Module 3 Learning Log – Goodreads

I enjoyed Goodreads so much I went and applied for Librarian status!  And I got it!!!  I’m now a Librarian on Goodreads!  Hooray for me!  Ahem, okay, excitement is over.  For a moment, at least.

I would use Goodreads as part of my Librarianship at a school to review and recommend books for students and teachers alike.  I think Goodreads would also be a great conversation starter.  “So Student, I just read this really great book.  It’s called XXXXXX.  Have you heard of it?  I put it on my Goodreads shelf along with other books that are similar.  If you like this book, you might like some of the others I’ve picked.  Go check it out and tell me what you think.”

Goodreads could be used as a project for English class, extra credit assignment, or as part of a reading promotion activity.  Having students create their own shelves, read, and rate/review books could be fun.  It would be interesting to see how kids read according to their interests and see what they have to say about the books they’ve read.  I could have a reading promotion contest to see how many books students could read and review/rate within a period of time.  Or maybe have a book club in which students review and recommend books to their peers through their shelves.  They could promote a book a week or a book a month through TV news, morning announcements, or on the school’s library website.  These could be fun projects to do with students that wouldn’t involve lots of time or money (esp. if the books they read they get through libraries – school & public).  Parents could get involved as well.  They could create their own shelves and recommendations.

Even just having a link to the librarian’s bookshelf on the school or library website would be important for the intrinsic reading promotion it would have.

I’m sure with enough time I could think of more to do with Goodreads.  For now though, if you would like more information, check out the button on my blog page or click on the link below.  I have several shelves to look through – Read, To Read, Favorites, Currently Reading, and one on European History as part of a unit of study.  The European History bookshelf is books that I would be great supplements to curriculum or perfect for students to find additional information on their own.  Or maybe just read more about a time period, place, person, or event in Europe’s history that interests them.


Mod 2 learning log post – A thought on “Brain of the Blogger”

I was reading “Brain of the Blogger” and while I enjoyed the article immensely, a thought occurred to me:  blogging could potentially be a way to reach out to reluctant readers, especially with a classroom blog or library blog.  Here is what I am wondering, would it be possible to set up a “What we’re reading now” blog for a classroom or library and include sections of text from books?  Would something like that fall under the “Fair Use” category?

Section 107 of the copyright law states four factors for consideration if something is fair.  I would think that a blog intended for a classroom or a grade in a library would be considered “Fair use” according to numbers 1, 3, and 4.

1.  The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.

3.  The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.

4.  The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

Say a teacher or librarian used the blog to post the first 10 pages of a novel to “hook” students (especially reluctant readers), wouldn’t number 1 apply?  I would think so.  Especially considering the length of the section (number 2).  It is not reasonable to post half of a work but say the first 10 pages or maybe even the first chapter of a very long novel could be considered fair.  And finally, posting a section of the book wouldn’t have any negative effect on the market or value of a book.  If anything, getting more students interested in reading said book would only increase the book’s market value, i.e. increase in students checking out said book from library and purchasing the book.

This is something I would want to look into further, obviously, before actually posting sections of a book online.  However, I think a blog like this would have a great impact especially on students who are not “into reading” or only read every now and then.  Knowing one’s students and the kinds of books they like can be a powerful tool.  Plus, students would have the added bonus of being able to research books (and read some of them!) in the comfort of their own home.  They would also be exposed to many different types of books, perhaps learning how to branch out to different genres and authors.

An overall positive thing?  Absolutely.