Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy holidays!

Reindeer on the Move
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Good-byes and wishes for a great break are sounding throughout the library. Students are dashing in and checking out books and movies. We are dispersing quickly as the snow line moves towards us. We wish all safe travel, on-time flights, and relaxing days. Happy reading to all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Study Break

The library had been silent as students studied for the upcoming Science Semester Exam. A sudden flurry of noise drew our attention. Three students were attempting to "kite surf" in the Sager Bowl. Alas, the wind was gusty, not steady, but we all welcomed the opportunity to stretch and watch.

Sherlock Holmes display

Sherlock Holmes display
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Sherlock Holmes was born (on paper) in 1888, but he's as much an icon today as Marilyn Monroe or Harry Potter. What makes a literary figure universally appealing? Surely a well-developed character with personal foibles and self-destructive tendencies can draw us into a character, but Sherlock Holmes gives us so much more. Mystery has an appeal that touches every generation. The young and old alike appreciate a good surprise, with clues along the way to make the journey personal. But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was more than a mystery writer. He also chronicled his times so that his stories also survive as historical fiction. He gives us insights into the lives of the highest and lowest society of nineteenth century England, fascinating us by taking us places we can never venture on our own. And Holmes is still more than mystery and historical fiction. Dr.
Watson introduces us to the forensic sciences of the times, giving the stories an historical science fiction flair.

Yes, the stories survive on their own merits; but the acting talents of Jeremy Brett in the British television series have made Holmes a new celebrity, and few of us can consider the "whodunit" without thinking first of Sherlock Homes.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
One of the loveliest traditions at the academy is carolling by different language classes. Today was Spanish. Feliz Navidad!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Tis the Season

In addition to creating a "Tree of Holiday Books" for the Academy's youngest readers, we created a display of the three activities that we shall be indulging in during the upcoming break. Curling Up includes both holiday DVD's and stories. Our Baking selection did include cookies and soups (I know cooking, not baking, but definitely seasonal!) Most of these have already gone out. Creating is a selection of crafts - making handmade cards, origami, knitting, beading, quilting, woodworking..... The ones promising quick results ("make in a weekend") have all gone out so the recipients on someone's gift list will be in handmade heaven!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Picture Books to Warm Your Spirit

While Blogger has been down for the past week, we've been decorating for the holidays. While we are technically a high school, we are, moreover a community of students and families living and learning in this lovely corner of Massachusetts. Our mission includes serving the families who live on campus. This display is geared to entrance the children of faculty and staff families who are looking for ways to share the holidays indoors when the weather is blustery (as it is today)!

The Christmas Candle, by Richard Paul Evans, tells the story of a self-absorbed young man who is looking for a candle for his lantern. His disregard for strangers in the cold of the night is replaced by true illumination when he perceives the faces of his family in each of the cold, tired, and hungry people he meets. By the conclusion of his journey he realizes that we are all part of one large family. The story is beautifully illustrated with the paintings of Jacob Collins - a story to warm anyone's heart on a cold winter evening.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Ice cream, clotted cream, whipped cream, milkshakes, yogurt...all of your favorite dairy treats, and many you have never tried, are described in loving detail in this book. Part cookbook and part food history, this book tells about the cultures and climates that milk-based foods come from and how they can be prepared by you, at home, with little more than fresh cream or milk to begin with. You may want to experiment with these recipes for the holidays!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Seminar on Teaching and Learning - Understanding how to view a photograph

Our latest Seminar on Teaching and Learning Luncheon in the library was given by our photography teacher, David Oxton. We often ask him on how we assess student work that we see at art shows. What makes it a good picture? He started by explaining the Rule of Three and gave us concrete examples with current and former student work. We were able to ask questions (as well as answer them.) The last few minutes he handed out cameras and told us to pair up. We were to take pictures of each other which would appear in the yearbook. A very clever way to get many pictures done at once!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Helping Boys to Ask for Help

CLA fall meeting
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Yesterday, I attended the Cooperative Library Association fall meeting at Gann Academy. Lynn Grilli, Roxbury Latin’s school librarian, and Noel Foy, Roxbury Latin’s learning specialist, presented their findings on getting boys to ask for help. Boys, they said, have many cultural influences that cause them to exhibit help avoidance behaviors. Roxbury Latin’s program has attempted to overcome these behaviors by showing students that seeking help can make them individually stronger, rather than diminishing their personal power. One initiative that they felt had been highly effective was the transformation of their peer-tutoring program to a drop-in area where tutors are always available in a prominent area. This has taken the hidden shame from the act of asking for help and made working collaboratively an open act.

