Category Archives: Library Update

Freedom to Read is our mantra
We are celebrating our freedom- how about you? KSS OWLS – “we got spirit, how about you? ” #owlproud Who’s house? Owls house!
In contrast to our cart of banned books, not only to we lend a broad collection of books to teens, we give books away- free! Share the joy Canada. Visit your library now to celebrate choice and access.

Celebrate Freedom to Read Week
February 22-28, 2015
Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (


“Champions of Free Expression.” Freedom to Read. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. .


Filed under Censorship, Library Events, Library Update, Reading

the KSS Library- the road to a collaborative learning community


Our mission is to contribute resources and professional services to the broad learning community at Kelowna Secondary School.  Our committment to supporting achievement through instruction and collaboration is as proud as the traditions that deep throughout our school culture.  Whether through enriching the reading culture or implementing various connected learning strategies, the staff at the KSS Library wants to showcase some the aspects of our program but also the larger collaborative learning community.  The Learning Commons ( see a few pics )   provides students an environment for researching, reflecting, creating.  The Library program integrates instruction and resources services in a collaborative teaching model.  Our services reach out to the school community through direct face to face collaboration all day, five days a week. It extends with assets and service points on the public web, school portal, an extensive virtual library, blogs, and social media.

finditFB  TWitter_ad-2ASK_ad-2 the KSS Library >>>>

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Filed under Announcements, Library Update, School Library

A school library is many things…

We have many academically inspired moments or literary events that occupy our school day at the KSS Library. Our Learning Commons is often a hub of intensity for faculty, classes and always packed with teens intently completely projects, seeking materials or cramming for some exam. Our Commons is designed to tackle these scholarly pursuits but it also keenly functions as a safe social space. Occasionally, we just get teens seeking solitude or quiet reading. Our staff tries to protect this role, despite the bustling pace as a technology and creation hub. Example being our sunny reading lounge. Yes. And comfy chairs. :-)


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Filed under KSS Student Body, Library Events, Library Update, Photos, School Library

Freedom to Read Week 2

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by | 2013/02/27 · 9:45 pm

Mission creep, hi-tech , another year to re-evaluate

Mission Creep? Libraries and 3D Printers? What?

In response to a recent blog post I read by Hugh Rundle .( )

I get the urge to provide modern powerful tools that help our patrons/students to learn. Emphasizing the phase of creation/production to the information inquiry cycle makes sense in 2013. Developing a learning commons in a high school makes sense but like embracing 3D printers, iPads or other high tech innovations the risk is we lose our fundamental core virtues.  A new Learning Commons without a trained teacher-librarian is like the open pool without an instructor or life guard.

nerioxman____01Hugh Rundle’s thesis of mission creep;the frenzy to embrace technologies as the savior for library programs, may be a valid concern. Public, academic or school libraries all have unique missions and contexts as they strive to adapt and improve in this information age, but they all have a common obstacle- leadership that fails to discover and focus the decisions that hold sustainable purpose. The recent BC Libraries Summit ( )explored these issues.

Embracing technologies for its own trendy value is indeed a distraction, if not a major barrier.  Rundle calls it ‘technolust’!  Although my emphasis is a high school library, we do tend to model, lead and/or persuade our community with technology innovation. It has been a natural evolution of digital information realities; however, one truth is users/patrons have always come to the library as a reliable station for content, resources and advice whether it be a rare book, thesis support or 16mm film. The computing reality has been a natural progression of this service and is part of our culture. Our ‘technolust’, although present, is abated because of budgetary realities and policies but education in general suffers the same malady.

Change in libraries and in schools in general has occurred by two means. There is the determined targeted practice of leaders and practitioners who build programs and initiatives on the ground floor and there is just the inevitable absorption from wider social technological change.  I believe strong library programs must seek out option one.  A team of leaders who can collaborate and assess many views, options, and virtues of technologies that match sound program purpose.  An inspiring colleague of mine, Nicola at RSS, once encouraged me to embrace change with my site teammates to evaluate our mission.  It may sound cliche but it is necessary to avoid the creep Rundle argues against.

Grasping state of the art trends, like 3D printing is rather absurd when we may not be doing the fundamental needs effectively. I saw the one-to-one computing initiative come and go with very little advantage and certainly debatable sustaining education value.  There is notable benefits- always  is – but the cost/benefit ratio, training practivalities, pedagogical goals, cultural values and sustainability need to all be part of change.  I offer colour printing to my students, by request, yet the demand has been far less than I originally anticipated.  It’s convenience, no harm no foul, but the investment may not always match your aspirations. 3D printing output can illustrate concepts in very creative and informative ways.  It’s mazing stuff but… soon Staples or Costco will do it for our kids- dare I say from their phones?! . ( Engadget ) Watching Neri Oxman of MIT can give you the inspiration and rationale for 3D printing projects (YouTube ) but there are institutions and agents whose function it is to deliver more appropriate than a library. She synthesized iconic designs of mythology, story telling and architecture at the MIT MediaLab to produce ‘Mythologies of the Not Yet’ showcasing the potential of 3D printing from a design perspective.  I see the library’s role in her process as nurturing capacity of all three elements. The story.  The image. The technology. We should bring the climber to the mountain. Librarians should be the sherpa and assist the inspiration and the means not bring the mountain to the climber.

Re-assessing your mission is required before you thoughtfully decide which tools and practice you need to strengthen your program for the long term.

