HMS Library Quarterly Report

October-December 2014

Students read...

The chart below illustrates book circulations this quarter as they relate to second quarter last year as well as first quarter this year. Out of the three quarters shown, this quarter had the lowest number of circulations, although the total number was very close to first quarter this year. I take these numbers with a grain of salt, as I know middle school students aren't always extremely selective when checking out books, but it's good to have a measure of the check out activity in the library.
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To continue towards having a collection that meets the needs of the students at HMS, 30 new books were purchased this quarter. Some of the titles are pictured below.
Another part of keeping the collection current is to remove books that are no longer accurate, relevant, or in good shape. This quarter, 24 books were removed. Through this ongoing process of selecting and de-selecting books, the collection will be most useful to students and faculty.

Teachers collaborate...

Some great learning happened in the library with the ELA classes this quarter!

In addition to book talks, partner book talks, and "book tastings" that happened in each grade level to encourage reading, below are some of the activities we did in the library related to what students were working on in their classrooms.

5th grade: Students used an online letter generator to write a thank-you letter after reading the book Thank You, Sarah about the woman who saved Thanksgiving. Students also read and listened to several different fables and completed a compare/contrast activity.

6th grade: Students listened to the book Thank You, Sarah, researched another holiday using an online encyclopedia, and then wrote a paragraph comparing and contrasting the two. Students also wrote and recorded a book talk on a book they read during the quarter. I put the videos onto the book's record on Destiny, the library's online catalog.

7th grade: Students used website evaluation criteria to look at several websites, deciding which ones were trustworthy and reliable. Students also completed two different activities using a "Write Around Text on Text" strategy, where groups of students read an article, writing their notes and observations, and then shared those with other groups of students.

8th grade: Students reviewed how to use the EBSCO databases, available to us through the State Library, and began the discussion of how to cite sources using the website EasyBib. Students also created "shelf talkers," small papers with a review of a book they recommend, which I then attached to the shelves in the library.

I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the ELA teachers and others as we integrate literacy skills with what students are learning in their core classes.

Students participate...

Again this quarter, I posted reading related questions on the white board in the library and encouraged students to answer in a positive way. There were quite a few interesting answers!

Special events...

Although students might not think about this relating directly to the library, one of the roles of a teacher librarian is to encourage and teach literacy in all its forms--including digital literacy. I am honored this year to be co-teaching Advanced Technology with Ms. Hansen, and we have had a lot of fun learning along with students! In December, we helped the students host an "Hour of Code" during lunch. Our technology students taught their friends how to complete coding activities. It was a great time of learning at lunch! And I hope, in a small and maybe subconscious way, that students begin to see all forms of literacy as part of the library program.

What's next?

At some point during the quarter, I saw this post by Melanie Lewis on Twitter:

"What do teacher librarians do? A-E-I-O-U: Teach students to Access, Evaluate, Integrate, Originate, & Use information."

I believe this is a great description of how I try to support teachers and students in the learning process. I will always share good books with students and encourage them to become even better readers, but I also look forward to times when I can collaborate with teachers to teach students the literacy skills they'll need as they continue throughout their educational careers.