LBPSB Library Resources

A school librarian's toolbox

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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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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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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

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Elementary Program Ideas

Here are some programming ideas.  What are you doing in your libraries?

Dr. Seuss Programming:

10-facts-about-dr-seuss-books_5029152f245eeThere are a lot of great ideas to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2).  You can make a whole week out of it.  Although we are on March break that week, you can always carry it over to the following week.
Get inspired through these ideas:

Pinterest – Dr. Seuss Program Ideas  + LBPSB Pins


Dr. Seuss Storytime Ideas

Seuss-Tastic Storytime


Poetry Month Ideas:

lego  Lego Poetry

 SLJ Resources for National Poetry Month

Poet-Tree Ideas



Elementary Lesson Plans:

girl-160172_1280Pinterest Plans

Elementary Library Routines

Library Lessons on Pinterest

QR Code Library Orientation




Submitted by Kathy Conroy from WWJR 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

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National Reading Campaign

national reading campaign

The Reading Matters Campaign is a Canada-wide campaign to share the love of reading. As the website says, libraries are often the place that children encounter a love of reading when encouraged by mentors and parents.

On the website the National Reading Campaign asks us to engage our library patrons to become involved in an online conversation about reading. “We’re asking readers to share their stories with us on readers can post words, pictures, or video to express what reading has done for you. Reading has done so much for so many, and we think it’s time to return the favour. We’re asking librarians to help spread the word on social networks, make the homepage on library computers, and encourage library patrons to join the conversation.”

Check out the link above for the librarians’ toolkit to promote this campaign. There are resources to use personally or with your patrons/students and teachers. For example, there are downloadable posters, bookmarks, and an infographic to post in your library.

Readerly, the blog, has lots of latest news in the reading world, lists of literary award winners, book reviews, quizzes, surveys, parents’ toolkit, teachers’ toolkit, etc.

Specific projects are Reading Matters, Aboriginal Policy Initiatives, CanLit for New Canadians and the National Reading Plan. There is not much going on in Quebec officially with this initiative, but there are elements that can be used and adopted by any library to promote reading.

A last quote from their website:
“Reading is 68% better at reducing stress than listening to music, 100% more effective   than drinking a cup of tea, and 700% better than playing video games”


Submitted by Meg Sinclair, LBPSB Board Librarian

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What the students want….

question of the month

Once a month I post a question of the month.  This month, I had a student ask if he could come up with the question.  I was quick to agree and was pleasantly surprised and happy with his question.  The question that he posed was:  If you were the Librarian, what would you change?  He was in charge of printing out the question and managing the answers and giving out the lollipops.  I was really impressed with some of the answers that I got.  Here is a sampling:

1.  More couches and seats
2.  A fish tank
3.  A big TV
4.  To be allowed to bring their laptops into the Library (currently, those in the laptop program are only allowed to use them in the classrooms)
5.  Multiple copies of bestsellers so that “they do not have to share them”
6.  Prizes every week
7.  More candy
8.  More graphic novels and comics

question response 1 question response 2 question response3

I really appreciate how some of them took their time to think the question over.  I will definitely try to meet some of these requests.

Submitted by Kathy Conroy from Westwood JR.