Library Week!

What a week it’s been in the library! Last Friday, Character Dress Up Day and the Grade 1 & 2 Book Club Assembly launched Library Week at IST.  This year was the highest participation in the annual dress-up since records began and four Elementary classes, who all managed 100% participation, each won a 250RMB voucher to buy books for their classes at the Book Fair. Take a look at the gallery below to see some of the great outfits at the Library Assembly.

The Beijing Book Fair took place in the library on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  There were some great books to be had to suit all ages and interests.  It was great to see so many students, parents and teachers so excited about buying books!

D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read!) was happening all over the school this week, at all kinds of times!  Surprise daily announcements were made in both Elementary and Secondary buildings and students and teachers, literally, needed to drop everything and grab a book!

It was a great week of books, books and more books!  Thanks to everyone for all their support and great spirit in helping make our Library Week so memorable  🙂

Farewell from Mrs. Fitzgerald

As I prepare to leave IST after 13 years, I keep coming back to our motto:

“Learning together, working together, acting together for our common future.”

I used to think that the important words in the motto were the verbs: learning, working, acting. I devoted my energies to helping students and teachers learn, work and act.  However, as I reflect on life after IST and especially as I speak to people that have already left, I’ve come to realize that the important word in the motto is actually the word together.

“Learning together, working together, acting together for our common future.”

Together we make IST a friendly place. Together we place the needs of our students first. Together we build community. And what a wonderful community it is. In fact, the IST community is the most important part of the IST experience, its very core.

All that is left to me is to extend a vote of gratitude and appreciation for the support and fellowship that the IST community has extended to me and to my family. We are so proud to have been members of the community for such a long time. Thank you again for building community with us. It’s been absolutely wonderful.

I can be reached via email at the address, fitziane at yahoo dot com. I also tweet on information literacy topics with the handle fitziane, and I am on Facebook.

Fare you well. I hope you all have a great summer, and that you spend it reading!

Thank you! Xie xie. ¡Gracias!

Summer Reading – Summer Listening

Don’t let your English get rusty over the summer holiday!

While you are running, hiking, or just gazing at the stars, listen to some Young Adult literature.

Free Audiobooks from Sync

Free audiobooks!

Free audiobooks!


SYNC is a program that gives away two complete audiobook downloads–a current Young Adult title paired thematically with a Classic title–each week to listeners ages 13+. Click here for the titles and schedule.

Titles are delivered through the OverDrive Media Console.  This software can be downloaded onto desktops, laptops, or even as an app on your phone.

Not all titles are available overseas, but the majority are.


SYNC audiobook titles are given away in thematic pairs. Young Adult focused titles are partnered with classics, required reading titles and other thematically appropriate Young Adult tiles to encourage literacy and listening in young people.


SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through OverDrive Media Console.


Simply install OverDrive, Sign up for alerts, and remember each week to download the two titles.
• Downloads are in MP3 format, hosted by OverDrive, and are Mac and Windows compatible.

• Downloads will operate through OverDrive’s Media Console.

• Most listening devices are supported.

• Each SYNC audiobook will be available for download for a period of 7 days (only)

• Titles, once downloaded, are yours to keep.




Top Ten Fiction Books in 2014

Here are the top ten fiction books checked out in the 2013-2014. Which one was your favorite? Which one would you like to read next? Let us know in the comments.

Cover for Divergent


10. Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Cover for Sapphire Blue

F GIE (Also available in French, German, and on the Kindles)

9. Sapphire Blue, by Kerstin Gier


Cover for The Horse Road


8. Horse Road, by Troon Harrison

Cover for Diary of the Wimpy Kid


7. Diary of the Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel, by Jeff Kinney

Cover for The Kingdom of Fantasy


6. The Kingdom of Fantasy, by Geronimo Stilton

Cover for The Hunger Games


5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Cover for Hero on a Bicycle


4. Hero on a Bicycle, by Shirley Hughes

Cover for Wonder


3. Wonder, by R.J. Palacios

Cover for Ungifted


2. Ungifted, by Gordon Korman

Cover for Ruby Red


1. Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier

Top Ten Picture Books in 2014

Here are the most checked out picture and elementary fiction books of the 2013-2014 year.  Notice that 5 of the books are from the 2014 Panda Books Awards shortlists and a Panda Book from 2013 still features on the list.

