The AISL Library is OPEN across the October break on the following days and times:
Saturday 12 October: 9:00-14:00
Wednesday 16 October: 9:00-12:00
Saturday 19 October: 9:00-14:00
Beat the October heat by stopping in for a great read, a family game (we have lots of new ones!), or a delicious cup of coffee. We have something for everyone. Hope to see you visit!
"Fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is the lie that tells us true things, over and over." - Neil Gaiman
Our AISL secondary students celebrated Banned Books Week last week with a wide range of activities that included trivia games, a "Guess the Book" display, a video Flipgrid collaboration with students from The International School of Manilla, word searches (all words related to intellectual freedom and censorship), and more. The purpose of Banned Book Week, sponsored by The American Library Association and celebrated at many libraries around the world, is to highlight the importance of intellectual freedom and the ability to choose one's own reading material. Our Grade 8 students viewed the film adaptation of Angie Thomas' award-winning novel The Hate U Give and shared their responses via Padlet, a digital collaboration tool. This novel was the forth most challenged / banned book of 2018, yet it garnered more praise and recognition than any other YA novel the year it was published (2017). As always, every family must judge for itself what is and is not permissible for that family and its culture, but we do not want to limit choice for others who may have different cultural / family values. We hope that the activities and rich discussions begun in the library continued around family dinner tables.
We had our first two of six secondary coffee houses this past week. Last Friday night our High School Coffee House was held out under the stars on the deck of the Palm Pavilion. This Wednesday our Middle School Coffee House was held out by The Zone area in the middle school. Students shared many forms of creative expression: original songs, poetry, rap (in French, too!), instrumental pieces, stand-up comedy, and more. Students also served as the MC's and DJ's for these events. Coffee Houses give students a chance to develop confidence and poise in front of an audience and to share ideas and creative work. We look forward to the next round, which will be in February. A big thank you to Edwin Kamangala of our IT Department who is always helping us with light and sound for these events and to our maintenance crew for doing the heavy lifting of equipment and furniture.
The AISL Library together with Penguin Randomhouse Publishers of Zambia is proud to host another Book Fair!
Come join us on Friday 4 October from 12:00-14:00 in the Palm Pavilion to browse the many books we'll have for purchase. There will be something for everyone! Note that this is a cash only event.
While you're visiting, check out any of the newest guides we have (Bradt, Lonely Planet) for regional travel or one of our excellent field guides (we have them for all ages). We can also help you stock up on regional reads or a great new novel or memoir for those long car trips if you're travelling or to enjoy during some relaxing time at home! We also have the following items that may be checked out:
- A Go Pro camera
- A motion-activated trail camera
- a UV light for scorpion spotting
- 1500 new titles we've processed over the last few weeks
We hope to see you there! Don't forget that we are also open on Saturdays from 9:00-14:00 and always enjoy seeing our families come in!
Next week the American Library Association and the AISL Secondary Library celebrate Banned Book Week, an annual event designed to celebrate the freedom to read. It is also a week that draws attention to banned and challenged books. The intellectual freedom that is a hallmark of our school and others like it is something we often take for granted. Interestingly, one of the books that is in the Top 11 Challenged & Banned books of 2018 is Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give (2017). Last year, when our students voted for the top YA book in our library for our first ever Leopard's Eye Book Award, this was resoundingly their first choice.
At AISL, our library staff chooses books using the best selection tools available (such as School Library Journal, awards lists, and other publications) with a view to subject matters and themes that will resonate with our readers. We strive to uphold the Access to Library Resources & Services for Minors: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights as set forth by The American Library Association. We also select books for their ability to enrich & support our curriculum (see our Selection Policy for more information on this). We believe that books serve as both windows and mirrors: windows that give us insights into other ways of life and a diverse range of experiences, which is a valuable way to develop empathy. Books also serve as mirrors: the reader can find aspects of his or her own life reflected in that story and as a result, feel less alone or feel validated. We strive to develop a collection that is diverse, engaging, and relevant to our students.
As we develop our collection, we are also mindful of our international context. Every family has its own set of values and its unique cultural background that enriches our school. Yet, what may be a perfectly acceptable book for the child of one family to read may be deemed inappropriate by the family of another child to due to differing values and cultures. Parents are always the final arbiters of what their child may or may not read, though that does not mean limiting the range of choice available to other patrons. Our library staff makes every effort to help students select books they will enjoy that are appropriate for that child’s grade level and interests, but conversations within the student’s family matter most.
