Oct. 6 -17 at the Mira Costa Library

Research & Other Library Lessons

While the library is busy with all sorts of activities – reading, studying, using the computers for writing essays, accessing information, and more – research is always a dominant theme. Now that the Freshman Orientations are behind us, the library is booked for lots of research projects. During the last two weeks, I prepared resources and taught short lessons on research skills and sources with Ms. Vaughan’s 9th grade English class, Ms. Sieker’s and Ms. Cook’s 12th grade English classes, Mr. Timberlake’s Model UN students, and Mr. Davidson’s Biology students. I also taught several of these classes about plagiarism avoidance and respect for copyright. Here is some of the material I have shared when doing lessons on plagiarism and respect for copyright:

Over the last year or so, Google has been making it much easier to give credit to sources used in Google Presentations/Slides and Google Docs. For several classes working on online presentations, I shared how students can find images using the Research Tool in Google Slides and why it is important to give credit. Here is a screencast I prepared a while back that includes information I shared live with students:

For a number of the classes visiting these last two weeks, I also helped students use EasyBib.com, a great online tool for storing research sources, creating citations, taking notes, and evaluating sources. Mira Costa has a premium account for EasyBib, which gives us ad-free access, and adds the note taking and website evaluation tools. See this page on the library website for help with EasyBib.

Library Club All Our Yesterdays Discussion

Some Library Club members during our October 3 Hangout

Some Library Club members during our October 3 Hangout

The Mira Costa Library Club served as host for our monthly “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” Google+ hangout discussion of All Our Yesterdays on October 8. Author Cristin Terrill spent the entire hour with us, and was extremely generous in replying to all the students and librarians’ questions about the book, her writing craft, and her plans for future books. We also had four other schools attending. I was very proud of our students who served as the moderators of the discussion. Here’s the Google+ Hangout recording of the session:

We are looking forward to our next session with We Were Liars by E. Lockhart on November 5. Our Library Club also meets during lunch each Tuesday, and welcomes any new members.

I was also invited to participate in “Google Rocks! Hawaii,” a weekly Google+ Hangout for Hawaii educators led by Linda Lindsay, Teacher Librarian at Seabury Academy on the island of Maui, on October 14. The theme of the show that week was book clubs, and I shared about our “Somewhat Virtual Book Club.” Here’s a link to the recording.

The Geeks


Some of our Geek team

Our Geeks (formerly called the Geek Squad, now the Geeks) are ready to provide help to both students and staff with tech issues of any kind. Please take advantage of their services! You can get help during lunch Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, after school Monday through Thursday, or by appointment. Contact me or fill out this form to request an appointment. The Geeks also hold club meetings on Thursdays, and welcome any new members.

Are you challenged by a tech issue-


Señora Rossell’s class visited the library again to work on their blogging project. See my last posting to learn about this activity.

Planning Work

As your librarian, I also do a lot of planning with teachers to get ready for class visits and other projects. During the last two weeks, I prepared resources for Ms. Yoon’s Biology classes, and met with Ms. Clarke, Ms. Rossell, Ms. Chen, and Mr. Marx to learn about their classes needs for upcoming visits. I am also a member of a group of teachers led by William Brown planning an interdisciplinary project we will launch in the Spring on the theme of water and the current water drought in California. In addition, Mira Costa is forming a new Curriculum Committee. We had our first meeting last week, and I volunteered to serve as Chair of this group.

Add comment Posted in  Uncategorized ,What's happenign  Tagged:  , , , , October 19, 2014

Señora Rossell’s Spanish Class Blogs


I am a huge fan of blogging. Blogging offers a perfect opportunity for students to reflect, to practice writing, to share about topics that they care about, and to engage in conversations through comments. Blogging within the educational context allows for an organic tie-in of needed digital citizenship skills acquisition and Common Core requirements for writing across the curriculum. It also encourages students to find their personal writing voices and to make global connections through comments that may be received from around the world.

