Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Vacation!!!!

The library would like to wish everyone a most relaxing and happy vacation!! Take the time to catch up on some good reading!!!

We put out a challenge to the faculty and we are AMAZED at the response. A simple email inviting staff to come to the library and check out some books for vacation has seen so many books fly off the shelves! In addition to that Ms. Carrick put out the 2016 "Harder Reading Challenge" sponsored by The Book Riot and we have had some teachers take us up on the challenge. The link below explains the reading challenge, essentially reading a book in 24 different categories. It takes you out of your comfort zone and introduces you to genres you may not have considered.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Twas the Week Before Vacation......

And all through the library, not a student was stirring, not even for tests....
Early morning hockey practice made for a tired start to the day for these girls!

It has been a long week as we all gear up for the winter break! Students and staff are working hard, getting excited for vacation and adjusting to the slightly crazy warm temps for this time of year. This is the perfect time of the year to take out a book and relax with some good reading. Both students and staff need the time to de-stress and what better way to do that than with a good book. We have set up many displays filled with great reads so we encourage everyone to come down and pick out something for vacation!

Our Back to the Future invention display is a BIG hit with the students. Ms. Carrick brought in two working typewriters and the kids are getting a huge kick out of trying them out! They find it hard to believe people actually had to type and be careful as there is no "back button" or delete key!

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Tell me, doctor Where are we goin' this time?"

"We're going back in time".... -Back In Time / Huey Lewis & The News

and so is the library! Thanks to Ms. Carrick and Ms. Williams amazing display we have traveled back in time. Currently the library is displaying inventions from the past! Typewriters, answering machines, film projectors and others inventions that paved the way for our smart phones, blue tooth and Netflix! Come on down and see the displays and check out a book relating to inventions that have changed our lives!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Celebrating the Library!

Welcome Back!! We hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and was able to find some much deserved rest and relaxation. It was definitely needed as we hit the ground running Monday! Monday was the districts professional development day and I had the privilege of presenting to my peers the "Power of your Library" with middle school library teachers Amy Bloom and Kathi Rotkiewicz. The focus of our lesson was how the library should be embedded in all research based units! The presentation can be found here.
The Power of Your School Library

The presentations did not stop there! That night Amy, Kathi and I were honored to present to the Natick School Committee on the status of the Natick Public School's Libraries in the 21st Century. We showed our school committee the vital role the school libraries play in driving the curriculum in all of our schools K-12. It felt great to share with our  school committee and central administration the wonderful work we are doing in our school libraries!

Teaching this week focused on the Honors Biology Annotated Bibliography Project! One of my favorite projects to teach, biology students spend the next few months researching a topic of interest that has a connection to biology. Students will dive deep into their topic so the choice and research component is critical. The focus on quality resources and strong search terms was the focus of the lesson in the library. I enjoy working with Ms. Tully, Mr. Wilson and Ms. Conroy who always bring energy and enthusiasm for this project!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Game On!!

The last full week of school before Thanksgiving Break has been busy! Ell classes debating the role social media plays in our lives, preschoolers story time, lots of study hall students diving into second term, we have barely had time to come up for air!

We look at the library as the hub of our school community and we are always trying to find ways to bring our community together! With the pep rally coming up we decided to bring out the school spirit of our faculty and staff! Teachers brought in their old sports and club jackets and jerseys and they are currently on display in the library. Representing some of the many towns our faculty/staff come from, the display has been a HUGE hit with students and staff alike! Students have been taking pictures with the jackets, have laughed at some of the styles and have had a great time trying to figure out who the jackets belong to! This has been one of our favorite displays to date, and all we can say is wait until prom season!!!
Natick Soccer, Dover/Sherborn Band, Nauset Track, Natick Football

Waltham Cheering, Marian High, Natick Cheering, Natick Football, Natick Field Hockey, Wayland Wrestling, Natick Track
Natick Gymnastics, Milford Football

Natick, Stoughton Basketball, Natick Football, Natick Track, Milford Swimming

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thank You Veterans

It was a short week with Veteran's Day on Wednesday and a half day on Thursday. We wanted to take the opportunity to thank all of our veterans who make it possible for us to live in our community!

