Library Annual Report 2016-2017

Edward Harris, Jr. Middle School

Highlights from the year

  • Presenting databases and Sacramento Public Library homework support to our students and their parents at Parent University in September.
  • Celebrating Banned Book Week and promoting reading with students.
  • Hosting a successful Harry Potter-themed Scholastic Fall Book Fair with our all student book crew.
  • Collaborating with Sacramento Public Librarians, Elsie Mak and Nathan Milos.
  • Teaching students to use our EBSCO databases and NoodleTools.
  • Introducing our Instructional Rounds team and the secondary librarians to the Right Question formulation technique to assist students with generating their own questions for study and research.
  • Collaborating with 8th-grade English Language Arts classes on researching the Holocaust.
  • Working with Sharae Green's classes using the Guided Inquiry Research method and the Right Question formulation technique for research.
  • Participating in Library Journal's Makerspace course and planning our future Maker Lab.
  • Attending the California School Library Association conference in Sonoma.
  • Celebrating Teen Tech Week with our "Old Tech" Museum of out-dated technology.
  • Celebrating March Madness with a book face competition.
  • Hosting a successful camping-themed Spring Scholastic Book Fair with our all-volunteer student book crew.
  • Collaborating with John Pellman, Bill Heinicke, Melanie Dopson, Dany'l Van Someren, Linda Kennedy, and Annette Klein regarding Makerspaces.
  • Collaborating with MTHS's DATA architecture students to design our Maker Lab.

Library Visitation

The MTHS/EHMS Library continues to be a busy spot for both schools. Students visit to check out library books, study, complete homework assignments, conduct research and use computers. Nancey Bartow, our library technician, with the help of our library teaching assistants, creates festive displays around monthly themes. She creates contests and informative displays. Our yearlong focus was on animals featuring both fiction and nonfiction displays over the months.


Class visits remained about the same as last year. Every seventh-grade class participated in a library orientation through their Language Arts class. English/Language Arts classes had the greatest amount of library visitations making up sixty-one percent of our visits. Mr. Corpuz's 7th-grade Science classes visited twice this year for research (13%). Seventh-grade Honors History classes completed an extended research project (8%). Career Adventuring (10%), AVID (2%), and FLS (8%) classes rounded out the rest of our library visits for the year.

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Library Services

Our library opened at 7:30 a.m. and closed at 3:30 p.m. every day except Thursdays. Thursday is the Professional Learning day for both Monterey Trail High School and Edward Harris, Jr. Middle School. On Thursdays, we are open during the school day and over lunches but closed before and after school. Students have access to over 100 computers, and free printing and copying. We have over 44,300 books available for student checkout. Students have access to our electronic catalog, databases and other digital tools via our library website. Most of these tools such as NoodleTools, EBSCO databases, Grolier Online, and Culturegrams are accessible to our students outside the walls of our campus to assist with homework or research at home. Sadly, our Destiny Catalog and WebPath Express are not yet accessible to students off campus.


We continue to have a liaison with the Sacramento Public Library. During our first Parent University, we provide public library card applications for students and their families. Elsie Mak, from the Elk Grove branch, picked up the forms, processed the cards, and dropped them off for our students. Nathan Milos, from the Valley Hi branch, attended our Readapalooza event to promote SPL services. Due to our April/May SBAC testing schedule, neither Nathan or Elsie was able to promote the SPL's summer reading program but we did get informational flyers posted to advertise their summer events.


We continued to notify parents and guardians of our students about overdue materials with mailings sent in August, February, and April. Schoolloop messaging was used regularly to notify families of overdue books and to notify students that they had holds waiting in the library. Our library technicians also notified families by phone to encourage students to return overdue textbooks and library books.

Guided Inquiry Research and The Right Question

This year Ms. Green and I collaborated on research projects for her two Connections classes using the Guided Inquiry Design research method (Kuhlthau, Maniotes, and Caspari) and implementing the Right Question Institute’s question formulation technique. Ms. Green’s Connections class finished reading Thank You, Ma’am by Langston Hughes and her Connections English Language Development class finished up a unit on water. After meeting, Ms. Green and I decided to focus on juvenile crime for her first-period class and water for her sixth-period class. Guided Inquiry Research is divided into the following sections: Open, Immerse, Explore, Identify, Gather, Create, Share, Evaluate. From this point on, I will share the process completed with Ms. Green’s first period class on juvenile crime but similar lessons were completed with her sixth-period class on water quality.


Students were introduced to the topic of juvenile crime and juvenile justice through Langston Hughes’s story as their opener to their research. I collected a series of short video clips on juvenile justice from PBS Learning Media. Ms. Green’s students came to the library and viewed these clips in our computer lab taking brief notes and answering questions as they immersed themselves in the overarching topic. They returned on a different day to explore aspects of interest using our EBSCO databases. Together we generated a list of searchable key terms that the students encountered while watching the video clips. I demonstrated how to conduct searches using these key terms in the various databases. The students then had time to explore different sources in the databases that they found interesting surrounding juvenile justice.


Ms. Green then worked with students in her classroom to find areas of like interest surrounding the topic of juvenile justice. These students were put into groups for their next visit to the library. During this visit to the library, students were taught the question formulation technique. Students worked in groups with Chromebooks using the voice typing feature as a modification. Students were given a question focus and had five minutes to continuously generate questions. Students spoke their questions to the Chromebooks. After five minutes, students sent their questions to me. I printed their group’s questions for the next steps in the process. At the end of this lesson, groups came away with researchable questions. Ms. Green collected the questions for further class activities with her students.


The students returned the next week to the library with questions they identified of interest to them from the list of questions they generated during their last visit. I conducted some mini lessons on the use of our library resources, and then the students began gathering information that answered their research questions independently. Note taking templates were provided and students recorded their sources on these templates. I continued to coach students on the use of resources and help them find nonfiction and reference books to support this step of the process.


After gathering information, students then worked with Ms. Green in the classroom to create a written report of their information. We ran out of time at the end of the year to do a formal sharing and evaluation of the process, but I was pleased with the results of the first six steps of the process. I observed growth in Ms. Green’s students in using these steps and I saw their confidence increase in using information literacy skills. I look forward to future collaborations with Ms. Green and other interested colleagues.


Goals for 2017-2018

  • Continue to work with Technology Services on providing access to our Destiny catalog outside the walls of our campus so our students and staff can utilize WebPath Express and our ebook collection at home.
  • Promote Guided Inquiry Research and The Right Question with staff and library colleagues.
  • Promote Library Services with staff, students, and parents.
  • Continue to collaborate with library colleagues to develop best practices in teaching research and technology use, promoting reading, and providing quality library services.
  • Learn to use our Synergy, School Messenger, and our new phone system.
  • Support English Language Arts teachers with their new adoption, and learn how the library and research fit in with the new StudySync curriculum.
  • Continue to move towards changing our back workroom into a Maker Lab where students can use equipment to create projects for class or just to create, learn, explore, and collaborate.