I had the pleasure of working closely with Spanish Teacher Anita Rossell and her Spanish for Native Speakers class during the 2013-2014 on a number of projects in the library. During the first semester of the 2013-2014 school year, we collaborated to help the students do research and create digital timelines for a project in which they selected a famous Hispanic person and created a timeline for this individual. They also created a personal timeline, which they compared with the famous person timeline. They learned how to use Google Drive to share documents with classmates and their teacher. In January 2014, Señora Rossell wanted the students to start creating digital portfolios. At my suggestion, we decided, instead, to have them create blogs. While digital portfolios document students’ work, the blogs could do this along with also having the students reflect on that work and demonstrate growth through the built-in chronological sequence of the blogging format. Once we launched our blogging project, the students completed a number of posting assignments, and, in the course of doing so, they:

  • developed digital citizenship skills, including learning about online privacy and safety, online etiquette, respect for intellectual property, and building a positive digital footprint
  • writing skills and personal expression, both formal and informal, in Spanish and in English
  • commenting skills, learning to write meaningful comments that compliment, make suggestions, and/or ask questions
  • technology skills, such as how to design a site, how to embed images, videos, and links, and more.

You can see links to the great blogs created last year on this page on the library website.

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 8.50.58 PMThis year, Señora Rossell is teaching an AP Spanish Literature/Language class, and most of the students in that class are continuing from last year’s Spanish for Native Speakers class. During the last two weeks, the class visited the library several times to begin extending the blogging project into this school year. And, this year, we established a class blog that will contain the class assignments and links to all the student blogs. We also plan to have the students contribute some of the posts to this blog. I am very excited about working with Señora Rossell and her students again this year and plan to help them make some global connections with other bloggers they can engage in conversations with through the comments feature.

Here are screenshots of just a couple of student blog examples:

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 8.56.25 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 8.58.19 PM

I am so proud of their hard work! Be sure to visit the links on the class blog for more.

Please consider reading some of these great blogs and adding your own comments! I know the students will appreciate your doing so.

I am also in the process of developing a plan to promote blogging to other teachers and students at Mira Costa and beyond this year. You can check out my Google Teacher Academy action plan for a preview of what I am working on. Stand by for more information to come!

Add comment Posted in  Uncategorized  Tagged:  , , , , October 11, 2014

Sept. 22 – Oct. 3 at the Mira Costa Library

Our New EBSCO Subscriptions

EBSCOFor the 2013-2014 school year, we significantly increased the number of nonfiction books available to our students by adding a subscription to the EBSCO eBook High School Collection database, giving us access to approximately 7,000 simultaneous use ebooks. Last week, we upgraded our subscription to EBSCO’s eBook Academic Collection. This is BIG news, since it increases our available ebooks to more than 130,000 and allows our students to take advantage of the kind of collection normally only available to university students. Most of the holdings in this collection are nonfiction. A huge advantage of these ebooks is that they can be used simultaneously by an unlimited number of readers; we aren’t restricted to one reader at a time.

In addition, we added EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier database, which provides us with full-text access to articles in approximately 4,600 academic journals. Together, these new subscriptions provide excellent support for Common Core across the curriculum. They also allow students to read about areas of personal interest to them, learning what they want to learn. When students get to explore their own personal interests, they are more engaged and learn more. The link to our subscription is posted on the library website Databases and ebooks page and the various subject pathfinders. Here is a direct link. The ebooks will also soon be searchable through our library catalog. Please contact me or come by the library for a handout to get the username and password for these great new resources.

I’d like to extend special thanks to Wayne Knutson and Bill Fauver for helping me to review these resources over the summer, and to our District Educational Services Department for providing a portion of the funding.

We also, of course, need print books. Here’s a display of recently-arrived nonfiction print books, many of which were funded by the PTSA to support Common Core:

nonfiction books


Finishing Freshman Orientations

During the last two weeks, I completed the final 9th grade orientations, hosting Ms. Wiseman and Ms. Wachell’s classes for a second day of orientation, and Mr. Zeoli and Ms. Mullen’s classes for day 1 and day 2. Here’s our display of printouts of some of the great slides that students created sharing their passions and a book they found related to these interests:

Freshman Passions

(You’ll have to come visit the library for a better view of these!) I look forward to seeing all of the Freshmen often when they visit on their own and with their classes for upcoming research projects and book selection.

