Week in Review + May Book Club

The sixth graders were in the library on Monday with Ms. McGinnes to begin research for their passion projects. Student topics include various sports, animation, organic food, Lego, and music.

It’s hard to believe, but we held the final high school book club of the year on Tuesday. To start us off, Ms. Melinson shared a number of books she got on Independent Bookstore Day, including the Joan Didion classics Let Me Tell You What I Mean and The Year of Magical Thinking, Call Us What We Carry, and All About Love. She also shared some cool-looking books like The Coasts of California, a beautifully illustrated field guide, an oddly sized edition of 1984, the graphic novel adaptation of 1984, and the Maya Angelou poem Life Doesn’t Frighten Me with illustrations by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Avery shared she’s only reading a school book right now, The Tempest. Jordyn talked about returning several books, including Scythe, which reminded Ms. Melinson to share that a prequel to Scythe will be released this year. Mrs. Strong read The Personal Librarian and liked it well enough. Samhita is re-reading House of Leaves, although it’s much less weird the second time around. Dra. Portillo read Circe and said it’s really good and makes you wonder about gender roles in that time period.

Week in Review: Sophomore Symposium

The library hosted the Sophomore Symposium this week where the Top 10 finalists shared their presentations on a variety of topics:

Kaitlyn D. – The Benefits of the Mental Health Court

Aarushi R – Multi-Cancer Detection Blood Test Galleri

William H. – Artificial Intelligence and Its Uses in Healthcare,

Luke S. – The Effects of Climate Change on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Gulzar S. – Farm to Fork

E R. – Mental Health in Transgender Youth

Mia C. – To Bee or Not to Bee

Grace Z. – Chinese-American Conservatives

Imani C. The Math and Science behind 2D Character Animation

Katie E. – Changes in the Vietnamese Language Over Time

Congratulations to the winners Mia, Grace, Imani, and everyone who presented!

Later this week, Ms. Melinson worked with Mr. Hobbs’ eighth-grade history class to learn about misinformation. Students learned about lateral reading vs. horizontal reading and the important of checking where their information comes from as well as fake news and deep fakes.

Bonus Cat:

Last week, Sage brought her magnificently fuzzy cat to the library for another visit. Just look at that majestic floof!

Week in Review: EVENTS!

The library was hopping this week with classes and events. It almost felt like a return to the before times!

On Monday, the library hosted an Enlightenment Salon with Ms. Kahn’s seventh-grade history class. Students became a variety of Enlightenment figures, including Voltaire, Diderot, Wollstonecraft, and Benjamin Franklin, as well as some lesser-known people from that time, like Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Toussaint Louveture, and Phillis Wheatley. Students discussed such enlightened topics as should their characters support monarchy or democracy? What is the role of women in society? And what does it truly mean to be an enlightened society?

We also had the March edition of book club on Wednesday. Ms. Melinson presented a number of new books that recently joined the library’s collection. Her focus was on beautiful book covers like Drawn Across Borders, Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Butler, and Watch Over Me. Ms. Melinson also talked about new releases from popular authors like Rhythm of War, Cloud Cuckoo Land, The Lincoln Highway, and Again Again.

We ended the week with a lovely springtime concert courtesy of the Middle School Orchestra. Click here to watch a clip on our Instagram page!

Bonus:

Check out these great shelfies from Read Across Country Day!

Week in Review: Read Across Country Day + February’s Book Club

Happy 3,672nd Annual Read Across Country Day! Just kidding, but it is our 20th anniversary of celebrating Read Across Country Day! Much like the last few years, our celebration looked a little different. Instead of transforming the library into the Starbooks Lounge, we created a cozy reading nook with the comfy chairs and played classical music all day while still remaining open for quiet study.

Instead of visiting classrooms, the Candy Fairy got an assistant this year, and they met middle and high school students in their respective quads to distribute candy and buttons. Ms. Melinson made Read Across Country Day kits for the teacher to help facilitate the All-School Read. That took place at 2 p.m. when Waldo, of Where’s Waldo?, announced the beginning of the All-School Read, where everyone in the school dropped what they were doing to read. We can’t wait to see all of your reading shelfies! Check back next week for those photos.


The High School Book Club met last month right before Mid-Winter Break. Ms. Melinson talked about book censorship, a current topic of great debate. The last week of February also happened to be Freedom to Read Week in Canada, so Ms. Melinson shared some recently challenged and banned books. Those titles include Drama by Raina Telgemeier, Maus by Art  Spiegelman, New Kid by Jerry Craft, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Ms. Melinson emphasized the importance of reading these books now in case someday we can’t.

Ashleigh shared that she had just started reading Imaginary Friends by Stephen Chbosky. She said it’s really cool and is similar to Stranger Things. Adam was on a George Saunders kick, reading Lincoln in the Bardo and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, with the latter reminding him of The Man in the High Castle. Jackie discussed reading The Lord of the Flies for English class. Mr. Wells read a book he would not recommend called Forging Fire, describing it as “really bad.” But he also read All the Light We Cannot See and would highly recommend it, saying it was “very good.”

