Learning 8 Oct 2018

Library Alive - a TK and Lakeside Book Week

By Melissa Cooper, Marjan Slaats and Stojana Popovska (teacher-librarians)
Photograph by CIS Communications

“Teaching reading is not supposed to be quick and easy. It’s supposed to be about human connection. It’s one conversation at a time.” - Pernille Ripp

When it comes to reading, it is important to talk to our kids about what they have read and make connections - whether it’s personal, with books or even to events in our world. As librarians, one of our favourite roles is fostering the love of reading, to value our students’ choices in books and encourage them to select a title to savour for the fun of it. Jennifer Gonzalez’s blog ‘Cult of Pedagogy’ highlighted a wonderful interview with reading expert Pernille Ripp where she discussed the importance of our children having the time to read and enjoy reading. Book Week that recently took place at both Lakeside and TK focused on bringing the ‘Library Alive’, to encourage students to stimulate their minds and talk about good books.

Tasty genres at Lakeside

At Lakeside, we welcomed students to our ‘Library Alive restaurant’. Students were given a menu that encouraged them to taste different ‘genres’, or types of books. Every student had the same goal, to challenge themselves and find a new genre to enjoy. Where possible, our teacher librarians Marjan and Melissa, combined their classes so that our older students could help give younger students advice on what books and genre to choose.

This turned out to be a two-way street, as our younger students started sharing their ideas about genres that the older students might try! Watching a grade 6 student talk to a grade 1 about what genres and books they enjoy warmed our hearts and reading souls. Lyri Elgrichi (5-7) said: “it was good to try more genres that we normally wouldn’t get - I found some nice romance books.” We loved finding kids squashed into chairs together or sprawled across the floor with a mountain of books to explore. Jasmine Bullot (4-1) shared, “I worked with the little kids and liked how they tried to explain the books.” The library was buzzing with some excellent reading conversations!

TK bookworms

Our TK bookworms were also busy in action during the last week of September. Teacher librarian Stojana, turned the library into a vibrant room, and every grade level had the opportunity to explore the library in a brand new way. The library team planned a week of fun reading activities that focused on getting kids to talk about books. Grade 5 and 6 students had a fantastic time ‘Speed Dating’ with books, while grade 4 visited the ‘Library Restaurant’ where they enjoyed tasting a range of genres. Their menu featured starters, a main course and of course, dessert: sophisticated picture books, various genres, and tasty joke books. Grade 2 and 3 students were in a creative mood and made colourful origami bookmarks that they were excited to take home and put to good use. Grade 1 spent time with Mo Willems’ most popular characters and finally, our youngest kindergarten readers had the choice of going on a Bear Hunt, performing the Wheels On the Bus or enjoying Swimmy by Leo Leonni. Everyone finished library time with a fun art activity. Library Alive week was definitely a fun activity enjoyed by everyone at TK!

A successful conclusion

How do we, the CIS librarian team, know our week was successful? Well our circulation increased by nearly 10% during that week and students such as Dia Menon (5-1) shared sentiments like, “I liked seeing all the different genres and seeing what other people liked.”

We feel we have served our kids a tasty treat and encouraged reading. The treat was in fact so tasty, that students came back for more after the event. The following week saw many of our students back for another book (from their newly found genre), and sharing what it was that they loved.

At home, ask your child if they have found a new type of book to love and what they love about it. As a team of teachers and parents, we can keep the learning moving forward with good conversations about books!


  1. How to stop killing the love of reading by Cult of Pedagogy 
  2. Reading expert - Pernille Ripp
  3. Lakeside book menu
  4. TK book menu