New to our shelves, October 2019

(Yes, this was posted in September … but I couldn’t wait)

While we are still waiting for our new books to arrive from our orders, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have additions to our shelves. Thanks to our generous teachers, staff, students, and community, we are always getting book donations. Though not all the titles make it to our shelves (some because of their physical conditions, others because of inappropriate content) we do find many gems in the donations.

Below you can find a handful of these “new to our shelves” titles, that I think are noteworthy and deserving of our attention. I also provide a summary, lifted from the publishers’ product description, because I’ve only skimmed through the books.


The superhero book: the ultimate encyclopedia of comic-book icons and Hollywood heroes by Gina Misiroglu published 2012.

“Appealing to the casual comic book reader as well as the hardcore graphic novel fan, this ultimate A to Z compendium describes everyone’s favorite participants in the eternal battle between good and evil. With nearly 200 entries examining more than 1,000 heroes, icons and their place in popular culture, it is the first comprehensive profile of superheroes across all media, following their path from comic book stardom to radio, television, movies, and novels.”


Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us by Daniel H. Pink published 2011.

“Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink. In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life.”


It’s good to be Gronk by Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski with Jason Rosenhaus published 2015.

“From hamming it up at Super Bowl Media Day, to spicing up interviews with “Gronk-esque” dance moves, to cuddling with kittens in the pages of ESPN The Magazine, to christening a used party bus his ride of choice, Gronk’s good humor and playful persona make it seem like other players are “living in black and white, and Gronk is in color” (CBS Sports) … Gronk takes fans from the field to the locker room to the VIP room to the talk show green room to his parents’ kitchen table—a full tour of the world according to Gronk.”


Neaderthal by John Darton, published 1996.

“When a paleoanthropologist mysteriously disappears in the remote upper regions of the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan, two of his former students, once lovers and now competitors, set off in search of him. Along the way, they make an astounding discovery: a remnant band of Neanderthals, the ancient rivals to Homo sapiens, live on. The shocking find sparks a struggle that replays a conflict from thirty thousand years ago and delves into the heart of modern humanity.”


Illustrated Classics, Various titles

“Ageless and timeless, the stories in the Great Illustrated Classics have been designed with illustrations on every other page. Our books are used by grade school teachers, school librarians, and parents to encourage skill development in boys and girls at various reading levels. ( On their website, “The reading level and Lexile of each title in the series can be found in the “About This Book” section of each title you click on”.)

I’d like to give a personal endorsement for the Illustrated Classics series, having grown up reading these “graphic novels” before they were called that. As a young, Spanish-speaking boy with limited English, I found the illustrations on every other page of the book a great visual aid to help me understand the context of some of the words I was reading, describing worlds that were really foreign; culturally, and in time. I also found that having read these “classics” as a youngster made them easier to grasp in their unabridged, high school versions because I had already encountered the characters, settings, and most importantly “action” or plot. I highly recommend these books, especially for emerging or reluctant readers.

So there you have just a few of the notable additions to our collection. I hope you found something you might want to check out, and thank you for reading.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2019. All rights reserved

Freshman Orientation

I love welcoming our new students to the Library Media Center (LMC), introducing myself and talking about what we have available. This year, Ms. Parent and her freshman classes were the first to visit the library to check out books, and that gave me a chance to give them a brief orientation.

I began by talking about the LMC and how it is a hub of the high school and a space that is often shared by one than one group. I reminded the students that this means we need to be respectful of each other and mindful that the LMC is an academic workplace. And what a place it is.

Unlike libraries of the past which were quiet and tended to be isolated from other activities, the HHS LMC reflects the modern vision of how libraries have evolved to adapt to their changing roles in our lives. I have provided a map below to help anyone unfamiliar with the LMC to get an idea of how multi-faceted the space is.

Housed in the library are three computer-related classrooms, the EMT/ Nursing class, Gradpoint and the ERC (where students serve in-house detention). What used to be the library staffroom and archiving area now serves as the Family Resource Center. There’s also an area reserved for the Robotics classes to construct and test their robots. In short, the LMC is a heavily trafficked area, even when no one is checking out books.

