Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from King's Library

Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/19387816@N00/2119550981

Wishing everyone a very very happy holiday and a great Christmas and New Year.  Stay nice, stay safe and remember to be kind to each other. 

Looking forward to meeting all our new students in 2012 for another year full of great library experiences, be they learning new skills, finding great books to read and expanding your horizons.

The library will be open again on the first day of school in 2012, and also for coursing.

Wednesday 25th January for Year 13 coursing

Thursday 26th January for Year 12 coursing

Monday the 30th January is a teacher only day

Tuesday 31st January is for Year 9 and 13 only - meet at 9am in the Performing Arts Centre

Wednesday 1st Feb Years 10 and 11 - meet at 9am in the Performing Arts Centre, Year 12 meeting at 10am in the Performing Arts Centre and Year 9 and 13 are at school too.

Thursday 2nd February - All students at school for a normal school day.  Group time is at 8.45am

See you all then!

Ms Schaumann @ the library!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's that time .... bring your books back time

Image from http://chzb.gr/vrHuVK

Borrowing has now closed for the year for students of King's High School.  There are exceptions, members of the BookGang are encouraged to borrow over the holidays.

Sorry to say that some students failed to return books from very early in the year, unfortunately the replacement costs of these books have now been added to their school accounts.  If you do manage to find the missing books then please take them to the office to arrange for the charges to be taken off. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Reading makes you smarter believes the KHS Dux!

This photo is of Nathaniel Parsons, Head Student Librarian at King's High School in 2011 being awarded his Dux prizes on the stage at our Senior Prizegiving earlier this month.  Nathaniel has been a library regular for the past three years and his love of high fantasy fiction, books with plenty of blood and gritty content are, I am sure, at least partly responsible for his wonderful academic success.  Nathaniel leaves King's to go onto Otago University, where he will study Science and he intends to major in Geology and Earth Sciences. 

Nathaniel loves to read big fantasy books, he likes the way they take you to an new world.  He thinks that reading them is a great break from studying but that they still keep your mind working.

Nathaniel's love of books and reading have been things he has enjoyed sharing with younger students and he has often contributed to booktalks this year, recommending some of his favourite books to junior students, and occasionally issuing books to students because he thinks that the books are too good for them not to read even when the students were at times reluctant.

When asked to recommend some books to our readers he heartily recommends the following:
  • The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
  • The Way of King's series by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  • The Enemy (and series) by Charlie Higson
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • The Painted Man series by Peter V. Brett
  • The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
  • The Name of the Wind (and series) by Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Left Hand of God (and series) by Paul Hoffman
  • Feast of Souls (and series) by Celia Friedman

You will notice these are all fantasy or dystopian novels, because that is what he loves.  Nathaniel will be heartily missed in the library next year, even though he promises to visit from time to time.  He is going to miss his privileged first access to new books but hopes to find new treasures in the public library which he can recommend to King's Library.  You will be missed Nat!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Hunger Games Trailer - at last!

At last, a good meaty trailer which shows us some idea of what the movie will actually be like.  People it is looking good, we are calling ourselves very very excited!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Bridge by Jane Higgins

In the opening scenes of this book Nik is awaiting the decision which will determine his future.  He has been trained all through his school life with one goal in mind, to make it to ISIS, the security force which control the part of the city he lives in.  It is a city divided by a river, with bridges which are closely guarded.  Nik's side of the city is the side of the educated, the well-fed and it's residents have access to everything they need.  Over the bridge, on the other side of the river the people live in squalor and they lack for almost everything, they are angry, restless and ready to rebel at any moment.  ISIS keeps close control on the North side, they run the show.  When Nik isn't picked for ISIS, no reasons are given and before he can find out why his school is bombed, people he is close to die, and the people from the Southside look like they have become organised enough to become a major threat.  His friends are not treating him the same way anymore and so Nik is now on the run, desperate for information, to find a small boy and an identity.  His friend Fyffe is going with him as they search for her brother.  They are going over the bridge and into danger, if caught who knows what will happen to them.

