End of the Year Report

Ponderosa High School Library 2015/2016 School Year

Overview of the 2015/2016 School Year

The 15/16 school year was a year of changes for me both professionally and personally. To start the year, I was home with my beautiful baby girl, Charlotte. I enjoyed spending the first 4 months of her life home with her, but at the same time, I missed being at school and fulfilling myself professionally. I'm very indebted to Candis Spallina for filling in for me while I was on maternity leave. I was able to enjoy my time at home, knowing the library was well taken care of.

Upon my return, I made a few modest professional goals for myself, know my first year of being a working mother was not going the be the easiest! One of those goals was to bring a social media presence to my library and myself professionally. Another goal was the weed print reference and begin to brainstorm alternative uses for the space created. Finally, this was our first year with the full suite of Gale's In Context Databases, and I was excited to help incorporate them into teacher's curriculum.

Overall, the library program at Ponderosa had many successes and began to grow into the vision I set out for myself three years ago. I'm excited to continue on this journey.

About the Collection

Our collection is comprised of 17,531 items. Of those items, we have 14,651 different items, ranging from books to media to computer stations. In contrast, three years ago when I started, our collection was made up of 19,453 individual items, with 15,959 different materials. Our physical collection has decreased, but I believe this is for the better. We now have a collection of strong materials, preferring quality over quantity in many of our sections. However, there is always work to do to improve a print collection.

Each month, I continued to add about 20 books to our collection through a monthly book order. I prefer a monthly book order as opposed to a quarterly or half yearly book order in an attempt to keep up with the ever evolving world of young adult fiction and to keep young readers engaged through the latest and greatest materials. I continue to use the "Collection Development Matrix" I started my first year here as a librarian in order to purchase books that will appeal to a wide variety of readers. I have adjusted this matrix in this year to accommodate the shift in YA fiction. Now we have more spots to choose fantasy books as opposed to sci-fi, as this genre is beginning to surpass sci-fi in popularity.

I enjoy the challenge of looking for books that are "out of my comfort zone." I continue to use Amazon as a great resource for the latest and greatest in YA fiction, but I have found a great resource in School Library Connection, a professional publication I subscribe to that has multiple book reviews in the back.

YA fiction continues to dominate the book world and box office when it comes to the movie adaptations of famous YA novels. The book is still a strong force with teenagers, and I'm proud to work in a school that has a great reading culture.

When it came to the most popular titles this school year, everything played out as follows.

For the first time since I've been the librarian here, a young adult title was not the number one fiction title in the library this past school year. The Martian by Andy Weir claims the top spot, with 76 checkout this school year. With the extremely successful movie coming out this past year, the popularity of the book soared. I never once promoted this book in a book talk, and it was consistently on our top 10 list each month. Right along side The Martian was Looking for Alaska, an all-time favorite of high school students, with 60 checkouts. Perhaps this book received a bump because of buzz of the movie coming out next year, but Looking for Alaska has consistently been popular in our library. Next year as the movie arrives, this book is sure to move to our Hot Picks Shelf. The Maze Runner continued its reign as last year's top book, coming in as the 3rd most popular book this year. Other notable titles include The 5th Wave, which received a bump from the movie, and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, another book consistently on the top ten which will receive the movie treatment next December.

Overall, it has been another strong year for Young Adult Fiction, and I'm sure it will continue to dominate not only our school but the entire world as well!

Class Visits and Usage Statistics

A grand total of 568 classes visited the library this year. This number is down from one year ago, with a total of 662 classes visiting the library one year ago. Most likely this is due to the additional Chromebook carts on campus and our lab space being less in demand than it was at that time. However, the does not mean that our library was not used heavily. We are still creating programs and collaborating with multiple teachers on projects throughout the entire year to bring students into the library and enrich their learning process.

Our busiest month was October with 16,977 patrons walking through our doors and 85 classes visiting the library. Again, this is down from last year, where October was also our busiest month. In October last year 109 classes visited the library and 21,237 patrons walked through our doors.

The number of patrons walking through our doors should be taken with a grain of salt this year due to the fact that in the second semester our gate has been malfunctioning, and we have not received an accurate patron count during some of our busiest months. We hope to correct this through servicing our gate at the end of this year.

