Happy National Read An eBook Day!

A library staff recently commented that the creation of the District Digital Library  is” the best thing the district has done for libraries ever”.  This extension of the school library has been embraced by students, staffs and District administration. The usage statistics from Overdrive confirm this. In the past 30 days:

  • 13,425 copies have been checked out
      • 11,181 ebooks were checked out
      • 2,257 audiobooks were checked out
      • 97 videos were checked out
  • The top sites in each level were:
    • Mountain View Elementary School -155 checkouts
    • Altona Middle School – 3,758 checkouts
    • Silver Creek High School-  513 checkouts
    • Teachers-772 checkouts
  • At least one title has been checked out by 36 different sites.
  • The top title  checked out is Wonder by R.J.  Palacio.




Resources for National Poetry Month and Holocaust Awareness Month

Both of these events are celebrated in the month of April. Below are some resources to enhance student learning.  

Digital Resources




Alegria de ser tu y yo – complete with Spanish cassette tape – for K-1 or a beginning level Spanish class

All the World and El mundo entero – 2 separate sets – preK – 2

Analyzing & Appreciating Poetry – a dvd for middle & high school

The Beauty of Haiku Poetry – in DVD & VHS for 3rd thru 12th grade

Big Talk: Poems for Four Voices – a book set for 3rd – 8th grade

Bronx Masquerade – for Middle and High School – audio book also available

A Child’s Calendar (also with audio book available!) Grades K – 5

Elementary Poetry Booksets #1 & 2 – 23 assorted titles each set  – 1st – 5th grades

Florian Primary Poetry Set – 18 books of pun and wordplay for K-1

High School Poetry – An assortment of 20+ titles

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices – grades 3 – 5

Love That Dog – Book set for grades 3 – 5

Middle School Poetry – 31 assorted titles

Out of the Dust – Book set for 3rd to 8th grade

Poetry Lounge: Self Expression Through the Spoken Word – DVD – Middle to High school

The Poetry Show – DVD of timeless treasures for K – 3 

Holocaust Resources

Middle & High School level

All But My Life – book set

Anne Frank: Diary Of A Young Girl  – book set, audio book and DVD

Anne Frank Remembered – Books, audio book and VHS

Book Thief, The  – Books and audio book

Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The – Books, audio book and DVD

Devil’s Arithmetic, The – Books, audio book and DVD

Hide and Seek – Books

Life is Beautiful – Disney DVD *requires parental permission (HS)
Miracle at Midnight – Disney DVD
Sarah’s Key – Book Club Set of 10
They Spoke Out: American Voices Against the Holocaust 1938-45  Disney DVD
World War II/Holocaust Assorted Book Set – Contains 6 copies of 7 titles
Italicized titles also appropriate for 4th & 5th grade

St. Vrain Valley School District Digital Library Powered By Overdrive.

The Digital Library Committee is proud to announce the creation and official launch of our new St. Vrain Valley School District Digital Library powered by Overdrive. This process, which started last summer, began with funding from the curriculum department and quickly included instructional technology, media and library staff for library collection guidance and process creation.  After a successful soft launch at the participating Teacher Librarians’ schools (3 middle schools and three high schools) we are ready to launch district-wide.  Official launch is Monday, January 26th, 2015.
This new library offers almost $200,000 worth of eBooks and AudioBooks, including over 22,000 copies for middle and high school students.  Many titles have both an eBook and AudioBook version and several titles have multiple copies.  Our committee dedicated many hours to ensure that the best titles, topics, and authors are available in this digital library and that we are reaching all readers and interests​. More information regarding logging in and promotion will be sent out shortly to building administration and/or media staff. A small collection (approximately 270 titles is available for preschool and elementary students. Titles can be accessed on a variety of devices including IOS devices.  Please see your school library staff for more information.
Happy reading!

New PARCC and CMAS Resources

Media Services has recently new assorted  book sets designed to prepare students for PARCC and CMAS assessments. They are quite popular so please book early.

