The Speyer Library
The mission of the Speyer Library is to inspire and teach students to become independent thinkers who possess a love of literature. With nearly 30,000 volumes, the book collection is dispersed amongst the Speyer Library and classroom libraries. As the heart of the school, the Speyer Library serves to provide the resources that students and teachers need to be effective users of ideas and information, while supporting all aspects of the school’s curriculum.
For more information on the Speyer Library, contact our Librarian Suzy Mehler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE LIBRARY
SPEYER NEWBERY CHALLENGE
The fifth grade eagerly participates each year in the Speyer Newbery Challenge. The Newbery Medal is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Every fall, books that are potential Newbery winners are presented to the students, and after a librarian-led book talk, they choose the books they will read in the first round of the challenge. From October through the middle of January with second and third rounds of reading, the fifth graders meet periodically to discuss the various titles and write books recommendations for their classmates. As the time of the real Newbery Medal vote draws near, the students meet again to defend their choice of the book most deserving of the award. A “Speyer Newbery” vote is taken...and when the actual winner is announced, the students see how their choice compares to the selection by the official Newbery Committee.
COOK PRIZE AND IRMA BLACK AWARD
In the Spring, Speyer students in grades K-3 participate in The Cook Prize, which honors the best picture books in science, technology, and math (STEM), and The Irma Black Award for excellence in children’s literature. Sponsored by the Bank Street College of Education, the awards are unusual in that children are the final judge of the winning books. In their weekly library class, the students read each of the nominated books, exploring and analyzing the author’s purpose as well as the impact of each book’s illustrations. Sometimes, the books are read a few times to fully judge them properly. Knowing that schools all over the world are reading the same books at the same time, and voting on them just like they are provides additional perspective and conversation about books and literacy.
RECOMMENDED ONLINE RESOURCES AND READING LISTS
Speyer Library Catalog
Click on the “Speyer Legacy School” link under the words “Other Collections.”
Common Sense Media
The site offers developmentally age-appropriate, unbiased information to decide what media is right for your family
American Memory Website
Historical collections for the National Digital Library from the Library of Congress. Search for primary documents and materials describing the history and culture of the United States.
ALA’s Great Websites for Kids
This features links to valuable web sites of interest to children, organized by subject headings such as animals; literature and languages; sciences; the arts; and history and biography.