Wednesday, December 16, 2015

North Texas Teen Book Festival WANTS YOU!

North Texas Teen Book Festival WANTS YOU!!

Join NTTBF for our Educator Information Session on January 22 at 7 PM at the South Irving Library (601 Schulze Dr) where we will discuss festival updates and logistics , partnerships and debut our Educator Day information for our professional development workshop on 4/22! 

Educator Information Session -  January 22 @ 7 PM at the South Irving Library
Educator Day - April 22 @ Irving Convention Center
NTTBF - April 23 @ Irving Convention Center

For more information contact Stacy at or visit our website at

The North Texas Teen Book Festival
The North Texas Teen Book Festival · save-the-date
Stacy Wells
Director of Outreach, North Texas Teen Book Festival
@NTTBFest |
facebook | instagram

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Upcoming webinar opportunities

Here are a couple of upcoming webinars that look good and fit in with our vision for library services in MISD. You can log on at the links below if you would like to attend!

Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time
12 Innovative Reading Ideas! New Ways to Inspire You & Your Students
Presented by Paige Jaeger, Curriculum Consultant and Instructional Focus Editor for School Library Connection
Sponsored by ABC-CLIO Solutions

In This Session
As standards and pedagogy change to accommodate 21st century learning and 21st century students, we need to think about why we do the things we do…and perhaps change. This webinar will give you a dozen fresh ideas to mix-up your reading activities. Paige Jaeger, curriculum consultant and instructional focus editor for School Library Connection will share ideas to: 

Inspire reading and curiosity

Integrate technology

Connect to classroom instruction

Connect from classroom instruction

Infuse new wacky-wild reading rides into your program

If you are looking for new ideas, or packaged ideas to help you through this busy season, tune in! After all, reading is the key to achievement! The more students read, the better they'll read. The better they read, the more they’ll comprehend. Paige will field questions from attendees after her presentation. This session will be helpful for librarians and teachers looking for new ideas to promote and increase reading within their building. Downloadable handouts will be shared.

To Participate in the Live Session
- This webinar will be recorded and archived in this community for viewing at anytime.
- As a member of the SLC @ The Forefront community, pre-registration is not required.
- Log in at at the scheduled time.
- Test your system for best quality:


Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Virtual Instruction: Teaching without Time and Space Constraints
Presented by Michelle Luhtala, Head Librarian at New Canaan High School (CT), and Dr. Brenda Boyer, School Librarian, Kutztown, PA

In This Session
"There isn’t enough time!” is the most common complaint in education. While this is still true in many instances, we have access to an increasing number of online communication tools that can increase instructional reach. Educators can create synergy between websites, learning management systems, assessment tools, badging features, tutorials, library collections, communications platforms, and social media to help learners engage with instructional materials in unprecedented ways. In this session, participants will discover strategies to cross-pollinate instruction, and maximize learning opportunities. This month's special guest is Dr. Brenda Boyer, school librarian in Kutztown, PA, and co-author of Social Media Curation with Joyce Valenza.

This program is platform agnostic and will be of particular value for educators working with grades 3-12, including school librarians, classroom teachers, curriculum coordinators, and administrators.

To Participate in the Live Session
- This webinar will be recorded and archived in this community for viewing at anytime.
- As a member of the Emerging Tech community, pre-registration is not required.
- Log in at the Emerging Tech Webinar Room at the scheduled time.
- Test your system for best quality:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Little Mavericks Graphic Novel Reading List

The Children's Round Table of TLA has announced a brand new reading list featuring graphic novels. Known as the Little Mavs list, these titles are selected by public and school librarians to encourage the exploration of current graphic novels by students in grades K-5.

It will be a great tool to use when selecting graphic novels for your library.

Click here to see the list.

Monday, November 30, 2015

12 Books of Christmas

Last year instead of a Christmas card, Library Services sent out a 12 Books of Christmas list to all employees.

See on Tackk

The list was very popular, so we'd like to do it again this year and open it up for all of you to submit recommendations if you'd like.

