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Check It Out: January 10, 2018

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff


If you ordered the inquiry posters in Spanish, PLEASE be sure to come get them from library services.  We do not want to try and send them through the mail as they may get bent or damaged.  If you do not remember how many posters or if you ordered, just email Courtney, and she will let you know!

Upcoming Social Media Topics

We had such fun with our "what are you thankful for" and "our favorite things" posts in November and December, that we would like to keep the ball rolling into this next semester.  Check out the topics below.  You can email Courtney with your items to share!  As always, pictures are helpful!

January--Goals for 2018 or second semester.  Do you or your students have any library related goals for 2018?

February--What is a memory you love about using libraries personally or with your loved ones?

March--Why do you feel "lucky" to be a school librarian?

April--Favorite rainy day reads books

May--Favorite things from second semester

A 2018 Reading Challenge for YOU

Who Ya Gonna Call...or Email?

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

  • Laura Pietsch (531) 299-9615: Policy, personnel and evaluation, Sherwood grants and building projects
  • Stacy Lickteig (531) 299-9614: Technology, cataloging, copyright, budget and ordering
  • Courtney Pentland (531) 299-9609:  Inquiry, professional library, newsletter Items; Secondary Review Committee; secondary author visits, skype visits
  • McKenzie White (531) 299-9362 Instructional technology , ITL Program

  • Gwen Jackson  Elementary author visits

Technology Training/Support

  • Debra Bordenkecher  531-299-9841: Handles training needs of classified staff (including paraprofessionals)
  • Hardware issues should be handled by your building assigned technologist. If this person is not in the building, call or email the Help Desk 531-299-0300

How NOT to Make a To-Do List

Time guru Laura Vanderkam has a few pointers on how NOT to make your to-do list.  Check out the full article below.


1.  Include more things than can fit into one day

2.  List activities for which success is unclear

3.  List multi-step activities as one item

4.  Fail to take into account energy levels

5. Be wishy-washy

Skip the To-Do List and Make a Ta-Da List!

Do you ever get to the end of the day and are amazed by everything you were able to accomplish?  If you're anything like me, my brain automatically focuses on the list of things I didn't get done instead of what I did.  While knowing what goals you still need to accomplish is helpful, only focusing on what is left to do can be draining.  To give yourself a boost, instead of creating or editing your to-do list for tomorrow, take 5 minutes at the end of the day, and create a Ta-Da list!  A Ta-Da list is a list of everything you DID get done today.  I will bet that you do more each day than you are truly aware of.  If you keep a running record of your lists, they could also become a great way to evaluate how you spend your days over time and possibly even as an advocacy tool to show your administrators how your time is spent each day.  Use a notebook, a computer document, or find a fun free printable online to record your accomplishments!  If you make a Ta-Da List, I would love to see them and if you are ok with it, share them with the group!

Make a Ta-Da List | Life as Mom

Great Articles AMLE that Can Apply to Any Grade!

Preventing Plagiarism: Three Proactive Paraphrasing Lessons

By: Lisa Brennan

You've read it … that one passage in a student research paper that startles you. The sentence structure and vocabulary exceed middle school norms. You raise your eyebrows, shake your head, and take a deep breath. How many times did you say, "Don't copy word for word."

As middle school educators, we're used to saying things more than once; we're also comfortable with learning from mistakes. Middle school plagiarism is often unintentional. Plagiarism prevention, however, needs to be explicitly intentional.

So what can teachers do? Be proactive.

Introduce your students to effective paraphrasing strategies before they begin a research project. Once a research project begins, students need to navigate a number of new routines, platforms, and skills. Short term assignments are replaced by longer term deadlines. Textbooks are temporarily traded for database articles. Bibliographies, website evaluation, and citation styles (which may not have been mentioned for a few months) are suddenly essential again.

The lessons shared below are designed to require minimal class time while targeting concepts middle schoolers need to paraphrase successfully.

The News Literacy Project

A tool to help students determine news they can trust

Last May, the News Literacy Project (NLP), a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, introduced its checkology™ virtual classroom an online platform that is the culmination of its experiences in providing classroom, after-school, and digital news literacy lessons over the last eight years to 25,000 students in middle schools and high schools in New York City, Chicago, Houston, and the Washington, D.C., area.

The virtual classroomdescribed by the first educator trained on it as "a dream come true for teachers"—enables NLP's news literacy lessons to be taught in any location, in the U.S. and around the world, that has an internet connection. Since its introduction in May 2016, more than 6,000 educators who teach more than 615,000 students throughout the United States and in 44 other countries have registered to use the platform. You can see the worldwide adoption of the platform on this map and see the schools that are using it.

News literacy teaches that all information is not created equal. It helps young people use the aspirational standards of quality journalism to determine what they should trust, share and act onespecially important because many get their news not from traditional outlets, but from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. They need to understand these standards because they are increasingly contributing to the wider conversation: In an age of unparalleled access, in which unprecedented amounts and types of information can be shared with one quick click, anyone can be a publisherand everyone must be an editor. NLP was the antidote to "fake news" long before anyone coined the term.

Display Ideas

Valentine's Day library book display with punny candy heart pick up lines

Gallatin Public Library in Gallatin, TN

Click on the picture above to see 17 ideas for Valentine's related displays

November 2014 display surrounding smartboard - first lines of books (blind date)

Blue Valley West Library

Sweeten your day with a story. . . use around Valentine's Day.

Anti Valentine's Day Library Display

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).