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Check It Out: October 28, 2015

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff


November 4th: High School Team meeting

Nov 6th:  Laura, Stacy, and Courtney will be out of the office.  Please be sure to email us as voice mail will not be as accessible.  For any urgent matters, contact Library Services at 557-2520.

November 11th: Middle School Team Meeting

November 13th:  Deadline for submissions for sessions for Spring NETA conference.

New Annual Report Format! We loved your input and ideas for the annual report. Please see the "Annual Report Guidelines" tab above for your new requirements. We will take some time to discuss annual reports at your upcoming TEAM meetings.

Prairie Wind Play

Daniel Levitt has invited all to attend:

New to has added many new features to make their site even more useful for teachers and librarians:

Check out the "Resources for My Books" page which includes content sorted by grade levels, curriculum connection and genres.

There is a new literary calendar that you can link to your own calendar to keep track of author's birthdays, literary events and holidays.

Remember that this is a great resource for information on culturally diverse materials.

And finally, take a look at the new helpful resources and support page to tutorials, professional development and more.

What are you waiting for? Check out today!

Three Rivers Library System

We are excited to share that Three Rivers Library System (which combined other systems with the Eastern Library System) is now back in the old ELS office off of 120th and Center.  This means if you are a person who has enjoyed or would like to use their Book Sets (bags) in the past, they are now once again conveniently located here in town.  To see what they have to offer visit:      Contact the office to schedule check out of these materials.  The books sets are available for librarians to check out for book discussion groups and library reading groups.  The sets are typically checked out for  4-6 weeks.  Sets include multiple copies of a book and a discussion guide.

​Anneka Ramirez, the new director of Three Rivers Library System, is excited to serve all librarians formerly served by the Eastern and Northeastern Library Systems.  If you want to get on the system's mailing list for newsletters and such, here's how:

List: TRLS
A discussion about services and programs offered through the Three Rivers Library System. 

To subscribe, unsubscribe, search the archives, or find other list functions.

To Post a Message to the Group: Send an e-mail message to

Fabulous ELL Resources Site

Colorín Colorado is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of bilingual, research-based information, activities, and advice for educators and families of English language learners (ELLs). Colorín Colorado is an educational service of WETA, the flagship public broadcasting station in the nation's capital, and receives major funding from the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association. © Copyright 2015 WETA Public Broadcasting.

I highly recommend checking out this site and possibly sharing it with your teachers.  Not only are their great article resources listed in the grade level support areas, but there are also links to books and authors.

The name "Colorín Colorado" comes from a playful phrase that is often said at the end of stories in Spanish-speaking countries: "¡Y Colorín Colorado, este cuento se ha acabado!" or "¡Y Colorín Colorado, este cuento se ha terminado!" (Colorín Colorado, the story has ended!) There's no equivalent in English, but the phrase is similar to "The End" or "...and they lived happily ever after," or "That's all, folks!"

The saying brings back happy childhood memories of storytelling and reading for generations of people from many different countries. Making people smile about reading seemed like a perfect way to introduce our project.

Another Great Look at Cultural Relevance

The Danger of a Single Story

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Six Word Book Reviews

Free Reading Bookmarks

As promised to some of the elementary librarians, here are the bookmarks that were available at our Team Meeting last week!  I provided the first two listed.

Ten Resons Why the Internet Doesn't Replace a School Librarian

This list was adapted from a list that Cathy Jo Nelson adapted from someone else.  Look this list over.  What would you add?  What would you take out?  As you think about your Annual Reports, what "Top Five (or Ten) Reasons" are you important to your school?  Not the library itself--but you? 