Cover for Shoo Fly Guy


10. Shoo Fly, by Tedd Arnold. 

Cover for Creepy Carrots


9. Creepy Carrots, by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown (Panda Book for Younger Readers 2014 winner)

Cover for Creepy Carrots


8. Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth, by Sanjay Patel (Panda Book for Younger Readers 2014 shortlist)

Cover for I Spy Fly Guy


7. I Spy Fly Guy, by Tedd Arnold

Cover for The Fantastic Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore


6. Nightime Ninja, by Barbara Da Costa and Ed Young (Panda Book for Younger Readers 2014 shortlist)


Cover for The Fantastic Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore


5. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce (Panda Book for Younger Readers 2014 shortlist)

Cover for Benjamin Bear


4. Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking, by Phillipe Coudray (Panda Book for Younger Readers winner 2013)

Cover for Mister I


3. Mister I, by Lewis Trondheim

Cover for Timmy Failure


2. Timmy Failure: Mistake Were Made, by Stephan Pastis (Panda Book for Older Readers winner 2014)

Cover for Pete the Cat


1. Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons, by Eric Litwin and James Dean (Panda Book for Younger Readers 2014 shortlist)

Used Book Fair now at the Community Fair

Thanks, IST, for your support on Friday for the library’s annual used book sale. We raised over 4000RMB for library programs!

As we still have lots of good quality books in different languages, we will be setting up a stall at the Community Fair. Be sure to bring a bag or two to load up for summer reading.

Also at the Community Fair will be a stall organized by Ms. Wang to help the IST cleaning ayee who is battling terminal cancer and a stall supported by Ms. Fang to raise funds for Auntie R’s Animal Shelter, a charity with whom several of the IST teachers, teaching assistants and students are involved.

Library volunteers who would be willing to give up a little time on the day to help with used book sales are very welcome. Please email us or let us know in the comments.

IST Community Fair 2014, on 11 June

Evaluating Websites in Grade 5

The grade 5 students recently finished a Who We Are unit on transitions. They considered physical, emotional and academic transitions. For their final assessment, they needed to curate several sources on those transitions on to a Blendspace webpage. The sources could be in print or online.

One of the requirements of the assignment was that they evaluate the sources. In grade 5, we use the acronym CARDDS to remind us that a good source is:

Credible – we can trust it because it is written by experts on the subject

Accurate – the information presented is correct and can be verified

Relevance – the source is related to the topic at hand

Date – the source is current and/or is updated frequently

Design – the layout is easy to navigate

Purpose/Scope – the intent of the source is clear, e.g., it is clearly for entertainment, education, commerce, etc. There is no bias.

Once the assignment was over, I challenged the grade 5 students to justify one of their source selections in writing by posting to a Padlet. From the websites they evaluated, I’m going to select several to include on the library OPAC for next year’s grade 5s to have when its their turn to inquire into transitions.

Click on the images below to visit the full-size interactive Padlets.

Some of the websites posted are already on the library OPAC. It’s good to see that they find the OPAC’s Visual tab useful.

Although not all of the students were able to articulate why they chose the particular source they posted to the pad let, many of them did. We hope that the grade 5 students will continue to use their evaluation skills in grade 6 and beyond.

5H Padlet on evaluating website



End-of-Year Library Dates

End-of-year Library Calendar 2014
 The end of the 2013-2014 year is fast approaching. Please note the following library dates:

30 May – Last day of checkout

6 June – All materials must be returned to the library

9 June – Summer checkout begins

Summer checkout is for returning students who have cleared their library accounts. Students (and parents) can each check out up to 10 books, to be returned on the first day of the 2014-2015 school year.

Elementary students need a signed permission slip from their parents. It can be downloaded here or collected from the library circulation desk.

Summer checkout permission form