Library OPAC Temporarily Unavailable

For reasons out of our control, the library OPAC is unavailable from home. Students and faculty received (or will receive soon) an email with instructions on how to access it from home.

Once you have located the OPAC using the emailed access instructions, you can log on to it using your own personal account or the quick login, which can be found on the student logs or the library brochures.

Please let us know if you continue to have difficulties accessing the OPAC from home. Our IT department is working on a solution, but it may require a week or two.

4 p.m. updateOur IT manager, Ms. Dora Hu, may found us a patch solution while the larger technical solution is being sorted. Access the library OPAC using the link below. 

First Day Back – All Good!

Welcome, everyone, to the 2013-2014 school year.

It was wonderful to catch up with so many of you today. All our returning students look so grown up! We’re looking forward to helping them gain the information literacy skills they will need to succeed at school and beyond this year.

To our new families: welcome! We are always eager to meet new students and parents, and to share all of the great resources we have in the library. Parents, be sure to stop by to create your library account so that you too can check out. Once you’re here, please subscribe to the library blog so that you always have the latest news and information.

We were delighted to see so many students returning their library books today. There were 1,716 books checked out for summer reading the last week of June. Of those, about 700 were returned today. That’s super! The students who returned their summer checkouts are now reading to start this year’s reading adventures.

If you have not yet returned your summer checkouts, please do so as soon as possible.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in the library soon!

Library Help for Your New Year Resolutions

Have you set yourself resolutions for 2012? Let the library support you in keeping those. Scroll down to find the resolution/s that most closely resemble yours.

Lose weight and eat more healthfully/help my family eat more healthfully.

The IST library has a varied collection of healthy cookbooks for beginning to advanced cooks. Browse our 641.5 section for recipes to start a “Kids Turn to Cook” night at home or try out with friends. Don’t forget to bring us a sample!

Exercise more.

The 613 and 790 sections of the library have lots of titles on fitness and the different sports. Find a buddy to help you stay committed and come together to the library to find exercise resources. Remember, the important thing is to keep it fun.

Get out and do more in Tianjin.

We have several useful links for you on the library OPAC. (Links to the OPAC from home and school are found on the top left sidebar of this page.)

Click on the Visual tab,

 and then on  Local Events for links to online magazines for Beijing and Tianjin expats.


Stay in touch with current events/Help my child(ren) stay in touch with current events.

We have collected online newspapers for children on the library OPAC. From the Visual tab (shown above), click on Current Events-Many Languages. You will find links to online newspapers in seven different languages: English, Chinese, Korean, French, German, Danish, and Portuguese. Need more advanced news reports? Ask the librarians to show you how to access the Newsbank online database.

Learn/practice a foreign language.

Log in to the library OPAC to access the PowerSpeak Language database. We offer this language learning feature thanks to the IST World Languages department who fund it for the school community. You will need your library account login information to access PowerSpeak.  Parents are welcome to request a library account at the circulation desk.

Read more fiction/non-fiction.

With over 30,000 titles in six different languages, we can certainly help you get a great deal of reading material. Here are some ideas:

  • Come to the library often. All students and teachers have library cards held for them at the library. Parents can request a library account at the circulation desk.
  • Challenge yourself to read all of the Newbery Award winners (or the Man Booker Prize or all of the Panda Books for the year or any other literary prize. We make a big effort to include award winners from different parts of the world in our library collection.)
  • Set a number goal, e.g., 50 books this year.
  • Find a buddy to discuss your book choices with.
  • Join our book club. We’re starting in January with Girl in Translation, by Jean Kwok. See the left sidebar for online registration information or talk to a librarian.
  • Start a book review blog, on your own or with a friend.
  • Purchase books at our book fairs or through the Scholastic Book Club offerings. Do you need to purchase a specific title? Ask us and we may be able to help you find it.
  • Pick up an IST bookmark at the library. It has useful links for you to get the most out of the library online resources.
  • Ask us for reading recommendations. We love to talk about books!

Make the library part of my daily or weekly routine.

We’re here to help you. Visit us at anytime for book recommendations, help with research, information literacy tutoring or just to chat about our good fortune in having access to such a wonderful library.

Last tip for a great 2012: Come to the library to get a library account if you don’t have one and subscribe to this blog so you do not miss on any IST library news. (Scroll down the right sidebar for the subscription button.)

Need an avatar?

You often need an avatar when you join web communities and social networks. An avatar is a small image that shows up whenever you post a message or participate in those social networks. Ms. Surridge had showed me her cartoon avatar and I decided then that I wanted a cute one like it too.

I used Google to find a cartoon avatar making site. There are many sites that have software you download, but I wanted to do it all online. I have enough software already! The two best sites I found were and

The WeeWorld site is a game world where avatars interact with each other. Each avatar is called a WeeMee. I didn’t want to sign up for the game, but the site lets you create an avatar without joining. When I was done, I took a screenshot of the image and here it is. (See the panda on the t-shirt? It’s for the Panda Books Awards of course!)

This is my avatar made with the site.

This is my avatar made with the site.

The other site I found was On this site, when you have created your avatar, you can download it to your computer. Here’s one of the “mangatars” (avatar in the manga style) I made. The other one is what I’ll be using for this blog, at least until I find another cartoonizing site!

My first mangatar with I liked it but it's not too me.

My first mangatar with I liked it but it's not really me.

Warning: You can make very cute avatars with these two sites but it can take a lot of time to get them just right!

So, go ahead, block out an hour or so and make yourself a cartoon avatar.

Chess, anyone?

Students are welcome to use the library chess sets during free times.

Students are welcome to use the library chess sets during free times.

New chess sets have arrived at the library. They are available for students to use during recess. New Chinese checkers and backgammon sets will be coming soon.

Welcome Back to a Year of Reading!

Welcome back, everyone. We are very happy to see everyone back at IST and we are even happier to say hello to new friends. Be sure to come back to this space often. The library blog will be your virtual library, open 24/7.

All students will receive a welcome letter from the library with their Blaze newsletter. Be sure to read it carefully.

We have lots to share with you, but on this, our first blog post of the year, I would like to introduce you to our library staff.

From left: Eleanor Surridge, Lisa Fang, Josianne Fitzgerald, Lizzy Wang, Jessica Yu

From left: Eleanor Surridge, Lisa Fang, Josianne Fitzgerald, Lizzy Wang, Jessica Yu

Josianne Fitzgerald – Librarian and N-5 Information Literacy Specialist
Eleanor Surridge – 6-12 Information Literacy Specialist
Lizzy Wang – Library Teacher
Jessica Yu – Library Assistant
Lisa Fang – Library Assistant

We are here to help you make the most of your school year. Please come by the library to say hello – and stay to check out a book or two!