Library Visits

To check out books or use the computers you MUST have: a signed pass from your teacher and your SCHOOL ID.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Library Word of the Week

This week, in honor of Banned Book Week, the library word of the week is an actual library term.

This term is often applied to academic journal articles; however, it can also be applied to any items (Books, audiovisual materials, etc.)
A scholarly item may be characterized by the following:
  • Authors with credentials or extensive backgrounds in the subject field.
  • Produced for an audience knowledgeable in the subject area
  • Written with terminology and technical jargon associated with the field.
  • Journals that focus only on a particular subject
  • Usually have extensive references and citations May be peer-reviewed.

Scholarly is often used in reference to the Gale Databases. Some of you know that the databases are information that has either been written by an expert and/or has been reviewed by more than one person and can be assumed to be correct. This is unlike Wikipedia, which anyone can create an account and edit entries (here are ten known Wikipedia errors!). 

What word do you think would be a good word to feature on the next Library Word of the Week?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Book Week!

This week, the American Library Association celebrates the Freedom to Read

Many books are challenged or banned at different times for different reason. For 2012, the top 10 banned or challenged books are: 

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey. Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence
(Out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom) 

The top 25 banned/challenged books for 2000-2009 are: 

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan

So come visit your library and see what books we have that have been banned or challenged in other libraries. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Library Word of the Week

It's Friday and that means it is time for another Library Word of the Week!

Yesterday, 9/19, was International Talk Like A Pirate Day. In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day, our word of the week is:


Definition: A Pirate. One who seeks plunder.
Originally from the Dutch ‘vrijbuiter’meaning a ‘plunderer’, or a ‘robber’. In fact, it technically translates as ‘one who seeks ‘free booty” (‘Booty’ incidentally comes from the Low German ‘bute’, referring to commodities – or things that are ‘exchanged’).

Special note from this entry at
"What particularly fascinated me about Freebooter, however, is its relation to another word. In the 1860s, American adventurers assisted in the (attempted) overthrow of several Central and Southern American governments. They came to be known by a variant of Freebooter – ‘Filibusterer’. After the 1860s, the term ‘filibuster’ came to mean a political act of ‘pirating’ debate by talking down the clock and making it impossible to vote on things." 

Filibuster is a fantastic word to know! It has been in the news fairly recently, in regards to lawmakers in TX. Take the time to check out the news from the 11 hours filibuster that Wendy Davis in TX did. Regardless of political position, standing and talking for 11 hours is a feat. 

What word do you think would be a good word to feature on the next Library Word of the Week? 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Donor's Choose UPDATE

As many of you know, the library has a Donor's Choose up for science books. I checked on it today, and found that CA Technologies has given us half off! That means, they've covered $352 of the asked $704. Isn't that amazing? 

Please spread the word. The books on our wish list are some fantastic new science books that the library could really use. 

Dynamic Earth Series
Biochemistry, Cells, and Life Series
21st Century Science Series
Computing and Connecting in the 21st Century Series
Inventors and Innovators Series

Please help your library gain these books.

Thank you! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Featured Bloggers

Good morning HSC scholars and teachers!

The library is looking for book reviews. If you really love (or really hate) a book, let Ms. D know. If you write her a 1 page or more book review on any book in the Commerce Library, she will post it to the HSC Library blog. This is a great time to try out your new writing style, and this also will look great on resumes and college applications! You can email them to her at OR OR you can bring them in to the library.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Library Word of the Week

Since today is Friday the 13th, I thought I would try to find a good word related to superstition and fear. A word I really like is: 

(from Greek tris meaning "3", kai meaning "and", deka meaning "10" and phobos meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is fear of the number 13 and avoidance to use it; it is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th, called paraskevidekatriaphobia (from Παρασκευή Paraskevi, Greek for Friday) or friggatriskaidekaphobia (after Frigg, the Norse goddess Friday is named after in English). (source:

This means that if you see a word with "phobia" on a test, you know right away that it is a fear of something. For example: Ailurophobia is a fear of cats and Cynophobia is a fear of dogs. I'm a big Doctor Who fan (BBC TV show), so I like the word Anachrophobia, which is a fear of temporal displacement. That word was made up recently by an author (after all, Shakespeare made up words too), but it likely comes from "anachronism" mixed with "phobia."

