Check it Out!

News from the Columbus City District Libraries

Winter 2019

In this edition:
  • CCS Makerspace Initiative: Reimagine School Libraries and Student Learning

  • Speed Dating with Books

  • KidsVoting Results

  • Look Who's Coding!

  • Learning without Limits: Google Expeditions

  • New Book in CCS HS Libraries: Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart by Will Haygood

  • Typing Agent Now in Clever

  • OELMA Conference: Future Ready Librarians

  • ALA Young Media Awards Recap

  • Bulletin Boards in our Libraries

  • Upcoming Professional Development: CCS Get Connected, March 23, 2019

CCS Makerspace Initiative: Reimagine School Libraries and Student Learning

"My experience with the makerspace cohort has been rewarding. The sessions have helped me to create excitement in the library. It is sheer joy to see the smiles on the student's faces as they work to complete their assigned task."

-Colette Houston, Library Instructional Assistant Cassady

Libraries are the place students go to explore and discover... and now they are designing in the same space! This school year we are continuing our efforts to grow our collaborative maker communities by offering Makerspace training to all interested CCS library media specialist and librarians assistants. We just finished up our second Library Instructional Assistant cohort.The middle and high school Llibrary Media Specialists first cohort began in January. Be on the lookout for some of these amazing makerspace activities in our libraries. For additional resources visit the CCS Library Media Services Makerspace Resource page.

Makerspaces benefit students by allowing them to:

  1. Be responsible for their own self-directed learning.
  2. Get creative.
  3. Explore new ideas in a safe space.
  4. Learn how to fail and try again.
  5. Learn how to focus.
  6. Express themselves and collaborate.

Northland HS Speed Dating with Books

Submitted by Joann Smith - Northland HS

I decided to try Speed Dating with Books with one teacher and her class without much fanfare. I did not get tablecloths and "romantic" centerpieces or helium balloons, like the author of the article. I needed something 'quick and dirty' as the teacher wanted books in the hands of her students pronto.

I found out the number of students in the class, divided the number by four, in order to have 4 to a table. Then, I gathered a tub/container of 8 carefully chosen fiction books and placed one tub at each table of 4 around the library. Next, I searched for speed dating score sheets and developed my own (Speeding Dating Score Sheet). I used a color printer to print the sheet, but later decided black on pink paper would suffice.

Great activity! Readers were energized, and non-readers had hope they could read for the assignment. The students stayed seated as I went around to tables and had conversations with them. I even encouraged them to download the Destiny Discover app onto their phones while in the library.

At a later date, I did this activity with another teacher using two days, the second day they could choose a book and checkout. This is when I decided to make the attached Exit Ticket.

You could do this with a mix of genres, non-fiction, graphic novels, memoirs, etc..

Too, I can throw this activity together at a moments notice, and none of us were bored!

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Kids Voting 2018 Election Results

"Understanding the part we play in voting, exercising our right to vote, and

getting our voice heard"

-Mariah Kerrin Librarian Instructional Assistant Eastgate

This school year over 13,000 Columbus City students cast their votes in a mock election organized by Library Media Services and the Social Studies Department, in partnership with Kids Voting of Central Ohio.

Kids Voting of Central Ohio, a non-partisan voter education program, offers a mock election to elementary, middle and high school students in the Columbus City School District that reflects the local, state, and national election.

K-12 Columbus students voted Richard Cordray for Governor. Students in grades K-2 voted the Eagle as the favorite American symbol. Click here for additional results from the 2018 CCS November Kids Voting Election.

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Look Who's Coding!

"The Spheros have been a great addition to our Makerspace and Advisory clubs. Our students use the Sphero SPRK with the Sphero EDU app to learn about coding. We use blocks or text-based code to program the mini robots to move through mazes and obstacle courses. They also use math to determine angles and velocity to make the Sphero move. But most of all they have fun interacting with the spunky little robot!"

