Library report for October – Calling Portugal

Library report October 2014

LIBRARY LOGO-01Library Logo Thanks to Sezai and Jennifer we have this great logo. I love the combination of the pages and the laptop. You can see we are working in with the school’s corporate colours. We hope to build on this over the next few months with library documents, presentations and eventually our signs in these colours and with this logo. Creating a library brand is one of the takeaways I got from the pre conference day at the ECIS librarians conference.

Hisar Library Loft – the castle has arrived. This has been the source of much excitement at HIsar. Thanks to Lindsey and Judith for organising ways to allow children to happily take turns reading in the loft and under the loft. Inge and the children created this wonderful backdrop for the castle as well. There are blinds up at the windows now as well.

Grade 4 Skype Book Chats with grade 4 Porto, Portugal. Two weeks ago 4H skyped with CLIP 4A to discuss the books they were enjoying reading. One wonderful outcome of this discussion was to see the number of books the children had in common. Roald Dahl has fans in both schools and the children enjoyed knowing each other’s books. We had a lovely bonus experience when Mohammad from Portugal told us he was from Libya. Murad from our 4H was delighted to hear that and at the end of the book chat the two boys had a few minutes to chat in Arabic to each other. It was a great way to make connections through story and common language. Here is the library blog post about the skype calls. 4Ds session did not run as smoothly so we recorded messages on Skype and when Portugal was finally able to answer our call they were able to discuss their books as well. We hope to make contact with the smae sudents at the end of the year to reflect on the year of reading books.

Helping your child with research was the topic of a seminar I ran during primary parent teacher conferences at Marmara. While only 5 parents actually attended it was a good opportunity to create a presentation and share with them about the electronic and print resources available to their children.

Choosing a “right fit” book with grade 1 We had a special guest speak with grade 1 at Marmara about how to choose a right fit book. Ms Witte brought her shoes along and she explained about choosing the right shoe and how choosing the right book can be very similar. Mrs Hodges is now working with both grade 1 classes encouraging them to choose a “right fit” book.


EY5 at Marmara published their book about visiting the library. It is now part of their class library and available from our library as well.

Grade 8 Mysteries Unit led to the body in the library, the book shelf features mystery books and after this unit will feature favourite reads of this grade. 20141030_120104

Challenges and Opportunities
Yes I have decided to combine these categories as often they seem to be one and the same – all challenges seem to also present us with opportunities and opportunities often come with challenges.

International Languages Storytelling days will happen just before International Day. This will be during assembly slots for Primary – Thursday 27th 9.15 – 10 at Marmara and Friday 28th 8.45 – 9.30 at HIsar. Organisation for this will start next week. I hope we can involve students at Marmara this year and continue with our parent support at Hisar.

Battle of the Books is a programme offered in some schools in the USA and in other International Schools which encourages reading. I went to workshop on this at the ECIS conference. Lauren and Dave and I thought we would run a mini Battle or Skirmish of the Books from December culminating during Love Reading Week. We will choose 5 titles for grades 5 -6 and 5 titles for Middle School. We will use Greenhouse Book sales money to buy copies of the titles (2 copies of each title per class involved) and 2 copies of each title for the library. Then the students read the books and start to make up quiz questions based on the books they have read. The final quiz will be during Love Reading Week and classes can enter two teams each. This will be a trial run of the process which if it works well we can make bigger and better next year. This is still being worked out between us – I will keep you posted.

Library quote: relating to Challenges and Opportunities – “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
― Winston S. Churchill

Amanda Bond
Teacher Librarian

September Library Report


Hisar Library opening with storyteller Alec Williams


As you can see from the photos above this was a wonderful day of celebrating the new library space. Each class arrived and cut the ribbon, officially declaring the Hisar Library OPEN. Alec worked with every class – Lindsey tells me he was exhausted by the end of the day. He wrote a special poem. As usual Alec was very generous with his time and energy. Next month I will report on the newest addition to the Hisar Library: the much anticipated loft.

ECIS 7th triennial Librarians’ Conference, Waterloo, Belgium. Thank you for the opportunity to attend this conference. The pre conference workshop was called “Rethink, Reinvent, Rejuvenate” and was run by a marketing expert, Kevin Hennah. He certainly challenged me to do just those things for our libraries at IICS. I have started work with Jennifer Gokmen to look at using the school branding colours and to ask her to help design a library logo. Our team is taking the time to display as many books as possible face out. There are more aspects to this and I am trying to implement the ideas I learned daily, taking small steps which will hopefully in the course of time make a big impact in the way our school community uses the library and the print collection.

