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Mrs. Kate Keller, Library

Welcome to the Library! Saint John Fisher is a great place to be a reader!

The Library is a versatile spot. From the days spent in what is now the computer lab, then moving downstairs to room 109, and finally, Mrs. Funk brought the library to its current home - at the end of the hall, below the gym.

My name is Kate Keller and I worked as a volunteer with Mrs. Funk and was her substitute when needed for many years. I have three children who have attended St. John Fisher, Sally is a senior at Loyola University, Josa is a freshman at The University of Arizona and my son Johnny is currently in eighth grade at SJF. I am honored to “read from the rocker” at SJF!!! During, before, or after library class, I will do my best to find your kids something they will love to read!


How to log on to Accelerated Reader

Posted on Nov 20, 2020

Dear Parents,

Accelerated Reader is a supplementary reading program for SJF students who are in 2nd to 6th grade that encourages students to read books independently and to check their comprehension by taking an AR quiz at school or at home.

Teachers will assign Accelerated Reader tests for your student depending on their grade level. To log on to the program, please go to:


Once there, click on “I’m a student” and you will be directed to enter a username and password. Generally, their username will be the first letter of their first name and the first three letters of their last name. And the password will be the first three letters of their last name.

Eg. Johnny Keller

    Username - jkell

    Password - kel

*If you are unable to log on, please try using caps for the first letter of the password (eg - Kel)

Books from the SJF Library will be marked with Accelerated Reader levels and points. Of course students may use books that they have at home! If you want to check that a book you have in your home library has an AR test, please go to the Accelerated Reader Bookfinder to check.


*sometimes you may have to double check the title - if it is part of a series, make sure you enter the book name and not the series name - eg. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown” - only type in “The Meltdown”.


Accelerated Reader quizzes are designed to gauge students' comprehension of the books they are reading but our ultimate goal at St John Fisher is to encourage students’ love of reading books!


If you have any questions about accessing accelerated reader please contact Kate Keller at




Library Card Sign up Month

Posted on Sep 27, 2020


September is National Library Card sign up month and the Chicago Public Library offers so many resources both in person and online, if you have a library card!

Many SJF students who I have talked to recently told me that they didn't have a library card - maybe they just don't remember? In addition to audiobooks & e-books, the library also provides access to many online teaching and learning resources! 

So get started or renew that card! This form will also be available on the library facebook page as a file so print it out, fill it out (for renewals as well as new cards), send it to school with your student and I will take care of the rest! 

Yay for libraries! Please return forms by 10/1!




I am so excited to welcome back our Fisher Falcons!

Posted on Sep 07, 2020


Welcome to the new school year! I am excited and look forward to working with your child to foster the love of literacy and help him or her effectively navigate through nonfiction text. Once book check out is available, I will be doing book talks and offering recommendations for great fiction and nonfiction books for your child to choose from each week. 

The start of the 2020 school year is like nothing any of us has ever experienced but I am counting on a love of reading to connect us all. I am excited to begin the year in a new way with the strong belief that no matter where we are or how much things have changed, we will love reading, share books and create our own stories. 

  • The SJF Library will be travelling this year! I will be visiting students, PK through 6th grade in their classrooms - taking the show on the road :)

  • Book check out will be available in the next few weeks following updated CDC guidelines

We have all missed our kids so much and I am so excited to meet our new friends - We are going to have a great year! 


Join the SJF Library page on facebook

Posted on May 04, 2020

Go to for links to reading sites, daily information and updates.


Posted on Apr 30, 2020

We are currently on chapter 19 of Wishtree. If you do not have a copy of the book, I have recorded and will be adding recordings to youtube. Please feel free to turn your sound down and read along or listen to the recordings!

I have also created a padlet with lots of information about the book, trees and wishing that you can access here:

Happy Reading!

Link to Library padlet

Posted on Mar 26, 2020

Here is a link to padlet I created for the library:

There are links to *free* e-reading, audiobooks, read alouds I have posted and so much more.....


read or listen for free online

Posted on Mar 20, 2020

ABDO books is offering all of their e-books (some with lesson plans) for free until March 31. No sign in needed.  Core Library Connection is a free, online portal where students and teachers can easily access additional Common Core resources. Every title in our Core Library imprint is accompanied by vetted activities, multimedia, and booklinks, for deeper subject comprehension.  Booklinks Nonfiction Network is a free source of additional online nonfiction weblinks, where readers can learn more about subjects that interest them. Each booklinks webpage corresponds to an ABDO title, where readers can access associated websites for further learning.




Free remote access to PebbleGo, PebbleGo Next and Capstone Interactive eBooks.

  Student Access Instructions


Visit and click "Sign In"

Username: engaged

Password: learning

PebbleGo Next:

Visit and click "Log In"

Username: engaged

Password: learning

Capstone Interactive eBooks:

Visit and click "Log In"

Username: continue

Password: reading


Audible is offering a ton of free audiobooks on their website. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.


