Library and Class Info


  • Provide students and their families engaging, appealing, and enriching materials that foster the joy of reading.

  • Support teachers and classroom through collaboration and supplementation of curricular materials.

  • Model and teach best practices of digital and information literacy.

  • Develop students’ skills in finding, evaluating, creating, and sharing information so they grow as digital and information literate citizens.

Who visits the library?
  • Kindergarten through Eighth Grade have library access every week.
  • Grades K-2 attend a library class twice a cycle. During this class, we share stories, learn how to use the library, and check out library books. 
  • Grades 3 and 4 have a hybrid library/digital literacy class once a cycle, co-taught with the Director of Educational Technology. Lessons focus on internet safety, digital citizenship, research, and selecting “Just Right Books.” Students have access to the library daily as needed.
  • Grade 5 attends Digital Literacy class once a cycle. The course focuses on internet safety, digital citizenship, digital media and communications tools, and the effective and efficient use of digital resources. 
  • Grade 6 Humanities hosts an Information Literacy class once a cycle. This class is designed to integrate students’ developing information literacy skills with their study of Humanities. 
  • Grades 5-8 have access to the library every day during Extra Help. They visit the library as needed during Advisory for DEAR (Drop Everything and Read).
  • In 7th and 8th grades, the boys receive research lessons as needed. Grade 8 has a focus on research lessons during their Inquiry Project.
  • Parent volunteers reshelve books and help with various library projects.
  • Families are welcome to visit the library before and after school.
  • Teachers use library resources to support their classroom curriculum.
  • Students visit the library in their free time before and after school, as well as during recess, Extended Day, and Study Hall.

How does the library work?
  • Each student, parent and Town staff member has a library account.
  • We can create accounts for regular care-givers.  These accounts have the same allowances as parent accounts.
  • Lower School students are allowed 3 books on their library account at a time. Books are due back after 3 weeks.
  • Upper School students are allowed 5 books on their library account at a time. Books are due after 4 weeks
  • Parents are allowed 25 books on their  library account at a time. Books are due after 4 weeks.
  • Town Staff are allowed 100 books on their library account at at time.
  • If you have reached the limit of books you are allowed out, you may put a book on hold.
What can you do at the library?
  • Read and check out books
  • Study and do homework
  • Hang out with friends.
  • Play a board game, assemble puzzles, or build with Legos.
  • Enjoy a screen-free recess.
  • Ask the librarians for book suggestions and research help!

2016-2017 Library Class Schedule

posted Sep 21, 2016, 9:52 AM by Julie Alonso   [ updated Oct 24, 2016, 9:14 AM by Kim Stuart ]

Town School operates on a 7-day scheduling cycle (Days A-G). Kindergarten through 2nd grade will visit the library twice a cycle:

    C Day: 1:00-1:30
    F Day: 12:30-1:00

    C Day: 1:30-2:00
    F Day:  1:00-1:30

    B Day: 1:50-2:20
    E Day: 1:00-1:30

    B Day: 1:00-1:30
    E Day: 1:50-2:20

    D Day: 1:25-1:55
    G Day: 9:05-9:30

    D Day: 2:00-2:30
    G Day: 1:25-1:55

F Day 2:15-3:00

A Day 1:15-2:00

B Day 10:50-11:35

A Day 10:50-11:35

5A (Digital Lit):
G Day 12:20-1:05

5B (Digital Lit):
G Day 10:50-11:35

6A (Humanities):
E Day 10:35-11:25

6B (Humanities):
A Day 2:35-3:25

Spring in the library

posted Apr 4, 2013, 1:49 PM by Kim Stuart   [ updated Apr 5, 2013, 8:47 AM by Julie Alonso ]

Wow! So much has happened in the library these past few months! We've been super busy with classes, activities, events, and guest speakers!  

Kindergarten started out 2013 reading books about kindness and friendship leading up to the MLK Jr. Peace March.  We read books like Daniel Pinkwater's The Big Orange Splot (E FIC PIN), which tells the story of a community that learns to accept change, and The Rat and the Tiger (E FIC CAS), which illustrates how we should treat each other as friends.

