Monday, March 31, 2014

TitleWise Collection Analysis

We have uploaded your collections to Follett, Permabound, BTSB and Mackin.  As you are preparing ordering lists online you will be able to see if you already own the book.  Remember Titlewave has a great collection analysis tool to guide you in weeding and collection development.  You can access this tool by logging in to Titlewave.  After logging in, proceed to the Collection Management page to view your results.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Top Shelf idea: Sprucing up old library furniture

Florence Elementary was built in 1965. Although changes have been made to the library location throughout the years, I believe the current furniture that is still in use was original to the building. If not original, it was replaced in the early 80s when the library moved to its current location in the building. Anyway, I think you get the idea - this stuff is OLD.

Needless to say, it needed a little sprucing up and got some much needed attention over Spring Break. Karen Syblik, our new librarian there, took a page from the library environment staff development we had earlier this year. She painted the tables with idea paint.

Here's part of an email Karen sent me earlier this week:

Check out the picture of kindergarten retelling beginning, middle, and end of our read aloud that day.  They are LOVING it!

She included this picture...

I love that the idea paint isnt just being used for fun, but for instructional purposes too. Great job, Karen! Thanks for sharing your project with us!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Shelf Book Promo: March Madness Book Championship

The librarians at MHS sent this email out to their faculty yesterday:

Book nerdiness has taken over March Madness in the Skeeter Library! We’ve taken the top 16 most circulated books during this school year and seeded them according to the NCCA basketball tournament bracket. We’ve created our own book bracket, and the books will “play” each other via students voting through a Google form over the next few weeks to find out which book will be the 2014 BOOK  CHAMP!

Here’s our “Sweet 16” (See the attached picture for the actual bracket on display in the library):

The Hunger Games (series) vs Tears of a Tiger                                                         Ender’s Game vs Naruto, Vol. 53
Delirium (series) vs Calvin and Hobbs                                                                       A Child Called It vs Romiette and Julio
Maximum Ride (series) vs Dawn of the Arcana                                                        The Fault in our Stars vs The Skin I’m In
Hush, Hush vs Lord of the Flies                                                                                  Speak vs Divergent (series)

Paper brackets are now available in the library to predict the winner. Correct brackets will be entered into a drawing for prizes! (NOT a billion dollars…sorry! Let’s hope we have some correct brackets at MHS, unlike the rest of America in the REAL March Madness challenge.)

If you would like to have some fun with your class and participate, please respond to this email, and I will bring you a bracket so that you can make copies for your classes. If you would like to play yourself, come on down to the library and fill out a bracket!

We will start voting to determine the “Elite 8” on Wednesday!

Happy March Madness!

What a great way to get kids talking about books! Amianne will be giving more details about setting this up on her blog, but one of the resources she used was Cathy Jo Nelson's post Library March Madness 2014

If you're interested in doing this at your library, Debbie can run a report that will give you the top 16 circulated books at your library, and away you go!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Shirley Igo PTA Collaboration Award - apply now!

Posted to the TASL listserv today:

Librarian Friends:

The Shirley Igo Award it given to a PTA/Library partnership.

If you have done ANYTHING in partnership with your PTA, YOU are eligible for this award!  You and your PTA get recognition!

The 2013 recipient was Jenny Mullins at Beauerschlag Elementary (Clear Creek ISD) for an outstanding cooperative Book Fair. The 2012 recipient was Bonnie Lang at Doss Elementary (Austin ISD) for a fabulous Read Across Doss program.

Time is short, and we work well under deadlines!!!!  The application is quick, simple, easy!!!!

Go to: for information.
Deadline is April 4, 2014.

If you have any questions, please email or call me!

Go NOW, Do Not Stop, Do Not Pass Go!!!!

Kay Gooch, Librarian
Gullett Elementary School
Austin, Texas

Alex Wilson / Paul Scannel - modelmaker/ Dorling Kindersley / Universal Images Group

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Overdrive Updates

Read below for updates to the Digital Library, coming on March 27.

·         A notification bar will be added to the top of the website to promote OverDrive Read and the benefits of the format for students and educators.

·         A Resources for Educators page will be added to the Help page, creating an excellent resource to share with teachers and staff. Resources include links to printable getting started guides, the Learning Center, help videos, and more.

·         The wish list functionality will be enhanced in the following ways:
o    Students will be able to filter the wish list by title availability
o    Wish list item availability will display directly in the “My Account” section
o    When wish list titles are available for borrowing, the “My Account” section will provide a direct link to the “Available now” filtered view

·         The email share option will be updated to include a direct link for the book below the title name for ease of sharing/posting links outside of the website.

Coming soon: All-new streamlined and modernized OverDrive Help
·         Quick links will make it easy to find getting started instructions, help with OverDrive’s mobile app, troubleshooting steps for common errors, and more.
·         Our new device profiles (which will replace the Device Resource Center) will help users learn about device compatibility.

·         Help videos, device profiles, and articles will all show up in a single set of search results.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Prepping students for STAAR: advice from Sean Cain

Recently discussed on Sean Cain's Lead Your School blog:

To get the most bang for your instructional buck, these five steps should be incorporated into your lessons all year long. For more details on small purposeful group talk or critical writing see The Fundamental 5: the Formula for Quality Instruction by Sean Cain and Mike Laird.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Teaching Reading Strategies

In the January staff development for secondary librarians, we discussed the findings of a recent study on how college freshmen conduct research and difficulties that they have with research assignments. One of the surprising things we learned is that research is hard for college freshmen because they have trouble reading, comprehending and summarizing materials.

While elementary librarians often work with students on developing reading comprehension skills, reading instruction is not something that secondary librarians typically provide. If, however, we truly want to prepare our students for college we need to continue reading instruction even in the secondary library.

The article linked below provides a succinct description of how to teach reading strategies with links to further information on each strategy. Another plus is that the source referenced is one of the foundation texts for reading instruction in the MISD curriculum.

It will be well worth your time - especially if it's been awhile since you were in the classroom or if ELAR is not your background.