Our School Library is a Safe Space

 

This is not something new. Our school library has always been a safe space for kiddos of all kinds. Our wonderful school community is a rich tapestry of many woven threads, rich colors, diverse backgrounds, orientations, expressions, many abilities and kids from many lands speaking many languages.

Laurel, Maryland is right smack dab between Washington DC and Baltimore – it’s like our school has always been a mini United Nations. I love that about us!  And our School Library has always enjoyed being a draw and a safe landing spot for kids who are quirky, nerdy, bookish, techie, geeky, queer, gay, trans, wordy, dramatic, creative, alternative, and cool. I was a habitué of and a help in my Middle School Library and always an Ally to my LGBTQ friends – even though we didn’t have that acronym in the 80’s!

That’s why I thought it was important and reassuring to have a sign that proclaimed that we are a Safe Space or a Safe Zone right on our front doors and right by our check out desk!

What is a Safe Space? According to the Safe Space Network, “A Safe Space is a place where anyone can relax and be able to fully express, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, religious affiliation, age or physical or mental ability.”

This space welcomes and respects ALL people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We believe that all persons regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression should be treated with dignity and respect

Kindness matters.

The fact that I also found a rainbow narwhal with a glittery horn made it extra and spiffy!

What does it mean to be an Ally? What does it mean to have a Safe Zone or a Safe Space? I found a great resource from the Human Rights Campaign website:

“What is an Ally?
In the most general sense, an “Ally” is “a person who is a member of the dominant or majority group who works to end oppression in their personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate for, the oppressed population.”1 Allies to racial, religious and ethnic minorities have been remarkably effective in promoting positive change in the dominant culture, and only recently has their instrumental position been extended to the area of sexual orientation. In recent years we’ve seen more and more LGBTQ Ally organizations strive to make the culture of a campus or workplace more aware and accepting of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals

An Ally strives to…
• be a friend
• be a listener
• be open-minded
• have their own opinions
• be willing to talk
• recognize their personal boundaries
• join others with a common purpose
• believe that all persons regardless of age, sex, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression should be treated with dignity and respect
• recognize when to refer an individual to additional resources
• confront their own prejudices
• engage in the process of developing a culture free of homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism
• recognize their mistakes, but not use them as an excuse for inaction
• be responsible for empowering their role in a community, particularly as it relates to responding to homophobia or transphobia
• recognize the legal powers and privileges that cisgender straight people have and which LGBTQ people are denied
• support the Ally program of their university or workplace
• commit themselves to personal growth in spite of the discomfort it may sometimes cause

As important as it is to define what an Ally is in a positive sense, it is also helpful to understand the boundaries of an Ally’s role.

An Ally is NOT…
• someone with ready-made answers
• necessarily a counselor, nor are they necessarily trained to deal with crisis situations”

from:  Establishing an Allies/Safe Zone Program

Want this poster for your school library? Copy it from my GSuite Drive or download it from my Slideshare below!


——————

 

One of my 8th graders told me about this super reading list available at the Howard County Public Library, and brought me one! Sadly, they don’t have the same list online, can’t figure out why not (backlash?)

 

 


 Related Posts & Resources:

Dear Queer Teen – It Get’s Better!

Great resources from The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN):

Download this FREE PDF!  Safe Space Kit – GLSEN

Safe Space Kit in Every Ohio School | GLSEN

GLSEN Safe Space Kit: Be an ALLY to LGBTQ Youth! 

More Than a Safe Space – Educational Leadership – ASCD

For LGBT Students, Are ‘Safe Schools’ Enough? – Education Week

History & Importance of Safe Spaces in Schools

Opening the Doors to Learning Through Safe Spaces in K-12 Schools

5 Reasons Why Safe Spaces Are Important On Campus

History Day Help & More @The Savage Branch Library

MHMS & Howard County Schools are excited to share that our A+ Partnership with the Howard County Library is still going strong, bringing quality online resources and more to our kids every day.   Here’s what you have to do.

“HCPSS students have a way to access Howard County Library eContent in the classroom, at home, or anywhere they need to do homework or research. The Howard County Library System (HCLS) and the Howard County Public School System have launched the A+ Student Card to deliver the library system’s extensive catalog of electronic resources directly to students.

