Lower School Library Annual Report 2013-2014
Ben worked with pre-k teachers on their “transportation” unit, finding materials in both the Lower
School Library and Upper School Library to complement their units. He chose books to support the
Nursery units such as penguins and their literature study as well. Ben consulted with kindergarten
teachers to help choose new materials for their annual unit on insects.
Ben continued to use the work of author and illustrator Tim Egan to complement first grades’ Language
Arts curriculum. Using Egan’s books, the classes explore thematic elements, story structure, characters,
problems and more. In addition, Ben added some new books with student writers as their main
character. He received feedback from the teachers that these types of books help them introduce their
creative writing unit. He hopes to find more books like this to add to the collection.
Ben collaborated with the second grade to create a LibGuide that complements their unit on Kenya.
Previously, the students were given a long list of URL’s for specific sites to visit for their research. Now,
the second grade has a LibGuide that combines all of those websites into a single place. He received
feedback from the teachers and will continue to tweak the site as needed.
Brooke continued to work closely with third to fifth grade teachers this year, adapting projects to meet
the needs of the current students. In third grade, she collaborated with Donna Holmes, Rebecca
Boswell, and Joyce Ball to add more depth to their Biography Study. Both classes came into the library
together to talk about the elements of a biography and the teachers introduced the project. They used
Wangari Matthai as a model. They read 4 picture books about her and discussed the author’s
perspective, and focus of each book. Later, the children came to the library to hear a book talk about a
wide variety of biographies in the library and each student chose a book to use for their presentation.
We have discussed expanding this project in the future with a short research project.
Brooke worked with Anne Stevenson to create a new final research project in her 5th
Grade class. The
students spent four library classes choosing a topic of interest to them. They had to search the library
collection, databases and the web, using Sweet Search 4 Me, to see if there was enough information for
them to do an in-depth study of the subject and create a picture book in the Book Creator app. The
students were really engaged in this project and commented that picking their own topic made the
research process more interesting to them.
Total items checked out: 9,210
Top Grade Level Statistics
Grade Level Total Patrons Average Circs/Patron Total Circulations
1. 03 44 36.86 1,622
2. 05 51 21.78 1,111
3. 02 32 16.50 528
4. 04 46 9.76 449
5. 01 19 18.95 360
9% Grade 2
LS Library Book Checkouts 2013-2014
2013-2014 LS Library Circulation by
Circulations by Patron Type
New Technology Added:
This year we added 4 IPads for catalog access throughout the library. Students have really enjoyed using
the IPads to search our collection. Next fall, we hope to add some additional IPads for self-checkout
We also used various apps on these additional IPads to further their research. Students in the 4th
used a National Geographic bird field guide app for their bird research. Some 5th
Britannica’s Ancient Egypt App for their research on Gods and Goddesses.
This year we rolled out our new platform for downloadable ebooks and audio books called OverDrive.
We began by introducing faculty to the service in the fall and the 4th
graders in the winter.
Students and families primarily downloaded books for the Battle of the Books and Rooster Games. We
will continue to add to our collection next year.
Outreach and Professional Development
American Library Association School Library Conference in Hartford, CT Nov. 2013
MassCue Conference at Patriot’s Stadium October 2013
American Library Association School Library Conference in Hartford, CT. Nov. 2013
Learning Commons Conference at Pingree School. February 2014
Brooke participated in:
Mock Newbery Award Committee: the State-Wide Mock Newbery committee.
Veteran Teachers Evaluation
Librarians Leading Faculty Workshops:
November 2014 Brooke and Ben introduced teachers to how to use OverDrive
(http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=1080997&backurl=/shelf/my) and our new Database
Britannica School and Britannica Image Quest. We also reminded faculty of our TeachingBooks database
Lower School Online databases:
This year we added Britannica School and Britannica Image Quest to our list of databases. Teachers
commented on how useful the Image Quest database is which provides 3 million+ images that are
rights-cleared. Our other databases are: World Book Online, Grolier Online (includes America the
Beautiful and Amazing Animals), EBSCO Searchasaurus, and Teachingbooks.
Other online ebooks (ebooks) Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations, UXL Encyclopedia of World
Biography, Trueflix. We are thinking about purchasing World Book eBooks , a collection non-fiction
ebooks, next year.
We spent a good deal of time this year meeting with Gary Esposito, Jessica Storm-Coyle, and Rebecca
Burlingame, developing plans for our updated library space. We wanted a space that was friendly,
inviting, well-lit and flexible to meet the varied needs of the different age levels and classes that use the
library. To that end, we will be giving over our current office space to be a comfy reading area for
students, creating an even more inviting and open space. New paint, carpet, and easy-to-move
furniture along with new technology, will make the space more beautiful and will, as one of the 5th
graders put it, “create the library of the future”.
We are now in the final phase of preparation for the renovation and have spent four weeks weeding
4,000 books, packing supplies, and moving furniture into storage. We cannot wait to see how the
finished space looks in September!,
On Feb. 6, 2014 95 students from Lincoln School, Sophia Academy and Wheeler/Hamilton Schools
participated in our 11th
annual Rooster Games.
Battle of the Books
On April 10, 2014 121 students from Gordon, Lincoln St. Michael’s , and Wheeler/Hamilton participated
in our 26th
annual Battle of the Books. One of the students in Mrs. Simpson’s class commented “This
was definitely one of the best days of my life!”
Ben and Brooke collaborated with Celebration of Reading chair Kristin Simoens to bring
author/illustrator Laurie Keller to visit Nursery-7th
grade. Laurie’s visit was a huge success and the
feedback from students and faculty was overwhelmingly positive.
Little Women Book Group:
In honor of Wheeler’s 125th
Anniversary, Brooke collaborated with Barbara Simpson to hold a weekly
book discussion this spring. Children in the 4th
grades volunteered to meet over lunch once a
week for 8 weeks to discuss the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Other activities include a trip
to Concord, MA to see the Wheeler and Alcott Homesteads and an after-school viewing of the 1994
movie adaptation of Little Women.
As a department, we created a top 125 list of fiction to help celebrate Wheeler’s 125th
Ben and Brooke also collaborated to create a recommended book list to help celebrate the Lower
School’s first Unity and Diversity day. Ben highlighted several of these titles at the Lower School
Parents and families:
More and more families use the library’s resources before and after school. The most notable increase
in use is in the mornings. We often have 40-50 students gathering in the library and browsing the
collection before school starts.