-Vicki Vendramin, Librarian Wedgewood/Hilltonia

Every electronic device in your home, including your phone, television, even your microwave, is made possible because a person wrote code, which is like a computer language, to make your device work. CCS Library Media Services continues to support coding opportunities for all students within the library or the classroom. We provide an introduction to coding through the use of several websites and Sphero Robots (pictured above).

Why Code?

  • Applying mathematical concepts such as measurement, logical reasoning, algorithmic requirements, and analysis in an authentic way.
  • Developing resilience in students through trial and error, troubleshooting, and "debugging" programs. Programming helps students view an error as an "iteration" rather than a failure.
  • Developing collaborative and communication skills as students teach and learn from one another as they code as a group.
  • Developing critical and creative thinking as students analyze, solve problems, and design programs.
  • Having fun! There are many different apps and programs that make the experience of coding more like solving a puzzle and creating art.

We hope to continue to expand coding opportunities in our libraries. For additional resources visit the CCS Library Media Services Coding Resource page.

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Girls who Code Clubs in CCS

Girls Who Code was founded with a single mission: to close the gender gap in technology. Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls and several other schools are starting Girls Who Code Clubs. Girls Who Code Clubs are free after-school or during school programs for 3rd-12th grade girls to join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models and use computer science to change the world. Clubs are led by Facilitators, who can be teachers, librarians, parents, or volunteers from any background or field. Many Facilitators have NO technical experience and learn to code alongside their Club members. Contact Lynda Ray ( or Dr. Sybil Brown ( if interested in starting a Girls Who Code Club at your school.

Check out the CC Prep School for Girls Students Who Advance Technology (S.W.A.T.) Website. Students Who Advance Technology (S.W.A.T.) is a group of students who have extreme knowledge of technology. The SWAT Team takes the lead in supporting teachers and students with technology needs at their schools and in their communities. In addition, the CCS Prep for Girls S.W.A.T team is part of Girls Who Code. The club advisor is Kathy Mcinerney, Librarian Media Specialist.

CCSPSG SWAT Team Website:

*You must be signed into your CCS Google Account to view. You will receive a 404 error if you are not signed into your CCS Google account.

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Learning without Limits: Google Expeditions

"The Google Expeditions kit was a great activity in our classrooms. The students (and teachers) were excited to participate. The Google Expedition lessons infused energy into the classrooms with high interest and participation levels from students. I visited a total of 24 classes with the kit and received positive feedback from all groups."

-Cary James Librarian Independence HS

At Columbus City Schools we make extraordinary educational opportunities, everyday! We have Three Google Expeditions Kits for library and classroom use. The kits have been in high demand and have fostered great collaboration between librarians and teachers.

Google Expeditions are collections of virtual reality panoramas - 360° photo spheres and 3D images - annotated with details, points of interest and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools. You can swim with sharks, visit outer space, turn the classroom into a museum, and more without leaving the classroom. Where will they take you?

Visit the CCS Library Media Service Technology Resources page for more information on Google Expeditions.

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New Book Available in CCS High School Libraries by East High School Alumnus Wil Haygood

Synopsis: 1968 and 1969: Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy are assassinated. Race relations are frayed like never before. Cities are aflame as demonstrations and riots proliferate. But in Columbus, Ohio, the Tigers of segregated East High School win the baseball and basketball championships, defeating bigger, richer, whiter teams across the state. Now, Wil Haygood gives us a spirited and stirring account of this improbable triumph and takes us deep into the personal lives of these local heroes: Robert Wright, power forward, whose father was a murderer; Kenny Mizelle, the Tigers' second baseman, who grew up under the false impression that his father had died; Eddie "Rat" Ratleff, the star of both teams, who would play for the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team. We meet Jack Gibbs, the first black principal at East High; Bob Hart, the white basketball coach, determined to fight against the injustices he saw inflicting his team; the hometown fans who followed the Tigers to stadiums across the state. And, just as important, Haygood puts the Tigers' story in the context of the racially charged late 1960s. The result is both an inspiring sports story and a singularly illuminating social history
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K-8 Students: Typing Agent now on Clever

In November, the district Typing Agent program was updated and is now accessible on Clever. All K-8 CCS students have access to this application.

