Sunday, December 13, 2015

Library Centers- Middle School- Survey's

  I am still searching for ideas for Middle school  library centers for my 7th grade classes. I have a few ideas of my own.  One activity I set up was survey.  I had four questions printed up about what they had learned and what activity they had liked.   My first attempt I did as a whole group and then I adjusted it to  a center activity.

  I printed out directions and stuck out post it notes.  On each post it , students were to write the numbers 1 to 4 and answer the questions.  They were supposed to answer in one or two words.   Then they stuck the posts it to the tables.  At the end of the  period, we quickly read most of the responses.

 I am planning to do  more surveys such as this  as a center activity.  The whole group survey was a little chaotic and I did not get  numbered answers,  I was thinking of doing a Family Feud type of thing as a review type of thing  when I do a survey of All the students , but that is for the next time.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Middle School- Library School Centers

    I recently decided to try a few centers and mini lessons in my 7th grade library classes .  So this is what I did- I divided each class into 3 equal groups .   After attendance is taken each period, I go over the three 'centers' or activities.  Instructions are given about each one.
   One is usually at the computers . Six students can go on the computer  which works out good  in all but my 2 biggest classes which have more than 18. Lately the students are learning about library data bases and currently they are using Fact Monster and World Book.

   The other one so far has been a shelf  find it game- this was easy . I just took dewey numbers from the collection  for the non- fiction and then call letters from  the fiction section.  Students use the cards to find  each number .

  The third  group is my mini lesson group- I go over the  a lesson and students work on an activity  that  correlates with the lesson.

  So far it seems to be working pretty good. I will detail more of these  groups at a later date.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Classroom Management-ClassDojo

     I am trying a classroom behavior management program called ClassDojo.  It is an online tool for teachers to track behavior  and work habits.
   The  app can go on your iphone or android and you can  actually add "Points" to students as you teach lessons and they work on activities.  There is also the option to  take away points or give a (-) to those who need more work regarding staying on task, talking out, and  having unacceptable behavior,

     You plug in your students ( I was actually able to do it from School Tool- our  attendance & grading tool for our district.  I am hoping this will work out well- it is up to me to be consistent with it.  Check it out - I will let you know how it works for me.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Inspiration for The Daring School Librarian

 I have been searching for ideas for middle school libraries every since I got this position as a middle school librarian.  I had been a middle school librarian  for 9 years before switching to the elementary level  but a lot has changed since that time.

 One site I have found  is The Daring School Librarian.  It is an awesome site with a lot of content and  great ideas that            has done  on the middle school level.  I am looking at her tech and  lesson ideas and have some solid ideas for lessons and programs.  She has  actual tutorials for her students  that lead them to better understanding of  safe usuage of interent sources, and also a tutorial/ webquest of the steps for

 So if you have not seen this site , I would  greatly suggest you check this out and make it one of your go to places to look!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Middle School Madness- searching for ideas!

 It's October, and here at my ( new) Middle school , I have some real challenges. We have a few voracious readers. But most  students I am finding  do not read or  claim they do not like to read.  So one of my quests is to get these kids to read. Yes teaching skills is Very important!

I am thinking of adapting my book pass lesson to do one for  Middle school. What should I include?  Perhaps  I will include sports books,  and graphic novels.  Since I am targeting both boys and girls I will also include Fantasy, Adventure,  Humor and mystery,

What do you with your students to encourage reading?  PLease leave  some ideas below so we can all  support each other in our quest to motivate middle school students to read.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Shift Happens-2014

I showed this brief youtube video today and we had some really good discussions about technology and how we should us it. I was surprised that some students thought that too much technology was  not good for health and some even said that it was bad.  All in all most classes were good and  took notes on how technology is changing our lives!

  I gave them a list of topics to look for and they were to take  notes.Some found it hard(these are 7th graders)   I also had them thinking about  what careers would require them to know the latest technology.

