Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mepham Dad Turned Author Speaks to Students

This year we had the great honor to host author Joseph J. Lozito, who is also the father of Mepham senior, Joe Lozito and freshman, Dominic Lozito. Mr. Lozito's autobiography, The New York Subway Hero: My Battle with Evil...and a Spree-Killer!! tells about his experience on a New York City subway car in 2011 when he came face-to-face with convicted serial killer Maksim Gelman. Mr. Lozito discussed the natural fight-or-flight response, which is also called hyper-arousal, or the acute stress response, which is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. He shared with students the most difficult part of his ordeal, which happened during a phone call to his wife while in the hospital. His presentation was engaging, thoughtful and captivated our students.
Packed library to hear Mr. Lozito speak.

Mr. Lozito raffles off 10 copies of his autobiography. 

Mr. Lozito autographs copies of his book for students.

We are so grateful to be able to bring in authors and provide our students with these type of opportunities to hear from real people about their life experiences.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Joseph J. Lozito to Visit Mepham High School

Mepham Father and Author, Joseph J. Lozito
One of the most anticipated events in the school library year after year is our author visit. This year we have the great honor to host author Joseph J. Lozito, who is also the father of Mepham senior, Joe Lozito and freshman, Dominic Lozito. Check out this documentary that details Joseph Lozito's amazing story and is the basis for his book, The New York Subway Hero: My Battle with Evil...and a Spree-Killer!!

Mr. Lozito will join us on Tuesday, March 13th at 2:15 p.m. in the school library. He will read a passage from his autobiography. There will also be a Q&A session, a book raffle, and a chance to have copies of his book signed. This event is sponsored by the National English Honor Society and is a sanctioned ELITE event. You can sign up here.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Open Mic Night 2018

Open Mic Night will be held in the West Cafeteria this year on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $5.00 and can be purchased at the door. Refreshments will also be on sale to benefit the literary magazine, Fragments.  All students and their families are welcome to attend. This is one of the best events at Mepham High School. You don't want to miss it!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Independent Reading

Independent reading has dramatically increased here at Mepham High School thanks to some innovative teachers that are now "teaching the reader, and not the book." Independent reading is student's reading of texts - mostly fiction, but some have chosen non-fiction - that they have chosen themselves. Some of this reading is done in class and some is assigned for homework. 

What has this meant for the Mepham High School Library? Independent reading has translated to record-number circulation statistics. In fact, from circulation statistics culled from September 1 - February 1 of last year and compared to the same time frame for this year, it shows that our circulation has doubled. DOUBLED! Not only that, but our fiction selections have tripled. TRIPLED! 
Image Source
We have had a resurgence of reader's advisory. Like J.K. Rowling has said, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” We are working hard here to pair the right books to the right readers. This has been the most fun challenge. We have had some amazing success with this. Students are reading. ACTUALLY READING. Some for the first time in a long time. And reading A LOT. Some are reading 6-7 books and it's only February! We have also has some failures. But we always ask students to come back and try again if they do not like their original selection. 

This means that we need to change the way we approach purchasing books. In the past, I have used the bulk of our budget (3/4) to purchase non-fiction books that support the curriculum. Recognizing that the many databases we subscribe to do an outstanding job of this already and are updated so frequently, we have shifted our focus to fiction, short stories, and memoirs. More fiction books checked out means that we need more books on the shelves for students to choose from. Hardcover fiction books typically cost between $15-20, that's 1/4 of the price of many non-fiction books. So, if fiction books are cheaper, that means that I can stretch our book budget and purchase more books. We have had to weed our fiction section to make room for newer titles and have been able to replace older favorites with newer copies, making them more enticing to our readers.     

With this increase in independent reading, comes more overdue notices, lost books, and tracking students down for their books because other students want to check them out. But these are problems I will take any day! 

Like our clock wall says, "So many books, so little time."

Monday, February 12, 2018

Blind Date with a Book

To celebrate Valentine's Week, the Mepham English Department is playing matchmaker! We've all been guilty of judging a book by its cover. This week, we'd like to challenge you to think differently. Check out this display in room 203, which is made up of new and gently-used books, some classics, some contemporary, but all FREE for you to select and keep if you'd like to. Our ONLY rule: You must not unwrap your book until you've committed to taking it home with you! Hopefully it will be love at first sight!
Blind Date with a Book Display
Give your book a chance! Spend at least 1-2 chapters with your "date" before you decide to commit. If you've made a poor choice for yourself. (it's ok... it happens to all of us), you're welcome to bring the book back and we'll put it back on our shelf of "eligible books" for someone else to select. Books don't have feelings... and we won't be insulted if you didn't enjoy your date. We do hope you find a match! And if you do, you're welcome to keep your book forever. 
Blind Date with a Book Display
Thank you to Ms. Mary Donnelly, Mepham's English department chairperson and Victoria Dempsey our department intern for spearheading this fun celebration of #MephamBookLove.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

Not "Blinded by the Light" Anymore

Thanks to our amazing head custodian, Mr. Pennington, brand new blinds were installed over the weekend in the school library. Twenty-eight partial black-out blinds were put up and now our students won't be blinded by the beautiful, but sometimes very strong rays.

Main seating area of the Mepham High School Library
Our library makeover is never complete. We are always trying to make this space more comfortable and accommodating for students and teachers. If you have a request, please drop it in our suggestion box. We love to hear your ideas, no matter how crazy they are!

Classroom side of the Mepham High School Library