School library websites and the Poetry Book Society

In the latest edition of Scan, there are some articles about using school library websites to enhance learning in the school. A number of issues arise here, including whether the school library website should be open to anyone to see or should be part of the school intranet. In some cases, TLs may find it easier to develop pages which are part of the intranet and therefore stay within the school, with students having access from home. An intranet, of course, does not let others and in particular, other TLs, view the site and get ideas from it. A second point about school library websites is that many of them are well designed and the result of much work on the part of the TL but many school library websites still focus on providing lists of unannotated websites for teachers and students. As I’ve written before about pathfinders, there is much more likelihood of students and teachers using websites which give them more than the URL i.e. they provide a guide not only to content but to why the student or teacher should use that particular site.

I have just rejoined the Poetry Book Society  (website being updated) and the way the subscription works is that 4 times a year, you get a parcel with a new poetry book plus a magazine with excerpts from other new poetry books. The beauty of this system – for me at least – is that someone else chooses the books and it’s a surprise. I have enjoyed the great majority of the books sent to me and this quarter’s book is Theories and Apparitions by Mark Doty. I try to read one poem per day and enjoy lines like, from a poem entitled Pipistrelle ( a kind of bat) “two twilight mares in a thorn-hedged field/across the road- clotted cream/and raw gray wool, vaguely above it all”.

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