Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Library Land in Hiatus

As the end of the school year approaches, we here in library land need to go into hiatus. Shutting down for the summer is a yearly event, but this year we need to be extra organized. In order to do that we need some help from parents and students.

The most important thing to know: All library books are due back May 29. Get them back to the library by then or as close to that as you can.

Second most important thing to know: We love that the community has been so willing to donate books, and in a short span of time we have received a mountain of them. Because of this, we are no longer accepting any book donations. Thank you for all your support and if we need anything else we will surely let you know. 

Last 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.

Thanks so much for everything and DFTBA!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Fair Wrap-up

So the book fair is over. The carts have been returned. The money has been counted. And the slime-ing has happened. Slime-ing? You might be asking yourself what that is and why it happened.

We had tons of awesome students, parents, and staff members that supported our middle school fair, and helped us surpass our goal by $300. We were able to get a mountain of books for the classroom teachers and the library. And we gave away over 20 books to the students throughout the week.

Because we reached our goal, a stunt must be done. That stunt was me being covered with green slime (like on Nickelodeon). The recipe I used can be found here and was super easy to make. The students who were the slime-ers were those that had purchased books at our fair. One book equaled one chance to enter to be a slime-er.

You can see video and pictures of Slime Time below. Enjoy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Fair Begins!

Our middle school book fair has begun! Classes have been visiting all morning, checking out the latest and greatest books and learning about the contests/activities we are running this week. Here's my rundown:

The fair will be open all this week during school. We will also be open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the concerts.

Our theme is Story Laboratory  so we've got some science-y stuff going on.

Our goal is $2016, and our goal chart is an empty periodic table. For every $18 we will add an element, and hopefully by Friday afternoon it will be full.

If we reach our goal I will be slimed! (like on Nickelodeon) Students who buy a book can enter to be the slime-ers and toss a bucket of slime.

We are running an All-for-Books campaign, were students can drop in change or dollars in support of the elementary library recovery. We are making it a little bit more fun by voting for 2 different things every day.

We are also doing locker lottery. Students who find a winning slip on their locker can stop by the fair to receive a prize.

Guess the number of radioactive bookworms in the jar is our estimation contest. The closest guess will win the jar.

And finally we will have a brain teaser up every day. A drawing will be held for those who get the right answer and the winner will receive a prize.

Students are reminded to be respectful, responsible, and act appropriately when browsing the fair. This is a special treat for them and we need to be aware of that.

Wow! Lots going on for the fair. OH! One more thing. People who won't be around or who miss the fair completely, you can shop online (with Scholastic's full web store) by going HERE. These sales will also count towards our goal.

Thank you for all your support!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Middle School Book Fair, May 13-17

We are having a book fair at the middle school! There will be contests and prizes for the students, teachers are setting up wish lists for their classrooms, we are running an All For Books campaign to raise money for the elementary library, and if we reach our goal of $2016 I will get slimed by the students (just like they do on nickelodeon). We are celebrating books and gearing up for summer reading!

May 13-17, during every school day. Also open before and after the concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. 
May 8-28, shop online! Items are shipped directly to school and delivered to your child.

For more information and to shop online, use this link:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Reading Festival

The Hammond Community Library is hosting a Reading Festival for grades 4K-4th in just a few short weeks. View the flyer here for more specific information.

Theme: “Find A Treasure”
Date: May 11, 2013
Time:10:00AM-1:00 PM
Location: Trinity Lutheran Church, 1250 Broadway Street, Hammond, WI

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Elementary Library Damage

I'm not going to write a long post about this. Connie Mueller and I were able to view the damage to the elementary library on Friday. It's bad. The fire damage didn't spread to the library. But the roof was on fire, and in the process of putting that out they used a TON of water. So, the damage is water damage as well as lots of chemically laced soot. We have been told that nothing out of the library will be salvaged. You can view images and a couple short video clips of the damage below.



Library Visits at Panther Camp

Wow! Lots of work being done at Panther Camp. It is amazing what has been accomplished is such a short amount of time. Thanks to everyone for donating supplies, books, equipment, and time.

This post is all about how the library is going to run at Panther Camp. Connie Mueller and I have come up with a system, at least to start with.

  • Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grade -- Mrs. Mueller will be visiting them in their area daily. She will stop in the morning to pick up returns from students. In the afternoon she will be back with a cart of selections for the students to choose from for checkout. We may have to rotate by classes, but we aren't quite sure about that yet.
  • 3rd and 4th Grade -- Students will bring returns with them when they come to pick up their lunch and drop them off on a cart at the entrance to the library. The cart will be clearly marked. We will attempt, and with weather permitting, to bring selections to the students in their areas during the afternoon for checkout.
  • Other Rules / Explanations:
    • No students are allowed in the library cubby/room. There is just not enough room.
    • Students may make requests for a specific book by writing it down for Mrs. Mueller. She or I will check our library and see if we have it. If we do, it will be delivered to the student the following day.
    • Our finally due date for the year, for all library books will be May 29. We would like to start shipping them back the HS or MS for summer storage before camp lets out.
    • There will be jugs available when Mrs. Mueller visits for students to put book suggestions for our new library in . Any and all suggestions for titles, authors, or topics are welcome.
If you have any questions about anything, please leave a comment below or email Ms. Olson at aolosn[@] (without the brackets).

