Boekenweek: Shining a Light on our ASH Libraries

This week in the Netherlands it is ‘Boekenweek’, a big celebration of books and reading around the country. So of course it is something that our libraries here at ASH are highlighting in their displays and work. Celebrating an event like Boekenweek is an important part of the #ASHexperience and our libraries do an amazing job of linking in to as many reading and book events as possible. Recent events celebrated and highlighted in our ASH libraries include International Women's Day and World Wildlife Day. Our libraries contain resources on many topics of interest, and special days are an opportunity to highlight excellent, high-quality reading material. So in honor of Boekenweek, we spoke with Head Librarian Dr. Tilke about all the great work our libraries and librarians do here at ASH and how all of us in the ASH community can use these great resources.

“In today’s consumer world, the high school library utilises as many publicity and marketing techniques as possible, such as window displays, front-forward displays of individual books and 'in-store' displays of books by theme or genre - in order to promote the resources available. Our librarians forage for various props, including costumes, gym equipment, bicycles, and soft toys in order to keep these displays eye-catching, interesting and ultimately, engaging.

Whilst students often need to find information for an assignment, the high school library is arranged so that it becomes more interesting to walk around, and perhaps find something of interest, something unexpected. It is also designed this way to welcome in our parent community - don’t forget our library spaces are for you too!

Digitally, one of the high school library's most powerful tools is a cloud-based concept called "libguides". The librarians can use this platform as a means of curating and publicizing library books and information. There are libguides for classes and assignments that students need to study, such as Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay on the IB Diploma Programme, plus special topics and events, including Disability Awareness Week and the service learning trips. Then there is the massive "ASH Good Reads" libguide, containing recommendations for over a thousand books, arranged by genre and theme. The ASH library libguides can be accessed here.

All the libraries host speakers, such as authors, though the elementary and middle school libraries are spectacularly good at this. Research has shown that there is a positive link between seeing and hearing authors and other creative artists and literacy and reading enjoyment of students. 

The ASH libraries are great learning spaces for students, teachers and parents to use. For students, especially in the high school library, the aim is to provide a calm environment to help them focus, read and study in comfortable surroundings, and at the same time provide a colorful space to encourage them to read and choose material for home reading.”

So this Boekenweek (and every other week of the year!), make sure you take advantage of our libraries as part of your #ASHexperience