All HCPSS students (Pre-K–12) will receive their new A+ Student Card account number at the beginning of the 2017–2018 school year. Students gain immediate access to all HCLS eContent by using the A+ Student Card account number to login via the HCPSS.me portal.

The new A+ Student Card account also provides students with full customer privileges at all HCLS branches. While previously issued HCLS cards may still be used at library branches, the A+ Student Card account enables students to use just one number for all their homework and research needs.” HCPSSHoward County Library System Launch A+ Student Card

But sorry, Parents & Teachers, this service is just for the kiddos

When you log into Clever, you have access to more Epic resources including Newslea For FREE, Wikipedia, Common Sense Education, and MackinVia

With MacinVia, our kiddos can access “3 Million Print Titles- 1 Million Digital Titles- and now features a growing catalog of nearly 3 million print titles from 18,000+ publishers and a burgeoning digital collection of more than 1 million eBooks, educational databases, audiobooks and videos.”

 Thanks Howard County Public School Library Media and Howard County Library! These great resources will be transformative!

Maximize Your History Day Research (ages 11-17) RG

Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Time: 7:00 PM
Branch: Savage

*Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410-313-0760.

Do you need help with your History Day project? Meet with an HCLS Research Specialist for a one hour session and get assistance with either developing a History Day topic, finding appropriate primary and secondary resources, or reviewing your finished project.

Available at these branches. Call to schedule.
Glenwood 410.313.5577
Miller 410.313.1950
Savage 410.313.0760
East Columbia 410.313.7700
Elkridge 410.313.5077
Central 410.313.7800

More History Day Help from HCL!

Additional Research Tools for Students

Archives of Maryland Online
Chronicling America
Digital Public Library of America
EDSITEment! Student Resources
Howard County Historical Society
Maryland Historical Society
National Archives’ Online Research Tools

Research Made Easy: Our A+ Partnership ROCKS!

Years ago, when I was on the ISTE Board of Directors,* I was honored to tour a few of the Nashville Metro schools & observe their amazing partnership with the Limitless Library system. It was the coolest! With one login kids could access all the public library databases, get one on one help,  AND request books online – and the library system trucks delivered those book right to their school! WOW!

And now, something similar has come to Howard County! W00t! (Not the delivering books part, a girl can dream, right?)

But FREE Access to millions of items, live homework & History Day help, and amazing database, primary source, and research resources!

“HCPSS students now have a new way to access Howard County Library eContent in the classroom, at home, or anywhere they need to do homework or research. The Howard County Library System (HCLS) and the Howard County Public School System have launched the A+ Student Card to deliver the library system’s extensive catalog of electronic resources directly to students.

All HCPSS students (Pre-K–12) will receive their new A+ Student Card account number at the beginning of the 2017–2018 school year. Students gain immediate access to all HCLS eContent by using the A+ Student Card account number to login via the HCPSS.me portal.

The new A+ Student Card account also provides students with full customer privileges at all HCLS branches. While previously issued HCLS cards may still be used at library branches, the A+ Student Card account enables students to use just one number for all their homework and research needs.” HCPSSHoward County Library System Launch A+ Student Card

But sorry, Parents & Teachers, this service is just for the kiddos

When you log into Clever, you have access to more Epic resources including Newslea For FREE, Wikipedia, Common Sense Education, and MackinVia

With MacinVia, our kiddos can access “3 Million Print Titles- 1 Million Digital Titles- and now features a growing catalog of nearly 3 million print titles from 18,000+ publishers and a burgeoning digital collection of more than 1 million eBooks, educational databases, audiobooks and videos.”

Check out these slideshows for more details!

Thanks Howard County Public School Library Media and Howard County Library! These great resources will be transformative!

MHMS Bitmoji Show

HCPSS Trooper Show

More info!

A+: Students & Teachers – Howard County Library System

A+ Partners in Education – Howard County Library System

*(shameless humble brag!)

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.

Our Lovely Savage Library

We are so lucky to have a marvelous local public library close to our Middle School! The Howard County Public Library Savage Branch has been a fixture in our community for decades…but it needed a facelift, it needed expanding, it needed a HITech makeover. And it got it!

From their website: “The newly renovated and greatly expanded HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center further positions HCLS as a 21st century educational institution, delivering 21st century public education for all. A launching point for the STEM career pipeline, the contemporary branch centers on science and technology, tripling classroom space for the delivery of the enhanced HCLS STEM curriculum for children and teens.”

