Monday, December 14, 2015

Library of the Month: Shattuck Middle School Library

Shattuck Middle School Library in Neenah WI is always changing to keep up with the needs of its staff and approximately 1,000 students. Over the summer, librarian Teresa Slivinski began to implement her vision of transforming the library into a learning commons. She painted walls, reupholstered furniture, added lighting, and moved things around to make flexible work spaces. Students now have comfortable, colorful, and inspiring spaces to read, study, and work with their district-issued Chromebooks. Booth seating provides spaces for small group collaboration, and a tech bar allows students a place to plug in and use their devices in the library.  


Students reading.
Photo courtesy of Teresa Slivinski, Shattuck Middle School


Another change this year is Shattuck Middle School’s partnership with literacy staff to facilitate a new “literacy block,” a daily 30-minute reading workshop in which all students read fiction of their choice three days per week and nonfiction articles the remaining two days. During the fiction days, students read novels, eBooks, literary nonfiction, and graphic novels of their choice. Coming soon, the literacy block will offer book clubs, in which students select a book to read with their peers. “The literacy block has meant a tremendous boost in library visits,” says Slivinski. “Our previous circulation records have been shattered. November’s statistics are projected to be up by 65% over last year!”


It was lesson planning for the literacy block that inspired Slivinski to present students with an animated video explaining BadgerLink. “I had a few extra lessons to design,” she says, “ and it occurred to me that I could use the extra time to reach an annual goal of spreading the word to more people about BadgerLink.” Slivinski’s video, featuring her dancing avatar (below), shows students how BadgerLink works and directs them to independently find an article about the Green Bay Packers. The BadgerLink team noticed a spike in resource usage when Slivinski showed students her video, which led the team to reach out to Slivinski to thank her for her promotion of BadgerLink, and to get a better understanding of how she promotes BadgerLink in her school.

Librarian avatar.
Photo of avatar courtesy of Teresa Slivinski, Shattuck Middle School
Slivinksi is looking forward to even more resource promotion in the future, using the new literacy period as a time to encourage exploration of BadgerLink and it’s many resources.  “Before, I was pretty limited by time and curriculum. In a sense, the literacy period gave me a captive audience. Now, thanks to our district’s technology resources and our new literacy block, almost all staff and students in this school know about a free online library they can access anywhere in Wisconsin. Next quarter, I want to examine a way to increase our use of the literature resources, including TeachingBooks and NoveList.”

Written By:
Teresa Slivinski, Shattuck Middle School
Gail Murray, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning