Library Visits

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

Friday, October 9, 2015

Library Word of the Week - College Application Vocabulary

Seniors are applying to colleges! Do you know the vocabulary of the application process? 

Award Letter:  This is a document sent to admitted students describing the terms of the financial aid that the college is offering them, including the types and amounts of aid offered, the conditions that govern the awards, and a deadline for accepting the awards.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC):  The EFC is the amount a student’s family can reasonably be expected to pay for one year of college.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):  Submitting a FAFSA is a requirement for all students seeking federal financial aid.  Most colleges require the FAFSA, and in many states, completion of the FAFSA is also sufficient to establish eligibility for state-sponsored aid programs.

NCAA Eligibility Center:  Students who plan to play Division I or Division II sports during their freshman year of college must register with the NCAA during their senior year of high school. This registration process certifies that the student has met certain academic and other standards, as required under NCAA guidelines in order to compete and receive athletic-based financial aid. 

Find more at Tools4College!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Catalog Maintenance!

The library catalog will be DOWN FOR MAINTENANCE from 10/7 until 10/13. 
We apologize for the inconvenience. 
You can still check out books in the library during this time.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Library Word of the Week - Censor

Next week is Banned Book Week! Every year, the American Library Association reports out on what books have been challenged or banned in libraries and schools across the country. 

Therefore, our Word of the Week is: 

censor: censor takes out things that are objectionable 
or inappropriate, like the censors at the TV networks 
bleeping out all the bad words in a show.

Here is more information about the top 10 banned/challenged books of 2014: 

The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The top ten most frequently challenged books of 2014 include:
1)      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”
2)      Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”
3)      And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”
4)      The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”
5)      It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”
6)      Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:
7)      The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
8)      The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”
9)      A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
10)  Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit

Friday, September 18, 2015

Library Word of the Week - Words of the MCAS

I found a great list of words most likely to be found on the MCAS test. Sometimes, when we take tests, we really do know the answer to the question, but we don't always understand the question itself.

Here are some words you should try to remember for MCAS:


Summarize the arguments for and against offering courses in public schools.

What you need to do:
In a paragraph, briefly cover the major points presented in the selection.

More here: Mr. Whittier's MCAS words

Friday, September 11, 2015

Library Word of the Week

Politics are in the news with the candidates vying for RNC and DNC nominations. 
One of my favorite political words is:

Filibuster: An attempt by a Senator or group of Senators to obstruct the passage of a bill, favored by the majority, by talking continuously. Because there is no rule in the Senate over how long a member can speak, a Senator can prevent a bill from coming up for a vote by talking endlessly. Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina set the record in 1957 by speaking for more than 24 hours without stopping.

One of the most famous recent filibusters was Wendy Davis in Texas.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Found Art

Someone left art behind in the library. This is a combination of two pieces, but looks amazing like this.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Word of the Week

I missed posting on Friday! I bring you a perfect (delayed) word of the week: 

  1. Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute" before a deadline. (definition from Wikipedia) 

I know I was a procrastinator when I was in high school. I would wait to finish assignments until the night before. But who needs that stress? It was horrible! I would panic the night before an assignment was due and then do poorly on it. Isn't it better to take your time, do the work, and do well on it? 

Read "Wait, But Why?" for more. 


Even for the procrastinator who does manage to eventually get things done and remain a competent member of society, something has to change. Here are the main reasons why:
1) It’s unpleasant. Far too much of the procrastinator’s precious time is spent toiling in the Dark Playground, time that could have been spent enjoying satisfying, well-earned leisure if things had been done on a more logical schedule. And panic isn’t fun for anyone.
2) The procrastinator ultimately sells himself short. He ends up underachieving and fails to reach his potential, which eats away at him over time and fills him with regret and self-loathing.
3) The Have-To-Dos may happen, but not the Want-To-Dos. Even if the procrastinator is in the type of career where the Panic Monster is regularly present and he’s able to be fulfilled at work, the other things in life that are important to him—getting in shape, cooking elaborate meals, learning to play the guitar, writing a book, reading, or even making a bold career switch—never happen because the Panic Monster doesn’t usually get involved with those things. Undertakings like those expand our experiences, make our lives richer, and bring us a lot of happiness—and for most procrastinators, they get left in the dust.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Welcome Back!

We started back yesterday! What a day!

The HSC library has a few lunch passes left. We are only giving out 20 permanent library breakfast/lunch passes per lunch, so make sure you come down soon.

