Sunday, September 9, 2018

Principal’s Picks Section in the Media Center

By Peggy Sherman
“I want a Principal’s Picks section In the Media Center.” This request was made by my principal in March. This was my first year working as the Media Coordinator at my school even though I have worked in education for over 40 years. I pictured a few books placed on a table with a sign reading, “Principal’s Picks.” Didn’t sound difficult. I figured a few minutes work, and the request would be fulfilled.

I started by choosing some books that would appeal to a wide range of readers. I love books so narrowing the choices to just a few was a challenge. I figured I would need fiction and nonfiction, books that would appeal to both boys and girls, various reading levels, and more. The pile grew as I pulled books off the shelves.

After much thought I had the pile of books down to eight. Great! Now I would display the books, add a sign, and students would be checking out the Principal’s Picks. Then it occurred to me: as soon as a student picked a book off the shelf to check out, I would be searching for another book to replace it. I pictured choosing books daily to replenish the display. Not going to happen!

I decided that I would feature the books for a round of media classes with no checkout allowed for these books. However, the only thing that would accomplish was prolonging the inevitable. I would still be choosing new books to feature for Principal’s Picks more often than was reasonable in my mind. 

That is when I came up with the solution that lasted for the rest of the school year. I took individual pictures of all the book covers. Then I sent the pictures to my school email account. I printed them and made copies. I made copies because in most cases I did not get the sizing correct before printing. It was easier for me to do this on the copy machine. I used eight page protectors and slipped the pictures inside. I taped the filled page protectors to the display table and stood the books on top of the pictures. Now when books from the Principal’s Pick section are checked out, students are still able to see the books that were recommended by the principal. One change I plan to make for next year is printing the pictures in color. I also plan to feature twelve books and move the display table to a more central location.

Peggy Sherman is the Media Coordinator and MTSS Coordinator of her school. She has also served on the NCAEE Board for several years.

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