If you have a book you would like to contribute to the list, please email me the title and your take on the book by December 4.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Coloring book club

I just ran across this article in American Libraries magazine. This looks like a great after school activity for stressed out kids and teachers who need some relaxation!

Monday, November 9, 2015

LITE UP Conference

Dallas County Schools is looking for presenters for the 2nd Annual LITE UP Conference.  (Library Information Technology Expo: Unlimited Possibilities)

If you've never presented, this is a great way to begin.  The sessions are only 45 minutes. Consider sharing your expertise with others!  You can present with a partner or alone. See the strands below. Presenters attend free. Submit your proposal here.

If you don't want to present, save the date for the conference. It's January 28 at the DCS Technology and Training Center on Samuell Blvd. There is a $25 registration fee but that includes breakfast and lunch. Register for LITE UP here 

(I'm on the  committee for proposals. Email me if you have questions)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Have you read the Teens Top Ten Titles?

The Teens Top Ten is a teen choice reading list sponsored by YALSA. Kids 12-18 can read the nominated books, then vote online for their favorite. Click here for more info about this program.

The Teens Top Ten Titles 2015 were announced last week.  Share the video announcement below on your library’s web site, Facebook page, etc., then mark your calendar for the 2016 National Library Week, April 10 – 16 when YALSA will announce the nominees for the 2016 Teens’ Top Ten list.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Teaching Books

Teaching Books adds a new way to share resources and no sign-in or authentication required!

Top Shelf idea: Promoting read alouds with Twitter

Here's another great idea for promoting reading aloud. At Smith Elementary, the administration really encourages the use of Twitter. Meg is giving read aloud shout outs to her faculty under #smithreadaloud. See her feed below.

Great job Meg!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Top shelf idea: Reading aloud is powerful at ALL grade levels

Elementary librarians had a staff development a couple of weeks ago about the importance of reading aloud. While that may seem like a strange topic for a group of readers, the purpose was to remind us all what an important instructional strategy reading aloud really is.

As book people, it is our responsibility to help classroom teachers discover this fact and put it to work in their classrooms. At the end of our session, I challenged the librarians to go back and really promote the read aloud on their campuses. This is what Brittney at Gentry Elementary did for her teachers:

I put the attached note and a picture book in all teacher boxes on Tuesday.

I also sent out the following email. Teachers,I went to a staff development last week on READING ALOUD and the important role it plays in all grade levels!  Did you know that a good children’s book is three times richer in vocabulary than conversation?! I know that there is a limited amount of time in your curriculum for reading aloud and I’m thinking of ways to make this easier for you.  Today, I placed a picture book in your box.  Please read this book to your students for your next read aloud.  Many are short, easy-to-read books that can be read quickly.  A few books, in the upper grades, are longer and might need more time.  When you are done with this book, simply return it to my box and I will find another one for you! J I hope to keep this exchange going with all of you!  If you have any questions, please let me know.
 I have already have several teachers return the books and I have quickly replaced it with another great read.  A few teachers have left me notes telling me how much their class has enjoyed the book I picked for them.  After a few picture books, I want to change the upper grades to chapter books.  I also want to add in some poetry for all grade levels.

Thanks, Brittney, for rising to the challenge with an easy to implement idea!

What are you doing to promote reading aloud on your campus? 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Texas Bluebonnet Award news

1. Would you like to have one of your students chosen to present the Bluebonnet Award to the winning author? It is possible if you submit this form to Kelli Phelan by November 1. Remember one from each TLA district is chosen. 

2. Would you like to be on either the TBA Selection or Program Committee? All applications and recommendations are due to Mariah Aguilar at TLA by Nov 1. Click here for the application form.

3. The TBA Program Committee has put together some fantastic resources for you to use. Click here for Youtube/TeacherTube author/illustrator interview videos, book trailers, Bound To Stay Bound sponsored Readers Theaters, discussion questions, read-alike suggestions, hands-on activities, and website connections. 

4. The 2016-17 list was announced last week at the Texas Book Festival. Watch the video below to see the nominees or click here for the list!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Update to Author Visits on the P&P site

Storyteller Elizabeth Ellis at Seabourn
There's been a new addition to the Author Visits page on the Library Policies & Procedures site. 

