Friday, December 19, 2014

If you didn't visit the library this year....

If you didn't visit the library (school or public) this year, there's always next.

Check out the video for one person's view of what a library is.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Don't Know What to Read?

At the middle school if you don't know what to read you can take a tumble through the genre jars. Just pull out a slip and go get the book it recommends!
** More jars coming soon.

At the high school try the fortune teller. It will suggest a genre, a type of book or resource, or something random (like a book that starts with S).

If you're still stumped, ask Ms Muller, Ms Kerber, Ms Hueg, or Ms Olson for help!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Books of the Week, Dec 15

Elementary - Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

The beloved story of a spunky young girl and her hilarious escapades. Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson. Whether Pippi's scrubbing her floors, doing arithmetic, or stirring things up at a fancy tea party, her flair for the outrageous always seems to lead to another adventure.

FIC LIN @ the Library

Middle School - What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes

When River, Freak, and Fiona discover a mysterious sofa sitting at their bus stop, their search for loose change produces a rare zucchini-colored crayon. Little do they know this peculiar treasure is about to launch them into the middle of a plot to conquer the world! The kids' only hope is to trap the plot's mastermind when he comes to steal the crayon. But how can three kids from the middle of nowhere stop an evil billionaire? With the help of an eccentric neighbor, an artificially intelligent domino, a DNA-analyzing tray, two hot air balloons, and a cat named Mucus, they just might be able to save the planet.

FIC CLA @ the Library

High School - Moo by Jane Smiley

Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, amid cow pastures and waving fields of grain, lies Moo University, a distinguished institution devoted to the art and science of agriculture. Here, among an atmosphere rife with devious plots, mischievous intrigue, lusty liaisons, and academic one-upmanship, Chairman X of the Horticulture Department harbors a secret fantasy to kill the dean; Mrs. Walker, the provost's right hand and campus information queen, knows where all the bodies are buried; Timothy Nonahan, associate professor of English, advocates eavesdropping for his creative writing assignments; and Bob Carlson, a sophomore, feeds and maintains his only friend: a hog named earl Butz.

FIC SMI @ the Library

Friday, December 12, 2014

Best Books of 2014

Days are shorter, kids are squirrely, and the end of the year is upon us. That means "best of the year" time for everything from fashion to sports. But this is Library Land, so we talk books and media. I could go an and on about my favorites, but I figure you might want to hear from broader group of experts. So instead I'd like to point out some great best of the year lists from some reputable sources (not just Amazon who perhaps push what they sell a lot of or have in over-stock).

School Library Journal's Best Books 2014 - LINK

The School Library Journal provides reviews of books written throughout the year to help school library media specialists make purchases for their libraries. Reviews come from outstanding library media specialists from around the nation and are published in their monthly magazine and online.


Each month Booklist editors highlight a topic and provide a listing of the best books about that topic that have come out within the last year. Here were their topics for 2014:

Kirkus' Best Books of 2014

Another book review magazine, but those really do have the best picks, Kirkus reviews books for public libraries. Here are their lists for the year:
  • Children
  • Teen
  • They also have lists for Fiction, Non-Fiction, Indie, and Book Apps.

My Picks

And if those aren't good enough for you, here are my picks, one for each building.
  • Elementary -- Little green peas : a big book of colors by Keith Baker
  • Middle School -- 100 things to do before you grow up by Lisa Gerry
  • High School -- Molecules : the elements and the architecture of everything by Theodore Gray 
So as you are finishing your holiday shopping or need something to keep in your emergency gift tote, think about picking up a "best of the year" book.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Books of the Week, Dec 9

Elementary School - Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney; Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)

Looks at the life of jazz musician Duke Ellington, discussing his accomplishments and lasting popularity over the course of his fifty-year career.