Ms. Parent’s classes, however, came precisely to do just that, so after talking about the library space, I introduced them to the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) available via the HPS Launchpad. This handy little tool is something that even teachers often forget they have available to them, and since it exists online, it means anyone can access it through their smartphones.

This time around, my intro to the OPAC was very brief, as experience has taught me that most kids would rather ramble through the shelves when they are looking for something to read independently. Since most students were looking for fiction titles, it was important to familiarize them with how we organize the largest collection in our library. We have over 6,000 novels and their call numbers all begin with F (for fiction, obviously) followed by the first three letters of the AUTHOR’S LAST NAME. So, for example, any book by John Green (Looking for Alaska, Turtles All the Way Down, The Fault in Our Stars, etc) can be found under the call # F GRE. If you can find one book by your favorite author, you can find them all, because they should all be shelved together.

But, as I said before, unless the student already has a title or author in mind, most reluctant readers are looking for a cover or title that catches their eye … despite the old adage about judgment and book covers.

To help our students find their way without having to use the OPAC, we recently put up new labels such as “Diseases”, “Animals”, “World War II”, “Sports” and “Shakespeare” on the shelves where these topics are concentrated. We also have visual cues, such as pictures of animals or WWII planes, to assist them in their search. With that, I sent them off to find a book and welcomed them to Hillie Nation.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you found something worthwhile.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2019. All rights reserved


Welcome back, Hillies! 2019 edition

The 2019-2020 school year has begun and we have noted many changes. I want to welcome all the new faces, incoming freshmen, transfer students, and new faculty and staff, to Haverhill High. We also have new programs, copiers, room assignments, and so much more that it certainly promises to be an exciting school year.

As is usual for my first post of the new school year, I would like to begin by introducing myself and listing what is available for our students and faculty at the HHS Library Media Center (LMC).

Contact Information

School Extension:    1143

Henry Toromoreno, Librarian 


Library Media Center Hours:     Monday – Friday, 7 am – 3:15 pm

Students that want to use the LMC computers or space before or after-school, do not need to make an appointment. We are open before classes start so that students may print their assignments and teachers can make their copies. Many clubs, groups and other people book the library for meetings or other events, and students may, on rare occasions, be asked to leave if there is an ongoing activity or meeting. We can give students a pass for the late bus (T, W, TH) but they are expected to be in the library working, reading or otherwise engaged in a school-related activity.


Haverhill High School OPAC:

Anyone can access our collection through the “HPS Library” link at the bottom of the HPS Launchpad. We have a great selection of books for a high school library, that includes an expanding collection of graphic novels, including many which are non-fiction.


Class Visits

Teachers that would like to bring their class to the library can arrange their visits by checking the LMC log kept at the circulation desk. There is no online version of this to book the library. Please call us (xt. 1143) to check if we have room to accommodate you and/or your group if you have NOT already booked a visit in the LMC log. We love to see our space full of students, teachers, aides, counselors and everyone else who makes HHS a great place to work.


Study Students

Students who would like to come to the LMC during their study periods must have a pass from their teacher. Study teachers, please limit to 2 students per class. Sometimes, the library may be fully booked by classes or be hosting an event, which may mean study students have to return to their classrooms. We encourage study students to bring schoolwork or reading that needs to be completed so that we can keep the LMC a productive and inviting communal space.



The LMC has two banks of computers.

  • Lab 1 is on the left-hand side of the “pit” and has 15 PCs.
  • Lab 2 is on the right-hand side of the “pit” and has 15 PCs.

We have one color and one mono printer/copier which both get heavy use throughout the day and are especially busy each morning.

There is a laminating machine for staff use only. Currently we only have 12” wide laminate available.


Copiers, projectors, overheads, etc.

As a media specialist, I am here to get you through some of your frustrating technology encounters. I know how much our faculty and staff rely on copies, printouts and scans to get their work done, so please make sure you call me whenever you’re having trouble with one of our many Toshiba machines. Contact me if your local machine needs its toner or staples replaced, if you’re experiencing chronic paper jams, or if you get an error message of any kind. I am also able to assist you if you still use a television, VCR (what?), DVD player (huh?), overhead projector (why?), CD player/radio (how?) or other antiquated machine that helps you do your thing in the classroom.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you found something useful.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2019. All rights reserved