Thursday, September 8, 2016

2016-2017 Begins With a New Partnership

Cross posted from and co-authored by Jackie Whiting

Ms. Whiting and Ms. Luhtala

We can't start the new year's news without an important introduction. We warmly welcome Jackie Whiting to our library team. Yes, we look very similar. No, it was not planned. Yes, we share many other similarities. Our daughters, for instance, are both named Emma. We seem to make daily doppelgänger discoveries, most of which center around teaching and learning. We are having lots of fun, and it seems as though students are having fun too. Today, one student asked, "How did you get your sister to become the other librarian?" Just for the record, we are not related. 👯

Collaborative work stations
The first update is always a big update because so much changes over the summer. In order to further increase the flexible use of the library space by students, during the summer months we removed some freestanding shelves and streamlined the print collection. We added much needed power and data drops to the makerspace. To the lower library we added collaborative work stations (where students can project from their devices to large monitors and work in small teams), and we repurposed what used to be called Computer Lab B (AKA, Lab B) into ColLaB - a versatile classroom in the library soon to be equipped with mobile furniture adaptable to the many ways teachers teach and students learn. We are still waiting on a few deliveries, and we will post updated photos in our next bulletin.

EasyBib, our online citation generator, was sunsetted this summer, and we replaced it with Noodletools. The Modern Language Association also released its new MLA 8 Citation Manual last spring, so students and teachers alike will be adapting to new research documentation guidelines this year. Our first tutorial will be released shortly on our YouTube channel.

We introduced our incoming freshmen to NCHS Library services through a slide show this year. It follows:

Helpful insert in the planner
Helpful library information, including passwords for the database page and the databases themselves is posted to page 51 of the NCHS Planner, which was distributed to students on their first day of school. Unfortunately, the library phone number is missing a character. The correct number is (615) 669-6670. Students are invited to text their research questions to the library.

We expanded our digital collection to align with our learning community's increased computing capacity. We have many new
  • eBooks
  • audiobooks
  • eMagazines
  • databases
Author celebrates SWVBC on Twitter
We held our first Somewhat Virtual Book Club (#swvbc)meeting on September 7th. We met, virtually, with students in South Carolina, and a school librarian from California to share our favorite summer reads. Next month's book is Some Boys by Patty Blount, and the author has already agreed to join us. Our club seeks new members. We meet on the first Wednesday of the month at 6PM in the high school library.

Speaking of summer reading, the high school's library books are trickling back from New Canaan Library, and they will be featured in the special Vide Collection at the circulation desk all year. It is never too late to delve in to summer reading!

NCHS students love their school library. On Tuesday, we counted 225 students during period three. There are many ways to learn in the library, ranging from quiet study in the carrels to active, hands on learning in the makerspace. Students can earn school credit for their library involvement. We are working with the counseling department to increase student awareness of programs such as Techxperts, and MakerMajors, where students can develop leadership skills while learning.

While the library has a long history of circulating chargers and adapters for student-owned equipment, it will have to scale back those services this year. Students are expected to bring their own chargers to school.

On the third day of school we facilitated our first round of booktalks with Ms. Henrberg's students. Here is a list of what circulated as a result of those library visits. We launched other research projects including, a Global History II project, several current events units (seniors and sophomores), and the junior research paper - all in the first week of classes. Science classes also visited the makerspace to create 3D name placards to use in class.

Tech Tips of the week:

  • Mac users: Protect your AirDrop! Restrict its visibility from the public. 
  • Aviary edits photos on smartphones
  • Trello is a useful group project management tool

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