Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Battle of the Books! Coming Soon!

The BUSD Battle of the Books will be happening on April 13th. Students have been preparing since the fall. They read, meet weekly, discuss books, quiz each other and read some more. Soon we will find out which team remembers the most trivia from the books they read. Families and friends are welcome to attend the competition and cheer on their team!

Thursday, April 13th, 6:30 - 8:30
Berkeley Adult School on San Pablo Ave.

We are seeking donations from the community to support the event that evening, particularly feeding our competitors and their families. No donation is too small.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Nikki Grimes to Visit Willard!

Friday, February 24th
8:45 - 9:15 in the Willard Cafetorium

This Friday, our 8th graders will get to to hear award-winning poet and novelist Nikki Grimes speak. Her most recent book is a collection of poetry inspired by the poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Since our own students just wrote dramatic monologues about the Harlem Renaissance, this seemed like an opportunity that could not be passed up.
Inline image 1

Last month, Ms. Grimes was awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for an author whose books "have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children." Other recipients of this lifetime achievement award include E. B. White, Beverly Cleary, Dr. Seuss, and Virginia Hamilton. 

Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore will bring some copies of her books to sell while she is here.

Inline image 2 

About One Last Word:
In this collection of poetry, Nikki Grimes looks afresh at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance -- including voices like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and many more writers of importance and resonance from this era -- by combining their work with her own original poetry. Using "The Golden Shovel" poetic method, Grimes has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking.

This special book also includes original artwork in full-color from some of today's most exciting African American illustrators, who have created pieces of art based on Nikki's original poems. Featuring art by: Cozbi Cabrera, R. Gregory Christie, Pat Cummings, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, Nikki Grimes, E. B. Lewis, Frank Morrison, Christopher Myers, Brian Pinkney, Sean Qualls, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, Shadra Strickland, and Elizabeth Zunon.
- See more at:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

What is That Thing?

... and why is it rolling all over the library?

Sorry for making the library even noisier this week. The Library League (aka students assigned to Independent Work Experience in the library) was given an interesting challenge this week. You see, a mysterious box arrived. The box had a combination lock. The IWEs had to figure out the combination based on a selection of simple puzzles (like "The year Ms. Lee the librarian graduated from high school minus 1000.")

Once they opened the box, they had to figure out what the heck those things were inside of it and make them do something interesting. Yep, the kids had to create their own challenge then see if they could make it happen. Those 6 seconds of video showing a robot hopping onto a chair required about an hour of figuring out the coding (We used an app called Tickle to control the Parrot Racers.), measuring, testing, adjusting the code, testing again, etc. Many failures led to that single success!

Thank you CUE for the loan of these fun and surprisingly challenging toys!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Battle of the Books

Put your reading and trivia skills

to the ultimate test!

The Battle of the Books is an optional reading club that will meet every Monday during lunch, culminating in a quiz-show style competition to see which team has read most widely and remembers the most details.  This program encourages students to read for comprehension while nurturing an enthusiasm and love for reading.  Students who participate will be expected to read several books from a list of titles, attend weekly lunchtime meetings in the library, and participate in the final competition.  Participants will receive a T-shirt and all the honor and glory befitting them.

The school’s winning teams will go on to compete against teams from Longfellow and King in an evening competition in April. Drop by the Willard Library any Monday during lunch to see what's going on and join the book discussion.

See the List of Titles.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Happy Summer Reading!

Reading is out of this world!
Welcome back to school! I hope you had a fabulous summer full of reading and fun.  As you can see I enjoyed reading in a variety of environments.  It was a very full summer with lots of traveling, a library conference, and some great books!

Reading with Bad Kitty 

Story time with Storm Troopers

Sharon Draper who visited Willard in 2006,
at the American Library Association Conference.

That is Frances Willard in the US Capitol.

Ms. Lee at the Library of Congress
with a bunch of other tourists.

Do you recognize this very big book?

Reading below Fortitude.
Do you know which library's steps we are standing on?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

3D Printing in the Library

The rumors are true!  We really do have a 3D printer running in the back of the library.  Two printers were donate to Willard earlier this year.  Currently, students enrolled in the Library/Technology Independent Work Experience class are designing objects to print.  The students and staff are learning together how to use this exciting new tool.  We are learning about design and engineering while watching some of our creations completely fall apart.  This is a great opportunity to learn through failure. Each print job is a chance to get it more right.

Students who are interested in designing an object to print should visit to create an account and start tinkering with the program.  Listen for announcements in the Willard Word for when we are ready to print for general students.  One note: we will only manufacture original designs.  The whole point of having a printer is so students can see their own creations brought from screen to reality.

Policies and procedures are being developed.  This is new and exciting, and not many schools have models for us to follow.  As we forge ahead with our Flashforge, check into the library frequently to see what we are building and how our ideas are developing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hour of Code

Anybody can learn to code.  Join the Hour of Code, December 8 - 14, 2014.