Library report September to ~November 2015


Author visit Matt Dickinson  DSC_0040 (1)October saw the return of Matt Dickinson to our school. Matt has written the Mortal Chaos series and is currently finishing the final book in his series the Everest Files. Matt spoke with  grades 5 – 10 in a gruelling schedule in the morning of the first IICS write-in. In the afternoon, after catching his breath, he worked with some of the writers. Matt is also a documentary maker and he showed some of his documentary about an exhibition to Antarctica on the yacht the Pelagic.

IMG_1331 (2)Author visit Roxie Munro Roxie was a keynote speaker at the Children’s Media Conference held in Istanbul. She is an author and illustrator who not only publishes books but also helps to create apps based on her books. We have two of her books, Circus and Busy Builders. The teachers at Hisar have also been using her book Doors which is available in Tumblebooks. The students have been making flags for their own castles during play based learning time. Roxie also gave a talk to teachers during their lunch break. I have video tape of her sessions and she has given permission for me to create some short films about her work and the ideas she presented about play based reading. It occurred to me as I was listening to her that reading with our students can almost always be play based depending on our approach.


Buy this book please In an effort to involve our students in book purchasing decisions this Google form has been embedded in the library website I have put in purchase requests and hope to order the titles through Amazon. I am finding that with our Turkish address the postage, tax and import duties allowances are coming to the about the same as the cost of the books themselves. Last year I was using Book Depository which has no shipping fees and the tax is paid as part of the book purchase price. The drawback with using this company is that they do not issue invoices. I will chat with Icten to see how much of a problem that is them when they are audited.


Digital Citizenship week presented a great opportunity to offer lessons and raise awareness of citations and academic integrity. I spoke with grade 4M about some specific questions they had and that week while working with grade 6 on nonfiction reading skills we discussed academic integrity. The survey results offer some insights into the need to work more closely with grade 7 – 10.

Feedback to Grade 7 Historical Narrative unit Both Tina and Jacob invited me to work with their students on interview skills and research using Destiny, EBSCO and Encyclopedia Britannica. Tina shared the end results of her unit and I was able to analyse the bibliographies. This analysis shows that the students are using Easybib as a citation tools but not understanding how to use it well. Tina and I will work together on this during their next research assignment


ATL’s and reading history through Destiny With the questionnaire and goal setting being done on Approaches to Learning in grades 7 – 10 I realised students may not know how to access their own borrowing history in Destiny. I made a screencast showing students how to do this.


Opportunities and Challenges


RED book awards We were sent multiple copies of four finalists for these awards which are run by the Falkirk Community Trust in Scotland. Some students in grade 7 have committed to reading all four books in order to vote on which one they think should be the winner. The winning book is selected by teenagers through a voting process. This has been quite a challenge as the students commit to read the books whether or not they are the kind of book they would normally read. I have created a Google community for them to comment on the books I hope we can be invloved with this again next year, all four books are worthy nominations


Wendy Gutenkauf from Follett visiting our school 9th December we are hosting Wendy. She will meet with our New Literacies team for 30 minutes to discuss how we can possibly buy digital video and have it available through Destiny. I will be talking with her about streamlining our federated search facility through Destiny. Lindsey, Ozlem and Dina are collected specific Destiny questions as well. A few years ago Wendy provided a quote for IICS to buy Textbook Manager in order to keep track of readers, equipment and so on. The good news is that Follett Corporation has combined Textbook Manager and Asset Manage into one Asset manager system. This may be a useful product for us when managing things like musical instruments, textbooks, electronic equipment and so on.


CEESA job-a-like for librarians I have been helping to organise this for the day before the CEESA conference. The theme is “The first place of personalisation – the library”. Our venue will be SALT Galata and the programme includes a Skype session with Katie Day from Singapore and discussions on Library space and the librarian’s role in personalised learning.


Quote of the month in honour of the RED book awards books: A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading. William Styron


Amanda Bond                                                                               Teacher Librarian


August Library Report

Library report August 2015




Mrs Abizaid

Mrs Abizaid

Welcome to Dina Abizaid It is great that we can welcome Dina Abizaid to our library team. Dina is a qualified librarian with experience working in both schools and the public sector. She will be working with EY3/4 – grade 3 in the role of literacy development. She will make a great contribution to the primary classes with information literacy skills and reading development.


