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Check It Out: 4/3/19

Your monthly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

Professional Development Opportunities -- FALL 2019

September 19-21, 2019

The award-winning Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival was founded in 1996 and seeks to encourage a love of reading, writing and books by bringing nationally renowned authors and illustrators to Nebraska.  Saturday September 21st is the educator day that you could attend through the grant.

October 5, 2019   

Nebraska School Librarians Day Fall Spectacular featuring over 20 sessions with a school library focus.  8:00-2:30 at Papillion La-Vista South High School.  More information coming soon.

Please Respond by Friday April 19th

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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STEM Read Alouds for Earth Day

Earth Day Resources from PBS

American Spring Live: Learn how to participate in Bird Cams, The Great Sunflower Project, Track-a-Lilac, Monarch Larva Monitoring Project and more! NET is partnering with organizations on citizen science projects and events

Take a field trip in your own backyard. Who shares that space with you? What do they eat? Where do they live? Backyard Wildlife, an original KET video, introduces children to animals they might find just outside the back door or in a nearby park. This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

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.

Read WIthout Walls Challenge

Fun and easy challenge for students to do any time of the year.

Former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang calls us all to READ WITHOUT WALLS, exploring books about characters who look or live differently than you, topics you haven’t discovered, or formats that you haven’t tried.

READING WITHOUT WALLS promotes diversity and opens readers’ eyes to new ideas and experiences. In this divided time in our nation’s history, READING WITHOUT WALLS is an inclusive way to spread appreciation and understanding for others — and to learn new and exciting things.

Ferreting Out Fake News -- Teacher Librarian

Knowledge Quest -- Authority, Credibility, and Determining Expertise: A Challenge to Ultracrepidarian

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word ultracrepidarian as “Expressing opinions on matters outside the scope of one’s knowledge or expertise.” While this phenomenon is nothing new, it has become a recent concern of mine when students are determining the credibility of a resource. In fact, authority and credibility are often used interchangeably, while delving into expertise is a bit more complicated. When considered in conjunction with one another, determining authority, credibility, and expertise can be the most powerful defense in determining if a resource should be used in support of a claim.

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

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).