Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas is coming!

I hope everyone enjoys their holidays! I am having some quiet time before everyone gets up.Today my job is bread baking and a party

Monday, December 19, 2011

Library Book Pass

I got a really nice comment from Stacy over at The LibraryGals. She did the fiction book pass and her students really liked it. Mine do too! I haven't done it in a while- maybe I should think about doing with my fourth grade classes this week- since it will be crazy and the kids will be off the wall.
This article was in the October issue of Library Sparks. I love this magazine- it always has great ideas using excellent books as jumping off points for many activities and lessons.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Battle of the books- Bulletin Board

The bulletin board is full of photos and the blank wall next to it is also full. Still I do not have all the groups up yet. In tomorrow's announcement I will have them deliver this message. Last time I convinced two students who are on a team to read the message, " Check out the Library Bulletin board to see if your team is up there! If not ,please see Mrs. Couture so she can take your team photo!!"

All of the students are looking at the board = even the ones who are not yet on teams. Maybe I will get more teams!!
Does any one else have a good idea for a Battle of the books bulletin board?
Please tell us your idea!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Birthday

Its my birthday.I am Booksamillion with my husband.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Battle of the books- Bulletin Board

Well , my board is up and almost complete. The reason it is not complete is because I still need to take several team photos. I have a lot of teams so I did a really simple slogan: Battle of The Books Teams Then I have photos all around and I will probably have to spill over onto the wall . The students and staff are really excited to see the photos up. I will leave it up until mid January .
I even got a few more teams to sign up when they saw the bulletin board. The students are so funny when they say "Is is to late to sign up?'

Thursday, December 1, 2011

E Books

I had a very enlightening and interesting presentation done yesterday by My Follett Rep. Rick about their ebooks. This company has two kinds : one that can be checked out by a single patron, and the multiple use books that can be viewed by the whole school- all at the same time - for one price. Some of these books are also 'read' to the students while they are following along. I think these will be a bonus to the teachers and students at my school since balanced literacy is being pushed.
He showed me the Follett Shelf which is where the books are located. Also , since we use TLC, the books can also be found and clicked on from our OPAC. This looks so cool!
Check it out: Follett Shelf

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Battle of the books- Bulletin Board

I am getting ready for my December bulletin board. This year I am not going to have a holiday theme, I am going to promote my book reading challenge( Battle of the books) . I have begun taking team pictures and asking for team names. This has garnered some more teams signing up so that is a good thing!
What I will have is a blue or black background , with colorful book cutouts scattered around and them have team photos. I am still thinking of a good slogan.of. I will post it when I think of it.
I will also do a press release with a couple of groups together and send to our school newsletter and maybe the local papers.
We are still hoping to get a teacher and parent team but so far none have come forward. Hopefully we will have at least one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Winner announced!!

Congratulations! The winner of the October Giveaway of Library Lifesavers is Tiff! Please send me your name and address, Tiff at so I can send it out to you.

Giveaway was processed by an independent agency.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

still here!

No I did not forget to write. I have been fighting a cold and the flu. Thats what happens when you work in a school with sick kids.
will be back soon I hope!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Picture Book Month- November

November is Picture Book Month. I found this wonderful site that has interviews of authors and others on why they love picture books. I love picture books too because they offer everyone a quick read and so much can be done with them. Besides reading them to the younger students, they can be used in so many ways with older students. I will try to give you some of my ideas during the month.
Check out this link: PictureBookMonth

What do you do with picture books??

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October Give Away

Time is running out for the Book Give away!! Leave your comments on any blog for entrance into the October Book Giveaway! Follow the Organized librarian for tips on organizing and lesson ideas.
The book giveaway for October is Library Lifesavers: A survival Guide for Stressed Out Librarians!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vera B Williams

Vera's visit was great ! She talked to the 1-3 grade about writing and did a little skit of how a picture book gets published. Then we went upstairs to our library and she held a special audience with the third grade and talked in more detail about her writing. Students asked questions and took notes. Vera read parts of Amber Was Brave, Essie was Smart.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Author Visit Today!

