As the end of the School Year approaches …

               Right now it’s that hectic time of the year in the Library Media Center (LMC). We know that there has already been a serious outbreak of Spring Fever reported throughout the school, but at the LMC we’re still trying our best to contend with all the needs and demands of our entire school population, so please be patient. Recently, we’ve been closed periodically to study students due to AP testing. Of course, MCAS testing is coming soon, so be prepared to see more “TESTING: DO NOT ENTER” signs at our doors.

               In the meantime, we’d like to remind teachers to please check the calendar kept at the circulation desk to check for available time slots to bring in classes. We would also like to remind STUDY teachers, that we do not accept passes from study classrooms as we sign up as many students as we can take in the morning (before homeroom) and in the afternoon (after the last bell of the school day).

               It’s also that time of the year when we need to recruit our teachers to please remind students, especially seniors, to return any outstanding books they may have. The LMC does not charge late fees, but we absolutely want all of our valuable materials back.

               We will be preparing a classroom technology survey in the coming weeks which really depends on the teachers’ feedback. With enough teacher input, the LMC staff will have a better understanding of how you all use your tvs, dvds, overhead projectors, video projectors and other classroom tech, so that we can make better decisions when it comes to preparing a tight AV budget.

               Lastly, we’d like to ask teachers and students to submit recommendations for books or dvds that would be good additions to our collection. We can’t guarantee that the LMC will be able to purchase any requested items, but we take all requests seriously and try to accommodate everyone.

               In parting, I would like to share with you an article, “The inherent insularity of library culture?”, written by a fellow academic librarian. While the author works for a post-secondary institution, I believe that many of the questions and issues he raises also apply to the role of the high school librarian. Everyone knows that we’re here, but not everyone is sure of what it is we can do for them.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you all have a great Friday. GO CELTICS! GO GO GO BRUINS!

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

One of those other times

               As has happened way too often this school year, I missed my Sunday deadline again. This time I blame the Celtics and the Bruins for making such great playoff runs – and the nice weather, my wife and children, the lawn, my other hobbies, etc. The truth is that since I don’t get much feedback on this blog, it’s hard to know what the students and teachers like or dislike reading (I know you’re all very busy, so I’m not complaining, just explaining.) Thus, I’m left to express my own interests and share with you many of the things that I just happen to come across in my life as a consumer of media and information.

               Sometimes, I end up with a list of related sites or other resources that are connected, like “new books added to our collection” or “interactive online science activities”. Other times it’s just a potpourri of information. This post, is one of those other times: 

  • Adventures Among Ants: a global safari with a cast of trillions by Mark Moffett. I learned of this book while watching the Colbert Report (Yes, I know it’s entertainment and not news, but I think it’s funny and they actually feature authors every once in a while.). I’ve always been fascinated by ants and other small creatures with complex “societies”. I figure since I just read a good book about rats, a book about ants might be a good follow up.
  • The Patron Saint (and Scourge) of Lost Schools by Jeff Coplan. I read this article in New York Magazine (the LMC has a subscription). The story is about Eva Moskowitz, who is leading a small cadre of charter schools in New York City that some see as a great success and others view as a danger to the status quo.
  • Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. I used to joke every year when this issue came in that I hadn’t made the list … again. And I’m not getting any closer, either. I’m used to getting beat by Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton. But now I’m losing to people named Gaga and Kutcher? (We also subscribe to this magazine).
  • Live Science Twisted Physics: Live Science is one of those sites I think about every three or four months, but whenever I visit, I always find one or two good posts. Two that I stumbled across recently were, “Seven recent finds that blow our minds” and the Urban Legends section of the site, which reminds me of Snopes.com.
  • Archaeology Magazine’s Hoaxes, Fakes, and Strange Sites: One of the best things about being a librarian is that students come to me all the time looking for information about their particular interests. Unforutnately, too many kids are still interested in things that should have been dismissed long ago such as  ghosts, ancient aliens, esp, and monsters. There are too many outlets that promote this superstitious kind of thinking and not enough that promote skeptical examination in combination with critical thinking. This site, however, is one of those places.
  • Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool: Awesome tool created by the software giant. Free to download and use, and highly recommended for anyone running Windows or Vista.

One of the things I’ve been doing this year in the library is weeding and rearranging (and cleaning) our book collection. While this is tedious, I have to admit that I enjoy working through our stacks and have found myself wishing that I had more time to read the many great books that we have in our library. Here’s a handful of titles that have caught my eye as I feather dusted or windexed our shelves:

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you all have a great Friday …. I doubt I’ll post again on Sunday (so soon), but I’ll try. GO BRUINS! GO CELTICS!

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.