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ASD Libraries Annual Report 2017: Strategy 2

ASD Strategy 2: We will enhance the academic and intellectual development of our students and adults through challenging curricula, innovative approaches to deep learning, and creating optimal learning environments for student growth. 

Quotes from the Author Visit Survey

What do students learn from author visits?


“It gets us to think about different genres and how other people think and see the world. It allows the students to get inspiration and build on ideas that the authors have talked about. It also gives some people a career choice if they enjoy writing or illustrating.” - grade 7


“Candace Fleming taught me to research and always have all your research as updated as possible. So it really affects my writing of NF right now,” - grade 5.


“I really liked his [Eric Rohmann's] visit, because I love drawing and he kind of told a story with drawing. I learned a lot more about art and that you can actually tell one paragraph about one picture.” - grade 5

“They show me books to read and get me interested in them. Every time they would come I would get one of their books and read it because they made it sound interesting.” - grade 11
“He [Jack Gantos] was really energetic and excited and he made me like reading more when I was a child.” - grade 9

Author Visit 2017

We thank the PTA for their generous support of our library author visit program. 

Author Candace Fleming speaks with 8th grade students about using primary sources, researching and writing using notecards. Students loved hearing true facts about Amelia Earhart. 

ES Library Class Visits


As we entered the actual construction phase of the new ASD Elementary Library, we discussed the uses of the spaces we would be gaining when the construction was complete.  We looked to the two classrooms we were going to get and decided we would have a better use for one of them in the development of a Makerspace.

We began the discussion around the school of a Makerspace with a lot of questions within the school community:

     “What is it?”

     “I’ve never heard of that before.”

     “Oh, yeah, that’s where you make robots, right?”

     “I’ve heard of a Tinker lab.”

     “Is that the same as a Hackerspace?”

      “That’s great, can we use it for a whole class?”

There are so many different definitions and ideas about the Maker Movement that as librarians we needed to come up with our own vision of what our space would look like, and act like.  So as a group we developed an Elementary School Library Makerspace Vision:

The ES Library Makerspace is a place where students can explore, investigate, design, tinker and create using a variety of low-tech and high-tech materials.

In the process of developing this space, it became apparent that there are many teachers in the elementary school who have knowledge, experience and passion for makerspaces and the thinking that goes along with them. We, as a group, are working on a broader ranging concept for design thinking and Makerspaces in the elementary. Keep your eye out for what happens next.

In the meantime, we are setting up the library Makerspace with all kinds of materials and equipment and we are starting, slowly, to introduce students to all the fun and innovative experiences a Makerspace can provide. 

We have provided this link to show you one school’s idea of what a Makerspace looks like and acts like.  We hope to make our space something like this one:


From the Lower Elementary Student Survey

The library helped me when I needed to learn about space. I found a lot of book about space. It tauldt me about space for a class asinment.

Where the books are. To get really good books. I can learn a lot of information in the books.

When reading ww2 (World War II) books it helped me notice how they looked like and how they move in my drawings for the 2015 art show. PS; I won!

From the Upper Elementary Student Survey

Think about one time in your ASD career when the school library really helped you. Write about the help that you got, and what you were able to do because of it.

The library really helped me in the start of the school year. Ms. Martin came to the classroom and told us how to take notes out from books or the internet. (Grade 5)

I remember the time when me and my class was researching on our Wax Museum person and Ms. Martin taught us how to organize our research. And because of the research I had a very good speech. (Grade 4)

One thing that the ASD school library helped me with was on the library website. For my social studies projects my class used the information set up by the ASD library on the ASD library website. This really helped me with gathering information for my projects. (Grade 5)

MS/HS Library

MS/HS Class Visits to the Library





From the Middle School Student Survey

  • It is the best Library I've ever been to. It's very helpful. I enjoy how much time is put into the lib-guide to make it kid friendly information and very helpful for projects and research.
  • MS Librarians are so nice and helpful! I'm an introvert but I have no trouble approaching them to ask any questions that I have because they're so friendly! Love you guys and keep it up!
  • When i first started asd in February, the library helped me get set up with things online and learning how to print.                                    

From the 2017 Senior Exit Survey

Think about one time in your ASD career when the school library really helped you. Write about the help that you got, and what you were able to do because of it.

  • I love the library at ASD! From helping me find new and interesting books to read, to helping me hone my research abilities and write some kick-ass essays (re: Extended Essay ft. my tears), the library was a great place to study, relax, and learn. Thank you so much!

  • The library offered me a quiet place where the commons were not. I spent most of my high school years sitting in the library because it was comfortable and quiet.

  • I was doing a speech project and I was really in need of a book to use for my topic. I asked a librarian and she wizzed through the library and got me an excellent book right away.

Results from student surveys

Percent of students in agreement:

  HS students
The ASD library has helped me know the different steps in finding and using information. 87
The ASD library has helped me find different sources of information for my topics. 91
The ASD library has helped me know when I find good information. 85
The ASD library has helped me find different opinions about my topics. 82.5
The ASD library has helped me when I do not understand some things. 84


Non-Fiction Circulation in the MS/HS Library

We have been hard at work in the Middle and High School Library over the past 3 years, working to increase circulation in our Non-Fiction collection. Non-Fiction currently makes up 53% of our total library. 
To begin, we have been reorganizing our non-fiction categories. We consider ourselves "Dewey Inspired"! We ask ourselves, where will students find this? And then re-label it based on ease of use for our class content and student interest. Students who browse in our Non-Fiction sections may notice forward facing books, labeled shelving and books together in thoughtful categories.
Our Non-Fiction checkouts are up 600 over the past school year. What do students have to say about the changes? 