Our busiest day of the year was December 11th, 2015 where 1,865 patron walked through our doors, higher than the student population of our school. This is actually higher than last year where our busiest day only had 1,273 patrons. It also topped our busiest day two years ago where 1,650 patrons walked through our doors. As technology is used more and more on campus, our library continues to be a central hub of activity!

On average, 771.95 patrons walked through our doors during the fall semester and 603.15 patrons walked through our doors during the spring semester. While these are down from last year, we must also remember that our school population is down as well.

The largest circulation of items came during the month of March where 3,421 items were circulated during this month. This actually exceeds last year's largest circulation month by 28 checkouts. No doubt this can be attributed to human error, but it is nice to see that despite the fact not as many students are walking through our doors on average and classes coming in is down as well, our circulation meets or exceeds previous years.

The largest book circulation came during the month of August where 1,577 books were checked out during this short month! No doubt this is due to book talks and SSR books coming through our library. Of these 1,577 books, 1,007 of these books were fiction. Ponderosa prides itself for our strong reading culture. We look forward to continuing this next year!

This year I did not keep track of individual teachers and their visits to the library because of my maternity leave. I felt I would not be able to get a full and accurate count of teachers. Therefore, I will pick it up again next year.

Curriculum Collaboration

There were many projects this past year where I collaborated with new teachers and continued projects from previous years. Overall, it was a highly successful year of collaboration.

Health of the Planet Projects

These projects continue to evolve every year as we integrate new and relevant technology. This year, I was challenged with the fact that I am not here Monday through Thursday during first period because of child care conflicts. Therefore, I needed to create a platform where Karen Norwood could virtually have me in the classroom with her. Karen is always an excellent collaborator, and she was up for the challenge.

I incorporated Google Classroom into the health projects, and it was successful on most fronts. I also created new instructional videos with picture and picture capabilities in order to virtually bring myself into the classroom for Karen when I couldn't be there. Below is an example of one instructional video I created for Karen's first period classes and ended up using with the other classes as well.

MicNote Instructions
I felt the features I was able to utilize with WeVideo made the instruction that much more strong. It also allowed me to be a bit more mobile when running the health projects. If I needed to attend to something while giving instruction, I could. It saved me quite a few times.

Overall, the new technology incorporated into the health projects worked well, and I look forward to next year taking it to the next level yet again.

WeVideo Projects

This past year, I bought a six month subscription to WeVideo for the library. This editing program is an excellent tool for students to create video projects or multimedia slideshows. As with using any new tools, there were some bumps along the way, but overall, we ironed out the details and had quite a few classes come through creating video projects. The addition of the new "super lab" in the back helped us to draw in a few new classes to use that lab in video editing.

The three main classes that created projects were Mrs. Johnson's French classes created a newscast and a photostory slide show. Mrs. Hodson's classes created videos on social issues, and Mr. Taylor's ROP Diesel students created instructional videos. Overall, the projects went fairly smooth compared to using other programs such as Windows Movie Maker. Students were able to access their edits at home since the software is browser based. It also allowed them to turn in videos to Google Classroom.

While there were bumps here and there, I believe I now have a firm grasp on what needs to be changed for next year and will be creating new instructional videos for the following years. I'm excited about possible future projects and what new classes could be drawn into the library using that back lab. I'm also excited about sharing this resource at the summer symposium with other teachers.

Other Projects

One of my other projects this year was to create a few projects to draw in teachers in alternative ways. Some of the projects were more successful than others. However, my most successful alternative projects focused on the English classes, which always seems up to trying out new things!

The first project was during April, where we celebrated National Poetry Month. I created a project where students created blackout poetry. At first it started as a simple activity anyone could do. However, I took a leap of faith and decided to invite English teachers to have their classes participate for a 15 minute break in their day. I was overwhelmed by the response. Even teachers who did not originally sign up had their students asking if they could sign up!

The result was a multitude of blackout poetry hanging up all over the library and students learning new ways to create poetry! See pictures below.

In addition to this, I also created a new program for "End of the Year Book Talks" where students learn about some exciting summer resources to keep reading in the summer. It also allowed me to share with them some resources we have on our library website. I have multiple interactive slide shows, lists, and quizzes to get students thinking about and getting excited over reading.

I was overwhelmed at the response from English teachers for how many were interested in having me talk to their students about creating a summer reading list. Again, it goes to show what an awesome reading culture we have here at Ponderosa.

