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Staff Newsletter One


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Staff Newsletter One

  1. 1. The Shelf Bits and Bytes from the Dickens Library Media Center Back-to-School Issue 2009 Vol. 1 Issue 1 Welcome! With our world steadily and quickly moving towards complete digitization, students must be technology-proficient in their learning, research, and time out of school. Otherwise, they will be unable to keep up with the rigors of technology during college and within the working professional world. The school librarian has the opportunity to guide he child so that he or she is aware of the available tools and knows how to properly use them in his or her studies. It is this careful teaching of students about the effective use of technology that aids students in improved academic performance. When library programs are supported by a well-designed curriculum, librarians are able to carefully plan how essential skills are taught to students for maximization of learning opportunities. The classroom teacher and librarian are both responsible for working together to ensure that the importance of the school library is communicated both Just launched!! The new Dickens Elementary School Library Media Center in and out of the stacks so students are learning practical knowledge while web site. Check it out at practicing learning skills for life. PLACE PHOTO HERE, OTHERWISE DELETE BOX D.L. “Dusty” Dickens Elementary School What a school thinks about its Library Media Center 5550 Milan Peak St. North Las Vegas, NV 89081 library is a measure 702.799.3878 – phone of what it feels about 702.799.3871 – fax education. 111 ~ Harold Howe
  2. 2. Collaboration “Effective collaboration with teachers helps to create a vibrant and engaged community of learners, strengthens the whole school program as well as the library media program, and develops support for the school library media program throughout the whole school” (Information Power, 1998, AASL, p. 51). When you have an activity or upcoming lesson or unit that you would like our involvement with, please contact us a week in advance so we can work with you to put together the best resources for students. PLACE PHOTO HERE, OTHERWISE DELETE BOX Hours of Operation We are open extended hours from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. The library program is an extension of the classroom so information skills are taught and learned within the context of the classroom curriculum. Classes are systematically scheduled in the library media center to provide teacher release or preparation time. Students and teachers are able, however, to come to the center throughout the day to use information sources, to read for pleasure, and to meet and work with other students and teachers with previous arrangements. Cooperative planning by the teacher and library media specialist integrates information skills and materials into the classroom curriculum and results in the development of assignments that encourage open inquiry. Circulation Policy The Dickens LMC has developed a circulation policy in order to ensure fair access to information for all parents, students, and faculty patrons. At the Dickens LMC, we strive to fulfill our mission. Kindergarten* 1 book Specifically, we: First Grade 1 -2 books Second Grade 2-3 books • Manage the LMC website, blog, and collaborative wiki, which Third Grade 3-4 books are accessible from Fourth Grade 4-5 books Fifth Grade 5 books • Operate extended hours. *With written parental permission • All materials must be returned prior to future check-outs. • Encourage student presence by sponsoring clubs and other • Materials must be present for renewal. • A parent may check out materials under his or her child’s name. student activities, which enables access to LMC holdings. Library Passes • Further develop and maintain an extensive and current Unless a student is using the LMC with his or her teacher, the student must have collection totaling approximately 12,000 volumes of the most a library pass (student ID card). Students will sign in and out for all media center relevant electronic and traditional fiction, non-fiction, visits unless they are part of a scheduled class. Students must be in the media center (in groups of 2-3 students per teacher) with an instructional purpose professional, and reference materials that effectively (including recreational reading). The media center is not a place for misbehaving represent a variety of reading interests and abilities. students. • Reward students and classroom teachers for timely book Rotating Book Baskets returns. The SLMS will provide classroom teachers with rotating selections of quality AR materials for student use in the classroom. Materials are returned during regularly scheduled library time. If classroom teachers need specially themed • Collaborate with classroom teachers so that information materials, these can be provided with some advance notice by using the literacy and content area skills are not taught out of context. appropriate form on the library media center web site. As long as there is teacher support for keeping track of the books each day (count them before kids dismiss-- tie it to math), and teachers are reminding students how to care for the books as • Run an aggressive multimedia public service campaign to taught, this will work! encourage effective use of the school library media center. • Support each and every reader by promoting a comfortable I have always imagined that space with approachable staff. Paradise will be a kind of • Position ourselves as the core of our school—our goal is for every teacher to need us and every student to want us. library. ~ Jorge Luis Borges 112
