- Monday, March 20 to Friday, March 24, 2017: Spring Break (No School)
- Monday, May 29, 2017: Memorial Day (No School)
Interview: New librarian talks Battle of the Books
Patricia "Patty" Clark joined the Brookings-Harbor staff as District Librarian in Fall 2016. She began her librarian career in the early 1990s while teaching in Medford, when she joined a new a certified librarian program that was seeking veteran teachers. Five years later, she moved to Coos Bay in 1999, where she was district librarian for the six elementary schools. In 2006, she accepted a middle/high school librarian position in Florence, but the position was eliminated four years later due to budget cuts. For the past six years, Patty has been a medical librarian at the hospital in Coos Bay, but kept her eyes open for any library position on the Southern Oregon Coast where she could return to her passion.
How are you liking your new role as librarian?
I love my new role in the district because it allows me to talk to students of all ages about books! My visits may be to introduce students to new books or new authors or it may be specific library skill instruction classes. For example, at the K-school this week, the third to fifth graders are reviewing the differences between keyword/subject searches or a title, author or series search. During last week, I did a “book talk” with all sixth, seventh and eighth graders—a twenty minute presentation about new books to the library.
What are some of the roles you play for the district?
This first year is exploratory to see how the libraries operate and to assist the current library managers with purchasing and curriculum decisions. Each of the managers is amazing. I feel so fortunate to be able to observe, advise and assist. They’ve laid a great foundation and we hope to keep building upon it in the future with some extension activities. I also assist teachers with additional resource ideas and strategies for using research and literature to enhance their subject areas. One of my main objectives this first year was to introduce a school-wide activity that the district hadn’t participated in yet: Oregon State Battle of the Books. My hope was to get at least two or three teams at both the K-School and the middle school.
Tell us about Battle of the Books. What appeals to you about the program?
I participated in Battle of the Books while a librarian for Medford School District. I was thrilled to see a competition about books that allows students to work in teams, compete at the school, regional and state level. The camaraderie this competition develops, as well as exposing students to different authors and genres is amazing. It is outstanding to have an event for those who love reading.
What’s happened so far this school year with Battle of the Books, and what’s left to come?
I presented a book talk at each of the schools about the 16 different titles on the state list. The competition was explained and permissions slips distributed. Initially the elementary had approximately 80 students signed up; Azalea had about 35 students. Teams are made up of 3 or 4 students and we have 17 teams at the K-school going into the finals and 7 teams at the middle school.
I visited the Chetco Community Library and explained the program. They graciously purchased one copy of each title for students to check out. I purchased a set for each school and applied for a grant to the state Battle of the Books foundation. We received a grant set of each of the books at both elementary and middle schools.
I started an after school class at Azalea for those in middle school who wanted extra coaching. We met once a week for the first semester of school. A 30 minute weekly class is held each Tuesday morning before school at the K-school. Classes give practice battles, sample questions and matching games to reinforce titles and authors.
I applied for a grant from the Brookings Harbor Education Foundation and received enough money to purchase trophies and medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place school winners. Each participant will get a certificate and ribbon. School winners will advance to the regional finals March 18 at North Medford High School.
The best part has been seeing the excitement it has generated and that we have far exceeded my participation goals.
What's coming up in the district libraries?
Mid-February will be the school finals for Battle of the Books and we will conduct elimination rounds leading up to these finals. March is the regional competition; April will be the state competition.
In addition to the BOTB, the middle school just had a very successful Scholastic Book Fair before winter break and the K-School will have one in March around the Dr. Seuss birthday celebration time.
School Board seeks new budget committee member
The Brookings-Harbor School District is seeking a volunteer committee member to fill a vacancy on the district's budget committee for 2016-17.
The School Board is looking to appoint the new member this fall. Typically, the commitment includes a series of joint meetings with the school board from January to June. If you are interested, fill out the application and return it to the district office.
Read more about budget committee roles, responsibilities and restrictions, here.
For more information, please contact Dede Corpening, Executive Assistant to Superintendent & School Board, 541-469-7443 ext. 5105.