Project „Byblos“ and Its’ Apps

Published 27. јануара 2015. by Maja Анђелковић Шегуљев

Do you think it’s easy  to be a good  librarian in elementary school?

A short test for you, especially  for the language teachers.  What would you do in the following situation:

Library. Buzzing like in the beehive. Students work assignments, talk, looking at the books. A 5th grade student come and ask:
– Give me the book „Adventures of Robinson Crusoe“, please.
– Here you are, dear.
– Wow, it is so big – she said.
– And just as boring – adds a student who works homework in the library.

What would be your reaction? Write in comment…
1 – You will try to convince the student  that it is a great book;
2 – You will  give her the book  without comments;
3 – You will try to convince student that he doesn’t think in the right way;

  4 – You will try to explain that reading will approve her style;

  5  – Do you  have another solution?

As a beginner,  I didn’t react properly. I was surprised whenever I heard such a comment. I know that student take a book to be flipped through, maybe read a beginning … And I could read his thoughts in his eyes:
„Reading, what a waste of time … What used and old books … Oh, no way! I will just look at it if she ask me … „

I also tried to convince students that they have in their hand the best works of world literature, that it is the only way to develop their own style…  But it was not successful.

And then, like in the movie, one flustered student of 7th grade said something what completely sunk my perfect day, like “Titanic”:

– Give me “The priest Ćira and the priest Spira”, please. And I don’t really understand why do we have to read this, when the writer itself wrote that some chapters could be skipped over… Just imagine how much it was boring to him to write it, when he himself wanted to skip it…

(Stevan Sremac, one of the most famous realist writer from Serbia, and typical students’ comments.)

I understood that I have to motivate students.  Like a general, I developed my strategy.

Main idea: students should read, push reading through peer communication,  use apps to promote reading, publishing magazine, create sustainable reading project.

Main aim: motivate every student to read all the books he has to and to wish to read more.
Teachers “weapons”: creativity, curiosity, apps, books.


Idea: discover what students want to read. Find a way to make them interested in books they have to read. Use peer communication and its advantages. Use apps to promote reading.
Goal – to motivate students to read, help them to find out what they want to read, and make them read it.
Action – We made lists of books  – one group gave suggestions about books they have read, but we don’t have it in library. The other suggested the book we can offer our public.

Realization – we created advertisements for books with Word Art and Power Paint in Word. At the same time he also created the first catalog of interesting books using Publisher.
Sustainable project – we added books on this list every year. We have librarian page on the school website, add suggestions for reading.  The students who edited this page rotate every year. But, peer learn is excellent.


Idea – use the internet to provoke students to read. Through peer learning learn to search by using keywords and to insert hyperlinks in the text.
Goal – to  change the students’ attitudes to books. Used them to read, to search, to discover.
Action – using internet to discover the most interesting things about books:  the largest, smallest, oldest (written, printed, world, European, Serbian …) Students divided into groups and peer investigated.
Realization – we have created an interesting material about books using the Power Point, Bing, Google, Wikipedia.
We cooperated with teachers of history, geography, German, English, Serbian, art education, civil education.


Idea – Search the meta-words, create our library magazine “Byblos” in Publisher.
Goal – Create needs to read,  keep constant  curiosity about exploring books.
Action – We used  Microsoft Mind Map and Popplet. Method – brainstorming. It didn’t need much to interest students. I have just asked once: „What do you mean, what color should I put here?“ Popplet little „trains“ were  popping up all over the page. Playing, students learned to use this program, to use the  method of brainstorming, to cooperate. In the library is the perfect working atmosphere.
Realization – students discovered  many unknown things about books, about reading, and about themselves.


Idea – take advantage of aphorisms,  well known quotes to interest  students in reading. Any apps? Of course! Wondersay! Today WordItOut (Sway didn’t exist then – all happens in (not 19th century! 🙂 2012th.
Goal – to  encourage students to learn from each other, push each other in reading, peer learning and reading.
Action –   we visualized aphorisms and quotes, collect the “must have” once on our site page and  e-magazine.
Realization – competition  among the best presented aphorisms. Winner? „Librarian“.


Idea – use apps to systematization lectures. Curiosity  – students didn’t even noticed! You think it is impossible? Just wait and see! And use Tagxedo… Look at the quiz!

Goal  – systematization of literature lectures from previous years. Students thought they were preparing it for the younger students.
Action –  Tagxedo allows to create symbols and posters and it is wonderful in literature classes.
Realization – 8th grade students were proud to make interesting tasks for 6th grade  students, and also systematize lectures.


Idea – ensure sustainability of the project by initiating variety actions and using different apps.
Goal – to organize different actions in which students can socialize and collaborate. Edit magazine “Byblos”. Teach students to tolerance, cooperation, respect. Peer transfer of interest and knowledge in books and library in the school.
Action –  choose famous quotes, most interesting books, draw a scene from a favorite book. Publish it in magazine.
Realization – we  have organized this action in cooperation  other students and teachers of the Serbian, German, English  language, IT, history, geography, biology.

Benefit of this project:
Once you start it, it s sustainable. It is just important to maintain motivation process.
Your students will read interesting books, they will motivate others, younger and their friends..
New generations demands new approaches. Try to keep the modern view on life and learning, and your library will become the most interesting place in the school.
And that is what we wanted. To see our students to read!


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