This is the last week to check out books, believe it or not. Next week is the time for all books to come "home" to their shelves. This will let me check to make sure we have what we think we have, and make sure they're ready for next year.
When I told some students that yesterday, I had a few react with surprise: "I thought Kepler was closing!" I was happy to reassure them that Kepler is not closing, no matter what they might have seen or heard.
Fresno Unified School District has been our authorizer for five years, (the term will end at the end of June), but they decided not to be our authorizers for the next five years. This frees us to ask Fresno County to be our authorizer (our public hearing with them is this Thursday, May 17th in the afternoon - will I see you there?).
In the meantime, we are finishing this year strong - keep an eye open for a post about maker projects in the library! - and thinking about what we can do now to be ready for a great next year.
As you may know, our graphic novels are the most circulated books in our collection. I use them as a measure of how things are going. You can see in the images below what a difference between when things are checked in and when they are still out. On the left, when we came back from winter break, the shelves were beautiful and full. On the right, you can see now, near the end of the year, we have about 15 books on each of the three shelves. These few remaining miss their teammates!
Let's finish well and be ready for next year. Bringing books back to their library home is a good start!
May is full of interest and surprises, and it starts off with a bang! So you don't miss any of the excitement, here's a run-down of the goodness.
May 4th is School Lunch Hero Day, launched ("lunched"?) by the School Nutrition Association in partnership with Jarrett J. Krosoczka. You can see his TED talk about why this is important to him here. You should know he's the author of the popular Lunch Lady graphic novel series.
May the fourth is also Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You, Always). Keep an eye out for posters of favorite characters with a special message around campus.
May 4th is ALSO Kepler's game day at the Grizzlies, as part of a reading celebration. Be sure to bring your bookmark to the game for an extra prize (yes, beyond the two tickets that your voucher is good for --in past years, the Grizzlies have given away books!). Bring your cameras - Star Wars characters will be dressed up and ready to say hello at the game!
Saturday is Cinco de Mayo, celebrating the Mexican army's victory against overwhelming odds at the Battle of Puebla. Find a great book about Mexico in our library!
Saturday is also FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! There are three stores listed in Fresno and Clovis as participating, but there may be more. Make sure to call ahead. There's nothing like finding out the information on the website was wrong...after you get to the "We've Moved!" sign.
All of May is Maker Month at Kepler. Don't know what the Maker Movement is? Check out Maker Faire information or Wikipedia's longer explanation. For inspiration, check out DIY and how-to books or biographies of makers under the "Creativi-Tree" side of our special display.
Our other month-long celebration is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. For books about and by people of Asian and Pacific Island heritage, look under the "Family Tree" side of our special display.
So much to do in May, and then there's only one week left of school! Let's enjoy these last few weeks!
The library has been a busy place this April, with lots of creativity and word play happening!
Here, students are arranging magnetic word tiles on the whiteboard. Below are some examples from various grades.
The "Poet Tree" shelters our special display of poetry books - we have short stories, long stories, funny books, collections, books by California Writers, poetry books about food and biomes, and biographies of poets.
Classes have tried out haiku, a Japanese short form that focuses on nature and the five senses, and often has a surprise; a form called found poetry (ours were based on recipe books or rocks and mineral books); and blackout poetry made from the pages of damaged books. None of these forms are rhyming; all of them need thoughtful word choices.
We'll finish the poetry celebration off with a display of poetry from Kepler students and employees. Look for it inside and outside the library.
You may already know that April is National Poetry Month. You may even know that you can enter a poetry contest organized by Fresno County Public Library, open to 3rd grade and up. But you probably don't know yet that one of our own Kepler students has already won a prize for poetry this year! Join us in congratulating Adrian L. for his prize-winning poem "Poison of People," submitted to Appelley. To read his and other winning poems, please visit www.appelley.org/winners. Congratulations, Adrian!
Use the search box above to look in our collection. If you search "Dogs," for example, you'll find fiction and nonfiction all about dogs! What's exciting about this is that you can immediately see if a book is available or not - just look at the upper left corner to see if it's green and says "IN" or red and says "OUT." Below is an example - please NOTE that this book might not still be available when you come look.
February was a busy month in the library! We celebrated Black History Month all month, the Olympics, Valentine's Day, and Chinese New Year's Day. With nonfiction to satisfy curiosity and fiction to help us imagine what it's like to solve problems or overcome obstacles or enjoy celebrations, we had something for everyone.
I discovered a new favorite illustrator, Laura Freeman, who worked on two of the picture book biographies in our collection. I'm not a high-fashion person, so I had never heard of Anne Cole Lowe, but Deborah Blumenthal's text and Laura Freeman's carefully researched illustrations made me want to know more after reading Fancy Party Gowns. (As of 2/27/18, this book had been returned and is waiting to be checked out again!)
For our second title, you may already know third grade is deep into a unit on the space race and the first moon walk. Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race was a perfect fit for them, written by Margot Lee Shetterly and again illustrated by Laura Freeman. Besides being powerful books, both had vibrant color and beautiful background details. (As of 2/27/18, this book was checked out, but will return to the library so you can have a turn.)
This month's main display for Black History Month focused on people (all of the right), places (top left), poetry (mid-left), and historical fiction (bottom left). Next month I'll get a picture of March's display posted earlier so you'll know what treasures await you!
Have you ever wished you could look at Kepler's library catalog to see if we own a book? You can! Go to our online site and you can search by author, title, keyword, and other options. Once you find the title you're looking for, see if it says any copies are available. If none are, it's checked out. If some are available, look at the call number to know where to find your book in the library.
One of the great things about having an author visit is being able to purchase a book to remember the visit by as you read and reread it. Captain Steinke's picture book has tall tales, of course, but also a glossary and a little information about life in the past on board ship.
The flyer below gives information about your options. Help Captain Steinke know how many books to bring by filling out the Google Form at this link.
The blog has been very quiet for several months, but the library itself has been busy! Come in and see our new shelves (you can lean on them and they won't fall over!) and try checking out with our new digital catalog!
Even better, we will have our first author visit this week. Captain Johann Steinke, a licensed tallship captain, credentialed teacher, and local author, will join us on Thursday to share his book, The Greatest Captain in the World. He'll also talk about seafaring adventures, let students act out scenes, and take questions.
Several classes have heard the book once by now, and we have collected some great questions about being on board a ship and about writing - I can't wait to hear the answers!
Captain Steinke will be on hand after school with an opportunity for you to buy a signed copy of this funny and informative book to read and reread.
Look for more local author visits this spring!
You may have heard of Fresno's own Reading Heart, a non-profit organization started by a student here in town for the purpose of getting books into students hands. They are putting on an event, Books and Bites, tomorrow morning at Whole Foods from 7:30 to 11:00, complete with dunk tank!
Hope to see you there!
Always up for book chats, reading, library memes - proud to be Kepler's first librarian