Welcome Back to School!!
I am so looking forward to seeing all our students again, and meeting all the new students we have at Blessed Sacrament!
Please remember that all summer checkouts must be returned before new books can be checked out this school year. Fines will begin to accrue on Monday, August 21, for overdue books checked out over the summer.
Remember, September 19 is National Talk Like a Pirate Day! This is a day we honor here at the library! Well, Mrs. Seiwert does. Mrs Loyle--not so much.
This is shaping up to be a great school year, and I am excited!
Because our circulation is online now, you and your student have the opportunity to access our card catalog in your pajamas! You can see what books we own, what is checked out, even what is checked out to your student!
Intermediate students have been learning how to logon and access their records this past week. If you have any questions about logging on and checking your child's checkouts, please call me here. I am happy to answer any questions you might have as I am able to do so.
The web address to check on books is : www.bscs.follettdestiny.com
The website to check for AR quizzes is: www.arbookfind.com
I just found out that we can request quizzes be made for books that do not have quizzes already written. Please do so for any book that is not a new publication. Newly-released books, especially series books, will have a quiz written and published within about 10 days from the release date. Suggestions for older books are encouraged (by us!).
OK, I am ready for school to begin!! What? It began 3 weeks ago?
I completed an inventory of all the books we have in the library, which put me behind my regular summer duties, and consequently, put me behind being ready for school. But now I am ready!
Parents, very soon I will be teaching your intermediate students how to access the card catalog and their own accounts. Please use these accounts to check their logouts, overdue books, etc.
Please, Please, PLEASE do not attempt repairs on a book that is injured while in your student's care. There are special things we do to repair AND preserve the book. Scotch tape is dreadful for their preservation.
If a book is lost, please do not buy a book to replace it. Unless a book comes to us for free from a donation or Scholastic, we buy our books from library providers who provide a sturdier book that will stand up to multiple circulations. Books from Barnes and Noble are fine for your bookshelf, but not ours. You probably don't have 1 dozen students wanting to read that book. You might read that book two or three times. We need more rugged books.
Please make sure your student reads at least 20 minutes a night, even on weekends. This is such an important part of your child's education, and we have so many for whom reading is not a priority.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have this year regarding your student's library access or books.
Here are the requirements and rewards for the end-of-the year parties for all our FANTASTIC readers:
Tuesday, May 17
Grades K-5 – 100 Points: Ice Cream Party
Grades 6-8 – 150 Points: Ice Cream Party
Thursday, May 19
Grades K-5 – 200 Points: Movie and Popcorn in the Library
Grades 6-8 – 300 Points: Movie and Popcorn in the Library
Tuesday, May 24
Grades K-5 – 400 Points: Lunch at Golden Corral
Grades 6-8 – 500 Points: Lunch at Golden Corral
Everyone who qualifies for the ice cream party is eligible to attend. Everyone eligible for the other two activities must choose one to attend. In other words, any 5th grader with 425 points attends the ice cream party and either the Movie or Golden Corral, but not both the Movie and Golden Corral.
Are you familiar with the social media site Goodreads? I have an account, mostly so I can keep track of all the books I read. (I read a lot of books!) However, if you explore the site, you can find list upon list upon list of books for every age, interest, reading level, and I could go on.
Have you ever gone to the Scholastic website? They have lists of books engineered to reading levels and age levels. Although everything on those lists is generally appropriate, I don't care for the writing of some of these books. Bad habits are hard to unlearn!
Have you ever Googled "Reading lists for 4th-grade boys"? So many websites with so many great suggestions; one hardly knows where to begin!
Have you ever visited our library? Or the children's room of the public library? So many books!! We have a 4-inch binder of reading lists for age/grade levels.
My point is, if your child is not reading because s/he can't find a book s/he likes, s/he isn't trying very hard.
I really cannot say this often enough. According to the Renaissance Learning website, which is more commonly known at this school as "AR", our students are reading only an AVERAGE of 19 minutes per day. I know that some of our students are reading for over an hour every evening (some tell me that they sneak and read after they go to bed, and their parents don't know! Wink! Wink! Very secretly, I am happy they are disobeying their parents!!!). Those students raise the average. While that looks good for our school statistically, it does not help those students who are not reading. Every. Single. Day.
Please model reading in your home. I know you are tired. I know you are over-scheduled. I know dinner is important. So is reading. Read in front of your children. Read to them. Read with them. It is important.
We have our Book Fair coming up (thank you again, Gigi Phares!!) at the end of this month. Please find a book that you will read by yourself, as well as a book you can read with your children. It truly is a win-win situation.
BANNED BOOKS WEEK
The American Library Association’s stand on censorship reads as follows: “The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.” (http://www.ala.org/bbooks/about.) However, that statement flies in the face of our job here are Blessed Sacrament Library. Our job here is to help students to read better, and that means restricting books. There are no arguments when a student is directed from a book that is too easily read to a more challenging book, but on occasion, I have to steer students into reading books that are under the top range of their reading level because of content. Do I have any doubt that some of our 3rd- or 4th-graders can read all the words in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer? No, of course we have some who can read it. Do they have the life experience to understand the richness of the book? Again, the answer is no. So as librarians, our job is to weigh a book against the individual student.
I personally encourage every student to read everything that they can understand. That doesn’t mean that I will provide all books to that child. I LOVE the Captain Underpants series, but was told that it was inappropriate for our library. Some books whose lack of content combined with formulaic writing and sometimes even downright poor grammar are simply not worth the dollars of our small budget. So when I look at the collection at the top of the stairs, I am rather proud of most of the books. We do well with the money we spend on books.
Back to banned books, we have several in our collection that have been banned or challenged. Of the most challenged books of the last decade, here are the ones we own and circulate:
Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
The Fighting Ground, by Avi
Blubber, by Judy Blume
The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
During Banned Books Week, September 28 – October 3, encourage your student to read one of the challenged books we have, or check out the full list and go to the public library and pick one up. Read one yourself. I am going to have a cup of coffee (or several) and read Of Mice and Men, which I have never been forced to read, and am now ready to do so. I think I will enjoy it.
Welcome Back to School!