Introducing Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom

As part of the Freshman orientations this year, I have been introducing students to their district Google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts and to Google Classroom. The latter is a new Google application just introduced in September. It can make running a paperless classroom and using Google Drive features much easier for teachers and students. It allows teachers to share assignments and announcements with students, conduct online discussions, and have students submit work as Google Docs, spreadsheets, presentations, and more, and have it automatically organized in folders. For students, having a district GAFE account means that they can keep their school files and emails separate from any personal items and that teachers can easily know their students’ emails for sharing materials, contacting them, and offering comments and feedback on work.

I have also started sharing information about the benefits of using GAFE accounts and Google Classroom with Mira Costa teachers this fall. Last week, Michael Hayden brought his Music Appreciation class to the library to have me help them access their GAFE accounts and join a Google Classroom. Now, the class will be able to do all its assignments paperlessly! I look forward to helping more teachers and classes take advantage of these tools.

Mira Costa Hall of Fame

On October 3 Mira Costa hosted its third annual Hall of Fame. The breakfast and lunch for the distinguished alumni was held in the library. What an amazing group of alumni we had here! It included Noreen Harris Baer, Huntley Castner, Lance Dixon, Jim Lindbert, Jeff Rohrer, Marianne Selek Wibberley, and Cormac Wibberley.

Hall of Fame

Señora Rossell’s AP Spanish Class Blogging Project

Anita Rossell’s class visited the library on September 30 and October 1 to begin this year’s blogging project. This project warrants a posting on its own. So, please stand by for that!

Add comment Posted in  ebooks ,Uncategorized  Tagged:  , , October 9, 2014

Join Our #SWVBC Discussion with Author Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays

The Mira Costa Library Club is delighted to serve as host for this month’s “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” online book discussion. We will be discussing All Our Yesterdays. Here’s what I wrote about the book in my Goodreads summary after I finished last summer:

I really, really loved this book. I loved the time travel part and how it made me puzzle out how all that works. I loved gradually discovering how characters from one time and another are connected to each other. I loved the suspense. And I loved the romance.

I am especially excited that Christin Terrill, the author, has agreed to join us! If you are still a doubter as to the value of Twitter, please note that I was able to connect with her and extend the invitation via Twitter.

Many thanks, Christin, for agreeing to join us in our online Google + hangout! All the students and the librarians in the participating clubs are so jazzed that we will have the chance to talk to her live. All Mira Costa students are invited to join our club for the discussion in the library lunch room at 3 PM on Wednesday, and we also welcome any remote remote participants who would like to participate as well. The event will be viewable live by anyone at this link. If you want to join the Hangout room as a participant, please email me. Here’s a map of our current network of library clubs, created for us by Cathy Jo Nelson, Librarian at Dorman HS, in Roebuck, SC:


Add comment Posted in  Authors ,Books ,The Library Club ,Uncategorized  Tagged:  , , , , October 6, 2014

Sept. 9 – 18 at the Mira Costa Library

The last two weeks at the Mira Costa Library have been non-stop busy! Here’s a summary of just some of the activities:

Freshman Orientations Continue

Freshman orientations Library orientation

I am continuing to teach Freshman Library Orientations. (See my previous post on this.) Between Sept. 9 – 18, I hosted Ms. Vaughan’s, Mr. Heideman’s, Ms. Clarke’s, Mr. Chow’s, and Ms. Chen’s classes for the two-day program, and Ms. Wachelle’s and Ms. Wiseman’s students for their first day. I’ve been heartened by the feedback the students have been giving me orally and in their Google Forms where they share something they learned or enjoyed. Here are a few sample comments:

  • “I enjoyed collaborating on the introductory project and using lots of Apple/Google technology.”
  • “That you can check out as many books as you want! :)”
  • “Looking around the library searching for things was fun.”
  • “I enjoyed the enthusiasm of using the library and the scavenger hunt.”
  • “I enjoyed learning about all the cool stuff the library has to offer.”
  • “Well, I learned that the library is a cool place that isn’t just for school and there are all types of books I like.”
  • “I enjoyed the scavenger hunt we completed today. I think it helped me get more familiar with where things so I will be able to use the library more often and become a regular user.”
  • “I have learned that the library has many fun activities and it can help you learn your passion.”
  • “I learned what a QR Code is.”
  • “I learned about my new MBUSD account and how to make a good password.”
  • “I liked making my own slide through Google Drive.”

