Salesian Library Parent Newsletter

Vol. I, Issue IV (March 2015)

What Has the Library Done for Me Lately?

This issue is all about the Salesian Library, which in turn is all about the students, parents and teachers that the Salesian Library aims to serve. So, what has the Salesian Library done to benefit me as of late? Well...
Students often feel overwhelmed after first being assigned a big research project. Teachers do their best to provide necessary background information and to break projects into more approachable chunks. As a librarian, it is at this early stage that I like to step in and provide key content-specific resources and research skills to jump start student investigations. These interventions often come in the form of LibGuides.


LibGuides are essentially mini websites designed to inform and instruct an audience on something as broad as a subject or as narrow as an assignment or skill. Four LibGuides have been created in the past 6 weeks, adding to a growing digital library that caters to the entire Salesian community. One Guide is featured below, while the others - Shakespeare (9th Grade), Literary Criticism (9-12), US History Research (11th Grade) - are publicly available on LibGuides. There's also a Parent LibGuide, which if the name didn't give it away, is all about you.

Test Prep LibGuide

If your son or daughter will be taking a standardized test in the near future, you may want to point them in the direction of this newly created Test Prep LibGuide. The Guide covers the SAT, ACT, and the TOEFL, providing preparation materials, tips and strategies to help your child get the score they need.

Flipboard

If you ask me where I get my news, my quick and enthusiastic response will be "Flipboard!" Flipboard bills itself as a personal magazine, turning any source of content (i.e. ESPN, CNN, Twitter, etc.) into a beautiful digital magazine. Almost 2 years ago to the day, Flipboard gave users the ability to create their own custom magazines. Since I spend a good 30-60 minutes each day consuming information through the service, I figured why not start curating some of that information for the Salesian community. One example of such curation is a magazine I've called Parenting Teens with Technology. At this moment, the magazine features 12 articles covering various aspects of raising teenagers in this digital world, but more articles will be added to it all the time. You can follow the magazine through one of Flipboard's dedicated apps (iOS, Android, Windows) or through your web browser.

Pinterest

Pinterest describes itself as "a place to discover ideas for all your projects and interests, hand-picked by people like you." Whether or not you use it yourself, you've likely encountered Pinterest in one way or another, because it is everywhere. Its simple and visual design make it appealing to a wide range of audiences, and so I've been experimenting with it in the Library, collecting useful resources into thematic, conceptual or seasonal "boards." I've created Pinterest boards for African American Heritage Month (February) and Women's History Month (March), to name a few. I'll continue to experiment with creating these boards as opportunities arise, and as with the Flipboard magazines, I'm adding things to existing boards all the time. Perhaps most useful for parents is the Student Scholarships/Competitions board, but feel free to have a look at all of the boards created thus far.

Library Displays

In order to gain student attention these days, I feel like I have to be in several different places at once. As such, I tend to create physical and digital versions of just about everything. This is particularly evident in the Library displays that have gone up recently.


The Student Scholarship/Competitions Pinterest board mentioned above has a physical representation in the Library. This display shows 6-8 scholarship opportunities and links via a QR code to the Pinterest board where students can find more. All of the individual scholarships have codes on them which will take the student directly to the scholarship web page.

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Women's History Month

Two more displays have recently gone up to mark Women's History Month (March). Again I've used QR Codes to link students to more information on each author or title, oftentimes in the form of an engaging video or interactive website. All of these displays are then captured on a Pinterest board.
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Before We Say Goodbye...

Help Tailor this Newsletter to Your Needs

Take the Salesian Library Media & Technology Survey. Survey responses will inform what topics and concerns to address in future newsletters. The survey should take no longer than 5-10 minutes. Thank you advance for your time.

Library Volunteers

The library is always accepting volunteers. Whether you're a creative type, a neat freak, or just like lending a helping hand, the Salesian Library has opportunities for you. Contact me to find out more and visit the Salesian website for volunteer paperwork.