Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Library of the Month: Wilson Junior High School Library

The Library of the Month is a celebration of Wisconsin libraries compiled by the BadgerLink team.

Students hanging out in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
The BadgerLink team recently noticed a lot of visits to our website from the Wilson Junior High Library’s LibGuide. So we reached out to find out what they were doing. As it happens, the LibGuide is very heavily used in the school to direct students and staff to great online resources. So far this school year, Wilson’s LibGuide has been accessed more than 56,000 times which is huge for a school of 575 students!

Wilson is one of two junior high schools in the Manitowoc Public School District. Built in the1930’s, the Wilson library was renovated four years ago. The library layout changed to allow for group work, a maker space, and a TV studio. Since the renovation, the library has become a hub of inquiry and independent study. In addition to use during the school day, the library is used for staff meetings, parent meetings, and a space for students to gather before school to hang out and relax.

Students working in groups in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
In the mornings on Tuesdays through Friday all students participate in 30 minutes of Hawk Time, which is when students may receive additional help from their teachers, participate in enrichment activities in the library, or have silent reading time. Recently, as an enrichment activity, students began recording segments for a new program for station WJHS. Students meet on Tuesdays and Fridays to prepare and video tape for their new program. This enrichment allows students to learn reporting and filming techniques using equipment in the designated library area studio.

Ellen working with a student in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
The library is also a space to learn about technology. Classes come to the library’s computer lab to use Microsoft Suite programs and other important computer programs. Soon, a SMART Board will be installed in the lab for additional instructional space. To support students’ digital literacy, library staff use ISTE standards to teach to how to be successful in the digital age. The librarian, Ellen Reinertson, works closely with teachers to facilitate learning. Teachers often refer to Reinertson’s expertise when teaching research skills or designing a project. For next school year, there will be a designated maker space in the library to allow students an opportunity to explore and create.

Student working independently on her computer in the library
Courtesy of Wilson Junior High School Library
Wilson Junior High School celebrated National Library week with staff and students. A golden ticket was hidden in one of the books in the library. Students were given clues which required them to use the LibGuide, Destiny Catalog, BadgerLink, and other library resources to find the correct book with the hidden ticket. Another scavenger hunt activity got teachers involved. Staff wrote a clue about their favorite book and placed it outside of their room. Students matched the book to the teacher to win a prize. Additionally, a new “Book Trailer” section was added to the LibGuide and the library hosted 500 students for selection of books and independent reading. It was a fun-filled week!

The library is a busy place! Thanks to Ellen Reinertson for her support of BadgerLink and for giving us a glimpse into the Wilson library, and here’s to a successful rest of the school year!

Written by:
Kara Ripley, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning