Friday, December 7, 2018

Reading Makes Us ALL Winners! (But seriously, who won?)

OMG! I’m so proud of the students and staff at SCC Middle School! Everyone really took on the One School One Book program with a vengeance 1st trimester. Not only did most of the school read Odd, Weird, and Little, but there were also 185 reviews added for the book in Destiny Discover!

So without further ado, it’s time to announce the random winners for 1st trimester chosen from those who wrote a review: Congratulations to Mitchell Toske, Elizabeth Meyers, Curtice Niemeyer, and Eva Spitzmueller! They will each receive a Visa gift card for $50 in the next few weeks. You are awesome! But really we all got read an amazing book, so we are all winners!

For 2nd trimester, we are mixing it up and doing One School One Author! There are 9 titles for the author Laurel Snyder available in Destiny Discover and the library. Students are encouraged to read her books and write a review in Destiny Discover. Why Laurel Snyder you might ask? Well, she is going to visiting SCC in April and I thought it would be good if everyone in the school had read at least one of her books. That way you will know what she is talking about when she visits!

If you have any questions, please just let me know!
~ Ms. Olson ~

Laurel Snyder’s Books for 2nd Trimester 
  • Swan : The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova --- Tells how Anna Pavlova began her journey of becoming a famous prima ballerina. 
  • Charlie & Mouse --- Charlie and Mouse, two young brothers, enjoy a day out together, attending an imaginary party and collecting rocks. 
  • Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy --- Brothers Charlie and Mouse enjoy a special visit from Grumpy. 
  • Bigger Than a Bread Box --- Devastated when her parents separate, twelve-year-old Rebecca must move with her mother from Baltimore to Gran's house in Atlanta, where Rebecca discovers an old breadbox with the power to grant any wish--so long as the wished-for thing fits in the breadbox. 
  • Seven Stories Up --- In 1987, while her mother sits in a Baltimore hotel at the deathbed of a grandmother twelve-year old Annie never knew, Annie travels back fifty years and shares adventures with the lonely girl who will grow up to be her feisty grandmother. 
  • Orphan Island --- A group of orphans wait each year for a boat to arrive on the island, replacing the eldest with the youngest, never to be seen again, as each remaining child child learns what it means to say goodbye to childhood forever. 
  • Any Which Wall --- In the middle of an Iowa cornfield, four children find a magic wa ll that enables them to travel through time and space. 
  • Penny Dreadful --- When her father suddenly quits his job, the almost-ten-year-old , friendless Penny and her neglectful parents leave their privileged life in the city for a ramshackle property in the eccentric town of Thrush Junction, Tennessee. 
  • Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains, or, The Search for a Suitable Princess --- Lucy, a milkmaid, and her best friend Wynston, a reluctant prince, go in search of information about Lucy's missing mother--even though Wynston is supposed to be searching for a proper princess to marry.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Short Story Contest at SCC HS

November is National Novel Writing Month and SCC High Library is going to be running a short story contest to celebrate a month of writing. Most of us would be daunted by having to write 50,000 words in a month, but a short story can be as little as 1,000! So we are going to start out small, and if you get inspired let your writing muscles flex and keep writing until you have a novella or full-length novel!

More Info

Submit your story

Stories are due by Dec 1. If you have questions, please contact Ms. Olson or stop by the library.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Badgerlink is Brilliant

Is it important to you to find the facts about a topic, and not whatever so-and-so says on a website?

Do you want to have be finding credible, factual, authentic sources?

Is it important to you to be efficient with your time and your students to be efficient with theirs?

Do you want to be prepared for anything that the future brings?

Then you need to visit Badgerlink!

BadgerLink is Wisconsin’s online library which provides access to licensed content such as magazines, newspapers, scholarly articles, videos, images, and music. Basically it lets you get to things that normally do not show up in a Google search.