Feel welcome to come by and browse & add to our interactive displays celebrating Banned Book Week and take a book (or more!) home. If you are interested, here is a short video (2:22 minutes long) called The Top 11 Challenged Books of 2018 (made by The American Library Association & Office for Intellectual Freedom).
Our secondary coffee houses are going into their fifth year as an AISL tradition. Each year, we host 6 secondary coffee houses: 3 for Middle School & 3 for High School. These events provide students with a relaxed, safe space where they can share a variety of forms of creative expression in a supportive atmosphere. We've had a huge range of performances: from ukelele bands to spoken word pieces to dance to improv. Students serve as MC's for the events and we've even had some teachers share original work at a few coffee houses!
We host separate coffee houses for each division so that students are with a group of peers at a similar developmental stage. Note that some content at the high school coffee houses may not be suitable for middle school audiences (though students DO use school appropriate lyrics / words and are always expected to demonstrate cultural sensitivity).
We look forward to kicking off the year with our upcoming coffee houses:
HS Coffee House (Grades 9-12) Friday 20 September: 19:00-20:30 on the deck of the Palm Pavilion
MS Coffee House (Grades 6-8) Wednesday 25 September: 08:30-09:30 at The Zone (by middle school classes facing Tiyende Pamodzi Theatre)
We are excited to see what creative work students will share at these upcoming events! If you have any questions, please contact either Terry Maguire, Secondary School Librarian, or Chel Illingworth, Creative Arts Department Head.
Hooray! The books have landed! Our entire library staff has been processing our 1500-volume order as quickly as possible to get these fantastic reads into the hands of all our community members.
We have something for everyone: from fantastic new memoirs to the very best in children’s, middle grade, and young adult fiction and non-fiction.
In the secondary school, you’ll often hear us make a distinction between “MG” and “YA” books. “MG,” or "middle grade," refers to books published with a middle school-aged audience in mind (roughly grades 5-8). “YA,” or "young adult," refers to books published for a high school audience (roughly grades 9-12). We have separate areas and labelling for MG and YA books to make it easier for students to find a read better suited to their developmental level. We further break down our fiction into genre categories, much as you’d see in a bookstore (for example: fantasy, science fiction, realistic, mystery, and so on). This makes it easier for secondary students to “shop a shelf” and find what they like easily (note, though, that all adult fiction is in one area). So, a book with an “M” on the spine denotes a middle grade book, and a book without the M usually refers to a young adult read.
We also have an excellent range of adult fiction and non-fiction. We have a dedicated area called Regional Reads and Regional Guides (both field guides and travel guides) to help you get out and explore and to enjoy books set in this region. We also have genrified sections for true-life survival / adventure and a dedicated section for biography and memoir.
You can search our library catalogue from any device. Simply log in to our virtual libraries from the AISL website (note: the password is the same as for the parent portal). Next, click on the icon for “Destiny On-Line Catalogue” and search by title, author, key word, or series. While you’re at the virtual library, take a look at the many other subscription services and resources we offer all our students across the grade levels.
Soon we’ll be moving back into our larger library space and will unpack the more than 20,000 books we have stored in the containers. But don’t wait until then to come visit us in the Pavilion Library. Our beautiful new books are on display and waiting to go home with you!
Our much anticipated shipment of books just landed this Wednesday afternoon. We will get to work processing the 1500+ new titles that we'll add to our primary, middle, and high school library collections! Soon we'll also be able to pull our books out of storage (our total collection number is nearly 26,000 volumes!) and move back into our remodeled library space.
Something that sets AISL apart from other schools is the amount of reading our students do. It's not at all unusual to pass by a group of teenagers talking about a favorite book or to see young patrons asking for the newest item in a series. Here's a great article called 6 Scientific Reasons to Read More from Mental Floss - in case anyone is looking for more reasons to read! Our teachers actively promote reading and make time for it within the school day. Our two teacher-librarians, Ms. Jill Daley in the Primary School and Ms. Terry Maguire in the Secondary School, are always ready to suggest a great next read, as are our library assistants, Mr. Sam Chabi and Mr. Lunyunge Sinyenga. Students are also fortunate to have families who value reading and make it a regular practice. We are very excited to unpack the tower of boxes and get the books into the hands of eager students (and parents!).
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday: 07:15 - 15:45 / Friday: 07:15 - 14:30