Week in Review: Dramarama

The library was drama-central this week as the space was used for two different productions. At the beginning of the week, Mr. Panasiti’s tenth-grade English class was in the library to perform scenes from Anna Deavere Smith’s play Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. Students read the play in class and then adapted scenes to perform a dramatic monologue in front of their peers.

Later in the week, Ms. McGinnes’ high school Drama elective rehearsed for their upcoming play. It was a neat opportunity to see all of the work that goes into putting on a performance.

On Friday we had a furry visitor – Elton, Sage’s cat. Elton is a munchkin cat and looked quite content to be carried and have his fluff pet by his adoring fans.

Week in Review

This week saw the beginning of Black History Month as well as the Lunar New Year. For Black History Month, the library is engaging in a #readingblackout where all of the books on the endcaps (the display at the end of each aisle) are devoted to works by Black authors. Each endcap features a different theme, such as Black joy, new books, adventure, and history. The display cabinet in front of the library also got a new look. Student Masai decorated the cabinet to feature books, art, and music by Black creators and used QR codes to direct people to more information about the history and importance of Black History Month.

On Tuesday we celebrated Lunar New Year with a countertop display featuring the gorgeous San Francisco’s Chinatown by Kathy Chin Leong with photographs by Dick Evans. This week also saw the return of the Leadership Lunch series. Students Craig and Ryan interviewed senior Sanjana, who discussed her experience working in one of Sac State’s research labs. Sanjana is researching how people age by using fruit flies and said she’s excited to be a part of research early in her education, and to be able to use the skills she’s learning in college and beyond.

Week in Review: NHD Takeover

Happy December! The library has been in full National History Day research mode this week with both seventh and eighth-grade students in to work on their projects. Students spent the week learning how to navigate databases and look for information on their topics in library books. This year’s NHD theme is Debate & Diplomacy and some of their topics include gentrification, the Bubonic Plague, and disability rights. Thursday and Friday were spent as a “help day” for seventh-grade. Students were able to work on their projects and get assistance from Mrs. Kahn or Ms. Melinson.

Also happening in the library this week was the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Usually held in person, this conference went virtual due to COVID. Six high school students were able to attend this important conference virtually. The library’s quiet room turned into a communal conference space. To make the event feel more special, students received SDLC swag bags and lunch.

Week in Review: The One with the Post-Its

The 9th and 10th graders were in this week working on various aspects of their projects. Ninth grade students got a refresher course on how to use NoodleTools, a citation management tool, for their National History Day projects. They also learned how to navigate our databases for relevant information and how to find scholarly sources. The 10th graders spent their library time taking a deep dive into local sources.

The library held its first book club of the school year. Students talked about what they read over the summer. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir was a popular book between Adam and Saheb, with both of them describing it as more dense than The Martian, but a great plot. We also had a lively discussion on movie adaptations of books and which are better (the books are better).

Friday saw the beginning of Teentober and a writing contest to celebrate teen voices. The library’s helpers wrote out interesting prompts on Post-it notes and put them on the front window for students to draw inspiration from.

Bonus:

Thank you to our two secret admirers for the lovely flowers!

Week in Review: The One with the Research

The library was full of 7th and 10th grade students this week. The 7th graders began by searching the Credo database and brainstorming topic ideas for National History Day. This year’s theme is Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences and students are sure to come up with fascinating topics. Later in the week, the 7th graders were back to learn how to find and annotate a database article (annotating is a way to take more interactive notes) then they added their sources to NoodleTools (a research management platform that also helps them generate a bibliography). Meanwhile, the 10th graders were in this week to research local sources for their Sophomore Project topics.

Week in Review: The One with the Walk

Happy end of the first full week of the school year!

The 10th graders were treated to a visit from Sacramento Room librarian, James Scott, this week. Scott spoke to students about the Sacramento room and the historical treasures it houses. He also talked about the kinds of resources the public library has available to help facilitate research for their Sophomore Projects and even did a virtual walk-through of newspaper archives on some of the topics shared.

The library also acted as host this week for the 9th and 10 grade initial discussions on the all high school read, Interior Chinatown. Mr. Hinojosa gave an overview of some of the themes and stereotypes found in the book in preparation for break-out groups later this month that will explore these topics more in depth.

Wednesday also saw the beginning of Hispanic/LatinX Heritage Month. Check out our Instagram post featuring some of our new library helpers holding some great Hispanic/LatinX literature. Be sure to follow us @matthewslibraryscds for more great recommendations!

On Thursday the 10th graders took to the back field to walk and discuss their paper topic with a partner. Each pair shared their topic as they walked around the track, sometimes more than twice, and then debriefed in the garden.