Both presenters stressed that collaboration is the way that college students and professionals are now conducting their lives. Being able to work with others, learning from each other and sharing strengths, is highly valued in today’s society. They suggested that educators would do well to understand that colleges and universities are now asking students to work much more cooperatively than in the past. They also stated that students “don’t know what they don’t know” and that they need to be taught to think about how they learn.

For those of us who wanted to read more they recommended the following books:
The Pressured Child by Michael Thompson
Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds by Richard J. Light
I Don’t Want to Talk About It by Terrence Real
Strategic Help Seeking: Implications for Learning and Teaching by Stuart A. Karabenick
Teaching the Male Brain: How Boys Think, Feel, and Learn in School by Abigail Norfleet James

The presenters also mentioned that they are available to bring their presentation to schools.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Will we ever blog again?

Things just keep piling up
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Two major projects - rearranging our DVD collection and re-barcoding our entire collection - have consumed our energies. While we try to continue to provide service, sometimes things just don't get done as neatly as we'd like them to.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New fiction, including a great baseball story

Fiction - November 2008
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Imagine you are the kid who is different everywhere you go. In your prep school you are one of the few Mexican kids. In the neighborhood where your aunts, uncles and cousins live you are the only one who can't speak Spanish. And on the baseball field, you are better than almost anyone if no one else is around. But at team tryouts, you choke, your pitches go wild, and the coach suggests you work on your control and come back next year.

Danny is that kid. But by himself, or working out one on one with a friend, he throws every pitch perfectly, and fast. He has a ninety-mile-an-hour fastball. You'd never guess it to look at him. He's tall and skinny and looks like he has no muscles, but those long arms really allow him to throw the ball hard.

The summer before his junior year Danny goes to live with his cousins and aunt and uncle, to discover why his dad left, and to figure out how to control his pitches when other people are around.

This is a great baseball story, and a great story of a teen finding his identity.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

21st Century technology

Joining other 21st century libraries, the Pescosolido library is re-barcoding our entire collection with 14-digit barcodes. The industry standard for library barcodes uses 14 digits, wherein the first five digits identify the library. Our conversion to KOHA open source library automation this fall necessitated the change from our old four and five digit barcodes to the new 14-digit barcode. Joining the Masscat library system, we can identify books from other libraries automatically by their barcodes, just as libraries that borrow from us can easily identify our books.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Medal of Honor Recipient at Governor's Academy

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Today, retired Navy Captain Thomas G. Kelley spoke to the Governor's community. He discussed his military career, his present work with the Veteran's Administration, and his views on war. He encouraged everyone to find a way to serve one's country or community. When asked if his service was worth the price he paid in terms of his injuries, he replied that it was a very worthwhile time. He continued to serve theNavy for 22 years after he received the Medal of Honor.
After his talk, Captain Kelley signed the library's copy of Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Armistice Day Display and the Academy's Archives

Armistice Day Display
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
While preparing our commemoration for Veteran’s Day, we turned to Laurie DiModica, our archivist, for ways World War I affected the academy. She found some wonderful items we included in an Armistice Day display. The August 23, 1917 minutes of the Dummer Allies (the academy’s parents group) written by Secretary Carrie S. Dummer reported “Dr. Ingham told us many interesting things about the boys, the uncertainty of the war had broken up the school at the end of the year, but for all of that the boys were doing nicely.” Her minutes of August 15, 1918 stated “Miss Noyes said Dr. Ingham wants encouragement this year, teachers are wanted in this school as in all schools, four having gone to war. He would be very grateful for any thing big or little that we may do.”

Laurie also found an Honor Roll of Dummer Academy for WWI the preface of which stated: “The following is a list of those who are in the service of their country. It is only a partial list but includes all the Dummer boys so far reported as in service and those members of the faculty who left their work here to fight for Democracy.”

The scrapbook of Waldo Thorne Worcester ’20 yielded headlines from the Boston Post, Newburyport Daily News and the Sunday Herald of November 11, 1918 proclaiming “Great War is Over” and “Nation Joins in One Glad Song of Victory.” He also had saved a receipt for a war savings stamp dated June 14, 1918. Most intriguing for me is the panoramic picture of the Dummer Battalion c.1918.