The key note speakers all focussed on the conference theme of literacy. Jim Cummins from the University of Toronto gave some inspiring strategies to help ESOL students develop literacy in their home language and in the target language. I have been talking with some of the ESOL teachers about some of these ideas. One was to have the students write their assignments in two languages, their home language and the language of tuition. Then house the assignments in the library so students using the same home language can read the word and celebrate what was learned as well.

I attended many worthwhile workshops – two of which I have started to work with staff here to explore further. One was how the library can support the Extended Essay. Patricia and I have discussed the ideas and have some plans to create some workshops for the grade 11 students and to offer some lunchtime meet the expert times in January for the grade 12 students to tell the school community about their learning having completed the extended essay. The other was a workshop on ‘Battle of the Books’ which is one way a school can encourage and celebrate reading. Lauren Grahame and I are working on possibly launching this for grade 4 and 5, 6 and 7 during Love Reading week and having the final Battles in May.

The workshop I presented on our school journey with New Literacies was well attended. I was surprised at how many schools are at the beginning of this journey. I received some very positive feedback. Some teachers took our New Literacies document back to their schools to add to their road maps to literacy.

I was tweeting @kiwionthego using the conference hashtag #ecislib2014 and I was blogging about some of the sessions on my personal blog I have written a blog post for our  Professional Learning  website.


Grade 2 begin using Destiny Lindsey, Maria and I have started to work with grade 2 use of Destiny by giving them usernames and passwords. This has many challenges at both campuses due to technology availability but we are creative librarians and have made a good start. Our sessions with Destiny and grade 2 cover Information, Tool and Community literacy and will continue until the winter break at least.

Personal Learning Communities – I am so sorry to have missed the Friday launch of this PD initiative. There are so many great communities I would like to act as a resource person for the ones involved with student inquiry.

Teacher Librarian job description Thank you to John – I now have a job description. It only took 6 – 7 weeks to complete and finalise. Now I would like to look at the 2014 – 2015 Library Goals. With John’s help you will see a draft of these very shortly.


Skype meetings with students in Portugal. Next week and the week after our grade 4 students will be talking with grade 4 students from Colégio Luso-Internacional do Porto  in Portugal about books they enjoy reading. This is part of the International Association of School Libraries celebration of school libraries month. 4H will go first on Thursday 23 October and 4D will be in the following week.

Quote this month Perhaps this should be added to the job description

Librarians are tour-guides for all of knowledge.

–Patrick Ness

Amanda Bond

Teacher Librarian


Library report – August 2014

Library report – August 2014

Successes: Hisar library 

Before and After at Hisar Library

Before and After at Hisar Library

Here are some before and after photos (before on the left and after on the right). I will be adding more photos to the next report (and possibly every report this year).


THANK YOU to Judith, Jane and Coskun for all their time, ideas and attention to detail. To have library shelves that all look the same is such an improvement already.


THANK YOU to Lindsey, Arin and Ozlem for coming back to work a day early to take all the books out of the boxes and put them on the shelves. It will make a huge difference to the students and staff at Hisar that the books are arranged in similar areas. Last year the chapter books were in three different locations around the tiny library. Also a big thank you to the maintenance team at HIsar for taking such good care of the boxes of books over the break.


While I was at Hisar last week I asked some of our students who had been at the school last year if we had more books or fewer books in the library. They confidently answered – more books.


Finally a heartfelt THANKS to Lindsey who is working out how to run classes in the new library while it is still a work in progress. There are still some things to add, change, develop.

Welcome to Maria Hodges

Mrs Hodges enjoying a book with a student

Mrs Hodges enjoying a book with a student

Maria joins us from Shanghai, China. She was teaching at the British School there. Serife has moved on to teach in the Diploma Programme so we needed someone to teach the EY3 – grade 3 literacy support classes. Fortunately while Maria was here in March on a school visit with her son Isak (who is in grade 10 this year) she told Jane of her interest in children’s literature and being a school librarian. We are so pleased to welcome Maria to our team.



Hisar library still a work in progress As with any huge change there are adjustments to be made. Lindsey is currently working without the projector and screen, a dedicated catalogue computer and laptops for student use. Lindsey has summarised the situation with a poster where the proposed new loft will be – “Watch this space…”



Alec Williams – storyteller at Hisar Thursday 25th September.  Alec has been a guest in our school a couple of times over the past few years. He is an accomplished storyteller and this will be a great treat for the staff and students at Hisar. Last year Alec did a guest skype interview with Michelle Dirlek’s class when they were inquiring into stories.

