Library Services Newsletter

December, 2017 Teacher Librarian Edition

New Library System Feedback

Would you like to learn more about the new library system and provide input on policy decisions?

Do you want to make sure we schedule training during a time, day, method that works for you?

Please fill out our survey by December 8th (this also went out in email last week).

Big image

Library Services Digital Resource of the Month: Culturegrams

As a librarian, teacher or student in DPS, you have a rich selection of digital resources, including databases, that is purchased and curated through Library Services' LION site. Go to and click on "online databases" or go directly to

Our Library Services team is also curating resources about our digital resources for you to learn more about their features and be able to use these overviews with your staff, students and families. Please let us know what would be helpful!

This month we are highlighting CULTUREGRAMS.

CultureGrams Online Database is a reference for cultural information on countries across the globe. It includes four editions: the World Edition (for junior high school and up) and the Kids, States, and Canadian Provinces editions (for upper elementary school students). The database includes the following features: images, slideshows, streaming videos, sortable data tables and graphs, interviews with natives from countries around the world, recipes for each country, and more. The World Edition includes 208 country-specific reports (every sovereign country recognized by the United Nations), plus several foreign dependencies.

Each World Edition report is written by a native or long-term resident of the country in coordination with a CultureGrams editor. Writers are selected for their education, knowledge of a national language, experience with different regions and socioeconomic groups, recent residency in the country, and access to current information.

Learn or share more with this presentation:

Celebrate Human Rights Day with Books

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being -- regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.

We have curated a collection of titles in honor of Human Rights Day on December 10th. These books seek to promote peace in the world by exploring issues of equality, justice, and freedom

As always, please let us know if you have additional titles to add to our curated collections!

Library Spotlight

This month we are turning the spotlight on Denise Cushing at Carson Elementary.

Denise is a dynamic Teacher Librarian who loves her job and has devoted her time and energy for the last 8 years into making a difference in the lives of her students. Densie enjoys planning fun literacy activities for her students - see photo below of students joyfully participating in Literacy Day.

Denise is passionate about literacy and her connection with her students. She feels that the best thing about being a teacher librarian is being able to form lasting relationships with students since she has the privilege of seeing them grow from shy Kindergartners into confident 5th graders. (She loves it when prior students stop by to visit!) As an Information Literacy teacher, she is most proud that her students have a curiosity about the world around them and are not afraid to stand up when they see injustices. She also mentioned that she takes pride in curating a robust collection for her students.

Denise recently invited author Stel Pavlou to speak to her 4th and 5th graders about his new sci-fi book Daniel Coldstar #1: The Relic Wars. He was a hit! Denise said that he motived the students to think creatively by describing the genre of science fiction and speaking about his writing process. Although Stel Pavlou has previously written adult books, this is his first book for children and Carson Elementary was his first school visit! What an honor! See selfie below of Denise and Stel!

This year she plans to incorporate more “hands-on creating” in her library by pairing books with simple maker-space activities. She feels that we can get so engrossed in technology that sometimes we forget to allow children the simple experiences of learning about architecture through building with blocks, or aerodynamics by the trial and error of folding paper airplanes.

Denise enjoys reading books that make kids wonder and debate the ending. One of her favorite books for interactive read-alouds is I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (she loves all books by Jon Klassen!) A new book that Denise recommends is Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller. She described it as an endearing story of an Octicorn, the offspring of a unicorn and an octopus – and a good read-aloud to talk to students about friendship and inclusion.

How does Denise bring FUN into her library? Library dance party! She has found that the best way to round up students at the end of class is to put on dance music. Carson student favorites are music videos by OK Go! (Videos that are entertaining and thought provoking!)

When asked to share her feelings about libraries, Denise said, “Libraries are safe havens and judgement free zones. They are a place for children to feel safe. That’s the best thing about them!” We celebrate Denise Cushing for PUTTING KIDS FIRST in the Carson Elementary library!

Big image
Big image

RIF Champions

Congratulations to…

Stacy Distel Nishioka from Bradley International School, Donna Hensley from Force Elementary, and Sandy Devlin from Sabin World School for receiving the Books for Ownership Grant from Reading Is Fundamental!

The grant is a matching grant program which is RIF’s new funding model which stretches your dollars to enable more of your children to have the benefit of the RIF program. The RIF coordinators will provide two distributions per year, prepare engaging activities to get kids excited about books and reading, and will engage families and the community at large. Every participating student will have the opportunity to choose their own book (RIF's evidence demonstrates children are much more inclined to read the books they personally select). What a great opportunity to promote literacy and fun!

You can find more information about the matching grant, including how to plan your budget with the dollars your school needs to contribute, at this link: We will send out notification when the next grant period opens.

Makerspace Hub

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).

KEVA CONTRAPTIONS and KEVA STRUCTURES – Because of the popularity of our original KEVA Planks makerspace kits, we’ve expanded our KEVA collection to now include the Contraptions and Structures lines. Build endless structures with tunnels, funnels, ramps, and chutes. Each kit comes with a guidebook and a specially curated Tumblebooks title list. Recommended for Grades 1+.

K’NEX SIMPLE MACHINES – K'NEX Education's Maker Kit Simple Machines comes with 590+ K'NEX parts, including rods and connectors in classic scale. 22 unique simple machine models can be built from the kit - including gears, levers, pulleys, wheels & axles and more! 3 individual instructions books are included so students can build up to 3 models at the same time. Once they learn the basic principles of how each simple machine works, your budding makers can use the parts to design & create their own DIY contraptions! Recommended for Grades 3+.

LITTLEBITS STEAM STUDENT SET and ARDUINO CODING – littleBits makes a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small. Bits snap together with magnets, making it the simplest tool for powerful 21st-century STEAM learning. The electronic building blocks are color-coded and reusable. Students gain technical skills by exploring creative, collaborative solutions to real-world problems. The challenges in the littleBits STEAM Student Set link to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for Engineering Design and Common Core. STEAM Set recommended for Grades 3-8.

OneBook4Colorado Voting Open!

The One Book 4 Colorado program is back for its 7th year! You and your students can vote for the picture book you think should be distributed to all 4-year-olds in Colorado. Go to to watch a local celebrity read each of the books. Voting ends December 31st. The book will be announced and distributed April 9th-23rd, 2018.

New AASL Standards Released

Interested in learning more about the new AASL Standards? School Library Journal is offering a free webinar on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. ET/12:30-1:30 p.m. ET

"In this hour-long webinar, members of American Association of School Librarians editorial and implementation teams will discuss the genesis, framework, and goals of the recently unveiled standards and what they mean for 21st-century learners, librarians, and school libraries."