921 ELL @ the Library

Middle School - How the Beatles Changed the World by Martin W. Sandler

The Beatles' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, has been called "a night that changed the course of American culture." More than seventy million television viewers - the largest-ever audience for an entertainment show - watched the Beatles' performance that February 9, 1964. It was only the beginning.Had the Beatles been simply the most successful musical group of all time, their place in history would be secure. But they were much, much more. The Beatles changed popular culture forever. They changed the way people listened to music and experienced its role in their lives. And they were even more. For as their work matured, they became nothing less than the embodiment of the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.

920 SAN @ the Library

High School - Aretha Franklin : the Queen of Soul by Mark Bego

Documents the personal life and show business career of Aretha Franklin, known as the Queen of Soul, covering singing in the church choir as a child, her first album at the age of fourteen, her Grammy awards, and more.

921 FRANKLIN @ the Library

Friday, December 5, 2014

What does $15,000 buy?

Last winter on behalf of SCC, I applied for a grant. This grant provided money to school libraries that had suffered some sort of natural disaster or fire. We were lucky enough to be awarded $15,000.

But what does $15,000 buy you in an elementary library? Well here's what we got:
  • 465 non-fiction books
  • 192 lower level non-fiction books
  • 71 picture books
  • 101 kindergarten books
  • 122 fiction books
  • 28 graphic novels
These 979 books had a total cost of $14,986.70. This included the books and the library processing needed for the books (labels and computer record)

This brings our current elementary library collection up to 11,363 books, audiobooks, and videos. Which puts us about 700 items over our total collection at the time of the fire. Our collection is bigger, more current, and more tailored to our current needs.

The fire was tragic, but sometimes the glass is still half-full. DFTBA

Monday, December 1, 2014

Books of the Week, Dec 1

High School - The Attack on Pearl Harbor by Tim McNeese

Middle School - A Boy at War by Harry Mazer

Elementary - The Bombing of Pearl Harbor by Joe Dunn

Friday, November 21, 2014

From Physical to Digital

When I was going through high school, doing research papers for my language arts classes, internet resources were few and far between. I remember using the CDs for Encarta, and looking for books and magazines in our school's brand new computer catalog. But searching the internet for information was not second nature to us yet. I was trapped in the physical resources world.

One of my first introductions to online resources was when I took English 101 through UWEC during my senior year of high school. We went to the UWEC library one day and got introduced to the massive database warehouse EBSCOhost. Nearly every magazine, journal, and newspaper at your disposal; wow. Doing full-text searches meant I could stay in my pajamas at 11:30 on a Sunday night and get my research done for the paper I had due Monday. A whole world of digital resources had opened up.

Then, just as I was starting my college career, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) started a service called Badgerlink. Designed to be limited to Wisconsin residents, Badgerlink had access to EBSCOhost, which is a paid service. The site also offered links to various websites that offered excellent information. You could say DPI was curating content on a homemade site the way we can all do now with sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, and many other social networking sites.

So where am I going with all this background. Well, Badgerlink has grown and grown. And today I don't know that our school libraries could have the same level of access to digital resources without the help of Badgerlink.

Badgerlink offers various databases that let WI residents search upwards of 20,000 magazines and newspaper. They offer access to educational video content and royalty free music for student multimedia projects. Plus they offer advice on researching and staff to answer questions about databases and research.

What I'm trying to say is that we are lucky to live in a state that supports and encourages quality resources, not just Googleing.

The physical resources we have are still incredibly valuable, and I don't believe that they will ever go away. There's something to say about buying a book and know that you will always have access to the content it holds. But we live in a digital world, and we need to take advantage of the awesome digital resources we have available.

If you'd like to see a listing of some of the things Badgerlink has to offered along with the digital resources SCC has available for it's students you can CLICK HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Books of the Week, Nov 17

High School - Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

Middle School - The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce: A Pilgrim Boy, Plymouth, 1620 by Ann Rinaldi

Elementary - P Is for Pilgrim: A Thanksgiving Alphabet by Carol Crane

Monday, November 10, 2014

Books of the Week, Nov 10

Elementary - Blizzard!: The Storm That Changed America by Jim Murphy

Middle School - Trapped by Michael Northrop

High School - The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure by Martin W. Sandler

Friday, November 7, 2014

The importance of listening

Listening. Such a simple word, but so hard to actually do. How often have you been talking to someone and uttered the question, "Are you listening to me"? Probably more often then you would like.

