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From: Linda Wolfgram Kramer <lkramer@PRAIRIE.LAKES.COM>
Subject: HIT: ELEM,MID: Nautical theme ideas (Part 3)
Just noticed your address, prairie.lakes.com  What about using prairie
Schooners "sailing" across the grasslands? Each might be a different genre
and packed with little books, computers, etc.?   And the theme would also tie
in with your state's history.

Good luck with this theme.  What a neat idea!

FABULOUS IDEA!!  I would suggest you have a "destination" - Information
Island or some such.  This would be your goals and objectives for the
year.  From my 20+ years experience in all grade levels it would be much
better to spend more time now making this an all year project than to
try to change periodically during the year.  If you keep referring to
the goals and that the purpose of the library is to guide students in
their life's journey it stays current and has purpose and meaning.  I
used a lighthouse/compass theme last year and I could keep referring to
it whenever possible.  It was wonderful not to have to change bulletin
boards seasonally.  Just a few additions or deletions when appropriate
and it guided us through a great year.  Good luck.

Dive into REading or whatever the topic is is a possibility as would be
Fishing for the right answer try such and such a lure (name a resource or
strategy).  We did a reading incentive one year with the theme being
Oceans of Opportunities.  Marine life has lots of graphic possibilities as
well in terms of fabric and paper goods.

Edward and the Pirates would be a good books to use.  Also, Where the
Wild Things Are.

What a great idea for your library! If your school uses the AR program, you
can tie it into a sailing theme. My previous school had an Ellison Machine
with a sail boat die cut. I used this in my classrooom a couple of years ago
to post individual students' progress. I cut out simple brown islands from
butcher paper and named them 5 Point Island, etc. Of course this was a second
grade class, but each student got a sail boat of their choice (color) and
decorated it. When they had enough points, they moved their boats to the next
island or showed them sailing towards the next island.
I'm not sure this will help, but it might give you another idea to try. I
would really love to hear what other ideas people suggest. Would you please
E-mail them to me, or maybe post a "HIT" on LM_NET?

I don't know if this is anything you can use, but I had an ocean theme last
year.  For effect, we hung curling ribbon from the ceiling (we used green
and two shades of blue.) We used about a two foot length, and curled it.
Then we hung different types of fish in it.  The kids loved it.
Actually, I have had the ribbon hanging for three years now.  We used it for
a space theme one year, and hung planets, stars and rocket ships in it.  We
also had bugs for a theme one year, and we hung flying insects in it. For
these two themes we used only shades of blue.
It takes a while to put the ribbon up, but if you can get a couple parents
to help, it goes pretty fast, and makes an impressive display.

There's a video out there called the incredible voyage of Bill Pinkney
I recall, narrated by Bill Cosby which takes you onboard a sailing ship
and the solo sailor communicates with a student class tracking his
latitude and longitude(see below). Like Titanic, its long but the older
kids like it. Then get out the books like Wreckers, Gracie, and anything
with a lighthouse in it, along with the weather books and explorer books
and anything you can get a teacher to tell you they're teaching (whales,
coral reefs,atlases,sea chanties,?HMS Pinnafore from Gilbert and
Sullivan, mermaids and legends, creation myths from the sea). I didn't
use the cruise idea but what grew out of just the science dept. gave me
endless connections, it seemed. Sounds like fun brainstorming for all.
You could even breakdown and do a Disney cruise and get out cartoon art
books or get the oldest students into the recent news on sexism and
application of law on foreign owned ships.

Author:  Cosby, Bill,1937-
Title:  The incredible voyage of Bill Pinkney [videorecording].
Publisher:  Oak Park, Ill. : MPI Home Video, c1995.
ISBN/ISSN:  1562787853
Phys Desc:  1 videocassette (46 min.) : sd., col.
Bill Cosby narrates this story of the first African American to sail solo
around the world, while teaching students in Boston and Chicago lessons on
math, science, and geography via satellite from the middle of the ocean.

I've been digging into lighthouses this summer.  I am going to paste in
some books I have personally gathered because it is a bit of a joke to find
these things here in Montana.  My emphasis is on the east coast and
Maine/NH/MA area especially that I have a fondness for, but they have been
moving the Cape Hatteras Light in the Carolina's this summer (started July
9th) and this could work in beautifully with some research into regions of
the U.S., states, or oceans.  I have spent a small fortune alas, but you
may be luckier in libraries near you.  Some terrific hero stories in the
lives of the keepers.

