• Students are captivated by visiting author/illustrator Bryan Collier.

    Celebrating the accomplishments of our teacher librarians and their students!

    Listed here is a fraction of the amazing things that happened in and outside of our libraries in 2018.

    Information and Inquiry

    • Sixth graders at Hoover participated in “Genius Hour” as a culminating activity for the spring semester.  
    • Students in grades 3-6 explored a variety of online databases available through the state AEA resources.
    • Students in grades K-2 used PebbleGo for research purposes.
    • Students explored and used a platform called Noodletools for organizing the research process and citing sources.
    • Created a collaborative website featuring books for teachers to use while targeting specific reading strategies to students: https://sites.google.com/iowacityschools.org/books-and-reading-strategies
    • All students at the secondary level learned to evaluate sources using the CRAAP testing method.
    • Students in American Studies classes at West High worked in groups to research and create “magazines” about the 1920s.
    • The teacher librarian and two English teachers at Tate worked together on an authentic writing project based on inquiry research; they worked collaboratively to write letters to the editor.

     Future Readiness

    • All seventh graders at South East Junior High participated in the Hour of Code.
    • All students at Northwest Junior High participated in the Hour of Code.
    • All students at Kirkwood, Weber, & Hoover participated in the Hour of Code.
    • South East Junior High Students were featured twice on the GWAEA YouTube show “Think Make Innovate.”
    • Lemme Elementary School students were featured on the GWAEA YouTube show “Think Make Innovate.”
    • Students in grades 2-6 at Lincoln competed in a coding activity called “The Sphero Challenge.”
    • Students designed and printed using a 3D printer.
    • Secondary students assisted library staff in many areas, including retrieval of borrowed Chromebooks at the end of each day.
    • Students participated in the K-12 Digital Citizenship curriculum.
    • Kirkwood students in grades 4-6 learned about Digital Citizenship through Google’s “Be Internet Awesome” series.


    • The diversity book club, These Books are Lit, launched at West High, promoting books featuring main characters from marginalized populations.
    • Bestselling author Nic Stone spoke at all four high schools about issues of race and identity in her books, Dear Martin and Odd One Out.
    • At Liberty, MLK Day book talks and diversity book club met to discuss The Rock and the River and other diverse titles/authors. Included teen librarian from North Liberty Community Library.
    • Many elementary buildings participated in the national Reading Without Walls challenge, which invited students to select books in at least one of three ways: reading about a character who doesn’t look like them or live like them; reading a book about a topic they didn’t know much about; or reading a book in a format that they didn’t normally read for fun.
    • Kirkwood students in fifth and sixth grades participated in the Global Read Aloud Challenge with focus on the books Amal Unbound and Refugee. Students at many other schools also participated in the Global Read Aloud program, which connected students from around the country/world with the same texts.
    • Penn teacher librarian Mary Priske, the Penn principal, and a classroom teacher shared their Global Read Aloud experience with Public Access TV.
    • At Kirkwood Elementary, global initiatives were met through “Skype with the Soldiers” and Peace Corp pen pals in Thailand.

    Lifelong Readers

    • 736,842 books and other instructional materials were circulated in ICCSD school libraries in 2018.
    • As part of a decades-long partnership with Hills Bank, librarians hosted author/illustrator Bryan Collier for a week-long residency during which he spoke to all district first and second graders. (See picture above.)
    • Forty-five students from South East Junior High formed a book group to discuss The Hate U Give and heard from author Angie Thomas in Des Moines.
    • In March, “Book Madness,” a program encouraging book choice based on bracket selection, expanded to two elementary schools, reaching over 700 students. This program brought community members into schools to read and generate excitement about reading.
    • All three junior high schools and several elementary schools opened their doors to students during the summer months.
    • Nearly 60 students participated in the Hills Elementary Library summer reading program with weekly library access and reading-focused activities celebrating books and creativity. A video of highlights is available at: https://youtu.be/fUx7YjFUkts  
    • Students and teachers at Lucas Elementary participated in a “Picture Book of the Month” project, focusing on books that represent diversity. Several other elementary schools participated in similar projects.
    • Students in third and fourth grades participated in the area-wide Optimist Good Reader Program for students.
    • Libraries across the district hosted book fairs to encourage reading and access to books.

    Librarians as Leaders

    • The Mann Elementary library was the recipient of a 2018 IASL (Iowa Association of School Librarians) Outstanding Library Program Award.
    • Three teacher librarians attended the Future Ready Schools Summit.
    • Many teacher librarians serve on their building ILTs (Instructional Leadership Teams).
    • Six teacher librarians attended the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference in Chicago.
    • West High teacher librarian Jill Hofmockel served on the IASL (Iowa Association of School Librarians) Board as ALA/AASL rep.
    • Garner teacher librarian Jenahlee Chamberlain was elected Vice President/ President-Elect of IASL (Iowa Association of School Librarians).
    • Teacher librarians served on IASL (Iowa Association of School Librarians) committees: Chelsea Sims and Susie Corbin-Muir (Iowa Teen Award), Kristi Harper (Iowa Children’s Choice Award).
    • City High teacher librarian Elizabeth Schau served on the Iowa ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) College Readiness Committee.
    • South East Junior High teacher librarian Chelsea Sims won the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) “Social Media Superstar: Sensational Student Voice” award.
    • ICCSD teacher librarians presented professional development sessions at the national, state, district, and building levels.
    • Lucas Elementary teacher librarian Connie McCain presented “Moving Beyond Ramona: Developing an Inclusive Library Collection” at the IASL/IRA conference in June.
    • ICCSD elementary teacher librarians presented the “best of the best” new books to colleagues and other district teachers in a professional development presentation called Bookapalooza.
    • Kirkwood teacher librarian Lisa Beal was one of only ten librarians nationwide selected to participate in the AASL’s (American Association of School Librarians) inaugural Induction Program cohort. The goal of the Induction Program was to assist future school library leaders in recognizing and developing their leadership abilities.
    • Kirkwood teacher librarian Lisa Beal served as the Advocacy Chair for the IASL (Iowa Association of School Librarians).
    • Liberty teacher librarian Jan Smith led student book clubs and the robotics team.
    • West High teacher librarian Jill Hofmockel was one of five librarians nationwide to be awarded a scholarship from EBSCO to attend the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Seattle.