Monday, October 31, 2011

Library of the Early Mind

Our local branch of the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is sponsoring the first local screening of an amazing documentary, Library of the Early Mind, including a chance to hear and ask questions of the director. This powerful tribute to the power of children's literature features an all-star cast of notable authors and illustrators and is well worth seeing.

It will be showing at 7pm next Tuesday, November 8th, in Demaray Hall at Seattle Pacific University. Tickets are $10 at the door.

I had the good fortune to attend a screening of this film at the American Library Association annual conference this summer and was deeply touched and moved by it. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Write an author fan letter!

If you're in grades 4-12, you're invited to write a letter to an author (living or dead) whom you admire and submit it to the Letters about Literature contest. The deadline is January 6, 2012, which gives you plenty of time to ponder and write!

You can also read letters from past winners as well as some authors' responses.

Writing can be a solitary and lonely occupation. Sending a letter of appreciation to your favorite author and submitting it to this contest - and also mailing it to him or her (find contact information on the author's website or write c/o their publisher) - is a lovely act of generosity! And it might just win you national recognition too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meet with me during parent/teacher conference days!

This is just a reminder that I will be available to meet with parents this Thursday between 8am-4pm and Friday between 8am-1pm. You may contact me in advance if you wish to reserve a time, however you are also very welcome to drop by the library learning commons without advance notice!

(My apologies for not being able to be here later on Friday. That was my original intention, however there is a memorial service I must attend.)

Please stop by just to see our newly renovated space, to ask any questions you might have about reading and research, to find out how your student is doing in library classes, or simply to introduce yourself and say hello. I look forward to chatting with you!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Participate in the Mock Newbery!

The Newbery Medal, given by the American Library Association each year to the author of a notable contribution to young people's literature, is widely recognized and respected as one of the country's most prestigious literary awards. Did you know that many public library systems hold Mock Newbery panels every year? King County Library System is no exception and they welcome participation from readers of all ages!

Just go to their You Choose the Next Newbery at KCLS blog, read at least four of the eight finalists, and vote online in January!

If you look at their past blog entries you will also find more wonderful reading suggestions among the many great titles that didn't make the final cut. Right now I'm listening to one of their finalists, Gary Schmidt's Okay for Now, which is a deeply moving account of artistic and personal discovery and dysfunctional family life in Vietnam War-era America (also shortlisted for the National Book Award)!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

4th grade animal fiction book reports

Fourth graders will be reading a realistic fiction chapter book about animals that is age appropriate and at their own “just right” reading level. There are some books meeting these criteria available in school library and reserved just for 4th graders to choose from! Students are welcome to stop by during lunch recess or before or after school.

KidsPage at KCLS has a
list of animal books (be sure to check that they fit the requirements):

To find more reading ideas, you can search the
KCLS catalog:

1. Log into your account
2. Click on Advanced Search
3. Under Search Input, select Subject and type in the kind of animal (plural) and juvenile fiction, e.g. dogs juvenile fiction or rats juvenile fiction
4. Under Search Input, select Call number and put J in the search box
5. Under Item Type, select Book
6. You can click Limit to Available to find only items that are currently checked in
7. Click on Search
8. When you get your results, click on Reviews & More to see what the book is about and what age level it is recommended for (I find the School Library Journal and Booklist reviews most helpful)
9. Click on Place Hold to have the book delivered to your local branch

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

November book presentation for 5th grade

November's genre for Ms. Russell's 5th grade Humanities class is historical fiction!

We have over 70 books available in the library learning commons just for 5th graders to choose from. Stop by anytime between 8:30am-4pm to choose your book! The deadline for letting Ms. Russell know which book you will be reading is November 7th.

Here are a few places to get reading suggestions:

KCLS KidsPage American Historical Fiction
KCLS KidsPage World Historical Fiction
KCLS TeenZone American Historical Fiction
KCLS TeenZone World Historical Fiction

Monday, October 10, 2011

Who's Who in the Library Learning Commons

This Thursday, October 13th, from 6:15-8:30pm is OWS Specialists' Night for parents of students in grades K-4! You will get to meet many of the Specialists, try out mini-lessons and ask general questions about the program. It is a fun, energizing evening - please stop by!

The library learning commons offers another way to get to know us and our program: you are welcome to drop by at any time between 8am-4pm on parent/teacher conference days (Thursday and Friday, October 20th-21st). Please drop in before or after your meeting with your student's teacher! I'd love to have the chance to chat and show you around. If you have more in-depth questions, you may schedule a private conference during the conference days or at another time.

Detailed grade level information is available on my website (
OWS website - Current Families - Teacher Websites - Simeon, Laura - Documents - Library Curriculum & Policies).

Library staff:

Laura Simeon, Librarian, has a BA from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in history before completing an MA in the history of Early Modern Europe and Tokugawa Japan at the University of British Columbia and a Master's in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington. In her spare time, Ms. Simeon enjoys reading (of course!), travelling, knitting, spending time with her 9th grade daughter, and playing with her two cats and lop-eared rabbit. She loves the intellectual curiosity and vibrant energy of OWS students - no two days are ever the same!

Yuri Kenmochi, Library Assistant, was born and raised in Japan before coming to the US to attend university. She has been working at OWS for 5 years and really enjoys working with students and is inspired by the excitement children bring to readalouds. In her free time, Mrs. Kenmochi enjoys gardening, cooking and spending time with her daughter, who is a 5th grade Vista student.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Alliance for Young Artists & Writers Contest

Are you in grade 7 or higher? If so, check out this great opportunity to share your creative talents! The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers contest allows you to enter in a variety of categories, including journalism, video game design, film, fashion, novel writing, jewelry, comic art, and more.

Why not give it a whirl? There may be a cool project you started in class that could be perfect!