Got Charge?

 

Spend $130 Bucks and Literally Give Kids the Power!

 

We’ve discovered that the mix of the digital divide, possible turbulent home lives, and general teenage forgetfulness can result in a loss of power. So, for vaious reasons it seems that some of my students who DO have devices (yes, there are still a lot who do NOT) show up to school with a low or no charge.  Yes, they sometimes admit that they fall asleep with their phone next to them and not plugged in. Shocker.

A device that they LOVE to use for social connections and fun in the hallways and during free time. Oh yeah, and sometimes in class for learning, too! Without that device they feel a serious gap in their daily lives.

We Fill That Gap!

We want the kids to feel like the Library Media Center – Learning Commons and Makerspace Station – is a safe place to land and the place to go when they need things. Like finishing and priting out homework, relaxing and making something at our Makerspace Station, practicing mindfulness with our Coloring Zen area, or borrowing a charger to power up their devices. This is our third try with this concept, the first two were failures – if you interested you can read about this journey going back four years on my professional blog. So far, this is going GREAT! 

Backstory: A few years ago, I was inspired by the charging lockers I saw during a visit to the Hillwood High School Library in Nashville with the ISTE Board of Directors and I wanted to support our BYOD pilot program and our kiddos by giving them a place to recharge their devices in school.

 
And of course that place was going to be our school Library Media Center — shameless how we will do just about ANYthing to get kiddos to visit our Library!
 
Because I think we’ve now hit on a really easy, relatively low cost, & popular way to give my kids the power they crave and need. 
 
 Approximate cost for 8 chargers & 10 cords = $130 bucks
Piece of mind not worrying that kiddos will have their devices stolen or locked out on your watch? 
Priceless!
Procedure:
Kids (and staff) can request a charging device, first come, first serve anytime before 2pm. I also bought 2 flat chargers for staff to borrow. Kids come first. Always. 
We keep the chargers tucked away on a shelf behind the Circulation Desk.
Kids must first show that their phone has less than 30% charge to get one. (We found at first some kids just wanted it for the cool factor – which was cool, but not cool for the kids who really NEEDED them!)  
We don’t lend them out for the charging of fancy headphones – these are for devices that could possibly be used in the classroom.
Kids can borrow the charger alone or with a multi-device cord. They must initial to agree to pay for the loss or damage of the device & cord (Yeah, we know this isn’t really enforceable) 
We ask that kids agree not to let the device out of their sight – if they’re asked to share it – we trust them to keep track of it.
We also ask that kids bring back the device at the end of the day. Do they always remember? Nope! That’s why we collect their last period class teacher (I, or my amazing Media assistant Kathi Bell, calls classrooms at the end of the day to get them back – or we track them down the first period of the next day.
Yeah, We’re Popular! 
Some days we’re cleaned out of chargers within the first 5 minutes of school. I’m making a sign for our front door that says “Yes, We Have Awesome Chargers to Borrow!”  or “Sorry, All Chargers Have Been Borrowed” with Bitmoji cartoons. 
This is a complimentary service. We also reserve the right to not lend out a charger on an early dismissal day, after 1:30pm,  or to a kiddo who has proven to be unreliable with the charger in the past. But that hasn’t happened yet. Frankly, I doubt it ever will.  Don’t tell my students, for all my fierceness [snaps Z formation] I’m kind of a soft touch. But I gotta keep that leverage because we want to keep these chargers nice for everyone. So far though, the kids have been super fantastic and very enthusiastic about this new FREE perk we’re providing to them! 

GOAL #1 MHMS provides  a safe and nurturing school environment that respects our diversity and commonality.

Why do we do this?

You never know what kinds of things kids are struggling with at home. What if a kid doesn’t have a computer at home and just a mobile device and needs to do homework? This is important! We can help fill the gaps that the world & circumstance gives to these kiddos.

My kids tell me you can get these chargers at Five Below. I haven’t tried them yet. If we lose a lot over the year, I might give them a whirl. The multi device cords are CHEAP! Meaning, inexpensive to pick up (via Amazon) but they can sometimes stop working and can break. So far, so good, though and this has been a LOT less of a headache than those fancy expensive charging lockers.  
 
