This Blog is on Fire, Part II


If you missed the first publication of this series, check it out here.

As noted in my previous review of blog sites, my criteria is entirely subjective. The purpose is merely to expose myself and others to new sources of inspiration and professional learning. I especially value blogs that introduce me to new tools that I can immediately use either in my library. So, without further ado, the winner of today’s Blog Award is….

The True Adventures of a High School Librarian

Honorable Mentions:

Jessamyn West’s Librarian.Net

Jenny Arch’s Look Out, Honey, ‘Cause I’m Using Technology

Snapchat as a study guide.

Image source: NPR

Nikki Robertson is the author of “The True Adventures of a High School Librarian“. I immediately attached to her site because her most recent post is about incorporating SnapChat into the library. Snapchat!!! That is one brave woman. To many adults, SnapChat has a definite stigma to it (Don’t know what I’m talking about – read this article). While some adults have reconciled with the idea that SnapChat can be a great social networking tool, there are some who still view it as app for sexters. Despite what adults think, the reality is that today’s high school students love the app. In a report last updated in early July 2016, the percentage of students, in the class of 2015 only, who admitted to using Snapchat daily was 60%. The average number of photos shared on Snapchat every second is approximately 9,000. These numbers prove how prevalent this app has become, and it would be in the library’s best interest to utilize this communication tool. Many celebrities and bloggers have adopted this mentality as well, so why not librarians?

Here are some ways that Nikki Robertson uses Snapchat for her library:

  • advertise new books
  • promote library events
  • celebrate students, teachers, and other patrons
  • brag about co-teaching/collaboration efforts
  • update followers on any new developments
  • sending messages such as “We are open!” or “Thank you to everyone who stopped by ______”

She even provides further reading for people who are interested. The first article, “The Complete Guide to Snapchat for Teachers and Parents” provides a great overview for adults who may have some hesitations. While the entire article is interesting, the most useful section is “How to Use Snapchat at School or in the Classroom”. Other resources include “High School Experiment with Snapchat to Reach Teens” and “10 Seconds at a Time, a Teacher Tries Snapchat to Engage Students“.

Image source: The True Adventures of a High School Librarian

Robertson also posts pictures and information about a library program she calls “The Genre Dating Game”. See her post here. Her library staff created small blurbs/dating taglines to post above the books in order to entice readers into checking them out. One of these signs reads, “An old soul born into the wrong era. Loves candlelight and exploring antique store. Will write you long letters instead of texting you! IT’S HISTORICAL!” (I’m so curious as to which book that is advertising!)

Image source: The True Adventures of a High School Librarian



I love this idea and could imagine doing this around Valentine’s Day. Last year, we had “Blind Date with a Book” (I’m including a picture of our display below). I think switching it up this year and holding the “Genre Dating Game” might be a nice change.

Let’s talk about the honorable mentions now. Jessamyn West has introduced me to the BookMarks site. Not only am I thrilled to have found this review site, but I am sad I didn’t know existed before today. I use GoodReads all the time – to skim reader reviews of books, to keep a virtual bookshelf of books I’ve read (and how I’ve rated them), and to organize my TBR list (TBR = To Be Read). I did not think I would need another review site. However, I absolutely love the BookMarks site. It’s like Rotten Tomatoes, but for books instead of movies. While GoodReads relies on reader reviews, BookMarks collects reviews published in the media. Once they have a minimum of three reviews, they assign the book a letter grade. My only criticism of this is that they do not have as comprehensive of a collection as GoodReads does.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 7.49.53 PM

Image Source: BookMarks

Here is an image of a review page (click on image to be directed to full review):

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 7.50.59 PM.png


From honorable mention, Jenny Arch, I liked the blog post titled “Pleasure Reading Should be Pleasurable”. She discusses that compulsion some of us have to finish reading a book just because we started it. I find it amusing that I will make it a point to repeatedly tell my students (during book talks, or when recommending a novel), “If you don’t like it – STOP reading it”. It’s different for each book, but if you’ve given it a respectable chance (perhaps up to page 50) and it feels like a struggle to even open the book…’s time to walk away. I tell students that I want them to enjoy reading, and forcing themselves to finish a supposed pleasure-reading book won’t help in this endeavor. I, on the other hand, often feel guilty for abandoning a book. I have – trust me, I have definitely left many a book unfinished. However, the amount of time that has to pass before I legitimately give up on a book is astounding. Take Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds. I tried so hard to get into that novel (I know, it’s a trending Y.A. book – I KNOW!). I probably read over 300 pages of that book and did not enjoy it in the least. I would start and finish other books, then return to Bracken’s book. I repeated this process for about 4 months before I finally closed that book once and for all. FOUR months – what a waste of time! In her blog, Arch reminds me, “if you don’t like what you’re reading, and you don’t have to read it, put it down and read something you love instead”. I’m going to give myself permission to walk away from another book I’ve been trying to read titled Same Kind of Different as MeA large portion of my school staff has read it and all loved it. This is a good book – I can tell it’s a good book – it’s just not the book for me at this exact point in my life. I was feeling guilty about not getting through it, but I’ll just put it on my TBR list and come back to it one day.

I have to include one more honorable mention: Librarian Problems. Based on the content, this blog (which is honestly just a series of humorous memes) is directed towards public library employees. I work at a joint-use facility though, so many of these made me laugh out loud. I’m including a few just in the hopes of bringing a smile to your face.

Image Source: Librarian Problems


Image Source: Librarian Problems

Image Source: Librarian Problems

Image Source: Librarian Problems


Arch, J. (2016, February 5). Pleasure reading should be pleasurable. Retrieved from

Rodriguez, S. (2016). Snapchat finally acknowledges the existence of sexting with ‘memories’. Inc. Retrieved from

Smith, C. (2016). By the numbers: 80 amazing Snapchat statistics. DMR. Retrieved from


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