This book is exciting, it is scary and creepy and it twists and turns and doesn't let you out of it's grip.  A brilliant read for all secondary students it will keep you guessing as you try to figure out the allegiances of the characters.  This book won the Text prize and that is a bigger recommendation than I could give it, the author is a New Zealand author and this book deserves to be widely read.  Highly recommended for everyone but especially those who love dystopian novels.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Goodbye cookies

Micah, regular contributor to this blog, marvellous reader of books, BookGang assistant, Library assistant, helper of many with computer problems, music suggester to Ms Schaumann, fellow lover of John Green, drummer extraordinare, singer, songwriter and guitarist of promise, blogger and friend to many at King's High School, made the cookies above to say goodbye. He leaves at the end of Year 13 to begin new ventures at Otago University next year.  He will be missed.  His baking will also be missed especially his Giant Cookies! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Help with NCEA study

Level 1, 2 and 3 students who are working at home or in the library, and who have questions relating to their courses (almost any subject) should go and check out Studyit.  This online resource is manned by teachers of every subject who can answer your questions.  It is great for those times when you think of a question and need the answer quickly, you can post your question onto one of the forums and have the answer really quickly.  There are lots of people online all the time during exam time and it is a great place to go and find questions other students have posted which will help you in your study too, you never know it might just be the extra helping which takes you to excellence in an exam question. 


Student helpers are awesome!

The photo above is of Cameron and Oscar.  This photo is a rare thing, they do not appreciate the camera being used near them as they are shy by nature.  These guys have been the stalwarts of the issues desk during lunchtimes and interval all this year.  They are unsung heroes of the library.  They are here in the library before any other students every day, they man the desk and have become very adept at managing the circulation.  There is always a good supply of car magazines and Guinness Books of Records (and they constantly beg for new computer magazines) which they keep behind the desk. 

Cameron and Oscar both received Service to the library awards this year and next year will be 'badged up' members of the Library Assistant team.  Thanks so much for your help this year boys!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We've got QR codes in our library!

Morgan and Scott check out a QR Code on Scott's Smartphone
For a couple of months we have had small black and white square codes appearing in various places in and around the library. 

You can see a couple of codes along the sidebar of this blog. They are a small barcode (just like we use on the back of our books to scan them in and out of the library when issuing and returning) and if you scan them with a scanner app, from your smartphone you will be taken online to a website, a video link, an interview with the author or a resource which gives you some added content or which might be useful to you as the reader. 

The barcodes sit on quite a few of the shelves and often you can find them in front of very popular series such as The Hunger Games or The Rangers Apprentice series.  You can also find the codes on the bench in front of the computers in the library with a code which takes you to the Epic Databases or to this blog.  As time goes on you will find more and more of these little codes, or ones just like them on posters and displays all around you, not just in the library as businesses use them to take you to websites they want you to see. 

QR codes are cool, they are interesting, easy to make and a little bit of fun.  Come in and try them out!

I've written a little bit more about them on this blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reasons for occupy Wall St and other protests

Have you been watching the news recently and seen lots of people sitting in protest in various locations throughout the world?  Have you been wondering what it is all about?  Why the people are protesting?  Information is Beautiful have made a video to explain why and it is embedded below.  This video is from the American perspective.

and so to get a more global look I have put another video from John Clarke and Brian Dawe which looks at the situation from a different angle.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs speaks to students about life and death

The man who was responsible, more than any other for how we use computers today has died, the founder of Apple computers and one of your librarians personal heroes as a true Apple geek, Steve Jobs died after a short but very interesting life. 

Below is a video from 2005 where he is addressing a graduating year of Stanford students.  The video is full of great moments, especially when he talks about the serendipitous moment when he accidentally attended a lecture which lead to the look of the fonts we use today on computers.  He also talks about what happened to him after Apple fired him how amazing things came from a really terrible situation.  He developed new companies and tried new things including Pixar studios which have made so many digital movies.  Watch him giving this address to students from Stanford.  He talks about loving what you do, doing what you love and not settling.  It is 14 minutes very well spent.

And here he is in 1984 demonstrating the very first Macintosh computer (your librarian had one of these, very cutting edge!)

