Monday, May 22, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits for May 22, 2017

Disney Summer of Service Grant

Do you know students who want are civically minded and want to make a difference in their communities? Disney Summer of Service grants of $500 each are awarded to hundreds of kids ages 5-18 for projects that will positively impact their communities. Select grantees will have a chance to be recognized by Disney|ABC Television Group or their local ABC affiliate. Application period will open on June 1, 2017. Go to

Soldering Workshop in the Library
We had several students take part in the soldering workshop on May 16th. As I mentioned previously. the workshop was lead by Alex Nunn, one of the owners of the Port City Maker Space and an alumni of Exeter High School. 

If you know students who would like to use the soldering iron, they are more than welcome to do so. However, inexperienced users, will have to take quick lesson on the use and safety of the soldering iron.

3D Printer News
The 3D printer turned out some interesting projects lately.

Trumpet Mouthpiece
Tim Miles sent this print request!

Robotic Hand?
One of our students asked us to print pieces for a robotic hand. Take a look at the student's reasons for this request:

"This robotic hand will allow me to further my knowledge in the electrical and robotic engineering field and I would like to learn on my own out of school. I plan to assemble the hand and code it with an Arduino to allow a leap motion sensor scan my hand movements and make the robotic hand copy mine. This is a project I am really excited about because I have all the resources needed to make this a reality except a 3D printer, which is why I would like to print it at the school."

Although this is a bigger job than we typically print, we did agree to print the pieces of the hand to see how this whole project works out.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits for May 15, 2017

New Books

We've just added 30 new books to our collection. Non-fiction titles include books on women in society and sports. We also have a wide range of fictions titles - some by well known authors such as Barry Lyga, Rick Riordan, Emma Donahue (author of "Room"), Marcus Sedgwick and Kwame Alexander. Click here to see the whole list and to get more information.

3-D Art Work from Jen Vigneau's Classes

While we've been using the 3D printer in the library, Jen Vigneau's art classes have been creating wonderful 3D sculptures from foam core. Take a look at some of the beautiful work. is one of the largest global organizations for young people and social change. They have over 5.5 million members tackling social change campaigns that impact every cause, from poverty to violence to the environment. Basically any cause, anytime, anywhere.

Young people can search the site to look for something to do that matches their cause interests, how much time they have, and what kind of action they want to take (volunteer, make something, donate something, etc).

There are so many campaigns - here are just a handful of examples:

Collect cereal for your local food bank.

Go caroling for older adults experiencing isolation during the holiday season.

Make a sign sharing a soldier's experience in the service.

Thank your old school counselor by making a selfie collage.

Post new restroom signs to demand inclusive options for trans people.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits for May 9th, 2017

You Are Not Going to Believe What I'm About to Tell You

The backfire effect is a name for the finding that, given evidence against their beliefs, people can reject the evidence and believe even more strongly. The phrase was first coined by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, in their paper "When Corrections Fail: The persistence of political misperceptions."

If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at this wonderful comic strip by artist and author Matthew Inman, in which he gives a effective lesson on how most of us react to new information- You Are Not Going to Believe What I'm About to Tell You. I've given you the link to the classroom version, but the adult version is a little spicier if you prefer.

The Flume  - New Hampshire Teen Reader's Choice Award 

What is it?

The Flume Award was created in 2005 in response to a New Hampshire teen’s request to have a book award geared towards high school students. This award is a state-wide venture led by a collaborative effort from school and public librarians. Each year teens nominate titles, published within the last three years, they think deserve to be recognized. Librarians narrow the group of titles to a shorter list. Teens then vote for the winning title from that list.

What Are The Nomination Criteria?

Titles must be nominated by teens in grades 9-12, can be fiction or nonfiction books, with appeal to this age group. They must have a publication date within the last three years. If the book is part of a series, it must be able to stand alone, meaning a reader doesn’t have to read the other books in the series to understand what’s going on. 

Here is a list of this year's nominations. The voting for the winner will take place next spring so students have plenty of time to read them all before they cast a vote for the winner. If you'd like to read the summaries of these books click here to link to the brochure.