Some of the things you can get to include:
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, which is the oldest English encyclopedia in existence
  • Magazines and journal articles about health, history, science, business, and literature
  • Wisconsin’s newspaper archive
  • National and international newspaper archives
  • Auto repair information
  • Ancestry and genealogy data
  • Learning Express, which includes test prep for the ACT, SAT, ASVAB, and GED as well as skills building resources for ES, MS, and HS in ELA, math, social studies, science, technology, and logic/reasoning.
Any resident of Wisconsin, using a Wisconsin internet service provider, is able to access thousands of Badgerlink resources for free. Just make sure you are going through the Badgerlink website or using the links on the SCC Library’s “Find” page.

If you have questions, stop by the library or email me. Have a great day!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Battle of the Books!

Battle of the Books is a fun way to read great books and compete with classmates in an academic arena. It's all about reading some really great books! And beyond that it can be about battling other schools across the state to see who knows the books the best.

SCC is currently running battle of the books for grades 5-8, using the list and participating in the program from the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA). This group is made up of library media specialists from across Wisconsin, and they support reading in the state by facilitating BoB as well as the Golden Archer Award.

If you’d like to learn more and see the books on this year’s list, visit the SCC Battle of the Books website.

If you have any questions, stop by the library or email Ms. Olson. Have a great day!

Monday, October 8, 2018

NoveList is Neat!

Have you ever finished a great book and wanted to find more just like it? Or struggled to find something that interested you? Do you just like exploring what books are out there? Do you want your students to be exploring and finding great books that they love?

Then you need to visit NoveList!

Through Badgerlink, SCC staff and students have access to two versions of this amazing database that offers read-a-like recommendations, reading lists, and reviews. NoveList K-8 is targeted towards younger students, while NoveList is the full database covering everything from picture books through adult novels. Badgerlink offers the fiction versions, but through the public library system in western Wisconsin you can access NoveList Plus which includes non-fiction books. 

It’s fun to click around and see what books you’ve read and what suggestions NoveList makes for you. It’s also fun to pick a genre and see all the new books you may never have heard of.

Use the links in this message or the links on the library page as these will verify that you are a WI resident and automatically log you in to the Badgerlink resources. If you Google for “NoveList” it will ask you for a username/password which we don’t have!

Need help? – Watch one of these video tutorials.

If you have questions about NoveList, stop by the library or email Ms. Olson!

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Epic Tale of Destiny

Once upon a time, the SCC library housed a magical piece of furniture called a “card catalog”. Filled with hundreds and hundreds of index size cards, anyone could open a drawer, peak inside, and be led to an epic adventure, a heartfelt story, the Mongols, and the president of the United States among many other things. These cards were connections to every book the library owned.
As time passed, this “card catalog” underwent a metamorphosis, losing its paper version and converting itself into a digital “OPAC” system. No one knew what “OPAC” stood for though many tried to determine its origin. “OPAC” allowed library citizens to find the books using a new-fangled invention called a computer. Sadly this could only be done in the confines of the library.
Fortunately change was coming. Just eight short years ago, “OPAC” once again went through a transformation into its current iteration – Destiny.
Destiny allows all library citizens to access library materials, both physical and those that live in the digital world, from any internet connected device. This is an epic and mighty tool to spread knowledge and learning throughout our land.
But even now, Destiny grows and changes. As of the telling of this story there are two variations of Destiny. Both variations allow citizens to search all library resources, though each has its own unique flavor in how it accomplishes such a task.
  • Destiny Classic – The regular library search that our library leader, Ms. Olson, most often uses and expounds the virtues of. This doesn’t look fancy, but has many tools to narrow searching when on a book quest.
  • Destiny Discover – This is an ever changing student and staff interface to search our library.  All of our digital resources such as ebooks and digital audiobooks can be accessed here. Though all resources can be searched for if required. On handheld internet devices (fancy things such as phones and tablets) Destiny Discover allows digital content to be downloaded and read off-line, a mighty tool when in the wilderness or a big yellow bus on the road.
Thus our tale comes to an end, at least for now. We leave library land to the citizens of SCC as they use all the variations of Destiny to access thousands upon thousands of wonderful stories and a plethora of knowledge to lead them through life.
If you seek further assistance in accessing the magical Destiny, please stop by the library or contact our library leader, Ms. Olson at her digital address aolson[@]
We wish you a good day and remind you to DFTBA.