We've also read both fiction and non-fiction picture books about dinosaurs in partnership with the Kindergarten classroom curriculum. We're currently reading pet stories and will move into reading stories about springtime and nature leading up to Earth Day.

First grade has been reading books from all around the world as they do their country studies in the classroom. Some of our favorites have been Selvakumar knew better ( E FIC KRO), about a family that survives the 2004 Indonesian tsunami and Owney, the Mail-Pouch Pooch (E FIC KER), the true story of the U.S. Postal Service's pet dog. We've been reading rhyming books lately, especially those of my favorite rhymers, Julia Donaldson and Mary Ann Hoberman.

First and Second grade also had a special visitor March 12 when Elizabeth Singer Hunt, author of the Jack Stalwart series, came to speak to the boys in the library about her inspiration for writing her popular books. The boys wowed Ms.Hunt with their enthusiasm and their knowledge of world geography. Since her visit, we have not been able to keep Jack Stalwart books on the shelves!

Second graders have been listening to folk tales this winter and spring. While studying the San Francisco neighborhood Chinatown in their classroom, we read Chinese folklore in the library. We then read fables, including those of Aesop and La Fontaine. We've now moved on to Tall Tales, the folklore of young America: Paul Bunyon, John Henry, Pecos Bill and other heroes of the frontier. We'll finish out the year reading fractured fairy tales and learning research skills as the boys begin exploring the solar system in their classroom curriculum.

Third graders worked with the library on their early California projects. They searched the web for pictures with iPads and then uploaded them to their comic strip creations. In preparation for their unit on migratory birds, third grade learned about the location and organization of the library's informational books, identified nonfiction text features like the index and glossary, and had a race to find books using the library's catalog system!

Fourth grade spends a lot of time researching on the internet for class, so back in January we started discussing searching
in World Book and Google. They learned different searching tips (especially about forming queries) and how to evaluate a website for credibility. We discovered that Wikipedia is written by many anonymous people, so we decided that it might not be the most credible resource. On top of the journey to become expert online researchers, fourth grade has watched many book trailers in order to find the perfect book!

Third and Fourth graders have been a big help to the library this spring as we prepare for our big re-cataloging project for next year. As previously noted in the weekly newsletter and our own blog post, the Town School library, after careful research and consideration, is re-cataloging the entire library collection using a whole word call number system rather than our current Dewey Decimal system. Because the new system we're creating, adapted from METIS, is meant to be intuitive, we're asking the third and fourth graders lots of questions to help us design the perfect system for them. 

Fourth grade also heard back from the Letters about Literature contest they entered this past winter and we have a runner up! Congratulations to James K.! If he moves forward in the national competition, he'll be eligible for the $1,000 grand prize!

Fifth graders have been have been hard at work in Media Literacy class, designing infographics to show off the Google search tips they learned in class.  

They've also been getting schooled on how to evaluate websites for research. On April Fool's Day, they were introduced to the site All About Explorers, which looks professional, but gives out info like "It wasn’t until 1803, when Thomas Jefferson saw an intriguingly brief posting by Napoleon Bonaparte on Craig’s List for a large tract of land" regarding the Louisiana Purchase. Fifth grade is now coming up with their own search tips for how best to research when on the great, untamed internet.

Sixth grade has been lucky enough to have two special events this spring in the library portion of their Humanities class. In conjunction with their unit on West Africa, storyteller Kirk Waller visited the classroom to tell stories and impart the importance of oral history as both a tradition and an art form. Also, just yesterday, comic book artist and internet visionary Josh Elder visited to discuss how and why comic books are a great medium for learning. If you are interested in hearing the presentation Mr. Elder gave to faculty about the hows and whys of using comics in the classroom, click here.

