Media Programs

A New Year is Here!


I have attempted to post a welcome back message about ten times since we have returned to work, but I haven’t been able to sit and get it done until now. So welcome back students, staff, parents, and community friends! School has been in session almost two weeks now, and it has been extremely busy for us in the media center so far. Ordinarily, we would be holding our annual freshmen orientations right now, but with our 1:1 iPad initiative rolling out this school year, we have done little other than unpacking, processing, distributing, setting-up, and troubleshooting iPads since school started. While this has been a stressful and incredibly busy time for us, we are very excited about the opportunities that our students will have as a part of this initiative (called the Liberty Learning Experience). We look forward to getting in classrooms and working directly with teachers and students in their subject areas once we get all students up and running on their devices, and we play catch-up on some of our other media responsibilities.

We have a great deal to look forward to this year and over the next few months! With 18 new staff members, we can’t wait to build new relationships and create new learning opportunities for students through collaborative partnerships. We are anxious to kick off our Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl team practices later this month. We are also seeking new members of the audio/visual club we sponsor, Tiger TV. Additionally, we are looking forward to selecting and purchasing new books for our collection, especially e-books now that all students can access these materials with their iPads. We will be planning some special events for staff and students as well in the coming months. We will keep you posted on all of the things happening at BI! Stop in and see us if you get a chance!


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Summer Reading


One of my favorites things about summer is that I have plenty of time to read! We know that this is true for many of our students at BI, too. We spent the last month of school planning and advertising our first BI Virtual Summer Reading Program. We wanted to do some fun, reading-related activities while we all had a little time off. Since it is hard to get students to meet in-person during the busy summer months, we decided to try a virtual summer reading program using social media.

Summer Reading Social Media Challenges

Here is how it works. Each week, Mrs. Lukkarinen and I will use Remind 101 to send out a weekly reading challenge. These challenges will be fun, easy, and definitely reading-related. We will choose a random weekly participant to win a small prize when we return to school in August. Since there are 8 weeks in our summer challenge, there will be 8 weekly prizes to claim! You may win free books, reading promotional items, or other cool stuff from our prize box. To enter each weekly challenge, use the hashtag #BIreads to post the challenge photo on Twitter or Instagram, or you can e-mail us at if you are not on these social media sites. You have to sign up to receive the Remind 101 texts or e-mails to know what each challenge will be! Here are the directions to do that:


You can also win our grand prize at the end of the summer by keeping track of what you read all summer long. Simply complete the reading log below and return to the media center during the first two weeks of August. We will draw one name to win something fantastic – think tablet, book store gift cards, etc.

BI Summer Reading Log

Now, what kind of media specialists would we be if we left you high and dry with no reading materials? We have decided to announce (via Remind 101) special check-out days at BI’s media center over the summer. That’s right – if one of us is working at BI (which we do often during the summer), we will send out a Remind 101 message to let you know the times you can drop by and check out a book! For those traveling, you can always check out an e-book from our collection to read on your smart phone, tablet, or computer. See the directions below for doing this.

E-Books How-To Flyer

Now go find a good book and start reading! The first challenge will be sent out on June 9th!

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Making Our Space a Maker Space

When reading about trends and ideas for libraries and media centers, I often see a great deal about maker spaces. To me, a maker space is a student-centered learning space. It is flexible and mobile, allowing users to customize their experience. We think it should also promote inquiry, innovation, and creativity. We decided that we wanted to designate a large area in our media center as a maker space of sorts. We have organized games like chess, Scrabble, cribbage, and mancala on a shelf for student access. We have also received a donation of several MindStorm robotics kits for students interested in building and engineering. Additionally, we are providing other materials used in self-directed learning and exploration, including Mac computers for those interested in application like advanced video and photo editing. We are also very excited to announce that thanks to Donors Choose and MakerBot, we will be receiving a 3-D printer for our school. We can’t wait to see what our students create with this amazing tool!

Here are a few before and after photos of a decoupage project that we took on to spruce up some of our maker space areas.

DSCF0194 DSCF0249

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Coastal Courier Article on BI’s Media Grant

Check out our article in Wednesday’s Coastal Courier.

Jordan, Raveenn, Felix, Melissa,
Mrs. McCallar and Mrs. Lukkarinen

Coastal Courier, – news and sports for Fort Stewart, Hinesville and Ludowici.

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Mobile Media Center

I just realized that we had not posted an update on our new Mobile Media Center.  We have been looking for ways to improve the services we offer our staff and students at BI. One idea was to take books out to the places where students congregate to encourage those who never visit the media center to read more. Since most students have very little time in the mornings before school starts, we decided to focus on the five lunch periods when they have the most unstructured time of the day.

Each Friday, we will load a cart with about 100 titles and take it out to the cafeteria commons area with a laptop and scanner to check out books. We will make sure the cart has a variety to choose from, but we will be careful to include some of our most popular and highly-circulated fiction. Mrs. Lukkarinen and I will rotate lunch periods, but between the two of us, will spend more than two hours over the span of all lunches circulating and promoting books. Last week, we checked out around twenty titles that we would not have otherwise circulated to those students.

The feedback we received last week was very positive. Several students commented that they never had time to eat lunch and make a trip to the media center to look for books, so they thought this would be a great idea for them. We are anxious to see how our circulation is affected once students become more familiar with this new program. We also hope to gain some more “regulars” in the actual media center when they realize how fabulous our books and program are. We will keep you all posted on our progress!

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