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Check It Out: 1/8/20

Your monthly news from the OPS Library Services Staff


New Librarians' Meeting - January 9, 4:45 at TAC, Library Services

The transfer request process is open through January 20.

Update your SIP Information in the OPS School Libraries Notebook

Librarians: Remember to add your literacy strategies and collection development evidence in your folders.

Technology Teachers: Remember to add your literacy strategies and A+ Curriculum evidence to your folders.

March 4 and 5: Team meetings for elementary and secondary. Details TBD.

Golden Sower Posters from Follett: I you want one, email Gwen  and she can send it to you!

New Year, New Goals

Set yourself up for success in the new year by focusing on what is most important to you.

Evaluate Where You Are

Revisit the goals you set at the start of the year.  What progress have you made? What do you need to do to realize these goals?

Dream Big

What does your ideal situation as a school librarian look like? Write it down! You may write down dreams that seem impossible or have significant obstacles (hello, budgets!). BUT, if you write down what success looks like to you, you will be better able to define specific goals that you can act on in the last half of the school year. This is not the time to think about the obstacles in your path.

Know Your Stuff

 Committing yourself to your own professional growth can help you navigate the changing roles of librarians and equip you to convince others to support your goals.

Rally the Troops

Schools are a community, and the support of classroom teachers is critical to your success.  Partnering with teachers allows you to forge connections that can develop champions for your goals.

Make a Plan

Librarians are awesome planners! Use this strength and plan your goals across your calendar for the rest of the school year. If your goals are time-sensitive and specific, you can chart progress across time and adjust if unforeseen obstacles crop up.

The Latest from SLJ

Teen Librarian Toolbox

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The Classroom Bookshelf

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Good Comics for Kids

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Josh the Otter

Image result for josh the otterWhat could be more important than saving a life?


Education about water safety is key to decreasing the number of children, who drown. The Josh the Otter Water Safety & Awareness program is presented by the City of Omaha Parks & Recreation Department in cooperation with Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

All elementary school libraries are invited to host a Josh the Otter visit in the school library as a part of Omaha Public Schools’ efforts to increase water safety awareness.


All kindergarten students


Librarian arranges a time for Josh to come to the school to greet kindergarten  classes.


Josh and company will read the story to the class and play a song about water safety.


After the visit, each kindergarten student will receive their own copy of Josh the Baby Otter.


Visits can be scheduled at any time during the school year except during the month of May


Jessi Hubbard 402-444-5918.

How Do you Define "Diverse Books"?

Diverse: Having a wide variety of representations, a variety of points of view and experiences; a book written that includes diverse characters or points of view by any author.

Own Voices: An author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing about his own experiences.

We need both diversity and own voice books in our collections. One way to develop your awareness and add to your collection is to use curated lists and resources from organizations devoted to promoting authentic representations of diversity. Here are some excellent starting points to consider:


Excerpted from "Expanding Our Horizons: Building Diverse Collections in School Libraries," AASL Conference presentation, November, 2019.

World Read Aloud Day

Why World Read Aloud Day?

We believe that everyone should have the chance to share stories.

LitWorld founded World Read Aloud Day in 2010 as an opportunity for people all around the globe to celebrate the joy of reading aloud, and advocate for literacy as a fundamental human right that belongs to everyone. Over the last ten years, World Read Aloud Day has evolved into a global movement of millions of readers, writers, and listeners from communities all across the world coming together to honor the joy and power of reading and sharing stories, and continue expanding the definition and scope of global literacy.

BookShelf Bingo

Educator: Bingo helps diversify classroom booksWe know that representation matters, that in order for our libraries to be spaces where everyone is affirmed and included, young people must see themselves and their lived experiences in our collections. Do our libraries reflect this knowledge? Bookshelves offer a powerful litmus test of the experiences and identities we honor and include in our selections.Here is a fun way to view your collection with an eye toward diversity:

Bookshelf Bingo! Originally published December 10, 2019 ©; George Lucas Educational Foundation".

Takeaways on Feedback

SLJ Event

A Virtual Event Dedicated to Middle Grade Literature


Join School Library Journal for our inaugural Middle Grade Magic virtual summit, a day-long celebration and exploration of one of the burgeoning and most important – areas of publishing for young readers: literature for children ages eight through 12 – and beyond! Attendees will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at some of the most anticipated new titles for kids and tweens, from laugh-out-loud tales to eye-popping graphic novels to enveloping fantasy. Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out the virtual exhibit hall, chat directly with authors, download educational resources, and receive prizes and giveaways.

Middle Grade Magic is a free, completely virtual conference – no traveling, no cost, AND you will be able to earn CE credits for all the webcast sessions you attend. Register now, and we look forward to ‘seeing’ you on April 8th. 

Can't make the live date? No problem! The entire environment will be archived and available for up to three months.

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).