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.