Library Services Newsletter

April, 2018 Teacher Librarian Edition

Summer Reading Incentives

Summer is right around the corner and Library Services would love to partner with you to encourage students to read throughout the summer months in order to mitigate summer learning loss. “Studies show that access to books during the summer prevents a drastic loss in reading skills, especially for students in low income households” (Slates, Alexander, Entwisle & Olson, 2012). The research also shows that students need to read approximately 4-6 books to prevent reading loss, and at least 10-20 self-selected books to show gains (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2008). We encourage library staff, teachers and building leaders to share the research with students so they can understand more about their own learning gains and losses and take action to maintain their learning momentum.

Check out our Summer Reading Smore with details and share widely (you know we love our Smores in ETLS!)

Spring Overdrive Contest!!

Let's get ready for Summer Reading by teaching students how to access Overdrive eBooks and showing them the depth of diverse collections, including audiobooks. Library Services is running a contest April 16th through May 4th to see which buildings can log in the most students and get them reading online! We will provide three bookfairs with free books for students, one at each level (elementary, middle and high) to the schools with the highest percentage of students logging in and reading. Winners will be announced on May 7th, and bookfairs will take place the week of May 21st.

See the Summer Reading Smore for the 2nd and 3rd reading contests with literacy incentives.

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Have you registered for the DPS Tech Summit?

The DPS Tech Summit is coming, Saturday April 28th, 2018! Join ETLS, the portals team, ARE and teachers from across DPS for a day of professional learning around the impactful use of technology in the classroom. Most sessions are teacher led.

Enjoy lunch on us and take home lots of valuable ideas and resources to use in your own classrooms. Certified attendees will be paid for every session they attend.

Click here to learn how to register and get all the details.

New Library System Update - Destiny

For future reference, we will refer to our new library system as Destiny (as that is its brand name, which is owned by Follett).

  • The deadline to check in all library books is Friday, June 1st. Set a deadline in May for all books to be returned. Notify your school community to return books on time.
  • No library fines or fees will be transferred to the Destiny system.
  • Overdue items from only the 2017-18 school year will be migrated (No lost, missing, or overdue items that were checked out before 8/1/17.)
  • Kudos! So many of you have signed up for the August training! If you have questions about the training sessions please contact the library helpdesk at or 720.423.1842.
  • Follett Destiny goes live on August 1st, 2018!
If you didn't get a chance to review it earlier, here is a link to the more complete system migration update.

Digital Resources of the Month: Ask DPL

Linked through our LION website is Denver Public Library's Ask DPL. This is a wonderful, free resource that provides your students with homework support through a librarian interactive chat service. Go to or

Makerspace Hub...kits coming soon!

We are highlighting three more of our new kits in this month's newsletter. Please contact us for more details. Our Makerspace website has great curriculum aligned ideas, as does our Makerspace course in Schoology (join with course code 4FSPF-Z43BD).

Blocks & Blueprints Learning Center

Little architects can’t wait to grab their blueprints and get building! Packed with 50 smooth wooden blocks, our center challenges children to re-create 20 different designs using blueprints to help guide their building. Each blueprint features a footprint of the structure that kids can build right on top of—plus illustrations that show the design from 3 different angles…so children get lots of practice with spatial reasoning, building 3-D structures, early STEM skills and more! With 10 double-sided, laminated 13" x 13" blueprints at 3 levels. Recommended for 3 yrs. - 8 yrs. / Preschool - 3rd Grade

Circuit Cubes

With Circuit Cubes, toys come to life. Circuit Cubes are electronic building blocks that add sound, motion, light, and sensors to young Makers’ creations. Designed by STEM teachers, Circuit Cubes provide an easy-to-use platform that helps kids develop confidence while experiencing the joy of discovery. Whether a design uses LEGO-style bricks, favorite vintage toys, or pool noodles — with three Circuit Cubes, you can create just about anything you can imagine! Three kits to choose from: Bright Lights, Smart Art, or Whacky Wheels. Recommended for Grades 3+

DropMix Music Gaming System

DropMix was recommended by the DPS music department coordinator, Amy Martinson, as a creative way to teach composition and arrangement to students.

DropMix lets you play music like never before! This fast-paced music mixing game gives you a new way to collect, discover and combine favorite tracks. Compete with your friends (up to 4 players) and create unexpected song mixes! Keep the music pumping with 3 ways to play: freestyle, clash, and party.

The DropMix Music Gaming System includes the DropMix board and 60 DropMix cards, and the free downloadable app controls the game. Recommended Ages 16+

Library Spotlight

This month we are turning the spotlight on Megan McQuinn, teacher librarian at Farrell B. Howell ECE-8th Grade. Megan has been with DPS for 20 years! For the the 12 years that she has been at Howell EC-8, Megan has proven to be a true visionary in creating and passionately providing an outstanding library program that successfully serves her school community.