The most popular part of the orientation for students has definitely been creating their own slides in the class Google Slides file. I am working on a display of some of the great slides they created. Come by to see it soon! Through this activity, they learned a tool they can use on their own and to collaborate with other students on presentations in other classes. They also learned about group work. In one class, a student accidentally deleted other students’s slides. We had a learning experience discussing how to avoid interfering with another student’s work in a group project. They also got to see a great feature of Google Slides: the history option, which allowed us to restore the lost slides.

Library Orientation Video

For 10th-12th graders and website visitors, I updated the library orientation video:

Other Library Lessons

While most of the library schedule was filled with the orientations, I also hosted Mr. Geczi’s World History class and Ms. Cabrera’s 9th Grade English class for lessons on research skills as they begin research projects. With Mr. Gezci’s class, we discussed how to avoid plagiarism, how to find and evaluate sources, and how to credit them in their Works Cited. Here’s a link to the slideshow that shows some of our discussion. For Ms. Cabrera’s class, we discussed research sources and also spent time on plagiarism and respect for copyright, and how they compare. Here’s a film I showed them for some background information and to launch our discussion:

I also shared this Venn diagram with them as part of our discussion:

Plagiarism & Copyright compared

We were then able to talk about examples that fall into each of the there areas in the Venn diagram. The students are creating presentations, so they will need to know about both plagiarism and copyright as important aspects of respecting intellectual property. I am looking forward on Monday to introducing them to the built-in Research Tool in Google Slides that will make it easy for them to find and credit copyright-friendly images.

I expect to be teaching the plagiarism and respect for copyright lesson to other English classes.

Library Club Kicks Off

SWVBC Hangout

Our #SWVBC Hangout to discuss The Fault in Our Stars

The library club is now meeting each Tuesday during lunch. We also participated in our first monthly virtual discussion of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars after school last Wednesday. We have a goal this year to use Google Hangouts, and to help our students take ownership of running the software, so that gain experience in a tool that they can leverage for distance communication in other contexts.

All Our Yesterdays

The next meeting of the “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” will be Wednesday, October 8, when we will be the moderators/hosts for All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. All MCHS students are welcome to join the club or simply to participate in the discussion of this fast-paced, time travel story taking place in a dystopian near future. Check our Google+ page for more information: bit.ly/SWVBC

The library also sponsors a second club, The Geek Squad. It will be starting up very soon, and will be selecting a new name. Stand by for more information on that group!

Your Librarian “On Air”

'Inspire Student Collaboration, Creativity, Copyright-Savvy with Slides, Search, & More' With or without GAFE, get tips on teaching students Slides/Presentations+Drive+embedded search and more to develop collaboration skills, creatively share knowledge mastered, and learn to find and cite copyright-friend images/video.

I had the opportunity during the last two weeks to be on air twice via Google+ hangouts. On September 6, I presented a session for the CUE Learning Revolution Online Summit Featuring Google for Education. As a Google Certified Teacher, I was invited to submit a presentation proposal. This event was a two-day, all-online conference conducted entirely using Google+ Hangouts. My topic was “Inspire Student Collaboration, Creativity, Copyright-Savvy with Slides, Search, & More.”
I talked about how I have become a big fan of using Google Slides with students to help them develop collaboration skills, creatively share knowledge mastered, and learn to find and cite copyright-friend images/video. A huge part of why I like Google Slides for student work is the built-in Research Tool that allows them to search for copyright-friendly  images and more and create an automatic credit for each source as they add them to their presentations. The recording of my session is available only to those who registered to attend the summit, but you can see my presentation slides here. I also post all my presentations on the library website on my Your Librarian Presents page.

GlobalTL Hangout

My second “on air” appearance was as a panel member for the Fall Kickoff Hangout for the recently-established #GlobalTL (teacher librarian) Google+ Community. This community was established by Joyce Valenza and Andy Plemmons, two teacher librarians, to facilitate Teacher Librarians connecting learners, classrooms, libraries and teachers to foster global connections and create meaningful collaboration and inquiry within and between schools. I was invited to participate on the panel to “pitch” greater participation across the U.S. and globally in the Somewhat Virtual Book Club. We had a wonderful discussion of a large variety of ways we can facilitate connections. I have also been engaging interest at Mira Costa in one of the projects Joyce Valenza is working on to connect students in environmental inquiry projects inspired by Sid Fleischman’s new book, Eyes Wide Open. I’m currently working with a group of my Mira Costa colleagues on developing an interdisciplinary curriculum project, and they may use this book as a part of launching it. I hope to have more to report about that soon.

