CHMS Library News

Autumn 2014, vol. 2

What's New?

New is the name of the game in November. First up is New Comic November! Every Monday in November, the library will be releasing 3 brand new graphic novels. The titles are a mix of superhero classics like Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, along with a few less well-known (but no less awesome) titles.


The first big book order of the year is all fiction, and it's on its way here! The library's top patrons (as determined by items checked out, no fees or fines, and other criteria) will have the chance to come to the New Book Book Fair and be the first ones to take home the latest additions to the collection. If you (or a student you know) would like to come to the Fair, talk to Mr. Bancells by Friday 11/14.


New E-Books are all the rage. Students checked out an e-book more than 200 times in the month of October. The best news? More e-books are coming soon! Watch this space for more updates.

October, by the Numbers

  • School Days: 22
  • Items Checked Out: 678
  • Holds Placed: 66
  • Student Sign-ins: 442
  • Classes in: 57

(photo by Dan Smith, via Wikimedia Commons)

Book Spotlight

Star Wars: Darth Maul, Son of Dathomir

Getting cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi? No problem. Slowly going insane in a planet-sized garbage dump? Ain't no thang. Challenging Darth Sidious (a.k.a. Emperor Palpatine) for control of the galaxy? Okay, that might be a problem...even for Darth Maul.


One of the Star Wars Universe's most recognizable villains is back in this excellent graphic novel from Dark Horse. Originally written as scripts for Season 6 of The Clone Wars animated series, Son of Dathomir finds Maul assembling his own crime syndicate from the most powerful gangsters in the galaxy. Backed by fearsome Mandalorian warriors, and drawing on an even more sinister power, Maul seeks to take revenge on his old master. In order to kill Sidious, however, he will have to contend with Count Dooku, General Grievous, and the Jedi Council.


This wonderfully complete and concise story is filled with action, good dialogue, and solid art throughout. Even if you haven't watched The Clone Wars, it will be an enjoyable read for any sci-fi fan.


(cover image via Goodreads.com)

Resource: Google Search with Operators

Google can be a great resource, but it can also be overwhelming. One way to help narrow things down is by using operators. These specific characters and words give the search algorithm instructions to pull out specific kinds of results or zero in on a given website.


The full list of operators can be found here, but I want to focus on two: "related" and "site". By putting "related:" in front of a website, you can find other resources with similar characteristics or topics. For example, if I search "related:brainpop.com", Google returns results like ProQuest, WebMath, and FunBrain (see image below).


The "site:" operator, meanwhile, allows you to search for items within a given website. Thus, searching "ebola site:washingtonpost.com" will pull only results about ebola from washingtonpost.com (second image below). This can be a handy way to either track down that article you read 6 months ago and now can't find, or as a means to help students wade through unrelated content during research.

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Teacher Shout-Outs!

Thank you to all the teachers who collaborated with the Library in October.



  • Mr. Bennett--Electronic Resources lesson & Book Selection AND TRAILS assessment
  • Ms. Butera--Creative Commons lesson
  • Mrs. Gawel & Ms. Strasburg--Book Selection AND Creating a School Systems project
  • Mrs. Keyes--Electronic Resources lesson
  • Mrs. Stauffer--TRAILS assessment
  • Mrs. Weaber--Electronic Resources lesson
  • Mrs. Wein (partnering with Mrs. Weaber)--Mysteries in History project AND Book Selection
  • Mrs. Whalen--Electronic Resources lesson

Student Policy Reminders

  • Students can check out 2 books at a time
  • Books are due after 3 weeks (21 days)
  • Magazines can be checked out for 5 school days
  • Overdue Fines are 10 cents per day, per item (except for Nooks--$1 per day)
  • There are a variety of ways to pay off an overdue fine, including Cougar Cash & canned goods.
  • Students can earn 1 Cougar Cash by turning their item in before the due date.
  • Students can earn 3 Cougar Cash by writing a review of their book and turning it in to Mr. Bancells
  • Students can recommend awesome books to their peers by turning in books to the Awesome Book Bin on the circulation counter.

(photo by Joe Crawford, via Wikimedia Commons)

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Mr. Chris Bancells believes the phrase "bomb cyclone" is simply ridiculous. He has also been the librarian at Cherry Hill Middle School for 3 years and an educator for 13. He is the author of the content above and can be reached using any of the methods below.