Friday, September 21, 2018

How does the library work?

We've been tackling the question "how does the library work" in the fifth grade since school started. It's a big question and changes depending on the type of library and what age group the library serves. At the middle school there are certain things we expect of our fifth grade students and certain things they now have available to them that they didn't at the elementary. Here's what we've been up to so far!

Week One - I can activate my prior knowledge about libraries.

The first week of library class in 5th grade was all about getting them familiar with the space and answering their questions about what's different about the middle school library. We started with a great game called "I have....Who has..." where they traded questions and answers back and forth around the room reminding themselves of all the things they already knew about the library and all the things they might want to know. They learned about genres, specific rules for the middle school, and who can help them out if they have a question.

We also took a little tour of the book shelves since we have reorganized our fiction section into genres, with all the mystery books together and all the humor books together and so on. Plus I talked about the audiobooks and DVDs we have here at the middle school that are available for students to check out, a brand new experience for these kids!

Week Two - I can find books in Destiny Discover.

Our next library class was about familiarizing themselves with a powerful tool from the library - Destiny Discover! This is our library catalog and allows students to check on their account, to search for library items, and to read our ebooks and listen to our digital audiobooks. Many of the students were familiar with it as the elementary uses the same system, but a refresher is never a bad thing. Plus we talked about how genrifying our fiction section changed the call numbers that appear in Destiny Discover in order to ensure that they knew how to utilize the new system to find books.

Week Three -  I can explore a few library databases.

The most recent thing we have been working on was learning the difference between a search engine and a database. We talked about the what makes a search engine (like Google) different from a library database (like PebbleGo). While I don't know that all of the students got it, at least they have been exposed to the idea, which we will certainly spiral back to throughout the year.  They even got to try out three databases we have available - PebbleGo Next, TrueFlix, and Britannica.

If you want to know more...

I'm all about sharing my work with the library community and parents, so if you would like to see more detailed lessons, slideshows, and videos used in fifth grade library, feel free to visit my Lesson Plans and Links document for 2018-19. And if you have any questions, let me know!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

New Books to Start to the School Year!

A new school year means new books to check out, read, and relish in. Below you'll find some of the new books that I purchased for our students and staff to grow academically and personally. Enjoy!


Middle School:

High School:

Friday, September 7, 2018

8 Questions about SCC's Libraries

Welcome to the start of another great year at SCC! I'm excited to say there have been some changes and updates to the libraries in the district, but that will have to wait for another post. In this post I wanted to answer some frequently asked questions about how the libraries at SCC work.

How many books can students check out?
Elementary students in K-3 can check out 3 books. Students in 4th grade can check out 4 books.
Middle school and high school students can check out 5 items from the library and 3 digital items.

How long can students keep books?
At the elementary we run classes on a 6 day cycle, so students have library every 6 school days. They can have books for up to 12 school days and then we ask that they be returned.
At the middle school and high school all items are available for 15 school days.
Students also have the option to renew books and items one time, doubling the number of days.

How do students find out what the library has?
Students can use Destiny Discover to search our library and see if we have the book, audiobook, or DVD they are looking for.

How do students read SCC's ebooks? How do students listen to the digital audiobooks?
Destiny Discover houses our ebook and digital audiobook collections. They can search for and read these items on any internet connected device with a browser. In order to read/listen students in grades 4-12 can use their individual login, and students in 4K-3 can use the guest login. You can stop by the library and find out what these logins are anytime.

When can students come to the library?
Elementary students in K-1 have a scheduled check out time every 3 days to trade books. Students in 2-4 will have a check out time during their regular library class every 6 days.
Middle school and high school students can stop by the library before school, after school, during the day with their teacher's permission, or in the case of the 5th grade during their library class.

Do you accept suggestions of things to buy?
YES! You can find a fill out the Google Form for the middle school or high school to make a suggestion of something you would like to see available in the library.