Accelerated Reader

Posted on Mar 18, 2020
The Accelerated Reader Program may be accessed by students from home while we are out of school.
If you want to check if there is an AR test for a specific book please visit:
Students should use the following URL for access to Accelerated Reader. The screen that comes up should be the same one they are used to seeing at school. Tests may be taken on desktops or chromebooks but may not work on an ipad or other tablet.
Click on this link or copy/paste in your browser:
If you have any questions feel free to email me at

Library Specials from home

Posted on Mar 17, 2020

Students and Parents, Here are some library assignments to keep you busy and READING!!!


Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or book suggestions!


7th and 8th grades - log in to google classroom for assignments


Code for 7th - jtnrkyw

Code for 8th - ld2sf6s


5th and 6th grades- Visit Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s website and read the first three chapters of Shouting at the Rain

Then, try the anagram quiz, clues provided!

After reading these chapters, would you read the rest? If you have already read this book, what do you think?




Read the first 2 chapters of Nic Stone’s new book Clean Getaway.

I’m already on chapter 7 (I had to find out what was going on:) and I really like this book! I think that most of you reading these chapters will start to get a sense of what might happen next but if you want a hint (and a history lesson) check this out:

Listen to the podcast or read the article but I promise, if you read Clean Getaway by Nic Stone, you will not be disappointed.


3rd and 4th grades - Visit the website, and listen/watch as author Lesa Cline-Ransome reads her book, Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams.

Many authors read their books or offer book trailers on this site. Look around, find a book (or a bunch of books you would like to read) and tell me why you want to read it. 

OR - write a short review of “Game Changers” and tell me why you enjoyed it.


1st and 2nd grades - Watch Nick Bruel’s (author of the Bad Kitty series) Youtube video about how to write a story

Listen to what he says about the way he came up with the idea for the first Bad Kitty book. He has written many books but this process is something that we all can do! Try it together with your family or make something up on your own. I can’t wait to read your ideas!!!


Here is what I came up with after watching:


There was once a really funny llama. The funny llama had been on the porch for over 20 minutes! I knew that the llama would not leave until I gave him some cheese.


I wonder what could ever happen in this story?

If you want to add to the funny llama’s story or tell me about what you created on your own, please email it to me!!!


PK/Kdg - Visit the site, to discover all kinds of great information! I’m pretty sure that if you want to learn about something you will find a great read/listen on this site. Like, how to saddle a horse, all about a tarantula with a special name, or the different parts of a bike. Then, tell someone what you learned from the book.


A few at-home reading suggestions

Posted on Mar 16, 2020


Hello Parents! 

Here are a few suggestions for at-home reading and information about the Great America Tickets.


Great America Reading Program

Students in kindergarten through 6th grade should have received a letter and reading log for the Great America Read to Succeed program.

The program has changed this year and is entirely online. Please visit their website to enroll your child. You will need a specific code for your child’s homeroom teacher.


Mrs. Fanjoy - N6WFS

Mrs. Foran - UXBVM

Mrs. Rech - DYHQU

Ms. Surin - 6NF5R

Mrs. Vittori - UTU3N

Mrs. Ade - ASAXK

Mrs. Briseno - HP9YF

Mrs. Kellam - V1CPQ

Mrs. Caulfield - TPBT6

Ms. Psik - 36VCE

Mrs. Regnier - MCYFN

Ms. Garritty - 2QFS2

Mrs. Kovatch - VTXQG

Mrs. Sullivan - NGHHK

Mrs. Deering - NR9NX

Mrs. Folliard - VRU9X

Mrs. Hughes - MMXGE

Mrs. O’Shea - VA9TX

Mrs. Quinn - 1XMCS

Mrs. Schiller - AQCE2


To earn a free ticket to Great America ($40! Student price!) kids must log 6 hours of reading by April 10 (perfect timing I think!).


The Chicago Public Library has many books (and magazines, movies, music) that you can download and read or listen to at home. READ EVERYDAY!!!


(Parents - if your child does not have a library card or if that card has expired, you can sign them up online!)


Guiness Book of World Records. Take a look at this cool website! There are many activities for you to do at home. Take a robot quiz, put your gaming knowledge to the test, read about some amazing records and try to break one or two!


Scholastic Kids has a great website where you can check out some of your favorite authors! There are many activities to do online or off! Find a drawing tutorial for your favorite book characters and please bring your drawing to school! Pick a book and read an excerpt, if you like it, check the public library for the e-book and read it online!


Storyline Online is a fun website where famous people read you great stories! There are many to choose from, please let me know which one is your favorite.

Follow the link to visit two of my favorites! Betty White and Harry the Dirty Dog by Margaret Bloy Graham.

Listen and watch as Harry goes on a bath-busting adventure :)


BreakoutEDU has a selection of digital breakouts for grades K-12. Watch the tutorial and give your brain a workout! Try a new one everyday, there are multiple subjects to practice your problem solving skills.


Storytime from Space is an awesome site that is sponsored by the Global Space Education Foundation. This site has loads of resources and lots of fun stuff for kids. Max Goes to the Moon by Jeffrey Bennett is a wonderful picture book about an astronaut, who also happens to be a rottweiler, and his visit to the moon! The story is read by real-life astronaut Mike Hopkins and in addition to a fun read, the background image of the earth from space is amazing! 