Look up Do you Know-shift happens 2014- that is the one I used!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

New Position!! New challenges!

   Well I am 3 weeks into my new position of Middle School librarian!  It is more focused than the Library Branch Manger and really more of what I am used to be doing- being in school and working with students.  I have 7th grade fixed classes- 5 a day!! Luckily my predecessor left me with a lot of stuff- she went up to the High school so she is my mentor!  The  women  who was at the high school left her with NOthing! ( that is just plain rude I think)
 So that is why I have not posted recently  but now I am finally getting more settled- am learning how to use School Tools which is a biggie.  I am searching for  7th grade lessons and ideas- so please please if you have any please leave comments  below!    I have started off with reviews of the major items. We are calling the class  Information Literacy so I will plug in a lot of tech stuff also. Please if you have ideas or sites to look at let me know!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I Love Libraries.Org

 ALA has a new public awareness campaign , Libraries Transform.  There will be tips on the site for integrating games, comics and graphic novels into your programs and  your collections,  Check this out and see how you like it!  I am going to see how I can use this in my new position! More later!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

New York Comic Con 2015

ALA will be presenting an exhibiting at New York Comic Con (NYCC) in the Javits Center on October 8-11th.
NYCC is the  east coasts largest  popular culture convention. There you will find the latest  in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, movie's and television.

Visit the NYCC web site to register . A free Professional badge will be given for Thursday October 8th,  A 4 day Professional badge is $40.00. This does not cover any special event  tickets, they must  be purchased separately. Deadline to register is Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

   Every Library is the first national  & political actions committee for libraries   has a new online presence called Vote Libraries.  On this site  is an online gallery  free to use for all public libraries.  There is artwork  and tools for voter outreach ,new high quality Art and design   that is free for all pubic libraries across the country.   Check and see all that they have and how you can use this tool to help you spread the word  to tell the community what your library is all about.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Free Library Lesson!- Dog Loves Books!

Sign up so here so you can get the second lesson that goes along with this one. They will be on the blog for a limited time and then will be put on Teacher PayTeacher ! So sign up to follow The Organized Librarian so you can get the lesson for Free!

 Library Lessons  with Louise  Yates
    Two of Louise Yates’ books , Dog Loves Books – Alfred A Knopf, 2010) and Dog Loves Drawing ( Alfred A Knopf , 2012)  are a great way to introduce students to the love of books and also introduce or review  several library concepts in the early grades.

Main concepts that are learned: What does the Author do?
Discussion Questions   which can be used during or after reading,  Dog Love’s Books.
1. Dog loved books so much he ________________________________________.
2. How did Dog get ready for the opening of his book store?
3. What did Dog do to keep busy while he was waiting for customers?
4.What did Dog do when he got tired of waiting for customers?
5. What happened while Dog was reading?
6. How did Dog know which books to recommend?
7.Dog loves books, but what was even better that just loving books?

Library Vocabulary: Students should know these terms  for this lesson.
Author : person who writes the words in a story.
Illustrator: person who draws the pictures in a story.

Library Lesson  :Beginning-Middle-End
Have a discussion with students about the parts of a story.  This can be an initial lesson or a review type lesson.  Have a talk  about what  students think happened in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end .

In each box below, draw or write what happened in each part of the book  This can also be made into a bigger layout in the landscape format which may make it easier.
Dog Loves Books. ( Louise Yates)




Writing / Creative Activity  Dog Loves Books

  1. Have student work on a small poster and  have them write and draw what they love.  Show them an example  of  what the poster of what they love will look like:

Cody Loves:

2. Book Recommendations: Poster or Paper Size.  
What book would you recommend to a friend or customer  ? Draw a poster or advertisement for a book that  you would recommend if you owned Dogs Book store.
Show students an example with the author, illustration, title , descriptions and picture of their favorite parts of the story.