Are there other online resources available from the library?
YES! We have a lot of databases and links to great websites that students, staff, and families can use. You can find these resources by vising the library page for your building and clicking one of the blue buttons (Find, Read, Create, How-To).
     - Elementary Library Media Center Webpage
     - Middle School Library Media Center Webpage
     - High School Library Media Center Webpage

What's the deal with fines?
We don't collect overdue fines in any building; we only collect fines for lost or damaged items. If students have a fine from last year they will not be able to check out any books until that fine is paid or the book is returned. We encourage students and families to pay for the book, and then if it happens to be found within 90 days we will issue a refund. Anyone who struggles with financial difficulties can let us know and we will work out something on a case-by-case basis.

Those are the big questions we get most often. If you have other questions, please leave a comment and we will get back to you.

Thanks and DFTBA!
~Ms. Olson~

Friday, June 1, 2018

State of the Library

The library we have today is ever growing and changing. It's not the library of old where students were absolutely silent and books were the only resource. Today's library is evolving into a learning space where students are encouraged to pursue knowledge and develop skills that excites them about the world. Though paper books are still prevalent, we have expanded our collections to include ebooks, playaway audiobooks, digital audiobooks, DVDs, documentaries, and magazines that spark the imagination.

While there is much to say anecdotally about what occurs in the library, hard and fast numbers are much easier for quick consumption by the masses.

In the 2017-18 school year:
  • The elementary circulated 35,814 items to K-4 students
  • The middle school circulated 15,864 items, both physical and digital, to students in 5-8.
  • The high school circulation was down a bit this year, but still had a solid 1,963 physical and digital items circulated.
  • Nine databases were purchased for students and staff to use this year. They included: TrueFlix, FreedomFlix, ScienceFlix, BookFlix, TumbleBooks, PebbleGo, PebbleGo Next, CultureGrams, and Discovery Education.
  • Across the district, our ebook collection topped 3,149 titles available with our digital audiobooks coming in at 900 titles available. Students and staff can use these on their Chromebooks and personal devices 24-7-365.
  • Students in grades 5-8 participated in the One School One Book program, where the whole school was invited to read a chosen book each quarter and discuss it with their peers. Dozens of students expended their reading with non-fiction, graphic novels, and great stories.
  • The book fairs held at the elementary and middle schools where huge successes, showing that the SCC community cares about promoting literacy at home and at school. All total we were able to get over 4,000 books into the hands of students, and raise almost $10,000 for the library programs at SCC!
  • The $56,564 that was allocated to SCC by Wisconsin's common school fund helped purchase books, ebooks, playaway audiobooks, digital audiobooks, DVDs, and maker space equipment, all of which are available to all students and staff to support learning. (Learn more about the common school fund)
What does the future hold?

I believe that the middle and high schools will continue to see increased use of the ebook and digital audiobook collections with the continued use of Chromebooks, but also because many students also have a mobile device that supports the Destiny Discover app.

I believe that the elementary will always have strong circulation based on the a nature of the learning taking place there. Our only struggle at this level is the lack of time for library classes; students are often finished with books before their next library class comes around in the rotation. However, the growth in student population with a stagnant staff growth means that our schedules will just not allow any more library time. 

I believe that the inclusion of more creation stations in the library will transform the library into a true learning and creation space. The green screen video recording areas that have been set up at the middle and high school libraries have seen much use this year, which I can only anticipate will grow as students and staff create more projects to utilize the technology. The implementation  of WIN time at the middle school has allowed us to offer makerspace projects for students to partake in; these allow for creativity and learning opportunities not available within the standards curricular areas. And finally at the high school a slight redesign was done to include some amazing flexible seating options, collaborative work stations, and a quiet room for students to work. Amazing things happening all over the district!

Another resource in our libraries that makes a huge difference to student learning is our staff. Myself along with three full-time library paraprofessionals offer students support within the library but also reach out and collaborate with teachers to infuse library skills and information & technology literacy standards throughout their day. The new standards approved by DPI in November have proven very valuable for refocusing our learning priorities for students.

The library is growing and changing, and we are growing and changing with it. I appreciate all the support the SCC community gives to us by making purchases at our book fairs, by donating books and supplies when we need them, by supporting literacy with our students, and by being the amazing people you are. 

If you have any questions about the data presented or would like more information on plans for the library, please contact me at aolson[at]

DFTBA and have a great summer!