Anachronism: something (such as a word, an object, or an event) that is mistakenly placed in a time where it does not belong in a story, movie, etc.: a person or a thing that seems to belong to the past and not to fit in the present

If you're a fan of Steampunk novels, you might already know "anachronism." Anachronism comes from Greek, with "chronos" meaning "time."

While I started with Friday the 13th, we found ourselves in Ancient Greece with time. I suppose the Ancient Greeks could have been pretty superstitious too.

What word do you think would be a good word to feature on the next Library Word of the Week? 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Teen Media Career Fair @ Springfield City Library

Teen Media Career Fair
Wednesday, September 25, 4 -6 pm
Central Library Rotunda

Teens and their friends and families can learn about educational and career opportunities in Springfield for young people interested in technology and new media at this career fair co-sponsored by WGBY Public Television and Springfield City Library. High schools, colleges, nonprofits and businesses that offer internships or programs to help teens and young adults build their technology skills will be on hand to share information. Snacks, a scavenger hunt and other interactive activities are planned for this fun afternoon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Help Google

Google may not always seem to need help, but they are crowd sourcing new languages for Google Translate. I know that we have many students in this school who speak Somali, so, please send those with good literacy skills to: Help Google Translate support Somali!
Right now, Google Translate can help our students who read many different languages, such as Spanish, Hmong, and Vietnamese. Let's encourage them to publish the Somali translations too!

Monday, September 9, 2013

A letter from your librarian

Hi Friends,

I want to make sure Commerce students have the materials they need to succeed. So I've created a classroom project request at, an award-winning charity.

I'm asking for donations of any size to help the Commerce students and library. For the next week, any donation you make to my project will be doubled (up to $100). If you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. Your donation will brighten my students' school year, and you'll get photos and thank yous from our class.

Here's my classroom request:
Science Books for School Library

To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, enter the match code INSPIRE on the payment screen. This awesome match offer lasts through September 13, 2013. 

My students and I greatly appreciate your support.
Thank you, 
Ms. D

Friday, September 6, 2013

Library Word of the Week

While this may not be on the SATs, Ms. D has found a fun word for the (new) Library Word of the Week.


(article [in slightly edited form] from Unused Words)

Definition: The practice of spelling words by using numbers on calculator displays.

Pronunciation: Beg-heel-ose

It’s a slang term with an unknown origin.  The earliest known usage of the term is from 1994, but it’s likely older than that, as the practice of making words on calculators displays dates to the 1970s.

Why this word?
All the kids I grew up with played the game of making messages on our calculators- it seemed more fun than using them for their intended mathematical function.  Here are some examples, found online:
Please read them upside down-
53177187714- “hillbillies”
378193771- “illegible” 
77345993- “eggshell”
77165- “spill”
5907- “logs”
30175- “slide”
There are many more out there- see if you can figure some out!

How to use the word beghilos?
“The teacher thought we were working intently on our math, but had no idea we were all intently practicing beghilos on our calculators.”
“In order to render our notes unintelligible to the teacher and other students, we first encoded them through the practice of beghilos.”

- See more at:

Of course, all of the teachers at Commerce probably did this same thing in high school, so it is nothing new. But it is an interesting word! 

What word do you think would be a good word to feature on the next Library Word of the Week? 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Public Library Event: Game On! Video Gaming for Teens and Tweens at Forest Park

From the City Library event calendar:

Thursday September 5, 2013  4pm - 6pm at the Forest Park branch: Video Gaming for Teens and Tweens! 

Contact: Forest Park   413- 263-6843 

Play your favorite video games one on one or as a team! For teens and tweens. Snacks provided.

Location: Forest Park Community Room

Academic Journals

Many of you may already know about our fabulous databases (provided by the state). For those of you who need a refresher, click on Research above and then the top link for the Gale Databases. Academic OneFile is a fantastic database for academic and peer reviewed articles on nearly anything you can think to research. Also, you don't need to worry if the source is good or not!

For example, if you run across this website: Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
It looks like a very good website. 

What do you think? 
Highlight the text in white below when you're ready to find out if the tree octopus is real or not. 

The tree octopus website is a spoof website. It is often used as an example of how a website could look great, but be incorrect! 

With Gale and other databases like it, you don't have to worry about that!