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Filed under Library Update, Professional Development, Public Libraries, School Library, Teacher Professional

Welcome TL Hastings.

Welcome TL Hastings. We’d like to warmly greet Mr. Jeff Hastings to the Library for 2012-13, who is covering Mr. Smith for 0.2 part-time this year. He will be serving the Library in various roles mostly on Fridays but you may see him he and there during the week. Mr. Hastings was a longtime teacher-librarian at George Elliot Secondary but the Owls won’t hold that against him. He has recently travelled and worked in Central America and is an avid book lover.  Welcome to our vibrant Learning Commons and Library Program.

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Filed under Library Events, Library Update, School Library

Celebrating 10 years of staff reading- library reception

The KSS Learning Commons was not full of teens today but staff. The Library staff was hosting our 10th annual Summer Reading Reception. A luncheon in the library where teachers, admin, support staff and guests all gather to browse new materials, borrow books and socialize with a light lunch. Often it is a pot luck affair with avid library supporters pitching in plates or service. We have door prizes, demos, and casual fellowship. This year we had a ‘literary lunch’ where all the food had a literature connection. Pink ink punch from Dr. Seuss to Papa Hemingway tuna and Frances Mayes lemoncello cake. …

Thanks everyone…




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Filed under Library Events, Library Update, Photos, Teacher Professional

A Commons crux- growing pains or success stories

REACHING A CRUX…. a learning commons update

A high school learning commons may seem like an oxymoron to some folks but to us it’s a happy educational stew cooking on a light boil. We are struggling with as our KSS Library has evolved. In no specific order…..just a few observations as we enter a busy June

1.) mission: even with a tradition and a school library culture of open access, literacy instruction and intellectual scholarship the purpose of a program is high-jacked by other agendas and mythologies. Reclaiming or re-purposing staff, schedules, services and resources in a timely fashion is not only costly but logistically challenging ( see JComfort >

2.) food: our site and student body are getting messier and messier. I am not a janitor. We are in serious shortage of custodial service already. It is an awful problem. Check out out student parking lot. My casual nature and love of the latte is conflicted but I also appreciate the need for a clean and healthy carpet. I do not wish the ‘learning’ side of learning commons to be invaded by the common sticky slurpy.

3.) space: I have the luxury of a large space at KSS yet I have to be a field manager and parking lot attendant or sometimes policeman. The demand is too great. I have been innovative and designed niches that are always utilized. When kids suggest they need to leave the commons area and find a quiet place to think or do work, I get very worried. There are no quiet environs in the building with exception of the broom closets!

4) laptops: lovely devices yet… unless I am booked at capacity with classes ( which is frequent ) I loan out ThinkPads to students by the dozens. To help maintain inventory for each block, I choose to barcode and circulate the units. It’s a hassle but I get them back. We cannot afford to have units all over the school when we need for a class next period (I do get circ data too)… but it can be so busy sometimes I feel like a laptop jockey….

5) patrons: the best part of any learning commons is students. The added bonus as a teacher-librarian is the professional rewards of serving and collaborating with teachers. Students receive a rich learning experience when we can engage with them and their teacher. Perhaps the most interesting and dynamic patron of our Library is the ‘casual’ or drop in student. As a senior high school we welcome an average of 1100 teens across our threshold each day. The resource period students, DL students, DIS students, teacher preps, etc and the am/lunch/pm crowd that uses the commons for reading or homework or whatever, is a diverse and unpredictable crowd. We serve a large and dynamic community. We are challenged to provide resources and develop new teaching strategies in a huge range of curricula.

6) books: the popularity and demand for print remains very high. “Good morning Ms. Bede, huuummm do you have any THINKING books?” Well there is a new expression we are going to


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Filed under Education, Library Update, Personal Learning Network, School Library, Teacher Professional

Pearl Harbour history- virtual field trip

Virtual Voyage: Pearl Harbor

Information: In 1941 Pearl Harbor was a Pacific US Naval Base located in Hawaii. On the morning of December 7, 1941 they experienced a surprise and strategic military attack from the Japanese. The attack sank and damaged much of the US Navy’s Pacific fleet. Continue your voyage of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and today by exploring the sites and videos below.

The KSS Library is hosting a virtual field trip with several classes next week. It will connect with the World War II units and Cold War study.

Teacher-librarian-KSS, Al Smith and Doug Gray, Admin-Central, have made arrangement sto use their LifeSize webcam equipment to participate in an interactive session with Pearl Harbour survivor living in Hawaii.  This Virtual Field trip can be an example of potential future collaborations.


Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field trips range from simple website visits, to high definition interactive video conferencing. All five high schools in SD23 have access to dedicated LifeSize HD videoconferencing systems which enable realtime high definition interactive video conferencing.
We have linked to a variety of content providers which can be used to identify content providers for your Virtual Field Trip.   please contact Mark Hauk at Central Programs and Services.


Filed under KSS Student Body, Library Events, Library Update, MultiMedia, Presenters

Digital reading – services for students

DIGITAL READS >  eBooks, Audio, Media….

follettA trial ebook system from the KSS Library.  Patron may login and read books in their browser or download and read with an offline reader or iPad.  Browse Catalog list>  .  Request a Login>

or  Login to eBooks>

For iPad App and Android App- soon> Now available
Download Follett Offline eReader>

There are dozens of titles available on iPads, KOBO and Kindles.

Audiobooks … listen to selected titles.

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Filed under Library Update, MultiMedia, Reading, School Library