KATHY FENCIL'S LIGHTHOUSE COLLECTION (Yee gads, does Tom (her husband) know
how much she has spent? She could have bought the plane ticket to N.E. to
do the research.!!)


BIRDIE'S LIGHTHOUSE (picture book), Hopikinson, Deborah, Atheneusm, 1997.

CAPTAIN'S CASTAWAY (picture book), Perrow, Angeli, Down East, 1998.

GUARDIANS OF THE LIGHTS;stories of US Lighthouse Keepers, DeWire, Elinor,
Pineapple Press, 1998. (This adult level, but is terrific)

KEEP THE LIGHTS BURNING ABBIE (Reading Rainbow small chapter book), Roop,
Peter and Connie, Carolrhoda, 1985.

THE LIGHT AT TERN ROCK (Newbery Honor Chapter book), Sauer, Julia, Puffin,
1951,1979. (small chapter book, relates to Christmas, Newbery Honor book
around 1952)

THE LIGHTHOUSE ACTIVITY BOOK, De Wire, Elinor, sentinel Publications, c1995
(Perfect for tons of ideas, games and school connecting lessons.)

LIGHTHOUSE FAMILIES,Shelton-Roberts, Cheryl, and Bruce Roberts. Crane Hill,
1997. (One of my favorites, has family recipes and cover is Cape Hatteras

LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S DAUGHTER, (picture book) Olson, Arielle North. Little
Brown, 1987.

LIGHTHOUSE VICTUALS & VERSE, De Wire, Elinor, Sentinel Publications, 1996.

LIGHTHOUSES; Watchers at Sea (elem. NF), Guiberson, Brenda Z., Henry Holt,
1995.(good for elem. or middle school library)

MAINE LIGHTHOUSES: A Pictorial Guide, Thompson, Courtney, CatNap Pub. 1998.

NEW ENGLAND LIGHTHOUSES developed and produced by John Hinde Curteich
(copyright in his name, but also says written and edited by Lucy Hanley)
c1998 Coastal Color Products)


WOMEN OF THE LIGHTS (elem. NF), Fleming, Candace, Albert Whitman, 1995.

WOMEN WHO KEPT THE LIGHTS: An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse
Keepers, Clifford, Mary Louise and Clifford, J Candace, Cypress


AMERICA'S LIGHTHOUSES, Cobblestone Magazine, June 1981.

Linda Kramer
Elementary-Jr. High Media Specialist
Sibley East Schools-Gaylord Campus
Gaylord, MN

Linda Kramer
Elementary-Jr. High Media Specialist
Sibley East Schools-Gaylord Campus
Gaylord, MN

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Dear LM_Netters:

Thank you for your great suggestions and advice regarding circulation and
cataloguing options for a small international school which runs on the MAC

Again thank you too all those who have shared their knowledge, expertise
and experience.  It has been greatly appreciated.

Here is a summary of the latest responses.

Nancy Scofield from Fl, wrote the following in praise of Alexandria "...we
are using Alexandria made by Companion.  We have a collection of 14,000
books and many of thme are old and out of print but do NOT need to be
discarded.  I did all my original cataloging with the times in
front of me and it is quite simple to create a record.  Also the
comments section and the subject headings are very useful.  Our entire
school is on line with Macs so the classroom students and teachers may
access the catalog.  It works great.  Alexandria has a feature to use it
on the internet but we haven't begun to use it--We have been using the
program for 3 years now and it is wonderful.  Especially the online
usergroup which I check everyday for exchanges of info with other
librarians around the world."

Mayrene Bickmore of CA, wrote in praise of Alexandria "...We use the
Alexandria Program at our high school library.  We had another program and
looked into many.You will find it the best, far better than any other.  All
of our 15 libraries in our district at switching to Alexandria this year.
Look into it you will be amazed.  They have an internet connection feature.

They have always had whatever we needed."