This great idea was inspired by the amazing Teacher Librarian at Wilde Lake Middle School – Sarah Russo!
I should have started with that! [smacks forehead] but I wanted to give how we run this first.
 
Are you a Teacher Librarian, or educator and want to hear what problems we encountered with our previous attempts at charging stations and charging lockers?
If so,
So, if you’re a school – here’s my suggestion: Save 90% of your money and try the cheapo errr inexpensive portable chargers first.  
Because, NO ONE wants to be responsible for a kids only device but it’s AWESOME to be responsible to give POWER to a kid and their beloved device!
Your turn! 
What am I missing here? Any other suggestions? Successes? Do you like that we help out the kiddos? What other things could we add to our School Library to make it a more appealing place (Other than a Keurig -that would be boss!)  Please hit me up in the comments and share your thoughts! Thank you for reading!

Our ever evolving BYOD Policy.

Buying information. If you want to get one of these for yourself or for your kiddo, check Amazon! So far, they’ve been great & I did have 2 die on my (after being used by kids…a LOT) but the company is sending me 2 replacements! I couldn’t ask for better customer service than that!
 Again, if you’re in education and would like more information:
Check out my professional blog.  Thank you for reading! 

 

FREE eBooks for Winter Break Reading!

This is a really nice FREE offer from our friend Katie

at Capstone!

When I first heard this, I thought it was too good to be true! I thanked her vaguely on Twitter then I thought – could I possibly share it with everyone?  So, I called her to double check that I could share it with you, the world, and his wife – and she said YES!

Students (and your kids!) can choose FREE eBooks from a library of over 3,200 to download & read over the break****

From Mythology, Scary Stories, Fiction, to Graphic Novels – there’s more than enough interesting titles to choose. You can even access interactive books to read to your little siblings or to your pets! (They always deserve it!)

Middle school kiddos can filter by grade level.

Below there’s even a letter to for parents (in English & Spanish) or students AND Bonus: a printable bookmark with login & password.

*****(Download FAST offer ends Jan 15th)

Visit our Library Media Center to load up on books for the Winter Break! Take home as many as you want! (as long as you don’t have any overdue books, cause – you know – I ain’t THAT crazy!) We have many readers in our school (you know who you are!) who can read a book a day — ok, sometimes even more! We want to make sure you’ve got great stuff to enjoy!

Don’t forget to visit our lovely local Savage Branch Library, too!

Tis the Reading Season!  

 

Download Interactive Bookmarks

Capstone Interactive eBook Bookmarks- winter break-18ejij3

Letter for parents

CI Home Letter-1lbxo5j

Letter for parents in Spanish!

CI Home Letter Spanish-1dvr000

Why not Tweet a Thank you to Katie & Capstone for this generous gift to all our reading families!? That would be Awesome! Please say you heard it from @GwynethJones the Daring Librarian! Maybe if we show our gratitude enough, we’ll get even more FREE trials! W00t! Who doesn’t like FREE?

Women’s History Month at MHMS

We celebrated Women’s History Month at MHMS by creating a book display and daily feature news stories on MHTV about famous and significant women in history! Here are the scripts we wrote for this, feel free to use with attribution and a link back.

Here’s our Google Doc: You may copy this, but please make sure to give proper attribution. Thank you!

 

 

Women’s History Month Book Display – Pull List

(not perfect by any means, much like me! LOL)

Non Fiction

Women’s suffrage : a primary source history of the women’s rights movement in America   – 305.42 ADA

Failure is impossible! : the history of American women’s rights (2000) by Kendall, Martha E. Series: Nonfiction – 305.42 KEN

The good, the bad, and the Barbie : a doll’s history and her impact on us – 688.7 STO

Take it to the hoop : 100 years of women’s basketball (2003) 796.323 STE

Winning ways : a photohistory of American women in sports (1996) by Macy, Sue.     2 Available      Add to List     Shelf Location: Call Number     Nonfiction – 796 MAC

Outrageous women of the Middle Ages (1998) by Leon, Vicki – 920 LEO

I am Malala : (2014)  921 YOU

Gold rush women (1997) by Murphy, Claire Rudolf.   Lexile Measure: – 971.9 MUR

Black women of the Old West (1995) by Katz, William Loren. – 978 KAT

 

Reference:

Encyclopedia of women’s history in America. (1996) by Cullen-DuPont, Kathryn        Reference Collection – REF 305.4 CUL

Women of achievement in Maryland history (2002) by Stegman, Carolyn B        Reference Collection – REF 920 STE

 

Fiction:

Audacity (2015) by Crowder, Melanie. – F CRO

Mare’s war by Davis, Tanita S. – F DAV

The clockwork scarab : a Stoker & Holmes novel (2013) F GLE

 

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We Need YOU!

