South Hillsborough Library


Current Library News:

Happy Summer! Summer is a time to explore nature, have some amazing trips, and curl up with a good book!  Remember to check out the Summer Reading books, the Reading Challenge books, and Battle of the Books (if you are an incoming 4th or 5th grader) for some great summer suggestions.

Summer Reading:  All Reading Logs are due the first week of school, and all students reading 8 books (including all CYRM books from one category) are eligible to attend the September ice cream reading parties.

The Battle of the Books list for 2020 is ready! The “Battle” is a friendly, but competitive, trivia competition based on books in several different genres.  Teams may have 2, 3, or 4 members; all members must be 4th or 5th graders.  The first round of the competition will be in March, 2020 in the library at lunch. 

Battle of the Books Teams must be familiar with the following 10 titles: Realistic Fiction: Ban this Book by Alan Gratz, See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng; Mystery: Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor; Fantasy: Sweep: A Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier, When the Sea Turned Silver by Grace Lin; Historical Fiction: Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome; Humor: Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce; Sports Fiction: Last Shot:  Mystery at the Final Four by John Feinstein; Science Fiction: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm; Classic:  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Reading Tigers will begin for the 2019-2020 school year on Thursday, October 3, 2019: Reading Tigers is South’s award-winning lunchtime reading program. There are three big changes to the program this year: 1) parents can be in the same group as their child (we recognize more parents are working and would like to maximize time with their children), 2) students who don’t read for two consecutive meetings will be asked to leave (to make it the best possible experience for students who read the book and parent leaders who prepare activities based on the story), and 3) there will only be 4 meetings in the 2019-2020 year (to allow adequate time to prepare for the Battle of the Books in March). 

The books for the October 3rd meeting are as follows (and you can pick up a copy at the upcoming Book Fair!): second grade, Hilo #1 by Judd Winick; third grade, Who Was Steve Irwin? by Dina Anatasio; fourth grade, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen; fifth grade, The City of Ember by Jeanne duPrau.

Check out Mrs. James’s Instagram account:  Mrs. James has created an Instagram account, @thetigerlibrarian, providing book recommendations for parents and students.  There is a short book summary for each title as well as hashtags indicating the main themes of the book.  Plus, if you’re a nature person or just like flowers, you’ll enjoy the unique small bouquets that Mrs. James creates for every new book title she profiles.  Enjoy the photos and also find some great books for  the 2018-19 school year by following @thetigerlibrarian.

Start or Finish the Reading Challenge This Summer:  Students have until April 17, 2020 to turn in their answers for the 2019-2020 year’s Long Term Reading Challenge.   The celebration party will be Thursday, May 7th, 2020 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Go to the “Reading Challenge” tab at the top to see the book lists and quotes for 2019-2020. 


The South Hillsborough School Elementary Library contains over 18,000 books.  New books are added weekly.  Stop by today to check out a great new book, including Mercy Suarez Changes Gears (the Newbery Medal winner!), Lighthouse (the Caldecott Medal winner), Alma and How She Got Her Name (a Caldecott Honor book), and Thank You, Omu! (a Caldecott Honor book). The latest additions to the library will always be placed on the Birthday Book table, so look there to browse the new books!

Links to Useful Sites:

Search the SOUTH collection online.

Learn more about South Hillsborough School by visiting the South website.

For this year’s American Library Association winners, click here.  To view past Newbery winners, click here.

Visit the San Mateo Library website.

Visit the Burlingame Library website.

To search the World Book online from home, you’ll need to visit the San Mateo portal.  Send me an email, and I’ll give you the username and password.

Do you love reading and books? There are many ways to promote literacy plus your child’s love of reading by volunteering in the library this year.  Volunteers are needed to help with book borrowing, book shelving, bookmarks, book repair, book reviews, cataloging, library lessons, the Reading Tigers program, and the book fairs.  Please see Soraya Oliven or Deb Crisp (Reading Tigers parent coordinators), Shannon Seeberan or Jessica Zucker (Library Volunteer coordinators), Amy Lin, Katherin Baban, or Beth Rosen (Book Fair chairs) if you would like to learn more about the volunteer opportunities in the library this year.

If you would like to volunteer at South, remember that all volunteers must sign up online through Konstella and sign a confidentiality agreement. Konstella will help everyone manage the incredible number of volunteer hours given to South each year. The confidentiality agreement is designed to remind all volunteers of the importance of keeping student and school sensitive information private for the well-being of our entire school community.

Join the Judy Goetzl Birthday Book Club! The purchase of new books, CDs, and Playaways for the South Library is made possible by the generosity of the South parent community when donations to the Judy Goetzl Birthday Book Club are made.  If you haven’t already done so, enroll your child today by making a $25, $50 (or greater!) donation.  Forms are available under the “Birthday Books” tab or by clicking here.  The Birthday Book Club is named in honor of Judy Goetzl, South‛s amazing librarian for over 20 years; your contribution ensures that the diverse collection she created will remain current and stimulating.

Tiger Den Transformation: Wishtree. The entire South community read the novel Wishtree by Katherine Applegate because of the powerful and timely themes it contains, including empathy, tolerance, friendship, cooperation, and respect for nature. The library stage (aka The Tiger Den) has been transformed in celebration of South’s reading.  It now has a large Wishtree on which each member of the South community placed a wish on March 30th.   Many thanks to the wonderful parents and grandparent who made the Wishtree a reality--Jessica Zucker, Amy Lin, Mia Alioto, Jennifer Sepulveda, Carolyn Lorber, and Jim Lee.  We plan to have its beautiful spreading canopy grace the Tiger Den for many years!