An Archon article from the time speaks of a service at “the little Byfield Church” where a service flag was dedicated “bearing stars representing the boys and men who have lived in old Byfield and attended its old church, and are now in the service of Uncle Sam.” Many of the stars were for Dummer boys who all attended the church. Later, Mr. R.H. Sherman gave the academy a service flag which hung in place of the Morse flag in front of the Schoolhouse. “May the fifty stars representing the fifty sons of Dummer who will risk their lives for their country, ever be a reminder of what we owe them and Dummer, and an inspiration to hard work.”

Monday, November 10, 2008

Giving Blood - Saving Lives

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Twilight isn't just about movies and vampires.

Today is the Governor’s Academy’s semi-annual blood drive. Some students will give their first pint of blood today, hopefully creating a lifelong habit of saving lives. Kudos are warranted for those students who answer the call to give blood. This is another way we learn to live out school motto, “not for self, but for others.”

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Twilight hits the theaters

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
on November 20, and vampires have been spotted in the Pescosolido library, too. Besides books by Stephenie Meyer, you might also find these stories about vampires in this display:
Vittorio by Anne Rice
The Cowboy and the Vampire by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde
Blood of Roses by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Violets are Blue by James Patterson
Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause
Gothic by Deborah Noyes
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury
Thirsty by M. T. Anderson
Dark Banquet by Bill Schutt
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Friday, November 07, 2008

Proposed Massachusetts License Plate Benefits Libraries!

Usually, we only blog about what's happening in our library. BUT, we are so fortunate in Massachusetts that tax dollars are given to the six regional library systems which support service to all kinds of libraries in the state. We get access to databases, support for MassCat participation, Interlibrary-loan service and Document Delivery, Continuing Education opportunities, and Reference support. So today we are including an announcement about a new state liscence plate which will support Massachusetts libraries:

Library enthusiasts across the state will soon have an opportunity to show their support for libraries.
The Central Massachusetts Regional Library System (CMRLS) announces it is now accepting advance applications for a new specialty license plate celebrating libraries in Massachusetts.
Proceeds will benefit public, academic, special and school libraries across the state that belong to a Regional Library System. Equitable shares of the proceeds will be made available to qualifying libraries through an open grant process. Funds will not be used to supplant library budgets.
The idea for the plate emerged during a ‘promote libraries’ brainstorming activity at a CMRLS Executive board workshop. After a joint meeting with RMV officials in April and consultations with other library organizations, CMRLS decided to launch the drive to gather the required prepaid applications to produce the specialty plate.
The plate design process was a collaborative effort. Representatives from library boards across Massachusetts as well as library patrons were invited to offer design suggestions. The Library License Plate Task Force subcommittee formed by CMRLS included representatives from: Friends of Libraries; Library Trustee Association; School Library Association; each of the six Regional Library Systems; MA Library Association; and the MA Board of Library Commissioners.
Once the concept was agreed upon, local Illustrator David Desforges volunteered to turn the concept into reality.
The plate features a design logo of a silhouette of people above an open book displaying a globe all atop a keyboard. The website appears at the bottom. The letters M and L stands for Massachusetts Libraries.
Understanding how beneficial this endeavor will be to the statewide library community, well-known Massachusetts authors Lois Lowry and Gregory Maguire have teamed up with CMRLS to help promote the plate and expedite sales. Applicants who submit their prepaid applications to CMRLS by Nov. 30 will be entered into a drawing. The winners will be given the opportunity to communicate with Lois Lowry or Gregory Maguire, and to be named as a character in a work-in-progress by one of them or to help invent a name that suits the story. Two names will be selected.
Lois Lowry is best known as the author of the Newbery Medal winners THE GIVER and NUMBER THE STARS, and Gregory Maguire is best known as the author of WICKED, inspiration for the hit Broadway musical of the same name. Mr. Maguire states, "There can be few places that serve as both a temple and marketplace of ideas, or as both a respite for and a challenge to the mind and the spirit. The public library is all this, and more."
CMRLS must collect at least 3,000 applications each with a $40 check made payable to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) before the RMV will begin production of the plate.
The initial cost of the plate is $40 ($28 goes to the Library Grant Fund; $12 to the RMV for manufacturing costs). There is an additional $20 swap fee when the actual plate is picked up from the RMV. Renewals are $81 every two years ($41 RMV registration fee and $40 for the specialty plate fee that continues to go to the Library Grant Fund). An application can be downloaded at For more information contact CMRLS Headquarters at 508-757-4110.
Central Massachusetts Regional Library System (CMRLS), the lead organization of this statewide endeavor, promotes and supports resource sharing, professional development, collaboration, and innovation among all types of libraries in Central Massachusetts. Its seventy-two communities include 244 academic, public, school and special libraries. It is funded by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tech support answers the call

