Library Services Newsletter

October, 2017: Paralibrarian Edition

Welcome Back!

We hope you are off to a successful school year! We are excited share all sorts of news, so this issue is jam packed.

We write two versions of our newsletter based on the different responsibilities you face in your position, specifically related to instruction, evaluation, and SLOs.

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New Library System Selected!

We conducted a RFP process last spring to select a new Library System and unanimously chose Follett's Destiny system. Our new system is being funded by the bond we passed last November. We are excited to move to a system that is built for school libraries and will allow additional flexibility and reporting at the school level, rich curation tools and kid friendly features. Thanks so much to Josh Mack for leading this process, the contributions of our Library Services team and those of you that provided feedback, especially Chris Coble, Nancy Lucas, Sandy Devlin and Kacie Close. This committee included input from members of Library Services, Ed Tech, Strategic Sourcing and DOTs. We so appreciate everyone's dedication to selecting the best possible solution.

We will be moving to the new system next summer. We will provide training opportunities next summer, (both online and in person). Stay tuned!

Overdrive eBooks for Everyone!

We now have content for ALL students in all grade levels! Just so there is no confusion, this is available to ALL students...anytime anywhere access. It has been exciting to see the usage take off this August (across all grade levels). Kudos to you for promoting this amazing resource in your building. We have elementary and middle schools buildings with over 2,000 checkouts in the last 3 weeks!

There are two ways to access our Overdrive eBooks:

  1. go to
  2. go to your school's LION web page, and click on ebooks, then click on "Overdrive".

Logging into Overdrive

  • Staff use their district ID and password
  • Students use their student ID as their username and their birthdate as their password (2 digits for month, 2 digits for day, 4 digits for year)

Check out the Collections section of Overdrive for a diverse selection of topics, languages and curriculum. We will be sharing out additional marketing materials in a related email.

Feel free to let us know if there are eBooks or audiobooks that you, your students and your teachers would like to add to our collection at

Overdrive and Language Arts Curriculum

Library Services collaborated with the Literacy Department this spring to purchase a number of Language Arts Curriculum titles in Overdrive (this applies to the "district adopted curriculum").

Here is a basic overview of what is in Overdrive:

High School:

  • 600 copies of each novel (with the exception of Fences)
  • 600 copies of each novel's audiobook if it was available digitally

Middle School:

  • 100 copies of each novel (a few were not available digitally)
  • 100 copies of each novel's audiobook if it was available digitally


We are continuing to collaborate with the Literacy Department and will update you as we make additional purchases.

We have curated all of these titles into an Overdrive Collection called "Language Arts Curriculum". Overdrive currently limits the number of collections we are able to create so we are unable to further break down this category into grade levels but hope to do this in the future.

eBooks Professional Learning

As part of our collaboration with the Literacy Department, we have been presenting professional learning sessions about our eBooks and LION databases to teachers at the elementary, middle school and high school Language Arts institutes.

We are available to come out to your building to share with your staff these resources, or share with you the course overviews for these sessions if you would like to present these to your staff. We can also meet with you one on one to go through their features. Just contact our help desk to let us know how we can support you!

LION Database (digital resource) Changes

Every spring we evaluate our current digital resource offerings. We survey library staff, we look at usage and we scan the market for comparable resources. Sometimes we are impacted by other factors like changes to our budget, student data privacy policies of vendors or our ability to manage content for different grade levels.

EBSCO only for 6th-12th grades

One change we made this summer was to discontinue our subscription to EBSCO (Primary Search) at the elementary level. Last winter it came to our attention that there was content in EBSCO's offerings that were not appropriate for a k-12 environment. We have carefully reviewed content and put into place measures to make sure the content meets our Department's Collection Development guidelines, but realized it was most appropriate for grades 6th-12th grade. At the same time we saw a large increase in the rate we would be paying for EBSCO moving forward. We decided it was a good time to look for other elementary products.

Kids Infobits from Gale - NEW!

This fall we started offering Kids Infobits. This is a high quality database for elementary that replaces EBSCO. Amazingly, it is a slightly lower price and offers powerful features like the ability to integrate with Google Docs and a more kid friendly experience.