MISD librarian Kristen Bottoms has collected information on authors, storytellers and reading promotional guests that have had successful visits in MISD schools and put it in a document for us. 

If you have anyone to add, please let us know in the comments below and we'll add the information to the document.

Thank you, Kristen!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Digital Library Simple Login

Great new feature that may be very useful for a picture book read-aloud or digital library demo.  Let me know if you have questions.  It's ready to begin using today! I'll send an email with the login user id.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

TexQuest/Britannica Webinar Series

Britannica is offering a series of one hour TexQuest webinars. Library Services will be showing these at the TEC conference room and we invite you to come join us! Info about the webinars are below. Fill out the Google form to let us know if you can attend. Dates and times are listed in the form.

  • Read like a detective;Write like a reporter- Explore resources to support evidence-based reading and writing.
  • Discover STEM resources with Britannica- Find resources to support critical thinking, real-world applications, problem-solving, research, inquiry skills, collaboration,writing and preparing students for college and careers.
  • Flipping Out! Design a flipped classroom and library with Britannica- Take away examples on how to easily integrate Britannica school videos, learning activities and other content into the flipped approach.

Monday, October 5, 2015

TLA is now accepting applications for TALL Texans

We have many strong leaders among our group. If you are interested in strengthening your leadership skills, you might consider this opportunity.

Don't let cost hinder you - assistance will be available for any MISD librarian who is accepted!

Online Application Form  is now OPEN!

The TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute is one of the oldest and best known library leadership seminars in the United States. Twenty-four mid-career individuals will be selected from all types of libraries to study advanced leadership and management topics at the Montserrat Retreat Center in Lake Dallas on June 12-16, 2016 (note that the Institute has been restored to four days, from 4pm on June 12 to noon on June 16).

Topics include types and applications of leadership, strategic planning, community engagement, building diverse organizations, power and influence, organizational change, conflict negotiation, coaching, teambuilding, risk-taking, career planning, and effective networking.

The TALL Texans seminar is often called a transformational program which enables participants to better serve their libraries, their communities, and the profession. They leave with new goals to serve their institutions and new connections to support their service.

Applicants are required to have five years of work experience in any type of libraries.
Applicants are also required to be members of the Texas Library Association by February 1, 2016.
Financial aid is often available from TLA units, community organizations, and even vendors in the library field.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Top Shelf librarians: TLA 2016 has some presenters you may know!

Back in the early days of blogging, some of you may remember that I had a blog called The Top Shelf. That blog focused on the "best stuff" for school librarians. I read a lot of library-related blogs and web sites, then shared what I thought was the best stuff from what I read. Sadly, it was abandoned in 2011 when Debbie and I began blogging here and using Twitter more. 

Now, though, I think it's time to bring back the Top Shelf concept, but with a different twist.

As we do walkthroughs, visit with you, check your websites and your Facebook pages, Debbie and I see lots of exceptional things going on - things that are worthy to be designated Top Shelf - so we're going to start highlighting them here. 

All Top Shelf entries will be labeled as such, so when you're looking for good ideas, you can click the Top Shelf label and see all of the tremendous things that MISD librarians are doing.

This is our first Top Shelf entry for 2015-16!

One of the main duties of the Chair of the Texas Association of School Librarians is to round up programs for the annual TLA conference that will be useful and relevant to Texas school librarians. 

Renee Dyer, TASL Chair for 2015-16, has gone to great lengths to find some new voices from among the many fabulous school librarians across the state. The programs listed below are just a sampling of what TLA will have to offer, but these will be presented by librarians you might not know yet, but who have some great new ideas to share.

Do you see some names you recognize?

Congrats to these Mesquite librarians for being accepted to present!

Read the entire blog post here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

BIG Library Read is back!