Tech support at Governor's Academy keeps us humming. They're quick to answer the call whenever there's a problem. They keep our networks, laptops, desktop computers, printers, and all sorts of peripherals up and running so that students will have what they need when they need it. Arriving within hours after learning that a laptop is out of order, Mr. Mandel quickly righted the problem. Thanks so much!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Stars vs. Stripes

Mock Election
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Yesterday we held a mock election. Each member of the community was surveyed in advance to determine party placement and then assigned to both a party and a state delegation. We heard candidates make statements, debate one another, and then speak at their respective party conventions. We caucused and made signs and debated the views we heard. And finally, we voted and celebrated! Thanks to the history and fine arts departments for providing us all a way to experience democracy in action.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tomorrow is the Mock Election

Voting information
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Although the nation will not get to vote until Tuesday, students at The Governor's Academy will vote for their candidate on Monday, November 3. Seven students have taken on candidate roles and shaped positions for their peers vote on. The day will be spent in a convention type format, with all students acting as delegates.

It will be a great warm-up for the national race on Tuesday. Don't forget to vote!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Creepy, spooky, mysterious, kooky

Mysteriously, when there's no one
around to watch, this display
The skeleton changes position - the
book moves from one corner to another
- the spiders "crawl" from one spot to
another. One clue... the rubber rat in
the display has been spotted all over
the library. We never know where he'll
pop up next. You wouldn't think he'd be strong enough to move the larger pieces of the display around, but then, strange
things happen on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AP Photo Shoot

AP Photo Shoot
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Readers of our blog might notice that we think the library is a beautiful place, with lots of great photo opportunities. Yesterday, an advanced placement photography student confirmed our opinions and set up shop to take photos for a class project. Libraries are truly multi-purpose environments.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trevor Corson Book Signing

Trevor Corson Book Signing
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Trevor Corson, author of The Story of Sushi and The Secret Life of Lobsters spoke to about one hundred students, faculty, and community members last night. After his talk he signed books for an appreciative crowd. Students and adults alike were treated to rare videos of “lobster porn” and given hints on how to get the really good sushi when visiting a sushi bar. Those looking for more information about the lobster sex guy and sushi concierge can visit his website at

LGBT History Month

As we come to the end of October we come to the end of LGBT History Month. It's a month dedicated to honoring those who have worked to change the perception of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in history. However, it is also a time to celebrate the lives of those who were well-known for other achievements, but also were LGBT. Check the calendar to see who you know who is being honored this year. Among the honorees are Margaret Mead, Gianni Versace and Allen Ginsberg.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Friday's the end of Quarter One!

We all need to resist this coffee shop sign with the end of the Quarter coming up on Friday. (Sigh......)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Voting Info

Voting Info
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
We're providing a wide range of opinions with current magazines headlining the candidates.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Noodling at the Library

Frustrated by citations? Not sure what info to include or where to insert a comma (or should it be a semi-colon? aaaagh!!!!) Be frustrated no longer. The library has a subscription to NoodleTools, the amazing citation generator. Find it on the library's Researching at the Library course in Classrooms on Elm Street. Better still, come to a workshop in the library and walk through creating an account, creating a list, and generating a citation.

Noodle with us in the Electronic Classroom at the library:
Sunday (October 26) at 7:30 pm
Monday (October 27) at 12:15 or 6:30 pm
Tuesday (October 28) at 12:15 or 6:30 pm
Wednesday (October 29) at 6:30 pm
Thursday (October 30) at 12:15
Friday (October 31) at 12:15

If you have already created an account but are confused by a citation type (maybe a videocassette or an interview perhaps?) bring it along and we shall walk you through it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Seminar on Teaching and Learning

The latest Seminar on Teaching and Learning concentrated on best practices using Moodle. Different members of the faculty presented how Moodle transforms their teaching (and student learning!) Jake Falconer showed his Spanish class, concentrating on how students use the forums to peer edit. He also uses the chat feature, assigning students a time for online chatting in Spanish. Jade Yu Qian uses Moodle to organize online language and cultural tools for her students. Her students can get additional listening time in Chinese through videos and podcasts. Matt Gettings showed his Stats class, highlighting how he links to definitions and articles he wants students to read while analyzing the statistics in the readings.

