The Gold Library Award has always been something that only our more self-motivated student librarians achieve, as unlike the Bronze and Silver Awards, students choose whether they want to work towards it, and they do it on their own time.
I am really pleased with the quality of the zines produced, and also with the amount of times I've seen other students picking up the zines and looking through them. In the past, we have had students write up book reviews on an A4 piece of paper and we've put these in a folder. Hardly anyone ever looked in the folder. I think the cute format helps, as the zines are small and more tactile. Picking up these little zines and flicking through them is fun. We keep them in a little box on the issues desk.
We had some students fold the zines wrong, or forget to add some of the elements, so next year we will offer students pre-folded zines and make a checklist of the items we require. We will also ask students to have their teachers certify that they have produced their best work, as we had a couple of borderline zines and we think this is the best way to work out what a particular student is capable of producing.
Here is my example of a book bento:
Here is more information about Book Bentos, and in case you're wondering, here's how to make a zine.
Changing the format of the book reviews to zines has been a big success as it has significantly increased the number of students reading them. I would highly recommend giving it a go.
Here are our updated instructions for our student librarians (the checkboxes don't work here but you get the idea):
Making a Book Review Zine
- Mrs Simms can show you how to make one from an A4 piece of paper, or can give you a pre-made one. Write in the zine while it is folded up, so you don’t end up with any upside-down pages.
- The aim is to share your love for a book and entice other students to read it
- Choose a chapter book (fiction or non-fiction) that you love that is in our library (if it’s not in our library, ask for it to be bought).
- You must work alone
- DO NOT give away the ending of the book! Give just enough information to make students interested in reading the book for themselves.
- Tick the checkboxes off so you don’t forget anything
- Cover - Title of book and author - Make it look awesome! Use colour!
- Short summary of the plot - Don’t give the ending away!
- Question - Ask a dramatic question about the plot of the book e.g. What happened after Harry was taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?
- Three-word review - Use:
- A noun that isn’t found in a lot of other books in the library e.g. darts, Titanic, braces,
- An adjective that describes the book e.g. terrifying, hilarious, heart-warming
- One other word of your choice
- Book Bento - A collection of nicely displayed objects that have featured in your book (Mrs Simms will print out your photo if you need her to. Send it to email address).
- Other great books I recommend
- Your name and class
- Draw a picture or leave it blank - your choice!
Book Review Zine Checklist
- I have checked with Mrs Simms that no-one else has chosen the book I want to review
- The cover page has the title of the book, author, and where it is in the library
- I have given a short summary of the plot, but not given the ending away
- I have included a dramatic question about the plot of the book
- I have made a book bento
- I have included a three-word review
- I have recommended some other great books
- I have included my name and class
- My teacher has confirmed that this is my best work ___________________ (teacher’s signature)