One of my best resources and friends there at the Savage Branch is Teens’ Instructor and Specialist, Ms. Sarah Cooke!

She has such amazing programs for our teens – and now with this new renovation those teens have a super cool new hangout in the library! The Teen Hangout & Cafe! (Ok, I just named it that!)

Teens can meet here for the STEM Lab & HiTech classes!

Here’s Sarah Cooke showing off the cool USB bracelets that kiddos made recently!

Wonderful bright spaces to read, work, and contemplate. Like a slick airport – with books! Many different areas to plug in laptops or tablets – a multitude of desktop computers ready for you! Comfy furniture, abundant books & materials, friendly librarians,  and a slick futuristic design make this a significant contribution to the heart of our community!

 

Branch Location
9525 Durness Lane
Laurel, MD 20723
(410) 313-0760

Branch Hours

Mon. – Thurs. 10 am – 9 pm
Fri. – Sat. 10 am – 6 pm
Sun. 1 pm – 5 pm

Here are the latest Winter offerings for our students at the Savage Branch!

HCLS Savage Branch Winter Classes!

BOOK REVIEW BLOG
Ages 11-17
Read any interesting books lately?  Or any terrible ones?  Join us in creating and maintaining a teen book review blog where you can share those you loved, those you hated, and why with other readers, as well as learn the basics of making your own blog.
Dec 1        Mon        6:30-7:30

HANDS ONLY CPR & AED
Ages 11-17, registration required for each class.
You could save a life! Learn about cardiac arrest, how to recognize it’s happening, and the three simple steps of Hands-only CPR for victims over 8 years old. Receive a basic overview of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Sat Jan 17   3-4pm

BE A BOOK ARTIST
Ages 11-17
Ever wondered why young adult books rarely have pictures? You can change that! Create illustrations for your favorite book, then share with group for friendly book/art discussion and possible library display.
Mondays; 6:30 – 8 pm        Dec 22, Jan 26, Feb 23

VALENTINE LOVE BUGS
Ages 11-17
Who knew insects could be so cute?  Using colorful crafting clay you can create adorable little “love bugs” to give as Valentine gifts to show how much you care…and how creative you are!
Feb 10        Tues     6:30-7:30

TEEN ADVISORY BOARD
Ages 11-17
Join the Teen Advisory Board at your branch to recommend books, music, and movies; develop and plan events for teens; and work with HCLS instructors on projects you create. Service learning hours available.
Thursdays; 4-5 pm   Dec 18, Jan 15, Feb 19

LET IT SNOW!
Ages 9-13; 1.5 hours; drop-in.
Celebrate the season with a cup of hot cocoa and snow inspired crafts. Drop in and learn how to make giant snowflakes, pompom snowmen and other crafts that will make you feel warm even when it’s cold outside.
Saturday Dec 13    3-4:30 pm

RECYCLED RACE CARS
Ages 9-13; 1 hour; registration required.
On your marks, get set, GO!  Let’s zoom into the the year 2015 by creating cool race cars out of recycled materials and rubber bands, and then exploring the laws of motion by racing them in the library.
Saturday Jan 10    3-4pm

DUCT TAPE VALENTINE ROSES
Ages 9-13; 1 hour; registration required.
Join us in our latest duct tape adventure — making roses out of colorful duct tape and pencils for that special someone to show how much you care…and how crafty you are!
Saturday Feb 7        3-4pm

FOURTH FRIDAY FAMILY FRIENDLY FLICKS
All ages, drop-in.
Enjoy a popular G or PG rated movie on the big screen with your family and friends.
3:30-5:30pm
Dec 26        Frozen
Jan 23        The Lego Movie
Feb 27        Despicable Me 2

Interested? For more information contact:

Sarah Cooke
Teens’ Instructor

Howard County Library System — Savage Branch

410-313-0760 main/
410-313-0752 office

HiTech STEM Symposium

MHMS Digs STEM!

(To hear audio click the top left corner & unmute the Vine X)

Sign up for a FREE HiTech Symposium for students, parents, and educators

(This blog post generated from an invitation)

photos of students with quadrotor, music, weather balloon, computers

Join us for a dynamic HiTech Symposium, featuring STEM industry thought leaders and hands-on classes.

