May 2016

Hampden Meadows Library

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What We've Been Learning

Website Evaluation

When we were growing up we went to the library and got books out to do a research project. We knew our sources were reliable because it took years of the editing process to get books published. Today students have the internet at their fingertips. This is both a blessing and a curse. Anyone can create a website and put it out into the world. This is why it is important to teach students how to evaluate websites with a critical eye.


  • Does the site offer a bibliography to verify where the information came from?
  • You should never use just one website- verify with another site to search for discrepancies
  • Is the author of the site a well-regarded name you recognize?
  • Are you led to additional information about the author through a biography and/or email address?
  • Does the site offer links to donate money, games, giveaways, or celebrity endorsements?
  • Does the site use words to persuade you rather than inform you?
  • Sites ending in .com are commercial sites and may try to persuade you towards their company
  • Sites ending in .edu are educational sites but examine the URL and the page's content to be sure it is the institution's page and not a student's page
  • Sites ending in .gov are government-related sites and are generally reliable because the document is from a U.S. government-affiliated site.
  • Sites ending in .org are non-profit groups such as public interest groups, religious groups, and think tanks. These sites may be biased towards the organization's point of view.
  • Is there an "About this Site" link to learn more about the individual, organization, agency, or corporation hosting the site?
  • Is there an "About the Author" link? What are the author's credentials? Check a library database to see if the author has published books or articles in scholarly journals.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the web page. Every credible web site includes the date that it was created and the date of last update.
  • Keep in mind, though, that just because a page was recently updated does not mean that the information is up-to-date. Look for clues that might help you date the information.
  • Webster's defines jerry-built as "built poorly, of cheap materials"
  • Does the website look like it was just thrown together?
  • Does the website have multiple spelling and grammatical errors?
  • These are red flags that it is not a reliable site.

Finally, we went over the 5 W's of website evaluation:

  1. Who wrote the pages and are they an expert in the field?
  2. What does the author say is the purpose of the site?
  3. When was the site created, updated, last worked on?
  4. Where does the information come from?
  5. Why is the information useful?

Book Trailers

Students spent at least two classes writing summaries of their favorite books. The summaries included:

  • theme
  • main character(s)
  • title
  • author
  • problem
  • cliffhanger
Students then had the option of taking their summaries home to use as a "script" to create book trailers. We are getting more every week and they are amazing! Below you will find a fourth grade example and a fifth grade example. I think you'll agree that they look professionally done!

Sisters By Raina Telgemeier
Warrriors Into The Wild
The Heroes Of Olympus
By Brian Selznick Wonderstruck
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Percy Jackson The Lightning Thief
Bud, Not Buddy
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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Library Statistics

Between May 2 - May 27

Total Circulations: 3,559

Total Holds Placed: 69

Top Ten Titles

1. El Deafo by Cece Bell - graphic novel - 17

2. Smile by Telgemeier - graphic novel - 15

3. Sunny Side Up by Holm - graphic novel - 15

4. Amulet, Book 6: Escape from Lucien by Kibuishi - graphic novel - 14

5. A Night Divided by Nielsen - historical fiction - 14

6. Guinness World Records, 2016 edited by Glenday- informational - 13

7. Poop Happened! A History of the World from the Bottom Up by Albee - informational - 13

8. Sisters by Telgemeier - graphic novel - 13

9. Amulet, Book 3; The Cloud Searchers by Kibuishi - graphic novel - 12

10. Feathers: Not Just For Flying by Stewart - informational - 12

Top Circulations by Homeroom

1. Ms. Safran - grade 4 - 263

2. Mrs. Ginalski - grade 4 - 232

3. Mrs. Cunningham - grade 5 - 189

4. Ms. Wilson - grade 4 - 188

5. Ms. Reynolds - grade 5 - 186

6. Mrs. Carroll - grade 4 - 184

7. Mrs. Waring - grade 4 - 175

8. Mr. Cassarino - grade 5 - 172

9. Mrs. Clegg - grade 4 - 165

10. Mr. Farley - grade 4 - 163

11. Mrs. DeLory - grade 4 - 161

12. Mrs. Cabral - grade 5 - 154

13. Mrs. Mitchell - grade 4 - 136

14. Mr. Whittaker - grade 5 - 127

15. Mr. Tibbetts - grade 5 - 125

16. Mrs. Hunt - grade 5 - 120

17. Mrs. Burke - grade 5 - 118

18. Mrs. Couto - grade 5 - 103

19. Mrs. Bailey - grade 4 - 101

20. Mr. Tedino - grade 5 - 99

21. Mrs. Myszak - grade 4 - 94

22. Ms. Testa - grade 5 - 75

Keep This Visual in Mind When You're Thinking You'll Just Watch the Movie Version

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The Power of Audio Books

Ah, To Listen to A Good Story is a Pleasure!

The research is out to prove just listening to an audio book improves vocabulary, comprehension, and reading motivation. I would like to provide some lists of audiobook winners for you.

For parents we have the Audie Award winners.

For children we have the American Library Association Notable Children's Recordings.

Your public library has a myriad of audio choices. And if they don't have what you're looking for, another library can send it over to you to be picked up at your convenience!

You have summer road trip plans in the bag!

Looking Forward

It is that time of year when I need to stop book circulation in order to get all the books back to the library. I need to do an inventory of books to know the status of our current collection. Please start looking in all those places within the house or car that missing library books could be. If you cannot find a book, you can simply replace the title. Many thanks in advance for your cooperation!
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