As the second term gets under way the library continues to be a busy place! We love seeing some of our favorite students enjoying their time with us!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Look What's Pulling in to Preschool?!!

It has been quite a week! The term ends today and students have been working hard in the library to make sure they are all caught up with assignments. It has been very busy and I think we are all adjusting to daylight savings as well. It is hard to believe it is already November and only three weeks until we are out for Thanksgiving Break.

In order to celebrate our Native American heritage and culture that is so rich in Massachusetts and in particular Natick, we have created a display in the front windows.

The Library is mobile and is chugging into Preschool!! The last three years the high school library has had a wonderful partnership with preschool. Preschool classes come to the library once a week for story time. Students are read two books, learn about the library and begin a curriculum about authors, illustrators and genres of books. Over the years we have built and continue to build an extensive collection for our preschoolers, preschool teachers and high school students who take the child development classes. With so many rich books we would like to see in our youngest students hands, Ms. Williams proposed a traveling library to preschool. The brainstorm resulted in our "Library Locomotive!" Every two weeks, Ms. Williams will be donning her conductor's hat and delivering stacks of library books to each preschool class. Students and teachers will be able to use the books in their classroom and have exposure to many more titles than what we can do during story time! We are so excited about this new endeavor and can't wait to see the preschoolers faces as we chug into preschool!
And who knows.....perhaps high school teachers will see it and will want a delivery of books to their classroom! We would love to do that as well!!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween!!!!

While there were many great educational happenings in the library this week, this is the time we focus on the pure pleasure of Halloween! What I love about this day in the high school is that our oldest and youngest members of our community are the ones allowed to dress up! It is the seniors time to shine with their creative costumes,
while our preschoolers parade around the school excited to show off their own costumes!

The library is always a hot spot for the seniors to show off their handiwork. We love having them come in and pose for us!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Elements and Compounds!!

This week chemistry classes have been in the library working on their element and compound project. Students have learned how to navigate the databases by beginning with Literati School. Literati provides a great overview on numerous topics. From there it links up to all of our other databases and will bring you right to search results from them. It is a great tool to begin the research process.

One of the many ways the library is used throughout the day. Teachers conferencing with students!

We are so happy to have our Access Students come to the library every day. Aside from checking out books and bringing joy to us all, they help us everyday with library tasks! After a long day we were all getting a little silly and the result was the following photo as the kids were moving the empty water bottles out of the library!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

It's the Great Pumpkins!!!!!

The library was a busy place this week! Between philosophy classes working on their ethical debate project, senior English classes research/writing their argument essays, seniors participating in a
college essay writing workshops AND hosting the results of the first annual Faculty Pumpkin Decorating Contest we were bustling with activity! The Access Program held a fundraiser to raise money for after school activities. Each department decorated a pumpkin and students voted at lunch, the creativity from each department in the school was fantastic and more importantly it was a great community building project for the faculty! While the library pumpkin did not win THIS year, we are happy to report that our Preschool department took top honors with their Minion Pumpkin!!!! We already have our idea for next year!
Some of the pumpkins and the winning Minion!!

The Library Pumpkin! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Library is a Connection to the Community

This week the library was honored to receive donations from a former student. Bruce D'Agostino '65,  donated a collection of his personal military books to the library. A retired Air Force photographer, Mr. D'Agostino has worked with and met many prominent figures in military history. He has graciously shared some of his collection with the library in the hopes it will connect with the younger generation and educate them on the roles individual and the country has played in military history. He has also offered to speak to classes on his experiences. It was an honor to meet Mr. D'Agostino and spend time hearing his stories.

Mr. Cuoco's philosophy class is working on their ethics
project. In groups, they will form an opinion on an ethical debate and create a project to report back on to their peers. Working with Mr. Cuoco, we pulled a collection of books that work directly with this project as well as teach students how to navigate and search the Opposing Viewpoints Database. This database provides articles on a tremendous amount of topics and will give a pro and con side written by an expert in the field. Coupled with the books, students are able to gather strong research to back up their opinion on the topic of choice.

