In honor of National Library Week, we wanted to spotlight our favorite library--Our school library/media center! Libraries today are SO MUCH MORE than quiet places to read. Springer's Library Media Specialist, Clare Barkley, shares some of the fun!
Each year, Springer hosts a visiting author or illustrator for a day of magic in the Library. The visiting author program is meant to inspire students. Through the author visit, students learn to ask thoughtful questions and get creative with their own writing and drawing.
This year, we had the honor of hosting Cincinnati resident Blythe Russo. Blythe has illustrated several children’s books and in 2022 Sloth Sleeps Over was published. The book was the first that Blythe both wrote and illustrated. In the book, a sloth becomes nervous about her first sleepover when she learns it doesn’t actually involve much sleeping!
Through Blythe's presentation, students learned about the steps of creating a book and the amount of thought and care that goes into each and every page. Blythe explained how much thought goes into each detail of her work - even choosing a character's colors takes many revisions! Many students dread the process of revising and editing with their own writing, but hearing how authors go through the process too reinforces the idea that it’s a useful and important skill for their own writing. Blythe also shared her sketchbook with the students and they got to see how some of her ideas started and developed over many iterations. Seeing all of the work that goes into her art can make the creative process seem less daunting. Students learned that authors don't magically come up with books - they take persistence and discipline.
With each group, Blythe told students about her childhood and the process of creating a book. But the students' favorite part was creating art with Blythe! She took suggestions from each group about an animal to draw and what that animal should be wearing and doing. She then showed them how to draw it and the students followed along to draw their own version. One middle school class created a pig eating an ice cream cone in space, while another group drew an underwater penguin. The students loved seeing their ideas come to life!
Springer students are curious and love to ask questions. Each visit ended with students asking Blythe a variety of questions from what her favorite book is to if she prefers pizza with or without pineapple.
Blogger Clare Barkley is the Springer's Library Media Specialist. Through her innovative programming, students learn to utilize the library in many different ways, and meet professional writers to spark their own creativity.