Friday, December 18, 2009

Exciting New Flip Video Camera

We just received shipment yesterday on two Flip video cameras the school purchased. What a fun tool/toy. So easy to use. Today was our annual Christmas concert. We were able to video each class's performance, load the video through the USB plug into the library computer, email the video to the homeroom teacher, who in turn sent an email copy of the video to all his students' parents. Can see many, many uses.

Problem I will need to work on is there is not enough storage on my computer to download the videos. The tech people are just going to have to unlock my C drive if I am to be able to save any. (though you can burn them to a CD)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Book Reports

Wanted to share a video of some of our students with their bookreports.

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Learning

I have just finished two videos using Animoto which is available free for educators. Now I am experimenting with the blog. I have already emailed one of the videos, posted one on Facebook, tried but failed to post it on the school library website, so the blog is next. Hope it works.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Posters Completed

Our 4th and 5th graders completed their ISLM posters today. Fourth graders responsible for Canada and fifth graders Hong Kong. Take a look at their great work!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mailed our bookmarks

Our 1,500 plus bookmarks were mailed on Wednesday. Heard from the Hong Kong librarian, Helen Chan, and she put ours in the mail the same day. There is no longer a "slow boat to China" so postage is rather pricey......$41 and some change. Managed to cram them all in one of those boxes they advertise on price no matter the weight. But that one price to China is high. Only $25 for the Canada ones.

Students are looking forward to receiving the ones sent to us.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

International School Library Month

October is International School Library Month. Our school is participating in the bookmark project for the 4th year. Previously we have been paired with Nigeria, India, Hong Kong, and 2 schools in Canada---one in Chilliwack, British Columbia, and one Worsley, Alberta. Our partner schools this year are Ecole Richard Secord in Edmonton, Alberta, and Lam Tin Methodist Primary School in Hong Kong.

Our students are busy learning about the other countries, making posters, and getting their bookmarks ready to mail. We have already mailed packages containg a map of Alabama, tourist information brochures, an Alabama poster, and a copy of the book Y is for Yellowhammer, an ABC book of our state.

We have such a massive number of bookmarks to complete this year that not only have our students been making them, but we have called on the art classes at our high school, several area church youth groups, and one former student of mine who is in his 30s. These bookmarks are being laminated and my 88 year old mother is cutting them all out for us.

This is a wonderful project each year that I would urge other libraries to

participate in. The website for International School Library Month is

Our partner schools web addresses are

Hong Kong


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Catching Fire

Couldn't stand to wait two days for a colleague to bring me the second Suzanne Collins. Bought it at Sams and finished it in about 3 days too. Read the last 50 or so pages so quickly wanting to know what happened had to have a discussion the next day to sort it all out! I plan to go back and reread. Does anyone else ever do that?
After reading it a warning.....Never compete in the Quarter Quells! Does anyone know where we can purchase a mockingjay pin?

Can't wait for book 3. Probably next September though.

Great news for Diana Gabaldon fans......An Echo in the Bone: A Novel will be released September 22.

My husband received his copy of The Symbol by Dan Brown today.

Exciting times to be a reader!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wow The Hunger Games

A three day read and I finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The book was loaned to me by a 6th grader. Wow! Really good. Definitely a YA book though. Katniss was such a well defined character. Reality show meets the Roman Coliseum meets Big Brother. This is a book trailer of the book posted on Teacher Tube.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

District & School Surprises

In a previous post I lamented about the classroom supply money this year would not be provided by the state because of budget cuts. Our District came through by providing each teacher with a generous amount, and then my school will also give us money. All in all, my total for supplies is actually higher this year than last.

HOWEVER, there has been no accomodations made for lost library enhancement monies. I am fortuante to have book fair money saved back from previous years that I can use to fund the library this year.

School started with a bang. Car rider line the first day lasted over 1 hour, but by Friday we had it down to 30 minutes. Don't know if we became more proficient or that more kids were on the buses rather than their parents bringing them.

On Wednesday we checked out books to 8 homerooms, on Thursday 16, and on Friday 9. That covers our 5th and 6th grades. Fourth graders have to wait until their class comes for instruction before they can check out.

Two titles that were asked for....Fablehaven series, and Leven thumps series.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wonderful Trip to the Beach

What a wonderful time our family had on vacation this July. Lots of swimming, looking for shells, cooking--low country boil, shrimp and grits, gumbo, boiled shrimp, fresh flounder, and hot dog!
Everyone helped...and all are super cooks. Finished 2 books The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells (of Ya Ya Sisterhood fame) I predict a movie from this one too. And What Southern Women Know About Faith by Ronda Rich. I highly recommend it. I started on Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich but only finished it after we returned home.

School starts back in 1 week for faculty and staff and two weeks for students. It will be a year with little money as Alabama is in proration for education, and all our classroom supply money and library enhancement money has been taken away for this year.

But I started years ago with a chalkboard, chalk, and a teacher's edition. It can be done.

