By Seana Lane
Hollywood Library supervisor
Hollywood Library is delighted to welcome the newest addition to our staff, youth librarian Danielle Jones. She will be presenting storytimes and helping children, teens, parents and educators, in and out of the library. A recent graduate of the University of Washington’s Information School, she’s a voracious and enthusiastic reader of all youth literature from picture books to young adult novels. She particularly looks forward to storytimes and developing an active teen community at Hollywood Library.
Speaking of youth, and new, we briefly mentioned the Common Core State Standards in July’s issue, when we moved children’s nonfiction to its own section. Now, in back to school mode, we’ll talk a little more about what the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are, and how the library can help. The CCSS is a national effort to have more consistency in curricula. According to the CCSS mission statement: “The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.” They were adopted by Oregon in October 2010, and have been slowly implemented over the last few years. Testing based on these standards will begin next (2014-2015) school year.
With CCSS, one priority is for nonfiction reading across all subjects to increase: elementary schools, 50 percent; middle school, 55 percent; and high school 70 percent. The hope is that it will prepare students for more real-world reading situations. This focus on nonfiction helped motivate the library to make our older juvenile collection more accessible. Even before school started, we were thrilled at how much browsing and excitement was going on in this relocated collection. Kids like facts and information, even when they don’t have to read it for school.
Danielle notes, “What excites me about CCSS is, ultimately, it is moving away from memorization and encourages discussion and debate in all the disciplines. This approach looks at how discoveries change how we see the world, how history changes depending on who is telling the story; it encourages us to look at situations from all perspectives, and stresses that all nonfiction has a point of view. As a librarian I am excited about the potential for the increased use of ‘information texts,’ which we lovingly refer to as ‘nonfiction.’ The past few years have been an exciting time in the publishing world where the quality and quantity of nonfiction youth materials have been increasing. There’s more diversity of perspectives, from communities and individuals we haven’t heard as much from in the past.”
In addition to our children’s nonfiction book collection, the library offers tremendous resources online to support the more rigorous reading and research we can expect with CCSS. Our databases are a wealth of searchable, reliable and accurate information, and you can access them from home with your library card and password (PIN). From first grade to graduating seniors, students can explore:
- Biography Resource Center in Context: Provides more than 600,000 biographies covering more than 525,000 people.
- CultureGrams: Includes up-to-date facts and cultural information about people around the world.’
- Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center in Context: Offers information and discussion about current social issues and topics in the news. Includes arguments from different viewpoints.
- Oregonian Historical Archive: Search and view all of the Oregonian newspapers from 1861 to 1987.
- Live Homework Help from Tutor.com: One-to-one high-quality after-school help from expert tutors in more than 20 subjects. Live one-to-one help is available 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily and in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
And there’s so much more available. Access all of these resources by searching our website, multcolib.org (or click Research, Homework Center, then Homework Databases). Or ask us next time you’re in — we’d love to show you! Danielle and all of the Hollywood staff have been preparing for the school year right along with your children and your teachers, and we can’t wait to help you meet this year’s challenges.