Thursday, August 13, 2015

National LIbrary Card Month- September

September is National Library Card sign up month.  Now is a good time to start planning how to get the word out to the community members.  They probably do not realize how many resources and programs can be found at their local library!
  September is also a good time to remind parents that the library is a big help to students in their educational life.  Snoopy ( from the Peanuts comic strip) is the promotional characrer this year.  To learn more and get access to some promotional material ( Proclamation, graphics, ect) visit the ALA website.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Free online conference for Teen Librarians

  On Thursday, August 13th, School Library Journal will have a free full day online conference for Teen Librarians.  Topics  will include  programming, and collection development.

  There will be author talks about their current and new titles, and will include a question and answers time for participants.  Focus will also on teen issues and trends, selecting non-fiction , and romance for Ya's/  Also  other topics will be gaming in the library,  and setting up volunteer groups  .  There will be a virtual exhibit hall where you can see publishers newest items.  For more information  and to register visit  Summer Teen Web site.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Book Review- The Siege Winter

   The Siege Winter , Franklin  , Ariana ( William Morrow, 2015)

    The story of England In the 1140's. Emma , a  very young girl,  is abused by a roaming gang of mercenaries.  Gwil finds her  barely alive and will not leave her to die.

 Together , the two make an odd pair.  Emma dressing as a boy, she learns how to hunt and shoot. She becomes expert at the bow.Gwil becomes aware that the gang ( specifically the monk) who abused her, and is searching for her. Emma had a valued possession she grabbed from him as he was abusing her.

  The two end up at Maud's castle and help her army to protect the siege against Maud's caste.
This is a historical mystery that has many twists  to keep you engaged and interested.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What does your library lend?

   While traditionally libraries loan books, cd,s DVDs. and audio books, many libraries offer more non- traditional items to their patrons.   Our library has offered ( in the springtime)  fishing poles and tackle boxes for young people under the age of 16. ( In NY, children under 16 do not need a license)

  Many other libraries  offer: telescopes, microscopes, spinning wheels, seeds, and ebook readers.
In the past I have lived in places where they also loaned art works.

 Is there any thing special that your library  allows to be borrowed??( tools, artifacts, toys, ?)
Comment here! Please leave some ideas below to we can share what other public libraries have to offer!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Babies Need Words

   The Assocation for library Services for Children ( ALSC) has launched  a new campign called Babies Need Words Everyday.  The Campaign kicks off with free resources that offer parents and caregivers fun ways to help improve their  child's language and learning.

    The resources can be customized and printed out. There are posters, booklets, and a media kid which can be printed. There are  also talking points for librarians, and letter templates for letters to the editor and potential community partnerships. Display them in your library, at your children's programs, and in local businesses  and in other public community places.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Victory for School Students & their libraries

   In early July, the Reed- Cochran Amendment was passed by the US Senate.  The Reed - Cochran  Amendment will help save and expand school libraries in every state  in the US.  It will authorize school  districts  to use ESSA  ( Elementary & Secondary Ed. Act)  funds to develop and maintain effective school library programs  with certified librarians at the core of the program.

 The amendment has the backing of the Senate's Health , Education, Labor & Pensions committee.
 The senate voted 98-0 in favor of this bill.

   This win is important , but the work is not over yet. The bill has to be discussed on the Senate floor , then a senate vote and then it goes to  the house.  Then a conference committee will be appointed to resolve disagreements to arrive at a bill that all is in favor of.  Go Libraries!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Review- To Kill a MockingBird

Written in the mid 1950's Go Set a Watchhman is the sequel to to Kill a Mockingbird.    In this novel by Harper Lee, Scout is 26 and returning to Maycombe, Alabama .   She goes back yearly for her 2 week vacation from her job in New York city.

  Jean Louise ( Scout ) returns to find her Father Atticus, and her boy friend Hank (  the boy who  Atticus  took under his wing) , and the town in a bit of  political turmoil.   The negro/ white situation is tense 

  Hank wants to marry Jean Louise, she keeps putting him off. Jean louise  loves Hank but can't see herself living in Maycombe.  Memories  of her childhood ( which are taken from  To Kill A Mockingbird)  keep flooding back. 

