Library Services Newsletter
March, 2018 Teacher Librarian Edition
New Library System Update - Destiny
For future reference, we will refer to our new library system as Destiny (as that is its brand name, which is owned by Follett).
- The deadline to check in all library books is Friday, June 1st. Set a deadline in May for all books to be returned. Notify your school community to return books on time.
- No library fines or fees will be transferred to the Destiny system.
- Overdue items from only the 2017-18 school year will be migrated (No lost, missing, or overdue items that were checked out before 8/1/17.)
- Kudos! So many of you have signed up for the August training! If you have questions about the training sessions please contact the library helpdesk at email@example.com or 720.423.1842.
- Follett Destiny goes live on August 1st, 2018!
Library Services Digital Resource of the Month:
Our Library Services team is also curating resources about our digital resources for you to learn more about their features and be able to use these overviews with your staff, students and families. Please let us know what would be helpful!
This month we are highlighting Unite for Literacy.
Unite for Literacy is actually a free, multi-lingual eBook resource with early readers. It can accessed through LION or at http://www.uniteforliteracy.com/
Books are written in English and narrated in 35 languages! Not every eBook is narrated in every language. You can sort by languages or subject. All eBooks have natural narration, a native speaker's voice was recorded in each version of the book.
As a child is reading or listening to a book, there is a unique url in the browser above. This link can be emailed to parents, linked in a newsletter or website in order to promote use of the resource or embed it in a lesson. Since it is browser based, it works on any device, including cell phones. It is another great read anytime anywhere option!
This month we are turning the spotlight on Kristy Buchanan, teacher librarian at Castro Elementary. For the 6 years that she has been at Castro, she has been passionate in her efforts to create a culture of learning and curiosity. Kristy has successfully affected real change and has guided the Castro library in a positive direction.
She is especially excited about the changes she has made to the library environment over the past few years. She has been working on redesigning the entire library space to make it more inviting, flexible, and better suited to the needs of her school. She has put in many hours painting, moving bookshelves, rearranging furniture and adding cozy reading spaces. The redesign should be complete this spring with the addition of new tables and chairs that will allow for easy flexible grouping and seating choices for students. Kristy is also very excited about the improvement to her collection. She has more than doubled the size of her Easy Spanish titles and has worked to make sure the school’s collection suits her students’ needs as well as her school’s curriculum. Kudos to Kristy for being a champion for her school community!
One of Kristy’s favorite things about being the teacher librarian at Castro is introducing students to new books and authors and then seeing them come back and ask for more books by that author or seeing them get hooked on a series. She also loves it when students share their favorite book and authors with her so she can add them to her ever-growing to-read list. Kristy loves books and the most rewarding part of her job is seeing her students grow their love of reading!
A goal that Kristy is working on this year is to create a more permanent maker space in the library. She has been incorporating STEAM/maker-type projects into her classes over the past few years, but she wants to make a space where students can independently create, design and explore in the library on a more regular basis. Kristy loves doing STEAM projects with her students because they all have a lot of fun while they are learning! Some of their favorite projects have been creating marble mazes out of Legos and cardboard; building boats out of foil and testing to see which boat could hold the most marbles; making catapults to see which one could launch small objects the farthest across the library; and sending the principal up on the roof to help test their egg drop inventions!
A super fun literacy activity that Kristy sponsors every year is a Mock Caldecott program. She makes a long list by reading as many Caldecott predictions as she can find and then she narrows that list down to 10-12. She reads the books to her students over the course of several weeks and then they discuss and evaluate the illustrations. Right before the award is announced, they hold their own voting and keep track on a bar graph located on her library bulletin board. The students love to check the board to see which book is currently in the lead for the “Castro Caldecott”. Then Kristy and her students watch the video broadcast of the Youth Media Awards to see the official results and cheer when any of their favorites make the list. Wow – talk about a great way of engaging students in their awareness of books and book awards!
