The Library Connection
The Monthly Newsletter of the Eastern
Shores Library System
Volume 29 Number 12 December 2009
Click here for the Winter 2010 Bookmobile Schedule
Jen Gerber, Incoming Director of the Oscar Grady Public Library
I began my career working full time as a bookseller for Barnes & Noble, a company I still very much respect. I was further promoted to the level of Department Manager before I was offered a position as a Field Representative for Scholastic Publishing and then from there, a librarian at the Brown Deer Middle School. While working at Scholastic, I applied for a part-time, eight hour per week position within the Eastern Shores Library System at the U.S.S. Liberty Memorial Public Library in my hometown of Grafton.
I worked both jobs for several years until a full time position became available at the Grafton Library in the Circulation Department. During that time, while working with the director and staff, I learned the value of a small town community library. When the position of Patron Services Manager became available at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library in Mequon, I saw it as an opportunity to learn even more in the library profession through collection development and programming, and to work in another library within the Eastern Shores System. My experiences at the library in Mequon have been challenging and positive. The staff at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library have been invaluable to the library’s success and it has been an honor to work with them.
Personally, I serve on theBig Brothers Big Sisters of Ozaukee County Board of Directors and live in Grafton with my husband Adam and my three year old daughter, Reagan.
I begin my new position as the Library Director at the Oscar Grady Public Library in Saukville on January 6, 2010. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities a new position can bring and to expand my relationships with the libraries of the Eastern Shores Library System.
Ann Penke has been elected as the new Chair of SLAC (Shared Automation Library Committee). Ann is the Director of the Lakeland College Library. As the Chair of SLAC, Ann will be compiling the agenda and leading the meetings of the Committee. The first 2010 meeting will be February 16 at the Oostburg Public Library.
This will be the second staff member from a participating library to Chair the committee. Thank you to Pat Bluhm, Access Services Manager at the F.L. Weyenberg Library of Mequon Thiensville who served as the Chair during 2009.
Children's Librarians Corner
Genevieve Guran, Youth Services Librarian at Plymouth Public Libray
Over the past couple months I have received numerous
requests from caregivers for books with specific “Lexile text
measures.” Their children are tested at school, and caregivers are told
that it is best for the children to read books around their “Lexile
reader measure.” Our books are not labeled with Lexile text measures, so
caregivers have a difficult time finding books at the appropriate level.
While I am not a big fan of Lexile testing, I do not
want to undermine what teachers are telling caregivers, so I created a
handout (below) that gives a basic explanation (excerpted from the Lexile
website) of what a Lexile measure is, along with the Lexile text measures
of a couple dozen popular books/series. While this handout may be helpful,
it should, I think, be stressed to parents/caregivers that reading books
with a particular Lexile text measure is less important than simply
My own daughters are good examples of how reading for
pleasure – but not worrying about Lexile measures – yields good
readers. My seventh grader is an avid reader who has never
read a book as difficult as her Lexile reader measure would seem to
require (it’s something like 1450 – that would be books of literary
criticism and the like). She has such a high Lexile measure either because
the testing is flawed or because she simply reads a lot – it certainly
isn’t the result of reading incredibly difficult materials. The same
thing, on a somewhat lower scale, is true for my third grader. Of one
thing I’m certain: if I were to require my daughters to read at their
Lexile measures, they would not read nearly as much as they do.
The Lexile text measures are also problematic. Within
the same series of books there can be differences of several hundred
Lexile points, making it difficult to steer people to appropriate
materials. While exploring the Lexile website, I even found that different
editions of the same book can
have different Lexile text measures.
So, let’s encourage parents to take Lexile measures
with a grain of salt – reading for pleasure is by far the most important
factor in developing good readers.
The information below is from my two-sided handout.
Feel free to use it or adapt it for your library, if you’d like.
Parents and Caregivers: The following information is excerpted from
the website www.lexile.com.
It explains briefly what a Lexile measure is and how it can be used as a
tool to help children develop as readers. Please explore the website to
learn more and to check the Lexile measure of specific books. On the back
of this page are examples of
books at various Lexile levels.