We are having Vera Williams( Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe, Music,Music for Everyone, and more) today at school! I will post some photos here! The students have been hearing her stories and the third grade is getting a special audience with her. It should be great! Tell you more later!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October Give Away

On my very first giveaway I am giving away Library Lifesavers by the Bacon sisters ( Pamela and Tamora) This easy to read book gives many ideas and suggestions for librarians that are stressed out. Chapters in this great book offer tips on getting organized making a weekly action plan, a mail tacking form for voice, snail, and email. The funniest section is on how to avoid interruptions.
They also discuss energy drains, and what's working, what's not working chart. All in all a great source of ideas for school librarians to get their work lives back in order and to get more done without a feeling of being hit by a train wreck.
A great purchase for any librarian who needs to be more in control of his/her work life and after school life. (Amazon Review)

Okay- here's the deal for the Give Away. Leave a comment here about how you would like to be more organized or also just sign up to follow me on my blog and you will be entered into the October Giveaway.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mysteries for October

I am hoping to launch a genre study with my fourth graders on mysteries. I have been collecting ideas and book lists . I would like to do a Mystery Wall and have students write Mysteries they have read in an attempt to get more and more students involved in reading Mystery's. I will keep you posted as to how it goes.
What do others do for a Mystery Study? Leave A comment!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Readers NoteBook

I am going to be creating readers notebooks with my fourth grade class. This follows along with our guided reading program and I want to continue the theme into library class. It should be fun! We will track our reading and our mini lessons and our genres!!
I will use some of the sheets from the guided reading programs and will also create some of my own sheets. The ones I create/adapt I will place here at a later date. One is a mini lesson sheet. I think it will be good for students to see what they have learned and reviewed during library class.
Our first step will be to create our " folders" . We will start with Names and Reading Note Book On the front. I got some cool markers and special scissors that I thing students will enjoy using.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Books- Checking in/ Processing New books

Yes, I am still unpacking books and supplies from my orders this summer. I check in each book and place the vendor and price in the inside cover. Books are stamped and a date due slip placed in back, and they are ready to go. I get most of my books from Follett, and Perma-Bound already processed.
Books from other vendors ( Junior Library guild) I catalog, make labels, stamp , date due slip, and then they are good to go.
Those are my three major jobbers for books and I pretty much just use those three except when I am ordering Reference sources. This simplifies my ordering and processing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fiction book Pass article

My copy of Library Sparks came the other day and yes- my article :"Please Pass the books"was in there!! Naturally I showed everyone and gave a copy to my administrators! I actually had an email from a librarian who wanted to do the book pass with her students. I will post her comment in the comments below.
Did any of you see the article? Leave me a comment about what you think!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ficiton Book Pass Article

This week when you get your Library Sparks , Check out my article about Please pass the Books an article about fiction book passes for elementary students. Can
't wait to see it. There is also an online attachment for the book pass which should also work well. Let me know what you think about this article! Comments are very much appreciated!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of School- but no school!

September 7, 2011
Its our first day with students but school is closed due to flooding.! What a way to start the year.
Any way , at school yesterday and last week. I am putting up posters in a different way and making lots of signage- like labeling my reference section and my magazine and newspaper section . I will also make signs and posters for my library rules and routines and will go them with students when they come for library class or orientation.
Using lots of color - to make areas pop. My library is small and I want it to be inviting for the students. Our other library ( classes run by my aide k-3) is in the historic part of the building so it has beautiful woodwork and a non-working fire place. She always decorates it nicely with posters and lots of signs.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Reading Time

Well I have been reading more than writing. Reading in summer is one of my guilty pleasures! I finished the new Clan of the Cave Bear book- Land of the Painted Caves! I really enjoyed it- I know there were some reviews that didn't think it was as good as the older ones. I for one was just so glad to finally have the rest of the story that I guess I was not that critical of the writing or the characters. More titles to come when I update you on the next three books I have been reading. Any comments- did any one else read this? What are your feelings on this book? I would love to hear about what you are reading!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Inventory Basics-part 2