The passes require a contract that states students will:

  1. Follow all library rules (no eating, clean up after yourself, adhere to the uniform and cell phone policy)
  2. Keep volume low
  3. Be on time to class
  4. Maintain a 2.0 GPA (this one is new!)
  5. Be respectful of all teachers, deans, and administrators
Students will get one warning before lunch passes are taken away.
Lunch passes are also on a cycle this year, so the first round of passes is only good until Winter Break in Dec. Next round is Jan - Feb break, then Feb - Spring Break, and finally the last one until the end of the year.
Students can always sign up for daily/weekly lunch passes, if passes are only needed for a day or two to work on a project.

Don't forget, Ms. D can be reached via email at

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

3D Printer!

UPDATE July 16th: I will be at the Main Branch TODAY at 2pm!

UPDATE July 7th: I will be at the Mason Square branch on Friday, July 10th from 2:30 until 4 pm for their 3D printer program! 

I'll be at the Forest Park Library from 2pm until about 4pm helping with the 3D printer!

Learn how to build and print your own 3D creations in this interactive workshop! Tinkercad is an easy-to-use, browser-based CAD (Computer-aided design) program that lets you turn ideas into a 3D printable file. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to print their creations at the conclusion of the program. To register, please call the branch at (413) 263-6843. This program is for teens and tweens, age 11-18.

I got to play with Tinkercad today and it is really fun! I can't wait to help tomorrow. See you there! 

Friday, June 19, 2015


This was an amazing year everyone! I have a ton of cool ideas in the works (or about to be in the works) for next year, like author visits, book club, Public Forum speakers (if you still need a copy of My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor, please email me), and more.

Have a great summer everyone. Stay cool and stay safe.

I'll post here the dates I'm volunteering at the public library with their 3D printer, so come and say hi! Otherwise:

I look forward to seeing your smiling faces in August! 

Ms. Baker and Ms. D

Monday, June 15, 2015

Everything is DUE!

This is the final week of school! Please return all books, technology, etc today unless you have made arrangements to keep items over the summer. 

Thank you! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Learning Moments (and a Word of the Week)

Learning for Fun

This morning, two students printed sports statistics. Who is a better basketball player? They were talking how they're going to prove that one player was better. This was apparently a conversation that started before school and they were excited to have found the statistics.

I asked them; "You had an argument about who is a better player, and now you've printed stats to prove you are right?"


"So, you had a thesis, got supporting documentation, and now have your argument?"


Light dawned and they both realized that these skills are exactly what their teachers have been telling them: have an opinion, find supporting research/facts, and prove your point. Amazing! I love when connections are made.


Last night was graduation. Congratulations to all our graduates! The HSC Library will not be the same without our interns, but you will all move on to amazing futures.

Library Word of the Week

Science MCAS is next week. Here's a biology word for those taking the Bio Exam!

food web

food web (or food cycle) is the natural interconnection of food chains and generally a graphical representation (usually an image) of what-eats-what in an ecological community. Another name for food web is a consumer-resource system. (from

Good luck to all our test-takers next week!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

HSC Book Club

HSC's book club will be starting over the summer. Please go to to read and discuss books. Also, let Ms. D know if you would like to be an author on the blog!

The Springfield City Library has been so supportive and will be making sure we have copies of the recommended summer reading books for book club. Our three selections are:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. We can watch the movie after school in Sept.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Library Word of the Week ... Interchangeable

Today's Word of the Week was a student suggestion:



  1. (of two things) able to be interchanged.
    "eyepieces are interchangeable and one can use any eyepiece with any telescope"
    synonyms:similaridenticalindistinguishablealike, the same, uniformtwin,undifferentiatedMore

Friday, May 15, 2015

Library Word of the Week ... Interlibrary Loan Services

Sometimes, our favorite library or closest branch of the City Library might not have the book we're looking for, We can request books via a services called Interlibrary Loan.

Interlibrary lending and borrowing services provide access to materials that cannot be found in your library.

So, if you're looking for a book and the HSC library doesn't have it, we can see if any of the other schools in Springfield have it, and request it for you. If we don't have it, you can go to the City Library's website (found HERE), log in with your Springfield Library Card number and PIN, and click "Place Hold" on your desired title. Books usually come in a couple of days to your selected branch. 

Ask Ms. D if you need any help! 