Megan is extremely proud that the FBHowell library was given the prestigious Highly Effective School Library award. The HESL award honors outstanding school library programs with school librarians that have demonstrated exemplars with an impact on achievement in their school. Megan leads HESL work in DPS by supporting others who are interested in meeting the Highly Effective School Library program standards and facilitate student achievement in the 21st century. Megan noted that the HESL award is an important indicator of the level of collaboration between the library and classrooms. Congratulations to Megan for attaining this honor!

Megan loves the staff at FBHowell! They are very supportive of the library program and make a point of encouraging students to read. Her administration is also very supportive and encouraging when she comes up with new ideas or wants to try a new program. She says that her community is awesome and they love coming into the library at any time. The FBHowell library is the 3rd highest in book check out for the district and she attributes this to her supportive school community. Kudos to the FBHowell school community for loving their library!

Megan's kindergarten students and staff have a special treat every week. Mrs. Farrell B. Howell visits every Wednesday to read to the kindergarten classes! She also bakes for the staff. What a truly unique and heartwarming connection. See photo below of students expressing their gratitude to Mrs. Howell.

This year the library makerspace has really developed and students are excited to be a part of this fun and dynamic learning experience. Between kits from ETLS, donated LEGOS and K-Nex, and purchased 3D pens and craft items (along with students’ lunch creations) creativity is sprouting with inventions and constructions! See photo below of students enjoying a makerspace kit.

Megan makes sure to add the element of fun into her library by providing movie ticket giveaways, a trivia board, and sponsoring an 8th grade book club. Whenever a book is made into a movie she buys extra copies of the book, creates a list of 20-25 trivia questions based on the book, and the top 3 to 4 students with the most correct answers receive a $15 gift card to the local movie theatre. (What a treat!) After posting 2 to 3 questions about various topics, students can fill out the provided forms with their answers, their names, and the name of their teacher. Once a week Megan reviews the submitted forms and gives everyone with correct answers a new pencil. The book club has lunch together once a week, has great discussions around their reading and they can always count on Megan to provide the dessert. She brought the book club members free advanced reading copies from the ALA conference and she hopes to take several students to the Teen Lit conference in April. In her consideration of teachers, she accommodates them by providing a designated planning table stocked with pencils, highlighters, sticky notes, and Starburst candy! It’s a convenient place for teachers to plan and collaborate.

Megan’s two favorite books for read-alouds are The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Too Many Frogs by Sandy Asher. She loves these books because they have opportunities for audience participation and they are also fun books for kids to predict what is coming next.

Megan feels that one of the great things about librarians is the way they share everything: ideas, lesson plans, equipment, everything! She has recently joined the School Librarian Facebook group and has learned so many new ways to be a librarian. As a teacher at a large school, Megan believes that one of the things that has made the FBHowell program successful is always keeping the large vision in mind, then matching that vision to the individual needs of teachers and students. Megan’s vision for the FBHowell library includes deeper use of technology and wider use of the Makerspace and the creative thinking that goes along with maker stations. She would also like to see more parents checking out books. Currently there are about 20 parents who check out on a weekly basis. Kudos to Megan for supporting a culture of learning for her entire school community!

Megan’s words of wisdom to her colleagues are, “Be willing to try something new including jobs, programs, and the HESL program.” An example of taking on an extra job would be something like hosting the STAR students in the library for a breakfast. What a great way to add visibility to the school library and to teacher librarians as they help out with a school project. Megan is very proud to be a DPS teacher librarian. She loves the fact that she has so many amazing peers that she admires and learns from every time she speaks with them. We celebrate Megan McQuinn for putting kids first in the Farrell B. Howell Library!

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Curriculum Collections in Overdrive

You may have noticed that a curriculum button appeared on the OverDrive home page recently. We now have the ability to curate collections in collaboration with our Curriculum & Instruction Department. All titles currently available in OverDrive that are part of the Language Arts/Literacy curriculum are curated in these lists. Please contact us with any questions.
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Schoology vs. Google Classroom

Ever wonder what the difference is in functionality between Schoology and Google Classroom in DPS? Your trusty colleagues in Ed Tech developed this comparison chart for easy reference.

One Book 4 Colorado

It's that time of year...for the One Book 4 Colorado announcement. This year's winner is Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown by Eric Litwin. All 4-year-olds in Colorado are eligible to receive a copy of the book. Spread the word to your ECE and parent community. Pick up locations and videos of the three book finalists in English and Spanish are at this website:
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