Nettrekker only for grades 3rd-5th

We also adjusted our Nettrekker subscription to 3rd-5th grades. In our yearly analysis of data, we saw low usage of this resource. Nettrekker curates k-12 appropriate websites that are searchable by reading level, subject and more. In our conversations with Teacher Librarians we confirmed our belief that once students reach 6th grade they should be learning how to evaluate websites and practicing information literacy (not that this can't happen earlier!) We will continue to watch usage on this resource and listen to your feedback to see if we can afford to support it into the future. If you feel this is valuable, then usage with your students is how you can show us! If you are a heavy user of Nettrekker we encourage to share how you use it with your colleagues.

Please contact Janet Damon in Library Services to learn more about the features of these databases or schedule time for her to come and work with teachers in your building!

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Social Justice Resources

Looking for resources to help address current events in American society that are creating anxiety for many students, families and adults? Our Collection Develop Supervisor Suzi Tonini created this digital newsletter loaded with supports:

Citywide book club

Mayor Hancock just announced a citywide book club

"Join the citywide conversation about race, social justice, and Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric.

Rankine uses Citizen to talk candidly about racism today, from outright brutality to incidents so subtle "you begin to distrust that they even happened," Rankine writes. "And yet you know that you feel bad somehow."

What can we learn from the experiences presented in Citizen? How can we use what we learn to create a more inclusive and accepting community?

Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the City & County of Denver, and NEA Big Read want Denver-area residents to read the book and start talking. Free copies of Citizen are being distributed throughout the city, and metro-area public libraries will have print, e-book, and audio editions as well as book club kits available.

Find a book talk, art event, community gathering or activity to join, and don't miss Rankine's free talk with Mayor Michael B. Hancock at Boettcher Concert Hall, November 15."

Library Services Email Addresses

Are you wondering who to contact to get help with a Library Services related question? We have updated our department email addresses to help. These go to multiple people just in case one person is out of the office.

Library Spotlight

We would like to start spotlighting a different para-librarian for each of our newsletters in order to share out great ideas and celebrate your work. We know it is difficult to get the opportunity to visit other library programs!

This month we are turning the spotlight on Sandy Devlin, para-librarian at Sabin World School. Sandy has worked in DPS libraries for 21 years – that’s a lot of dedicated hours to putting kids first! She’s been at her current location for 4 years and you just have to look at the photos below of the Sabin library to know that she has created a fun and welcoming environment for students and staff. I recently interviewed Sandy and was glad for the opportunity to get to know her better. Being the student advocate that she is, what she loves most about being in the library is seeing her students enjoy the love of reading and seeing their excitement when they select new books! This year she will be sponsoring a RIF book distribution, fall and spring Scholastic book fairs, and celebrating “Dia de los Ninos” also known as “DIA – Diversity in Action!” Words of wisdom she would share are, “Pace yourself - it’s hard not to want it all done at once!” She also stated that being organized and showing flexibility by accommodating classes on an “as needed” basis has contributed to her success in managing an accessible and effective library.

One of Sandy’s favorite books for read alouds is Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen. A fun fact: after reading to students the book The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy, Sandy decided to choose a dragon as their library mascot – the students love it! What fun does Sandy provide for Sabin students? You only have to look at the photo of her puppet theatre to guess one activity her students enjoy! She also has made arrangements for a professional storyteller to come once a month to read to students. Sandy has sponsored a successful reading club during lunch where students enjoyed book discussions and even got to keep a copy of the book! Congratulations to Sandy Devlin for “PUTTING KIDS FIRST” in the Sabin World School library!

Deb Romero - Library Services

Cataloging Gift Books in the Spring

Our central cataloging department is happy to catalog and process your gift books (donated books, bookfair books, etc.). However, we prioritize newly purchased books during the school year so those books get into students' hands as quickly as possible. Please do not send your gift books until the spring.

What are your options? We can have someone show you how to add books to the system if you are willing to process them. Just contact us at for more information.

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Library Services

Contact us with questions or for support!

Go to to tap into our high quality digital resources.