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.