Big thanks to our current volunteers, Mrs. Smith-Bacon and Mrs. Bailey (with student Library Media helper daughter Abby!) for their help this year and being so generous and amazing!

We’d love to have you join us in all the fun!  Look at these cute faces!

Contact Ms. Jones Gwyneth_Jones @at hcpss.org if you’re interested and for more information!

WE Really Appreciate ALL of our Family Volunteer!

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Warning: Do NOT Read This Blog Post!

Hello dear readers, this is Gwyneth Jones – your one and only ridiculously humble Daring Librarian here with dire 

LATE BREAKING NEWS!

As Sophia (the delightfully cheerful girl above) reported on MHTV News we must share something distasteful with you.  

Why? Because I recently awoke feeling a dreadful malaise and a lingering doleful fear about something I just uncovered. When I say “uncover” imagine turning over a mossy rock expecting cute wriggly earth worms and rolly polly pill bugs only to find a suspect piece of butterscotch candy wrapped in a soggy cellophane wrapper…well, read below for our news story.

Oh, and don’t be angry with me OR with the smiley Sophia…we HAD to give this news to give you pause!

Here’s the Script:

We here at #MHTVNews usually like to share uplifting and heartwarming stories about young people who joyfully create amazing things and are rewarded for their Scientific, Literary, Artistic, and or Academic Achievements.

Today not so much.

We’re here to give a warning that there is a pernicious, which means here deadly, and terrifying new series now available for streaming on this thing called The Netflix.

It’s called:

The Series of Unfortunate Events

by Lemony Snicket.

(And as a wry aside, may I add that this is surely a silly name for a terribly sinister author! I met him once in 2004, at the Howard County Public Library – He signed a book for me and though I was introduced to him by one of my favourite students as the Evil Daring Librarian Ms. Jones – he said I was only Allegedly Evil! As if!  [snit] /a)

Please don’t watch this next video if you are sensitive by nature.

You can look away now.

Of course, we have all the books in this horrid series in the Murray Hill Daring School Library Media Center, we consider that fair warning so that you may read them, if you are so inclined, to be properly prepared. They are terrible books of horrible events and only appreciated by those who are slightly tetched in the heid (Scottish variety) or bloodthirsty.

Again, you’ve been warned.

Oh and Count Olaf? We’re keeping a weather eye on you, you can be sure of that! No more sneaking around and hiding in my Library Office.

 

BONUS Delightful GAME:

Find Count Olaf Hiding in my Office!

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Fall STEM Opportunities at HiTech

Here are the splendid FALL FREE Offerings at our local STE(A)M HiTech Center at the Savage Branch Library!

Here are the related links since the graphics above aren’t clickable!

Registration & More Information

Got Questions? Ask our friendly neighborhood Teen Librarian:

Sarah Cooke
Teens’ Instructor
Howard County Library System — Savage Branch
410-313-0760 main
410-313-0752 office

Hey Kiddos! Try the FREE Escape from Detention Game App!

Read about it!

GET IT!

 

Spring Break STEM Classes: HiTech @Savage

Hello spring peepers!
I just got some great news from from Ms. Cooke – our Teens’ Instructor, Howard County Library System at the Savage Branch

FREE  HiTech STEM classes offered over spring break! Wait, Did I mention it was FREE?

Register online or by calling 410-313-0760.

View the PDF or see the graphic at top.
For more information contact:
Ms. Sarah Cooke
Teens’ Instructor
410-313-0760 main
410-313-0752 office

From our Friends at the Maryland Science Center:

By popular demand, and to coincide with Baltimore’s gigantic outdoor light celebration Light City, Laser Rock shows return to the dome of the planetarium. Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and all the classic rock favorites provide the soundtrack for a spectacular laser light show and special effects in 360 degree surround sound.

