Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TumbleBooks now for iPad!

TumbleBooks now has their first batch of iPad-compatible Tumblebooks. Just below the "StoryBooks" heading, there is a link called Click Here for iPad-compatible Titles. Click on this link and the iPad books will be sorted for you. Then, simply click on the iPad button to launch the book of your choice. The book will appear in a small window at first but it can be expanded by clicking the full screen button.

They have plans to create iPad content for the entire TumbleBooks collection!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Fair/Activity Account Purchasing Procedure

Please remember that all purchases made with Book Fair funds must be approved by Library Services in one of two ways:

1. If you are getting one of the credit cards from Purchasing, send an email request for approval. Take the email with you to pick up the card.

2. If you are requesting a check, your secretary must send the check requisition to Library Services for approval. We will then send it on to the Business Office for payment.

The Business Office has called to get approval on a couple of check requisitions that were not sent to Library Services first, but they are going to start sending them back to the secretary if they don't have the proper signatures. You might want to remind your secretary about this the next time you purchase something.

Close Up Of Hand Writing Check. Photography. Encyclop√¶dia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 22 Nov 2011.http://quest.eb.com/media/image.htm?mediaId=154_2888601

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ensure school libraries are properly staffed

While we in Mesquite are fortunate to have a certified librarian on every campus, we know that this is not the case everywhere. Signatures are now being collected on a petition to ensure that all school libraries are properly staffed, open and available to children every day. It still needs 16,000 signatures before November 27. Feel free to share the information with friends and family and on your social networks, if you think it is important.
Here's the link:

Day Williams / Photo Researchers / Universal Images Group

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Thanks to Joyce Valenza for posting about this new directory of apps selected by a team of four Apple Distinguished Educators. The apps have been actually classroom tested. Very nicely organized by Preschool, Themes, Multiple Intelligences, and Bloom's Taxonomy. The website is very visually appealing.

Check out:

Appitic: a learning app directory

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Bluebonnet Titles added to the digital library!

We've just added several titles from the 2012-2013 Bluebonnet Master List to our digital library. See the titles below. They should be ready to checkout now!

  • Aliens on Vacation--audio books
  • Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!-- ebooks
  • EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken--ebooks
  • Hero--ebooks and audio books
  • Play, Louis, Play--ebooks
  • Ruth and the Green Book--ebooks
We'll check again later in the year as more titles may become available digitally.

Photo credit:John Shaw / NHPA / Photoshot / Universal Images Group

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MP3 Players

If you are thinking about purchasing MP3 players to use with the digital library always check the Overdrive Device Resource Center. Even after you decide on a brand to purchase you want to make sure that it plays secure WMA files.

When looking at a device go to the Product features and look under Supported Formats. It may list WMA but make sure it ALSO lists Secure WMA as shown below.

These devices may be a little more expensive but can usually be found for around $50. Some of the less expensive MP3 players won't play secure files. I believe you should easily be able to find these players at Best Buy or Walmart.

Once you have these devices you should be able to download any audio book from our digital library. Several schools are already loading books and lending to students on these devices. Comment here if you are doing this and let others know how it's working.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Elementary: Opportunity to see Jeff Kinney

Jeff Kinney's author visit to the Bank Street College of Education will be webcast live by School Library Journal on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 10am EST/9am CST. The webcast is for 3rd-6th graders.  

Click on the link below to register your campus!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Preliminary schedule for TLA 2012

If you are on the list to attend TLA and not sure if you want to go, please review the preliminary schedule below. Instructions for registration will be coming after the Winter Break!

The Texas Library Association is proud to announce the preliminary schedule for the 2012 Conference in Houston, Texas!

The 2012 Conference will be on April 17-20, with over 125 programs for school librarians!
Or see the big picture at www.txla.org/annual-conference!

Just a few of the featured speakers include Susan Ballard, Orson Scott Card, Patrick Carman, Willy Claflin, Harlen Coben, Justin Cronin, David Ferriero, Nathan Fillion, John Green, Tim Green, Christian Grey, Robie Harris, , Bruce Kingma, Mike Millard, Eli Neiburger, Christopher Paolini,  David Shumaker, Megan Smolenyak, Barbara Stripling, and Christian Zabriskie.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Be a shining star!

Here's your opportunity to shine and let librarians around the state know about the great things that are happening in MISD libraries!

The 2012 Annual Conference Program Committee is looking for librarians who would like the opportunity to present at a TLA conference event – “1001 Great Ideas:  A Best Practices Forum”

This event will be held on Tuesday, April 15 from 4:00-5:30 PM. “1001 Great Ideas” is designed to offer small table top sessions representing best practices from all types of libraries in an informal, conversational atmosphere. This event will feature more than 50 small programs occurring simultaneously that are geared to give attendees a taste of the current research, projects and best practices in the library field.  If you have great ideas and examples of best practices please consider submitting a proposal!

The deadline for proposal submission is extended to November 30, 2011.  The online submission form is available on the TLA website at http://www.txla.org/1001-Ideas

Please feel free to contact Suzanne Lyons at the address/phone below if you have any questions on this exciting opportunity.

Suzanne Lyons, M.Ed., M.L.S.
Library Specialist
Houston ISD Library Services
Student Support Services Annex - Route 6
6100 Knox
Houston, TX 77091
713.695.5652      fax 713.696.6438

Photo credit: Andy Crawford/ Dorling Kindersley / Universal Images Group

Friday, November 4, 2011

Always Available!

We've added some titles to the digital library that will always be available. No holds on these items! For secondary students we added 25 MP3 audio books of classic literature by Blackstone audio. Elementary students have 25 Crabtree nonfiction pdf titles always ready to download.

To see the exact titles:
  • Go to Advanced Search

  • Search by Publisher--Blackstone or Crabtree
You will see Always Available on the new titles we have purchased.
Please promote these titles with students and staff!

***Special thanks to the librarians that helped select the titles: Tracey S, Elizabeth, Anna B., Kelly, Sharon H , Sherry, Marnie, Selena, Cheri, Brenda,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

STAAR update

As we learned on Monday, new information about STAAR is released daily. The latest news (found in the STAAR Q&A below) is that TEA will NOT be producing Information Booklets as they did for TAKS. The curriculum coordinators advise checking the TEA STARR web page on a regular basis for new information.

Another option would be to sign up for the Student Assessment listserv to get the latest info delivered to your inbox. To do this, go to http://miller.tea.state.tx.us/list/, choose Student Assessment from the pull down list and click Join.

I have uploaded a couple of documents that Terry mentioned on Monday to Docushare for your convenience. Click the links below to open the documents in PDF format.

STAAR Q&A (11-1-11)

ELAR TEKS Vertical Alignment (with readiness and supporting standards color coded)

Overdues, bills, and time--OH mY!

It's that time of year when students are accumulating bills and overdues. I just wanted to do a quick review of our policy since it changed last year.
  • Bills are automatically created after items are overdue for 1 month
  • Books are billed at 16.00; AV billed at 24.00; Magazines billed at 4.00
  • Payments may be accepted as CASH, CHECK or TIME
  • You should never use TIME to cancel a bill that is a mistake. Call me for help with this- 5547
  • Time is worked off at 8.00 per hour, so it would take 2 hours to work off a book
  • Students paying with time are limited to shelving, edging and dusting
  • If a book is found, return it to cancel the bill automatically
Post questions here!

David R. Frazier / Photo Researchers / Universal Images Group