“I really like those labels. They make it so much easier to find the books that I want.”
“I used those signs when I was choosing a book for my US history reading assignment. I could see where the World War II books were.”

2016 Endicott Parent Survey Results


  % in agreement

My child knows how to effectively use the school's library resources.


HS Information Literacy Lessons

Information literacy skills such as using databases, paraphrasing, notetaking, and citing are taught in-context as students need them. For example, grade 9 English students had lessons on evaluating websites, geography students practiced notetaking before starting their first inquiry project, biology students were reminded how to do in-text citations, extended essay students worked through the process of developing a research question, senior seminar students practiced database searching skills. 

We conducted a small study with World History 10, IB chemistry students (grade 11), and senior seminar students at the beginning and end of a research project, asking the students to rate their own research skills. Students in all three courses reported an improvement in their skills, and the grade twelves ranked themselves higher than the grade tens and elevens, which shows a cumulative growth. At the end of the world history assignment, students reported the most growth in paraphrasing and organizing their research. The IB science students reported the most growth in choosing a topic and writing citations. The senior seminar students reported the most growth in their ability to search databases and determining the difference between popular and scholarly sources. All three grades were the most confident in their ability to create a bibliography, which is something they've been practicing since fifth grade.

MS Library Lessons

Library lessons in the Middle School encourage students to be ethical users of information, critical thinkers, and life-long readers. Lessons are planned in collaboration with subject area teachers, and take place during class time, in the library or the classroom. Lessons apply to what is happening in classes. Grade 6 learns a lot of information literacy basics: Noodletools, website evaluation, and note-taking. This year, after hearing so much about it, Grade 7 had a lesson about fake news. What is it? How are people being fooled? What tools can we use to be sure we aren't fooled? Grade 8 students really build on what they know and begin using more complicated databases, work on finding primary and secondary sources, and citing using Noodletools. 
In order to promote a lifelong love of reading, students visit the library for regular booktalks during SWAT and classes. For example, Grade 6 students borrowed books related to "Trash" by Andy Mulligan, and 8th grade Social Studies classes borrowed historical fiction, historical non-fiction at different points of the year. 

2016 Faculty Endicott Survey Results


  % in agreement
Library staff members are helpful and knowledgeable. 98.9
I have consulted the school librarian when developing or revising curriculum and the library staff considers my opinion in the selection of materials and equipment. 92.9

From the 2017 Senior Exit Survey

Think about one time in your ASD career when the school library really helped you. Write about the help that you got, and what you were able to do because of it.

  • Mrs. Hoiseth was very helpful with finding print resources no matter what topic or class.
  • The reference texts have helped me out a lot, because I have used that for a lot of projects. They also helped me access the QNL, which helped just as much as the ASD library.
  • Generally a great place to go to work on homework or projects.

MSHS Database Usage

Students at all grade levels  are encouraged to use databases to find quality sources for their research. Each year we take a look at database usage and make decisions about what to renew, drop, or add to our collection.

A general encyclopedia is a good place to start most research projects. Up until this year we had two encyclopedia databases- World Book and Britannica -  but decided that one is sufficient. Their usage stats were almost the same, so in the end we decided to stay with Britannica because it also includes the very helpful ImageQuest database. 

EBSCO is our large general database that covers almost any topic. For more advanced research, students might turn to Proquest (which we get through Qatar National Library) and JSTOR, which has highly academic sources.

Culturegrams and Country Reports are both very useful for elementary and middle school social studies projects. Enchanted Learning is used by elementary school teachers, and PebbleGo is a general database for elementary school students. 

Gale, Facts on File, and ABC-CLIO databases are specialty databases that are appropriate for specific subject areas. Students are welcome to use them at any time, and are directed to them for specific assignments. We will need to make a decision next year about whether to cut back on some of the history and issues databases.

Our relationship with Qatar National Library enables students and teachers to access a number of databases for free while on campus, including the Proquest suite.  Our students conducted over 1600 searches in Proquest in the past year.  These are invaluable resources for our students and teachers.

Results from Faculty Library Surveys


  HS teachers in agreement

My librarian effectively communicates about library activities and opportunities.

My librarian collaborates with me to provide support for student learning. 88%
My librarian selects and curates resources that support the curriculum and my teaching. 89%
I am satisfied with the support the library provides for student learning. 95%
My students benefit from their time in the library. 73%
Library resources are appropriate for my students’ needs. 86%
The library is an appealing, organized, effective learning environment. 97%
The library promotes an appreciation of literature and a culture of reading. 97%
The library staff responds to my requests in a timely manner. 95%


ASD Library Mission:

The ASD libraries are committed to the intellectual and personal development of our students

by empowering them to be ethical users of information, critical thinkers, and lifelong readers.