Monday, May 27, 2013

Show Me the Awesome

                                                                                                   design by John LeMasney via

To support my screenwriting and fiction writing I have this thing known as "the day job". Now, don't go picturing me slaving away in some stuffy office building or working a factory assembly line - my day job just might be the best damn job out there. I'm a library technician in an elementary school. 

That's right, I went to college for a few years and learned more than just the fine art of shusshing. I'm a researching, cataloguing, organizing, literature loving, speed reading, story-timeing, read alouding machine. And I LOVE it. Other than having to control my potty mouth, it's a dream job for an author of young adult fiction. I'm surrounded by my target audience.

Library types make great authors - it's kind of a no brainer. We love to research, investigate, dig for the heart of a story - we love reading and immersing ourselves in other worlds. We're often in the background, observing - a vital skill for a scribe. But that also means we're in the background. Our work is appreciated, but may not be really noticed or completely understood.

Which is why, when I found out about a series of month-long web posts featuring the great work librarians are doing, I just had to participate. SHOW ME THE AWESOME is the brainchild of Kelly Jensen, Sophie Brooker, and Liz Burns - librarians who manage a cool website, Stacked. You can also follow this project on twitter (#30awesome).

The project I had the most fun with at my school so far, was a year-long collaborative / interactive story that got the staff, students, and parents involved. The story was told through monthly instalments that were displayed on the library bulletin board, included in our monthly newsletter, as well as posted to the library wiki and recorded as an audio podcast - with a student reader.

The plot was directed by popular vote. Each month the story ended on a cliffhanger and there were two possible directions for which the story could progress. Students and staff could vote in the library and through the library blog. Once votes were tallied, the tale continued according to which plot twist that had the most votes. 

When the year ended - so did our collective story. I then printed a few copies to put on the library shelves and students still request to take them out today. I also created an online flip book using Adobe InDesign which students can access at anytime via the library website. The best part about this project was that it was sparked by my discussions with an imaginative student who put a face on his eraser and told me it was alive.

So too is the love of story in our children. It's our job to build on that spark and get them fired up for reading. 

Yes, our Diary of a Rubbery Kid title is a play on the very popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, however, our tale doesn't follow his plot in any way.

Click HERE to go to the story's official page and listen to the audio clips / read the online flipbook. 


  1. What a spectacular idea - I am already caught up in the story and I bet the kids LOVED it. Well done!

  2. Thanks, Jenna - it was a crazy-fun project.


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