Monthly Archives: March 2012

Hopkins Students Take Library Books on Vacation

The Calarco Library held its first-ever Take a Book on Break program during the two days leading up to March break. On the Thursday prior to break, Ms. Bray and I (Ms. Barrows) ventured up to the Weissman Room in Heath with books and cookies in tow. Junior Schoolers were invited to visit during their free period to browse through dozens of young adult fiction books brought up from the library. Friday was devoted to Middle and Upper School students. There were many more new books on display in the library (including a popular cart of books “leftover” from the JSchool event) and cookies for everyone who checked out a book. Your librarians thoroughly enjoyed both events. We had a great time hearing about how much our students love to read for pleasure and sharing book recommendations with them.

Junior School

Below you can see the room set up, ready and waiting for students. Ms. Bray, Mrs. Dubois, Ms. Prendergast and I wondered how many students would venture upstairs. Five? Twenty-five? Maybe even thirty? Think about  how you feel when you present a project that you’ve put a lot of effort into: confident, because you’ve worked hard so you expect good results; nervous, because this is the culmination of all your effort; and anxious, because you are unsure of how the audience will react to your ideas. That’s how we felt! So we crossed our fingers, hoping everyone would enjoy themselves and find something great to read on their vacations.

Before the chaos

We promoted the Junior School Take a Book on Break program with a Glog (with an embedded Animoto video) that was e-mailed to the 7th and 8th grade students and advisers; Ms. Bray made announcements during JSchool lunches.

We arranged the books into broad themes – LOLScience Fiction and FantasyThrillers and ChillersDrama, and Award Winners – put some cookies on the table for students to take when they checked out books, set up a Prezi of book trailers, and waited.

As you can see in our Animoto video below, the outcome was terrific. While 43 students checked out 55 books, their enthusiasm was the best part of the event. Thank you for visiting JSchool, and we hope to see you again soon!

Upper School

Since Middle and Upper School students have more flexibility in their schedules, we decided their event should be casual and not restrained by a time-frame. We had high expectations about student response to our invitation, but there was no way to predict how many would actually respond to the Glog and Animoto video promoting the event. But, Hopkins students rose to the occasion, as usual, and dozens visited Calarco to check out books, ask for recommendations, snack on some cookies, and talk about spring break plans.

In short, we were thrilled by the turn-out and excitement of all our students. In total, 116 books were checked out during the Upper School program. Your librarians thoroughly enjoyed sharing book recommendations and hearing about how much you love to read for fun. We want to thank all of you who asked questions, ate cookies, and/or left with a book (or sometimes several books) in hand, and invite you to share your thoughts about the Take a Book on a Break Program.

Questions and Suggestions are welcome in the comments section.

Coming Soon: Stay tuned for an upcoming entry featuring our “Photograph a Book on Vacation” contest winners.

Technology Highlight: Evernote

This blog is for anyone who wants to become a fabulously organized notetaker and researcher, someone who can easily access all of school AND life’s most important information. This blog is for anyone who wants to appear effortlessly efficient to teachers, classmates, teammates and parents. Use Evernote to achieve success and impress…everyone.

First things first: we will NEVER discuss technologies on this blog that require extensive training, reading instructional manuals, multiple lessons, or a phone call to an outsourced customer service center. Evernote is free, easy to register for and download, and simple to learn and use.

Signing Up

Signing up for Evernote is just as easy as signing up for Facebook, Twitter, or any other free online resource. Just go to the Evernote homepage, click on “Create Account” in the upper right-hand corner, and fill in the brief informational form. Evernote will ask you to confirm the account via a confirmation link sent to your e-mail, and once this final step is complete, you are ready to go!

Easy to Learn and Use

The Evernote team provides a multitude of instructional videos that are tailored to different search engines, computers (PC v. Mac), and smart phones. Evernote automatically defaults to the type of web browser and computer that you are using. If you were to browse the Evernote website from a PC, the videos would default to Windows and Internet Explorer videos. All of the instructional videos are quick and easy to follow.

Here is a brief rundown of the “best” Evernote features:

    • Notes: Create “regular” typed notes, audio notes (record a lecture and add your own typed notes), or iSight notes (take a picture and add typed content)
    • Notebooks: Think of notebooks as themed folders with related documents. Evernote also allows you to stack notebooks to create even more layers. Need an example? You could use Evernote to make a notebook titled “History” and create different notebooks within History for each class you take at Hopkins.
    • Tagging: What if you could easily search all of your 5-Star college-ruled notebooks for information scattered across multiple days and classes? Add tags to your notes to enhance searchability and organization. What if you took notes on MLA citations one day, and MLA formatting style another day? If you assign tag words/phrases such as MLA, English Class, Writing to multiple notes, you can search a tag (ex. MLA), and every note with that tag will show up in your search.
    • Sharing: What if you took notes on information you researched for a group project and wanted to share it with your group? Easy. Evernote allows you to invite other people (even if they don’t use Evernote!) to access one of your notebooks. WARNING: There is a small hitch to sharing notebooks with the free version of Evernote. If you share a notebook with a friend, classmate or teacher, they can only view the content and cannot add/alter any of the information.
    • Clipping: Evernote also has a web clipper that lets users easily take information from the Internet and create a note. You can select the exact notebook you want the content to be “dropped” into and tag the new note for better organization and searchability. The web clippers function differently for different web browsers, but here is an example instructional video (NOTE: Evernote will know which browser you are using and default to the appropriate web clipper for download):

Evernote is a cloud product — it can be accessed from anywhere at anytime via 3 main platforms. After registering for Evernote, you can download the software to your personal computer. Evernote can be accessed directly through the software app on your computer, or by logging in on the Evernote website. The third platform is, of course, the mobile/tablet route — Evernote has free iPhone, Android, and iPad apps. Evernote has automatic syncing capability; you will never have to worry about saving, and you can access all of your updated content through any of the platforms.

All of Evernote’s downloadable apps can be found in the Evernote Trunk.

For any other information, visit the Calarco Library Web 2.0 LibGuide and explore the Evernote tab.