  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kelly
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (we don't have this but it's on order)
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (we don't have this but it's on order)
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

3D Printing Projects
Our 3D printer has been working steadily since we "opened for business" before vacation. As I type this, one of our students is printing a model of an inner ear.  So far we have printed a student's face in relief, a fidget spinner, an extra large, multi-piece Lego figure, a fishing lure, and a ring. It took three tries for the student who printed the ring. He started with a design that he liked, but it was too small, so he changed the design, and that didn't work because the design wasn't clear. He finally came up with a design that looked good and it fit! 

At this point, we're asking students to create original designs. If they use designs that have been created by someone else they must alter or transform those designs in some way. If the item is for personal use they need to tell us if it's for a hobby, an invention, a prototype, etc. and if it's for a school project we ask that they tell us more about the assignment. We're learning as we go, so we may tweak the requirements/procedures next year. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits for May 2, 2017

Soldering Workshop for Students Next Week

One of the items we're going to have available in our Makerspace is a soldering iron which students will use for soldering computer circuit boards. We are so pleased to announce that next Thursday, May 11th, Alex Nunn from Port City Makerspace will be holding an Intro to Soldering Workshop in the library. An alumni of EHS, Alex will conduct a workshop for 10 students. He'll guide them through the Learn to Solder Skill Badge Kit from Makershed which has been used to teach thousands of people how to solder.

Free Audiobooks for Teens

The SYNC program has started again for the 2017 season. You may remember from last year when I posted information about it, but SYNC is a program that gives away two complete YA audiobook downloads each week for 15 weeks beginning this year on April 27th.  Each week one YA title is paired with a Classic or Required Summer Reading title. The first week, The Dead House by Dawn Kursagich and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. 
Each pair of audiobooks is only available for download for seven days, but once you download the file to your computer, it’s yours to keep.
Who are these people and why are they giving away free audiobooks?
SYNC is sponsored by Audiofile, an audiobook review magazine; Overdrive, a distributor of audiobooks; and over a dozen audiobook publishers. The idea is to get kids hooked on audiobooks!

Getting Started

Go to to get started. The instructions are easy to follow. You’ll have to start by downloading the Overdrive app.

Top Ten Books So Far This Year

What is everyone reading? Here is the list of books with the most circulations this year, starting in August.

  1. Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (13 checkouts)
  4. Looking for Alaska by John Green (13 checkouts)
  5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne (13 checkouts)
  6. NightingaleI by Kate Hannah
  7. Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas
  8. Crown of Midnight by Sarah Mass
  9. The Fallout by S.A. Bodeen
  10. Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinS

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits for April 18, 2017

3-D Printer and Makerspace Update

Our Cricut die-cutting machine is starting to catch on and students are beginning to feel comfortable creating their own decals.

The 3D printer is up and running and ready to roll.

Soldering materials and other electronic supplies are beginning to arrive and we hope to be able to offer a soldering workshop in a couple of weeks which will be run by an Exeter High School alum.

Also, a reminder that we are going to meet again with the students tomorrow (Wednesday, April 19th) after school. Faculty and staff are welcome to join us to ask questions, provide input, and find out what's going on.

Science in Context - Database

The Science in Context database is a great database for research and not just for science classes. Students can search for a topic or they can browse the list of hundreds of topics.  The database includes a variety of resources including, academic journal articles, magazine articles, websites links, biographies, images, videos, news articles, maps and experiments.

You can find a link to the database and to all of our databases on the front page of the Library website at You'll need to use the password bluehawks to access the database. Also, like the rest of our Gale products (Global Issues in Context and Gale Virtual Reference Library), students can log in with Google and save articles and notes to their Google Drive accounts.

Click the topics below to get an idea of resources available.

Genetic Disorders

Alternative and Renewable Energy

3D Printing

Virtual Reality

There aren't too many maps, but the ones they have are pretty cool. Check out this interactive map on Abortion and Family Planning showing the number of acts of extreme abortion clinic violence.