Art Projects

Finally, I'm most proud of the collaboration I made with Mary Rich's art classes this year. She is a teacher who will be truly missed here in the library! I sincerely hope the teacher taking her spot will to open to trying these projects in the future because they worked out so well, and they were so much fun!

The virtual field trip/art 2 "Leaning From a Master" project was absolutely fantastic. Students were tasked with picking a piece of art a "master" has created, zooming in to just one section of this piece of art, and creating that small piece in larger scale. In the past, Mary has some resistance from students. Therefore, we put a new spin on it.

Students were given a Google Slide presentation where they took a virtual field trip using Google's "Museum View," a newer technology tool where Google used their StreetView technology and virtually walked through the museums. Students could take a virtual field trip to any of the museums we listed, find a piece of art they enjoyed, zoom in with high definition to many different pieces of art, and find their composition piece.

It was a great way to level this technology. I would love to run this project again. You can see the slide show we used below.

Monthly Events and Contests

One of my goals for the next school year is to organize myself over the monthly events and contests I would like to run here in the library. We had many successful events this past year I am proud of.

Our most successul contest by far was the Emoji Book Contest. See below for a picture.

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This contest took the plot of well known YA novels and "translated" them into Emoticons. Students had to guess the which book was being depicted. Out of all of our contests, this one got the most foot traffic. English teachers offered their students extra credit opportunities to participate in the contest. It was awesome to hear all of the conversations as students attempted to guess the novels, and I felt it was the perfect extra credit opportunity.

Another exciting "event" we ran was our Relaxation Station towards the end of the year. We offered coloring pages, coloring bookmarks, and even a coloring table as an escape from the stress of finals. We offered two different tables as one of the coloring tables filled up within one week. Students loved the community participation of the coloring table, and it was a great success!

Finally, one of the events I am most proud of this year came on Poem in Your Pocket Day. Britta Fletcher encouraged the entire staff to participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day on our campus and gave the staff multiple ideas for how to participate. She jokingly said at the end of her e-mail that one of us should get a poem tattoo.

So that's exactly what we did.

We created temporary tattoos for students to apply on Poem in Your Pocket Day using Rupi Kaur's short poems. We were absolutely thrilled with the results. The tattoos were an instant hit! We created almost 100 tattoos, and they were gone before lunch. Students were excited to participate and highly encouraged us to do it again next year. This is definitely an event we will be continuing. See pictures below.

New Social Media Presence/Blog

One of my goals for this year was to create more of a social media presence for our library, and I've accomplished this through a few different ways.

For the library I created an Instagram profile and a Facebook Page. On our Instagram profile I post various pictures of the library and create book challenges for students to participate in using the #pondobookchallenge. Please see below for connecting to the library's Facebook profile page and our Instagram account.

Click here to go to our Facebook Profile Page

This is the Facebook Page for the Ponderosa High School Library. We post interesting articles, book releases, and events happening in the library.

Click here to go to our Instagram Profile

To follow us on Instagram, find us @ponderosalibrary on your phone app.

In addition to these two pieces of social media presence for the library, I also created some professional pieces for myself.

I started posting to Twitter, which I use only for professional development purposes.

I also started a blog called Our Lively Library where I chronicle my journey as a librarian and post about successful programs and collaborations with teachers in order to inspire fellow teacher librarians. I always post my blog posts to Twitter as well.

Follow me with either endeavor below. . . .

Click here to follow me on Twitter

This Twitter profile is used only for professional development and chronicling my journey as a teacher librarian.

Click here to read my blog, Our Lively Library

My blog goes into depth of my projects as a teacher librarian as I try to share my journey with other TLs.

Goals for the 2016/2017 School Year

I'm excited to begin the year as I was on maternity leave at the beginning of this year. I have some big and small goals for the next year which include:

* Revamping Freshman Library Orientation to utilize new technology and goals

* Attending CUE and CSLA

* Organizing monthly events and/or contests at the beginning of the year

* Continue and consistently do a monthly newsletter

* Become a Google Level 2 certified educator

* Work towards applying to the Google Certified Innovator program

* Rethink the library space as weeding creates more useable space

* Redesign our posters and wall art for more cohesion and relevance

Lots of goals I can work on throughout the entire year! I'm excited to wrap up this year and start planning for the future. Until 2016/2017. . . . .

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The library ladies of the El Dorado Union High School District. . . .and book lovers in the making, Charlotte Zimny and Oliver Martin. :-)