choose your book in a couple of weeks, so make sure to thoroughly research the selection available.

Next month we’ll be doing another mock election this time we’ll be voting on the US Presidential election. Hilary Clinton vs Donald Trump. Like with our EU referendum vote we’ll be displaying impartial information about both candidates, in the hopes that students will make up their minds using  facts as opposed to media spin.

We’re also celebrating the 100th birthday of Roald Dahl. We’ve already set up a display of his books encouraging pupils to try his adult short stories and autobiographies. We’ll also be viewing the Penguin live webcast on Tuesday 13th September at 14.00, so make sure to be in the library on that date.

This is the tip of the iceberg, we’ll be doing lots more throughout the year, we’re still running the awareness week display, trilogy of the week and we continue to get in ten new resources every week. Hope you all have a great year, see you in the library!

Debate!- Should The Library Stock Video Games?

Recently my two student librarians Karan and Joseph had a debate concerning whether the library should or should not stock video games. They both raised some great points. Karan argued against and Joseph argued for. I’ve transcribed it and tidied it up a bit, but all the points were made by them.

Karan- This is wrong! You can see the damage that they do to DVDs. What do you think they would do to games?

Joseph- However this will make the library more popular and attract a new audience. It’ll be a new thing to do and if someone breaks an item, they will have to pay for it.

Karan– But you can’t trust cause people to return something like that.

Joseph- Then they’ll get banned and won’t be able to take anything else out.

Karan-If you ban them they might come back and steal.

Joseph- You would have to trust people.  If someone doesn’t bring it back, then we would get out money back.

Karan- Games are too expensive to risk. Furthermore they don’t have educational value. Pupils are only interested in violent games and Fifa. They don’t care about puzzle/educational games. GTA and Call of Duty have a lot of violence and no redeeming educational value. The stories aren’t even very good. Students don’t play games for the story and it would be much better to encourage them to read.

Joseph- Games don’t necessarily have to be educational. A lot of the books and DVDs here aren’t educational. But I think that a game is a really good medium for delivering a story and you shouldn’t say no to all of them just because of a few bad examples.

Karan– People aren’t interested in story games and even if they were you wouldn’t be able to limit play. Students would play all night. They would be tired and they wouldn’t do their H/W.

Joseph– Students do that anyway and at least if we were picking the games we could steer them towards ones with some creative substance to them.

Karan– But game are different to books and films because of their format. People all have different consoles. How are you going to please them all? When new games come out you’re going to have to pick which console to buy it for and this will annoy those without it. Also when a new console is announced and people move on, the entire collection is obsolete.

Joseph- But there is so much potential here. We could drive students to discover games outside of their comfort zone. This could inform their ICT learning. There is already modules in ICT to design games, so why don’t we have really good examples of the medium in the library? If someone took out a good game then they could learn from it and design a new one on Kudo. This could fuel creative ambitions. We could even run competitions for creative games. For example a contest to build the best landmark on Minecraft. This encourages those with artistic tendencies. I even think there should be a console in the library and students could play new, creative, exciting games like Minecraft, The Witness or Portal. Games are the most popular creative medium for teenagers and you can’t just ignore them because of old-fashioned prejudice.

Some excellent points on both sides. Well done to the boys for arguing so effectively. I’m afraid we won’t be buying any videogames for the school library anytime soon, but I think we can agree that Joseph made some very valid points for their inclusion.  

The Academy EU Vote is Underway.

The library is curreThe EU flagntly running a mock EU referendum. Pupils will be able to read our balanced information and F.A.Q. before casting their vote via paper ballot. This is being run to engage the pupils with political issues and understand what our young people think.

The voting booth is now open, so encourage pupils to come and vote, we would love to have the biggest turn out possible. Voting closes on the 23rd, so we should be able to publish our results side-by-side with the official ones.  See you at the booth!


‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ DVD Review

We recently acquired this film on DVD so Libby is going to let us know her thoughts.

Heeellllooooooo guys,
Today we will be talking about the thrilling Marvel Avengers film: Age of Ultron. This film is absolutely amazing and features many of the characters at their best. The film has a brilliant story line and the actors are all great in their roles. Some of the characters in this film are Thor, captain America, Iron Man and the Hulk. It also features Black Widow and Hawkeye. Throughout the film there is action and thrills. I’d definitely recommend it to someone who hadn’t seen it.