LBPSB Library Resources

A school librarian's toolbox

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

2titlesI’m sure you’ve heard this before in your library: “I just don’t like reading” to which you might answer: “You just haven’t found the right book.” And off you go, making suggestions based on the likes and dislikes of your reluctant or dissatisfied reader. Sometimes, the stars do align and you find that perfect book suggestion. But, truly, we all know that there is nothing better than owning your choices to make reading fun and exciting again.

I came across a great web-app that does put fun into the equation: it puts choice into the hands of teens. was created by English teacher Stephanie Del Gobbo. It is meant to provide a personalized book search.

The interface is bright, streamlined and appealing. Signing up is a breeze: users click their way through a short, hyper-visual and interactive survey to determine their traits, likes and reading level. Adding suggested titles to a wish-list is only a click away and the list can be shared with friend, teacher or librarian. The book selections cover a wide variety of genres from fiction to non-fiction and the full range in between. You can also create a read-list and refine your search.

The site is brand new. Titles are now mostly linked to the publishers’ information. It will be interesting to see how it develops as there are plans to add reviews by readers.

BTW Stephanie Del Gobbo is Canadian and teaches in Hamilton Ontario. You can follow 2titles on Twitter and on Facebook.

Submitted by S. Nesbitt


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Blog Post of the Week: RA 101: Making Your Own RA Resources

So many blogs that I follow and so little time to get through them all.  However, I found this one to be highly relevant to me so I thought I would share it with everyone.

Teen Services Underground posted this week: RA 101: Making Your Own RA Resources

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from Westwood Jr and Mount Pleasant Elementary

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Website of the Week: QSLIN

QSLIN – Quebec School Librarians Network- is a fantastic resource with lots of information and ideas for your school library.  There are a range of topics that are covered: Information Literacy, Digital Citizenship, Technology and so much more.

There is also a blog that I highly recommend that you follow.  Recent blog entries include:
Promoting Canadian Identity and Diversity in Your Library
Using Flipboard as a Curation Tool
Brain-Based Teaching Practices in the School Library

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from Westwood Jr and Mount Pleasant Elementary

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French Book Suggestion Resources

One of the most challenging questions asked of high school librarians is to suggest novels for teens learning to read French or for those struggling with the language. This is not an easy task.

Novels for beginners tend to assume that the reader is very young, so themes follow suit. Not the best solution for teens that often need to be coaxed into reading! Reading levels or abilities vary from individual to individual. So do tastes. A book’s cover is often enough to discourage a reluctant reader. The same hold true for teens required to read in another language! It can be useful to browse publishers’ catalogues.

The following is a partial list of resources, in random order, from several publishers, which may be of interest to teenage students who are learning French as a second language.

Cette liste de ressources, en aucun ordre particulier, a pour but d’assister dans la sélection de livres, pertinents aux élèves qui apprennent la langue française, comme langue seconde.

ca5Dominique et Compagnie
Les lecteurs dévoreront les livres de la collection Roman noir où le suspense et l’action sont au rendez-vous. Mystères, enquêtes, héros attachants, frissons : tous les ingrédients du polar pour les jeunes sont là. Comprend trois niveaux de difficulté.

Les éditions FouLire se consacrent à la publication de romans jeunesse humoristiques et de sites Internet. Son catalogue comprend maintenant plus de 200 titres regroupés dans 18 collections. Nos recommandations : collections Brad, Émilie-Rose, Le Trio rigolo, Mes parents sont gentils, mais…, Les histoires de Zak et Zoé.

ca7Rire aux Étoiles
Des aventures incroyables remplies de mystère et de sourires des Éditions FouLire. Nos recommandations : Série Virginie Vanelli, Série La fée Bidule.

ca8Orca Book Publishers Canada
French Language Editions of Orca Currents and Orca Soundings. Perfect for French language learners. High-quality translations which remain faithful to the English editions. Use the French and English versions together!

ca9La Courte Échelle
Les romans de la courte échelle combleront tout besoin d’évasion des lecteurs. Ils les feront voyager et réfléchir, s’émouvoir ou éclater de rire. Ils les tiendront en haleine jusqu’au bout et les amèneront certainement à élargir leurs horizons. Nos recommandations : collection Premier Roman, collection Roman Jeunesse.                        Adresse à suivre.