Appreciative Inquiry focus for the library team We had our first meeting as a team during whole staff orientation week. In that meeting we began an Appreciative Inquiry into our school library. We wanted to dream about what the library would be like in five years time if it was our perfect library. We all came up with the dream of seeing people in our library reading and enjoying books. We are now working on developing that dream in our weekly team meetings on a Tuesday. We use Google Hangouts so Lindsay can participate.  This is a very new process to all of us – I am hopeful that Appreciative Inquiry will help us strengthen the services we provide for the school. Appreciative Inquiry has its origins in business management but recently it has successfully been applied in education and library management.


More classes than ever before have booked to use the reading area in the library We welcome grade 7 and 8 classes signing up for permanent weekly slots in the reading area in the library. This offers the students a change of location as well as access to the whole collection. We are busier than ever and this is a wonderful start to developing our dream.


Summer readers using our print and electronic collections. Many of our students took the opportunity to borrow books over the summer. I received data from EBSCOhost every month showing how the electronic journals we subscribe to are being used  by our school community. Obviously they are used most during Exhibition, Personal Project and Extended Essay research times. They were also used during the summer months by a few people. I am promoting these journals to our staff and students this year.


Back to school day We welcomed several new parents as borrowers with our library during back to 1031school day at each campus. It is always good to share the news of unlimited borrowing for parents. Also while trying to overcome a double booking in our Marmara library (Grade 3K and EY5) as well as hosting parent seminars, we asked the grade 3 students to use the story sacks to tell a story using puppets to EY5 students. They had a quick 30 minute rehearsal then entertained the younger students. A lovely activity which perplexed one of our new grade 3 students who told his mother that evening that libraries were meant to be places where you only read books.


Sabanci University Library The grade 12 retreat to Sabanci University saw us spending most of our time working in the library. This library had three levels as well as small collaboration rooms. The University librarian generously opened the print and electronic collections to our students to use over the two days. It was a great experience for our students to work on a research essay using the extensive collection of a real University. Thanks to Patricia for organising this retreat. We made a good impression on the head librarian – she complimented us about the way our students were working in a very focused, purposeful manner.


“True learning happens when books and friends, writing and understanding intermingle in a rich soup of participation.”   ― R. David Lankes author of the Atlas of New Librarianship


Opportunities and Challenges


I-pads for Hisar Library Lindsey and I will work together to implement the use of 6 i-pads in the Hisar Library. With the changes to the library last year the loss of desktop computers was something Lindsey found most difficult. Laptops were allocated but they were difficult to use safely. Thanks to John and Erhan for helping make the case to have 6 ipads for library use at Hisar. They are imaged and the appropriate apps have been added. After the Bayram break Lindsey and I will work on implementation with specific focus on use of Destiny and reading ebooks to start with. Obviously creating electronic books and presentations will also be explored throughout the year.


Matt Dickinson – author visit On the last Friday before the October break we will host author Matt Dickinson. He will be giving presentations to our students in grades 5 – 10. I am working on the precise programme with coordinators and principals at the moment. Matt has summited Everest and writes fiction for young adult audiences. He was with us three years ago and spoke about the need for grit and self leadership for personal success. Very applicable to our ATL focus this year.


Book losses with mass loans for grade levels and classrooms We are starting to notice book losses from our mass loans to support units of inquiry and classroom libraries. This is quite a stress for the staff and students who want to borrow the books. Linked with this is the difficulty getting these in demand resources into the country. The resources are not available here in Turkey and it can take up to 18 months to replace them under the present system. Over the next few weeks I would like to explore ways to replace lost items more quickly, how to track these loans more effectively (at the moment the resources are issued to the teachers so the loss is against their record) and how to fund the replacements.


Quote of the month: In honour of our grade 12 student retreat

“True learning happens when books and friends, writing and understanding intermingle in a rich soup of participation.”

R. David Lankes author of the Atlas of New Librarianship


Amanda Bond

Teacher Librarian

Library Report – March

Library report March 2015


Donna Jo and students

Donna Jo and students

Donna Jo Napoli – writer in residence 2015. One whole week with a writer of this caliber was a real gift to our school community. We tried many new events while Donna Jo was with us – a writers’ workshop during the weekend, a TED talk – keynote for the middle school and a poetry cafe in the library to conclude the week. Special thanks to Jane, Suzy and Jen for all their work in the many hours of planning for this visit. We will meet to reflect on how it all went and some ideas for next time.

Here is Donna Jo’s reflection about her visit, “From the tiniest folk through the high school, I found the students at IICS lively and responsive. They are always ready to consider others’ ideas and to discuss their own, and in an atmosphere of complete respect. That feeling permeates the school. The teachers are inviting and encouraging, both to visitors (like me) and to the students. There is nothing better than seeing a smiling, nodding face when I am facing a group of people I don’t know and presenting ideas that might be controversial — and at IICS there were many such faces.