Finally, Seventh and Eighth grade, in addition to their weekly Literate Writer periods of Sustained Silent Reading in the library, helped us celebrate Teen Tech Week in March. The week-long event, which was launched with the help of the boys in our Library Advisory elective, took place in the library during 6-8 grade lunch recess. In addition to each day providing a delicious new snack to our hungry boys, we introduced a book trailer contest, had a typing competition (first place $10 iTunes gift card went to Andy, who typed 80 words per minute), and had our book trailer film festival in which each entrant, due to a genuine tie among our Library Advisory judges, received their own $10 iTunes gift card. Congratulations, boys!

Fall in full swing!

posted Nov 28, 2012, 5:59 PM by Julie Alonso   [ updated Nov 29, 2012, 7:54 AM ]

So much has been going on in Lower School library classes this fall!

In Kindergarten, we learn all about the fall holidays, so we spent October reading picture books about Halloween and November reading Thanksgiving books. Before Thanksgiving, we talked about things we are thankful for and made a Thankful Tree display for the library.

We'll spend December reading books about the winter holidays: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve. 

In October, first graders heard lots of spooky stories and read a few Halloween alphabet books. We even created our own (See the attached files below). The boys spent part of this fall learning about different artists in their classrooms, so in November we shared books about art in the library. We talked about their favorite artists and read books about using our imagination.  

We'll spend December reading books about winter and how people and animals live in the snow.

Second graders read some pretty scary Halloween stories in October. Hope no one had nightmares! In November, the boys learned more about our library system, DestinyQuest, which not only serves as our catalog, but also incorporates elements of social networking: students can recommend books to one another, write reviews, request books to be held that are already checked out, and tons more. The boys love using Quest and have gotten really good at finding books on the shelf by getting the call number from the catalog. We're really impressed by their enthusiasm!

Third graders have been hard at work learning about how to deliver the perfect book talk. After hearing book talks from Ms. Stuart and watching book talk videos in class, the boys are finally in the process of selecting the book they'd most like to recommend to their friends. Haven't seen a book talk before? Check out these examples from the web.

The fourth graders have been working on their contest entries for Letters about Literature. They've been working on finding the one book that has been most meaningful for them, which has been really tough on this crew of readers! Their task now will be to craft a letter to the author of their chosen book explaining why this book has been a life-changer.  

Wow! It's already the second month of school!

posted Oct 4, 2012, 4:53 PM by Julie Alonso   [ updated Nov 29, 2012, 7:49 AM ]

The 2012-13 school year is well under way and the boys are enjoying the library in record numbers! We're excited that Kindergarten and First Grade boys can have morning time in the story area with Ms.Shapiro (KA teacher) or Ms.Bicknell (1B teacher) before school.  

What have the boys been up to recently in the library since school started?   

In Kindergarten, we started the year by introducing ourselves in the KA and KB classrooms. There is a lot to learn about the library, so the boys came up for a tour and to hear about library time before we started checking out books. We also decorated book boxes so that the boys can have a special place to keep their library books at home so they don't get lost. Finally, we colored our library cards and heard some stories about libraries and starting school. Now that it is October, we will be getting ready for Halloween and reading fun, spooky stories! The boys are excited to be able to check out books and we are glad to be meeting so many Kindergarten families! Hope to see you next week at our Bedtime Stories event next Wednesday October 10, 5:30-6:30.

First graders heard stories about school and libraries in September. In October, we read lots of great Halloween stories and talk about literary terms such as setting, tone, atmosphere, imagery, mood, etc. We will also create our own Halloween alphabet book after reading several others as models.

Second graders have now learned how to choose books from the shelves responsibly and are free to check out whatever books they want. This is a very exciting and welcome change for them, especially now that they already have a firm grasp of their own interests and favorites. In September, we read books set in schools and libraries. We learned some Spanish words from the books with Latino characters and talked about how not all communities have access to a library like Town's.  

Third grade has been learning about picking "Just Right Books." They are also talking about their favorite books with each other and soon will give formal book talks to share their favorites in class and online. 

