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Benson West School Library Annual Report: 2013-14

Collection Development

 As a transitioning librarian it was important to seek the assistance from a mentor elementary librarian who had experience with collection development in the elementary range.   Annette Luedtke from Belle Ryan assisted in reviewing new titles for 2013- 14 and reviewing my titlewave account after first selection for e books and chapter book choices.   As a new member of the Elementary Review Committee I added titles that were book talked at meetings by members who recommended important titles.    Critical choices were made in looking at our population at Benson West and types of e books, and chapter books to choose.   I sought assistance from Bonnie Stillwagon our co-librarian at Benson West who has had years of experience at Benson West for reviewing e book choices and non-fiction.

My visit to the Plum Creek children's lit festival also helped me network with authors and broaden my horizons into the world of children's literature.


For our collection development in our non -fiction we collected books  for our 500's- 600's section.   I pulled our titlewave summary analysis to help find areas where we had gaps.      I selected books at easy and intermediate K - 2 and 3 -5 in areas to provide for all grade levels including books that would be ESL friendly.   Most titles chosen were 2013 -14.    Topics of high interest were chosen.  I would like to start creating baskets next year for easy non-fiction which some of our easy non-fiction books which we purchased for this year for K-2 will be conveniently displayed.  

This year I mostly weeded our 500's section replacing books in the subjects of flowers, mountains, caves, fossils,  systems of measurements, weather, and animals.   We ended with a pile of books that had similar titles already in the system and some that needed to be replaced.   We replaced those books this year or have them on our list to be replaced for the upcoming 2014 - 15 budget.   We have started weeding our 600's section lightly and pulled a few books to be replaced however we have not found replacements for the collection. 

Circulation/Fines Strategies

Our goal in circulation was  to allow students more time and access to the online catalog in searching for their materials.  Our second goal was to increase the number of materials that students could checkout.   

Before checkout our students would browse the online catalog on laptops at their tables to make them more familiar with finding materials and using search terms.     They also made checkout journals which they would write the call numbers including genre codes for books before heading to the shelves to find materials.    They started to checkout a wider variety of materials from our library as well as using key terms to search non-fiction.

We increased the number of books a student can check out this year than previous years.


We used a book buck system where students could recieve a book dollar for being a model library student.  Students could checkout one extra book with a book dollar.  

After running our circulation report in May we saw an increase in circulation of library materials at Benson West by 20% 


The last three weeks of school we have been putting on contests with prizes for the first three classes to get all of their books back to the library.  We have included a picture of the first prize class in the gallery on this libguide they all recieved a poster from the last book fair.  

From the count down to the last three days of school we cleared 36  student accounts of library books.  

Use of Library Resources

When we recieved our new collection, I made sure to plan lessons K -3 on days that I had K - 3 students for read alouds suitable for the new materials that had arrived in the library.  I made sure to check our pacing guides for grade level and plan appropriately.  We now have some unique lessons with read alouds for brand new books  that are in our library.  

Before checkout we would have "Genre Spotlight", I  would book talk one of our brand new books that had just reached our shelves and discuss why it was in the genre.   We started to have  a large que for holds on certain books that became high demand among students.

We used part of our budget to aquire Pebblego Biographies, Science, and History which we used  for a  lesson and project this year with our 4th and 5th graders.    5th grade created "Google Sites"  for 21st Century Biographies using pebblego, and nonfiction resources in the library.  4th grade completed a then and now comparison with pebblego history which was insightful.  

We used PebbleGo Animals several times when we would explore a unique animal from a picture book that may have been unfamiliar to K - 2nd graders. 

Library Goals

This year I accomplished:

  • Networked with staff and teachers at Benson West establishing rapport and relationships to make for a friendly inviting library program.  

This year I networked with staff, students, and parents of Benson West to infuse myself within the library program to network and make it a welcome and inviting library program. 

  • Learned crucial strategies for teaching K - 6 

I met with my mentor throughout the year Annette Leudtke as well as learned from my fellow teachers and co librarian Bonnie Stillwagon strategies that would help me in the classroom that is unique to elementary,  such as transition techniques,  attention getters, lesson ideas. 


  • Focused on teaching genres to students, incorporating booktalks with genres

Our library's chapter books are sorted by genre.  This year our 4th - 6th grade classes would have a "genre spotlight"  book talk at the start of class.  A genre spotlight focused on a particular genre and a new book that had just arrived in the library.  I would have a picture of the book displayed on a powerpoint as I would booktalk the book.  We would discuss why the book would be in the particular genre for what we knew about the book and the genre it was spotlighted in.  

  • Incorporated search strategies using the online catalog to search for materials for students to use before checkout.

This year students were taught how to search using key terms with the online catalog.  Students were also taught how to log in to their online library account to check the number of books checked out, and how to create lists for books they wish to check out.  Students started to check out materials that they had not checked out previously in our non -fiction section or chapter book section due to the fact that they had learned new ways of searching our catalog.  

  • Introduced computer based projects to different grade levels.

We completed a google site project with our 5th grade class on 21st century biographies which allowed students to create their own class website.  Students used Pebblego Biographies as well as non-fiction books in the library to gather information on a 21st century notable figure.   They collaborated with a partner and created a page on the site together adding pictures and text.  

 Third grade students used my to create their own interactive e-stories.  

   We explored and used a site called "wonderopolis" in 4th and 5th grade which sparked students curiousity and spring boarded research questions.  During the 3rd and 4th quarter the 4th and 5th grade classes completed research assignments based on a wonderopolis inquiry question which they would answer with the wonderopolis website as well as non-fiction resources.  



@ Benson West Library

Please click on the link to browse our library a gallery of our library in action for the 2013 - 2014 school year. 

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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).