The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

Styling Librarian Hong Kong Update Week 49

Last day of school...

Last day of school…

Here’s the Hong Kong update for Week 49. This is the final week of school and also the start to vacation. I am excited to begin working on various projects once I begin summer break. There are numerous iPad programs I look forward to exploring plus I am hoping to try creating an iBook or iPad app. I just completed an introductory course on creating iPad apps using Game Salad. There are numerous other projects I’m looking forward to trying besides this but my priority overall is to have fun this summer with my family. My lovely friend Tanja who blogs at a few places posted this fantastic library challenge for her students: Summer Reading Fun- Hong Kong is Home. On her post, I was thrilled to be reminded about Sassy Mamma – Hong Kong. There were two pages about what to do in Hong Kong with Kids:
http://sassymamahk.com/50-things-to-do-with-kids-in-hong-kong-before-they-grow-up/
http://sassymamahk.com/50-things-to-do-with-kids-in-hong-kong-before-they-grow-up-part-2/
Now, some of the things on this list are for many different times of the year, but I’m looking forward to following through on numerous ideas nonetheless this summer!

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So excited to begin reading!

So excited to begin reading!

Although I’m eager for summer break, I also have cherished this new job opportunity, so thought I’d reflect on a few recent moments I’ve loved: Here’s a glimpse at my library during a special hour:  I love being around the library during lunches this final week of school. We usually have around 60-80 students in the library doing something- Tuesday we had: a crowd of students all sitting in the graphic novels section absorbing them while they were actually available this week (no borrowing); a group of students having fun with chess in another area, a group of students in the language area chattering away about a Where’s Waldo poster on the wall, a group of students cutting up circles out of bright colored paper in another area- why? NO CLUE, over 20 students reading picture books to their hearts content in the picture book area, huge groups of students playing Top Trumps in various areas of the library, a serious group of student librarians all shelving books and helping out all over, many students running around getting their yearbooks signed, artists seriously working on creations in another area of the library, and goodness knows what else. This was just at the Year 4-6 (3rd-5th grade) lunch time. I officially monitor the Year 1-3 (K-2nd grade) lunch time and boy are we busy then as well! Similar activities go on (even the student book shelvers) and I have very thoughtful sweet students who chat with me daily about what is going on in their lives, what art project they are working on next, what their favorite book series is, etc… I especially loved having one student who chatted with me all year get lost in books around two weeks ago and since then she has plowed her way through a new favorite book series and checked in with me constantly to say “I’m going to read now, I still LOVE this book or that book…” or “Mrs. Alvarez, I finished another book and now I’m going to go create a new bookmark!” *Photos in the slide show are from Thursday, last lunch break of the year! Most of the pictures I took that day I’m not using because students were smiling at me in them, not in the mood to blur out faces presently. I feel quite lucky for the opportunity to know my students during down time as well as class time, especially since there are over 700 to get to know! I’ve thought about what I want to provide for students next year in the library at lunch and here are a few things I’m hoping to introduce: origami folding club, at least 5 chess sets (students bring in games from class presently), “how to draw” videos on the tv, new Top Trump sets, and a library student advisory club. Shall see what I can accomplish in the coming year, and organize over the summer!

Husband/Wife team- running the library. Principal called us the "dream team". :) 5 weeks working together.

Husband/Wife team- running the library. Principal called us the “dream team”. 🙂 5 weeks working together.

We were quite productive!

We were quite productive!

I also had the interesting situation of working with a fantastic assistant most of the year but then when she needed to move back to the UK, I would have been on my own for 5 weeks… (I would not have survived running a library, teaching, collaborating, etc. on my own…) My wonderful husband stepped in as a substitute/supply assistant, was trained as much as possible by my former assistant (sob) and then jumped in and kept the library going with me for five weeks. Students and teachers found it quite amusing to walk into the library and say, “Hello Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez!” Now, living together, parenting, and working together were sometimes a little challenging but overall, I’m proud of what we accomplished and where we left the library when we closed it… It is a honestly a relief to be done working together and just be able to focus on enjoying family time again!

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Four our date night this week, we wandered around Sheung Wan and tried out a new restaurant with a Groupon, nice enough place but since there was a groupon, you were stuck with a specific selection. I enjoyed eating risotto, been a long while since I had some… I also went out with some lovely co-workers the evening before, so had a delicious dessert there:

dessert time, super healthy in comparison to my normal choices!

dessert time, super healthy in comparison to my normal selections!

We nosed our way through a few places and then headed back home so that our kiddo could have a family evening before going with me on an adventure and leaving Daddy behind (he really likes when we’re all together on adventures…)

Since school is out, we were planning to head up to Chimelong, China to enjoy a water park but then changed our plans and decided to visit Macau instead! The next update will feature Macau, maybe we’ll just relax poolside or perhaps there will be a few wanderings as well!

Visit other Hong Kong updates here: http://thestylinglibrarian.com/hong-kong-life-updates/

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4 comments on “Styling Librarian Hong Kong Update Week 49

  1. Meg Miranda
    June 30, 2013

    Debbie, while you are exploring your new continent I have decided to explore my “backyard” Already visited two local museums and more on the list but have to take the month of July to discover Spain and a bit of Portugal. But I have a good list of potential fairly local visits for August. I’ve lived in Oregon for 18 years and finally visited museums within 20 miles of home and it was great!

    But it will also be wonderful to explore 2 countries that we speak the language for a change (although I am not so sure about understanding the accents) Still trying to decide what ebooks to take along – adult not young adult for sure. And, by the way, trying to navigate the Rick Steve’s eguide book for Spain is an absolute nightmare. There are just some books that lend themselves to paper because bookmarking and thumbing through are so much easier.

    Keep exploring and tasting. Having been a teenager in a foreign country I know know how much i missed. Enjoy!

    • The Styling Librarian
      July 1, 2013

      Glad you’re getting to explore!!! Have a fantastic time in Spain. Can’t imagine reading an eguide book, I flip around so much with travel guides, probably would drive me a little bananas! I was only in Spain for 2 days but have small but great memories of it, a month is certainly a brilliant amount of time for a visit!!

  2. Debra Perrin
    June 30, 2013

    Debbie, looks like you really nailed the last week of term. I just love the unknown nature of that week, what will the kids do, what books do they chose knowing they are all in, what activities might they engage in just because it’s last week, who comes in just for one last look before end of term. It’s so exciting and there is a buzz that is only matched by the start of a new school year.
    Team Alvarez has been wonderful, I’m so glad to have Doug fill my chair and keep things ticking over. Doesn’t mean I don’t miss you though!!

    • The Styling Librarian
      July 1, 2013

      🙂 I enjoyed seeing so many Y6 students reading picture books… nonstop. Plus those yearbooks were so popular. Doug and I signed an innumerable amount. I’m certainly grateful that Doug kept things moving… miss you.

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