Add comment Posted in  What's happenign  Tagged:  , , , September 21, 2014

Join the Library Club

FiOSOur Library Club, a group of students who enjoy reading, sharing about what they read, and supporting our library’s programs, is having our first weekly meeting on Tuesday, September 9 during lunch. Please join us! Please also read my posting on my personal blog for details about plans for our club’s participation in the “Somewhat Virtual Book Club (#SWVBC),” a group of school library clubs that connect together online once a month after school for book discussions. We’ll be having our first online discussion on Wednesday, September 17, at 3:30 PM, to talk about John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Even if you can’t get to the Tuesday lunch meetings, you are still welcome to join our after-school #SWVBC discussions. Come to the library after school on the 17th for fun, refreshments, and a great discussion using Google+ Hangouts.

Add comment Posted in  Uncategorized September 7, 2014

Freshman Library Orientations Underway!

Library Orientation

It’s been a super busy week at the Mira Costa High School Library! We are still in the midst of getting textbooks to late-enrolling students and those switching classes, and we also have some new textbook titles arriving, I have also been training several new volunteers and one student aide, people I depend upon as a staff of one to keep my library running. Despite all this activity, I always switch focus to the library teaching program as quickly as possible, and I began teaching Freshman library orientations on Tuesday, September 2, just five days after school opened. Each of the Ninth Grade English classes come for two day orientation lessons. Eight Ninth grade classes – Mr. Holland’s, Mr. Wheeler’s, and Mr. Westerberg’s – all visited for two days each, and Ms. Cabrera’s students came for their first day on Friday, for a total of 17 orientation lessons this week. To get all the Ninth graders in, I will be continuing orientations for the next two and half weeks. Here’s a summary of what I have been covering with them.

Orientation Day 1

2014-09-02 14.33.51On Day one, we play a guessing game based on an iPad image I display on the screen for them, in which each “app” represents a feature of the library. I describe the app, then students guess what it is. Once they do, I share a little more about that feature. In the process, students learn about how students who use the library more are better students, about me and my role as a teacher librarian, how to find books and ebooks, research resources, technology resources, the library’s few simple rules and our basic procedures, the after school program, clubs and other fun activities and events, accessing the virtual library through the library website portal, and how they can explore their passions at the library. Here’s the Prezi presentation file I use to run the game:

While it’s not self-explanatory without my commentary, I embedded it here so that you can see the iPad image.

This year I am trying a new tool called Socrative.com for the student responses. It’s one of the websites that I learned about as a member of the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning selection committee. It is one of the top 25 sites our committee chose and is promoting this year. The students enjoy being able to submit their answers via computer rather than on paper. I decided to go with it instead of the Google Form I did last year since it offers a “teacher lead” mode which is enabling me to display just one question at a time and to see the student responses immediately and thus better check for understanding. It is also working better to assure that every student to responds to every clue.

Before we start the guessing game, I also ask the students to answer the question, “I wish the library would …” to give me input on what they would like to see in their library. I do what I can to accommodate all their requests. Many of them share what kind of books they would like us to have more of, and I always use that input when making purchases. I also get frequent requests to simply get more books, and I will definitely be doing that this year! In fact, I have a goal to add a new database from EBSCO that will radically increase the number of ebooks we offer. Here are a few responses I got this year that are going to more difficult to fulfill!

  • have round, small tables so groups of friends could study together easily (I am hoping to get some new furniture soon!)
  • have more staff and be open longer hours
  • have iPads
  • have more computers

Do know that I listen to all the requests and fulfill all that I can.

