Visiting Spoken Word Poet, Harry Baker

Harry Baker will be with us for the week of April 16-20 (off and on). Harry Baker was the youngest-ever winner of the Poetry Slam World Cup in 2012 and he has travelled the world and dazzled student audiences ever since.

On Monday morning, April 16, Harry will present to all students ages 10-17 in an opening assembly, followed by workshops for smaller groups scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Harry will be back with us on the Friday for another day of work with students and an afternoon assembly together with students and teachers from TEDA. It will be an amazing week.

To get a taste of Harry Baker’s talent and charm, see his website (, check out his book, The Sunshine Kid, and/or view his TED talk, “A love poem for lonely prime numbers”

A huge thanks to the PFO for their generous donation towards the expenses related to bringing Harry Baker here.

Book Character Dress Up Day

We wrapped up our celebration of International Schools Library Week on Friday with an elementary library assembly and Book Character Dress Up Day. Students came in a wide variety of fun and creative book character costumes. There were superheroes, dragons, BabyMouse, Captain Underpants, and many more. The students paraded onstage in their costumes during the assembly, and many classes came to the library to take “green screen” photos of their costumes. Please enjoy some photos from the day!

International Schools Library Week

The IST library celebrated International Schools Library week with fun and exciting activities all week long. We kicked off the week with a launch of the Panda Book Awards, which encourages students to read, share, and vote for their favorite books in four categories. This year’s Panda Book Award nominees are:

We shared the books with students through the week, and helped create buzz about the books with Panda quizzes and prizes all week long.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we hosted the Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore book fair. Many students, teachers and parents browsed and purchased books at the book fair.

On lunchtime on Monday and Wednesday, elementary students were invited to participate in “Monster Crafts” in the library. We had a lot of fun doing activities that were inspired by the book “Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis” by Charise Mericle Harper.

We wrapped up the week with Character Dress-Up Day and the elementary library assembly on Friday morning, and “Celebrating 20 years of Harry Potter” with grades 6-8 students in the afternoon. Watch this space for photos from Character Dress-Up Day and the “Harry Potter” event coming soon! 

Character dress-up day is coming on Friday, October 20th

It’s time to start thinking about costumes again! This year, in celebration of International Schools Library Week, our Elementary students and teachers will come to school dressed as our favourite characters on Friday, October 20th. There will be plenty of activity in and around the library during that week and we’ll tell you a bit more about those things after our National Day holiday week. In the meantime, we wanted to give everyone a reminder to plan their costumes.

Back in April, Ms. Simon wrote this blog post with many excellent ideas for costume ideas. Be sure to revisit that post for a refresher. For more inspiration, look at this list of “100 Book Character Costumes.”

We won’t be surprised if we see a few Baby Mouse costumes after the success of our recent author visit from Matt Holm!


Welcome Back!

A warm welcome back from your IST library team! We have an exciting year of reading and library programs planned. Here are some upcoming events for your calendar:

  • Author/Illustrator visit: Matt Holm (Aug 31 & Sep 1). Holm is the illustrator for the popular Squish and BabyMouse books. Parents are welcome to attend his workshops! A final schedule will be coming soon.
  • Scholastic Book Orders (order forms will go home this Friday. Please return the forms by August 25th).
  • International Schools Library Week (Oct 16-20)
  • BPIEC Book Fair (Oct 17-18)
  • Book Character Dress Up Day (Oct 20). Start planning your costumes!

Volunteers Welcome

We are very lucky to have several volunteers who assist us with everything from ordering to shelving, but we are always happy to have more community members coming in to assist. If you are interested in becoming a library volunteer, please contact the IST librarians at or

Birthday Book Club

We love to help students celebrate their birthdays! With the birthday book club, you help support the library’s book collection and give your child a special birthday memory. How does it work? The librarians select a new book for the library, based on your child’s interests. A nameplate will be put into the new book, and your child will be the first to check the new book out. The cost is 150 RMB. Please contact the librarians if you would like to celebrate your child’s next birthday with us!

International Schools Library Week is coming!

ISLW Oct 24 to 28

International Schools Library Week at IST–Monday, October 24th to Friday, October 28th.


You can begin to look forward to the week of October 24-28th when there will be lots of action in and around the library. We’ll be launching this year’s Panda Book Awards, offering Apple Store workshops, giving prizes, hosting the Beijing Book Fair and more. Watch this space for details and updates.

If you are interested in being a guest reader for an elementary class, please contact Ms. Simon at Linnea_Simon at istianjin dot net to let her know what you’d like to read and when.

For Sale: Used Books and Used Toys

Have books?

It’s the end of the school year and our thoughts turn to the summer vacation. One of my favorite aspects of a vacation is the unlimited time for reading, but if you’re staying in Tianjin, where do you find inexpensive English language books? That’s easy! At the IST Library’s Annual Used Book Sale!

If you’re leaving Tianjin for good, what to do with your old books? That’s easy too! Donate them to the library’s used book sale and see them off to a good home. We welcome donations of books in salable condition, in any language and for any reading level.

The IST Library’s Annual Used Book Sale will be held on Friday, 30 May, from 7:45 am, in the library. Come and browse through hundreds of gently loved books. Donations will be accepted until Thursday, 29 May. Profits from the used book sale will be used for library expenses.

Poster for IST Library Annual Used Book Sale 2014

Have toys?

The “Let’s Play” Community and Service Group, led by Ms. McKendrick, will have a second hand toys and children’s clothes stall at the IST Community Fair to be held on 11 May. Send donations to Ms. McKendrick’s classroom, room 202 in the Han building. Funds raised will be used to purchase toy equipment for the nursery and prekindergarten classes.

It’s Speaking Time at IST

This is an event introduced in the past as a fun way to help students develop their oral language and presenting skills.  This week, students will be learning to read or recite a poem in their classrooms.  Those who wish to compete in the school wide competition are encouraged to also learn and practice their poem at home and will be judged in a more formal setting at each grade level.  A permission form will be sent home today asking parents to give permission for their child to enter the competition stage.

The finals will held in the theater on Monday, 28 April.

It's Speaking Time at IST 2014