Friday, May 3, 2013

Library Shelving at Panther Camp

Losing your library is a devastating experience. Connie and I can attest to that. But losing your library and still being expected to have a library in 6 that is nerve racking.

However, we have had some superstars to support us. There have been so many awesome individuals, organizations, and companies that have been willing to donate books, it is amazing. Our collection is growing rapidly with picture books and chapter books. We have had tons of library staff from the area offer help. And we have had companies from all over offering services. Thank you so much for all of your support in whatever way you are giving it.

The super exciting news that we got today was that we were going to be able to have shelves, ACTUAL SHELVES at our temporary library in Panther Camp. I was astounded. To have real shelves instead of relying on book carts (which was my plan, to steal the book carts from the other buildings) was something I am eternally grateful for. It will make the storage of all our awesome donations easier. It will make our job easier. And probably most important, it will show the kids that even though you get knocked out of your routine and sometimes even your home, you can make a new one wherever you are with the support of the people around you.

Thank you to everyone who helped get our shelving up and in place in our library cubby. To see just a few pictures of them getting started , check out the slideshow below. (I'll post post-installation pictures later tomorrow)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Digital Resources Mean the Library is Still Open

When we hear the word "library" with think of rows and rows of books. Maybe we add in a reading area with magazines and newspapers. But we often don't think about the digital resources that are available via our libraries.

There are many resources available through our school library, public libraries, and state resources. While our physical library is out-of-order, so to speak, we still have all of these digital assets at our fingertips.

Below are a few of the resources that you can still access via the internet. You can contact me for login information for any of these resources, aolson[@] (without the brackets)
  • Follett Shelf -- This is our elementary library ebook collection; it's small but growing. (login required)
  • PebbleGo -- Read through some awesome non-fiction articles for kids about social studies, nature, biographies, and more. (login required)
  • BookFlix -- Pairs storybooks with nonfiction books to reinforce early reading skills and introduces children to a world of knowledge and exploration. (login required)
  • TumbleBooks -- Online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading in a format they'll love. (login required)
  • Searchasaurus -- Pulls together magazines, newspapers, interviews, books, pictures, and much more to support curricular learning. Provided by Badgerlink for citizens of Wisconsin.
  • Elementary Encyclopedia Britannica -- Comprehensive elementary encyclopedia with articles (that will read to you if wanted), pictures, videos, games, and links. Provided by Badgerlink for citizens of Wisconsin.
  • Even More! -- There are more resources listed on the elementary library's Find page.
  • Public Library -- The public libraries are a wonderful resource to support your child's reading when school is not in session. Check out their pages: Roberts and Hammond Public Libraries

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Elementary says "Forward, Together"

In a temporary home base this morning the elementary school staff meet. Gathered in the Roberts park building, teachers, paras, custodians, food service ladies, and admin gathered to figure out what comes next.

The most important question was answered -- we have a place for the kids to go on Monday. Through an awesome act of kindness and support, the local Girl Scout camp was made available to us. We will be holding Panther Camp (tentative name for now) for the elementary school kids with areas for each grade level and a special temporary library room, nurses station, and office.

As a staff we grieved this tragedy, but we also celebrated the community support and strength of our staff, as well as the concern our students have shown. There was much talk of how this is a great opportunity for us to grow and come together, demonstrating to the students that though you get knocked down, you get back up and face a new challenge head on.

One special education teacher said she had a motto in her room (which was later pointed out to be "borrowed" from a larger body). That motto is "Forward, Together". That is how we are taking this new challenge, together moving forward, doing the best for our kids.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Book Donations

Thank you! I can not believe the outpouring of offers I have had to donate books to our temporary elementary library and for classrooms/grades. It is truly amazing.

YES, we are taking book donations for any picture books, chapter books, or elementary non-fiction books. Please drop off donations at the high school in Hammond.

If you want ideas for books we need:
  1. Books that are on my July order (that I was intending on purchasing) -- click here
  2. Look through our Desiny catalog to see what we have/had in our library -- click here
  3. Award winners are always great -- Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpre, Theodore Geisel, Sibert -- do a web search to find the list for each
UPDATE 5-2-13: To see the top 50 most-checked-out books from the past five months click here. These would also be good to get.