Orientation Day 2

Library orientationDay 2 of the orientation is a scavenger hunt. For the last three years, I have had students team up in groups of two and complete a sheet of questions that gets them moving around the library looking for books, scanning QR codes as clues, and learning about how to use the library catalog and access the library website resources. Here’s a link to last year’s form: last year’s form. My goal with this activity is to have every student complete every activity and get a 100 percent. For the several questions with only one correct answer, I would check their responses for accuracy then help them through correcting them if necessary. I have been wanting to go paperless with this form for a while, but I couldn’t figure out how I would be able to quickly check whether the students got those several questions that only have one right answer. This year I was determined to take this activity paperless. With some inspiration from two of the model activities I experienced at the Google Teacher Academy I attended in July -Jon Corippo and JR Ginex-Orinion’s Google Iron Chef activity and Lisa Highfill’s HyperDocs activity – I created a plan that began with this Google Form:

One of the features of this form is that, in the case of two questions for which there is only one correct answer, I used “validation.” This feature allowed me to check for the correct answer and to return a hint if the student entered anything else. For example, if they don’t enter the correct call number for the most recently-published book for the topic in the QR code clue they scanned, it prompts them to be sure to sort their catalog results by date and to include the letters as well as the number. The students couldn’t submit their form unless they got these questions right. Since my goal was for every student to get everything right and thereby learn the skills of searching our library catalog, this validation worked beautifully. Of course, some of the students asked me for help when they found that their answers were wrong, but I was pleased that most of them headed the prompt and tried again on their own and corrected their own errors. And, although I had each student submit his/her own form, they were working in teams of two so they were able to help each other through a lot of it.

2014-09-03 08.43.27The last task in the Scavenger Hunt gives the students instructions on how to login to their district Google Apps for Education (GAFE) account, then navigate to Google Classroom, join the library orientation class, and find the assignment to edit a whole-class Google Slides file sharing their passions, a book or ebook they found on the topic, and their photo. Here’s a link to what the slideshow looked like before they started it. (For each class, I filled the teacher’s name and class period.) I gave the students very minimal oral directions for these activities; instead, I encouraged them to read the directions carefully and help each other figure out what to do before asking for help. I was pleased how many students worked out how to complete all the activities on their own. They also clearly were enjoying themselves as they found books on their interests and shared about them in their slides. At the end of each period, one of the students ran the completed slideshow and each of the students shared their own slides orally. They left the library with a number of skills, new to many of them. They left knowing:

  • that students who use the library more are better students
  • that the library is a place to visit both for academics and to explore their passions and interests
  • how to browse the shelves and use our online catalog to find books
  • how to login to our library computers using our Guest account
  • how to use QR codes
  • how to log into their GAFE accounts
  • how to use Google Classroom to access an assignment
  • how to edit a shared Google Slides file and add an image

I will be promoting use of our GAFE accounts and Google Classroom to our teachers this year, so the Freshmen will already be set up for it.

I plan to display of some of the students’ responses to the slide show question about their passions and books they found about them. Do come by to see them!

1 comment Posted in  Uncategorized September 7, 2014

Welcome to the 2014-2015 Year at the Mira Costa Library


I’d like to extend a big welcome to the 2014-2015 school year both to our returning students and parents, and to our brand new students and families. I look forward to working with all of you in the library. One of my goals this year is to help every student use library resources not just for school requirements, but to pursue his or her own passion.

My Summer, My Fall Plans

One thing everyone to seems to agree on is that the summer literally flew by! I had a wonderful one, with some relaxation and travel, getting together with some Mira Costa teachers to talk about plans for this year, attending the American Library Association Conference in Las Vegas the end of June, and participating in the Google Teacher Academy in Mountain View the end of July.

jane gct

Please see my posts in my “Jane Lofton’s School Library Journey” blog for an account of the ALA Conference (part 1 and part 2) and the Google Teacher Academy. While the summer did disappear way too quickly, I am excited to be back and to have the opportunity to share what I learned in Las Vegas and Mountain View. I am especially proud, now that I have completed the Google Teacher Academy, to be a new Google Certified Teacher (GCT). As we learned during the academy:

“GCTs are:

  • Outstanding educators with a passion for using innovative technologies and approaches to improve teaching and learning.
  • Creative leaders who understand opportunities and challenges, and have a desire to help empower others in their local community and beyond.
  • Ambassadors for change who model high expectations, life-long learning, collaboration, equity, and innovation.” http://www.google.com/edu/programs/google-teacher-academy

One of the best parts of the experience is that I have a brand new network of 64 other cohort members with whom to share ideas and get support as to how best to improve education for our students. And, one of the commitments that I made as a Google Certified Teacher is to develop an action plan. I considered a lot of possibilities, but decided that mine will be to help teachers get their students blogging. I want students not to just learn about topics they are passionate about; I want them to go on to share their expertise and creativity, and a great way to do that is by writing online journals. Blogging has so many things going for it: it allows students to find their voices, to write across the curriculum, to learn all the key elements of digital citizenship, and to build a positive digital footprint. What’s more, it can be a lot of fun! I will be writing more about this soon, but you can view my action plan now here.