Look who's here!! One of our favorite former students stopped by the library for a visit!!! Kaiyah Goldsmith '14 home from college for the long weekend, she made a point of coming by and hanging out with us just like she used to for four years while at Natick High!!! We miss her!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The first full week of school, Open House and classes beginning, it was a very busy week at the library! Freshmen orientation has begun during English classes. I love to watch how the freshmen come into the library that first meeting so young and wide-eyed and after working with them for the year the transformation is amazing! I look forward to the many projects I will be working on with the freshmen English team!

Coloring in the Library

Remember what it felt like to get a new coloring book as a child and a fresh pack of crayons? To open the pages and be able to create a bright new world on paper?
Coloring is a great way to relax the mind and body and yet we abandon it as we get older. Well studies have shown that coloring for teenagers and adults is very beneficial. We have reintroduced the love and art of coloring to the library.
Students and staff are encouraged to grab a coloring sheet, some crayons/colored pencils/markers and find a spot to color! The following article discusses the benefits of coloring!
Coloring isn't just for kids



 Get Your Trivia On

Ms. Williams has started a weekly trivia contest in the library! Each week she will have a question posted at the sign in desk in the library. Students and staff are encouraged to enter a guess and she will draw a name on Friday for a prize. We had lots of success for the first week! This weeks question was:
"What library was featured in the movie Transformers 2?" 
The answer is: Firestone Memorial Library at Princeton University

Friday, September 25, 2015

Classes Are Coming!!!

 The Classes are Coming!!!

Even with a half day and a day off, it has been a busy week in the library! Studies are filling up during every block and we are having many conversations with seniors about their post high school decisions! It always astounds me how much growth there is between freshmen year and senior year with our students! Most importantly, teachers are beginning to book classes! The schedule is filling up with Freshmen English classes, philosophy classes and child development classes will be hitting the library beginning next week!

METCO Meeting

I had the privilege of meeting with the METCO students this week to talk about the library and the resources and support available. We are very fortunate that our library is open until 7pm M-Th and Fri 7am-2:30pm, enabling students to have a place to study, collaborate and relax while waiting for rides, practices or activities. I emphasized how the library is the hub and community of the school and every student should see a piece of them within the collection, the environment and the resources. It is a great way to start the year by having meetings with various groups in the school to share what the library and the library staff has to offer!

New Teacher Presentation

Keeping in the theme of presenting to groups, I also had the honor of meeting with our new teachers on Thursday to discuss how they can best use the library. I love getting to know the new teachers and building strong relationships that translate into meaningful collaborative projects between the classroom teacher and the library teacher. It was a fun group and I look forward to working with many of them!

Book Review of the Week!

Memoirs of a Boy Soldier / Ismael Beah
Ms. Carrick has another great review! Check it out
“A long way gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ismael Beah

I read this book years ago and was so impressed by Ismael Beah’s transformation into adulthood.  He grew up in a happy village surrounded by loving family and suddenly finds himself recruited by the rebel army being drugged and brainwashed and threatened. He finds himself doing awful acts that he has to do unless he wants to be killed by the rebel army general.  He can’t win either way and there was no way to escape alive.  He was drugged and forced to do unspeakable acts and finally was picked up by the UN and sent to the US for rehabilitation along with fellow soldiers.   The book talks about his healing and transformation back to humanity.  In 2004 he graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in political science.  He serves on many UN war councils educating world leaders on the issues of youth being recruited to fight.  This book is a page turner and an inspiration to the enduring human spirit.
You can donate to his causes on his website

Friday, September 18, 2015

Research is Underway!

Although this has been a short week, I am amazed at how many teachers have been using the library resources this early in the year. This week I have had numerous teachers reach out to me regarding our video databases! The databases we subscribe to are a huge asset to supporting the curriculum in any subject. Teaching students to locate and analyze information from a database provides them with a higher level of research skills.