Panel discussions feature representatives from Mindgrub Technologies, Hopkins’ Applied Physics Lab, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Howard County Public School System, and LifeJourney. Topics include:
  • STEM: Past, Present, and Future
  • Gamification
  • STEM Resume Building and LifeJourney
Learn how your middle and high school students can participate in this STEM education initiative that teaches cutting-edge science, technology, engineering, and math via project-based classes that include computer programming, 3D animation, nanotechnology, music/video production, e-books, game apps, cybersecurity, green energy, and robotics.
Date:
Monday, November 3rd from 2 – 5 pm
Location:
Details and Registration:
Call 410.313.7750
Sponsors:
HiTech is funded in part through a federal grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and IMLS.
Sponsors include Friends of Howard County Library, Frank and Yolanda Bruno, and M&T Bank.
BONUS!
image of Cyborg Glitch game
 
Download the latest HiTech game!
Visit hclibrary.org/hitech to download Cyborg Glitch, the newest interactive mobile game created by HiTech students.

Available FREE for iPads, iPhones, and Android systems.

Photo Credit: HCL

HCL – Savage Branch Express


Have you noticed our local HCL Library branch is closed?

Don’t panic! We have an express solution!

From the HCL website:

The Savage Branch is closed through September 2014 for a long awaited renovation. A temporary Savage Branch Express is open in the shopping center located at the intersection of Route 1 and Gorman Road right in front of the Weiss grocery store. The express branch offers a small selection of popular titles, selected HiTech classes, and a limited schedule of children’s classes.

Customers may also pick up reserves and return items at this location.

What does this mean?

You can call ahead, request book titles, and they will order them for you and have them waiting for you to be picked up (like a carry out pizza!) for no extra charge!

Just use the HCL Catalog Search for your desired items, make a list, and call up to request to have them sent to the Savage Express!

HCLS Savage Branch Express (a temporary location during renovation)
8851 Gorman Road, Ste. 102
Laurel, MD 20723
410.880.5975
Hours:
Monday – Thursday 10am -9pm
Friday – Saturday 10am -6pm
Sunday 1-5pm
There are also computers there available for student & parent use! And printers, too!

When it re-opens in July 2014 (projected date), the renovated Savage Branch will include an open floor plan, enhanced lighting, additional exterior windows, and two outdoor classrooms – for an additional 9,000 sq. ft., a 50 percent overall increase. Details.

HiTech Offerings –FREE Fun & Learning for our students!

HiTech

For more information contact:

Sarah Cooke
Teens’ Instructor

Howard County Library System

Savage Branch/East Columbia Branch

410-880-5975/410-313-7716

Flipping Over The Summer Reading List 2013!

The summer reading list is here & jam packed with great recommendations!

Download the PDF below & check out the Middle School List:  “Groundbreaking Reads!”

2013 MS Summer Reading List Final_with graphics

Here’s the Grownup Summer Reading List for Parents & Teachers!

2013 Adult Summer Reading ListFINAL

Sadly, the  HCL Savage Branch is closing this Summer!  But don’t worry, it’s not for good but for an AWESOME Renovation!! More about that later…

 Now a very heartfelt message from Taylor Swift about overdue books!

From our friend, the HCL Teen Specialist, Sarah Cooke:

The Savage branch’s official last day will be Saturday, July 6.

We are shooting for a re-opening in the fall of 2014, which would be great in terms of the school year, but we’ll all have to wait and see…

I will of course keep you all updated with an official re-opening date! Have a great rest of the school year!

Sarah Cooke
Teen Specialist

Howard County Library System

Savage Branch

410-880-5980

So yeah, like Taylor Swift said above…..don’t be “That Guy” and have overdue library books — please bring back your books and read AWESOME ones this summer!I know I’m gonna read the Divergent series again, and Showboat, and finish listening to the Harry Potter series (5th time) audio books read by Jim Dale. ….ok, and a few shlocky beach books but hey! Summer reading is the BEST!

from our A+Partners at the Howard County Library:

Summer Reading Begins Saturday, June 1!

summer reading kickoffRead and win prizes when you join an HCLS summer reading club:

• Wee Dig: infants to age 3
• Dig into Reading: ages 4 – 10
• Groundbreaking Reads: grades 6+
• Great Reads for Vacay and Stacay: high school students and adults
Summer Reading Kickoff

Sign up for summer reading and participate in a day of fun including children’s stories, face painting, crafts, and activities for children, teens, and adults. Don’t miss the Reptile Wonders exhibit and Pee Wee Pirates Show!

