MS 51 Library Annual Report



This school year was definitely one for the record books! Facing unprecedented challenges, our library transitioned to remote learning and continued to provide service to staff, students, and families. Our library saw a 12% total increase in circulation from 18,777 materials circulated last school year to 21,157 materials circulated this year from September to mid-March when schools closed... but if we compare JUST September to March for both years, we saw a 44% increase in circulation! This year, our school library, with its large collection of graphic novels and high-interest low-level texts, actually met much of the demand that 6th grade classroom libraries normally handle as ELA teachers adjust their collections to match our changing student body.

Through all of this, Ms. Ahart kept up a busy schedule of classes and instruction from September to March, including the scheduling and administration of two rounds of i-Ready diagnostics, as well as serving again as the school's Technology Coordinator and CUNY intern supervisor. During remote learning, Ms. Ahart provided tech support to staff and students around the clock via online form, email, phone calls, and texts; collected free reading resources for the community; sought grants and foundation support for more e-book access for students; continually updated the staff dashboard; and researched videoconferencing options, supports for staff conducting live video instruction, and the DOE migration from school-based domains to centrally managed student and staff accounts. This work will continue into the summer as we prepare for hybrid and blended learning in the fall.

How Did the Library Help Meet Our School Goals?

  • Use ELA assessment cycles and feedback to move our students to desired, grade level reading proficiency and beyond: Our library checked out an average of 18 books per pupil in direct support of the ELA reading curriculum and our focus on independent reading in Project REAL. The library hosted two i-Ready diagnostic assessments and Ms. Ahart provided assistance for the ELA department in scheduling and administering the exam.
  • Use math assessment cycles and feedback to improve the mathematical literacy of our students: The library hosted two i-Ready diagnostic assessments and Ms. Ahart provided assistance for the math department in scheduling and administering the exam.
  • Build a school culture where every student is affirmed and acknowledged for who they are, through advisory time and culturally responsive curriculum: Our One Book, One School program reached every student through advisory programs for book discussion groups and comics making. New Kid was selected in collaboration with the DUET team to spark conversation around racial discrimination in schools and with peers and teachers.

How Do We Use Our Library?

Materials & Databases

There are 10,714 copies in our collection, with 884 new books added this year.

We checked out 21,157 books and DVDs from September 2019 through the COVID-19 shutdown in mid-March, a 12% increase in circulation for the entire 2019-2020 school year and a 44% increase for the comparable time period last year. Unfortunately, because we were not able to retrieve all materials checked out as of 3/13/2020, we currently have 1003 materials checked out, which would represent a 9% loss of our total physical collection if we cannot get them back when we return to the building. (Compare this to our overall un-reimbursed loss rate of 0.1% for the 2018-19 school year.)

Online Resource & Database Usage

  • MS 51 Library Homepage: 5526 views
  • BrainPOP: 8977 total logins (32% increase from last year)
  • World Book: 4750 content views, 2156 searches
  • SIRS Issues Researcher: 1277 searches
  • Gale Opposing Viewpoints: 2169 searches, 1738 full-text retrievals
  • Culturegrams: 521 total pages viewed

Library Technology

The library is the only public space at MS 51 for students and staff to access technology and for teachers to access computers with their entire class.

  • 16 desktop computers, 24 laptop computers, & 4 iPads
  • The library printer continues to be a valuable resource for students and color printing is also available from Ms. Ahart's desk, free for teachers, $.50 a page for students [usage stats available when we re-enter building]
  • Library photocopier heavily used by teachers and students [usage stats available when we re-enter building]

Classes & Events

  • Collaborated with DUET committee to plan & secured PA funding to run our first annual One Book, One School program around Newbery-winning graphic novel New Kid, including advisory activities for all students: book discussions, comics making, and a schoolwide author visit

  • Curated online resource guides for remote learning directing students to free online resources for independent reading & research and book recommendation lists for free book libraries during remote learning

  • Hosted weekly board game club devoted to tabletop gaming run by Mr. Haines

  • Ran two in-person and one virtual book fairs for students and parents during the weeks of parent-teacher conference

  • Hosted author visits from LAMBDA Literary and virtual summer reading booktalks and in-person office hours from Brooklyn Public Library & MyLibraryNYC

  • Held our 3rd Feminism & Women’s History open house for our collection, a weeklong virtual celebration on Twitter and Instagram

  • Ran the MS 51 2020 reading challenge

  • Conducted Gmail and Google Apps orientation provided for all 6th graders; new students and account issues monitored and corrected daily throughout the year
  • Set up blogs for all 8th grade ELA classes and provided technical support and instruction throughout the year
  • Taught lessons on citation, better Googling, website evaluation, database research, plagiarism, notetaking, finding the next great book to read (video lesson!), instructional writing, Google Docs, and Google Slides to ELA, social studies, and science classes
  • Hosted Hour of Code classes for science and math teachers
  • Ran staff book club with cross-department participation during Monday PD time
  • Added multiple resources to, including summer learning resources, summer reading challenges and recommendations, pathfinders for our Feminism & CCD collection and our research databases, and tech tips for staff and students

Grants & Special Recognition

Total library funding received: $6,000

CCD grant for Feminism & Women’s History Collection, LGBTQ+ eBook Collection and Civics in School Libraries from NYCDOE Office of Library Services (materials arriving in 2020-21 school year), PA funding, access through First Book to their Open eBooks collection for 1000 students, Scholastic & Follett book fair profit, and DonorsChoose grant for manga

Ms. Ahart joined a culturally responsive educator alliance through NYU (CCER), ran a citywide school librarian book club, wrote articles for the Office of Library Services newsletter, facilitated workshops for New York City School Librarians' Association & NYC DOE Office of Library Services highlighting K-12 feminist resources and ways to incorporate women’s history into every curriculum, ALA Youth Media Awards winners and honor books, and digital resources to promote a schoolwide reading culture.