On a different note for Moodle use, Joe Repczynski demonstrated how easy it is for a teacher to create a podcast on a laptop and post to Moodle. He has a student record all the Wednesday Chapel speeches and post to a Moodle course. Karen Gold and Erin O'connell (who team teach American Studies) showed how they were able to create connections between the English and History disciplines within their course. They also noted that when time was scarce for meeting together, they could each go in and tweak the course.

Susan Chase showed how the library extends itself with Moodle by not only creating general research courses on the many different types of resources available to students but also individual classes to support specific curriculum projects. She showed as an example the freshman Civics class. Freshmen are given instruction in finding book resources, in using two databases, and in creating advanced searches for the Internet. In addition to the research components, students are given instruction in saving to their P:drives on the network, creating folders to store classwork, and to organizing Outlook with folders for the documents they retrieve from databases.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our students are always looking for amusement during their free time and we try to provide an adequate supply of DVDs that appeal to teens. This month's display includes a chronology of teen movies. Students can explore the films their grandparents, parents, and older siblings may have watched as teens. Emma made the display interactive by adding paper for the students to add their own movie reviews.

Movies include:
  • 1955 Blackboard Jungle
  • 1982 Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • 1984 Sixteen Candles
  • 1985 Election
  • 1985 St. Elmo's Fire
  • 1986 Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • 1989 Drop Dead Gorgeous
  • 1989 Superstar
  • 2000 Bring It On
  • 2002 Bang Bang You're Dead
  • 2003 Camp
  • 2003 Beautiful Thing
  • 2004 Heart of America
  • 2005 Zero Day
  • 2006 Stick It
  • 2007 The King of Kong; A Fistful of Quarters

Monday, October 20, 2008

Reading Critically for Authority and Bias

Anatomy and Physiology
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Anatomy and Physiology students were reading popular magazines in the library today. They read critically to determine the credibility of various popular magazine articles for health-related information. After perusing the stacks and reading several articles, they headed to the electronic classroom to write their critiques on Survey Monkey.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Welcome Emma!

It's the economy
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
We’re pleased to have a student intern from Salem State, Emma Driskill, working with us this year. Emma’s creativity shows when you look at the displays she builds for us. Here, she’s taken a group of books designed to help students trying to make sense of the global economy, added funky dollar bills, and transformed the area into an eye-catching treat. Way to go Emma! We’re so glad you’re here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Macbeth for Sophomores

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Sophomores are reading Macbeth. Recently, I went into Mrs. Gold's classes and presented Shakespearean resources, including the course we have in Classrooms on Elm Street, our Moodle site. In addition to our books, we include links to online resources. Through the support of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, we have access to the Ebsco Host Literary Reference Center. On the Web, students can listen to the play at The All Ears Theatre and can get a real sense of the play at YouTube by watching Dame Judi Dench's sleepwalking scene or the banquet scene with Ian McKellan. I think YouTube is fast becoming one of my go-to spots. Many primary source materials are available as well as movie and play scenes to give students a muti-sensory introduction to their studies.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Graphic Novels

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Comic books are seen as kids' stuff much of the time, as a frivolous form of writing and reading. However, as movie goers saw this summer in The Dark Knight, comic book writers are often taking on very serious issues and tackling some of the big questions in life: What is the meaning of good and evil? What is our place in the world? What happens to a hero if he doesn't win?

The graphic novel collection in the library is a growing and changing selection, with everything from superheroes to everyday teens just trying to make it through high school. It's a great place to spend some time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Allies Library Fund Sale

Allies Library Fund Sale
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
As part of Parents' Weekend, the Allies sell dedication rights to new books in our library. We appreciate the generosity of all!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Afternoon Activities

Afternoon Activities
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
All Governor’s Academy students participate in the school’s afternoon program. Each student has an opportunity to participate in an activity that interests him or her. Some are on an athletic field, some are involved in the arts, and some are performing community service. These young ladies are planning and coordinating this year’s Special Olympics Fall Soccer tournament to be held on November 2nd at the academy. They, along with Ms. Finch, comprise the leadership team that will coordinate hundreds of students and faculty as we host our 20th Special Olympics. We’re looking forward to seeing the fruits of all their planning and we’re proud to have them work in our electronic classroom every afternoon.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Recycling Crew at the Library

