Janet Lee Carey-Library Lions Roar Library Lions Roar Janet Lee Carey Award-winning author of novels for children and young adults

Rush Creek Library Roars!

Welcome to Library Lions Roar! Celebrating libraries and the outstanding librarians serving youth in schools and public libraries across the U.S. Please Roar today’s guest, Donna Ohlgren. Donna is the librarian at Rush Creek Elementary in Maple Grove, MN. Her school serves about 900 students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

The Skinny
The thing I love most about my work is encouraging students to read. I have the opportunity to help many students find just the right book. I am able to recommend books to students and get them excited about reading. I am able to connect them with authors through Skype visits.

A Lion’s Pride of Programs
In addition to serving the students during the school day, our library hosts a Makerspace Morning event once each month. Thirty-five students are invited to come to this before school program to tinker, play and build. Students can build with recyclable items, sew on our sewing machine, print on our 3D printer, take apart technology or try other small tech stations.

Another program we host before school is a second grade before school book club.


Each month we invite all second graders to participate. Families are asked to find and read the book before our book club meeting. We usually get about 50 students who attend. We are very fortunate to have a small group of parent volunteers and teachers who lead small groups in discussion of the book that they read.

We just started a before school coding club where students will learn how to use Scratch. A parent volunteer is assisting with this new endeavor.


I also help a parent volunteer with fifth-grade photo club. We use school district-issued iPads to take photos. In the spring, we have a photo gala and invite families to visit the photo gallery.

Readers Roar: Let’s hear from the kids!
“Rush Creek library is a relaxing, quiet place to be and it has a large variety of books to read.” Jack 5th grade

“I enjoy reading all the new books you get for everyone.” Evangeline 5th grade

Author! Author!
We have had the great opportunity to do many virtual author visits via Skype. These visits are ideal because it gives us to visit with authors we would not have the opportunity to meet otherwise. Each author visit has been unique and amazing. We have met authors, pets and once an author’s child during our visits. We have done origami with one author, watched an illustrator draw, listened to an author play guitar and sing and sang a song to a different author. Students remember and chat about these visits a long time afterward.

One Last Roar
The reason my library is important is because it supports our school district mission which is …to inspire and prepare all students with the confidence, courage, and competence to achieve their dreams; contribute to community, and engage in a lifetime of learning. My library supports students in academic achievement and teaches 21st-century skills.

I encourage all librarians to share what they do with others. I believe it is important to attend conferences and share about my library. I attend EdCamps to learn and share and co-coordinate rEaDcamp. I post on Twitter, so parents are aware of what is happening in our library. I also write an article in our monthly school newsletter.

Thank you, Donna, for sharing all the terrific programs you and your library provide at Rush Creek Elementary. School libraries are often undiscovered goldmines. We post monthly on LLR to help get the word out and showcase all the fun, innovative programs in school and public libraries across the US.

You’re so right about the importance of librarians sharing what they do so parents are aware of all the library programs vital to children’s learning. Other librarians reading your post might be inspired to try things you’ve had success with in your library as well.

Libraries Link
Rush Creek Library Website:
Twitter: @ohlgrend

Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Email Janet via the Contact page on this website to set up an interview.

Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet.

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