PARCC 3rd Grade Assorted Book Set

These 13 titles correlate to 3rd Grade English/Language Arts standards for Speaking/Listening and Writing/Language. They will help prepare students with competencies in these areas. The titles included are: The Painting That Wasn’t There, Speak Up!, What is a Folktale?, To Root, To Toot, to Parachute: What is a Verb?, Never Eat Soggy Waffles, Get to the Right Site, Similes and Metaphors, Synonyms and Antonyms, You Let the Cat Out of the Bag!, Deep in the Desert, A Butterfly’s Life, Six Sheep Sip Thick Shakes and A Seed is Sleepy. The average Interest Level for this set is K-6 with an average Reading Level of 3.6.

 PARCC 4th Grade Assorted Book Set

These 12 titles correlate to the 4th Grade English/Language Arts standards for Speaking/Listening and Writing/ Language. They will help prepare students with competencies in these areas. The titles included are: Hurricane Katrina: An Interactive Modern History Adventure, Virtual Maniac: Silly and Serious Poems for Kids, Seth and Savannah Build a Speech, Share It: Using Digital Tools and Media, How to Write an Opinion Piece, Are We There Yet? Using Map Scales, How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear?, The Solar System Through Infographics, Know What to Ask: Forming Great Research Questions, How to Write a Memoir, Ack! There’s a Bug in My Ear (And Other Sayings That Just Aren’t True) and If You Were Alliteration. The average Interest Level for this set is K-6 with an average Reading Level 4.5.

PARCC 5th Grade Assorted Book Set

These 10 titles correlate to the 5th Grade English/Language Arts standards for Speaking/Listening and Writing/ Language. They will help prepare students with competencies in these areas. The titles included are: Present It: Understanding Contexts and Audiences, Plan It: Conducting Short-term and Long- Term Research, Find It: Searching for Information, Cite It: Selecting Credible Sources, Exploring Space Robots, The Solid Truth about States of Matter with Max Axion, Picture Yourself Writing Fiction, Picture Yourself Writing Nonfiction, Your Write It: Graphic Novel, and Speak Up: Communicating Confidently. This set contains titles with copyright dates ranging from 2009- 2014, Interest Levels from 3-8 and an average Reading Level of 6.3.

CMAS-4th Grade Assorted Bookset

These 14 titles will help prepare students with competencies in social studies standards of history, geography, economics and civics. Titles included are: What are Rights and Responsibilities?, How Do Elections Work?, How Do Laws Get Passed?, What Does a Governor Do?, What Does a Mayor Do?, What Does a Senator Do?, Eye on Economics, Why Do We Pay Taxes?, How to Make a Budget?, Colorado: The Centennial State, Examining the Forest Habitats, Managing Money, Find Your Way with Atlases and Consumer Sense. All books have a 3-6 grade Interest Level and the average Reading Level is 4.5.



Algae and Fungi and Spores, Oh My!

I started my evening with a book titled, The Zoo On You. “A color-illustrated overview of creatures that thrive on the human body, including head lice and nits, body lice, burrowing mites, follicle mites, bacteria and fungi, dust mites, ticks, fleas, and bedbugs.” After viewing some lovely photos and reading some delightful summaries we settled on NF HEALTH. Just as everyone stopped itching and squirming, I got to the section with books about other microorganisms. This was a rough section to go through for many reasons. I had to use the internet to define:
I tried to determine which were considered animals or just “animal-like”, plants or just “plant-like”. Some have their own unique classification which actually made it easier since I was able to put them into the generic SCIENCE category.
When I go home I think I will take some Benedril and a shower.

The ones that got away!