As the entire academic program migrates to Moodle, we are seeing less paper spit out of the printer. But, our cardboard output is still prodigious (thanks to and creates huge piles in the backroom. We are always happy to see the recycling team come through and to watch them flattening the boxes. Sometimes it takes three sets of feet!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Digging into American Culture

Every junior at Governor’s Academy writes a history thesis paper as part of their graduation requirement. We strive to provide the resources needed by each student. This year, a new topic caused us to add these titles. One student’s exploration of the treatment of minorities in American media, particularly cartoons, challenged us to add new (and old!) titles to the collection. Other resources from our databases and interlibrary loan will help this student delve deeply into a topic that piqued her curiosity.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

October 5: World Teachers' Day

Today is World Teachers' Day! It's a great day to celebrate your teachers - the ones who have inspired you, challenged you, asked you to do more than you knew you could do! A day is hardly long enough to think of all the teachers who have changed the way you look at the world. They have a big impact on our lives, and on World Teachers' Day we take a moment to recognize that.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Class Act

Mr. Wann’s English Foundations class has been using the electronic classroom weekly to take advantage of the software and Internet resources available. This week they worked to create a group PowerPoint presentation on Greek Mythology, creating individual slides and compiling a class slide show.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

R U Registered 2 Vote?

R U Registered 2 Vote?
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The deadline for registering to vote in the upcoming national election is fast approaching. Here in Massachusetts it comes 20 days before the election. The mail-in registration must be postmarked by October 15. The United States Election Assistance Commission maintains a list of state-by-state deadlines and a National Mail Voter Registration Form. If you are planning to vote absentee, you can find links to your state's requirements at Can I Vote?
Registration, of course, is just the beginning. Our display has materials on the Massachusetts referendum questions as well as books on some of the national issues. You can read more about issues and fact checking at CNN, NPR, or Project Vote Smart.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Healey Touch

The Healey Touch
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Fortunately for us, Mrs. Healey is coming out of retirement occasionally to fill in some of our away hours. Our students and our display spaces are both happy to see her. Stay tuned during October to see her creations.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Take My Advice

Just hours after poet laureate Billy Collins encouraged us to leave "footprints" in the margins, this senior was observed filling her book with notes. Mr. Collins suggested that we gain more from our reading when we interact with the words that we read. His comments agree with those that the Governor's Academy faculty heard during the opening of school. Ann Larsen, of the Landmark School, spoke to us about the value of handwritten notes over typed notes. She stated that more learning occurs when the act of handwriting is employed. While she did not specifically advocating writing in books, she explained the advantages of two column notes, using one side for notes and the other for questions, clarification, and reflection. It is well-known in academic circles that metacognition, or reflection on one's learning, enhances comprehension and retention. We hope to catch many more students leaving their footprints in the library (but not the library books, please!)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Common Book Signing with Billy Collins

On Thursday, the Governor's Academy community experienced a special treat in the visit of poet Billy Collins to the school. His reading evoked laughter, sighs, nods of agreement and feelings of satisfaction in the audience.

He gave a special piece of advice to students, when discussing a poem in which he quotes from the pencil writing in the margins of Catcher in the Rye words he knows must have been written by a beautiful young girl, and which left him smitten for the summer ("Marginalia," Sailing Alone Around the Room). He suggested that students give up their uncritical and indiscriminate highlighting with bright yellow or, worse, pink lines, and instead return to making comments, criticism and praise in pencil notes which then become an addendum to the content of the book. These can become something for other readers to enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Electronic Classroom

The Electronic Classroom
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Mr. Nelson’s sophomore European history students have been researching Renaissance artists and comparing their techniques with those of medieval artists. Today students met in the electronic classroom to share the results of their research with each other. Groups of three or four students presented their findings orally with the aid of PowerPoint slides.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One-on-One Junior History Thesis Assistance

After visiting the History Fair, each junior meets one-on-one with a librarian. They receive a little red bag containing note cards, highlighter, and other helpful supplies. They enroll in a special Moodle class that contains links to the most useful online resources for their project and hints for beginning their research. Each student receives individualized, topic-specific help to ensure that they begin their research on the proper foot. They examine the library’s holdings to ensure that they will have enough resources and learn to find and request additional resources through interlibrary loan. More importantly, they’ve made a connection with a librarian whom they can contact for extra help any time they need extra guidance with the research process.