HHS Library Quarterly Report

October 2013-December 2013

Life in the library...

Students read...

The chart below illustrates circulations this quarter as compared to first quarter this year as well as second quarter last year. Across the board, there were fewer books checked out in every category this quarter, both compared to first quarter of the year as well as second quarter last year. I wonder if this is because more students are finding what they need online, or if they just aren't using the library resources for whatever reason. The difference in number of fiction books checked out between this quarter and first quarter was fairly significant; the difference might just be evidence of the fact that lives of high school students get busier as the year goes along! I would like to try some activities during third quarter to see if more students check out fiction books again.

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To continue working towards having a collection that meets the needs of students, 27 books were purchased this quarter. I always try to include a mix of fiction and nonfiction books in my purchases, taking into consideration what fiction books are popular and what nonfiction books might be helpful for curriculum. Some of the books are pictured below.

Students research...

Several classes came to the library this quarter to work on research. At the beginning of the quarter, I reviewed research resources with the seniors who were beginning their expository papers with Mr. Broadfoot. I shared a document with them highlighting things they should remember about the library databases, as well as other research tips they should remember.

Mr. Sebits's and Mr. Johnston's Chemistry classes came at the end of the quarter to research information about elements in preparation for their element ornaments.

I presented "Google Tips and Tricks" to Ms. Roth's Interactive Media students at the end of the quarter. We all use Google on a daily basis, but when it comes to answering research questions, there are ways to search Google more effeciently. Some of the things students said they would remember after hearing the presentation were "you don't have to search the whole question to get your answer" and "using keywords and important text instead of using irrelevant words."

The physical and online library...

We continued to make improvements to the physical library this quarter. Mr. Foreman and his class came to the rescue again to install the cork I purchased and frame it to make bulletin boards for the walkway between the main part of the library and the "red room." Several projects have already been displayed! I am thankful for Mr. Foreman's willingness to tackle project ideas I have.

As the high school thinks about moving to iPads next year rather than laptops, I am exploring how resources the library provides can be easily accessible to students and teachers. I am working with Phil to create a "mobile-friendly" site for which we can make a shortcut that would be on the home screens of student and teacher iPads. We will work on that over break and into the third quarter.

What's next?

As I read blog posts, tweets, and articles from the national school library scene, it seems school libraries are going one of two directions. Either librarians are being cut and libraries themselves are becoming irrelevant in school culture, or libraries are becoming the go-to place to think, learn and create and the librarians in those libraries are becoming leaders in their schools. Hesston has a long tradition of strong library programs, and my challenge for myself is to help move the library program here towards what a library can be, not just what it has always been. Joyce Valenza, a national leader among school librarians, has created this advocacy video supporting strong library programs. As I watch it, I think about how I can help make sure these things happen in the HHS library.
School Library Story