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Check It Out: April 13, 2016

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Spring Fling

 It's time to celebrate!  Please join us in toasting our retirees and another successful year!

Other reminders:

April 21-22 - NETA

May 11, 2026  - Last date for checkout in elementary

May 12, 2016 - Spring Fling at Planet Sub 

May 17, 2016 - Last day for instruction in elementary

Share How You Are Celebrating School Library Month or National Library Week

Be sure to send in pictures and stories to Courtney of how your school is celebrating School Library Month and/or National Library Week!

Inside the Minds of Top Teacher-Librarians

April is School Library Month and we are kicking it off with the 2016 School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year Award! This third-annual award honors K–12 library professionals for outstanding achievement and the exemplary use of 21st-century tools and services to engage children and teens toward fostering multiple literacies. 

In honor of School Library Month, we've put together a round-up of blog posts from some top teacher-librarians—School Librarian of the Year Award winners and finalists. (Be sure to click each author's name to follow on Twitter!) 

The State of America's Libraries

Examine the State of America's Libraries

Libraries face an uncertain economy as they shift resources and services to meet the needs of the 21st-century digital world. The State of America's Libraries 2016: A Report from the American Library Association, a very special American Libraries digital supplement, details the critical ways that academic, school, and public libraries are transforming the communities they serve, this year and beyond. 

Edited by Kathy Rosa, director of ALA's Office for Research and Statistics, The State of America's Libraries 2016 features news and commentary on:

  • The Top Ten Most Challenged Books in 2015
  • Children's and teen services
  • Community engagement
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act
  • Privacy in the digital age
  • Calls to action in support of libraries

Read this special issue online here

Poetry Resource

Just in time for National Poetry Month! 

Dr. Karla Wendelin has launched a new website for educators (and students!) related to poetry writing.  It is called Poetry Studio—URL:

The site includes many resources for teachers as well as pages directed to students about writing poetry, poems for them to read, and more.

Poem in Your Pocket Day--April 21st!

Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. 

Poem in Your Pocket Day was originally initiated in 2002 by the Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets made the initiative national, encouraging individuals across the country to join in and channel their inner bard. 

From Booklist for Poetry Month

To access all the content click here

Poetry for All

"I used to be afraid of poetry. I thought it was some secret code only certain people were supposed to understand. . . . But I know now that poetry belongs to all of us," says Jacqueline Woodson, the current Young People's Poet Laureate. Woodson's stirring words also raise a challenge: If poetry belongs to all of us, how do we help young people claim what is theirs? How can we introduce poetry in a way that inspires students to make it a deeply personal part of their own lives? In honor of April's National Poetry Month, we're devoting this issue of Quick Tips to helping you find titles and tips for sharing poetry with young people, starting with our roundup of recently reviewed poetry titles for youth. We're also thrilled to include Book Links contributor Sylvia M. Vardell's interview with Jacqueline Woodson, along with ideas for linking Woodson's award-winning books to the curriculum. And we move from poetry to science to close this issue on a seasonal note with a "Focus on STEAM" column that celebrates the science of seeds. Still looking for more poetry ideas? Don't miss Woodson's page on the Poetry Foundation's website, as well as the foundation's Facebook page, which is updated regularly with more ideas for helping kids discover poetry. What are your favorite poems, poets, or projects to share with students? As always, we'd love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

Gillian Engberg, Editor

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).