The next step in inventory is printing out the missing items , and trying to find most of them. In our case, we print out after we scan and look at the lists to see if we have missed scanning a section or maybe the scans did not pick up. Then we go and look for the books and check the titles into the regular circulation program.
At the end of the school year, after we have found and checked in as many as we could, I ran a second printout. This was much shorter but still disturbing as I am sure that not that many books are missing( at least I hope not)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Inventory Basics

Here's what I do for inventory. First - get all ( or as many as I can books back from students and teachers.
Second- read shelves and get books in the right order. This is helpful if your system needs correct shelf order- luckily I can turn my shelf checking off. I know some systems you can choose how specific you want the shelf checking to be- so if you have that advantage do your self a favor and just check so that it picks up the wrong category or at the very least down to the 10's ( a range of 10 off I mean- example : it will beep if there is a 630 book in the 641.5).
Third: Print out a sheet of your different holdings codes. Get your self a pad of paper and decided which you will do first. choose a small section to begin with. Write down date, time, and section you are scanning.
Fourth: Begin scanning. Keep track /mark if you must stop for any reason. Hopefully your scanner will be working better than the one I am using . It doesn't beep for each title- so I must watch the screen. It does however do a loud sound when there is a mistake- being the barcode did not scan or the book is in the wrong holdingscode. More steps to follow. Questions? Does any one have to do inventory the old fashion way- with a shelf list from the Card Catalog?? I hope not!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Inventory time again!

We are in the second day of inventory but it doesn't seem to be going very fast. Both my aide and I are busy scanning but we are also still getting back books. Today I spent a good half hour still printing out overdue sheets from students. Luckily as soon as they got the letters - they brought them back.

But each time we start a new section/holdings-code we are writing down date and time- so when we go to print out items that are missing we will have to enter in the earliest date and time to get accurate records. Anyone else have to do this with your system? I guess it's pretty standard. What's amazing is that there have only been a couple of misfiled or mis-smarked books.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Well it time again to think about inventory! An exhausting time but a necessary task! Start out getting all books ( or as many as you can) back into the library , checked in , and on the shelves.
I try to spend a little time reading shelves putting books in the right order. However, during the year , as I am putting books away , I take some time to check the shelves that I am replacing books on. I figure that if books were taken, there is a likely-hood that some items might be misplaced. In our library( elementary level) we only go beyond one decimal point. This helps me while shelving and also helps the student learn about the DD system without too much aggravation.
Anyway so as I am shelving, I am correcting misfiled books- so it is one time time deal . This seems to work in the library I am presently in. Past libraries, I have begun at the beginning and read the entire collection.
Does anyone have any comments on inventory? tips on reading and shelving and getting books Back? I send out over-dues to students. My staff can keep books that they are using and hopefully bring back what they do not need at the time.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ebooks - free website

I just discovered a great site that has online stories for kids. Its free and has additional resources for teachers, parents, and librarians.

This is a Public Online Children's Book Library for Kids Ages 1-8

Turn a Child on to Reading!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Caldecott Party

Well the Caldecott Challenge and parties are over! Yesterday we had our pizza party and awarded prizes! The Pizza party was given to the class that read the most Caldecott's. We had pizza,apple juice, lemonade, pretzels, and popcorn! The kids danced!
We awarded prizes- the reader who read the most received a goodie bag and a certificate for a $50 savings bond! The other top readers in each class won goodie bags also.What did we put in the bags? Well- books, pencils, erasers, notepads, a reading timer, a tiny flashlight, and a cool reading tee shirt.!

