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Hello all!


With all this talk about library themes, I couldn't miss the opportunity to
share with everyone a theme I used my first year in the library.  It was
"Book a Trip around the World".  Each month we focused on a different
continent and book talked both the non-fiction titles we have relating to
the particular continent and any fiction stories that tied into the focus of
the month.  We highlighted authors and illustrators from around the world
and during the Christmas season, we had a door decorating contest with all
the classes choosing one country and decorating their doors accordingly.  Of
course, they had to find a book that would tie to their country and our
theme, so it was a cool experience working with each staff member to do just


I made "passports" for each student to mark their progress in reading about
each country and points were awarded through our AR system.  Their library
cards were designed to look like tickets and once the teachers laminated
them, they lasted throughout the year.


We had a most unexpected ending to our library season that year. KLUV, a
local radio station, was sponsoring a "Trip around the World" contest and on
a lark I entered.  You had to write a brief essay about why you should be
the one sent around the world and I was shocked when Ron Chapman called me
at school to tell me that I had been selected as a top 10 finalist.  After
meeting with him and interviewing with his staff, he called to tell me that
I was one of the top 3 and would be in the final group.  Our interviews were
placed on the air and for a week the listening public got to vote on who to
send on the trip.  All the students and their parents rallied around and
voted and through an incredible miracle...I won the trip.  Now of course
that was awesome, but what really topped it was that the trip was during the
last month of school, so during that month, my students listened to the
radio each morning and got to track me as I visited many of the sites we had
spent the year talking about.  KLUV fully equipped me with a phone, a laptop
and a camera, so as I downloaded the pictures from my trip, the students
were able to log on and to actually see someone they knew in a place they
had only seen in books.  It was incredible. (I visited London, Paris, Rome,
Athens, Cairo, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Honolulu.)


Now I'm not promising you that if you use this theme, you'll win a trip
around the world...but you never know what a little library magic can do!


"You see, I don't believe that libraries should be drab places where people
sit in silence, and that's been the main reason for our policy of employing
wild animals as librarians."   ~Monty Python



Tina Cline
Life School Library

Dallas, Texas
214-376-8200, ext. 162


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