Spring Book Fair and AMS Readathon 2016

AMS Spring Book Fair

Volunteers are needed for the Spring book fair from March 14th-18th between 7:45 AM and 3:15 PM.  Our busiest times of day will be from 8:00-8:30 in the morning and 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM during lunches, but classes will also be visiting throughout the day on Monday-Thursday. The book fair will coincide with this year’s Readathon, which will be held on March 15th, beginning during the school day and extending through the after school activity period and into the evening. Volunteers can sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b4ca5ac2babfc1-spring1

Our Fall book fair was a huge success, putting over 500 books in students’ hands and raising over $3,000 in Scholastic dollars to support our library program. The Spring book fair promises to be just as successful with some great titles for sale. We were extremely fortunate to have a wonderful group of parents help out with the fall Fair, and we thank you in advance for once again donating your time and energy. Again, click here to sign up to volunteer for the book fair: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b4ca5ac2babfc1-spring1 or email Ms. Buck, the AMS librarian, at mhbuck@aacps.org for more information.


AMS Readathon 2016

On March 15th we will hold our Readathon at Annapolis Middle School. What is a Readathon?, you may ask. It is a reading marathon in which students, parents, teachers, and community members are encouraged to come and read as long as they can! While at the event some serious participants will sit and read the entire time, there will be additional activities for the less-competitive, including Read Alouds, Book “Sales,” and a Reading Café. There will be representatives from community partners such as the Public Library and giveaways of books and more.

One of the highlights is the Read Aloud Room; this will be a great opportunity for all participants to hear selected stories shared by teachers, students, and community members. If you are interested in being a guest reader, please use this link to submit your contact information: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLW7LCY.  

We are also in need of parent volunteers to help monitor students, serve food, and direct activities.  Interested in volunteering but not eager for the spotlight? Please use this link to submit your contact information: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FL5KKTB.  

Questions or concerns? Please email Ms. Buck, the AMS librarian, at mhbuck@aacps.org or our literacy coach, Ms. Lerro, at jlerro@aacps.org. Thank you for your support of this exciting  celebration of literacy and the joy our school community finds in reading!


Thanks for a great book fair! and some updates.

It’s been a couple of weeks since the end of the book fair, so we have our sales numbers. In spite of a delay in delivery of the fair, we sold almost as many books as last fall. This means we’ve got funds for some new furniture to replace worn-out bean bags and gamer chairs, and to buy some awesome new books! More importantly, it means great new books are in the hands of our students. I’ve been hearing about some of what you’re reading on Edmodo, but feel free to share in the comments here too!

Thanks so much to all the parents and students who volunteered. We keep the library open during the book fair, and that means there is a lot going on. We really couldn’t do it without everyone’s help! Special thanks to Amy, Niajay, Caron, Emma, Paris, Cece, and Mrs. Haynes’ 5th and 6th period students, who stepped in and helped with setup when we got thrown off schedule. We’re also grateful to our wonderful PTSA for all the help promoting and recruiting volunteers for the fair!

I’m also very excited to announce two things. First off, our school Makerspace (what’s that?) is now open and operating. It’s been so much fun to see students experimenting with the moldable plastic, Little Bits, and 3d printing pen! Students can use the Makerspace for school-related or independent projects. We’ve got craft supplies of all kinds – paper, fabric, yarn, cardboard, and duct tape as well as more high-tech stuff like Arduino and Raspberry Pi computers for our budding coders, filming and recording equipment, and lots more cool stuff. Another big thank you to Hadlee, who’s been the driving force behind getting things going!

Finally, you’re going to start hearing from some people other than me on this blog. We have some very talented writers who are going to be volunteering as student bloggers during the rest of the school year. Stay tuned to see what they have to say!

Teen Read Week is next week!

Did you know that next week is Teen Read Week? Teen Read Week is a week-long celebration that encourages teens to take some time out and read. You guys might not all be teens, but some of you are, and others are getting close. Besides, who needs an excuse to take some time out for reading?