Return often to hear about this year in the library.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


It's to the beach this Saturday for a week long vacation with the whole family. As I am packing essentials there is, of course, a book bag going along. Right now it has 4 books for me.... however, a friend at the public library said she carried 3 bags of books on her recent vacation. My husband is trying to finish a Clive Cussler novel before we leave so I am not sure what he will be taking. We have a Jodi Piccoult on CD for the drive.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friend's Passing

My funny, funny friend, Marsha McCrory Pope, librarian for 22 years at Sanford Middle School in Lee County, Alabama, died on Wednesday, July 8, after a brief battle with breast cancer.

She was a delightful friend, a dedicated teacher and librarian, and a wearer of the most tasteful seasonal earrings you can imagine. Her sister told me tonight at visitation that they made sure she had on some God would recognize her.

September 1, 1946 - July 8, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mary Kay Andrews, Carolyn Hart, Dorothea Benton Frank, Charlaine Harris

Just finished Mary Kay Andrews new book The Fixer Upper set in fictional Guthrie, Georgia. Nice summer read. Reading now a Carolyn Hart book. Her main characters Max and Annie Darling live on a small island off the coast of South Carolina. Annie runs the Death on Demand book store. Mrs. Hart peppers her books with references to mysteries and mystery authors. One mentioned in this book is Charlaine Harris and her Sookie Stackhouse series (which I enjoyed much more in book form than I do the HBO version.) In the car I am on the last CD of the audiobook The Island of Mango Sunsets by Dorothea Benton Frank. Seems I am stuck on the south this summer. It is a nice place to be.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


This picture is a creation of Montage-A-Google using the word library. What a fun site. You can just create or create and save.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Love Mysteries? Need Suggestions?

Here is a useful link for mystery lovers

A blurb from their website reads

Stop, You’re Killing Me! is a resource for lovers of mystery, crime, thriller, spy, and suspense books. We list over 2,800 authors, with chronological lists of their books (over 32,000 titles), both series (3,200+) and non-series.

Some of my favorites

Anne George Southern Sisters Mysteries
Carolyn Haines Sarah Booth Delaney Series
Magaret Maron Judge Deborah Knott Mysteries
Catherine Coulter FBI Thrillers

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Unlikely Missionaries

I have friends who are serving as missionaries to Senegal. They have started a blog...The Unlikely Missionaries. Not only is it a blessing to read about their experiences, but Kitty's venture into the marketplace for curtain material and pillows is so funny. Take a look.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Many of you may be familiar with the Catwings books by Ursula K. Le Guin. Just saw some news on MSN that gives credence to her fictional story. (At least it does if you are a cat lover.)
A cat in China has grown wings.

Here is the link to the story

My students that have loved the Catwings books are going to be so excited when I share this next year.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wonderful find in Tallahassee

I am on a short visit to my son and daughter-in-law's in Tallahassee, Florida. On previous visits I had noticed a Goodwill Book Store in Tallahassee on Thomasville Road but had never stopped. Today I was on a mission to find some Janet Evanovich books for my niece so we visited the store. It is a treasure. Neat, organized, decorated, cozy, friendly staff, excellent quality used books.....a children's room, a video room, cookbooks, fiction, nonfiction, biography, Christian fiction, best sellers, notecards and journals, travel books. I was delighted. Mondays are 30% off. Books are priced a tiny bit higher than some thrift shops I have visited, but the ambience and shelving justified it. Paperbacks I purchased were $3.20 and hardbacks were $5.99. Any book lover in the Tallahassee area or traveling through would do well to stop in.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Yesterday was our last day at school. The students picked up their report cards, all yearly reports were completed and submitted, the furniture is up on the tables and bookcases so the carpet can be cleaned this summer.

I have a reading list from LM_NET members that I am anxious to begin.

My friend and coworker, Nikki Millraney, has written a book and published it through blurb. This spring she had to have brain surgery for an aneurysm. The book entitled
Everyday Miracles....Glimpses of God in the Ordinary is available for purchase from blurb, but you can also read a preview (the first 15 pages online). Go to, click on bookstore, click on all categories, and look for the title. She has a wonderful testimony. The book follows her journey during the scary days of the discovery of her aneurysm and the subsequent surgery. It details how God made Himself known to her during this time.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wow! 4th Graders Were Busy in the Library This Year.

I prepared this presentation for my 4th graders to show all the activities we completed this year. The powerpoint was done with a pretty ABC template from Brainy Betty, but the file was too large to upload to google docs, so here it is plain.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What an honor!

What an honor to be featured on Susan Faye's blog 365catladies with a tribute to Tigger. Visit her website and read Tigger's story and then go to cafepress and see to purchase some of her catlady items.

Susan has lots of artwork and stories of catladies, twenty-two of which are library cat ladies like me.