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Barron's AP Flash Cards
We just got in some AP Flash Cards for many of the AP courses, including Biology, Chemistry, Statistics, Calculus, U.S. History, U.S. Gov, and Psychology. They are available for checkout to students and/or staff.  A student in Aaron Blais's AP U.S. History class recommended that we get them for the library, so I'll hold out the U.S. History one for him. 

In any case they are available at the desk if you know of anyone who would like to check them out. 

I've set the loan period to only 1 week to maximize student usage. I can change that if that doesn't seem to be working out.


Global Issues in Context

Monday, April 10, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits for April 11, 2017

Makerspace Update
We're going to meet with the students again next week on Wednesday, the 19th, after school. If you'd like to join us that would be lovely and I'm sure the kids will appreciate the chance share their ideas with you. 

In the meantime, Kim has created this Libguide with information about some of the items that will be available for students to use in the Makerspace. It has instructions, procedures, expectations, etc. 

New Books
We got a handful of new titles in this week. Here are some of the highlights.
  • "Bull" by David Elliott - A modern twist on the Theseus and Minotaur myth, told in verse.
  • "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas -  It's the story (inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement) of a young black girl who was a passenger in a car with her best friend when the friend gets shot by a white police officer.  "The Atlantic." says that this book enters the ranks of great YA novels. This is a hot one. Kids are asking for it already and the movie is in development.
  • "A Dog in the Cave" by Kay Frydenborg - A look at the origins of and the ongoing unique relationship between humans and dogs
Check out the the rest of the books here.

New Videos

This month's additions to the Classroom Video on Demand collection

My Reality: A Hidden America. In this ABC 20/20 video, ABC News reports on the shrinking middle class and the growing economic disparity between the wealthy and the rest of the population. Diane Sawyer investigates the working class and how the "American Dream" appears more untenable than ever. Connecting to people across the country through social media, fast food workers; contract employees; and low wage earners reveal the struggles and frustrations of this generation.

Greece with Simon Reeve. in This BBC film, Simon Reeve travels from the Peloponnese peninsula to the rugged and mountainous north of the country. To learn more about Greece and the Greeks, he meets an extraordinary cast of characters, from a group of rebel monks to conservationists caring for an injured bear cub. Getting behind the picture postcard image of this beautiful country, he finds out how the Greeks are coming to terms with a seemingly endless crisis.

The rest of the films are are primarily from the National Archives & Records Administration and from FedFlix. FedFlix are films of the United States Government including training films, history, national parks, U.S. Fire Academy, and Postal Inspectors, all are available for reuse without any restrictions whatsoever .

See the whole list here.

For more FedFlix films check out their website.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits for April 4, 2017

NOTE: Don't forget to head on over to Sandy's Tech Blog this week. She is blogging about Google Keep which is fantastic!!

3-D Printer Has Arrived!
Our 3-D printer has arrived! Kim put it together and gave it a test run. It sure is a beauty! We've got to create policies for student use and we have to become familiar with the software, but if you have any ideas of how you'd like to use it for a class project, let us know!

April is National Poetry Month
Speaking of a poet-tree - we're going to solicit poems from the students to hang on our tree. It's that scrawny little thing that looks like a stick.  We've also brought back our magnetic poetry board. Let's see what the kids come up with this year!

How will you and your students celebrate Poetry Month?

How about reading a poem every day? Go to and click on the link for Poem-a-Day and sign up to receive an unpublished poem every day in your inbox.

Tweet poems with #NPRpoetry
Or challenge your students write a poem using only 140 characters. NPR has asked its listeners to Tweet their poems using #NPRpoetry.

Limerick Contest
Or why not enter the Saturday Evening Post Limerick Contest?

Poetry Slam Video
Our Classroom Video on Demand collection includes the "We Are Poets" program, "the poignant tale of six remarkable British teenagers competing in a prestigious poetry competition in Washington D.C. From the streets of inner city Leeds to the stages of the American capital, this documentary charts the personal journeys of poets on the cusp of adulthood, hungry for change and full of fervour. Much more than just a hop across the pond; a resurrection of an ancient art form interwoven with inspiring snapshots of British youth." (from the publisher)
(password is bluehawks)