Follow Teen Read Week activities using the hashtag #TRW2015.

The theme this year is “Get away @your library.” Why not take some time to stop and read for a while, and then share some information about what you’ve read?

Reading is a great way to build literacy, improve mental health, develop empathy, deal with tough issues, and learn about perspectives and experiences outside our own. For some great reads, head over to the Teen Read Week ning for book recommendations or visit the Books & More page to find some websites and blogs that can help!

Tell us what you’re reading in the comments, or tweet @AMS_Library or using the teen read week hashtag or #amsreads!

My uncle reads from a frequently challenged book!

You may not be aware that I come from a long legacy of excellent librarians, many of whom have been champions of freedom of information. My uncle was the library supervisor in Greene County, Ohio, and his wife was a school library supervisor (they are both retired now).

During the 8th grade’s debate around book banning in schools (they overwhelmingly felt that they should be allowed to read books of their choice), we looked at two sides of the debate around one of my own favorite books, Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I love the book because it’s funny, wise, sad, and engaging, and because it gave me a glimpse of life in an unfamiliar and underrepresented culture. It also has some content that parents around the country have at various times felt was too offensive for students, making the book inappropriate for inclusion in curriculum.

So when my uncle asked me which book I would recommend he read for the Greene County library’s Banned Books Week read-out, it was the first thing that came to mind. I also figured it would appeal to his sense of humor. Here’s a video of my uncle reading excerpts from the book. He’s in a convict’s uniform in a fake jail cell in the library, to symbolize the restrictions that people have tried to place on the literature he is sharing.

Banned Books Week may end this weekend, but we can ALWAYS celebrate our freedom to read! The library has a number of frequently challenged or banned books on display (they are all approved by AACPS’ library selection policy!). So come on by – many of the titles that are on the table will probably surprise you!

What’s super fun and happens in just 3 weeks?

If you said “Banned Books Week,” good guess, but this time we’re talking about the Book Fair!  OMG that is right!  Our teacher preview will be on October 2, and the real sales start on October 5th in school – but you can get a head start on your shopping online!  We are looking forward to getting some great new books into students’ hands, and raising funds for the library!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Online fair – September 27th-October 17th – books you order online will be sent free of charge to your student’s Caring Community.  There’s a HUGE selection on the Scholastic website for kids of all ages!
  • In-school fair – October 5th-9th – class visits will be through Language & Literature.  Don’t worry, all classes will come to the book fair!  Students will have additional opportunities to shop on their own throughout the week.
  • Volunteering – We do need parent volunteers!  Please use our online sign-up form here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b4ca5ac2babfc1-fall or email mhbuck@aacps.org if you’re interested.  Time slots are flexible.


glasssentenceI hope everyone is enjoying a break from all that studying, and getting some leisure reading in!  I’ve been doing lots of hiking, taking advantage of the cooler weather before it heats up again.  I’ve also read a couple of great books.  One was Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, which was great but maybe not QUITE as great as the Raven Cycle.  If you enjoy series like Twilight, Halo, Fallen, etc, this is definitely not to be missed!  I also read The Glass Sentence, a first novel by S. E. Grove, which totally blew me away.  It’s an adventure through a world that’s been fractured across time, with maps made not just from paper but every imaginable substance – earth, glass, water, even onions.  One of the best books of the year by far!

But that’s not why I started this post.  I actually wanted to tell you two things.  First, we have a Twitter account now!  WHAT?!?  Yes, that’s right, the AMS library is on Twitter.  Get over there and click that follow button!

Second, I’m going to be doing some updates to the website over the summer, so if you’re looking for something and it’s  not where you left it… well, I probably moved it.  I’m not telling you where.  But you can always email me and ask.

That’s all for now, folks!  Enjoy your summer, and don’t forget to READ!  Remember – the AMS virtual library is still available through www.mackinvia.com!