Lots of new books coming your way All the books which arrived in our shipment have been unpacked, checked against invoices and put in the back room ready for processing. Ozlem processes and catalogues 10 – 20 new books each week. This year she is emailing teachers to let them know of books they may be interested in – film studies, economics, guidance – as we think of the area of interest and staff members involved we email them. Obviously this cannot be done with every book but it is a good start.


FInal thought inspired by the new library shelving at Hisar


Th’ first thing to have in a libry is a shelf. Fr’m time to time this can be decorated with lithrachure. But th’ shelf is th’ main thing.

“Books”. Mr Dooley Says.

Finley Peter DUNNE (1867-1936)


Amanda Bond

Teacher Librarian

Library report May – changes

Library report May 2014


LTEN conference both times in the library

IICS New Literacies Team May 2014

IICS New Literacies Team May 2014

At the start of the month our school hosted the LTEN conference in the library. The first Every LTEN conference, held on 27th April, 2007 was also hosted in our library. It was the perfect example of positive disruption. The Marmara library team, assisted by Cemil and his team, relocated all the MYP/DP collection to temporary area to make room for all the delegates. On the day of the conference Ozlem and Serife helped with registrations. Amanda gave a workshop with Caroline, hosted Kim Cofino from Japan on a Google Hangout and set up student hosts to tour the school.

Marmara Library new layout
The Saturday after the conference Ozlem and I were at school because of the student led conferences so we used our time to rearrange the layout of the shelving for the MYP/DP collection. The new arrangement is more open. It means the library can be used by large groups. We have kept a smaller working space in the centre of the library as well as some individual working spaces.

Greenhouse Book Fairs
We are grateful to Greenhouse Bookshop for running two successful fairs – one at Marmara and the other at Hisar. They were both scheduled for the student led conference days but with the bad weather on the weekend of the Hisar fair they were flexible and agreed to postpone it to the day of the picnic the Tuesday after. Lindsey had about 400TL to spend on books for the Hisar library. Our PTA has decided to hold Greenhouse book fairs at each campus next year, one in fall and the other in spring. They are also investigating running the Greenhouse Book Club a few times each year.

Book Depository experiment

Mrs Bond with Juliette McIver's book Toucan

Mrs Bond with Juliette McIver’s book Toucan

The restriction to ordering once a year means that any books that are popular during the year, any changes or developments to units of inquiry or professional readings have to wait until the next ordering period and the August delivery the following year. A couple of months ago I ordered 8 books through Book Depository which provides free delivery to Turkey. Only 8 because there seems to be an 80 Euro maximum to go through Turkish customs without attracting extra charges. All book arrived within three weeks of the order. This may well be the way to go for future ordering. I would like to set aside more money from the library budget next year for ongoing purchases.

The HIsar library and computer lab is being redesigned right now. It has been a great opportunity to design mobile shelving and book bins at the right height for our lower primary students. Thanks to Jane, Judith and Coskun for the opportunity to dream and plan.

Library Feedback
This year I used two open ended questions with colleagues and primary students. Instead of a Google form which gets only a small response from colleagues I want to thank Angela, Chris and Joe for allowing me to take some meeting time to ask for paper and pen responses. I am currently analysing the results. I want to use the information to inform the 2014- 2015 library goals. I have the raw data if you would like to see that too. So far it is clear people appreciate the staff in both libraries with many comments about how helpful, friendly and welcoming they are.

Library policies The Library team have begun to create some important guiding policies and procedures for the library. So far we have completed the Circulation Policy and procedures. We have increased the borrowing privileges of every year level – except grade 6 and above which had unlimited borrowing privileges already. We will share these with John and see what the next steps are in communicating these with our school community. This is important work for our team and will need to continue next year.

Library quote – in honour of the Hisar library redesign…
“Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a spaceship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you — and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.

[Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]”
― Isaac Asimov

Library report April – evidence of value

Library report April 2014

Reference interviews with grade 6 Exhibition have been completed. I analysed some of the information we gathered through the interviews with particular interest in the sources the students were using. I shared the analysis with the grade 6 teachers and Simon. It includes a graph and details about numbers and specific data. For this report I will include my conclusions about the resources being utilised. I was pleased at the number of library books the students were finding considering the range of topics being researched. Destiny webpath was also providing useful websites at appropriate grade level for reading. EBSCO was very useful as the table below shows. It may be a good idea to introduce the use of this tool earlier in the year or even with grade 5. Guided web searches were useful looking at particular associations and organisations. I have developed a livebinder for our students and have it as a tab in the library webpage
I have a tab for Exhibition and have kept only most useful websites for the topics being studied. This will be helpful for next year. Many students saw the value of interviews and were seeking information from people. There will be need to for students to develop skills in interview situations throughout the year.