Donna Jo and students

Donna Jo and students

We did writing workshops and the students happily consulted with each other, gave feedback to each other, and raced along on their own creations. Perhaps the highlight of my visit (or, really, one of so many) was the writers’ cafe on the last day. Students shared original work that simply made me dizzy with admiration. But what I loved most was how very kind they were to each other’s offerings. Sharing your poetry or stories is an intimate event, really — and they did it forthrightly, knowing they could trust each other. It was beautiful. I’m so very grateful I had the privilege of visiting IICS.”

Poetry Cafe – we transformed the library into a Poetry Cafe and invited our student writers to share their work with each 803other over lunchtime. The primary school writers were very enthusiastic. Some students shared more than six poems throughout the course of the event.

The secondary students were less forth coming – possibly because they had been asked to bring their own poetry. Those who did come and contribute were exceptional. Perhaps next time for secondary we will simply invite poets and their fans to come.

The students are asking us when the next cafe will take place – I am wondering about “Poetry day” which is 30 April. Special thanks to Coskun, Cemil and Sezai Bey (both of them) for all their help in creating the cafe.

Follett Library training Ozlem, Lindsey and Maria went to the Follett Library training days in Mid March. They felt the days were excellent value and they came away with new understandings about what we could offer our community through Destiny. They wrote up their reflections and shared it on this Google doc. Follett is prepared to bring their experts to us in Istanbul and we make the most of working with them and our Library colleagues in the other schools in the city.

Puppet theatre comes to Hisar Lindsey sent these photos of EY5 telling stories in the puppet theatre created under the loft.

Istanbul Librarian Network presentation at IASL conference. My personal PLC this year has been to develop my Readers’ Advisor skills. To do this I started a monthly meeting, Book Chat, for our Istanbul Librarians’ Network. We meet once a month and bring three books we have read and enjoyed from our collection. We record these books on our Good Reads group. We have been doing this since October and have all found we can offer our own students better book suggestions because of the knowledge shared at these meetings. Three of us in the network developed a workshop for the IASL conference in the Netherlands at the end of June to describe the work of our network as a PLC. I will not be able to attend as there is no PD funding left but my colleagues at Uskudar American College and Isik school will give the workshop. There were only 13 workshops selected this year and ours was one of them
Challenges and Opportunities

Making sense of statistics. We collect statistics each month to see the use of our print and electronic collections. Below are the stats for both Marmara and Hisar campuses for the physical resources circulation for the past two and a half calendar years. You can see the impact of changes to our circulation policy which came into effect at the start of this school year, snow days and summer borrowing. Ozlem collects this data and maintains the graphs.

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I have been monitoring EBSCO over the calendar year of 2014 and the impact of extended essay searches is very interesting. I have started the monitoring process for 2015 as well. We are entering a time of high use for EBSCO and eBrary with Exhibition and Extended Essay reference interviews coming up for grades 6 and 11.

We only choose electronic resources which we can monitor in terms of their use. I am collecting statistics for all of them and considering carefully the value the give and the use they get.

Library a popular place to be. We are finding that grades are now booking the library to have whole grade teaching and presentations. More students are coming to use the quiet, focus of the library for SDLT and teachers are sending groups to work here while the rest of the class is engaged in something else in the classroom. This is both wonderful and challenging at the same time. Our library team is working hard to maintain the balance of student needs in our open plan environment.

Quote for the month

“A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.” ~ Susan Sontag. We certainly saw this quality in Donna Jo who could speak knowledgeably about frogs, flowers, languages and life.

Amanda Bond
Teacher Librarian

Author, book week and snow ~ Library report for January and February

Library Report January and February 2015





Snow interrupted Celebrate our reading week. The theme this year was really appropriate as we had three snow days. So our students got to live out the theme of any book, any place, any time – everyone. Thanks to everyone who showed what they were reading through the book photos (pictured above). One of the outcomes we wanted from this week was to make our reading visible. As students see others reading and celebrating what they read they begin to see them as ‘readers’ and their motivation to join the conversations and the reading community grows, (Leland, Lewison, & Harste, 2013, p.21). On the two days we did have of Celebrate our Reading week the children at Hisar created book nooks, they also had their dress up day and enjoyed their teachers’ enacting the story The Paper Bag Princess’. While at Marmara Campus we enjoyed a very successful PTA book swap and the stairs being decorated with book spines.


