JISD Library Services Newsletter

December 2020

JISD Library Services Mission & Vision


Our Mission Statement


Just-in-Time Champion, providing resources, books, and information at the point of user’s need.


Instructional Champions providing curriculum & pedagogical expertise.


Support Champion providing collaboration & coaching for administrators, teachers, parents, & students.


Devoted Intellectual Freedom Champion (the Right to Read, Intellectual Property, digital citizenship, access to information, and privacy).


Our Vision Statement


The JISD Libraries creates equitable community spaces that foster empathy and encourage continual self-directed learning. We empower the voice of the individual and promote a society of responsible, resourceful, and discerning world citizens.

Congratulations Distinguished Educators!

Congratulations to our two distinguished educator librarians! Claire St. Pierre from Hopkins Elementary and Mariya Ortiz from Judson High School both earned this high praise from their peers.

Our campus librarians are educational leaders and curriculum experts on our campuses. Librarians can co-teach or teach concepts across content areas as well as provide resources for any lesson. If you are looking to spice up your curriculum or you just want support, tap into the knowledge that is your school librarian!

UT School of Information

Thinking about becoming a school librarian? It’s the best job on campus!

School librarians have a broad influence on teaching and learning across the grade levels. They collaborate with teachers to plan, teach, and assess inquiry-based projects, integrating information literacy skills and technology tools at the point of need in the curriculum. They engage students and the broader school community in excellent and entertaining books and exciting literacy programs to cultivate a culture of reading and promote skills and attitudes for life-long learning. School librarians make books and digital resources available for all students, equalizing information access across the school community. And it doesn’t stop there…

Join the next cohort of dynamic school librarian certificate students at the UT Austin School of Information!

Click on the image below to learn more!

JISD Book Clubs

The JISD Librarians have book clubs for everyone! The adult book club meets once a month. Since starting the district-wide BYOBook Adult Book Club in the Spring, we have had teachers, board members, and even Dr. Ball read the books and attend the meetings. Join us on the last Monday of each month to discuss amazing titles!


The JISD YA Book Club is for our high school students. We have started our 3rd selection for the year, The Belles by Donhielle Clayton. We will meet to discuss this title on Tuesday, January 19th.


The 5th Grade Battle of the Books will be in April 2021. It's a great time to start reading these books as a family! Check out the list at the button below.


Most of the titles in all of our book clubs are available through Sora, either at your student's school or through the San Antonio Public Library. Students and staff may access Sora through the JISD Portal. Click HERE for directions.


Happy Reading!

Up Next!

Don't forget to join us for our BYOBook Adult Book Club on Monday, December 28th at 7PM. We'll be discussing Ruta Sepetys's historical fiction novel, The Fountains of Silence. Set in Madrid in 1957, this book examines life under the Franco dictatorship following the lingering legacy of the Spanish-American War. If you're interested in participating in this Zoom conversation, email Mrs. Ortiz at mortiz406@judsonisd.org for more details on how to join via Zoom.


The Fountains of Silence is available at the San Antonio Public Library via our Sora app. HERE are the directions to access Sora and SAPL, if you need them.

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The Re-Imagined Battle of the Books

Beginning in October, 121 sixth-grade students participated in the Re-Imagined Battle of the Books. Since the original contest was canceled in April, we decided to offer the Kahoot! Challenge as a replacement. The students that were set to participate in fifth grade, were given the opportunity to participate.

The students went through three rounds of questions for a total of 156 questions over the 15 titles.

On Friday, November 20th, the participants and winners were given their certificates, ribbons, and the winners were given medals. Below are the winners. All of the top 3 are students from JSTEM and Judson Middle School. Congratulations to all!

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Learning & Libraries Conference

On Friday, November 6th, four JISD librarians presented sessions at the ESC 20 Learning & Libraries Virtual Conference.


Mrs. Ortiz from Judson High School presented a workshop at the ESC Region 20 Learning and Libraries Conference. Her session focused on helping school librarians to demonstrate their value in meaningful ways to assist students, teachers, administrators, and parents during this very different time in education. She was able to combine her obsession with Hamilton: An American Musical and showcase some of the things we've done at the Judson HS Library to reach out and re-imagine library service and leadership. Also, there were show tunes in PD.