Is it a problem with our society, our teaching, our parenting, our students? In my opinion (and just my opinion) it's a problem with our society. We live in a world where the media screams at us every day. News reporters make everything into the "story of the century" and social media emphasizes the tragedies and sensationalism of celebrity and thoughtlessness. Wherever you turn someone is trying to get your attention by being as outlandish as possible.

So what do we do to stop and actually hear the things that are important?

Watch Julian Treasure's TED Talk to get some ideas on how to become a better listener.

And my own personal suggestion - be choosy about the things you are listening to. Do you have the TV on for background all the time? What channel is talking at you? Do you need the radio or some other noise playing at all times? If you are more selective about what sounds you surround yourself with, you're more likely to be more aware of what you are listening to.

Just me thoughts. What are yours?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Books of the Week, Nov 3

High School - Spirit's Princess by Esther Friesner

Middle School - Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Elementary - The Princess and the Pea by Rachel Isadora & Hans Christian Andersen

Monday, October 27, 2014

Books of the Week, Oct 27

Elementary - Double-Dare to be Scared: Another Thirteen Chilling Tales by Robert D. San Souci

Middle School - Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness by Edgar Allan Poe

High School - The Classic Horror Stories by H. P. Lovecraft

Monday, October 20, 2014

Books of the Week, Oct 20

Elementary - You wouldn't want to be a medieval knight! by Fiona MacDonald

Middle School - Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed by Priscilla Galloway

High School - What Life Was Like in the Age of Chivalry

Friday, October 17, 2014

Middle School Book Fair, Oct 20-24

We are book fairing it up here at the middle school next week. The book fair will have tons of great books for our 5th-8th grade readers, plus fun school supplies to make them smile through the day.

When are we open?
Oct 20-24, open all school day.
Oct 21, open during the middle school concerts, 3:30-8pm. Stop by the library!
SHOP ONLINE -- You can shop online from Oct 15 - Nov 4 by clicking HERE.

What books will be there?
You can watch a 16 minute video highlighting some of the books at the fair. The video can be found HERE.

Are there any student contests going on?
Yep! We are holding a coloring contest, and one winner from each grade level will win $25 to spend at the fair. We are also sponsoring locker lottery, where a random winner from each grade level is chosen each day of the week and receives $10 to spend at the fair.

What about classroom teachers? Are they getting books for their classrooms?
Absolutely! Classroom teachers will have the opportunity to choose books on Monday and Tuesday that parents can then purchase for them Tuesday evening before or after the concerts. Profits from the book fair will be used to purchase the remaining books for teachers.

Where do the profits go?
Profits from the fair are used to purchase books for classroom libraries as well as the school library. Some money is also put in a school account to pay for library prizes and events.

If you have other questions about the book fair, please contact me (Amanda Olson) via email or calling the middle school. DFTBA!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Books of the Week, Oct 13

High School - The Center of the Universe: Yep, That Would Be Me by Anita Liberty 

Middle School - Artsy-Fartsy by Karla Oceanak

Elementary - Amelia's Notebook by Marissa Moss

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fiction vs Non-Fiction (Informational)

There has been lots of talk in the education world about teaching more non-fiction (informational) texts. But what is non-fiction (informational) text vs fiction texts? How would you explain it to students? I found this great graphic from "My Adventures Teaching Junior High English" that explains it all.

Now why is there the push to teach more non-fiction (informational) text? The Common Core Standards, which SCC has adopted, says that by 4th grade students should be reading about 50% and by 12th grade they should be reading 70% non-fiction (informational) texts during class to gain information and practice those strategies for reading factual texts.

