Join the #SWVBC!

Here’s a flyer I created to share information about the Somewhat Virtual Book Club. It came out a little too narrow embedded here. So, for ideal viewing, visit this link. Please join us for our discussion of I’ll Give You the Sun this Wednesday at 3PM.

Many thanks to my friend Michelle Luhtala for letting me adapt her flyer!

If you like this flyer, you might want to try out yourself. 🙂

Nov. 3 – 14 at the MCHS Library

As always, we had lots of classes and lessons in the library during the last two weeks.

Mr. Brown’s Blogging Project


I am delighted that Mr. Brown is having all of his English students (grades 10 and 12) start individual blogs, and the five classes came to the library for two days to get them started. Blogging is a wonderful tool that allows students to practice writing skills and find their writing voices, reflect on and share about personal interests, build a positive digital footprint, and learn about and practice all the aspects of digital citizenship. Along with discussing what a blog is and the benefits of blogging, I taught lessons in different aspects of digital citizenship they will need to be aware of as they blog, and I helped them set their blogs up using Google’s blogging software. Here are some of the short films we watched as part of our class discussions on their first day in the library:

This film launched a discussion about what digital citizenship is, and how it doesn’t mean just being cautious online and staying safe; it also offers wonderful opportunities for making global connections.

We watched this film and talked about building a positive digital footprint:

We watched this film, and talked about protecting privacy and being careful about what you post in blogs and any other form of online communication to protect your own privacy and that of your friends and relatives from potential predators and to avoid sharing anything you would be less than proud of later:

We also talked about how online communication lacks tone of voice and body language clues present in the live world, meaning students need to take extra care to avoid accidentally insulting someone in their posts or their comments. We watched this film as a reminder to avoid engaging in any behavior that could be construed as bullying another person:

On the second day in the library, I showed the students how to set up their blogs and what to include in their first posting. You can see the directions I shared with them for reference here.

We also watched this film about Plagiarism, Copyright, Public Domain, Fair Use, and Creative Commons, all important concepts for students to understand for blogging as well as all their writing and other creations on and offline:

Along with the film, we viewed and discussed the court case related to the famous Obama Hope poster, as an example of fair use/copyright disputes. I shared that justifying Fair Use in published works like blogs can be very difficult, and that we are very fortunate to have many options for finding copyright-friendly images and other material to include in the students’ blogs. I demonstrated how to find Creative Commons-licensed images using the and Google Image Advanced Search options. You can see screencasts of the techniques I demoed for both of these sites on the directions page.

I was very excited to launch this project for Mr. Brown’s students, and look forward to working with them on it throughout the year. As the next step, once they write their first posts, they will then read their classmates’ postings and practice writing good comments. As we discussed, one of the big benefits of blogging is the ability to engage in conversations both with classmates and even globally with the commenting feature.

Other Lessons and Class Visits

I provided introductions to research project lessons for Ms. Parks AP Art History class and Ms. Mullen’s 12th Grade English class, worked with Adam Geczi’s World History classes on identifying the bibliographic information for citations and using to assist with saving and formatting the citations, and introduced a new blog post assignment about La Llorona for Sra. Rossell’s AP Spanish Literature class. The library also hosted class visits for Ms. Bledsoe and Mr. Oystrick’s science classes, and I consulted with Ms. Nielsen on a project for her AP Chemistry students.

SWVBC – We Were Liars Discussion

Our Library Club again served as the moderators for our monthly Somewhat Virtual Book Club (#SWVC on Twitter) discussion on November 5. This month’s book was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I am very proud of our group of students who moderated, and they received kudos from the librarians in the other participating schools. Here’s our recording of the Google Hangout:

Our next SWVBC discussion will be on December 3 at 3 PM Pacific Time. We will be discussing Butter by Erin Jade Lange, a riveting contemporary realistic fiction book about a morbidly obese, outcast teenager who suddenly becomes popular when he creates a website advertising his plans to commit suicide. All Costa students are invited to join us for the discussion in the library lunchroom. Please come by the library to borrow a copy of the book and get more information about the discussion event. For a preview of Butter, please watch this engaging book trailer by Cathy Jo Nelson, the librarian at Dorman High School in South Carolina, one of our SWVBC school libraries:

Dorman High School will be hosting and moderating the December 3 book discussion.

