Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Inklings: Fall Reading Highlights

Welcome back, Scots!
We are off and running with a great year ahead of us. Don’t you love September? Everyone’s energy is up; people are catching up with friends and teachers, new friends are forming connections, 9th graders are making new friends and learning the ropes of high school, and everything just seems so full of good possibilities!

The library has been checking books out like mad. Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay was released the week before school and all of our copies are out (along with the first 2 books of the series.) But if you’re anxious to read any of these books, stop by the circulation desk and get your name on the reserve list.

But there are other great titles for you to consider. Take a look at our virtual bookshelf on this page – over on the right, underneath the database list. Rest your cursor on the cover image and a brief summary will pop-up to give you an idea of the book’s content or storyline.

I really liked Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and she also has written Linger which we just got in. Try Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers if you’re more of a non-fiction person; his books are thought-provoking and often surprising. With the release of the new Julia Roberts' movie of the same name, you might try reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love; movies can be great but the book is always better!

The Evergreen Award nominees are all in. (Well, with the exception of The Hunger Games but see the reserve list comment above.) There are 10 titles to choose from, all very different and all good reads. I just finished Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka – he is hilarious and uber-imaginative.

Popular authors around here are: Jodi Piccoult, Nicholas Sparks, Neil Shusterman, Walter Dean Myers, Chris Crutcher, Anna Godberson, and Sarah Dessen, just to name a few.

I hope you’ll read at least one book this year that stays with you, something that makes you smile or sigh or shiver just a bit. Reading not only provides an escape from our real lives but it introduces us to other lives, other ideas that make us a bit wiser, more compassionate, and empathetic. Read On…..

Choose to be happy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Decade Lip Dub

Don't blink and you will see the library staff as Rosie the Riveter(s) & The Andrew Sisters in Shorecrest's Decade Lip Dub:
While you watch the video you will see boxes show up over different faces and if you move the mouse over the box you will be able to see the character name. It's a pretty cool way to see how many different students (and staff) dressed up as different Pop Culture Characters.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reader of the Week: Ms. Croffut

I love to read historical fiction, fiction, non-fiction, biographies, satire, you name it. I love to read. Unfortunately, I cannot find enough time in a day to do all the reading I would like to, but summertime is just around the corner, and I will be up on my deck reading. I will travel to many new worlds during those moments. I will be introduced to new ways of thinking. I will laugh out loud, cry, smile, have "ah ha moments", and I will reflect. And when I run out of recommended books, I will call on my friend Kate Pankiewicz, librarian extraordinaire, and she will always have a title for me. (And she will for you, too, Shorecrest students and staff!)

I have always loved books. My parents and grandparents loved books, and I was read to from a very early age. My favorite high school English teacher had a big influence on me as well. She had us reading Shirley Jackson's, The Lottery and of course, Lord of the Flies (by William Golding), both rather depressing in my opinion, but a bit more thought provoking than “Archie” comic books.

Mr. Majorowicz recently handed me The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. He has some of his English 9 students reading it. I highly recommend this book!

If you want a get-away, a mini vacation, a respite from the humdrum, pick up a book! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Inklings: Library Mascot

Introducing the new Shorecrest library “mascot”! She is powerful, intelligent, versatile, and vigilant. (Also, apparently near-sighted, hence the glasses.) And best of all, she has literary origins.

Author Garth Nix has written a wonderful fantasy trilogy and the second book in the series is titled Lireal. It is in this book that we find the inspiration for our new mascot.

The main character, a young girl named Lireal, does not appear to have ‘The Sight’ which is the ability to see into people’s minds as well as the future. Most of the women in her world gain ‘the sight’ as youngsters, so without this gift, she has little status in her community. She longs to work in the library where she would be useful, out of sight, and have access to secrets. Lireal is granted her wish and assigned to the library as a third assistant; here she meets Vancelle, chief librarian, who possess a luminous, silver-bladed sword — a symbol of her power and the symbol of all that Lireal lacks. Lireal does uncover
some amazing secrets in the library and in turn, discovers she has gifts far beyond even Vancelle. And is this not a librarian’s hope? That all her students will gain knowledge and skills that surpass her own?

The character of Vancelle takes on a new dimension at the hands of former Shorecrest student, Mr. Patrick “Danger” Hartley, who actually drew the original sketch of the 21st Century Librarian. We are indebted to Patrick for this small legacy.

So we have borrowed Nix’s character (and Patrick’s artwork) to have our own 21st Century Librarian who symbolizes the power that libraries give to everyone – the power of information.