All Librarians, staff and secondary students--Join the fun! Participate in the "global eBook club" connecting readers around the world who read the same eBook at the same time. Here's how it works: During October 7-21 Overdrive will place 2 titles on our digital library site. These books are free to us and there's never a waiting list during the program. Just check out and get started reading! The selected titles for this year's BIG Read are The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley and in the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. Click The BIG Library Read to find out more about these titles.  Digital Marketing materials are available in our Google folder. #misdreads

Friday, September 18, 2015

Editing Library Websites

Help is here for your website editing!  You have done a fantastic job of getting your library sites ready to post since going live.  I know we 'threw' a lot of information at you on the staff development day. Now we have some tutorials to help you! Click the link  to view Google Slideshows on tasks such as resizing images, adding photos, and even adding a new page! Of course, I'm still available for any help you might need.   Library Website Editing

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

And the winner is...

I used a random number generator to select the winner of the Capstone reward points and the winner is lucky number 6:

KAREN SYBLIK, Florence Elementary


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Read an eBook Day at your Library!

Read an eBook day is September 18th! This is a great opportunity to get the word out about your eBook collection to your students, staff, and parents.  Remember we have marketing materials in the Marketing Materials for Digital Resources shared Google folder.  Hashtags to use are #eBookLove or #MISDReads. Let us know what you are reading!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Capstone rewards points giveaway

As a renewing member of AASL, I was given 10,000 Capstone Rewards Points that I would like to pass along to an MISD campus librarian. 

To be entered into the drawing for these points, please leave a comment below letting me know how you would use them. 

Entries must be submitted by 4pm on Tuesday, Sept. 15 to be eligible.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Elementary only: Bluebonnet 101 webinar

TLA is offering a webinar on how to run the Texas Bluebonnet Award program. If you are new to the Bluebonnet program, want to increase your participation or just need some new ideas, you might want to register for this!

Bluebonnet 101
September 17, 3:30-4:30

Click here to register:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Banned Books Week is coming

Banned Books Week will be observed September 27-October 3, 2015 with AASL’s Banned Websites Awareness Day occurring on Wednesday, Sept. 30.  

Are you ready? Have you made plans to celebrate the freedom to read and search online?

Here’s a link to a Knowledge Quest Blog with resources for Banned Books Week.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Region 10 Fall Staff Development Opportunities

MISD is a member of the Region 10 Library Cooperative, which gives us access to all of the library related staff development offered there.

See the sessions offered below or click on the link to open the flyer in your browser.

Region 10 Fall Staff Development Opportunities

If you are interested in any of these sessions, you will need to get permission from your principal to attend, then register here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ordering procedure - IMPORTANT

Since we have a substitute Acquisitions Manager this fall, it is very important that everyone follow the ordering procedure as outlined in our Policies and Procedures. This page provides detailed ordering information and the list of our approved vendors.

Quick review of the procedure:

Use approved vendors only.

Decide how much money you want to spend with each vendor. This is your DNE or DO NOT EXCEED amount.

For jobber orders (Follett, Permabound, Mackin, Bound to Stay Bound), your total should be $200-$300 over the DNE.

You may submit orders as you complete them, if you desire. You don't have to have them all done to submit at one time.

We will monitor your budget and reserve the right to change your DNE if you are exceeding your budget allotment.

All orders are due before October 31, 2015.

Order submission process:

For each order you are submitting, send an email to the sub Acquisitions Manager - mkelton [at] mesquiteisd [dot] org

Your email must include the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your campus
  • Vendor name
  • File name (if online order) or Attachment name (if list is attached)
  • DNE amount

We appreciate your cooperation. By following these guidelines, you will help us make sure that all orders are placed in a timely manner and that we don't overspend our budget. Thank you!

Photo citation: Young People. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 9 Sep 2015.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book on summer reading now available for FREE

Summer Reading: Program and Evidence (F. Shin and S. Krashen) originally published by Allyn and Bacon in 2007, is now available FOR FREE!

The book is now public domain. You can download as many copies as you like, make print copies, use for classes, and share with others.

You can download a copy (or copies) from (left side of page, Books On-Line)

Summer Reading: Program and Evidence reviews the research on "the summer slump" and the studies showing that reading for pleasure might be the cure, including Barbara Heyn's groundbreaking study. It presents, in detail, a description of a successful summer reading program that resulted in substantial gains in literacy development for middle school students. 