What is Typing Agent?

Typing Agent is the leading online K-12 keyboarding and technology program for schools and districts. Offering an engaging interface for students, Typing Agent has two complete keyboarding curriculum for both K-2 and 3-12, that meets Common Core State Standards and reinforces common blends, grade-level words and is completely adaptive, with enriching typing videos, fun games and exciting gamification features that boost student learning!

How to get started?

All K-8 teachers and students have access to use the Typing Agent program. It is available when they login through Clever or at:

Students and teachers should use the same credentials they use when they login to the school computers.

Please feel free to contact Andrea Pannell ( with any Typing Agent questions.

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Unleash Your Librarian: Empowering Students. Leading Change. Future Ready.

OELMA Conference 2018

In October, CCS Library Media Specialist attended the yearly Ohio Educational Library Media Association conference. The theme of the conference focused on various sessions aligned with the principles of a Future Ready Librarian. The Future Ready Librarian has knowledge of instructional practices and curriculum needs, creates collaborative relationships with teachers, are leaders in curating digital resources, and facilitates professional learning opportunities that will empower students as thinkers.

Keynotes John Schumacher, otherwise known as Mr. Schu and Eric Curts were both conferences favorites. Mr. Schu a K-5 librarian in Oak Brook, Illinois, reads an average of 2,000 children’s books every year and posts his recommendations on his blog, Watch. Connect. Read. as well as on Twitter, @MrSchuReads. His hilarious and inspirational message reminded us of the importance of "forever books". The "forever book" is the kind of book that will live with you forever, or stand the test of time. Kids will read them in the future and have similar experiences as readers do today,” John says.

Eric Curts, authorized Google Education Trainer and Innovator, and provides Google Apps training to schools, organizations, and conferences throughout Ohio and across the country. He is a co-leader of the Ohio Google Educator Group at and runs the award-winning blog where all his Google Apps and edtech resources can be found.

Click here for the Future Ready Librarians Framework.

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American Library Association Youth Media Awards 2019

The American Library Association (ALA) has announced the winners of this year’s Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction and the winners of this year’s ALA Youth Media Awards, including the Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

  • John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature: Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (Candlewick Press)
  • Newbery Honor Books: The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Dial Books for Young Readers) and The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr (Greenwillow Books)
  • Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children: Hello Lighthouse, illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall (Little, Brown and Company)
  • Caldecott Honor Books: Alma and How She Got Her Name, illustrated and written by Juana Martinez-Neal (Candlewick Press); A Big Mooncake for Little Star, illustrated and written by Grace Lin (Little, Brown and Company); The Rough Patch, illustrated and written by Brian Lies (Greenwillow Books); and Thank You, Omu!, illustrated and written by Oge Mora (Little, Brown and Company)
  • Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults: A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield (Clarion Books)
  • Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award: The Stuff of Stars, illustrated by Ekua Holmes (Candlewick Press)
  • Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award: Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson (Katherine Tegen Books)

    Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Pauletta Brown Bracy

    Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen)

  • Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award: Thank You, Omu!, illustrated and written by Oge Mora (Little, Brown and Company)

  • Alex Awards, administrated by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) to the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:

    • The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (
    • The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir (Knopf)
    • Circe by Madeline Miller (Little, Brown and Company)
    • Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random House)
    • The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil (Crown Publishing Group)
    • Green by Sam Graham-Felsen (Random House)
    • Home After Dark, written and illustrated by David Small (Liveright)
    • How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
    • Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
    • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

Check out the bulletin boards in our Libraries

Upcoming Professional Development

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Register now on PDS! CCS Get ConnectED, Saturday, March 23, 2019

Open to ALL Administrators, Certified and Classified Staff.

To register:

1. Go to the PDS system

2. Search the Course Code 34916

3. Click Register