Friday, June 15, 2018

SRCS summer school: tracking students’ use of books

Made use of my experience as an IMT/Library Tech this week, on behalf of Santa Rosa City Schools’ “summer school.” I logged students’ checking out English-lit books as well as the books’ movement between classrooms.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

‘Cats vs. Robots’ by Margaret Stohl

Book cover, Cats vs. Robots, This is War, by Margaret Stohl and Lewis Peterson. Image depicts two cats, positioned above the title letters, looking down at a robot that's beneath the lettering. The robot brandishes claw-like appendages and glares at the cats.
Learned this morning in an email that I’d won a Goodreads Giveaway of Margaret Stohl and Lewis Peterson’s Cats vs. Robots #1, This is War.

My initial impression of this book, when I enrolled in the giveaway, was that it combined my favorite animal, the cat, with an application of STEAM principles (That’s Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. As I understand it, educators incorporate STEAM in education to prepare children to live and work in an increasingly technological society.)

Well, my intention with any children’s book giveaway that I won was to place the book, once I'd read it, into my school library. And for its emphasis on STEAM, plus seeming a really fun read, I thought this book would be an especially good fit. I’m looking forward to receiving this book and, most especially, to reading it.

Friday, June 8, 2018

‘Little Free Library’ at Montgomery High School

Cabinet of books, mounted outdoors on a post and designed to look like a little building. The cabinet has red siding and a roof covered with green shingling. Through glass doors that are framed in white-painted wood, two shelves of books are visible.

I encountered this Little Free Library on Thursday, while at Montgomery High School. (I’m working there this summer for high-school credit recovery, offered by Santa Rosa City Schools.)

I love the community book-exchanges that little boxes like this facilitate — and seeing this little library brought an article to mind, which I’d read in the Press Democrat: several lending libraries are “sprouting up” in the area as part of recovery from last October's wildfires.

Students from MHS and other local high schools were involved in building the libraries. Construction was financed by United Way Women United and the Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation Sonoma County, along with help from sponsors.

The PD article states, the project gave students “real-world experience working with clients,” and quotes Jared McGee, an MHS sophomore who aspires to be an architect:

“‘It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. … All the kids affected (by the fires) and the people affected can give back to the community and give books to the library and take books out if they need it. It was a really good feeling to give something to a community that was hurt.’”

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Summer Reading at Sonoma County Library

Blue fliers and a white folded brochure promoting Summer Reading activities at Sonoma County Library

School is out, and Summer Reading begins tomorrow at Sonoma County Library. Kathy DeWeese with SCL brought brochures and fliers to me in the library at Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts; I distributed them to homeroom teachers to send home with their students.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

‘Piecing Me Together’ by Renée Watson

Jade has been awarded a place in a program that pairs young Black girls with older mentors.

The program includes a college scholarship if Jade successfully completes the program; this opportunity is the overwhelming factor that convinces Jade to join — because what Jade really wants, what she desperately seeks, is the type of opportunity that allows her to help other people.

“Why am I only seen as someone who needs and not someone who can give?” This question, posed by Jade, is at the heart of Piecing Me Together.

Renée Watson’s book is among recent winners and honorees of the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards. It was named an Honor Book for the John Newbery Medal, and it was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award.

There’s been an undercurrent involving art among the award winners I’ve been reading. In Piecing Me Together, the artistic medium is collage. As a person who enjoys exploring artistic media, I appreciated this dimension to the story.