Kristy and her students love Pete the Cat! See photo below of Kristy with some loyal Pete the Cat fans. A favorite book for a read-aloud is “I Love My White Shoes” by Eric Litwin. Kristy really gets into the book and she and her students love to sing along. Kristy loves Pete’s “it’s all good” attitude and the rhythm of the story. (Kristy shared that it has been rumored that sometimes Pete gets down off the shelf and causes mischief in the library during the night when no one is there to watch him!) Around Halloween time, Kristy also enjoys reading “Big Pumpkin” by Erica Silverman because it has a great message about teamwork and its repetitive text allows the student to join in the read-aloud. It is also a fun book to have students act out.
Kristy feels strongly that being flexible is important. Her library is at the center of the school, both physically and figuratively, as students and teachers are coming in and out all day and using the library for different purposes. Being flexible helps her to meet the needs of all students and staff.
She also believes that helping students develop a love of reading is one of the most important things we can do as educators and especially as teacher-librarians. She models this for her students by sharing with them the books that she reads. Kristy posts a sign in the library window that reads “Mrs. Buchanan is currently reading…” with the book cover, title and author, and she tries to change it frequently so students can see that she is consistently reading.
We celebrate Kristy Buchanan for PUTTING KIDS FIRST in the Castro Library!
Yes, Even Cats Can Sue for Copyright Violation
Women's History Month Local Highlight
Did you know the Pauline Robinson Branch Library in Denver was named after Denver’s first African American librarian? Pauline started with the Denver Public Library in 1943 and in 1964 was appointed to the position of Chief Children’s Librarian and served in that capacity for 15 years. Pauline also coordinated one of the country’s largest summer reading programs and was instrumental in writing a grant that brought Reading Is Fundamental to Denver. She retired in 1979, having received numerous awards and recognitions for her remarkable achievements. Pauline Robinson passed away in 1997, one year after the establishment of the library named in her honor.
Please follow this link to The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame to read a beautiful and moving tribute to Pauline Short Robinson.
Q-BA-MAZE is a unique system of colorful cubes that interlock to form a marble run. The big difference? You can create marble maze sculptures in any form such as animals, robots, towers, and geometric shapes. Configurations are unlimited, allowing for unpredictable action when the steel marbles travel different routes. Follow the plans provided in each set, get inspired by our plans, or create your own! Developed by an architect, Q-BA-MAZE inspires creative play as you experiment with motion, stability, physics and art. Think in 3-D while you design and build with colors and cantilevers. It's both right-brain and left-brain, part art and part science. Recommended for Grades Kinder+ (with supervision).
Rigamajig Jr. is a building kit for hands-on free play and playful STE(A)M learning. This collection of wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, screws, and rope allows children to follow their curiosity through play while learning 21st century skills. There are no right or wrong answers; the act of playing and building is the goal, not the finished product. Rigamajig Jr. is great for 1-4 kids to play with. It requires less open space, and stores away in its own gym-bag sized duffel. Recommended for Grades ECE+.
Fake News is Making News
Fake news is making news, and it’s a problem. Denver Public Librarians offer a class to help students build the information literacy skills they need to navigate the media, including how to spot fake news. Contact Robin Filipczak (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a class at your school or at Central Library, or take advantage of their open-access lesson plan and presentation slide deck.
The Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institutes
Immerse yourself in the practice of teaching with primary sources from the unparalleled collections of the Library of Congress this summer. The Library of Congress is accepting applications for week-long summer programs for K-12 educators in the nation’s capital. During each week-long institute, Library of Congress education specialists will facilitate sessions modeling strategies for using primary sources to engage students, build critical thinking skills, and construct knowledge. Participants will reflect on and discuss how the strategies apply to their students, subject areas, and classrooms or school libraries. In 2018, the library will offer five institute weeks:
- Open sessions (any subject area): June 18-22, June 25-29, and July 30-Aug. 3
- World War I Focus: July 9-13
- Science, Technology, and Engineering Focus: July 16-20
Applications will be accepted now through Wednesday, March 21, 2018. For more information and detailed application instructions, visit the official program website. For questions, please contact TeachingLCsummer@loc.gov.