Library Services Newsletter TL

Welcome Back, 2018 Teacher Librarian Edition

Summer Reading Winners!

Library Services piloted a few incentives and contests this summer in order to help 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).

First off we want to celebrate again those schools that won our spring Summer Reading Contest with the highest OverDrive logins the month after spring break. We hoped to have as many students as possible connected with this wonderful resource before they left for the summer. Each of these schools received FREE Scholastic Bookfairs to send their students home for the summer with engaging, popular, free-choice books.

  • Castro Elementary
  • Holm Elementary
  • Merrill Middle School
  • Bruce Randolph High School

Schools with Highest OverDrive Reading Participation

Our second Summer Reading Contest celebrates schools with the highest reading participation (eBooks read per student) in our DPS OverDrive from the last day of school until the first day of school.

Congratulations to the following schools:

  • Lincoln Elementary
  • Kepner Beacon MIddle (they were AMAZING with 2,300 checkouts!!)
  • Denison Montessori

Each of these schools will receive a FREE author visit facilitated by Library Services during the 2018-19 school year.

Final Summer Contest: Let's Celebrate Participation in the DPL Summer Adventure!

Our final Summer Reading Loss initiative involved partnering with our wonderful public library colleagues. They worked hard to gather information from students as they registered so we could learn more about summer learning participation across schools. As we shared in our spring newsletter, we would reward the school at each level with the highest participation with $2,000 in credits for their school library book purchasing! The results are in. We would love to hear from you in terms of developing best practices for successfully connecting families with the DPL Summer Learning program. The following schools had the most participants:

  • C3
  • Slavens K8
  • McAuliffe International
  • Thomas Jefferson High School

New Library System - Destiny is live!

Your Library Services team has been working hard to transition to a new library system this summer. The new system has exciting features such as:

  • allowing students and staff to use their network login
  • seamless integration with OverDrive and Follett eBooks
  • *new* digital curation tool called Collections (more to come soon)
  • ability for students and staff to write book reviews and rate books

We are still working on resolving a few issues:

  • AR and Reading Counts are not currently working within search, you can use this chart to use lexile to find the approximate AR level (note: Library Services has the sincere hope that schools encourage students to look for books based on reading interest in addition to text complexity and more qualitative indicators of reading success).
  • OverDrive books are not currently showing up in Destiny. OverDrive is still working just fine, but a search in Destiny will not show these titles...we are working closely with Destiny and OverDrive to make this connection work.
  • SORA, the new OverDrive app, will not launch in DPS until 2nd semester. OverDrive is still working through connectivity with student information systems and the library system which will allow us to use its new features.

Please contact the library helpdesk at or 720.423.1842 if you have questions.

Library Fines and Fees

Just so you have all your library related information in one place...we are giving you another link to our recommendations around Library Fines and Fees in Denver Public Schools. We strongly recommend you move away from charging students overdue fines and lost book fees. There is a growing body of research that demonstrates that fines and fees do not result in books being returned sooner or in general. They do however, negatively impact students' and parents' impressions of the library and reading in general. Read more here.

Caroline, the Director of ETLS, is more than happy to discuss further. If you would still like to charge fines and fees in the new system, and have them transfer to the new MySchoolBucks system, you will need to have your principal fill out this google form:

Thank you.

Databases for the 2018-19 School Year

As we shared out in the spring, we will have changes to our database offerings for this school year available through We made these decisions based on usage and ongoing feedback from you and teachers that less is more.

  • Adding PebbleGo Spanish Modules...for Social Studies, Science, and Biography databases (in addition to Animales). Available Sept. 1st.

  • Adding Gale Student Research in Context (which is a Middle School level database), and maintaining Gale Student Resources in Context (which is a high school, college and career ready database).

  • We are discontinuing our EBSCO, World Almanac and Nettrekker database subscription (see below for details)

We realize some of these changes will mean you will need to provide additional instruction to your school community. Please let us know if you would like support in this area. We will be providing virtual and in-person professional learning opportunities around our Gale products in order to help you make this transition. We will also provide updated flyers on our digital resource offerings.

Denver Public Library does subscribe to EBSCO (Explora). As part of the MyDenver Card initiative, parents that opt their students into data sharing with Denver Public Library has online access to their resources. Please click here or contact library services to learn more.

Finally, we will lead an effort to gather your thinking/ideas around the best search engines and practices for elementary students for those of you that used Nettrekker, which will also support our scope and sequence work.

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).

Folk Tales Problem Solving STEM Kit

Kids live the legends—helping John Henry race a steam-powered drill, giving Johnny Appleseed a hand fencing in his orchard, and building Paul Bunyan a wagon strong enough to carry his giant knapsack! Our kits help kids discover the STEM in their favorite folk tales—inspiring them to use hands-on materials to design, build and test one-of-a-kind creations…then improve upon them like real engineers! You get 3 kits, each with a STEM-focused story card, student challenge cards and detailed lesson plans—plus building materials! Develops skills in structure and stability, understanding gears, perimeter and area, force and motion, the design process and problem solving. Recommended for 7 yrs. - 8 yrs. / 2nd Grade - 3rd Grade

Goobi Construction Set

The Award Winning Goobi Magnetic Construction Set is an open-ended construction set that teaches simple and spontaneous ways to learn the basics of geometry, physics, architecture and engineering. This is the intermediate package of the Goobi Magnetic Construction Set line and is designed for building medium and large scale 2D and 3D structures. Named the Creative Child Magazine top toy of the year, Goobi enhances eye-hand coordination and improves problem solving skills. Recommended for 6 yrs.+/ Grade 1+ (contains small metal balls)

DigiHero 3D Pen - The DigiHero 3D pen is a lightweight and easy to use STEM product that is safe for younger students and is an affordable alternative to 3D printers. 3D pens increase student engagement and enhance the educational setting in a variety of ways. Using this technology, students can explore complex ideas by creating visual representations of their projects, whether it be in science, mathematics, engineering, art, or history. PLA or ABS 1.75 mm filament compatible, although PLA is recommended (odorless, environmentally friendly). Recommended for 7 yrs.+/ Grade 2+

Library Spotlight

This month we are turning the spotlight on Chris Coble, teacher librarian at CEC Early College.

