Archive | Library

Getting More from the Crocker Library

Most of you know that students are allowed to check out one book during class visits to the library. Kids have to return a book in order to check out a book. Some kids zoom through a picture book or even a novel in one night and would like to check out more books. I certainly don’t want to stand in the way of enthusiastic readers, so I try to make the library as accessible as I can. For example:

  • Kids can bring a book back to the library to exchange it when they’re done – even if it isn’t their library day. Many teachers allow students to visit the library for book exchange if the class schedule permits.
  • The library is open for 10-15 minutes after school each day for book exchange.
  • Your child can check out more than one book – after school or at lunch – but they need permission from home. In most cases, checking out extra books isn’t necessary because students can simply exchange books when they’re finished.
  • Students are allowed to check out more than one book when they’re working on research projects for classroom assignments.
  • Kids and family members can check out books from the Crocker library.

Finally, all Crocker kids should visit the public library where they can check out 40 books from the children’s section – that’s right, 40!!!  A library card is free and the Oakland Public Library doesn’t charge patrons for late books (children’s section only).

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Have You Read the Top 100 Children’s Novels?

Have You Read the Top 100 Children’s Novels?

Do you remember your favorite books as a child? Do you know your child’s favorite books? Some of them might be on this list of the Top 100 Children’s Novels. The list is being compiled in a blog called Fuse #8 by Elizabeth Byrd, a children’s librarian in the New York public library system. The list includes great children’s books new and old – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (#19), Ramona the Pest (#43), My Father’s Dragon (#72), Harry Potter (#35, #38, #86), The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 (#34), The Lightning Thief (#21), The Tale of Despereaux (#22), the most recent Newbery Award winner When You Reach Me (#39), and last year’s Newbery Award winner The Graveyard Book (#80).

Of course, a list like this isn’t definitive, but it’s a lot of fun and a great source of ideas. You might find a title or two you’d like to pick up at the library to read with your child. The list reminded me of books I read as a child that I’d love to share with my kids (and yours). It also includes books your kids know that they can share with your whole family. We have lots of these books in the Crocker Library and I’m sure all of them are available at the Oakland Public Library, too. You might also be interested in the list of Top 100 Picture Books from the same blog.

The list isn’t quite complete; Byrd is announcing the top 20 titles one at a time and she’s on 16. We’ll find out what’s in the top 15 over the next few weeks. If you’re interested, you’ll find lengthy descriptions of the books, cover art, and explanations for the rankings on Fuse #8.

I can’t wait to find out what takes the top spot!

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Crocker kids can write a poem and have it published in the Young American Poetry Digest. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Write a poem that is no more than 80 words in length.
  • Type or neatly handwrite the poem.
  • Drop the poem off in the library. Put the poem in the purple envelope on the wall by the circulation desk.

All submissions are due by Friday, March 12. No late submissions accepted. All ages/grades can participate.  Questions, ask Lisa in the library or email

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Fourth/Fifth Grade Book Club

We’re starting a book group for 4th and 5th graders. Here’s how it will work:

Participants will read 3 books and attend 3 meetings. We’ll read: Andrew Clements’ No Talking, Patricia McKissack’s A Friendship for Today, and Linda Urban’s A Crooked Kind of Perfect. These books are nominees in this year’s California Young Reader Medal competition. Participants will need to read a different book every two weeks. Meetings will be held during lunch/recess in the library. The 4th grade group will meet with 5th grade teacher Carrie Oretsky, librarian Lisa Hobbs, and Crocker parent Deb Collard. The 5th grade group will meet with 4th grade teacher Karen Kucharski, Lisa and parent Victoria Varieur.

If your 4th or 5th grader would like to be involved they should talk to their teacher or Lisa ( We’ll take a maximum of 12 students in each group. Books will be provided. This book group will let us test drive the idea of having a book group at school. If it works well, we’ll look into how we might include more students and read a wider variety of books.

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Take a Look at the Crocker Virtual Library

Our school library has some amazing resources. In addition to over 10,000 books, the Crocker library has a “Virtual Library” where you can access the online catalog, research databases, educational games, and more. To access the Crocker Virtual Library, click on the link on the right hand side of the screen.

When you get to the Virtual Library, you’ll find lot’s of age-appropriate resources on the home page including Encyclopedia Britannica, proquest eLibrary, and CultureGrams. These are all tools your child might find helpful when they are working on school projects like Living Museum, science fair, or other research project.

You’ll need a user name and password to use these. Your child will receive the user name and password during library time. You do not need a user name and password for most of the items in the Virtual Library, nor do you need to log in to use the library catalog.

Take a look! If you have any questions, contact Lisa Hobbs at

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Check out your public library, too!

Check out your public library, too!

Even though Crocker kids visit the school library each week, it’s still a great idea to visit the public library. It’s fun, free, and you can check out up to 40 items. More importantly, voluntary free reading is one a key part of becoming a lifelong reader.

Oakland Public Library (OPL) let’s you check out most materials for 3 weeks. You’ll find books, magazines, movies, audio books, as well as fun and interesting activities for kids and adults. Believe it or not, there are no fines when you turn in children’s books a little bit late!

Oakland Public Library has a lot to offer families. In addition to the numerous locations around the city, OPL has excellent online resources like ebooks, booklists, research databases, homework help, search engines, and games – all with kids in mind. In order to use some of the resources, you’ll need a library card with a four-digit PIN number. You can get a library card and PIN number at any Oakland Public Library branch.

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