It also includes a case study of a high-school student whose reading scores declined during each school year, but rose substantially during each summer break. It was her summer reading that was responsible for her improvement during her high-school years.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Something to think about this summer...

A few weeks ago, MISD staff was asked to take a survey regarding technology use. Since part of our job as librarians is to support, model and encourage using technology for learning, I wanted to share some of the survey results with you. By having an awareness of this data, you will be able to use this summer to think about ways you can help move your campus along in some of these areas.

Critical writing is one of the fundamental five and the best way for students to process and share their thinking. Writing in a digital format increases their engagement and connects them to a read world audience, but 72% of our teachers never ask kids to do it. How can you help improve this number?

Library Services provides access to many tools that students can use to get information. From video streaming services to newspaper and magazine databases, online encyclopedias to an image database - we can meet pretty much any information need, yet 71% of our teachers NEVER ask students to get information from these tools. What can you do to improve this on your campus?

MISD provides Google Apps for Education to teachers and students, yet 54% of our teachers never ask students to use it to share and collaborate on projects/assignments. We have been using it in Library Services for many years, so librarians are more than capable of sharing and modeling how to use it. What can you do to promote the use of Google Apps on your campus?

79% of our teachers ask their students to do research, but according to the chart above that research is not typically based on an authentic problem. In order for research to help develop students' critical thinking and problem solving skills, the research project must be designed to tap into those higher level questions. How can you help teachers on your campus raise the level of rigor/thinking required by their research projects?

We will be looking at this data in more detail when you return in August, but hopefully this will give you some insight and you can already have some ideas about how you will help your campus improve in these areas when you come back.

Enjoy your summer!

Monday, June 1, 2015

All about the books or all about the readers?

Over the weekend, this video appeared on my Facebook wall and at least four (if not more) friends tagged me on it. They thought I would enjoy it, but I have to say - it hurt my heart a little bit.

While the video is a cute and well-done parody of a popular song, it just perpetuates the age-old stereotype that librarians are all about books and not about readers. 

Using phrases like "you've got my books and they belong to me" or "librarians don't mess around when it comes to fines" keep up the image of the librarian as the owner/keeper of the books whose wrath you will incur if "her" books are not returned.  

Shots of kids with sad/scared faces, teachers wagging their pointers in a shaming motion, and the librarian skulking around the halls trying to catch kids with overdue books - these are not the images that I want people to envision when they think of school librarians and what we do.

Instead, these are the images I'd like people to have:

  • librarians matching kids with the perfect book
  • happy readers visiting the library
  • groups of kids talking with the librarian about what they are reading
  • librarians sharing new titles with kids and teachers
  • books flying off the shelves and into the hands of our precious readers

It makes me sad that this video has over a million views on Facebook. I'm sure this librarian isn't really "all about the books." She's probably a wonderful librarian who connects her students with books and does all of the things mentioned above. She's obviously creative and talented, but this video doesn't show any of that. 

It's a wasted opportunity.

Did you get tagged with this video over the weekend? How did it make you feel?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Overdrive Listen

We all loved when Overdrive came out with the feature to be able to READ in the browser. Now they have a new feature.  Overdrive LISTEN lets users listen to an audio book right in the browser.  That's right!  No downloading!  Just click LISTEN and the audio book begins.
You can find these books under advanced search and choose the format for Overdrive Listen. Happy listening!

  For more info about this new feature just in time for Summer reading, click here: Overdrive Listen

SLJ features article on makerspaces

The May 2015 issue of School Library Journal is all about the maker movement and makerspaces in libraries. 

One article of particular interest explores the question "do making and tinkering lead to learning?" This question is of interest because school libraries are all about learning. We can't afford to spend time on activities that don't offer opportunities for deep thinking and understanding. This article offers suggestions based on research for ways we can have making that is meaningful for students.

Click the link below or turn to page 24 in your print copy to read more...

How to Ensure that Making Leads to Learning

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Overdrive Summer Read

Overdrive sent the message below. Promote to your students as you wish! Click here for marketing materials to go with this announcement.

