“Bad Libraries build collections. Good libraries build services (of which a collection is only one). Great libraries build Communities”

– R. David Lanks

I had never heard of R. David Lanks or his book Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today’s Complex World until hearing Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer, speak at the Hamline Summer Literacy Institute this summer.

During Miller’s presentation, I furiously took notes and I swear I held my breath – I didn’t dare exhale, for fear I would miss something she said.

Notes from Donalyn's Speech
Scribbling down as much as I could and trying not to miss anything.

I was inspired in so many ways as I listened. Looking at my notes nearly four months since the Literacy Institute and I am reminded of the question that haunted me that day.

What are we willing to do this year at Buffalo High School to create and sustain a community of readers?

Here is the “to do” list for 2017/2018 – as of today, I’m sure it will grow and change over time.

  • Create opportunities for BHS to read as possible. No more last day to check out. Allow students and staff to check out books over the summer. Have a few days a month where the library is open and people can bring back books and check out new ones. The risks are worth the benefits. As Miller said so eloquently, “Losing a book vs. losing a reader.”

  • Book talks on the announcements once a week, possibly Wednesdays as that is our Free Uninterrupted Reading Time day. Should be random readers – administration, custodial staff, students, teachers, coaches, Buffalo area community members.

  • “To Read” list out to help students book shop. We underestimate how much students struggle to find books that they are interested in.

  • Read Aloud Events- we do not age out of these.

  • In addition to F.U.R. (Free Uninterrupted Reading) create a time where students can meet to talk about books.

  • When ordering books consider Mirrors, Windows, Sliding Doors – WeNeedDiverseBooks.org

  • Create a space where all readers are valued and where all reading is valuable.



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