HMS Library Quarterly Report

October-December 2013

Life in the library...

Students read...

The chart below illustrates book circulations this quarter as they compare to second quarter last year as well as first quarter this year. It is interesting to note again how much more nonfiction is circulating than last year; that was the trend during first quarter and seems to be continuing. There was a fairly significant decrease in circulations of comics and graphic novels from first quarter to this quarter. Total circulations decreased quite a bit from first quarter this year, but were up from second quarter last year.

As is probably the case in any middle school, I know these numbers are not completely accurate because of students who check books out but do not actually read them. It is interesting, though, to get a sense of what books are being circulated and how often.

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Students in every grade level have continued to come with their Language Arts classes weekly to check out books this quarter. As I have prepared booktalks for them, I have tried some new ways of presenting the books. This quarter, I have shared prezis I have created with the 5th, 6th, and 7th graders. The prezis I shared with students are below.
Another way I shared books with students this quarter was a "book tasting" in the library. Students came to the library to find stacks of books on the tables. They were invited to "taste" a book for several minutes by looking at the cover, reading the inside flap of the dust jacket, and begin reading the book. When the time was up, students traded books with another person at their table and began the tasting process again. Students seemed to enjoy the book tasting event and many left the library that day with a book they were excited about reading.
To continue working towards matching the right book with the right reader at the right time, 26 books were purchased this quarter. I tried to purchase a balance of fiction and nonfiction books, taking into consideration books that would be popular among students, books that have received good reviews among professional reviewers, and books that would support curriculum needs. Some of the titles are pictured below.

Teachers collaborate...

This quarter I worked with the 5th grade teachers to introduce some of the resources we have available for research at the middle school. I briefly introduced to students the databases to which we have access as well as shared some tips on how to do better research. I hope to continue finding ways to do this kind of collaborating with teachers as students research in various classes.
Mrs. Pennington and I introduced Biblionasium to the sixth graders this quarter. Biblionasium is a social networking site for kids to share books they've read with teachers, their parents, and each other. The kids seemed excited about different features of Biblionasium, and Mrs. Pennington and I will continue exploring ways the site can be used within Language Arts.

Students participate...

Students again participated in the library this quarter by responding to questions on the white board. There were some interesting responses to the questions I presented to them!

What's next?

As I read blog posts, tweets, and articles from the national school library scene, it seems school libraries are going one of two directions. Either librarians are being cut and libraries themselves are becoming irrelevant in school culture, or libraries are becoming the go-to place to think, learn, and create and the librarians in those libraries are becoming leaders in their schools. Hesston has a long tradition of strong library programs, and my challenge for myself is to help move the library program here towards what a school library can be, not just what it has always been. Joyce Valenza, a national leader among school librarians, recently created this advocacy video supporting strong library programs. As I watch it, I think about how I can help make sure these things are happening in the HMS library.
School Library Story