  This is a moving story about Scout's journey  into adulthood. The writing is not as polished  as Harper's famous book.Sometimes the transitions  from past to present are not always  easy to discern.  It was hard at times to keep track of where Scout was in time.

  The characters are well developed . The setting helps show the tensions and how the people lived in Maycombe.  

 So this is a story of Scout,  the people who love her, and her hometown.  Without To Kill A Mockingbird this story would   not really make sense.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Professional Development- the easy way

   You can do some professional development and learn a new skill without a lot of traveling by using  This is an online  subscription  that teachers  librarians  through high quality instructional videos taught  by leaders in the library industry .
   There are more than 1,400   training video   in a broad range of subjects : business skills, web design,  and development. You can watch an enitire course or a single tutorial  .Watch as you need  and at your own pace.

  Our system  provides  us access to  this service and I am looking  forward to doing some of my required 3 workshops this year.

Friday, July 17, 2015

E Books For Teens- Summer Reading

Overdrive , which is our suppliers of e books on our library website, is teaming up wiht SYNC to offer two Ya aduio books each week that readers can keep. They will offer a current Ya titles and a classic or a required reading summer title.

  When you sign up for a email or text alert you can be the first to know when the  titles are available to download.

  This year some of the classics are: Great expectations, Dracula, Adventures of Huckleberry Fin , and Around the World in 80 days.  The selections are designed to pair with school  and library reading programs but all ages are sure to love them as well. A toolkit  with posters to promote the program is available on the SYNC website.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

FREE Library Lesson!

This lesson will be here FREE for a short time only and then will be for sale on TeacherPayTeachers. Join here at the Organized librarian to be up to date for the next free lesson! Each one I will place for free before I put on TeacherPayTeachers.  

      Library Lessons With The Midnight Librarian

     The Midnight Librarian by Kazuno Kohara (Roaring Book Press, 2014) is a great read aloud for introducing students in Kindergarten and First Grade to the library.   Use it  at the beginning of the year or any time  to review.  

 Read the story  aloud to the students.   Discussion questions can be asked  at the end 0f the story or at occasions where students can use text and illustration cues to answer the questions.

  1. What do the animals do in the library? ( p3-4)
  2. What was the correct behavior in the reading room? (P5-6)
  3. Was there a hole in the roof?
  4. Was it raining in the library?
  5. Why was the wolf crying?
  6. What jobs did the librarian do in the library?
  7. What jobs did the owl assistants do in the library?
  8. How did the little librarian help the tortoise?
  9. How is the library in the book different from our library?
  10. What do you think are some good library manners ?

Answer key:
  1. read books
  1. Correct behavior- being quiet
  2. NO there was not a hole in the roof.
  3. NO it was not raining
  4. The wolf was crying because the book was sad.
  5. help animals pick a perfect book, put away books
  6. she made him a card so he could borrow books.
  7. answers will vary
  8. Answers will vary: be quiet, put books away,

Word Puzzle - The Midnight Librarian

Word Bank:  Librarian, Instruments, Yawn, Rain, Assistant, Read, borrow

1. Person who helps find the perfect book   L _ _ r_ _  _ _ _

2.what the squirrels played                            I _ _ t _ _ m_ _ _ _

3.Tortoise was allow to  take book                b _  _ _ o _

4.What  the animals did  in the library           r _ _ d

5.One who helped the librarian                     a _ _ i _ _ _ _

6.when the wolf cried                                      r _ _ _

7, owls did after story & fell asleep               y _ _ n

Answer Key

  1. Librarian
  2. Instruments
  3. Borrow
  4. Read
  5. Assistant
  6. Rain
  7. Yawn

Matching ( terms and definitions) The Midnight Librarian

Copy  this page  ( Make several copies)  and  cut apart. Glue onto cards Have two  or three students work together to match terms.  This can be also done during  time when there are students who are finished with book check out or are not checking out books. Make a easy check by  placing on the back  books!  on the cards that go together.

