HMS Library Quarterly Report

March-May 2013

Life in the library...

Students read...

The chart illustrates circulations during the fourth quarter of this year as they relate to circulations during the fourth quarter last year as well as a comparison of total circulations between the last two school years.

In every category, circulations for this year were higher than last year. This year, 1386 nonfiction books circulated while 10,009 fiction books circulated. Last year, 892 nonfiction books circulated while 8098 fiction books circulated. 12,660 total books circulated this year--a pretty great number for 275 or so students! Last year, total circulation was at 9835. I'm encouraged by the increase in numbers! While I know just looking at circulation numbers is not a complete picture of the reading that is happening at HMS, it is a testament to the faculty and staff of the building that they place a high priority on reading!

To continue working towards matching the right book with the right reader, 38 new titles were purchased this quarter. Some of the books are pictured below.

Students participate in special activities!

There were several special activities in which students could choose to participate during this quarter.

To tag onto the excitement surrounding the NCAA basketball tournament in March and April, the library held the first annual "March Madness in the Library" tournament. I created a list of the most popular books or series checked out from the library between February 2012 and February 2013 and created a bracket out of the top 16 titles/series. Each week, students could vote for their favorites in order to help move the books/series further along in the bracket. Finally, the championship round came down to the Lemony Snicket series versus Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix, and the winner was Among the Hidden! Each week when students voted, their ballot was entered into a drawing for a Sonic gift card and a gift certificate to Pages bookstore in Newton towards the book of their choice. If students voted each week, they would have entered the drawing four times. Abby Hostetler was the winner of the drawing. Quite a bit of excitement was generated through the tournament, and I thank especially the 7th and 8th grade teachers for keeping the excitement going. :) We will definitely have the 2nd annual tournament next year, and it will be interesting to see if any of the titles in the bracket change!

Another special event in the library during this quarter was students who chose to participate in reading the William Allen White nominated books. Each year, a committee made up of teachers and librarians choose a list of books that students read and then the students vote for their favorites. The award is unique because it is one of the oldest "readers' choice" book awards in the country. At HMS, if students read at least three of the titles, they were invited to a "voting party." They came to school early one morning and we ate donuts, they voted for their favorite book, and we talked about the books. Several 7th graders participated, as well as one 8th grader and a 5th grader. For the first year that this program was in place at HMS, I felt that participation was pretty good.

Teachers collaborate...

This quarter, Mrs. Krehbiel and I held a day of "literacy centers" in the library at the end of the 8th graders' unit on Mark Twain and reading Tom Sawyer. There were seven stations in the library, focusing on Mark Twain, Hannibal, MO, superstitions then and now, and more. Students were divided into groups of three and rotated through four of the stations. It was a fun way, for me at least, to see students use resources in the library and to hopefully show the students that the library can be a learning space. Students had good comments at the end of the period, and Mrs. Krehbiel and I hope to be able to use the literacy centers again next year.

What's next?

One of the big answers to the question "What's next?" in the library is an adjustment to the physical space this summer. To create a way to have a larger screen and a mounted projector for teacher and staff use, the middle bookshelves and tables are being moved. Hopefully this will allow for teachers to begin to use the library as an extension of their classrooms occasionally.

As that process has begun, it has highlighted for me again the need to weed the collection of old books. Mr. Becker has generously shared some money with me to use for book for the middle school library, and I intend to use it to purchase nonfiction titles. As teachers begin to plan for the KS College and Career Ready (CCR) Standards and the expectation of more nonfiction being used in all classrooms, I would like to have updated resources available for them.

As always, I am looking for more ways to collaborate with teachers at HMS. As Staci Hansen's role shifts to that of a facilitator rather than a teacher with her own classroom, I am hopeful that I can work with her and with teachers to help students learn the research and information literacy skills that are embedded in the KS CCR Standards. These are skills they will use at HMS, as they move on to the high school, and as they are successful throughout life.

"Powerful libraries--and librarians--do, indeed, make powerful learners." ~Keith Curry Lance

Rachel Yoder

HMS Library Media Specialist