Laurie Conzemius from MN, also wrote in praise of Alexandria "...In your
search for a circulation system I highly recommend that you lookinto
Companion's Alexandria for the Mac.  It is an excellent product -easy to
use, with excellent support."

Thomas Anderson from Michigan wrote the following in praise of Alexandria

"...I am the district media and instructional technology coordinator for a
rural K-12 district in Northeastern Michigan, on Lake Huron, 45 miles south
of the 45th parallel.

We are heavily invested in the Mac platform, over 300 units K-8 and 36
units 9-12.  We have PC's in our high school business labs and
administrative offices which account for another 100+ PC's.

When I took over the H. S. media center there was a Winnebago circ/cat
program in place that was running well, but was not upgradable (DOS).  When
I wanted to upgrade several years ago Winnebago was going to charge me as
though I were a complete stranger and boy was it going to cost me.

As I looked around for programs the Alexandria program seemed to offer all
the features I really needed and was above all, simple to install, use and

Last year I finally sprung for the web version of the program and currently
distribute the catalogs for the junior and senior high catalogs over our
WAN from a single server as a selection on our internal intranet.  This
fall I will open the floodgates to the community and put a link to the
catalog on our internet web page.  I'll send you a notice to check it out
when that happens.

Two of our three elementarie have Alexandria too, but are doing a
retro-conversion over a two year period, with this up coming year to be the
second year.  The retro conversion is going well with parent volunteers
following Alexandria's instructions and using Smart-Marc to create the marc
records for the catalog.

The best thing about the Companion Corp. and Alexandria is that the support
people.  I have never had a question or problem ignored, and they will call
or email a response quickly if  I can't get an answer on the phone.

I just can't say enough about the Mac version of the Alexandria program.
Getting the web version will be a blessing fro your kids and you will be a
real hero to your patrons."

Marsha Zafiriou from MA also wrote the following in praise of Alexandria

"...The Falmouth Public Schools in Falmouth, Mass. used Alexandria for MAC.  We
have found it to be very user friendly - although how friendly depends on
the type of MAC and the type of network you have.  To start we matched our
holdings with a program called Smart Marc but that probably would not give
you many hits for non English titles.For us, each title had to be compared
to the computer download as there were many false matches.  Alexandria has
a good list serve and good tech support"

Pat Elliott of Barrie, Ontario wrote about a possible concern with Athena.

"When I looked into Athena (which I thought was wonderful and
wanted) it was cross-platformable BUT the server had to be a IBM type
computer, not a Mac computer. That might be changed now (this was two years
ago) but be sure to find out beforehand if you decide to go Athena."

Otto wrote the following in praise of Athena "... You need to check out
Athena, from
Nichols Advanced Technologies (www.nicholsinc.com).  It was rated #1 by the
ALA and is fantastic.  Call them.  They'll send a demo.  I think their
number is 1-800-642-4648."

Another LN_Netter stated and asked "... I'm a librarian working in
Illinois, and my district is using the Dynix Scholar program.  Why do you
think that it is the best?  What are you
comparing it to?  I'm just curious because we have found it to be a bit more
complicated than any of us (47 schools K-12) needed or wanted.  Thanks in
advance for responding."

Another LN_Netter wrote in response to the question about Dynix-Scholar

As a user of Dynix Scholar since version 1.35 (1993-94), I would say that
it has more potential than the others, but... the service is much less
than it used to be! So if the school has librarians who are NOT
super-techie, this may not be the best choice. It is also more expensive
than many.

Debby Wells-Clinton from Moscow wrote "...I would strongly suggest that you
consider SIRS Mandarin. Their new programis just great, and the SIRS people
have always been super responsive to theinternational schools, especially
the ECIS ones.

We have Winnebago, which I had never used before, but I only needed a few
weeks on it to see that I didn't like it at all. We have three librarians,
and so far we haven't been able to agree on a new program, but we're
considering Follett and Mandarin. I'm pushing Mandarin."

Another LN_Netter wrote  "...Lirary Pro is great-IF they can get there
newest version out ASAP!  It coinsides with the MAC or WIN school
attendance program.  Winnebago is
limited in things it can do."

Thank you again.

Have a great day.


Shelley Burgstaller

Shelley Burgstaller, Teacher Librarian
American International School, Salzburg Austria

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