          Place where all  the  books are

           reads you good books
                Library assistants

            lets you borrow books
                Library behavior

            being quiet and respectful

                Library cards

  take a book home and then bring it back.

      Helps put books away
Answer key on back of
place where all the books are - Library               B
library assistant- helps put books away               o  (1)
library behavior- being quiet and respectful      o ( 2)
Librarian- reads  you good books                            k
library cards- lets you borrow books                       s
borrow -take a book home & bring it back            !

The Midnight Librarian

Sequence  Game  : Students can work in pairs to put the following cards or strips of paper in the right order after listening to the story.  After everyone is done,  you can review as a class or have another pair at the table check work.

Animals  come at night to the library to read
The Tortoise can finish his book.

The Little Librarian reads to the owls as they fall asleep.

Little Librarian & her three owl  assistants help find the perfect book.

The Little librarian asks “Please be quiet in the reading room”

The Little Librarian takes the squirrels to the activity room.

The Little Librarian makes the tortoise a  library card.

It starts to rain inside the library.

The little librarians and her assistants read to the wolf.

Bands of squirrels play music looking for a good song.

Other Books Written and Illustrated  by Kazuno Kohara

Here Comes Jack Frost /Roaring Book Press, 2009

Ghosts in the House/ Roaring Book Press,2012

Little Wizard/Pan Macmillan,, 2011

The Haunted House/ Macmillan Children's Books, 2008

Susan Pierce Couture is a career librarian ,  with experience in both public and school libraries.  Currently , she is a branch manager in a public library system.  You can  connect with her at her blog  : TheOrganizedLibrarian.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Career Services At the Public Library

    What kinds of services do you have at your public library for those seeking jobs?  Most libraries have some kind of assistance  for job hunters. At our library , we have  a valuable resource - our computer expert also provides career counseling on a one on one basis. She works with patorns who are looking for  work.
     The other service  she provides  is  she holds two workshops a month. One is on interviewing skills with many tips and hints on how to  have a successful interview.  Her other class is a resume class, where  she walked participants through what a good resume should have.  During these sessions , she also provides  many tips and hints  on being successful in the job hunt today.

  We also have printed information out for job seekers, and our data bases are also very helpful!
We also have computer classes that help patrons get up to speed on their technology skills that may be needed  for many jobs today.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Literacy Calendar

     The New York State Library has a website DayByDayNY for families with young children.  It is part of an early literacy program initiative called Read to Read at New York Libraries.
       The site was designed for use by families across NY State. It has am interactive calendar to help young children develop a love of books and learning that will last a life time.
       Multi media is used to enhance books , songs, and health issues resources. Even just a few minutes a day spent together using this calendar  can  give families quality time that  is both educational and enjoyable!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Why Digital literacy Is Important

  Digital literacy means the ability to locate, evaluate , and use digital information. The ability to recognize what information is needed and when to use it are also important components of digital literacy.   Using a wide range of technologies effectively is also important to the adult community( computer, mobile devices, blogs, twitter, facebook , youtube).
    Without access to the internet , adults can't develop digital literacy. Without digital literacy, patrons will not gain maximum benefit from online resources. Being digital literate will also help adults and seniors procure a job in today's job market.
    Training provided by the public libraries to adult patrons is an important service.  Offering a variety of technology training is key .
   Some public libraries have informal assistance , one on one sessions, formal tech training classes and online training materials. This training help adults  to  have skills to join or rejoin the workforce. Some libraries also provide  access to job databases and job opportunity resources,  There may also be provision for civil service materials.
  Many libraries offer other resources to help them with resumes and interviews. Additionally librarians may have staff to help patrons complete online job applications.
   In providing Digital literacy services and classes , the public library help create a skilled and knowledgeable workforce able to meet the technology of the 21st century.