Finally ready to get labels for the PICBKS and moving on to reclassifying the Nonfiction, and changing the catalog for Fiction books to the BCS, and CMAS testing is done, I have been informed there are books in Destiny from the Easy collection that are not changed in the catalog. How could that be!? Strangely some migrated from Horizon even though I had them deleted on that system. Others need to be in Database corrections or moved to the correct collection in the BCS so that they are no longer showing in the Easy collection. It is easier to categorize them in BCS in the catalog now than to go through another step in the Dewey system.
I decided to set aside the other work in BCS to work this out so I can get PICBKS done…completely, even though I cannot actually physically change the section in the library because we cannot use the building this summer due to construction. I will fix the ones that got away before I leave the building so that I can be ready to organize the picture books upon my return to the building in August. I can’t wait to see this system in action!

Not Again!!

Tonight, I’m classifying non-fiction.The MARC records have been my frenemy tonight. I’m over thinking books about pink, history, military, disasters.  Are forest fire books environment or disasters? How much history in a book makes it history vs. military?  The Pink book says it’s language arts and geometric constructions. How is that even possible? It’s a book about pink things that little girls love. Holli helps with this- it’s actually a Concepts book in the BCS.   Where does this book about the pony express go? Some libraries have it in the 300s (Social Sciences) others in the 900s (History and Geography). Again, research helps- it’s a History in BCS.

Then, a huge discrepancy raises its ugly head. My Great-Aunt Arizona is classified in different BCS categories in 4 different schools.  After reading summaries and looking at MARC tags, I think this is definitely a biography. It has to go on the “Database Corrections” spreadsheet- it will be interesting to hear the thinking of others when we discuss this.

As I’ve often blogged, the thinking process can be daunting. But I am confident in the key words classifications. I’m certain the students will be able to follow the thinking that led to the placement of different titles. They probably will not even wonder why a title is where it is- it will just make sense to them.


On A Roll!

Just three of us today. It was so quiet and not many struggles with where to reclassify the titles on our respective lists. Midge and I made great progress! She managed nearly 100 non-fiction titles and I got through 30 or so fiction. We’re both delighted with our progress today, but as we have experienced in the past some days things go smoothly and quickly while other days trying to choose where a title should go is a painstaking process of checking Destiny, Mackin, Follett, Amazon, the Library of Congress, etc. followed by a lengthy discussion of where each of us thinks the title best fits. We had few questions and Midge and Holli assure me that once I get to the non-fiction, with the fiction reclassification experience under my belt, things will go more quickly.

I hope this won’t come back to haunt me, but my goal for the summer is to finish all of my fiction titles and find volunteers to help me resticker the books once school has resumed and we have all survived the iPad mini learning curve we’re anticipating.


Digging into Nonfiction

Working on Topics in Curiosities, copying, pasting in different tabs all while hearing a colleague and Holli discussing Bog Bodies is the epitome of multitasking! I want to absorb that conversation as well as making progress on my NF list. Alas, still so new to the NF classification grid, I table the side conversation until I have sufficient knowledge to participate.This is the good thing about meeting weekly, I know that when I get to that topic, we can discuss it again if I need to. Holli could tell us the exact category however, she guides us so that discoveries of the depth of categories can be internalized by us in relation to the conversion grid. This helps to make us more confident in our independent work on the conversion. Still it is hard not to want to jump into discussions on things outside of what I am working on.

Guilty of Over-thinking?

Sometimes the answer is much more obvious than I like to admit. I was definitely guilty of over-thinking tonight. I was zipping along converting my dinosaur books. Most of them went into the same category which includes dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures, when I came upon a book about bog mummies. Gallantly, I searched through the grid pausing upon several categories. I was ready to debate my choice of where to put this title. Should it go into ANIMAL – since humans are after all animals.
Should it go into ANATOMY – since the scientists that discovered them, surely examined them to determine any anatomical abnormalities.
Should it go into the general PEOPLE category – but these remains were most likely not intentionally placed in these bogs for cultural reasons.
I even debated ENERGY – since they would have become a fossil fuel – eventually. Holli found all of this quite amusing and just kept telling me that I was “cold” or that I needed to “keep looking”. Finally, I got to HISTORY – ANCIENT – prehistoric people. Sure, now it seems so obvious!