Tuesday, November 26, 2013

To Be Thankful.......

It is that time of year where we all reflect on what we are thankful for. This week, in addition to being thankful for our families, friends and happiness, the library staff is focusing on "Books We Are Thankful For!"


 Steal Like an Artist by Austion Kleon:

 I'm thankful for this gem by Austin Kleon for the fact that it really distills great advice from his writing career into a few pertinent things to focus on to become someone who creates rather than passively consumes things. His writing combines humor and wit in a short book that really motivates a person to start living as a creator. This book really makes a great case for meaningful simplification in a time when we are tempted to try to do too much at once.


 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn :
I am so happy I read this book it reminded me that I love a good mystery book!

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry:

I am thankful for this sweeping saga that captures all that is good and noble and evil about the human spirit. 

 Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo:

A wonderfully written documentary on modern day India and all its dichotomies, I am thankful for my very cushy life in the 'burbs.

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The Diviners by Libba Bray: I am thankful for this mystical thriller that kept me up at night just wanting to read “one more chapter.” It left me surprised and chilled and I cannot wait for the sequel. A book that I can’t wait to get home to read is like a gift. “Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.”


 Breaking Night: A memoir of forgiveness, survival and my journey from homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray: I am so thankful for this story of perseverance, determination and forgiveness. Overcoming what seems like impossible odds through hard work, belief and strength is a book all young adults should read. It made me realize how fortunate I am for what I have in my life. “Liz Murray, who was homeless at the age of fifteen and had drug-addicted parents, reflects on how she overcame obstacles and eventually attended Harvard University.”

Friday, November 22, 2013


The library has a variety of different resources for students and staff. Often students are required to have an oral presentation component to a project. With so many resources available for students on the web and not all of them appropriate for academic use, it is important to have quality video databases that will help fulfill this need. By visiting the library website: http://teachers.natickps.org/webpages/npsnhslibrary/ students can access two video databases that will aide in their academic work.

FACTS ON FILE STREAMING VIDEO Classroom Video On Demand is a state-of-the-art streaming video platform that makes it easier than ever to incorporate outstanding educational programs from Facts On File and Films Media Group into your classroom or library. It provides an up-to-date, cross-curricular digital library that spans high school, advanced placement and college needs. Videos are available in segments so students can choose videos that are of appropriate length to insert into presentations. The database spans all academic areas, from art to world history to biology; there is a subject for everyone. Students can access the database on campus and with a username and password off campus.

NBC LEARN K-12 STREAMING VIDEO:  (From Database): For more than 80 years, NBC News has been documenting the people, places, and events that have shaped our world. Now, for the first time, NBC Learn is making these historic and current events resources available to teachers, students, and parents.
NBC Learn is a rich, dynamic, and innovative resource that provides thousands of historic news reports, current events stories, original content, primary source documents, and other digital media specifically designed to help teach and engage students of all levels and abilities.
·       Over 10,000 resources - short 2 to 5 minute videos are engaging, relevant and inspiring, and help students develop critical thinking skills.
·       Current events - updated daily Monday-Friday, use these resources to help connect the real world to the classroom.
·       Aligned to state standards and the common core - search titles by state, subject, and grade level.
·       Mapped to curriculum - resources aligned to 28 K-12 subject areas including Social Studies, Science, Business and Personal Finance, Language Arts, and Health & Wellness.
·       Personal playlists - keep resources organized or share them with others.
·       Safe and trustworthy - each resource is selected to be K-12 appropriate, and held to the highest NBC News Standards and Practices.
·       Interactive CueCard - patent pending media player makes downloading, annotating, citing and embedding resources fun and easy.
·       Emmy award-winning original video - NBC Learn series including "Science of NFL Football," "Science of the Olympic Winter Games," "Chemistry NOW!" and "Finishing the Dream: Learning from the Civil Rights Era."

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Trailers!

How do publishers and authors get the word out about great books?  One way is to use book trailers! Book trailers are similar to movie trailers. They are digital commercials for books. When a book is scheduled for release, a publisher or author will often create a book trailer as a teaser for what the book is about. It is usually uploaded to youtube or on an author/publisher website. It is a great resource for getting the public interested in the book!

The library teamed up with Marge Robinson’s Video Production class to create book trailers for a variety of books in the library. We supplied the books and the students supplied the trailers. Students worked in groups and created a trailer they thought best portrayed the story without giving away too many details. A teaser that would peak someone’s interest so they would want to read the book. The following is an example of the book trailer for the book The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens

It's important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members' interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I'm going to tell you that libraries are important. I'm going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I'm going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

To read the full article by the best selling author click on the link below! It is a great read about why we all should be reading more fiction, why libraries are important and why we really need to preserve our libraries and librarians!

We have an obligation to imagine' … Neil Gaiman gives The Reading Agency annual lecture on the future of reading and libraries. Photograph: Robin Mayes   

The third and final book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth has finally landed in the high school library and we can not keep it on the shelf! Allegiant wraps up the dystopian series first started by the book Divergent. Written by 24 year old Veronica Roth, the series has exploded. Considered to be one of the best dystopian series out there for young adults (and adults as well) we have all been anxiously awaiting the final installment. Right now there is a wait list for this popular title!

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.  


Friday, November 1, 2013

Tricks, Treats & Visits

Disney Princesses, Skittles, Winnie the Pooh characters paraded the hallways for the annual senior Halloween Dress Up Day! It was quite a site to see all of our seniors in their costumes, the library has always been a meeting point for many of the seniors as they do last minute assembling of costumes or meet as a group. We always have a great time taking pictures and seeing the students celebrate this fun day! To top it off the preschoolers came to “trick or treat” in the library. Nothing was cuter than seeing our youngest and oldest students showing off their costumes!
Preschoolers Trick or Treating!

Disney Princesses

In addition to the Halloween festivities the library was so privileged to host another author visit. On Wednesday, best selling Young Adult author and Newton native, Leila Sales skyped into the library and talked to Camille Napier-Bernstein’s creative writing class about what it is like being an author, the writing process and her job as an editor at Penguin Books in New York City. Leila is in her mid twenties and easily related to our students. The students came so prepared for the visit. They had many great questions, had read Leila’s blogs and online writing. Leila has just had her new book This Song Will Save Your Life, released to amazing reviews and is already a best seller: Sixteen year old Elise has never fit in but when she discovers she has talent as an underground disc jockey, her life suddenly changes. This is her third book. Her first book, Mostly Good Girls, was loosely based on her experience at a private school in Boston. Following Mostly Good Girls was Past Perfect, another best seller. This author visit was especially important to me as Leila was a gymnast of mine for many years. Not only is she a terrific writer but she is a fabulous person who is a great role model for the students at Natick High School. 

November is National Novel Writing Month, an event designed to get people to write 50,000 words in 30 days. If you always wanted to tell that story in your head, now is the time. To learn more about it and find out the details check out: http://nanowrimo.org.