If you'd like more videos and more information about his life have a look at this article from Stuff.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

This book is so aptly named.  It is a wondrously beautiful book.  It is big, it is beautifully designed and it contains a really well crafted story, both in words and in pictures.  Wonderstruck is one of those books which will appeal to lots of people for lots of different reasons.  If you read books for a great story this book has one.  If you love art, drawing and design, this book has loads to offer you.  If you think books are things to be treasured then Wonderstruck is certainly one which people will want to treasure.  It is a book to buy as a present, it is a book to own.  But first you might want to borrow it from the library.  The first book by Brian Selznick is a poor battered thing in our library because it has been so widely read over the years.  There is a blog post about it here.

Wonderstruck is two stories, one told in pictures and one told with words.  It is the story of a young girl living in New York who runs away from home, and it is also the story of a young boy 50 years later in a small lakeside town.  You know that somehow the two stories will connect and when they do it is a moment of wonder.

Below is a video of the author, walking around inside the incredibly detailed drawings from the book.  This author is truly one of the great authors for young people today and I hope lots of our students pick up the book and take it home and spend time in the world of Wonderstruck.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

The wonderful Te Ara website has had a redesign, and it is now easier to use and even clearer than it was before.  Use Te Ara if you are looking for New Zealand information.  There are lots of categories to choose from where you can begin your search or you can search the whole site.  Te Ara is the main place to go if you are looking for the kind of information you would look for in an encyclopedia.  It is great for historical information, for information about birds, animals, the people, places and culture of New Zealand.

There are videos, images and sound clips.  There is also a very cool place where you can find stories about things from New Zealand's past.  I loved this one about a scary experience with a bull

Te Ara is one of the best homework resources around.  Try it out, search for some things about Dunedin and see what you can find.

Whats going on with Social Media this year?

Social media update from Socialnomics.  The statistics get bigger each year.  Facebook has become both a noun and a verb!
Turn your sound up because the music is pretty cool!

Friday, September 30, 2011

"Miss there's a shark in the library"

Shark browsing for books!
Photos from the other day when Mr Greenfield bought his birthday present to school.  His Mother loves him very much and bought him a remote controlled shark for his birthday. He does duty in the library at lunchtime and is usually found at The Last Card League table but not this day.

It isn't every day you have a shark 'swimming' between the shelves and harassing the teachers!  There was a lot of humming of the theme from the movie Jaws, there was the occasional student who didn't see or hear it coming and who looked up and got a huge fright, and there was much hilarity.  Oh how we laughed!

It could even be turned into a science lesson.  You could see the different thermodynamics and temperature changes as the shark 'swam' from place to place, you could see how the weight altered direction and diving.  It was pretty awesome!
Ms Harford attempts to speak shark

Lets see if we can creep up on them
Miss, there's a shark in the pit!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

I thought Matched might be a little more suited to girls rather than guys when I first picked it up but it is proving to be popular with the boys as well.  It's a great read, lots to think about and mull over. It really appeals to those who have been all caught up in The Hunger Games, and who are looking for something new to try.

Cassia lives in a world where everything is perfectly matched to her.  Her food is perfectly measured to the amount of energy she needs, her job is chosen on the attributes she has, she has exactly the right amount of clothing for her needs.  It is all sorted out from birth, even the number of children she will have and when she will die.  Her future life partner is also matched to her.  When she attends the ceremony to meet her perfect match something weird goes on, her perfect match may not be the right match.  This sets her on a path which is untrodden in her world, she is challenging basic concepts of their society, what will happen when the rules she has grown up with need to be challenged.

Matched has a great website.  Below is the booktrailer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Lord Of The Rings Speakalong - a BookGang event

Image from Goodreads
One BookGang to rule them all

The BookGang Presents –
the Speakalong Lord Of The Rings

We are going to recite the script along with the movie – awesome!!!
Come and read along to the script while we watch the LOTR movie, The Fellowship Of The Ring - includes sound effects!
In the school library, 6.30pm, Wednesday the 5th October.
BookGang Members Only (and staff of KHS)
RSVP- Ms Schaumann ASAP


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