The livebinders collection of websites was begun in March and I hope to develop it as I find useful websites for the whole school and the subject areas taught. I am sharing the websites with the teachers as I find them too. It is the first time I have used this curation tool and I am finding it very useful.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 12.46.31 PM

Livebinders for IICS library


Grade 11 reference interviews continue. I will analyse these once they have been concluded at the end of May.

Book shopping at Pandora: On Tuesday 8 April, Lindsey and I went to Pandora Bookshop to select some Turkish language books for MYP/Dp nonfiction collection. Over the past year we have been meeting with the Pandora rep, Merthan Ergene, to get advice as to how to develop the nonfiction collection in Turkish language. We selected books to support Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Environmental Sciences and more.

This Friday our school will host the LTEN conference in the library. We will be moving the MYP/DP nonfiction shelves in order to make room. Thank you in advance to Ozlem who will be over seeing this with Cemil’s team and doing a lot of the hard work with Serife and me helping. It will be great to see how we can use the library space if we had mobile shelving here. I believe libraries of the future need to be flexible learning spaces.


This is a good time to revise the procedures manual and make sure we have our policies and procedures clearly articulated. In the month of May one of the library goals is to seek community feedback on the services and resources in our libraries. I am sure the data we collect during this feedback round will be very helpful.

Greenhouse Bookshop will be holding Book Fairs at Marmara and Hisar Campuses during the student led conferences. We get to spend 10% of the total takings on books from the fair for the library.

The library quote this month is chosen because we are exhausted from moving all the MYP/DP nonfiction 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
April 2014

Library report March – individual interviews

Library report March 2014


Reference interviews with grade 6 and grade 11: Both grades are working on significant personal research for Exhibition and Extended Essay. Both grades have had workshops to cover general tips on research process, forming research questions and tools throughout the last 6 weeks. The last workshops for grade 11 will be held at the end of this week. These workshops are helpful but do not address the information needs of each person. Last week and through the next two weeks individual students book appointments (20 – 30 minutes each) to discuss their individual topics and explore specific books, websites, databases and now ebooks to meet their needs. The majority of these appointments are with me though Serife has asked to learn how to conduct these interviews and has a few with grade 6. I am keeping records of our meeting to note which information sources have been most helpful.


Ebrary online and in use.

Ebrary - our home screen

Ebrary – our home screen


During March we added more than 500,000 ebooks to our collection through ebrary. This ebook library is suitable for the senior school, grades 10 – 12 and offers ebooks in a wide range of disciplines. Already the students I have been working with on Extended Essay reference interviews have found very useful and subject specific information. At school we do not need username or password to access the library. We have usernames and passwords for all staff and students in grades 10 – 12 so they can access the library from home. This library is expensive but so far has been very useful. I will be carefully monitoring our use of ebrary as well as reporting back on the research I am conducting during the reference interviews.



It is very tempting to simply repeat all of the information above. While reference interviews are very valuable for our students they are also very time consuming. New resources such as eBrary are fantastic yet the challenge is how to inspire people to make the most of them. Marketing our wonderful e-resources could be part of the library plan for next year.



Thank you to Jane, Angela and Judith for our meetings to reflect on Love Reading week. As a result of these meetings I have made contact with the writer Donna Jo Napoli who has expressed great interest in visiting our school to be a writer in residence for one week next Spring (2015). Part of the appeal for us is that Donna Jo writes for all age groups and has experience running workshops for students and adults. I see that the calendar for next year is on the wall already. I will work with Jane to explore how we can make Donna Jo’s visit a reality. Love reading week may well become many events throughout the year next year to celebrate libraries, reading and writing.


Mobile shelving at Hisar

Walking library

Walking library

This is NOT what I mean by mobile shelving (Vsw: The walking library). Thanks to Coskun we have some interesting quotes for shelving on wheels. Of course this is an important space for the Hisar campus and mobile library shelving would not only increase the opportunities for different ways to use the space but it will bring the books out from under the loft and make them much more accessible to our students and staff. Thanks for the opportunity to explore ways to make the library at Hisar a much more flexible learning space.


Library thought in honour of powerful new resources

“I have an unshaken conviction that democracy can never be undermined if we maintain our library resources and a national intelligence capable of utilizing them.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Amanda Bond

Teacher Librarian

March 2014

Works Cited

“Vsw: The Walking Library from The VSW Soibelman…” Vsw: The Walking Library from The VSW Soibelman… Web. 31 Mar. 2014. <>.