Monday, June 2, 2014

Library Land in Hiatus for Summer 2014

As the end of the school year approaches, we here in library land need to go into hiatus. We have been collecting books since May 23rd to get everything back, but some things are still out. If you or your student receives a notice this week, please try to return the book. If the book cannot be found, please pay the amount listed to the building office.

Another thing to know: Just because the physical school library is in hiatus doesn't mean the digital school library is. Our ebooks, digital audio books, and online resources can be used throughout the summer. Just email me at aolson[@] if you need login information. The public library is also an awesome resource during the summer months with tons of great children's programs happening.

** A quick note about ebooks and Catalist audio -- Follett Shelf (where our ebooks are housed) and Catalist (where our digital audio books are housed) will be merging this summer. Because of this there may be times when the systems are not fully functional. Also after July 30, the Catalist website and app will be defunct. All ebooks and digital audio books will be accessible through Follett Shelf or the new BryteWave app (replacing the Follett Enlight app and the Catalist app). I'll be talking about this with all the kiddos in the fall!

Thanks so much for everything and DFTBA!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Reading Challenge

Summer vacation is nearly upon us, but that doesn't mean we should stop reading! To help you keep your reading skills up-to-par, the library is running a summer reading challenge for elementary and middle school students. A special bingo card has been created for each building and students are challenged to read for a bingo or to black-out their card.

Students will receive a letter and a bingo card in the next week or so, but if you'd like a copy you can find more information at the links below.

Elementary Letter and Bingo Card

Middle School Letter and Bingo Card

Elementary Library Page (will be available June 2) -- Contains helpful links for completing your bingo card

Middle School Library Page -- Contains helpful links for completing your bingo card

We are super excited to see how much reading SCC students can do over the summer. Good luck!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Fair Bonanza

Middle School Book Fair, May 12-16Students and parents can stop by anytime throughout the school day.

Elementary Book Fair, May 19-23
Students can stop by daily. Parents can stop by from 7:30-8 and 3-3:30 and anytime on Friday, May 23. This is a Buy One Get One Free fair.

Online Fair, May 7-21
SCC parents can purchase items from the online fair using the link below. The online fair has MUCH more than the physical fair that comes to the schoool, so it's a great place to shop for multiple age ranges. These items will be shipped to the school and delivered to your child the week of May 26. Parents at any of the buildings can purchase items and I will make sure they get to you.

Profit -- The profit from our fairs goes to a couple of places -- the school libraries, classroom libraries, and back to students in the form of books.

Stunt -- At our middl school fair, we have a goal of $2000 spent at our fair (which will give us $1000 in profit). If we reach our goal I have pledged to eat either a can of cold Spam or BBQ flavored worms. Students are voting for their choice of gross food with any change they might have on them. Check our Book Fair webpage to see the current total.

Webpages --

If you have questions please email me!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What should I read after "The Fault in Our Stars"?

John Green's novel The Fault in Our Stars was published in January 2012 and has become the book of this year. With the movie adaptation coming out on June 6th of this year, students are clamoring to read the book before going to see the movie. But after the book has been read and the movie has been watched, what can kids read next? Here's a few suggestions (all of them can be found at the HS library):

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
Jen and Wes, hanging around in the same circles, eventually decide they might like to be a couple, and even then are not sure if a relationship is what they want.

Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life's purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as "Hey-Soos."

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Frankie Landau-Banks attempts to take over a secret, all-male society at her exclusive prep school, and her antics with the group soon draw some unlikely attention and have unexpected consequences that could change her life forever.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Every Day by David Levithan
Every morning A wakes in a different person's body, in a different person's life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
Overburdened by his parents' bickering and a bully's attacks, fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman begins dreaming of being with his grandfather, who went missing during the Vietnam War, but during a visit to Arizona, his aunt and uncle and their beautiful neighbor, Ginny, help him find a new perspective.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
A nameless narrator relates his experiences with love and being a part of a couple through a series of dictionary entries.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
In the last months of high school, charismatic eighteen-year-old Sutter Keely lives in the present, staying drunk or high most of the time, but that could change when he starts working to boost the self-confidence of a classmate, Aimee.

This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl with Lori and Wayne Earl
A memoir told through the journals, letters, and stories of young cancer patient Esther Earl.

Winger by Andrew Smith
Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunts and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Biography Research in the 7th Grade

So this week I've gotten to spend a lot of time at the middle school. The 7th grade students in Ms. Lombardo's language arts classes were starting their research project. Every year, students are required to hone their research skills, and in 7th grade they were focusing their research on a person's life.

Student's choose an individual from a list of politicians, artists, scientists, writers, and many more. Each student was then required to use a book, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and a third source to find as much information about their person as possible. We needed some ground rules, so at MINIMUM students needed three facts for each of their six different subtopics and a total of 20 facts total. We talked about the importance of creating citations for each resource as well as evaluating each resource for validity.

It came as a great and joyful surprise when, by the end of the week, some students had 40+ facts and had used upwards of four different sources. Citations were tweaked as problems were found, but overall the students did a great job following directions and finding the information they needed.

My part is over, but Ms. Lombardo will be having students use their research to create a five-paragraph informative essay about their individual. This will sharpen their writing skills and will include the skill of using in-text citation (which is why our research citations were so important).

Good luck on writing 7th grade students and thanks for a great week!

If you'd like more information about our project you can visit the library's "Learn" page. Or you can email me at aolson[at]

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Books in the Libraries!

So I mentioned last week in my post on Common School Fund that the library was able to get approximately 800 new items for the library collections between the three schools. Here is a taste of what is new!

New Books at the Elementary

New Books at the Middle School

New Books at the High School

Monday, April 21, 2014

Common School Fund

Some in the community might be aware of a wonderful thing that happens in library land every spring in the state of Wisconsin. Every spring Wisconsin announces the Common School Fund (CSF) amounts and distributes this money to public school libraries statewide. SCC is a lucky district in that we are maintaining or increasing our student population most years. This means that the CSF amounts we receive each year are similar or growing also. So here in library land we get an unexpected chunk of money to spend in the spring!

This year the extra CSF money we received has been used to purchase over 500 books, nearly 200 ebooks, about 75 audio books, and approximately 50 videos. Plus we were able to purchase a cart of Chromebook computers for our elementary library classes to utilize to learning more online resource and research skills.

We in library land would like to say a big THANK YOU to the state of Wisconsin for continuing their amazing support of public school libraries. Without the Commons School Fund our public school libraries would become mere shells of what they could be.

For specific SCC amounts received each you can check out this spreadsheet or the DPI figures on this website.

Further Common School Fund Explanation From DPI

"The framers of Wisconsin’s Constitution were pioneers with the foresight to create a constitutionally protected form of public education financing. They established the Common School Fund to hold in trust the proceeds from the sale of millions of acres of land granted to Wisconsin by the federal government as well as the “clear proceeds” of fees, fines and forfeitures that accrued to the state. At that time, they also created the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to manage the Fund. The Board consists of the Secretary of State, the State Treasurer and the Attorney General."

"The Common School Fund provides annual library aid support to all Wisconsin public school districts. The Fund is invested in state bonds, the State Investment Fund and in loans to municipalities and school districts through the State Trust Fund Loan Program. In April of each year, the Board forwards the available earnings of the Fund to DPI which then re-distributes the earnings as library aid to all K-12 public school districts in the state. The allocation which each school district receives is based upon the number of children aged 4 through 20 living in the district. The aid is sent to school districts by May 1 of each year. Each district must spend their total Library Aid allocation for appropriate library materials by June 30 of that same year. These materials include books, newspapers, periodicals, other media resources, and to a limited extent, computers."