She encourages you to send her your catlady stories. Who knows, you may one day appear on her blog too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Personal Aside

Our family welcomes to the world, Micah Benjamin Williams, on March 17, 2009, a St. Patrick Day baby. Our first grandson joins big sisters, Emma Marbrie, 5, and Molly Elizabeth, 2.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Read Across America

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

Students at SSIS always celebrate Read Across America by Reading Around the School. This year the day was misting rain and cool but again we stretched around the school and read for 15 minutes. See our pictures below.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Goodbye Faithful Friend

Today, March 5, 2009, Tigger, the Smiths Station Intermediate School Library Cat, died from kidney failure. Tigger, although on sabbatical this year, had been the library cat at our school since 1998. He received much love and attention from our students and staff, and gave much back in return. Deeply saddened does not begin to express our feelings.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February 28 Storm System

The storm system that went through Alabama on Saturday, February 28th hit our junior high school and ripped the roof from the lunchroom, tore away the sign, shattered doors and caused much water damage. Our junior high students will be housed in portables on our intermediate and high school campus until the damage is repaired. I am so thankful it was a Saturday and no one was at school. An 18 wheeler overturned on the highway near the school and a church next door to the school was demolished. When the weather cleared in the afternoon the temperature got into the 70s. Then, today, March 1, we had 3 inches of snow in the time I was at church this morning. Roads are icy, however, we still have power which is a blessing. Don't know about school tomorrow, but with the relocation of all the junior high kids, freezing weather and snow may not be the time to do it.

Lunchroom at Wacoochee Junior High School

Church adjacent to school. Notice the picture still hanging on the far wall. It is of praying hands.

Storm of March 1, 2009. Day after tornado.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I misspelled the name of our new president! In two previous posts Barack was spelled Barak. My sister-in-law who writes a news column for a local paper caught the mistake and emailed me to quickly correct the spelling before anyone else saw it. The funny thing is in one entry I had it spelled both ways. She tried to excuse my mistake by telling me the Biblical spelling of the name was Barak. (Judges 4 & 5, and Hebrews 11) Now I am mortified that the letters I sent to the White House on the day after the inauguration also had our president's name misspelled. No wonder we have not received any response, not even a form letter!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Wordle & Ipod

Wordle: Untitled

Wanted to create a new wordle based on the blog. It was quite a while ago I did another one. Also I wanted to report that my husband bought me an ipod. One of my 5th grade teachers said, "Well, it's about time you got one." Still learning how to use it, but it has made walking at the gym much more interesting.

Songs on it include some by Bon Jovi, Josh Kadison, Deana Carter, The Eagles, Mercy Me, Carrie Underwood. And podcasts by Garrison Keillor and Killearn United Methodist Church. I tried to download an audiobook but got all confused with that. Maybe later.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Apollo Theater in the Library

For the last several years during Black History Month I have created a display of the Apollo Theater in our school library. Our library door has the address 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027. A vertical sign reads APOLLO. Inside the library we have a tree stump that is our Tree of Hope.
Also are pictures of famous African Americans who began their careers at the Apollo.

Read this information on the Tree of Hope taken from

"Nestled between the Lafayette Theatre and the popular nightclub Connie's Inn, a tall [elm] tree was rumored to bring good luck to all who touched it.
During the Harlem Renaissance, aspiring performers such as Ethel Waters, Fletcher Henderson, and Eubie Blake were rumored to have visited the Tree of Hope.
When the tree was cut down in 1934 during the expansion of 7th Avenue, it was cut into logs and sold as souvenirs. One section was salvaged and found a home at the Apollo Theater, where today's amateur performers continue to rub the trunk in the tradition of their predecessors.
"Nestled between the Lafayette Theatre and the popular nightclub Connie's Inn, a tall [elm] tree was rumored to bring good luck to all who touched it.
During the Harlem Renaissance, aspiring performers such as Ethel Waters, Fletcher Henderson, and Eubie Blake were rumored to have visited the Tree of Hope.
When the tree was cut down in 1934 during the expansion of 7th Avenue, it was cut into logs and sold as souvenirs. One section was salvaged and found a home at the Apollo Theater.

As word spread that this unassuming log was part of the once great Tree of Hope, it became a tradition of Amateur Night to have each contestant touch the tree on the way to center stage. Since then, every single performer that has appeared on Amateur Night has touched that log. Within a year of its debut, its surface was as smooth as glass from all the now famous and not-so-famous hands that had touched or rubbed it.
Now, touching The Tree of Hope has become recognized as the famed Apollo ceremonial act carried out by all Amateur Night performers before they compete. Rooted between a glorious past and an even greater future, the Tree of Hope links generations of performers together in an unbroken tradition of chance, desire and success."

Friday, January 23, 2009

We Watched the Inauguration

Several classes converged on the library at 12:00 EST to view Barack Obama take the oath of office as President of the United States on January 20, 2009. Although our district had live streaming available, we chose to use the big screen TV. Shown are Mrs. Bryant and Mrs. Baldwin's classes. Mrs. Ebrahim, our 5th grade counselor, watches too.
We also wrote letters to the new president during library classes that day. These were mailed on Wednesday. Will be interested to see what sort of response we get. I do know one thing....we all need to use CONGRATULATIONS as a spelling word!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inauguration Barack Obama

I found through my membership in a library media specialist list-serv a wonderful site with links for the inauguration next week of Barack Obama as President of the United States. The site was created by Stacy Bodin of Vermillion Parish School District in Louisiana. Here is the link

It is worth your time to take a look.