LBPSB Library Resources

A school librarian's toolbox

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Two Ships Passing in the Night Is only Hot in Movies…

I thought this ALSC info-graphic tied in really well with our recent LBPSB brainstorming session about school libraries and library advocacy. We are word experts but sometimes we don’t use words in an effective manner and we tend to make our communications far too complicated. We often feel we simply don’t have the time or what it takes to do a proper selling job. I really appreciated the positive spin put on ways of making selling points while taking your audience into account. This is a super way to make the best of chance encounters and steer away from missed opportunities.

The great thing about elevator speeches is that they are an effective manner in which to pitch your services to individuals you encounter without putting them to sleep. This could be a principal, Home and School chair, teacher, parent volunteer, cultural resource: You get the picture! They are communications which are short, to the point, and quite similar to the hooks used in book and movie trailers, or the shelf-talking we do on a regular basis with students or staff in our libraries. Remember to tie this in to an “ask” such as support for a program, for purchases, or simply as an enticement to come and see what is happening in your library (what better way to garner supporters). They truly are advocacy on a dime.

Now all you have to do is select some selling points for you or your library services as well as a request or two which tie into them. As in sports or reading, practice makes perfect.

For more on elevator speeches:

  1. ALSC’s Write an Elevator Speech
  2. Information Tyrannosaur
  3. The Art of the Elevator Speech

Submitted by S. Nesbitt, LBPSB Ed. Consultant


Have a look at these blogposts and be inspired! 

Thank you to Caroll-Ann from PCHS for suggesting these links for sharing:

  1. Now THIS is a true 21st Century Library!

  2. Eight ways to rescue public school libraries from becoming obsolete.


Would you like to contribute to the blog, either by making suggestions of posts to reblog or by writing up and sharing your own ideas, experiences, or suggestions?  Please send all items to the blog editor ( and be ready to see yourself in print!



Twenty Days

The end of a school year is always bittersweet. Everyone in the building is looking forward to a well-deserved rest – and that includes the staff. Thing is, we don’t actually rest. We change gears and start preparing for the fall. For many of us, it’s voluntary work, gratis.

That includes many solo school librarians. We must plan ahead because our regular days are so full. There are just so many days in a school year and we need to start each new year running. At this high school, I need to know which changes are planned to the curriculum and course outlines in order to support teachers and by extension, student research. I need to know which activities will be approved for the fall. Book selection, whether for courses or for book challenges, means reading the books in order to make informed choices. Questions must be formulated and edited. MakerSpace schedules and activities need to be planned. I could go on but what about the twenty days?

In this library, there are twenty workable days till the end of June. Twenty workable days to chase down teens who have forgotten to return their books before the onslaught of exams. I have stationed myself in the halls during our renovations and visited more homerooms and classrooms than I usual do at this time of year. My workload simply grows. We all know what teens are like. “It’s in my locker! Don’t worry miss, I’ll bring it tomorrow.” It comes in handy to know all of their names. Even in a school of about 800. Let’s face it. The library is their go-to place to hang out.

The renovations are not done yet but the library is open as long as there are tables and chairs and no construction work going on. This way I can continue to serve the students and teachers while co-ordinating the improvements. Students can’t wait till they can learn about all the technology coming their way. I continue to mentor two students who are working on their IB Personal Projects and continue to assist those in need of additional material for their research. I continue to assist those teachers who have started planning for new courses being offered in the fall. I continue to prioritize what needs to be done in the next twenty days and what can be postponed till August and September. I continue to say goodbye to the graduating class I’ve come to know so well.

These tasks have taken on an entirely different meaning this year as the decision-makers have abolished elementary school librarians here. It’s the ripple effect. Many have been laid off, some will be relocated and still others are waiting to learn what that means. That includes me.

Twenty days. Will that be enough?

Submitted by CA Case from PCHS

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Our School Libraries in Action

Our school libraries are thriving destinations with so much going on.  When I started to receive all the pictures from the different schools to the powerpoint presentation, I was overwhelmed by the amount that is being done in our school libraries.  It is important to get the word out that we do make a difference and have a huge impact on student learning.  If we do not speak up for ourselves, who will?  So get out there and tell your school community what you are doing!!!