Mrs. Boyd from Metzger Middle School presented "Libraries and Primary Documents in a Digital Era." Now, more than ever, it is essential to leverage technology with intention rather than using technology for technology's sake. In this session, we will discuss options for collaborating with teachers and designing lessons that incorporate libraries' digital resources. Learn about a successful History Day project and hear about maker space projects designed as part of engaging lessons.


Mrs. Polk from Copperfield Elementary, participated on a panel entitled "What Have I Gotten Myself Into?" The panel offered advice and tips to new librarians.


Mrs. Thompson from Veterans Memorial High School and the district's Lead Librarian, moderated the panel "Navigating Your Career Path." Librarians from various institutions shared their experiences on how professional organizations such as TLA and ALA can support and enhance library work and careers. Learn how something as simple as meeting and talking with colleagues that do what you do can help you advance in your profession. Participants joined us to learn what opportunities are available for networking (and just plain fun with friends) - surprisingly easy to do virtually!

Mrs. Thompson was also part of the organizing committee for the conference.

Growing Future Ready Librarians

On Saturday, November 21st, JISD Librarians Tracy Boyd (Metzger MS), Katrina Simmons (Escondido ES), Sara Pena (Park Village and Hartman ES), Pam Arevalo-Thompson (VHMS), and Mariya Ortiz (Judson HS) participated in the Future Ready Librarians Virtual Summit called "Leading from the Library in Uncertain Times." After three hours of learning from experts in the field, your JISD librarians then participated in another hour-long conversation about how we might apply this new learning to our local contexts. We strive daily to make JISD Libraries shine. Your JISD Librarians are lighting the way!

JISD Library Programs in Action

Author Carol Anderson @ WHS

Wagner High School in conjunction with the San Antonio Book Festival and the San Antonio chapter of The Links, Inc. organization welcomed Carol Anderson via Zoom to discuss her book One Person, No Vote How Not all Voters are Treated Equally. The event, originally scheduled for April, had a different look and feel but the same result – connecting students with authors and books! Students had the opportunity to ask questions and witness Mrs. Anderson's energy and enthusiasm. Students received a copy of the book to take home. Wagner is extremely grateful to The Links organization for sponsoring an Author event for the second year in a row.

Thanksgiving Books @ Copperfield

In the novel Indian No More read to 4th grade students, the character described seeing the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade for the first time. After we finished the novel, Mrs. Polk read Balloons Over Broadway to the students and discussed the history of the parade. Students then designed their own parade balloon digitally.

In-Person Book Fair @ PVE & Hartman

Two cool cats were rockin’ and rolling about the new books that were purchased for the Park Village library thanks to the Scholastic book fair’s success. The turnout was incredible and students are excited to begin checking out their new books.


The magic of book fairs has arrived at Hartman Elementary! Online shopping is open until December 12th and in-person shopping will be from December 4th through the 11th. This is a great opportunity to cross some gifts off of those lists. Visit us online at https://www.scholastic.com/bf/hartmanknights

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Rotary Club Donation at Franz

A big thank you to the Rotary E Club of San Antonio! They made their annual monetary donation for students to purchase books from the Scholastic Book Fair. The funds are specifically for students that wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to shop at a book fair. The Rotary Club has been supporting the students at Franz Elementary for the past several years, and the community is very fortunate and thankful to have their on-going support.

Lone Star Program @ KHMS

The KHMS Library is hosting The Lonestar List Book Challenge starting in December. The Lonestar Book List is a list of 20 current books created by public & school librarians specifically for grades 6-8. Students in grades 6-8 are encouraged to participate in this challenge by printing out a Lonestar Book Card. Students are to read a book, submit a review on the Lonestar Book Challenge Padlet, and get an official signature from Mrs. Colwell or Ms. Golla. The ultimate goal is to read at least 10 books by May to participate in a pizza and voting party. Each month there will be rewards for reading the books. Look for the Lonestar Book Display in the library or find the book on the Sora app.

About Us

If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact Lead Librarian, Pamela Thompson.