2019: Week 11

This was our first week back from Spring Break, and while I could have used some warmer temperatures (seriously – where are you spring???), it was a great week in the library.

magical realism post

The big project this week comes from the 10th grade English classes, who are studying magical realism as part of their global literature curriculum.  We got to help kids find novels or collections of short stories from the genre, which they will use as part of their larger research project.  I think it’s going to blow some of their minds; magical realism is (to me) one of the most challenging, but interesting, genres since what’s real is always in question.  I did realize, though, that we have a couple of gaps in our collection, even though we purchased a number of titles for this project.  In particular, one comment from a student sticks out in my mind – “I just want short stories by an Asian author.” We’ve got Haruki Murakami, but that’s it – and his were checked out when her class came.  So I’m on a hunt now.

Other highlights of the weekend included daily library trivia, which has taken off in popularity. Questions this week included “What actor portrayed James Bond in the first movie?” and “What country was the first to use paper money?” I also got to help with a session at the AIMS Diversity Conference on elevating underrepresented voices using primary sources and literature. AND I was able to talk with the amazing librarians at the Key School in Annapolis about the work they do around diversity in their libraries. They’ve got a great thing going there.



2019: Week 10

This is our last week of school before spring break, and the weather has turned a bit warmer, so everyone can see the light at the end of the winter tunnel. My brain is officially ready for vacation, so I’m just going to give a bullet list for this week’s activities.

  • Helped 9th graders find books to read over Spring Break
  • Gave book talks to our 4 awesome 6th grade English classes
  • Had a library lunch staff meeting
  • Supervised for middle school lunch cleanup (now THAT is fun times)
  • Hosted a board game playing enrichment for the upper school
  • Met with 6th grade book club for The Hunger Games
  • Presented to middle school about upcoming author visit (Steve Sheinkin!)
  • More stuff but my brain isn’t cooperating

We will be back in April.  Happy Friday!!!!

2019: Week 9

It’s Friday!!! This week has gone by so quickly. We started off Monday by helping our lower school librarian take the 3rd graders to the public library. They were ADORABLE.  Oh my gosh – they are just so excited about everything! I love it! Every kid left with a library card if they didn’t have one before and the love for reading was real.  (I left with four books, including one where the main characters are pugs.  I am so excited for reading this weekend.)

Tuesday my coworker and I prepped for our Book Tastings presentation, which we gave to faculty and staff Wednesday morning.  Our upper school guidance counselor has since asked about doing a book tasting around mental health, which I am so on board for. We also floated the idea of doing an end of year book tasting for adults, so people can get something to read over the summer (when there is finally time!).

Wednesday afternoon I headed up to the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore to talk about a presentation we are giving together at the upcoming AIMS diversity conference.  That place is really cool! They have so many primary sources and artifacts of Maryland history, and their Civil Rights program is robust.  I think it would be a great field trip for our 7th and/or 11th graders to take as they study the history of the United States. I also had my post, Riverdale Reads, published over at The Hub. (Rest in peace Luke Perry. So sad.)

Thursday we met with our three Battle of the Books teams to make sure everyone was on track with their reading and got any books they needed for over spring break. I also found out that the ALA annual conference is happening in DC this summer, and checked out the sessions.  There are a ton of really good ones, plus George Takei and Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone) will be speaking, so I’m crossing my fingers there will be the budget for me to attend.

Today I’m going to try and read some historical fiction to prepare for 6th grade book talks next week, and just enjoy the fact that reading is a legitimate part of doing my job.  I get to cap off the week with a baby shower for a coworker this afternoon, which of course, means giving books. Perfect ending to good week.

Happy Friday all!


I am in love with the concept of instabook pictures, and I wanted to create some for our library.  Not having much in the way of photography skills myself, I enlisted our 7th and 8th grade photography elective to help us out.  Thank you to their teacher, Ms. Josey, who enthusiastically jumped on board with the idea.  Here are some of their creations!

2019: Week 8

Does this mean it’s been two months??  Yep! It’s March 1st today.  Bye February.

So let’s do this week’s highlights.

Teaching research to freshmen. Writing a blog post for The Hub. Cataloging over 100 new books. Processing all those books. Making a presentation to the future boss.  Teaching a lesson on bias to 7th/8th graders. Creating a presentation on running book tastings and the importance of choice in reading for students. Finding books for student research projects.  Helping a teacher with an article for his Econ class. Hanging out with kids at the front desk. Playing The Beatles on Alexa because it just seemed like that kind of day.

Good week.





2019 : (Belated) Week 7

Last week was a blur.  Monday we had off (goooooo presidents!), Tuesday was business as usual, Wednesday we had off (gooooooo snow days!), Thursday was our public library visit with half the 6th grade, and Friday I had jury duty (goooooo civic duty!) but my compatriots took the other half of the 6th grade for their public library visit.

When we were actually at school, we had two more 8th grade history classes visit us to read books by African Americans, so we got to do part two of our AA Read-In, which was awesome.  During that day I read What Momma Left Me by Renee Watson, which I highly recommend.  We shelved and processed and cataloged a backlog of books, my blog post went up on the Hub, another round of juniors came in to peruse topics for their term papers, and we took our entire 6th grade to the public library to pick up library cards for those who didn’t have them, and to let everyone know what the public library has to offer them.

Now I have to get to this Monday’s work… Happy Week 8 of 2019!




2019: Week 6

We did it! We made it through the week!

This Thursday we hosted our third annual African American Read-In, and I am really proud of the work put in to make the day a success.  Inspired by this tweet, we decided to make faces to put on windows around the library.  The end result was awesome, and the hours of work put in by students and library staff was so worth it.  A HUGE shout out to the students who came in during their lunch, their free periods, and after school to make this happen. Also, a thanks to my advisory and Ms. Josey’s advisory for braiding a whole lot of yarn.


The actual day of the read-in was great.  We had over 125 students come through to enjoy books by African American authors, taking time to just relax and read. Thank you to those teachers who brought their classes in and to the students who came in during their free time to read with us.

In between making art and pulling books and setting up the event, we also prepared to give a presentation to the entire school faculty about our libraries.  No biggie. Just 25 minutes to tell everyone we work with all they need to know about what we do here.  It turned out great and I think everyone got to know the libraries at least a little better.

Now I’m off to enjoy this three day weekend!