South Hillsborough Library


Current Library News:

The Great Family Pumpkin Carving Contest is coming!  Families can bring in carved and/or decorated pumpkins to the library on October 30th or 31st. There will be a pumpkin walk on October 31st and every member of the South community can cast 5 votes for his or her favorite pumpkins.  The favorites will be announced before the close of school on Halloween. All pumpkins must be picked up on October 31st or they will be recycled.

Thanks for supporting the Scholastic Arctic Adventure Book Fair!  We had a very successful fall book fair.  Thank you to all the South students and families who supported our fair, came out to Family Night, and enjoyed our food trucks!  The library wouldn’t have such a rich collection of books without successful book fairs.

Upcoming October Author Visit:  

On October 28th, Ella Morton will talk about her work on The Atlas Obscura for kids and her book about animals of the Australian outback.  Books for the Ella Morton visit must be purchased online by October 18th, click here for the link to order books.

The second Reading Tigers meeting will be on Thursday, November 7, 2019: Thanks to all the parent leaders for the amazing first Reading Tigers meeting.  Thanks also to the South students for doing an amazing job finishing the books.  The discussions were excellent--keep up the great work!

The books for the November 7th meeting are as follows (and in most cases you can pick up a copy at the upcoming Book Fair!): second grade, Wolfie and Fly by Cary Fagin; third grade, Spiderwick Chronicles book 1, The Field Guide by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi; fourth grade, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin; fifth grade, Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach.  The movie week for third grade will begin on November 12th.

It’s time to start getting ready for The Battle of the Books in 2020! 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

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. 

Fall Author Visits: New York Times Best-Selling Author/Illustrator Chris Van Dusen visited South on September 24th!  Many thanks to The Reading Bug of San Carlos for sending author/illustrator Chris Van Dusen to South School.  Students loved Mr. Van Dusen’s new book, If I Built a School and were thrilled by his engaging presentation.

On October 17th, Joy Steuerwald spoke to PreK through 2nd graders about her book, The Peculiar Pig.  Students loved the story and the charming illustrations!  Big thanks to Hicklebee’s bookstore in San Jose for sending this talented author/illustrator to South School.


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 for books held in the South collection online.  If you know your student number, you can place holds from home.

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!