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Check It Out: 3/27/19

Your monthly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Remember -- You Can Check out Makerspace Materials from the Professional Library!

Visit and look for the Makerspaces/Kits tab to see the most up to date list of ALL items available through the profesisonal library.  Then, email Courtney to request.  These would be great for the last month of school!

April Social Media Campaign

For the month of February, you all shared what you love about being a school librarian.  For April (School Library Month), we would like to feature stories from your patrons--your students and staff--on how the school library has helped them.  To do so, please share this form however makes the most sense to you for them to fill out.  The form asks some basic questions and does not require the respondent to give their name.

Possible ways to share the form:  

1) Share this link on your social media

2) Share this link with classes you are directly working with over the next few weeks

3) Send it out to your staff to fill out on their own or to share with students

4) Post on your school's library website or libguide

Direct weblink to the form:

If you want to embed the link:

<iframe width="640px" height= "480px" src= "" frameborder= "0" marginwidth= "0" marginheight= "0" style= "border: none; max-width:100%; max-height:100vh" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen> </iframe>

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We want your opinion on Fall 2019 Professional Devleopment Offerings!

In order to serve you better in the upcoming year, please take a few moments to answer a two question survey regarding your ideas and preferences for professional development.

Thank you!  Laura

Courtney Pentland 

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

To Go with the Everyone Belongs theme for School Library Month

The current Nebraska Library Association President and Assistant Director of Gretna Public Library, Rebecca McCorkindale, has designed these fabulous graphics on inclusivity in libraries.  Check out more of her designs with the link below.

10 Ways to Celebrate School Library Month

Published in 2018, but there are still some great ideas here!

Online Read Alouds

Search on Facebook for Brightly Storytime.  There you will find:  Read along with Ms. Linda as she reads some of her favorite picture books for kids! Brought to you by Brightly, a literary resource for kids and parents. Find book recommendations and tips for how to raise lifelong readers at

But what's super fun is that she sometimes has guest readers... Like John Cena! Reading his new book Elbow Grease

Another great resource is Story Online -- Great books read by seasoned actors that each come with activity guides!

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.

Storyline Online receives over 100 million views annually from children all over the world.

Reading aloud to children has been shown to improve reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, and general academic aptitude, as well as inspire a lifelong love of reading. Teachers use Storyline Online in their classrooms, and doctors and nurses play Storyline Online in children’s hospitals.

Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.

100 Free Writing Prompts from John Spencer

These would be great for finished early activities or when partnering with an ELA teacher.  His offerings include 100 Writing Prompts for Grades 6-8; Creative Writing Prompts; Personal Narrative; Persuasive Prompts; Social Emotional Learning; Creative Thinking; Science & Social Studies Integration; and some video prompts!

One of the best aspects of being a teacher is watching students go from saying, “I hate writing,” to being so passionate about writing that they refuse to stop when the bell rings. In these moments, it can feel like magic. While there are many ways to spark the love of writing, one of my favorite strategies is a video or visual writing prompt. For over a decade, I have been creating authentic, teacher-tested writing prompts to spark the love of writing with even the most reluctant writer.

Right now, you can download a set of 100+ writing prompts (plus 30 video prompts) for free. Simply add your email address and click “submit” and I’ll send you a PowerPoint, Keynote, and PDF with the prompts.

Checks for Understanding -- Edutopia

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 (531-299-9822).

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 (531-299-9822).