The link for all of the library databases can be found here: If anyone needs a tutorial on how to use the databases or would like to work on how to incorporate the research databases into their lessons please do not hesitate to contact me.

Book Review!

Continuing with our staff book reviews, Ms. Carrick read Being Mortal / Atul Gawande and wrote the following passionate review!

 This summer I decided to read Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal. I read his first two books, Complications and Better and loved the raw quality of his writing and admissions in making some mistakes as a doctor. They are all fascinating, dramatic reads, but having a father in law who turned 90 last year really made me want to read “Being Mortal”.  Dr. Gawande is a local ER Surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston (local!) and speaks frankly about his own experiences with his elderly father and the decisions they had to make (some good, some bad). He gives the reader an in depth history as to how all these assisted living facilities came to be and the history of nursing homes in America and how doctors might be overcommitting to extending life at all cost, that in some cases extend suffering. He argues that quality of life decisions must lie in the hands of the person suffering, and only addressing how to extend your life medically may not be the best option. The book speaks about the shortcomings of the medical field in dealing with end of life issues and how each person/family needs to do what is best for them and make their own decisions even if they run counter to what is popular/common or in the case of the elderly person -  what your children want you to do.

“In his compassionate and learned way, Gawande shows all of us - doctors included - how mortality must be faced, with both heart and mind”
~Sue Nelson

Seniors Show Their Spirit!

It's not all study and research in the library! Seniors are showing their spirit today with their Friday dress up day. Today's them is Hawaiian! We love to feel the spirit in the library!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Remebering the Past......

Well week two is in the books and the library has been bustling with activity. Students are coming in for their studies, seniors are here on their privs working on college apps, prepping for classes and reconnecting after the summer. And most happily students have been taking out many books!! It reinforces our philosophy that if we provide the books and stories they are interested in, young adults will read! We are so happy to see the enthusiasm in our students!! Students and staff who are interested in seeing what books we have in the library can check out our catalog at: Library Catalog

Last week I highlighted my favorite book I read over the summer. This week I put Ms. Williams in the hot seat and had her choose her favorite book! Below is her choice!
Ruby / Cynthia Bond 
This book deals with some especially painful topics that regrettably we are still dealing with present day. 
The story of Ruby returning to the small town in Texas where she grew up and recalling the heinous things she experienced is written in a poetic descriptive style that captures you, making it difficult to put down.  Her childhood friend, Ephriam's love and dedication to Ruby is of heroic proportions.

Remembering 9/11
Regardless of how many years have passed since 9/11, the day will always be ingrained in our minds. The library has many books available for students/staff interested in reading about 9/11. Here are two examples:

A graphic novel adaptation of "The 9/11 Commission Report," the results of the investigation of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. 

 Collects testimony from first responders, their families, and the families of the victims of 9/11 on their lives during the decade since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

Friday, September 4, 2015


Another summer in the books! The summer is a great way to decompress, relax and slow down. I was able to get in some great reading over the summer and my favorite book I read was one that my brother in law recommended. The book is called Fay / Larry Brown and I can not do it justice by trying to explain it here. Take my word, if you are looking for a compelling, gritty hopeful and hopeless story of a young girl trying to take charge of her life this is the book for you! I could not put it down.

We are so excited to begin another school year. We were so impressed with the enthusiasm of the students, we were already checking out books before the official first day of school! It is heartwarming to hear the excitement in student's voices as they share with us the books they read over the summer! I think this is going to be a good year with a lot of amazing things happening. I am looking forward to seeing all the students again, teaching classes and celebrating the importance of a strong school library and curriculum!

A few housekeeping notes!

We are BEYOND excited to introduce our new assistant in the library:
Ms. Williams is coming to us from the Natick Preschool and we could not be happier to have her. She will be a great addition to the library community with her positive attitude, friendly demeanor and great rapport with students.

The library extended hours will begin TUESDAY September 8th. The library will be open Monday-Thursday 7am-7pm. Friday is 7am-2:30pm.