Feathering Philbert’s Nest With Great Library Resources!

The 2017 – 2018 Secondary Library Year In Review by librarian Kristi Green. Read on to learn about new and updated resources, curricular connections, and worthwhile links.


It feels as if we just rang the bell for the first class on the first day of school, and somehow it is already graduation time!  This school year has been a flurry of activity and achievement for students and staff in the Secondary Library so let’s get started on our Year in Review before another bell signals that summer has begun!

In August of 2017 a complete analysis of our print collection by Dewey Decimal number and by copyright date was performed.  This detailed analysis not only helped us weed outdated titles, but feed our collection to support the content area curriculum goals. In response to that analysis, the Secondary Library has added over 500 new print books this school year.

One great example of how the collection analysis was used to support learning is the work we have done with 8th grade English teachers, Meaghan O’Dell and Karen Callahan.  In the first semester, they taught students how to write engaging memoirs by bringing their students to the library to check out notable biographies and autobiographies. We were able to add a wide variety of new titles to enrich this student learning.  Some of the diverse new biographies include: Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran, Maya Lin: Thinking With Her Hands and I Shall Not Hate : a Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity.  They are available for checkout now if you would enjoy reading a biography too.

Further analysis of our electronic library collection revealed an increased need for high school students to access primary sources through an academic database called JSTOR.  JSTOR includes four separate collections for KIS students and has over 2 million full-text sources.  The database was purchased in February and many high school students used JSTOR to improve their National History Day projects for Sharon Gillette and Erich Smeaton’s 10th grade History classes.  The top competitors will be attending the National History Day competition at the University of Maryland this June. 

LibraryInternsAnother year-long project in the library this year was our “patron traffic/time study” designed and executed by librarians Kristi Green and JiSu Oh, with help from 2017-18 grade eleven library interns Emily and Joon Ha.  The time study was performed in order to gather evidence of traffic and use-patterns in the Secondary Library. The data we gathered supported our extended hours Tuesday through Friday and helped us implement new hours over the Winter Holiday.  Both middle and high school students use the Secondary Library frequently, although the study revealed the purpose for their visits differ.  Most middle school students come to the library for expert help choosing a resource while most high school students visit the library because we offer patron privacy and allow a quiet yet comfortable study area on the KIS campus.   

Events that we planned with the KIS MS PTO included a Fall and Spring Book Fair, which puts over 1,000 new books into the hands of students each time!  These What the Book? fairs go a long way to foster a love of reading in our students and it is always a pleasure to talk to students about their new books in the weeks following the fairs.  The KIS MS PTO also sponsored a fantastic Battle of the Books this year in which over a third of the middle school read four books by diverse authors and competed quiz bowl style for the victory.  

imageWe are also proud that this year we were able to update our LibGuide.  You may have noticed KIS LibGuide got a facelift in April.  There are more features on the updated version of our guide.  Our first cross-curricular LibGuide 2.0 project was with 7th grade science teachers Lori Uemera and Erik McDonel.  After meeting as a team, we created a fantastic guide to help students narrow their research about natural selection and evolution and eliminate all the misinformation that may be found on-line.  

Please explore our middle school LibGuide and high school LibGuide and remember them at homework or research time as well!  Students sometimes need gentle reminders to start with a library resource rather than a Google search when doing academic work.

In May, we welcomed all of the Grade 5 students from the Pangyo ES and Seoul Campus to come to the Secondary Library for two hour-long orientation sessions.  During that activity, students went a tour of our collections, enjoyed a fantastic scavenger hunt that required them to use complicated information literacy skills, and took a survey called The Genre Genie to help them identify new genres of books that they haven’t yet discovered.  Mr. Wilson, Ms. Wright, Ms. Kathlyn Cho, Mr. Archer, Mr. Keshaw, Ms. Snell (for Ms. Cory), and Ms. Canales joined in the fun their students were having as well.  By teaching the 5th graders about the Secondary Library before they make the big transition to middle school, it is our hope that they will remember the library as a great resource whenever they are faced with an academic roadblock.  Soon we will fondly wave goodbye to the graduating Class of 2018 and welcome the new Class of 2025 to our library.

Finally, this June we will finalize our annual inventory.  Each year we do a complete inventory of the print collection and so we are asking that all library materials are returned to the library by Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Please visit the Secondary Library or call 031-789-0747 if you have any questions about missing library materials.

I hope you can tell it’s been a fantastic and productive year feathering Philbert’s nest with great resources in the KIS Secondary Library.  Thank you for the privilege of serving your students.  Please remember that the library will be open this summer and is an excellent place for your KIS student to get an academic advantage! 

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