HCLS MILLER BRANCH (410.313.1950)
Sat, June 1
10 am – 2 pm
adult summer readin image of adirondack chairsGreat Reads for Vacay & Staycay
Kick off the adult summer reading club as HCLS instructors discuss their top picks for summer reading. Win books and door prizes at this event; enter a drawing for fabulous grand prizes. Refreshments.
HCLS CENTRAL BRANCH (410.313.7800)
Tue, June 4
7 – 9 pm
groundbreaking reads zombie imageSummer Reading Lock-in for Teens
Celebrate the start of Summer Reading with an evening of games and activities. Sign up for Summer Reading and collect book bucks for participating.
HCLS MILLER BRANCH (410.313.1950)
Fri, June 7
7 – 9:30 pm

If you need a library this summer, why not check out the Elkridge,  Columbia Branch, or the super cool NEWLY Renovated Miller Branch?

Central Branch
10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy
Columbia, MD 21044
Phone: (410) 313-7800
TTY: (410) 313-7883
Details

 

East Columbia Branch
6600 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD 21045
Phone: (410) 313-7700
TTY: (410) 313-7740
Details

 

Elkridge Branch
6540 Washington Blvd
Elkridge, MD 21075
Phone: (410) 313-5077
TTY: (410) 313-5090
Details

 

Glenwood Branch
2350 State Route 97
Cooksville, MD 21723
Phone: (410) 313-5577
TTY: (410) 313-5597
Details

 

Miller Branch
9421 Frederick Rd
Ellicott City, MD 21042
Phone: (410) 313-1950
TTY: (410) 313-1957
Details

 

 

Gamification for the Win! Escape from Detention


You’re looking at the proud smiling faces of two middle school Game App designers.  Howard County Middle School student Tekye (and family friend to MHMS) and MHMS 8th grader Lasya, participated in an exciting program called HiTech – wherein they helped to create a super cool APP Game called Escape from Detention. And by the way, it’s NOT EASY! It somehow reminds me of Frogger

Get a peek at the game with this YouTube video!

Here’s a few screenshots I grabbed off my iPad to give you an idea what it looks like!

From an email from Tekye’s proud mom, Catina (and former MHMS English teacher!)

“The new game offers a variety of break out scenarios at escalating levels of complexity. Download the (free) game and try your hand at “springing” the student from captivity while avoiding myriad pitfalls.

Escape is available for iPhones, iPads, and Android systems.

App Store linkGoogle Play image

I am so very proud of the work completed by the teenagers and the HiTech team that I had to share with you.”

According to an HCL press release: “More than 1,200 students between the ages of 11 and 18 [all of whom are students, public, private, or home-schooled, living in Howard County] have participated in HiTech classes since its inception … creating music, 3D images, videos [and] e-books.”

From an article by Technically Baltimore:

“Mindgrub Technologies, the Catonsville-based innovation agency that started a new gaming division this year, has released its latest game.

Escape from Detention is a collaboration with students participating with the Howard County Library’s HiTech, the library’s new STEM digital media lab, who helped with the game’s design and development. Players maneuver detention-serving digital students around time-based obstacles (desks and other students) inside of classrooms.

Download Escape! From Detention for Android or iOS.

The game itself was produced in Corona, said Alex Hachey, Mindgrub’s creative lead, at the Baltimore Mobile Meetup in December. Producing the game in Corona makes it cross-platform, so it’ll work on iOS, Android, the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook. Hachey also said the game development was paid for, as it’s a “client services game.”

Over a six-week period, Mindgrub employees served as instructors teaching students at the HiTech lab principles on game design, theory and logic, as well as teaching classes on producing sound effects, characters and game layout. It was the students who came up with concept for Escape! From Detention.”

Again, I played it….and it’s NOT EASY — but I really want to make it to the library!

 

Resources:

Escape! From Detention: Mindgrub and Howard County Library students collaborate on new mobile game

Escape from Detention: iTunes Preview

Howard County Library Game Released!

Credits:
Photos of Tekye by his Mom, Catina & PicMonkey designed by me

HiTech is funded in part through a federal grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and IMLS.