Monday, May 9, 2011

May- Caldecott Challenge Awards

We began our parties for the Caldecott reading challenge. What fun! Last week we held the popcorn party for the class that participated . That means that each student read at least 12 Caldecott books during the challenge period . We had fun ! Does any one else do a Caldecott Reading incentive? What do you do? Can you share ?I will share in another blog!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Battle of the Books - part 3

For Prizes, there is a couple ways you can go. In a past school district, the PTO graciously ordered medals for the first, second, and third place winners. Then we had a big party- everyone that participated was asked to bring a snack or a drink. We would have one grade bring drinks, one grade bring snacks, and one grade could bring sweets or dips depending on the kids. Everyone who read and participated was invited to this party and I handed out certificates, and prizes! The kids had fun and so did we!
In my present school district, we ask local businesses for donations for prizes.
the Local bank provided 5 certificates for a savings bond which is a big deal. We have also free movie tickets, free tubing trips, and free certificates for miniature golf.
A letter is sent at the end of the battle to thank the business for their donations. In the press release for the press and the school newsletter,we of course mention the businesses that provided the prizes!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jacket Flap

I have found a new site that I love to explore. There are interesting tabs for writers and librarians . Great site to find out about great books and authors!
I signed up so I can do reviews and leave comments. Check it out!

Jacket Flap

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Correct Link

Just to get you to the correct link if you want it. Sorry for the missed link.
Battle of the
How many of you have Battle of the Books? Drop a comment and tell about your students reactions to doing the first or second round. Has anyone gone on to more rounds or done district battles? I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Battle of books part 2

When I received the questions from the company, I first look them over and see what the questions look like. Sometimes the questions are very easy and sometimes they are harder. the questions normally really pick out information that the students will have to have read the books in order to answer.
Then I prepare my power point. For each question I use one slide. On the next slide with the same number I type in the title and the author.
Each round I put in 30 questions. It takes about one hour to complete each round.
Students get a 30 second time period to answer the question. Then they write the title and author . In my present school district, students are awarded 5 points for the correct title and 3 points for the correct author. I do not required exact correct spelling for the title and author.

Friday, April 8, 2011

How to do Battle of the Books

Battle of the Books
On April 1st we have our first round of the Battle! The students did well and had fun. We will have 8 teams advancing to the second round which will be held in May.
The date is not yet determined so keep tuned!All students that participated received a certificate and a cool pen or pencil! Keep reading!
Battle of the books is a national competition that students in grades 3-7 compete in a reading challenge. Check here for the link:
This is a low cost way to provide a reading incentive for your students. Purchase the lists and questions from the organization. For prizes you can provide medals or prizes. This year I am getting prizes from businesses in the community.Last year I had a big party for all the readers.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Your Library website

Your Library Website
What should you have on your website? As 21st century librarians we need to have a web presence so that students can use some of your resources even when they are not in the actual school library.This is called your Virtual Library.

Hopefully your library website will link up to your schools webpage. By now you may have your blog up and running. So what else should you have on your site?

It is very important is your a link to your online card catalog. This way students can be in the classroom or at home and be checking out what books or resources you have available.

Another item you will want to have will be your online databases and perhaps also links to your statewide resources online that are available
for students to use. If you have links from your local region ( in NY we have area BOCES which provide for us several great databases for teachers and students to use) .

Do you have selected sites that students use in the computer lab or library? These are also great to have on your site so that students can easily connect to them. Most of ours are under a PortaPortal which I as the librarian maintain. This is an easy site to update any where you have internet service.
What is portaportal? A Portaportal is a free, server based bookmarking utility. Watch here for a link ! Using this helps students get to recommended sites quickly!

Selected Sites to Use for your Virtual Library!
1. check this out. It will give you a tour and help you get started on your blog.