Carousel Slide 2

Friday, May 8, 2015

Library Word of the Week ... Enigma

As my superhero fans might know, E. Nygma in Gotham will become The Riddler. Riddler is a big fan of puzzles and brain teasers. 


a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation:
His disappearance is an enigma that has given rise to much speculation.
a person of puzzling or contradictory character:
To me he has always been an enigma, one minute completely insensitive, the next moved to tears.
a saying, question, picture, etc., containing a hidden meaning; riddle.
(initial capital lettera German-built enciphering machine developed for commercial use in the early 1920s and later adapted and appropriated by German and other Axis powers for military use through World War II.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Freshman Fifteens

The HSC Library has been chosen as one of the 13 Book Club winners from
Freshman Fifteens' In The Stacks contest. 

Thank you to Kim Savage, author of After the Woods, for selecting our school library to adopt! We'll be receiving 10 copies of her book (due to be published in Feb 2016) and a virtual visit! 

When a predator abducted them, Julia fought back and Liv escaped, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying night she remembers only in flashes. Nearly one year later, a body is discovered in those same woods, and Julia is forced to face the truth about that day, and her own sacrifice.

Year In Review

Monday, May 4, 2015

@ Your Public Library

Events in May for Teens and Tweens at the Public Library

Tuesday May 5, 2015

  3:00 PM  -  5:00 PMLearn to Play Chess at Brightwood Branch
Contact: Brightwood    413-263-6805   
Drop in between 3 and 5 pm on Tuesdays to practice your chess moves or learn to play chess for the first time! This program is intended for children ages 7 and up.
Location: Brightwood
  3:30 PM  -  4:30 PMAnime and Manga Club at Brightwood
Contact: Brightwood   413-263-6805
A monthly fun, casual, drop-in time that allows teens and tweens who are are Anime/Manga enthusiasts to meet others who share the same passion for discussions, activities and games, to draw, create their own art, and plan programs. So join us! Snacks served. Meetings held the first Tuesday of the month.
Location: Brightwood Community Room
  3:30 PM  -  5:00 PMChess Club for Teens and Tweens
Contact: Sixteen Acres   413-263-6858
Drop in between 3:30 and 5 pm on Tuesdays to practice your chess moves or to learn to play chess for the first time! This program is intended for ages 9 - 19.
Location: Sixteen Acres
  3:30 PM  -  5:00 PMPaper Flower Making for Mother's Day
Contact: Sixteen Acres   413-263-6858
Say it with flowers!  Beautiful paper and materials will be available to create a single flower or a bouquet especially for Mom.
Location: Sixteen Acres Community Room

Thursday May 7, 2015

  3:00 PM  -  4:30 PMGame ON! Video Gaming for Teens and Tweens
Contact: Forest Park   413-263-6843   
Drop in and play your favorite Wii games in the community room! Snacks provided. For teens and tweens.
Location: Forest Park Community Room
  3:00 PM  -  5:00 PM3D Printing @ Your Library!
Contact: Indian Orchard   413-263-6846
Join STCC representatives for an afternoon of hands-on 3D printing activities and learn about careers in technology and science. See a demonstration of STCC’s 3D printers by Steven Sinkwich, Staff Assistant in the Mechanical Engineering Department, and try out the Springfield City Library’s new 3D printing resources.
Location: Indian Orchard

Friday May 8, 2015

  3:30 PM  -  5:00 PMChess Club for Teens and Tweens
Contact: East Forest Park   413-263-6836
Drop in between 3:30 and 5 pm on Fridays to practice your chess moves or to learn to play chess for the first time! This program is intended for ages 9 - 19.
Location: East Forest Park

Saturday May 9, 2015

  11:00 AM  -  12:00 PMHorror Fiction Book Club for Teens and Tweens
Contact: East Forest Park   413-263-6836
Are you a teen or tween who likes to read horror fiction? Once a month join other horror fans to discuss your favorite books. The book for May is the graphic novel Dead Space by Antony Johnston. You may sign up ahead of time by calling the branch, or just drop in. Copies of the book will be available at the circulation desk.
Description of Dead Space: As the dead begin to rise as horrific monsters, can P-SEC Sgt. Abraham Neumann contain the threat? What role does the mysterious Church of Unitology have in all of this? And can any of them make it out alive...?
Location: East Forest Park
  1:00 PM  -  2:30 PMMinecraft Club for Teens and Tweens
Contact: Indian Orchard   413-263-6846   
Minecraft players of all skill levels are welcome to bring their laptops or use one of the library's six computers to build, play, and create. For ages 10 and up. 
Location: Indian Orchard

Friday, May 1, 2015

Library Word of the Week... Onomatopoeia

With Avengers: Age of Ultron out today (which Ms. D saw yesterday and if you are a fan of Avengers, go see it, it is amazing), the Library Word of the Week is a word that is very important in comics: 


  1. the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g., cuckoo,sizzle ).
  2.      the use of onomatopoeia for rhetorical effect.