Now you may have noticed that I have been using "non-fiction (informational)" during this whole post. That is the difference between English-language arts (ELA) world and Library Land. In ELA they say informational text. But in Library Land we use non-fiction. They are one and the same, unless you are getting super picky.

Hopefully that brought back some of your elementary library class lessons and shed some light on the current hot topic. DFTBA!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Books of the Week, Oct 6th

Elementary - The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale -- Eric Haskins feels like everyone is picking on him, but when he discovers a conspiracy theory about a bully book that reveals a framework for gaining power in the school by turning everyone against one kid known as a grunt, Eric finds himself on the trail of huge secrets at Arborland Elementary School.

Middle School - Bullyville by Francine Prose -- After the death of his estranged father in the World Trade Center on September 11th, thirteen-year-old Bart, still struggling with feelings of guilt, sorrow and loss, wins a scholarship to the local preparatory school and encounters a vicious bully whose cruelty compounds the aftermath of the tragedy.

High School - Vicious: True Stories by Teens about Bullying by Hope Vanderberg -- Essays by teens address bullying: physical, verbal, relational, and cyber. These stories will appeal to readers because the cruelty and hurt are unmistakably real--and the reactions of the writers are sometimes cringe-worthy, often admirable, and always believable.

Friday, October 3, 2014

October is Bullying Prevention Month

No matter what age, we have all experienced bullying. We may have been the person who was bullied, being called names or pushed around. We may have been a witness to bullying, as we walk down the hallway or check out social media. Or we may have been the the person who bullied, making an unthinking comment or being intentionally cruel. No matter what or role was, bullying is not okay.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, where we focus on how much bullying can impact an individuals personality and self-esteem. We also focus on other ways we can express ourselves without tearing others down.

Cyber bullying is a growing issue among children and teenagers today. Any technology device can be used to harass and put down others. From social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, to photo messaging sites like Snap Chat and Instagram, to instant (text) messaging and email, plus online gaming, there are hundreds of ways technology can be used to create and spread negative comments.

There are a few things we can do to prevent and deal with cyber bullying:
  1. Be aware of what your children or doing on ANY technology device (computer, phone, tablet, game console)
  2. As parents, establish some rules and guidelines about technology use: when can they use it, who can they talk to, what sorts of things should and shouldn't they be doing online.
  3. Students: Share your passwords with your parents. This will help you stay safe.
  4. TALK! Talk about what is going on online and how to make good choices about online behavior.
If you'd like more information about Anti-Bullying Month or cyber bullying, visit the links below.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Books of the Week, Sept 29

Elementary -  Welcome to Trucktown! by Jon Scieszka
Middle School - How it Works: Cars, Trucks & Bikes by Steve
High School - Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry

Friday, September 26, 2014

Elementary Book Fair, Oct 6-15

Reading is the most important skill you can teach a child. Of all the skills children learn, it is the one you can influence the most.

Our Scholastic Book Fair theme - Sir Readalot’s Castle: Enter the Kingdom of Books! – surrounds students in the celebration of reading with hundreds of fun, engaging, affordable books for them to discover. Giving kids access to good books and the opportunity to choose their own books will motivate them to read more. And like most acquired skills, the more kids practice reading, the better they’ll get.

Reading is vital to every child’s success, and raising kids as readers means getting involved while they’re young. Since there will never be a substitute for a parent’s direct involvement in his/her child’s education, please make plans to visit our Book Fair. Hope to see you there!

Important Info

Book Fair Dates: Oct 6th-Oct 15th at SCC Elementary Library

Shopping Hours: Students should bring money on the day of their library class. Feel free to send a note with your child if they have requirements for their money.
Oct 6
Oct 7
Oct 8
Oct 9
Oct 14
Oct 15
Day 5
Day 6
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Check the library class schedule HERE for your child’s teacher.
The book fair is open on these days from 7:30-3.
It will be closed all other times because of other duties staff need to cover.