  1. The free world wide web is vast, but solid research is not free. Your library offers valid online resources through Gale, Ebscohost,World Book, Pebble Go and an array of other subscription services to help learners and researchers sift through innocuous information often found in the vast ocean known as the world wide web.
  2. The needle (a search) in the haystack (free world wide web) – searching the free world wide web requires lots of time for one to sift through the gazillions of links.  Try our pathfinders instead, or use smart searching strategies you have learned from your librarians. Use the subscription databases that not only steer you towards a more reliable set of resources, but also guarantees free access from the school’s filtered content.
  3. A school library with a certified librarian ensures quality control. As patrons use the Internet, they are taught and reminded to remember to evaluate each and every site for the world wide web.  Remember how the librarian has talked about questioning reliability, accuracy, details, currency, authority, and bias before using that site in your research! This is true for any site, including those indexed in subscription databases.
  4. What you don’t know really does hurt you. Ignoring the evaluation tricks can lead your research down a treacherous path.  Be sure to apply the search strategies your librarian has taught.
  5. The internet does not replace having books in the library.  While digital resources are important, they do not replace paper copies of books.  For many students in our district, access to digital technology outside of the school day is difficult.  Plus, electronic resources do not replace the tactile experience of reading a book.  Student panels have even expressed that they prefer print to digital books.
  6. Ebooks are much easier to access via the web.  While print books are still important and valuable, providing resources in multiple formats to meet the needs of all of our patrons is also necessary.  Students in elementary and elementary schools have access to digital books as do teachers in the professional library.  These electronic items are still carefully selected by certified librarians to ensure they meet our district's selection criteria.  How to access and use these eBooks also requires instruction provided by the school librarian.
  7. Schools can be successful even if “library-less” now that the Internet is widely available.  Not true. The role of the library and the librarian is much more than physical space and books.  We are instructional partners, collaborators, research and information specialists, and we strive to ensure our students are getting their needs met by educating the school community on best practice in terms of instruction AND resources/collection development. Collection development now includes curating (collecting, organizing and displaying) online information.  We are the Google of our schools.  An added bonus–a school library is not just a place to offer Internet access or books. It is a place designed for learning, either self-directed or collaboratively.  School libraries of today are places where students can come to read for pleasure, study, research independently or with classes, and even delve into being a creator of information.  School library programs of today strive to be a space in the building that offers flexibility to the school community, a place that can be made into a space that works for the needs of the learners.  A school librarian ensures the evolution of the program continues to support the needs of the learners in the “learning commons.”
  8. But a Virtual Library ensures continued service, right?  A virtual library (online resources) is just one facet of a program. What is lost when a library is purely virtual?  Students and teachers lose the total instructional component of this picture.  Who exposes students and teachers to new virtual library resources?  Often these resources are complex, confusing, and just plain messy.  Vital to their use is a library program that ensures the entire school community understands how to use them.  In a way they are similar to the world wide web, and anyone can get lost or quickly frustrated with the search results.  And to top it off, many “virtual libraries” are moving towards a simplified “Google” look.  Search results are wide and plentiful.  Students must be taught the purpose and search functionality of resources found in a virtual library as well so they can be successful in their quest for information.
  9. The Internet: a mile wide and an inch (or less) deep. Yes, relatively speaking, the Internet is young and not fully developed. And much of what is available for free is shallow.  To gain more research worthy information, you will have to seek out sources that are provided by experts in their respective fields of research.  Librarians are trained to select print and online resources that meet the needs of the curriculum in their school.  Librarians work hand in hand with curriculum specialists and teachers to ensure they are providing access to the resources that will meet the research needs to the depth that various projects call for.  This is true for online as well as print resources, and it is called collection development.  A professionally trained school librarian fully understands this concept, and works tirelessly to ensure the needs of the school community are met–often on a  shoestring budget.
  10. The Internet does not instill a habit or a love of reading. While locating book reviews and conversing with others about books you enjoyed is possible through many online sites, it does not replace the experience of asking for recommendations from knowledgeable certified librarians who have carefully maintained a library collection that meets the needs of the students in that unique building.

Ms. Nelson's Blog Post:

Original Source:  Herring, M. Y. (2001). 10 Reasons the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library. American Libraries, 32(4), 76-78. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).