Laser Beatles will play daily at 1:30pm and is included with admission. Evening laser shows will run Sunday-Thursday at 6:45pm and 7:45pm, and
Friday & Saturday at 6:45pm, 7:45pm, and 8:45pm.

Pricing for evening shows is $8.00, add a second show for only $4.00.

Show schedule changes daily. 

Click here for a list of laser shows and featured tracks.

Banned Book Week 2015

Celebrating the Freedom to Read!

MHMS Celebrates National Banned Book Week with a display highlighting some of the books that have been banned throughout the years in American school and public libraries.

From the American Library Association:

Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2015 celebration will be held September 27-October 3.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association.”

To celebrate banned book week here at MHMS we created a book display covering up some of the most banned books with strategic tear outs. We also created a couple QR Code resources for kiddos to learn more about Banned Books!


We here at the MHMS Daring School Library believe in the freedom to read without censorship!

Middle school is a WONDERFUL but quirky time for kids with wide ranges of maturity and reading levels. (and that’s why I teach middle school – because, LOVE IT!) But, I must admit, there are a few books that we have that I consider maybe to be more 7th or 8th grade in subject matter than right 6th graders. That’s when I sometimes exercise my judgement as a certified school librarian to say to a 6th grader – this may be too mature for you, wait till next year. But I wouldn’t EVER want to take that book off the shelf and not let a kid “grow into it” nor do I approve of forcing a kid to read a book. It’s all about the Freedom of Choice! Read more about Banned Book Week!

[she now tries to get the 1980’s Devo song out of her head]

Download the FREE QR Code PDF Signs:

Banned_Books_WARNING PDF

QR Code links to the ALA Top 100 Banned Book from 2000-2009

7_Reasons_Banned_Books PDF

QR Code links to the Huffington Post article 7 Reasons Your Favorite Books Were Banned

How to Make a QR Code in 3 Easy Steps!

MHMS isn’t the only school library to celebrate #BannedBookWeek! Check out these Timehop pics from her friend Ms. Sherry Gick, a Teacher Librarian & Tech Specialist at Rossville Consolidated Schools in Indiana!

Also check out the cool display from Maine! Mr. jonathan r. werner

Makerspace@MHMS

The hot new Makerspace Movement is NOT new to Murray Hill Middle School. We opened the school with the idea that we would have creation labs in the Media Center, GT room, and the TV studio. We started with video production, iMovie, Specular LogoMotion, Hyperstudio, and animation with Hollyood High kids. Here’s an example of an EARLY (2003) video production called Bookfellas, featuring some Guy Ritchie-esque film direction techniques. These kids are now all grown up and we’ve kept evolving, too!

We have, however, expanded upon our Makerspace offerngs.  We’ve now added a Lego Creation Station, a Duct Tape Craft Cubby, and a Makey Makey Coding Corner. Kids can come in during lunch or when they’ve finished their work to explore and create in the Library Media Center. All this for about $350.oo. Teachers & Librarians – I invite you to see my professional blog next week for more info on how to get this setup in your library or classroom!

Next year, any donations of novelty duct tape rolls to the Media Center would be greatly appreciated!

Here’s an example of a cool stop action animation video by our Advanced Digital Media Team for the Environmental Fair. Created by MHMS 8th graders: Drew H, Prerana K, Joonseo P, & Gloria O.  This was created under the direction of GT Teacher, Mr. Mark Dunbar.

Meet Alexa!

We also have a new information tool in the library! (OK, I bought this with my own money and brought it into school) It’s the Amazon Echo! Have you heard of it? Since I’m not going to have an assistant full time next year, (don’t get me started!) I thought this could be a cool way to answer basic questions. Kids are delighted to discover Alexa, living in the Amazon Echo. Not only is it a fun way for kiddos to learn how to ask the right questions, to speak clearly, it also introduces them to the Internet of Things.

Yeah, sometimes we dance in the Library! That’s how we roll!

Get your charge on!

We also have a new Courtesy Mobile Device Charging Station in the MHMS Daring School Library Media Center! Moving closer to BYOD means that kiddos often come to the media center at lunch to charge up. Nothing too fancy, two super fast charging UNITEK 10 USB port hubs and a 4-in-1 USB Charging Cord.  This is just a start!