Here is what we are doing at LBPSB Libraries – SLIDESHOW FINAL:

school librariesSubmitted by Kathy Conroy from Westwood Jr and Mount Pleasant Elementary

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MELS Library Symposium 2015 – Dream, Plan, Create

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure to attend the annual symposium that MELS holds for school librarians across Quebec.  Not only do we get a full day of learning but we get to share with school librarians across the province what we are doing in our schools.  The day that I attended was for secondary school librarians.  Here are some of the highlights from the day:

lego table
Master Builders!

Keynote speaker Joanne de Groot  gave a fantastic presentation on maker spaces.  Throughout the presentation we would have interactive sessions with our table. One of the discussions at our table included what does our school library represent.  Most tables agreed that it is a learning space that provides a safe place for students. Another activity we did was based on creating small maker spaces in our library.  Our table scored with Lego (okay, I admit it, I had to beg for the Lego) while others had arts and crafts, solar powered items and sand crafting.  We had a certain amount of time to create whatever we wanted – without instructions.   I would encourage everyone to look into maker spaces.  They can range from the high end 3d printing to something simple like an arts and crafts session to make bookmarks for your library.  There are tons of ideas for school libraries.  All you have to do is Google “school library maker spaces”.  One of our bloggers did a post on this topic awhile ago which you can read here.

I stayed for the session “Library spaces your students will love” which highlighted different ideas that you can have in your library.  I absolutely loved the magazine storage area.  Suzanne Nesbitt was able to find a hack to make it less expensive if you are interested.  The other session that was going on at the same time was ” The Dream Collection: Planning Today for Tomorrow” which I heard was really good.

poster session 1

Ute Wilkinson’s poster session

During the lunch hour, there were several poster sessions that highlighted different activities in libraries as well as different ideas on how to get involved with your school community.  Ute Wilkinson presented ideas on how to engage with the staff and school community whether it is through the Home & School, Governing Board or other committees.  Creating networks will increase awareness about the library and its goals which then will increase support for various projects you want to implement





Blind date  Battle of the Books-Susan Strano4

Susan Strano’s poster session Photo credit: Meg Sinclair

After lunch there was a panel discussion with principals from LBPSB and Western Quebec SB about the role of libraries in their schools.  They provided great insight into how they see the role of  libraries and librarians within the school.  They also highlighted the obstacles that we face in regards to budgetary cuts.



poster session

Susan Strano’s poster session

The final session of the day that I attended was “Valuable Virtual Spaces: Making Them a Reality”.   There were 3 speakers presenting from acquiring French e-books to social media game sites to the Quebec Reading Connection website .  The other session that was going on at the same time “Demystifying Minecraft” presented by Sandra Bebbington provided a new way for school librarians to incorporate gaming in their libraries.


Book miniatures-Jennifer Woolley1

Jennifer Woolley’s poster session Photo credit: Meg Sinclair

The day ended with an edu-slam.  There were 4 people who  participated in this activity.  The participants had 5 minutes to explain their cool idea or practice to the voting audience.  Read this blog from QSLIN for a better understanding of an edu-slam.  It was my first time seeing one of these in action.  It is amazing how much information you can glean in 5 minutes!  Betty from LBPSB demonstrated the Weebly website hosting platform, Julia from EMSB demonstrated Camtasia (making videos), Ellen from MELS on notetaking and myself on quick programs to get students reading.

poster session 2

Beverely Graham’s poster session

The take-away that I took from this conference is that although our libraries are constantly evolving and redefining themselves, it is still important to remember our core values and make sure to influence those in the changes that we make and the decisions we take in our libraries.   The Lego maker space will be coming soon to my library!



A big thank you to Julian Taylor for coordinating this day and to his planning committee Sandra Bebbington and Ellen Goldfinch.




Submitted by Kathy Conroy from Westwood Jr. and Mount Pleasant Elementary


National School Library Day at LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School October 27th, 2014 and today, every day

Part 2 of the series


The above quote: you saw it, you know it, but who said it?

LCCHS students saw the quote on a couple of pin boards in the building one week prior to October 27th, 2014.

lumi1 lumi 2

The week of October 27th students needed to find 5 clues: books by Walter Dean Myers misplaced in the library.

lumi3 lumi 4

The lucky winner Dylan Sawers-Robinson, a very good reader who found the clues, is now able to buy his own favorite book:

lumi5Submitted by Lumi Susan @ LCCHS