Thursday, October 11, 2018

LGBTQ resources highlighted as National Coming Out Day—October 11—celebrates 30 years

OverDrive, the district's digital library, features an LGBTQ collection of fiction and nonfiction titles. Students
can access the titles via Sora, OverDrive's new student reading app (setup code: hammondin).
October 11, 2018 is the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, the Human Rights Campaign's annual celebration of coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally. To commemorate the annual event, the Library Media Center is highlighting its LGBTQ reading selections. 

The LGBTQ digital Book Chat is a self-directed slide presentation 
featuring a number of reading selections that celebrate diversity.
A book display in the Library and a digital Book Chat promote popular YA novels; engaging nonfiction narratives; historical titles; and resources for coming out to parents, family members, and friends. 

OverDrive, the district's digital library, also features an LGBTQ collection of eBooks and audiobooks. Students can access this collection via Sora, OverDrive's new student reading app (setup code: hammondin). After they sign in with their usernames and passwords, students may check out up to three books for a two-week period. 

The Library Media Center's LGBTQ book display highlights titles that
might be overlooked on the shelves. 
Morton High School's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) meets every other Monday in Room 118. "Morton's GSA is a social group that is dedicated to providing a safe space for students to share their experiences and meet peers who are open-minded and willing to be supportive listeners," said Ms. Katie Silaj, who co-sponsors the GSA with fellow teacher Mrs. Andrea Spencer. "Even in 2018, being part of the LGBTQIA community is difficult because, no matter where in the world you go, there is always that group of people in your community who doesn't understand or accept you the way you are. We are here to say we accept you. You are safe here. Be who you are and surround yourself with allies."

The GSA encourages students and staff to stop by Room 118 on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12 and add their names to a rainbow paper chain that will be put on display at school. For more information about the student organization or its activities, please refer to the GSA Google Classroom (code: 3rcy8z3) or contact Ms. Silaj ( and Mrs. Spencer (

Monday, October 1, 2018

Morton's Book Club joins OverDrive's Big Library Read—The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

The Book Club's first group read of the 
2018-2019 school year is The Girl with the 
Red Balloon by Katherine Locke. 
The Morton High School Book Club's first group read of the school year is Katherine Locke's The Girl with the Red Balloon, OverDrive's Big Library Read selection for 2018. The book tells the story of sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, who time travels via a red balloon to 1988 East Berlin shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

Once in East Berlin, she meets members of an underground guild who are as mystified by her as she is with them. Soon Ellie is caught up in the intrigue. Who is trying to change the course of history? And how will Ellie make it back home? Kirkus Reviews called the story "an absorbing blend of historical fiction, mystery, and magical realism."

According to OverDrive, The Girl with the Red Balloon was selected through a poll taken by thousands of OverDrive readers, and for a two-week period, from October 1-15, users from "thousands of participating OverDrive library and school partners can borrow this unique and enchanting Young Adult fantasy without wait lists or holds."

Governors can access The Girl with the Red Balloon through OverDrive's new student reading app called Sora at (Setup code: hammondin) Students should log in with their usernames only—instead of their entire email address—and their passwords. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Jump on the "banned" wagon and celebrate your freedom to read

Kiara Hicks and Tatiana Arbarca
"get caught" reading the banned 
book Speak by Laura Halse
Anderson together. 
Sept. 23-29 is Banned Books Week! The American Library Association's (ALA) annual week-long celebration highlights the value of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting books that have been banned across the United States for a variety of reasons

The Library Media Center's Banned Books Week display showcases books that have been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. Some of these titles have included the Harry Potter series (Rowling), To Kill A Mockingbird (Lee), The Hate U Give (Thomas), Thirteen Reasons Why (Asher), The Kite Runner (Hosseini), The Bluest Eye (Morrison), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie), and The Hunger Games trilogy (Collins). 

One of English teacher Mr. Sosnowski's
favorite banned books is To Kill a 
Mockingbird by Harper Lee. 
According to the ALA website: "While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read."

The Library Media Center invites Morton staff and students to "get caught" reading a banned book by posing for a picture with their favorite controversial title from the display. Jump on the "banned wagon" and stop by the library anytime this week to participate and celebrate your freedom to read.

Blog Note: OverDrive, the district's digital library, also features a Banned Book collection that can be accessed online via the new student reading app called Sora: (Set-up code: hammondin). For help, stop by the Library Media Center. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Morton High School and the Hammond Public Library team up during Library Card Sign-up Month

These three Governors were among many students who applied 
for Hammond Public Library cards during their lunch period. 
In celebration of September as Library Card Sign-up Month, the Hammond Public Library (HPL) visited Morton High School on Thursday, Sept. 20 and issued public library cards to very enthusiastic students in the cafeteria during the three lunch periods. HPL staff members processed applications on the spot, and they issued a total of 72 cards! Go Govs!!

The Hammond Public Library's prize wheel was a big hit, giving 
students the chance to try their luck for prizes.
Public library cards, nicknamed the "smartest cards" by the American Library Association, give Governors access to not only the HPL's physical collection of books, music, movies, and periodicals, but also the library's digital resources, including Brainfuse (online tutoring), Flipster (magazines), Global Road Warrior (geography and culture), Hoopla (music/movies), INSPIRE (Indiana's virtual library), IndieFlix (movies), Mango (world languages), the HPL's OverDrive (eBooks and audiobooks), and more!

Marisela Cervantes chose The 
Lure by Lynne Ewing as her
raffle prize.
"The number of information and entertainment resources that a public library card offers is amazing, " noted Ms. Kelly Hladek, Morton's library media specialist. "A Hammond Public Library card is the best tool that our students can have as they embark on another school year." 

The name of every student who applied for a library card was entered into a drawing for a popular best-seller. A winner was drawn for each lunch period. The A lunch winner was Selena Flores; the B lunch winner was Nia Jennings; and the C lunch winner was Marisela Cervantes. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Latest Book Chat features 2018-2019 Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award nominees

The Library Media Center's collection of digital Book Chats just became larger with the addition of a new chat showcasing the 2018-2019 Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award nominees. Presented in a Google Slides format, the chats include book covers and summaries for 25 to 30 books, giving teachers and students short and snappy introductions to a number of reading suggestions.

"For the past few years, we have introduced the Eliot Rosewater nominees via these convenient, colorful, and quick chats," said Ms. Kelly Hladek, library media specialist. "The chat also lets readers know that the books are available in hardback and as an eBook or audiobook in OverDrive." Students are encouraged to access their OverDrive collection via Sora, the new student reading app, at  (Setup code: hammondin)

The curated collections focus on particular themes and may be shared with more than one class simultaneously or even self-guided. The entire collection is featured on the Library's webpage. For more information, explore any of the Book Chats or stop by the Library Media Center.