There's a lot going on starting in mid-May (STAR testing) and continuing until the end of the school year (I am a Scientist Day and assemblies). As a result, a lot of library visits have been rescheduled (and, in some cases, cancelled). Please visit the library calendar for the most up-to-date schedule. Changes are also noted each week in the Weekly Read Aloud section. 
In case you haven't heard the news yet, Ms. Yukari is moving to the Washington, D. C. area this summer. While I'm very excited about this new adventure for my family, I'm so very sad that I have to leave the Robinson community and our wonderful library. 

We won't be living in Washington, D.C. proper, but we plan to be very close by in Virginia or Maryland. I'm encouraging Robinson students to come visit and look me up (I'll let you know my contact information once we find a place to live). 

Washington, D.C. is an amazing place; not only is it our nation's capital, but it is home to wonderful museums (like the Smithsonian's 19 museums!), the White House, the Library of Congress, countless memorials, and the National Book Festival. I can't wait to explore my new city!

  • My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, D.C. by Edward M. Kennedy (328.73 KEN)
  • Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out (975.3 OUR)
  • Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures: The U.S. Capital Commotion by Josh Greenhut (PB GRE)
  • Capture the Flag by Kate Messner (FIC MES)

We still don't know who will be replacing me in the fall, but hopefully it will be someone who loves kids, books, and the library as much as I do!
Ms. Yukari is currently on a leave of absence (not to worry, I just have some things to take care of and it has nothing to do with my health). I will be back on April 15. In the meantime, Mrs. Hydock has been kind enough to agree to be my sub. Some of you may be familiar with Mrs. Hydock already (most recently she was Mrs. Kundrat's long-term sub), but if you don't know her, please introduce yourself. She's a fabulously fun and energetic person to be around!

There are only a few schedule changes while I'm away. The Calendar is always updated if you need to confirm your library time.

You can still reach me by email if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your understanding during my absence, and I will see you all in mid-April!

I'm very sad to report that the library betta fish, Mr. Westing, passed away on Wednesday. Rest in peace in library pet heaven, my friend!

Parents, please don't forget to VOTE on Tuesday, November 6. There are several important propositions supporting schools and public education. 

To practice voting, students will be taking part in a book election, voting for their favorite California Young Reader Medal book. 

The Robinson results will be available after Thanksgiving (unfortunately, some 4th grade classes won't be able to vote until next week). State-wide winners aren't determined until May 1, 2013.

I'd like to extend a special THANK YOU to library volunteers Shelley Theodore, Maria Salazar, and Crystal Lepper for helping me process lots of new books. With their help we added 92 new books to the library's collection in October!
The PTSA generously donated a betta fish to the library (Robinson gave away bettas as prizes at this year's Hometown Fair booth). For the first week I called him Fishy but I knew he needed a proper name. Since he's the library pet now, I asked the kids to submit name suggestions. I received 189!

There were a few I really liked: PJ (short for Purple Jelly), Ms. Yukari, Jr., Twitchy, and Library Monster were contenders. But, in the end, I chose Mr. Westing as the betta's name. It was suggested by Ethan in 5th grade who recently read and enjoyed The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (FIC RAS).

It's a book that I also highly recommend. It is a fantastic, very sophisticated mystery that won the 1979 Newbery Medal. It was my best friend’s favorite book growing up and she recommended it to me as an adult. If I remember correctly, I read it in my late-20s and I was riveted by the plot.

I hope Mr. Westing is comfortable in his bigger tank and enjoys hearing the library read alouds as much as the kids do!

_Did you know you can search for library books from home? The MBUSD district-wide library catalog is available online at Click on the Robinson link at the bottom of the Elementary School section to access our catalog. (You can also access it by clicking on the Destiny Library Manager image on our homepage.)

But, wait -- there's more! You can now search for books on-the-go with the free Destiny Quest app. What's the point of looking for library books away from school or home? I see myself using the app when I'm not on a computer (which is often, at home); when I'm at the public library or the bookstore and I need to find out which books are already in our collection; and when I'm working with colleagues off-site and we're talking about/researching books.

The interface of Destiny Quest is user-friendly and I anticipate it being a helpful tool for primary grade students who are still learning how to type and search online. Second graders will be learning how to use the app in March when it is installed on the school iPads.

The free app, available through the Apple iTunes App Store or Android Marketplace, runs on iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads with iOS 4.2 or later, and on Android 2.1-2.3.7 phones. To download the app to your own device, go to the iTunes App Store or Android Marketplace and search for Destiny Quest, click on the app name, then click on Free and Install to install it.
_Once the app is installed, you need to set it up by clicking on the "Try Destiny Quest" button and entering our district url:

Then, select Robinson Elementary from the list of MBUSD schools. You can now access the library as a guest.

__Here’s some of what you can do with the new app:
  • Search for books in our collection
  • See the top ten recent checkouts
  • See recent additions to our collection
  • Access resource lists of books on different topics
[Click on the images below to enlarge them.]

_For more information on the app and to view a video on how to use it, you can visit the Follett Destiny Quest App website. You are also, of course, more than welcome to come see me in the library for a short demonstration.

[Thank you to Mira Costa Teacher Librarian, Mrs. Lofton, for allowing me to modify her original blog post about the app.]
October was a busy month in the cataloging and processing department here in the library. With the help of volunteers Mrs. Theodore and Ms. Lepper I was able to process 90 new books this month alone! You can always see what new books are in the library on the New Books page of the library's google website.

I wasn't the only busy one during October -- so were our Riptide readers! The library circulated 2,141 books (up from 1,693 from the same period last year) and placed 96 holds (many were for the 2012 Guinness World Records (031.02 GUI) and for Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes (FIC AUX)). Harry Potter continues to be a popular book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone clenched the top two spots as the most checked-out books for October (12 times and 11 times, respectively).

I've noticed that, by grade level, third grade seems to check out the most books. They're allowed to check out three books at a time and they're at an age where they read a multitude of book formats (picture books, chapter books (both short and long), graphic novels, joke books, magazines, etc.) that they can finish reading in a week. In contrast, fourth and fifth graders, although they're allowed to check out more books, take longer to finish reading a book because of the book's length (and probably because they don't have as much free time); they're also more likely to concentrate on one book at a time, instead of checking out many books. I think these reasons explain why the top three homerooms in terms of circulation statistics are all third grade classes: Mrs. Tanita (234 books, 9.75 books/student), Ms. Whalley (232 books, 9.28 books/student), and Ms. Whitt-Stopp (176 books, 7.33 books/student).
Without fail, the second we change the calendar page to October, the students are clamoring for Halloween books. I try to pull out as many Halloween and scary books as possible; please see the display under the bulletin board in the reading rug area.

Here are a few of the new Halloween-themed books I purchased this year:
  • Shadow by Suzy Lee (E LEE)
  • Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth (E MUT)
  • Vunce Upon a Time by J. Otto Seibold (E SEI)
  • Candy Fairies, Halloween Special: Gooey Goblins by Helen Perelman (PB PER)
  • The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn (PB HAH)
  • Guys Read: Thriller edited by Jon Scieszka (PB SCI)
One of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, is a master of creepy storytelling. (He wrote Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and The Dangerous Alphabet.) He recently started a Halloween reading tradition: All Hallow's Read. Instead of -- or in addition to -- giving out candy on Halloween, give away a scary book to a friend, family member, or stranger. Share the scare!