OverDrive is excited to introduce our inaugural OverDrive Summer Read program, designed to encourage your students to keep reading all year long. This program aims to help prevent the Summer Slide by providing exciting titles for your students that are simultaneously available during the summer weeks. The below title(s) will be automatically added to your OverDrive-powered website in eBook and OverDrive Read formats (and Kindle format where available) with unlimited access between June 9 (midday US EDT) and July 9 at 11:59PM (US EDT). The title(s) and a promotional spotlight at the top of your homepage will be automatically added.

Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky
(Interest level 4-8: Middle Grades)

The Fat Boy Chronicles
(Interest Level 6-12: Middle Grades+)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

TLA Sharing Staff Development

We heard some great presentations last week at our last staff development! No worries if there was one you didn't get to see.Below is a link to our staff development page where all session handouts/presentations have been posted. Just scroll down to the session on April 30th. Enjoy!

Staff Development 14-15

Friday, May 8, 2015

TexQuest Survey

TexQuest is the statewide digital resources program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission that provides our current access to the Gale databases and access to Britannica School beginning June 15.

The State Library is requesting additional funding from the Legislature this session to add more content to the program. In anticipation of receiving these funds they are asking for feedback about the kind of content that should be added.

Please click the link below to take the survey and make your wishes known! It's very brief and will only take a couple of minutes to complete.

TexQuest Resources Survey

Friday, May 1, 2015

Teri Talks Books at Region 10

As you're working on your book orders, you might want to consider the books mentioned by Teri Lesesne in her Region 10 session. Her presentation is uploaded at or see #teritalksbooks on Twitter for my updates. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ICYMI: student library worker applications

ICYMI is Twitter-speak for "in case you missed it." 

A few days ago, someone on the TLC listserv posted a link to a whole collection of applications that various librarians use to select student library workers. 

The folder can be found here. It includes forms, parent permissions, teacher permissions, job descriptions, etc. 

Really useful stuff!

Image citation: Internet application. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 28 Apr 2015.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Free audiobooks for the summer!

The 2015 Sync Free Summer Audio Books is just around the corner. 

Click the link below to see all the great free audio books you can download this summer.  Please share this information with your campus staff and students as it is free to everyone

Overdrive Update

Be on the lookout for several updates to the OverDrive digital library website that are coming on Wednesday, April 29.
  • Narrated (embedded audio) eBooks and enhanced audiobooks will be identified by special text on the cover image, in addition to information on the details page.
  • Users will be able to renew digital titles.

    If there are no existing holds on a title, the renew option appears on your digital library bookshelf three days before the title expires. Renewing a title does not extend the lending period, but allows the user to borrow the title again right after the lending period expires by placing a hold on the title.
  1. After clicking renew:
    Note: Any users that have not previously placed a hold on a title will be asked to enter their birth date before proceeding.
    • Users 13 and over enter their email address and can select to automatically borrow the title at renewal.
    • Users 12 and under receive a message that the title is renewed. An alert icon on the user’s account at the digital library will indicate when the title is available.
  2. Once borrowed, users must download the title again or select Read (in your browser) to continue reading.
If a title has holds, the request again option will appear, allowing the user (of any age) to join the holds list to borrow the title again as soon as it’s available.
Information will be added to the digital library help page upon launch to help users with the new feature.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Region 10 Summer Staff Development for Librarians

From Terry Roper at Region 10:

Hello All,
Click here for the Region 10 Library Services cooperative  summer professional development flyer.  Some highlights I would like to point out include:

June 4---Carolyn Foote, technolibrarian, blogger and White House Champion of Change for Connected Learning will be joining us from Austin for a full day of big picture/forward thinking issues around library design, policies, missions, etc. This session will be of use to anyone thinking of designing/redesigning their library as well as library staff who are seeking to get a handle on library policies and best practices.  Check out Carolyn’s blog and join us on 6/4.

June 15—Gail Shipley, member of the Texas Bluebonnet Award program committee will be here to share ideas, lessons, activities, and more to help get students excited about reading the TBA list.  Appropriate for all elementary library staff as well as classroom teachers.

