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ASD Libraries Annual Report 2018: Highlights

Learn what's been happening in the ASD libraries!

Welcome to the annual report of the American School of Doha libraries! The report is organized by the school's 5 strategic goals.

After looking at some highlights on this page, click on the tabs above to see more.

Annual Used Book Sales and the Sister Library Fund


This year the libraries held three used book sales which raised over 14,000 QR. The library accepts book donations year round and for every three books donated, patrons receive a coupon for a free book at the next sale. This year over 3300 books found new homes!

Proceeds from the sales go to our Sister Library Program. We are excited that construction has begun to add a library to a school in Nagarkot, Nepal that is being rebuilt following the earthquake. Future used book sale profits will continue to support this project.


Living our Values Online

The library and IT teams collaborated to update ASD's Responsible Use Agreement (RUA). We will continue to share this document and the values it represents with faculty and students.

Author Visit - Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

The MS and ES Libraries with funding by the PTA were privileged to host award-winning authors/illustrators Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. This husband and wife team write nonfiction, mostly on the topic of animals. They won a Caldecott Honor for the amazing paper collage illustrations by Mr. Jenkins and computer designed images by Ms. Page. Their books offered for sale quickly sold out.

At the request of the grade 6 science teachers for the ecosystem unit, the authors/illustrators presented a slide show of their animal artwork and provided guidance on what to think about for designing fictional organisms such as environmental factors and adaptations.

During grade 7 and 7/8 art classes, students were able to see first hand how Mr. Jenkin’s creates a paper collage, a multi-step process that could involve up to 20 layers of paper.

Elementary classes viewed their illustrations and heard the steps involved in creating their books from generating ideas, researching, writing the story, creating the illustrations, revising, editing, and publishing, a process that could take two or more years.

Author Visit - Matt Dickinson

In May,  author and explorer Matt Dickinson visited ASD.

As a film maker Matt has worked extensively for National Geographic Television, the Discovery Channel and the BBC and is one of the very few director/cameramen who have ever filmed on the summit of Mount Everest.

Matt spoke to Upper Elementary and Middle School about his experiences of climbing Everest, what inspires him as a writer, and about some of his other amazing adventures. He spoke with the HS film classes about his career as a filmmaker and the importance of story in film. Matt continues to travel the world, and his talks inspire many students to think about what they may achieve in the future. He told the students, "My journey began in my school library."

Library Guiding Statements

ASD Library Guiding Statements
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.

ASD Library Vision

ASD libraries are  future-focused communities where learning is...



Fun and engaging

Personal and individualized

Sustained by ethical practices

Authentic, solving real-world problems

Supported by print, digital, and AV resources

ASD libraries are . . ..where students are encouraged to extend their own learning

Library Essential Agreements

ASD Teacher Librarians will

  • work collaboratively with classroom teachers to integrate the library and subject area curricula.

  • teach students to evaluate information from diverse sources.

  • guide students through the inquiry process, helping them develop strong research and analytical skills.

  • model and teach the ethical use of information.

  • encourage students to explore and read a variety of literature and discover their personal taste.

  • help students grow as independent learners who are adaptive and flexible

  • provide equitable access to a variety of quality resources

Long-Term Transfer Goals in the Library

Critical Thinking in the Library

Students will evaluate information, apply logic, and analyze outcomes to solve problems and make sound decisions.

Creativity in the Library

Students will apply innovative thinking to a variety of tasks in school and beyond. (same)

Collaboration in the Library

Students will apply skills required to work with and learn from others to achieve common goals in a variety of situations.

Communication in the Library

Students will effectively exchange ideas within a variety of contexts.

Citizenship in the Library

Students will act in a way that demonstrates global citizenship and an ethical use of information.


Lilas Taha

Lilas Taha, author of the award-winning Bitter Almonds was able to spend two days working with some students in the high school as a result of our relationship with the Georgetown Qatar Library. She presented to some IB and AP English students, and conducted a two-day after school writing workshop for any interested students. 

"The workshop was extremely helpful! I was able to hear other works of writing as well as receive the opportunity to better my own. I enjoyed how each and every person got the chance to share and improve their work out loud with Ms. Lilas Tasha. It was an exceptional opportunity." 

A Day in the Life of the MSHS Library

Summer Reading

The libraries publish summer reading lists via Libguides (see below) and encourage students who will be in Qatar for some or all of the summer to check out library books. Reading lists include suggestions from teachers, students, and national reading lists. Summer 2018 checkout numbers are: over 1800 books from the MS/HS library, and over 2,300 books from the ES library.

One Book One Community

October saw the One Book One Community initiative in the Middle School. This year's book All The Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg was a story told in verse about Matt Pin.  Two years after being airlifted out of Vietnam in 1975 Matt is haunted by the terrible secret he left behind and, now, in a loving adoptive home in the US, a series of profound events forces him to confront his past.

A book talk for parents and activities for students were held in the MSHS Library.

Welcome Kathy Kersting

Kathy Kersting joined ASD August 2017 as the Middle School Librarian.  After 17 years working at Seoul Foreign School in South Korea, she was ready to take her experience and skills to a new setting.  She has worked as a Library Media Specialist since 2008; prior to that she was a classroom teacher at both the elementary and middle school levels.  Kathy and her husband are originally from South Dakota. After working in Texas and Idaho, they moved overseas, first to Uzbekistan and then South Korea. Her husband, Jeff Kersting, is ADS’s Director of Innovation and Technology. They have two teenage daughters, Jenna and Kinzie. Kathy is thrilled to be part of the ASD Community where their children can continue to excel and where she can continue to help students develop information literacy skills and a love for reading.

MS Choir

In October the Middle School Choir performed 3 songs for students and parents based around the theme of Mark Twain and his writings. The choir performed "Three Quotes by Mark Twain" by Andrea Ramsey, "Homeward Bound" by Marta Keen arranged by Jay Althouse and "Can You Hear" by Jim Papoulis. Thank you to Ms Stephanie Gravelle and the MS Choir for bringing together music and literature. 

Goodbye Linda Hoiseth

 After 9 years working in the libraries at ASD, Linda and her husband Robb are moving to AES in New Delhi next year. Linda started in the elementary library at ASD when this year's seniors were in grade 4. She moved with the class of 2018 from elementary school, to middle school, and then to high school, so it's fitting that she "graduates" with them as well! Linda and Robb have two children, Will and Sophie, who graduated from ASD and are attending university in Minnesota. They've been international educators for 26 years, working in Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Poland, and Peru before coming to Qatar, and enjoy their summers at the lake in Minnesota.

Book Launch "I know how she does it...The Amazing Single Mom"

The MSHS Library welcomed Valeria Saulsberry Edmonds in September for the launch of her book "I know how she does it...The Amazing Single Mom". Valeria, a parent at ASD earned her BBA at the University of Mepmpis and her MBA at Howard University. Over the last 27 years, she has had a variety of assignments across different divisions within ExxonMobil Corporation.

Valeria shares her wisdom and journey of raising two children as a single mother. The book is written for all the amazing unsung heroes who are raising healthy and emotionally strong kids by themselves. It includes practical advice for how to survive and thrive at home and in the workplace as a single parent. This book is a testimony of how Valeria found a way to manage a full-time career and raise two children.

Valeria was certified as a leadership coach at Georgetown University and has her own coaching practice called Masterful You. Valeria's book is available to purchase through Amazon.

Elementary Staff


MSHS Library Staff