LBPSB Library Resources

A school librarian's toolbox

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Making Holiday Gifts: Ideas from Teen Services Underground

Do you enjoy crafts?  Do your teens?  Then check out this amazing post from Teen Services Underground, to get your creative juices going as we are slowly heading toward the festive season…

If you are a Wordle fan, you’ll want to check out this activity referred to in the above article.



Can’t afford a 3D Printer right now? Invite one to come and visit your Library!

3dprinterAt our excellent professional development day on March 17, I was inspired by Joanne de Groot’s presentation of the makerspace at the Edmonton Public Library. In particular, I was fascinated by 3D printing, which is something I had not yet seen in action.

Some research revealed that $2,900 required to purchase a MakerBot replicator were not available to me, but there was a brand-new store in the nearby Pincourt mall, called MatterThings 3D, which offered a 3D printing service. This store is the first in Canada to do so!

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I approached the owners to propose that they come and do a presentation at Westwood Senior, and they were more than happy to oblige.

Last Thursday, the presenter arrived with three MakerBots, and set up in the library to make a presentation to Business & Entrepreneurship, as well as science students. The rest of the community was invited to come and check out the printers during the lunch hour.

All students in attendance, as well as their teachers, were fascinated by the presentation, which was not only on MakerBots, but also on the many applications of 3D printing currently in existence or in development (e.g. printing of vital organs).   During the presentation the printers were busy printing cellphone stands, which students got to take home.

Smitten by the idea of having something 3D printed for me, I have commissioned replacement game pieces for “Planet Earth Monopoly” from MatterThings and cannot wait to receive them.

MatterThings 3D is keen to do more school visits in the Montreal area to introduce the technology to staff and students. If you would like to find out more, check out their website, To see pictures of the visit at Westwood, check out .

Submitted by U. Wilkinson, Westwood Sr., Hudson

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High School Programming: Life-sized Board Games

board-39864_1280I received an email from Suzanne the other day highlighting a blog from “Teen Services Underground” about life size board games.  This is a really neat concept and not too hard to bring to your library.  You can have your volunteers pitch in and help too!  Although I have never done one of these, I think it would be a lot of fun to do.  Here are some resources that can help you get started:

Teen Services Underground: Live Clue! at the Library
Pinterest Board:  DIY Games
Live Action Board Games
How-To: Make a Big-As-Life Board Game

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from Westwood Jr and Mount Pleasant Elementary

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Reading Fortunes


Looking for something fun to do with your students?  Why not do their reading fortunes?  This can work easily at the elementary and high school levels. It is really simple to set up.

All you need is:

prize for fortuneA couple of fortune tellers (click on the link for a template)

A pile of books to match the fortunes

A prize (this is the incentive to get them going)

What to do:

  • Announce the event (mine is running for 2 weeks)

  • Have some volunteers to help run the fortunes smoothly

  • Put evaluations in the books so that students can submit their names when they return the books (this also gives you an idea of what they thought of the book)

IMG_20150313_135507553 IMG_20150313_135603348 IMG_20150313_135618275

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from Westwood High School – Junior Campus and Mount Pleasant Elementary

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We are all pressed for time and may even have varying degrees of stage fright when it comes to book talking. What if you could share the work and encourage collaboration with other staff members in the process? Nicholas Warren, a school librarian at EMSB, shared this great idea devised by Alexander Kulczyk and The Team at Focus High School; teacher Tya Collins was also on board.

Staff members come together at the library or in class to present 1 to 3 of their favourite books to students (could be 1 Fiction, 1 Non-Fiction, 1 Book of Poetry etc.). Ideally, the books are ones which really made an impact on the staff member’s life. For example, Nicholas did a presentation at Focus and chose “The Fellowship of the Ring” – by J.R.R. Tolkien (which deeply affected him as a child and affects him still to this day), “Fast Food Nation” – by Eric Schlosser (which opened his mind to healthy eating and the evils of fast food during college), and “A Monster Calls” – by Patrick Ness (a recent YA novel which touched him to the core).

Students are or can be encouraged to do their own presentations based on the staff members’ shining examples. Teachers and/or staff coming together (including library techs, childcare workers, secretaries, caretakers, specialists, etc.) to share their favourite reads is a bonding experience and shows students that the staff values reading – not just the English teacher (or Librarian).

You can start small and make this a regular event. Why not have school administration, your local commissioner, a classroom teacher (on a library visit) or a library volunteer share their must-reads with your students?

 Nicholas strongly encourages you to try this — it’s much more fun than it is work after all!

 A Suggested Format for the Book Talk

  • What is the title? Who is the author? Is it a series of books?

  • Give a BRIEF outline of the plot (NO SPOILERS!)   J

  • Why is this book important to you?

  • When did you realize you liked this book?

  • Who should read this book?

  • Talk about your favourite part!

Submitted by Suzanne Nesbitt from ESD. Thanks to our colleagues at EMSB for sharing , Annette MacIntyre and Nicholas Warren  in particular!

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High School Book Clubs


Book Café is the name of our book club at school.  It is aptly named as the students can bring their lunches into the library and I supply juice (or hot chocolate) and desserts.  It is more of a book recommendation club in that students talk about their favourite books.  Lately I have found that the students get side-tracked and they just end up sitting there talking with their friends.   I wanted to bring the club back to being “about the books” so I have added some new elements and found new ideas  in order to get the students engaged in book talk.   I have noticed that this has made a huge difference.

Idea #1 –  Book Debate
This triggered a great response from the students.  A topic was given and the students had to take a position on the topic.  Topics were:

(1)   Is Voldermort inherently evil or a victim of circumstance?
(2)   Is the oracle from Percy Jackson really all-knowling or a fake?
(3)   Would you trust Katniss to protect you?

Idea #2 –  Bag full of Questions
This idea is more about the students relationship with books.  I grabbed this idea from the website Book Browse.  This also brought great answers as well as fantastic book recommendations.  Questions included:

(1)  Where do you like to read?
(2)  What book do you remember being read to you as a child?
(3)  Which book did you hate?
(4)  Which book would you bring on a deserted island?
(5)  If you had $30 to spend right now in a book store, which book would you buy?

Next month, I will be pulling out the iPads to show them book trailers.  I will then ask them to find a book trailer for the book they are currently reading or a past book that they loved.

What do you at your book clubs?

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from WWJR and Mount Pleasant Elementary