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    Notes from Madison's Virtual Library
    Posted on 03/18/2020
    Virtual Library Hangout

    Announcements from our Virtual Library:

    1. Students
    —wondering what to do this week? Join Ms. Bell and other Bulldog Readers on Zoom for weekly VIRTUAL LIBRARY HANGOUTS! Check Schoology for the Join Code. Ms. Bell will be hosting for an hour EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 11am and anybody can drop in anytime for as long as they like (FYI--the meeting gets capped at 100 participants). 

    This Wednesday, March 25th from 11-12, we'll try it out for the first time. Ms. Bell will have a bunch of book talks ready to go and I can't wait to hear what you've been reading, watching, and creating to pass the time! Be prepared for it to be a little chaotic as we figure out what works well and what doesn't.  

    About Zoom: Zoom is an online videoconferencing app that's free (and making their premium services available to schools affected by COVID-19). It's FERPA-compliant, which means that it meets the student privacy laws that are required by the district. No sign-up necessary to join in a room, though if you decide to use your phone you have to download the app. (Parents and guardians - please feel free to reach out to Ms. Bell at if you have any questions or concerns).

    2. March Madness Round 1 Voting has begun! Click on this link to go to the online voting ballot. Any Madison MS student can vote whether they've read the books or not (you're able to get more details about each book within the digital ballot), but students are only allowed to vote once per round. Voting for Round 1 will close at the end of the day this Friday, March 27th, so don't wait. And remember, your vote helps to determine which books advance to the next round and which book ultimately gets crowned Best Bulldogs Read of the Year! 

    **If you turned in a bracket with your predictions to be in the running for the grand prize, Ms. Bell will be tracking that and updating the students currently in the lead via Schoology updates and her Library Instagram (@madisonlibrary) at the end of each round of voting. You can also check Instagram for real time updates during the week to see which books are in the lead!  

    3. Bulldog Readers—need a book recommendation? Ms. Bell's got you! Click on this link and let her know the kind of book you're in the mood for. She'll try to send you some suggestions within a few days! And she'll make sure they are ones you can download on Libby if you're looking for something digital!  #IWantYouReading

    A Personal Note from Ms. Bell:

    Librarians are irrepressible information sharers, so I’ll be posting resources and updates on my Library Chat Schoology page and our Madison Library Instagram (follow us @madisonlibrary) to help us all take care of each other, our wider community, and ourselves during this unprecedented time!

    And if you will, one last librarian soapbox moment as you hunker down and support students (and yourselves) with all of the worry and care and unknowns of this crisis: please, allow yourself and your kids to read what sparks joy! Don’t worry about reading being “challenging” or “academic” enough right now, or about students reading “at their level.” Reading for pleasure has been proven to reduce stress in a real and meaningful way as well as building empathy and social-emotional skills. Re-reading and reading books that are “too easy” also strengthen crucial neural pathways for academic reading success, for the exact same reasons that musicians play scales and professional athletes run drills. Remember, too, that some people are re-readers… a favorite book is like a comforting blanket. Whether it’s reading Wimpy Kid for the ten millionth time, or webcomics, or fanfiction, or audiobooks, or Calvin and Hobbes, or Shakespeare, reading is both solace and fuel. 

    Sending warmth and care,

    Ms. Bell
    Madison MS Librarian