Copyright 2011- No duplication without permission of author.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Battle of the books- round One

Battle of the Books
On April 1st we have our first round of the Battle! The students did well and had fun. We will have 8 teams advancing to the second round which will be held in May.
The date is not yet determined so keep tuned!
All students that participated received a certificate and a cool pen or pencil! Keep reading!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fiction Book pass

My article about Fiction book passes will be published in the October Issue of Library Sparks! I did this same principal using non-fiction books to help students decide on a topic for their reports. MMMMM- another article?? Maybe!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ideas on Professional reading! -

Well this is different- another snow day! Do you keep track of your reading - both professional and for fun? When I read for fun ( I love historical fiction and biographies ) I don't. I just read for pure enjoyment.
However when I do professional reading ( books, journals) I have my notebook with me.I like to jot down ideas that I gleam that I can use , ideas for lessons, quotes that inspire me, ideas for advocacy, or ideas to share with library colleagues or teachers. I can look back in this notebook and make sure I have the quote or idea correct.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Author Visits -part 2

1. Get the students ready! Go on the internet and look at the authors website / or other resources and get information about the author. Talk to the students about the authors life and read them some of the authors books or chapters from the book if is a longer book. Put up posters around the school announcing the arrival , time and date of the author visit. Maybe you could have some of the older students make posters and place them around for you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Author visits - Part I

1. Host an Author visit to your school. Contact your PTO / PTA and see if they can help with funding your author visit. Students love when authors visit! You might also contact your local library to see if you could collaborate with their program director to see if they have funding that might be helpful. We had Lindsay Barrett George. Visit her at
The first steps are: funding and contacting the author. What funds do you have for payment? Parent group- Assembly funds- other funding perhaps from the community?
Make sure you have resources for payment. You may also need to provide accommodations/ transportation so get that in line also.
Contact the author, and make the arrangements. When will he come? You will want to speak with administration before hand to determine what day and time will be appropriate for you author day. You don't want to be in conflict with another program or a testing

Then we start the promotion: What can you do to promote the program. Firstly, the students. Hopefully you will have ( or can borrow) some of the authors works! Then begin to tell and read to the students ( or have them read) some of the authors works. Put up posters or do a bulletin board about your authors visit. If you are allowed outside visitors - contact your local news media and see if you can send a press release or short article for them to publish/ present.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Snow day

We are officially out of snow days at our school - so now we are working on conference days and extra days we had at memorial day. So much for getting back into the swing of school days.
Yesterday was spent finishing up my monthly report where I update the administration about what we have done in the library.
Good News! I will have an article published in Library Sparks in October 2011!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


The Collaboration Handbook by Toni Buzzeo

Toni Buzzeo has done it! . This slim volume is the definitive book that provides LMS’s with the tools to develop steps to collaboration in our schools. Every LMS to wants to begin to collaborate should read this book. Her book is also geared to administrators to show them how they can work with their LMS and teachers to promote collaboration.
The different levels of collaboration of LMS and teachers are first defined. Each level is described and expanded upon in the beginning chapters of the book. Each chapter outlays the level, and provides many find examples of the level of collaboration from schools across the US. The examples will give you ideas of how you can apply collaboration in your school. This is a work book, and there are places that you can write in your ideas, and places where you can evaluate your own levels of collaboration.
I was wishing the copy I read was my own. There were places I wanted to underline, and I wanted to fill in the action plans, the putting it to work charts, the discussion charts, and the tool charts for librarian s and administrators. This book (and some action on your part)will get you into the role of collaborator with your staff.

Check out this website!

Check this out!

Another snow - ice day

I finished reading The collaboration Handbook ( Buzzeo) . Will be posting a review here ( and at Amazon) Watch for it soon!
Looks like our Easter vacation will be gone if this weather continues!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Follow me - you can reach me at theorganizedlibrarian or at twitter at libraryorgtanize.

Snow is Falling

Another snow day !The snow is really coming down! I hope to finish my book and post a review here! I am reading Toni Buzzeo's The Collaboration Handbook. It is extremely interesting .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Day

HI All,
I hope you are enjoying your snow day! What do you like to do? I like to read ( that's a big surprise , right?) . Today I also made some applesauce . Tell me if you like to do a little reading on a snow day and what you like to read!