Special Events: Open during Parent Teacher Conferences on Oct 13th from noon-8pm. Please consider stopping by during this time with your child.

Online Fair Dates: Oct 1st – Oct 21st   CLICK HERE TO SHOP

We are also running a classroom wish list program, which will be available during conferences. Teachers will pick out books that they would like for their classroom libraries. Please consider supporting our readers by purchasing one of these classroom wish list books.

AND the teachers need your help to win $100 for their classrooms. During conferences make sure you pick up a raffle ticket from your child’s teacher, walk it down to the library, and drop it in our raffle box. At the end of the night we will be choosing a teacher at random for the big prize!

Before you visit the Book Fair, be sure to download the FREE Book Fairs App to help you find the right fit books for your child. For more information, visit: And if you’re all booked up during Book Fair week be sure to visit the Book Fair online at Our Online Fair is available for an extended time from Oct 1st to Oct 21st. These purchases will be shipped to the school after Oct 21st and delivered to classrooms.

Thank you very much and hope to see you there!
Amanda Olson & Connie Mueller

Monday, September 22, 2014

Books of the Week, Sept 22

This week we are highlighting some of the most challenged books across the country in honor of Banned Books Week.

Elementary - The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Middle School - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
High School - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Friday, September 19, 2014

Banned Books Week, Sept 21-27

Next week is Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read. The American Library Association sponsored week, “stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them and the requirement to keep material publicly available so that people can develop their own conclusions and opinions”.

This week in the middle school and high school libraries we will have a display feature some of the books that have been challenged or banned from libraries and schools across the country.

If you’d like more information about banned books week, check out the videos and links below.

Bookmans Does Banned Books (2 min) --
All the books featured in this video have been challenged in a library somewhere in the US. Libraries are often pressured to remove books or redact (black out) parts of books that patrons disagree with.

10 Banned Children Books (3 min) --
Covers 10 children books that are highly challenged or banned around the world.

Bill Moyers on Banned Books Week (3 min) -- 
Really AWESOME overview of what censorship is and what banned books week means. It is last year, so the dates he gives at the end are wrong, but the websites should all still be active.

ALA’s Banned Books Week Website --
Lots of great resources, including lists of challenged/banned books.

ALA’s Frequently Challenged Books Website --
Includes lists of books/authors that challenged. Also includes how ALA tabulates challenges.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Books of the Week, Sept 15

Elementary -- Frankenstein adapted by Dotti Enderle, orginal by Mary Shelley

Middle School -- A Field Guide to Monsters: Googly-eyed Wart Floppers, Shadow-casters, Toe-eaters, and Other Creatures by Johan Olander

High School -- Monsters Caught on Film: Amazing Evidence of Lake Monsters, Bigfoot and Other Strange Beasts by Melvyn Willin

Friday, September 12, 2014

Update on Ebooks and Digital Audiobooks

Big changes have happened over the summer with our digital audiobooks. In previous years our digital audiobooks have been hosted through Catalist. Well, Catalist is no more. All our audiobooks have been moved over onto our FollettShelf, where our ebooks already are.

WOOT WOOT! Everything has been made easier!

There are two ways to access our ebooks or our digital audiobooks at any of the schools.

1.     Use a computer -- Using any computer (or device) with a browser (like Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, etc) you can access the FollettShelf through Destiny.

2.     Use the BryteWave app on your mobile device -- You can install the BryteWave app on any Android or Apple device to access the FollettShelf.
iTunes App Store                   Google Play Store

You can use the guest login or your personal Destiny login in order to access the FollettShelf and read the ebooks or listen to the digital audiobooks. Both logins are available at the library desk.

Help Videos!!! -- There are help videos on this page:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Books of the Week, Sept 8

Elementary -- Wisconsin Badgers by Marty Gitlin

Middle School -- 4th Down and Inches: Concussions and Football's Make-or-Break Moment by Carla McClafferty

High School -- League of Denial by Mark Fainaru-Wada

**Find them at your library!