Skip to main content

Check It Out: April 12, 2017

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Important Dates

May 16 - Spring Fling!! (Mark your calendars!)           

May 16 - Last check out date for elementary libraries

May 23- Last day libraries are open

May 24 - Libraries close for clean up and work on annual reports

May 31 - Annual report is due

(You will find Annual Report 2017 Guidelines on the tabs at the top of this LibGuide).

The State of America's Libraries

The State of America's Libraries 2017: A Report from the American Library Association, a special American Libraries digital supplement, details the ways that library workers help individuals develop new skills, communicate with others through new technologies, and help make their communities better places to live. If anything, read the 2 pages on school libraries.

Resources from Random House

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, starring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio. Countless fans have asked R.J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We're All Wonders, she makes her debut as an artist, with a spare, powerful text and richly-imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it's like to live in Auggie's world--a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he's not always seen that way.We're All Wonders may be Auggie's story, but it taps into every child's longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It's the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

National Poetry Month offers the perfect opportunity to invigorate your classroom with creativity and imagination! Poetry has the unique ability to challenge students to think about the ordinary world in a new light. A thoughtfully designed poetry unit can teach students how to experience the delight of finding the poetic in the ordinary while forming an lasting love and respect for the carefully crafted written language. Join us in April as we celebrate our rich poetic history and perpetuate the wonderful craft of our favorite poets--old and new!

Reading without Walls

Reading without Walls

This April kicks off the annual Reading Without Walls Challenge. Expand your kids' reading horizons by recommending a book outside their comfort zones that fits one of these categories:

1) A book about a character who doesn't look or live like the reader. Diversity comes in many forms: race, religion, gender, geography, sexual orientation, class, ability, and more.

2) A book about a topic the reader doesn't know much about. Explore the world with a STEM book. Dive into a book on sports. Become immersed in a memoir, historical fiction, or nonfiction title.

3) A book in a format that they don't normally read for fun. This includes alternate types of books, such as picture books, graphic novels, audiobook, and books in verse.

Reading Without Walls seeks to promote diversity and open readers' eyes to new ideas and experiences; to spread appreciation and understanding for others; and to learn new and exciting things.

Click here to learn more and download an activity guide→

Upcoming Webinars from School Library Journal


Tuesday, Apr. 18th, 2017, 11:00-12:00 CST
Join Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal‘s reviews manager, for an in-depth conversation with editors and publishing insiders, Francisca Goldsmith of Library Ronin, Christopher Johns of Tuttle Publishing, Cheryl Klein of Lee & Low and Carrie Gleason of James Lorimer & Company. They’ll dig deeper into publishing diverse children’s and young adult literature with a focus on #OwnVoices titles.
Register Now!


Thursday, Apr. 20th, 2017, 2:00-3:00 CST
Get ready for a rapid fire tool share in this next webcast in the SLJ/ISTE series. We’ll explore the best applications and gear for your school or library, including must-have multimedia content, cool coding platforms, and top choices for your maker space.
Register Now!

Kids and Family Reading Report--Scholastic

We asked U.S. parents and children about their attitudes and behaviors around reading books for fun. Learn what they had to say.  To learn more about the key role of librarians helping children find books to read for fun.

Library Books Are Due Memes

Earth Day Resources from PBS

Nature Works Everywhere (Grades 6-12)

Explore the amazing ways in which nature works to make our lives cleaner and healthier every day. In this series of videos from The Nature Conservancy, see how all types of environments, plants, and animals play crucial roles in maintaining our global ecosystem, and how we can help play a role as well in making a more sustainable future.

The Environment and Recycling (PreK-2)

This episode talks about taking care of things and how recycling can help clean up the environment. A visit to the local recycling plant explores how certain types of trash can be reused to make new materials, and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe deals with a growing garbage problem.  (Links to other environment related primary grade videos included at the bottom of the page)

Exploring Energy (Grades 6-12)

Brought to you by the California Academy of Sciences, Flipside Science is a youth-powered series that tackles environmental topics and empowers viewers to make a difference.

In this Flipside Science unit, Exploring Energy: Designing a Brighter Future, we'll explore environmental issues related to energy use and conservation. Using videos hosted by youth and accompanying activities, you can engage your students in learning about fossil fuels, renewable and alternative energy, sustainable transportation, and even digital data and energy use.

Who Ya Gonna Call...or Email?

The fastest way to get your questions answered is to contact the right person!

  • Stacy Lickteig (531) 299-9614: Technology, cataloging, copyright, budget and ordering
  • Courtney Pentland (531) 299-9609: Library curriculum, Super 3+/Big 6+ Inquiry, Professional library, Newsletter Items
  • Laura Pietsch (531) 299-9615: Policy, personnel and evaluation, Sherwood grants

Happy 50th Anniversary YA

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).