Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Visit THE HARLEM RENASSANCE @ your Library

Had this idea in the summer and we are going to try it out this February. During the month of February we will celebrate “THE HARLEM RENASSANCE” in honor of Black History Month.

Here’s the plan. (We will let you know in March if it was a success or not)
During the month of February we will have the following activities in the Library:

Afternoon At The Movies-This will be after school and we show A Cabin In The Sky. This movie is short, 98 minutes long. A Cabin In The Sky was a groundbreaking production for its time due to the decision to use an all African-American cast. In the 1940s, movie theaters in many cities, particularly in the south, refused to show films with predominately black performers. I know that 1943 is a little past the Harlem Renaissance time period, but the actors and actresses in this movie were part of the Harlem Scene. As normal we will have free popcorn and sell drinks.
*Blues and Jazz for Lunch – During our 4 lunches we hope to have one of our assistant principals and friends play the music of the 20s. If this falls through I have CDs we will play during lunch one day (it scares me when I have to depend on other people).
* Sweet Potato Pone Tasting – If you research foods of the Harlem Renaissance, you will find that it focused on Southern Soul Food. This is because of the great northern migration of Black Americans to the cities. We wanted to do a tasting, but we live in the South so most Southern Soul Foods are foods our students eat on a regular basis. One that I found that we don’t seem to eat in North Carolina (but they did in New Orleans) was Sweet Potato Pone. This is something between a Sweet Potato cake and a sweet potato pudding. We are going to be the baker of this recipe, which Lucy found on the Internt
*A Rent Party – Our visions of a Rent Party. This will be during lunches so we can not sell food (state law). Instead, we will sell turns on the Video Game called “Donkey Konga” (you also could use Guitar Hero or Rock Band) If I am now talking a foreign language to you, ask the students-- they would love to fill you in on all the new games. I have Donkey Konga set up as a 4 player game and students will pay 10 cent per player per game. We will talk about what a real Rent Party was like in the 20’s and 30’s .
*Lindy Hop and Charleston-During lunches one day, I have asked the Dance Club to do a demonstration of the Charleston and the Theatre Class to do a demonstration of the Lindy Hop. I have,You Tube Video to show on the Smart board if these demonstrations fizzle out.

There you have it, one busy month-- to be so short.

Yes, we check out Magazines!

Several years ago we did away with the periodical room. For one thing, nobody here still uses a print magazine index, now that we can our state database, NCWISEOWL (and don’t forget Google). So now that we are not a museum for old magazines, here is what we do. The current issue of a magazine goes out on the magazine racks as normal. We slap a barcode on all back issues and let the students check them out just like a book. We tried using envelopes with a temp barcode and the envelopes came back mangled. We find that it works best to put a barcode on the front cover and let it go just like that. Yes, some magazines come back mangled as well and we just delete them. That keeps them weeded and pared down. We do not keep more than 24 back issues and most magazines don’t even have that many. Our RIS (in-school suspension) classes come in about twice a day to exchange magazines. Remember, boys especially love short pieces of non-fiction and information like magazine articles. Struggling readers enjoy short magazine articles as well. We put the majority of our magazine budget into student magazines—we get LMC (Library Media Connection)—and that is it. If departments want professional magazines, then they can buy them out of their budget. In this media center, we focus our money on students (Lucy learned this after spending many years wasting money on professional magazines that the professionals never read).

We purchase about 40 different magazine subscriptions for our students.