The fourth graders are excited about the new library catalog, which allows them to "friend" each other in order to recommend books to one another. They have also learned how to write book reviews that they can post on the new library system. They will be soon starting a "Letter About Literature," which is a letter to their favorite author explaining how and why the book changed them in some way.

In Media Literacy, the fifth grade has started the year talking about netiquette and positive online communities. The boys are working on their behavior pledges, which will be shared on Edmodo, their online community for the class.

Sixth graders are learning about information literacy in the context of their Humanities work. They just started a lesson on plagiarism using Edmodo, and will continue to explore the related topics of paraphrasing and copyright in the next few weeks.

As always, we welcome the seventh and eighth grade Literate Writer classes in our library once a week for silent, sustained reading. The librarians will give monthly book talks to give some ideas for book selection.

What have boys been reading lately?

Our lower school readers have loved the Dino-sports series for years (E FIC WHE). A newer discovery for some has been the nearly wordless Polo series (E FIC FAL).  For readers branching into chapter books, Captain Underpants (J FIC PIL) is a perennial favorite.  Older readers are thrilled with the recent sequels that have been released (Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian (FIC COL); The Mark of Athena (FIC RIO)). The upper schoolers continue to be obsessed with the Cherub series (YA FIC MUC).  Big Nate (FIC PEI) books have also been flying off the shelves by readers of all grade levels. These are a big hit with all the boys waiting for the next Diary of a Wimpy Kid (not much longer now!).

Our library regulars know they can request that we purchase books they're excited about and put themselves on the waiting list for books they're interested in that are checked out.

What are your boys reading?

What have the boys been up to recently in the library? May 2012

posted Oct 4, 2012, 1:53 PM by Julie Alonso   [ updated Oct 24, 2016, 9:17 AM by Kim Stuart ]

What have the boys been up to recently in the library?   Updated May 2012

In Kindergarten, we recently finished our unit on gardens centered around Earth Day. We'll finish out the year reading fairy tales and other well-loved classic books.

First graders heard stories from around the world while they were doing their country studies in the classroom. We're now reading  fiction and non-fiction paired books.

Second graders completed their space research utilizing World Book Online. Now, we're reading fractured fairy tales and comparing them to the original stories.

Third grade has been hard at work on their desert animal research. They are finding information in print resources, as well as using the library's databases. 

The fourth graders are working on researching their biographies. They have been learning what makes a good and bad website so that they can make the best decisions when working online.

In Media Literacy, the 5th grade is just wrapping up their Challenge Based Learning project.  The challenge was: How can Town School build and sustain a positive online community? The 5th graders were able to make suggestions to Student Council based on their research and affect positive change for our school!

Sixth graders have had a fantastic year collaborating with children at a school in India. Currently, they are working on the background research needed to write in the voice of a young girl in the middle ages.

As always, we welcome the seventh and eighth grade Literate Writer classes in our library once a week for silent, sustained reading. For 7th and 8th grade 2012 summer reading and assignment, click here.

What have boys been reading lately?

Our lower school readers have loved Scaredy Squirrel books this year (by Melanie Watt). Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie books and Tedd Arnold's Fly Guy books have been a big hit with emerging readers. Chapter book readers checked out the Secret Agent Jack Stalwart series (by Elizabeth Singer Hunt) and the Dragonbreath books (by Ursula Vernon). Older readers devoured the Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) and other dystopian books and series (a list of read-alikes is available on the Book List tab of this website). The upper schoolers were obsessed with the Cherub series (Robert Muchamore). Comic books and graphic novels ranging from Garfield to Tintin were very popular this year as well. Children of all ages continued to appreciate perennial favorites Where's Waldo, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the Harry Potter series.  

Our library regulars know they can request that we purchase books they're excited about and put themselves on the waiting list for books they're interested in that are checked out. Recent popular books on our waiting lists include Big Nate Flips Out, Stickman Odyssey 2, and Insurgent.

What are your boys reading?

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