Anna Wilson – author visit. On Friday 23 January we had Anna Wilson at Marmara Campus working with our students in EY5 – grade 4. She did a wonderfully creative writer’s workshop with the students. I wanted to capture it for our Hisar students so here is the i movie I made about it. Lindsey and I used it with both grade 1 classes at Hisar last week – 12 February. They enjoyed the writing activities Anna introduced to us at Marmara.

Battle of the Books – soft, snow covered launch. We were going to launch the grade 5 and 6 battle of the books today (19 February) but instead we went online to do it. This library blog post was used to launch the concept and this i movie shows the students some of what is involved in a BOB. We have five titles and will hold the final Battle in June. The students now have to read the books and make up practice quiz questions about them.


Extended Essay workshops. Patricia and I worked together on the introduction to the Extended Essay with Grade 11. This year we invited them to read extended essays from previous years, look at sources of information and discuss the process with the seniors in the school. They are currently working on possible topics and creating an abstract to give to potential supervisors.


Challenges and Opportunities.


Writer in residence – Donna Jo Napoli. In just over two weeks time Donna Jo Napoli will be with us. I want to thank the leadership team for their support as I have tried to work out her programme. I will share it with you in the next few days.


Invitation to present a workshop at IASL conference in June. The 44th Annual International Conference & 17th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship is being held from June 28 – July 2, 2015, in  Maastricht, The Netherlands. One of the themes is “The school library as a space and place: meeting, sharing, discussing. Collaborative learning and growing.” Two colleagues from our International School Librarian Network and I created a workshop proposal around the use our Network and the Book Chats we have been running since October as a Professional Learning Community. We wanted to show others how to set up PLCs and how our one works. At our last meeting 12 February we looked at using the Inquiry Cycle as a way to investigate our impact as librarians on student learning in our schools. This is a marvellous opportunity.

Quote and possible theme for Celebrate our reading week 2016

“Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss



Leland, C., Lewison, M., & Harste, J. C. (2013). Teaching children’s literature: It’s critical!    New York: Routledge.


Library happenings at the end of the calendar year

Library report November and December 2014


International Language Story Reading (Any suggestions for a better name for this?) We held this event just before International Day – Thursday at Marmara and Friday at Hisar. This year we tried to have secondary students reading to the primary students. This did work well but once again our resources are limited. I am still trying to work on finding a way to develop the International Languages Sections of the library. Thanks so much to all my primary colleagues who hosted and at times read in the sessions. Our librarians, Maria and Ozlem were reading in Swedish and Turkish respectively.
Extended Homeroom sessions with grade 7 and 8 The students in these grades have completed a light introduction to using the library and Destiny. They also have had a holiday reading selection time – Thursday before the Winter break we had grade 8 mingling with EY3/4 finding the books they wanted to read over the break. Thanks to the homeroom teachers of grades 7 and 8 for taking the time to be with us.

Greenhouse Book Fair and Book Club Thanks to the PTA our students are buying their own books through Greenhouse Bookshop. So much money was raised in this first part of the year that we have been able to purchase some new titles for the library and begin our book selection for a future “Battle of the Books”

Challenges and Opportunities

Coming events: January Author visit – Anna Wilson – and launch of Battle of the Books
February Love reading week.
March Writer in residence – Donna Jo Napoli

Author visit to Marmara Primary – Anna Wilson will be with us at the Marmara Campus on Friday 23 January. She will be working with EY5 – grade 3 in the morning and then with upper primary students in a writers workshop in the afternoon.

Battle of the Books – well a skirmish. I promised to keep you posted. We have selected some titles and will trial this when the titles ordered start to arrive. Many of the titles are coming through Greenhouse Bookshop. I offered this as an option for exploratory for middle school – but no one selected it so it looks like this will be a grade 5 and 6 event.

Possible move to new location Thank you for the opportunity to be involved in the workshop with the architects. I have also visited Robert College’s brand new library. They redesigned and refurbished their old library. It is truly impressive. My goal for January is to create a vision document about the future of the libraries at IICS.

Orders this is a big job for the library and the form changes every year. I will work with John in the new year to see if there is any way we can improve the system and the forms involved. This year the Google doc did not print out well.

Statistics Ozlem has started to gather circulation statistics for the library we are already well up on borrowing for this year. I will analyse the data and write more in the January report.

Inspirational quote for this season

“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!”
― Neil Gaiman

Amanda Bond
Teacher Librarian