Chris attended DPS schools for elementary, middle and high school, and she has been a teacher in DPS for 26 years! For the past 5 years she has been devoted to empowering CEC Early College students as they embark on a journey of discovering and reaching their full potential.

CEC Early College is a dynamic, innovative campus offering a versatile curriculum allowing students to pursue a variety of educational opportunities. Students are encouraged to explore a variety of fields and options while having the opportunity to gain insight into the best fit for a future career. Students can gain credits towards a college degree, focus on career programs, or earn a high school diploma. Amidst all this “exploring and learning and growing” Chris successfully provides library resources for a diverse group of students so they can have access to relevant material to succeed in whatever paths they are pursuing. Chris says that “flexibility” is the name of the game for supporting students and staff in their myriad comings and goings and interests. She makes sure that her collection reflects the needs of students and teachers for their specialized research as she maintains materials reflecting subjects such as construction, welding, architecture, culinary, bio medical, the film industry and much more. Chris commented that her school is like a gigantic makerspace! She also maintains a wide selection of genres and popular titles. (And as a side note, Chris proudly shared that one of her students recently finished reading a novel by Dostoyevsky!)

To further support a culture of learning, Chris has promoted the digital resources available to all students through Library Services. She has taken the time to encourage her students to expand their research capabilities. CEC Early College has the highest database usage in the district and we congratulate Chris for this accomplishment! She wants to hear from staff and students about titles important to them so she provides a nifty poster where they can write their suggestions of what they want to see in their library – see photo below. Being the supportive and sensitive librarian that she is, Chris is mindful of the mental health of extremely busy students so as a library comfort, she provides a “meditation corner” where students can sit and relax and read books about meditation.

CEC Early College sponsors a summer reading program where the school purchases specific library books that students are required to read and then be responsible for completing a corresponding assignment. Chris is a strong advocate of the summer reading program and she is looking forward to checking out lots of books before school is over.

Chris is excited about the fun Book Bingo Challenge that she is presenting to students next semester that is another creative approach to encourage students to read a variety of titles and genres including paranormal romance, poetry, the classics and books with blood on the cover. (And we all know that book covers play an important role in motivating students to read!) The lucky students who submit their completed Bingo cards will receive prizes - possibly in the form of Starbucks gift cards!

Chris not only manages the library, but she works diligently and is heavily involved in credit recovery. She is dedicated to dropout prevention and is passionate about helping students graduate. Chris cares about making a difference in the lives of her students. The gratitude of several students was recently expressed by affectionate and sincere messages of thanks left on a white board in the library; one student also drew a picture of himself wearing a cap and gown and holding a diploma! Chris also plays a strong supportive role in school testing by assisting the school SAL by preparing materials, gathering students from all over the large campus and administering tests.

Chris has served on the book review committee for at least 20 years! She absolutely loves being part of the committee and she especially loves the fact that, as a perk of her involvement, she gets new books for her students! Chris is highly revered by her review crew colleagues and she is known for going above and beyond the call of duty in her personal contribution and also assisting her colleagues in producing a newsletter that is professional, relevant, and fun. Chris is passionate about investing time and energy in serving on a committee that not only provides a beneficial resource, but a committee that is also focused on connecting books with our own unique DPS climate and culture. Thank you Chris for the many years you have been an integral part of providing this great service to your fellow librarians!

When asked what she loves most about being in the library, Chris quickly responds, “The kids!” She feels they are amazing and she is passionate about providing a library that offers a safe, pleasant and enjoyable environment where students can gather. If you get the opportunity to visit Chris and walk the hallways with her, you will witness students almost constantly reciprocating love, caring, and friendship. We celebrate Chris Coble for putting kids first in the CEC Early College Library!

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Welcome our new Manager of Library Technical Systems

We are happy to share that we have a new Manager of Library Technical Systems. His name is Len Bryan and he will be responsible for supporting our team that administers our Destiny Library System, websites, helpdesk, cataloging, acquisitions, central classroom library, curriculum fulfillment and makerspace kits.

He is the former district media specialist in Hillsboro School District in Oregon, where he led innovative district and campus media center programs for 35 schools, serving over 20,000 students. He was previously the School Program Coordinator for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission,responsible for the successful implementation of the TexQuest K-12 digital resources program, school library standards and school librarian certification. Len has served as a middle school and high school librarianl in Round Rock Independent School District, just north of Austin, Texas. Before becoming a librarian, Len taught English and coached girls’ athletics at the middle school and high school levels all over Texas and Louisiana for over a decade.

He and his wife, Alison, a pediatric occupational therapist, have an infant daughter, Ella Katherine, and are active in dog advocacy and rescue nonprofits. They have two big, lovable, goofball dogs that are working toward their therapy dog certifications. In their free time, Len and Alison like to see live music, be outside with their baby and dogs biking, skiing, hanging out on the water, or paddling down a river. Len also enjoys restoring old houses, and is searching for his next project now.

Please welcome him to our district!

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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