August 7—Library Summit.  We are thrilled that Library Girl, Jennifer LaGarde will deliver the keynote session as well as a break out session.  The location will be in Dallas, call for proposals and more details to come.

TexQuest database sessions which are open to all educators in Region 10 with a TexQuest subscription.  On June 25th we will have an elementary and a secondary Encyclopedia Britannica session.  On August 10th, we will have a trainer from Gale in one room offering an elementary and secondary session, and a trainer from Britannica offering an elementary and secondary session so you can attend on 8/10 and have a half day training for each of these valuable resources.  Invite your teachers!!!

PLEASE NOTE: Region 10 is undergoing a transition to a new registration/calendar system, so the classes will be open for registration on Friday, May 1st

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Looking forward to seeing you all this summer!


Terry Roper, Library Consultant
Region 10 Education Service Center
400 E. Spring Valley Rd.
Richardson, TX  75081

Monday, April 20, 2015

Advice for TLA Attendees (Current and Future)

When your administrators make an investment in your professional development by allowing you to attend an out of town conference, it is wise to communicate what you learned while you were gone.

The report I submitted to my supervisor is embedded below.

How will you let your administrators and colleagues know what YOU learned? Leave your ideas or share a link to your report in the comments.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Texas Library Association Conference 2015

Check out what's happening in Austin this week via the twitter stream embedded below.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Literacy Specialist meeting notes

The topic was writing this morning at the elementary Literacy Specialists meeting. There was much discussion of using mentor texts, which is a perfect area where librarians can support teachers and help kids grow their writing skills.

Librarians can provide teachers with lots of mentor texts and use mentor texts themselves when doing read alouds. 

What is a mentor text? It's any book that a teacher can use to show students an example of good writing. As you read through books in your collection, make note of any that stand out as good examples so you'll be ready when someone asks for a good example of descriptive writing or a strong lead or voice or any of the other traits of good writing.

When you use a mentor text in a read aloud, ask kids to notice things about how the text is written. For example, notice how the author starts the story. Does he use a question? Does he use dialogue? Does he start by describing the setting so you feel like you are there?

If you need help in this area, check out this great blog : Teach Mentor Texts. This blogger reviews lots of books, but also has posts talking about which books are good examples of which writing trait. Good stuff.

Click here to see the handouts and my (rather sparse) notes from the meeting.

Image citation: 
First Grader Working on a Writing Assignment. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 9 Apr 2015.

Monday, April 6, 2015

When is last day to checkout?

It's that time of year when this question pops-up more and more!

Just a reminder:
Each year all books are scheduled to be due 2 weeks before school is out. All libraries are to remain open and circulating until the final due date.  At that time, circulation stops, but the library is to remain open for other activities (read-alouds, research, etc…).  

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's time to start encouraging summer reading!

Summer will be here before you know it and part of our job is to encourage our kids to read over the summer. 

Summer reading is so important, in fact, that it is part of the ELA curriculum for primary grades. This week, primary teachers will be starting a unit on things that readers do:
  • know what they like to read
  • know how to choose a just right book
  • plan what to read next
  • ask people to read to them
  • find different things to read
  • find books everywhere
  • tell people what they like about books
They will be making the anchor chart you see at the right that lists these reading behaviors. 

In Week 30, the lesson will be on making a "to read" list and they may ask for help from you. If they don't, this would be a great opportunity for you to offer to assist with this lesson! Use the links below to access the materials for this unit.

Now, secondary folks, don't think you are off the hook. There is a wonderful opportunity for you here too. It would be great to do this type of lesson with secondary students as well. You could easily scaffold this up for older students, reminding them of all the places they can get reading materials over the summer and how important it is to read - even if it's just 15 minutes a day.

If they need book suggestions, share our Summer Reading Lists with them. Remind them about the Digital Library and the online resources on our Virtual Library page. Discuss visiting web sites where they can read news or information about their hobbies and interests.

And while you're at it, don't forget to do something to encourage your teachers to read this summer too!