Geeks – Planning Costa’s Hour of Code Participation

Our Geeks club, which offers tech support to Mira Costa students and parents, met this week and learned about the upcoming Hour of Code international event December 8 – 14. from Jeanne Reed, a technology consultant at the MBUSD District Office. The club enthusiastically agreed to work as facilitators and promoters for this event in partnership with the Girls Only Coding Club. Mr. Braskin, computer teacher and advisor of the Girls Only Coding Club, and I will serve as advisors for Mira Costa’s participation in the Hour of Code week. All of the schools in our district will also be participating. Stand by for more information about this event very soon.

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:


Join TLC: The Library Club and Our #SWVBC

Do you like to read? Do you enjoy discussing books with others? Would you like to contribute a little time and ideas to library program? Then, please consider joining TLC: The Library Club. TLC will be having its first organizational meeting of the year on Tuesday, September 18, during lunch. And, the library club isn’t just an ordinary club; we are also a “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” or #SWVBC on Twitter. Last year, we formed a partnership with several school library clubs from across the country, and have been having monthly online discussions with our partner clubs in addition to our live meetings at Costa.

Our first virtual discussion will be on October 17. We will be reading and discussing Tilt by Ellen Hopkins, AND we are honored that Author Ellen Hopkins herself is joining us! So, join in the fun; join TLC: The Library Club.


#SWVBC to Discuss Beauty Queens

Somewhat Virtual Book Club Map

On Wednesday, TLC: The Library Club is joining our cross-country group of other library book clubs in a “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” discussion of Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens.

This will be our fifth virtual book discussion. We have tried two different software platforms, Google + Hangouts and Skype, for previous meetings, and had both successes and challenges with them. Unfortunately, my aging computer has frozen at times, and, last time while we were discussing John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, the Skype options disappeared on us so we could neither control the mic nor read or write in the chat box! While problems like these are frustrating, they also offer us a real-world lesson in the opportunities and challenges of communicating online. For Wednesday’s discussion, we will be using Blackboard Collaborate, software I use regularly for California School Library Association Board business meetings and for webinars I have attended, and find to be very reliable. I’m optimistic that, with my brand new Mac Air and Blackboard, we will have good communication throughout our session. I am confident that Bray’s satirical book will inspire a lively discussion and the opportunity to explore parallels with one of our school curriculum novels, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies as well as many contemporary issues. Check out this preview of the book. Our club members invite any interested guests to join us at 3 PM on Wednesday. And, of course, we’ll have refreshments!

I have posted a map of the club before. If you compare the two, you will see that I have updated it since we have added two new members – Cathy Jo Nelson’s Domain HS in  South Carolina and Debbie Bobolin’s James Caldwell HS in New Jersey. Welcome! They join our “founding members” at Joyce Valenza’s Springfield Township HS Library in Pennsylvania, Shannon Miller’s Van Meter Community School in Iowa, Michelle Lahtala’s New Canaan HS in Connecticut, and Colette Cassinelli’s La Salle Catholic College Prep in Oregon. I left Amy Lott’s Deer Park MS in Texas on the map in case her group is able to rejoin us in the future.

P.S. If the map looks squished in on your screen, click on it to view it in a new window in better proportion.


FIOS Virtual Discussion

Tomorrow, TLC: The Library Club is joining our “Somewhat Virtual Book Club” cross-country group in a discussion of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. The discussion starts right after school (3 PM) in the library work room. Everyone who has read the book is welcome to join us. We’ll also have refreshments. 🙂

Here’s a great graphic created for the event by Cathy Jo Nelson and adapted by Michelle Luhtala and, now, me:

Fault in Our Stars Discussion