Out with the Textbooks!

The main “view” in the library during registration days and the first three and a half days of school was tall stacks of textbooks. With the help of Cindy Gardner from our main office and a crew of wonderful volunteers (see below), we checked out 7,566 textbooks and processed 1,493 new ones during the last two weeks. That’s a lot of books! I couldn’t have done it without their help. The best news, though, is that we cleared the textbook stacks away so the library could return to our normal seating arrangement and make room for student visits by Thursday afternoon. You can see these students taking advantage of our return to “normal”:

2014-08-29 12.49.35

Textbook piles cleared! We’re back to being a library! Come visit pic.twitter.com/aOMH15Bh0i

— MiraCostaHSLibrary (@miracostahslibr) August 29, 2014

Freshman Orientations

Starting Tuesday morning, each of the Freshman English classes are scheduled for two-day orientations to learn about how they can best take advantage of the library. I look forward to spending time with each class. Please come visit if you haven’t already. We are open from 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM on Fridays.

thank you!Volunteer Thanks

Many thanks go to these people who helped us get the textbooks processed and distributed these last two weeks:

  • Cindy Gardner, our main office clerk who supports the library, took all the returns and lost book payments
  • My regular library volunteers, led by coordinator Irene White, who come each week and who also worked during textbook distribution:  Irene White, Joyce Kashiwagi, Karen Gebert, Mae Sinkowitz, Melanie McFarland, Carrie Yusuda, Kathy Meola, Carrie Yasuda, Evelyn Rollins, Audrey Ritterman-Estes, and Kim Kluth
  • It took all these additional textbook distribution volunteers recruited by the wonderful Ellen Chao to get the job done:  Susy Werre, Debbie Strock, Edie Babbe, Barbara Helm, Lisa Bennett, Cecilia Verket, Shuntell Dixon, Patti Ackerman, Kim Brooks, Lisa Krigsman, Deida Merkens, Leslie Whittet, Kim Friedman, Tiffany King, Jeanette Pan, Lisa Taub, Karen Komatinsky, Sarah Geller, Maria Salazar, Daryle Aniello, Kim Brooks, Beth Nicosia, Sonja Pace, Carrie Cook, Joan Krull, Chris Alexiades, Michael Ann Otto, Madelaine Court, Lewis Annette, Marce Livingston, Joelle Knudson, Talia Resin, S. Chesnut, Angie Marer, Karen Avery, and Michelle Sidney
  • I also had several great student volunteers: Yuka Noda, Connor Layden, Jimmy Shaw, and several additional great ASB students

Many, many thanks to all of you!

Connor processing books

Getting the new textbooks processed!

Add comment Posted in  Welcome  Tagged:  , , , , , August 31, 2014

American Library Association Conference

ALA books

Last month, I attended the American Library Association Conference in Las Vegas. In addition to the huge stack of free published books, advanced reader copies, and audiobooks you see above, I came away with an even bigger stack of new ideas and connections I’ll be implementing at our library and sharing with staff and students in the fall. Please read about my experiences in these two postings on my librarian blog:

Part 1

Part 2


Add comment Posted in  Books ,Conferences  Tagged:  , , July 16, 2014

2013-2014 Year in Review

It’s been a very busy year at the Mira Costa Library! Here is a short review of some of the highlights of the 2013-2014 year at the Mira Costa High School Library:

You can also view this visual report here.

This report was created using slides made in Canva.com, a great site for dynamic graphics, then imported into ThingLink to add the pop-ups and links for a few more details. Many thanks to Sue Fitzgerald, Teacher Librarian at Pike Middle School in Justin, TX, who concept using Canva and ThingLink I adapted with her generous permission.

Add comment Posted in  Uncategorized June 11, 2014

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Flickr Photos


The library is back to normal after clearing away textbooks!

Students processing books

New MacHale book

Rossell Class

More Photos