So if you are creating your own comics, don't forget the benefits of onomatopoeia to portray sounds! Check out THIS LINK for more information. 

Also, remember, when you use foul language, you make Captain America unhappy... 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Library Word of the Week... Day of Silence edition

Today's Library Word of the Week is about being aware of your language. Today is the Day of Silence, a day set aside every year to help raise awareness of LGBTQ+ bullying. "The Day of Silence is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT."  

Did you know?:
9 out of 10 LGBT students hear the word “gay” used in a negative way often or frequently in school and nearly 3 out of 4 LGBT students report hearing their peers make homophobic remarks, such as “dyke” or “faggot,” often or frequently in school. (from Think B4 You Speak).

And, as much as I love expanding vocabulary, take the pledge to eliminate homophobic words from yours:

Think about the voices you are not hearing today.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Valerie Cole Reads: What The Kids Are Reading

Take a look at this great post by my friend Valerie Cole. Valerie is a contemporary young adult author represented by Lauren MacLeod of the Strothman Agency. She loves words and numbers, and hates being called Val.

She and I had a conversation about HSC's top 10 circulated books of March. What do you think? Continue the conversation in the comments. 

Valerie Cole Reads: What The Kids Are Reading: Being on the writing/publishing side of the YA market, it’s hard not to get caught up in which books are topping charts, winning awards,...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Library Word of the Week ... the words of Insurgent

Insurgent came out a week ago. The book series is fantastic and the movies are doing very well. They do introduce new vocabulary (see our post about the Words of Divergent)

usurp: take a position of power illegally 
pandemonium: wild and noisy disorder or confusion; uproar 
archetype: an original that had been repeated 
insurgent: rising in active revolt 
ultimatum: a final peremptory demand

More vocabulary can be found here: Insurgent Vocab

Plus, check out an interview with author Victoria Roth and how she selected her words. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Attn Coding Club

Check out Microsoft's Hour of Code here:  to help us earn $500 towards our 3D printer! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

No Game Club 3/23

Just a reminder that there is no Game Club or Anime Club after school today, Monday March 23rd.
Thank you for understanding.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Library Word of the Week ... AND March Reading Madness ROUND 3

March Reading Madness Round 3

YOUR picks that have made it to Round 3, the SEMI-FINALS are: 



Vote for your favorites and watch here to see who makes it to the finals! 

In other news: 

Our library word of the week is: Plagiarism. 
Students do a lot of research, and it is so easy to just copy & paste information without giving credit to the original author. However, this is illegal. If someone creates something (art, a paper, a book, music), that belongs to them. It is their work. 

Take a look at for more information. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Library Word of the Week... Pi Day!

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.

This is especially interesting this year, since it is 3/14/15! 

Sweet as pi.

Monday, March 9, 2015

March Reading Madness Round 2

March Reading Madness Round 2 voting is here: 

March Reading Madness Round 1 is OVER. Our first round winners are:

 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

 City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Destiny's Hand Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Etiquette and Espionage (Finishing School #1) Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

The Fault in our Stars The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Soulless (Manga, #1) Soulless by Gail Carriger

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Thirteen Reasons Why Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Make sure you vote for your ROUND 2 PICKS!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Library Word of the Week ... and a few updates

Ms. D had an interesting experience today where she had to pull from her language knowledge to troubleshoot a printer. The printer had accidentally be set to French!

Did you know that a lot of our words are actually French words? Check out the Wiki page here: French Expressions In English.

One that students likely see often, especially in history class is: 

lit. "let do"; often used within the context of economic policy or political philosophy, meaning leaving alone, or non-interference. The phrase is the shortcut of Laissez faire, laissez passer, a doctrine first supported by the Physiocrats in the 18th century. The motto was invented by Vincent de Gournay, and it became popular among supporters of free-trade and economic liberalism. It is also used to describe a parental style in developmental psychology, where the parent(s) does not apply rules or guiding. As per the parental style, it is now one of the major management styles.

Our other updates are...

March Reading Madness round 1 ends TONIGHT. 
Round 2 will be posted some point tomorrow. Keep an eye out. 

Funds4Books ends TODAY. Thank you to all who donated!

Friday, February 27, 2015

March Reading Madness - Update

The current leaders in March Reading Madness ROUND 1 are: 


Don't forget to vote for your favorites,
and you can vote more than once!

Round 1 will close March 6th and 
Round 2 will start March 7th.