What is a Lexile measure?
are two kinds of Lexile measures: the Lexile reader measure and the Lexile
text measure. Students receive a Lexile reader measure as a score from a
reading test - it describes his or her reading ability. Books and other
texts receive a Lexile text measure from a software tool called the Lexile
Analyzer - it describes the book's reading demand or difficulty. When used
together, these measures can help match a reader with reading material
that is at an appropriate difficulty, or help give an idea of how well a
reader will comprehend a text. The Lexile reader measure can also be used
to monitor a reader's growth in reading ability over time. Lexile helps
readers grow, and helps parents and teachers know. When a Lexile text
measure matches or is in the range of a Lexile reader measure, this is
called a targeted reading experience. The reader will encounter some level
of difficulty with the text, but not enough to get frustrated. This is the
best way to grow as a reader - reading text that's not too hard but not
What can I do with my Lexile
You can easily find well-targeted books either for school or for pleasure reading. You can also easily know when a reader might need a little help, or need a little more challenge. When you receive your Lexile measure from a test, try not to focus on the exact number. Instead, consider a reading range around the number. A young person's Lexile range, or reading "sweet spot," is from 100L below to 50L above his or her reported measure.… And don't be afraid to look at books above and below someone's Lexile range. Just know that a reader might find these books particularly challenging or simple. [emphasis added] If a student tackles reading material above his or her Lexile range, consider what additional instruction or lower-level reading resources might help. Ask him or her to keep track of unknown words, and look them up together. Or take turns reading aloud to each other to chop up the reading experience into smaller portions. Likewise, you can reward students with easy reading just as adults like to grab a couple of pulp novels to read in the beach chair.
To check the Lexile text measure of a specific book, go to www.lexile.com/search/.
Big Red Dog series (Norman Bridwell): 120L to 480L
Fancy Nancy –
I Can Read series (Jane O’Connor): 270L to 300L
Junie B. Jones
series (Barbara Park): 250L to 420L (mostly 330L to 410L)
House series (Mary Pope Osborne): 240L to 440L (mostly ~ 350L)
Underpants series (Dav Pilkey): 640L to 850L
(Jerry Spinelli): 650L
(Judy Blume): 660L
(Louis Sachar): 660L
Chronicles (Holly Black): 560L to 700L
(Kevin Henkes): 680L
series (Sara Pennypacker): 600L to 790L
(Blue Balliett): 770L
series (Erin Hunter): 620L to 900L (mostly 750L to 890L)
Crispin and the
Cross of Lead (Avi): 780L
series (Cornelia Funke): 780L to 830L
(Andrew Clements): 830L
Ramona the Pest
(Beverly Cleary): 850L
Apprentice series (John Flanagan): 850L to 950L
Little House in
the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder): 930L
series (J.K. Rowling): 880L to 1030L
Journey to the
Center of the Earth (Jules Verne): 1040L
A Series of
Unfortunate Events series (Lemony Snicket): 1000L to 1370L
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott): 1210L
Acting President Rob Nuernberg has requested a January meeting of the ESLS Board. The organizational meeting on Monday, January 25 will address the election of officers, committee assignments, meeting schedule and the Plan for County Library Service in Ozaukee and Sheboygan County, 2011 to 2015. The Joint County Library System Plan will be presented to the Ozaukee County Board on January 6th which is the regular Ozaukee County Board meeting.
In 2008, the ESLS Board changed from monthly meetings to meeting six times a year. It has also been decided that a February meeting will be held on the 22nd to review and act on the state annual report.
Once again the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association and the Wisconsin Library Association will be sponsoring Library Legislative Day on Tuesday, February 16, 2010. Keynote speakers will be State Superintendent Tony Evers and State Representative Penny Bernard Schaber.
For more information go to the WLA
* OnMilwaukee.com 's Managing Editor Bobby Tanzilo has selected some of the best books about Wisconsin published in 2009. Did you miss any?
* Check out this source for "The best mystery novels of 2009" .
* Oostburg Public Library has a new staff member. Vicki Markham will be working part time in the circulation department on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and some Saturdays. Another change at Oostburg is that Wendy Urban will be taking over the ILL duties. Wendy joined the staff earlier this year.
* Can you relate to this conversation from Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas?
"How's yourself?" asked Hennie.
Ms. Dallas does not know if she made it up or if it is a local colloquialism.