Banned Books Week

Each year, the American Library Association joins other national organizations in sponsoring Banned Books Week, a public awareness campaign reminding us to protect and celebrate the right of everyone to read what they choose. For a more information about why it is so important to protect the freedom to read and defend against challenges and attempts to ban books, check this press release from the American Library Association.

At the Mira Costa Library, we are celebrating with a library display of some of our books that have been the most challenged and banned in the last decade. Please come by the library to see our display. Since Banned Books Week falls on a short week at Mira Costa, we will be continuing our celebration and display through October 10.

Here’s a fun video about Banned Books Week for the young, young adults, and everyone young at heart:

And, do check out the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out Channel on YouTube. Here’s one entry on the site – Whoopi Goldberg reading a Shel Silverstein poem:

Library Bookmark and Poster Contests

Do you like to draw or paint? Would you like to promote your local public and school library? Then, please participate in one or both of these upcoming contests: County of Los Angeles Public Library Bookmark Contest

  • Our local Manhattan Beach Public Library is currently sponsoring its annual bookmark contest. The theme this year is “Picture the Adventure – Read.”  Contest winners are honored at a ceremony at a Manhattan Beach City Council Meeting, receive a certificate honoring their work, shake hands with the mayor, and get their picture taken. Afterwards, they are celebrated at the library with gift bags of treats, Barnes & Noble gift cards and 50 copies of their bookmark design to share with friends and family. In addition, the Mira Costa Library will make copies of all the bookmarks to distribute at our library. Entries are due to the Manhattan Beach Public Library by October 29. If you would like to submit your entry at the Mira Costa Library, please do so by October 28. Pick up a printed contest form at the Mira Costa Library or the Manhattan Beach Library, or download the Bookmark Contest Entry Form 2011 here.
@YourLibrary Contest
  • Each year, California School Library Association (CSLA) sponsors a student poster contest of posters promoting the importance of school libraries. Your artwork may be displayed on the CSLA website, as well as used on CSLA publications and products promoting school libraries. And, all Mira Costa entries will be featured in our library and on our website. Winners receive up to $100 in prize money. Please consider helping to promote school libraries by designing a 11″ x 17″ or 12” x 18” poster that incorporates the theme of @yourlibrary. For more information, talk to Mrs. Lofton or check  this information and entry form on the CSLA website. Entries are due by November 1.

Library Orientations

It’s been busy very busy at the Mira Costa High School Library. During our first full week of regular library hours and services, we also began Freshman Orientations through the 9th Grade English classes. Tomorrow, we will be starting week 2 of Freshman Orientations. Each Freshman English class is visiting for two days.

Day 1 of each orientation is a fun lesson and “guessing game” matching library features with iPhone “apps” using this presentation file. For each of the icons on this iPhone image, I describe a feature of the library, and students need to guess which icon I am talking about, and what the app would be called:

Then, we talk a bit more about each “app,” or library feature.

On Day 2, students complete a scavenger hunt, exploring various offerings of the library. Several of the scavenger hunt clues require them to scan and learn about QR codes using a QR code reader. Here, for example, is one of the clue QR codes students scan:

and then need to use our online

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are watching a video version of the library orientation: MCHS Library Orientation Video by Jane Lofton

Like it? Create your own at It’s free and fun!

Not a Mira Costa student? …. Feel free to come by the library during any of the orientations. We love visitors at the library. Or, if you can’t do that, check out the Freshman Orientation lesson, Freshman Scavenger Hunt, or video orientation online.

Welcome to the 2011-2012 School Year!

My goal for the Mira Costa Library this Fall was to complete the majority of textbook distribution during Registration days, so that most students would have their books the first day of school and we could begin regular library services as soon as possible. I was hoping to transition to library services by Tuesday, September 6. In fact, while tomorrow will be our first “official” opening day, we were actually able to make the transition and allow students to use the library as a library faster. The library began offering full services last Friday, the third day of school! I would like to offer a huge thank you to Cindy Gardner, our textbook clerk; Jessica Curtiss, our library volunteer coordinator; and all our volunteers who participated in making our smooth textbook distribution and quick transition back to the library possible.

The best way to find out all about what the library offers is to come by for a visit! Please come see us soon! In the meantime, you can also check our updated Mira Costa Library brochure and library orientation video. All Freshmen will get to learn about the library first-hand; we will be conducting two-day orientations for all Freshman English classes this month, starting on Wednesday, September 7.

Some news at the library this school year is that we now have wifi available, as well as a web-based library catalog accessible from any web browser. I will be writing more about these two options in coming posts.

I’m excited to be embarking on my second year at Mira Costa, and committed to making our library program the best of the best!