Québec Amérique Jeunesse01
Le catalogue Québec Amérique Jeunesse propose plusieurs collections . Notre recommandation : Bilbo.
Ou consultez le catalogue jeunesse pour des recommandations par tranche d’âge :

02Éditions Pierre Tisseyre

Sa section jeunesse offre de nombreuses collections et séries qui sont très populaires auprès des jeunes. Notre recommandation : Collection Papillon qui offre plusieurs niveaux de lecture.

1Bayard Jeunesse
Bayard Jeunesse Canada publie les versions canadiennes des magazines Popi, Pomme d’api et J’aime lire. La maison est aussi coéditrice et copropriétaire des magazines de vulgarisation scientifique Les Débrouillards et Les Explorateurs. Consultez la section Lecteurs Débutants.

2Éditions Scholastic
Scholastic initie les jeunes aux plaisirs de la lecture et les encourage à élargir leurs connaissances et à participer au monde qui les entoure. Consultez les collections dans la section Premiers Romans.

3Éditions du Phoenix
Cette maison offre une sélection diversifiée d’ouvrages ayant pour but de faire découvrir la littérature ou d’augmenter le goût de la lecture.

4Les Éditions du Boréal
Les Éditions du Boréal sont une maison d’édition canadienne, basée à Montréal, qui publie en langue française de la littérature générale. Essayez Boréal Junior.

Recommandations additionnelles :

5Collection GB+ En Action
Parfaite pour les lecteurs en apprentissage d’une langue seconde, courts récits d’environ 16 pages.
Collection BédéLire:  Récits d’environ 40 pages.

6Collection À la Une

Submitted by: C.A. Case – PCHS Library + T.P. Stagière @ PCHS

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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

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Math Teacher + Librarian = Amazing Partnership

desmosI remember the words of a teacher of mine encouraging the class to “never under-estimate the power of networking.” It’s really just another way of communicating and sharing knowledge. The business world has its power lunches. Librarians have symposiums, conferences and webinars to name a few useful ways to network. I have been trying to combine the two with interesting results.

At a recent lunch with a math colleague, we got to talking about some of our favourite online tools and how we could help each other to spread the word. A great find should always be shared! I will now regularly ask the rest of our staff to make suggestions. The best ones will be added to the Library webpage as “useful links“ such as this one. I can think of so many students who will love to learn more about math at the library while exploring Desmos!

Desmos a free online tool that works as it was meant to and more. Basically, we are talking about a free, online graphing calculator. You can find the calculator here:

Desmos is so much more than just a calculator. It allows you to explore “beautiful, free math.“ Set up an account and get started! Many sites provide classroom activities.
There are:

pokemonIdeas for Creative Art (like this picture) by Sean Grecco

Daily Desmos

A .pdf User Guide

Many YouTube videos like this one which shows the Desmos iPad app.

Free ChromeBook App is available here

If your students are not sure where to start, why not let them try Des-Man – the new face of graphing?

Desmos is a great tool to help change the Library into a Learning Commons. Math teachers may lend a hand at lunchtime!

Submitted by C.A. Case from PCHS

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Bookmark of the Week: School Library Association Star Ideas

sla-logoWhen the fountain runs dry, I know that I can always count on some inspiration from SLA’s Star Ideas.  The ideas are categorized by month but you can really mix and match what works best for you!

Here is a sample of ideas:

  • Start a words on the wall campaign; posting extracts of books in strategic places around the school; canteen, toilet doors, main entrances

  • Run breakfast clubs with lots of newspapers available

  • Run a quiz to guess the book title in translation or identify the foreign cover

  • Organize speed dating events for recommending books

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from WWJR and Mount Pleasant Elementary