Library Staff wearing mascot tee

And this week, I will sign off with the words: Choose to be happy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Monday Tech Tip!

Every Monday, the library blog will feature a technology shortcut or tip that may make your life a little easier. To kick off this series, the 21st Century Librarian has a suggestion that will save your print card squares and get you greater mileage from the little yellow card!
Many of you are asked to print out your Power Point presentations and often print out a slide-per-page when you can easily print out 2, 3, 4 or more slides per page. Here's how:

  • First, remove whatever background or design you've chosen for your presentation**
  • Next, open your PowerPoint and select 'Print' (but don't hit the PRINT button!!)
  • Look carefully at the print dialog box and click on 'Print What - slides' to see what your other choices are
  • We recommend 3 or 4 per page; 9 slides may be too small for your teacher to read
  • NOW, hit the print button
  • Finally, go back and re-apply your background or design**
Viola! Fewer pages, less print squares, happy students. (**The reason for removing your background before you print is to prevent the very dark backgrounds from using so much toner; it is very expensive and not necessary. Print plain slides for your teacher and show the jazzy slides when you project your project!)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Reader of the Week: Mr. Hegarty

Reading means getting lost, wandering off, and dreaming, quietly thinking about things without distractions. Good with no socks or shoes and your feet up and a cup of tea. (I used to be able to read and listen to music, but that changed long ago.) I think I became a reader because all my older siblings were readers, and my cousins; I think all of us kids read, but not our parents (that’s odd?).

Right now I’m not reading much at all other than magazines (and that’s mostly just the old New Yorkers that have stacked up at home).

Over the last break, though, Mrs. Pankiewicz gave me Marcelo in the Real World (by Francisco X. Stork) which I found I really liked. She knew I had enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (by Mark Haddon) so passed "Marcelo" on to me. Good book.

My all-time-favorites have changed over the years – as a young boy it was The Hobbit (by JRR Tokien), and later, as a teenager, it was Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and everything by Hermann Hesse.

In my twenties I went on a Stephen King binge. In my thirties I discovered John Irving (all time favorite book for sure is A Prayer for Owen Meany) – and now in my forties I seem to read more non-fiction, most recent brilliant gem Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (by Doris Kearns Goodwin). Other great gems of the last few years include Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro, The Graveyard Book (by Neil Gaiman), and Reading in the Dark (by Seamus Deane).  And so many more . . . 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Inklings: Welcome Scots

Welcome to the newly designed Shorecrest Library homepage, the virtual center of your universe! Take a minute to look around the site and get comfortable with where things are now located and what new features you might want to use. The goals for this page are:
  1. to help you find information and resources that will support your classes, 
  2. to let you know about some great books, and 
  3. to maybe spark your interest in some things you’ve never thought of or commented on before. 
A portion of the page will display my blog, “Inklings”. I have lots to say and share about reading and about doing research. I have been reading enthusiastically all of my life (well, that’s not quite true…I got off to a very slow start but I’ll talk about that later.) I think the blog will give me an efficient way to reach more of you with great book suggestions as well as great tips about using technology and finding information. And, of course, I’ll probably have to add some of my own ramblings to the mix.

Reading my blog posts, I know, will be the highlight of your day, but once you’ve done that you may want to look for a book in our library. The search box for the SC library collection is labeled “Find a Book @ SC” – clever, eh?! You can search for a title, some keywords from a title if you can’t remember the whole thing, an author’s last name, or a subject. Your list of hits will show you if we have the book and where it is on the shelf, so be sure to look for that information.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Reader of the Week: Mr. Barker

I read to learn, to be intellectually stimulated, to enjoy a good story. I have always enjoyed reading, but my aunt Priscilla really nurtured my love for books by reading aloud to me and giving me wonderful books for my birthdays. She turned me on to Beatrix Potter and E.B.White as a child, Lloyd Alexander as an early teen, and Tolkein when I was in high school. My all-time favorite author is Gabriel Garcia-Marquez , because he weaves fascinating stories with fanciful sentences and gorgeous words (even in translation). Right now I'm reading Don Quixote (by Miguel Cervantes ), but I think I'm going to put it away because I'm just not bonding with it. Someone once told me that if you subtract your age from 100, that's how many pages you should give a book you're not enjoying before
you decide to bag it. I gave Cervantes double that, just because it's a classic, but I'm moving on to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (by Stieg Larsson ). I want to read it before the movie gets released in the US.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Student Survey: Research

Your input can improve how we help you do your research projects.

Thank you for your time!