Skip to Main Content

Benson West School Library Annual Report: 2014-2015

Collection Development

This year I was able to pull data from Title wave and our MARC records to find gaps in the non fiction.   We focused primarily on the areas of 500's, 600's and 700's for non fiction but we also found a few other gaps in our biographies when our students in 5th grade were researching the Presidents of the United States.   I made sure to start filling in a few of the gaps of the 43 presidents with up to date books with information appropriate for 3 - 6 grade levels.   

We started a young adult interest section in the library and collected 66 books at the young adult middle school level.   This collection is targeted towards 6th grade students who meet the age requirement of 12 years old and who have a parents permission form signed allowing them to check out these materials.  This collection was carefully selected,  I used my previous collection development knowledge of being an alternative high school librarian to select books that were high interest , as well as new books that students would enjoy.  I was careful to select books that were in the 6 - 8th grade range,  as our students are just bridging between intermediate and young adult.  

I focused on weeding the 700's section removing books that were out of copyright date as well as books that were in disrepair and needed to be replaced.   I found that most of the books that needed to be replaced were in the sports section,  there were books about gymnastics, the Olympics, and other sports that had out of date information that we could replace with modern day sports books.   This year we used our budget to replace many of the books in the 500's and 600's from last years weeding as well as started to replace the books for this year as well.  We will continue to collect more books, we have an excel sheet with the title weeded which we will find suitable replacements for in next year's budget.  

\I feel that I had a better ability than years before to find great E books as well as chapter books in the intermediate level after knowing my audience and knowing the popular children's literature of 2013 - 2015.  I decided to stretch my budget this year by using title wave for my orders but buying locally in bulk at the bookworm when actually ordering.  I estimated that this saved the library 800 + dollars in extra  budget money to spend on books due to the 20% discount that the bookworm offers their customers.  


Circulation/Fines Strategies

This year we kept the same system for checking out books that we started last year for increasing the number of books students can checkout on their account when they come to library by grade level. 

We kept the same checkout incentive of the "book buck" system.  Students could checkout an extra book if they had a book buck . 

We had several themed library displays this year, these displays allowed books that normally may not have been checked out to have a spotlight for 3 weeks to a month. 


When running the circulation end of year report compared to previous year we did see a -.57% decrease in checkout ,  it was very close to the same as last year.  

During the last few weeks of school we printed and highlighted books that students still had on their accounts and worked hard to get our books back in the library at end of year.   We used an incentive of 76 posters from the book fair to be given to the 3 classes that returned all their books.




We found opportunities to create new lessons K - 6 based on our new e-books and non fiction material collected this year.   

We created several new lessons based on new books we have for read aloud to K - 3rd grade. 


5th Grade created Facebook profiles for Greek Gods and Goddesses and we used several of the newly acquired materials that had much information on mythology.  

PebbleGo Science was a great help to us for the 4th Grade when they created "I Survived  Natural Disasters" short stories and Power Points.   Students selected a natural disaster from a list, such as blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes,  and then gathered information on how to stay safe, how they happen and where they occur on earth.

When we acquired new books in the library we would have a Genre game called "Guess that Genre"  I would book talk several new books (at least 5)  for students and they recorded which genre that book belonged to. 

Skype Visit with Donna Earnhardt Golden Sower Nominee


Library Goals

Add your 5 personal goals for you/your library this year.

Create a Young Adult section for 6th Grade students  to check out with permission slips.   Select appropriate titles at the bridge from Elementary to Middle School level.  


This year at the library we collected young adult novels to add to our library.  We selected books that were in the range from 12 -14 years old as our students are only just bridging the difference between intermediate and middle school.  

Separate and organize easy non fiction into baskets for lower grades K - 2  and incorporate titles into my lessons.


We pulled titles from our non fiction collection and labeled books with an orange dot for "easy non fiction"  these books were separated and put into baskets for use from our lower grades K -1st grade.  

Focus on engagement strategies in lessons , to keep students engaged.


I reshaped my lesson plans this year to  be oriented towards engaging activities that students can relate to real life.  I kept the "guide on the side " approach to teaching  to keep students engaged with lessons that they found fun and interesting that were aligned with curriculum standards. 

Create   unique library theme displays  that promote literacy and  circulate titles into students hands.  


This year as part of our library displays we decided to create displays for books that may have not been used in the past at Benson West to promote nonfiction and fiction circulation of those types of books.  We created themes throughout the year which we would replace every 3 to 4 weeks.   


Book talk genres to students using our new books in the library


This year I focused on teaching genres  using  "guess that genre"  This game involves a 5 book talks of new titles for books that students have to guess the genre of the title after each book talk.  

Instructional Best Practices

The 3 strategies you picked from the Academic Achievement Plan spiral bound book.


Section 1   Gradual Release

This year I used the Gradual Release Model in every lesson,  and adopted this format more so than I have ever done in years past in teaching.  

Section 7  Engagement

My lesson plans were geared towards engagement for 2014 - 2015,  I adopted the "guide on the side " approach by designing lessons that allowed students to explore, discover,  and create in library.   One important aspect of engagement that I worked on was making the lesson content meaningful to their daily lives.  



Section 10  Technology Integration

I used technology as a tool to help create projects with students in class, one example from this year that I could point out is our Story Bird haiku poems.   Students created a haiku and then used a Story Bird theme which was then printed in color.

This year I had the advantage of attending NETA, which was rewarding to use technology tools in the classroom.  During the last part of the school year I incorporated new websites, apps, and tools from the web into our lessons in library, which students enjoyed as kept engaged.  

Visit with Dean Jacobs ; author and explorer






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).