  3. 3. How to Get the Most Out of Your School Library Media Specialist To help get things off on a positive spin, here are a few things I’d like you to know about the library, our program and me that can help us both form a great partnership. 1. The librarian doesn’t own the library. You and your students do. You can recommend materials and have a voice in library policy making. Volunteer to become a member of our school’s library advisory committee. PLACE PHOTO HERE, 2. The library should be considered an “intellectual gymnasium.” It’s not a student OTHERWISE DELETE BOX lounge, study hall or baby-sitting service. The students in the library, including the ones you send, should have a reason for being there. Whether for academic purposes or personal use, students should be in the library because they need the library’s resources, not just because they need to be somewhere. 3. The best resource in the library is the librarian. I can help you plan a project, solve a technology problem, find professional research, give insight into an ethical problem, or answer a reference question. And if I can’t do it, I will help you find someone who can. I can help find interlibrary loan materials you need that are not in the school library itself. Helping others gives me a huge sense of satisfaction so please never Meet the Library Media Specialist! hesitate to ask me. My name is Christina Bentheim and I’m looking forward to a 4. Planning is a good thing. Advanced planning with me will greatly increase your and wonderful year with you. This is my 13th year working with students in your students’ chances for success with projects that require information resources. A the classroom, fifth year in CCSD, and my first year at this school. I suspect well-planned research unit or technology project will greatly decrease frustrations for it’s going to be the best yet! everyone involved. With my experience, I can let you know what strategies work and My husband (who is also a teacher at a local school) and I have don’t work. lived in Las Vegas for almost five years and are enjoying the opportunities afforded to us here. Before we came to the desert, we lived in southern 5. Recognize that the library provides access to both print and electronic information. California—Orange County to be exact—just two miles from Disneyland. I can determine which one best suits your and your students’ needs. Students do not We don’t have any children yet, but we do have two little dogs, Mickey always realize that print resources are the best for many purposes. It breaks my heart and Daisy. When I am not preparing for our class, I enjoy reading, writing, to watch a student spend a frustrating hour trying to find the answer to a question on photography, gardening, playing with technology, traveling, and drinking the Internet that could have been answered with a print resource in minutes. caramel frappuccinos from Starbucks. I have a lot of wonderful things planned for this year—and 6. The librarian can be helpful in evaluating the information found on the Internet. can’t wait to get started. One of the greatest challenges of using the Internet is determining whether the facts and opinions found there are credible. I have the training and tools to do just that. Happy reading! And it is my mission to teach students effective evaluation skills as well. Christina A. Bentheim, M.Ed. 7. The librarian can help create assessments for your students’ projects. The findings School Library Media Specialist of research projects presented in electronic form, conclusions drawn from primary Dickens Elementary School resources, and research that calls for higher-level thinking to be demonstrated all call for good authentic assessment tools rather than a simple gut-reaction comments or an objective test. I can help you find examples of these sorts of tools as well as help you create and administer them yourself. Let’s work together to make your students’ learning experiences as meaningful as possible. 8. The librarian can be your technology support center. I’m no technical guru, but I can help you and your students with technology applications. Need to use a scanner or digital camera? I can show you how. Need to create a multimedia presentation? PLACE PHOTO HERE, Let me give you a quick lesson. Looking for effective ways to search the web? Ask me. I’m not a technician, but I can sometimes help locate that kind of help for you as well. OTHERWISE DELETE BOX 9. The library can help your students’ performance on standardized reading tests. Research has proven that children become more adept at reading by extensively practicing reading at or just below grade level. The library contains a wide range of material in print format that students can use to improve reading skills. And I can help match just the right book or magazine with just the right reader. If you need a book talk for your class or help with a student struggling to find something of interest, just say so. You don’t have to burn books 10. The librarian will be your partner when trying new things. It’s been said that some to destroy a culture. Just get teachers during their career teach one year, thirty times. Can you imagine how long those thirty years must have seemed? If you need somebody to share the glory or the shame of a new unit, activity, or methodology, I’m the one. I hope your next thirty people to stop reading them. years will be exciting and gratifying. You’ll be influencing the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of kids in incredibly positive ways. I am here to help you and your students 113 ~ Ray Bradbury do things you can’t do alone.
  4. 4. Month Day Year Insert Headline Here Vol. 1 Issue 1 Where can I learn more about the Dickens LMC? Here are the steps we recommend you take to keep current with our events, activities, learning experiences and other goings-on: experiences, 1. Visit our website at and explore each section. (The Links and Teachers sections specifically have some great stuff for you!) 2. Become a fan of the Dickens Elementary School Library Media Center on Facebook by searching for our name (Dickens Elementary School Library Media Center) at www.facebook.coom. 3. Follow us on Twitter at Our Twitter handle is DickensLMC. . 4. Subscribe to our blog by visiting or simply enter your email address into the appropriate box on our home page at Read previ ious postings and review the documents provided within the posts. n 5. Join our Delicious network for social bookmarks by clicking on the link a the right-hand side of our at home page at or by searching for the DickensLMC at 6. Take about 15 minutes to go through the Dicken LMC Teacher Orientation by visiting ns and clicking on the Teach hers section. Mark Your Calendar … Book Fair: 9/21 – 9/30 Find us on any of these social media websites. Add us to your contacts list so that you can stay updated daily on the goings-on within the Dickens LMC! on Twitter: DickensLMC Flickr: DickensLMC YouTube: Dickens LMC Delicious: Dickens LMC Blogger: DickensLMC Facebook: Dickens Elementary School Library Media Center 114