Watch and listen to Max Goes to the Moon here:


Some suggestions for unplugged reading activities!


Draw a scene from a book you read

-Sit outdoors for 10 minutes. Write a journal entry about what you saw, felt, smelled, heard.

-Count the number of tiles in your kitchen. What could you build with that number of Lego bricks?

-Ask your parents for a cookbook or recipe. Read the directions of two recipes. Compare recipes. What is the same/different?

- Look at the advertisements from your junk mail. Circle all the numbers. Underline action verbs/adjectives.

-Draw the shape of the clouds.

-Sit a cup outside to catch rain. How much did you catch? How long was the cup collecting rainwater?

-Find some flowers in your house or yard. Draw them. Write a story from their perspective.

January 2020

Posted on Jan 07, 2020

Welcome Back!

January will be a busy month in the library!! I hope everyone had a great winter break and read some good books ;)

The Book Fair is just a few weeks away! SJF will be having a Scholastic Book Fair during Catholic Schools Week! The fair will open on Sunday, January 26 so be sure to stop by after you have visited your student's classroom!!

This month we will be reviewing library skills and reading nonfiction. There is so much to learn and, thankfully, many different types of nonfiction books that I hope kids will enjoy! 

7th and 8th grade students will read a nonfiction book of their choosing and submit a review which will be due the first week of February. These reviews will count towards their second trimester grade (library grades are based on following directions, effort shown and student conduct while in the library). If you have any questions about this assignment or the school library in general, please contact me. 


December in the Library

Posted on Dec 10, 2019

December is such a fun time in the SJF library! 

From Preschool to 8th grade, we have read books that have reminded us to be patient and excited during the Advent season, thankful for the gifts we already have, ready for High School entrance exams, and grateful for our friends and families.

All students may enter the Christmas bookmark contest, by drawing a Christmas book or re-imagining a favorite book or book character with a Christmas theme (template is available in the library). Entries are due by 12/17!

Seventh and Eighth grade students have been working on reading comprehension and library skills. We will be reviewing research, citing sources and reading non-fiction when we return in January.

Students in seventh and eighth will also receive grades in the second trimester. Grades will be based on following directions, completing assignments and adhering to library etiquette. 


Library Info

Posted on Sep 04, 2019

The Library is open at 7:30 in the morning before school and until 3:00 after school. 

Students who need to visit the library before school must have a pass given by a member of the SJF staff the previous day or feel free to email me!  I want all students to always feel welcome and comfortable in the school library, especially when they need a quiet place to take a test or find a book. 


The school library has an Amazon wishlist! The list is public, feel free to add books or buy some for the library! (don’t forget to sign up for amazon smile!To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

To view and/or add to our library wish list on Amazon, here is the link:


Accelerated Reader

Students in 2nd through 6th grades use the AR program. After reading a book, students take a comprehension test and receive points for correct answers. Teachers assign a certain number of points to be earned per trimester.

Renaissance Home Connect links to Accelerated Reader Bookfinder, the online search tool that makes it easy for you and your child to search for the next Accelerated Reader book to read. In Accelerated Reader Bookfinder (as in Renaissance Home Connect), you may choose to see the pages in English or Spanish.


Here is the link to check student progress and/or receive notifications for Accelerated Reader:


More information about the goings on in the School Library will be forthcoming! In the meantime, please feel free to contact me!


Welcome Back!

Posted on Aug 26, 2019

The SJF library has had summer makeover and is ready for a new school year!


My name is Kate Keller and I will be seeing students from PreK to 8th grade for ‘library lessons’ to support classroom learning and encourage students’ love of reading. I hope that you will encourage your kids to read for fun and read with them as much as possible, because:


Reading can help you relax

Reading for 6 minutes a day can reduce stress by 68%

Reading can increase your intelligence

If you read for 20 minutes a day, you’ll read 1,800,000 words per year

Reading can make you more empathetic

Reading is contagious!



October Blog

Posted on Jan 25, 2019

Happy October from the Saint John Fisher Library!


First of all, many thanks for everyone who donated (or plan to donate :) books to the library!! We have gotten some great ones and the kids have been taking them out or are in line to do so.

Here is the link to an updated wish list: this is a public list so you should be able to add to it or purchase from it :)


This year in Library classes the focus will be on enjoying what we are reading and looking for books to read that we cannot put down, have to find the sequel to and/or want to find other books by the same author.


Kids in 2nd through 8th grade have or will soon be taking the STAR reading assessment. The STAR program is used to determine your child’s strengths and it will help us match your child with the right books for their reading ability. The assessment helps by providing a grade-level equivalent score to give an approximation of each student’s reading level.


For grades 3-8 the Accelerated Reader program is back in full swing! (second grade will begin taking AR tests in early October). Students with the top 5 highest point totals for each grade will be displayed outside the school library and updated each month, beginning in October.



What is Accelerated Reader?Accelerated Reader is a reading program designed to encourage and promote successful reading. It helps students to track their reading comprehension by providing them the tools to measure their improvement. AR places the focus on the careful reading of books, which in turn promotes critical thinking.

How does it work?Children read books and take the AR Reading Practice quiz for the book they just completed. They earn points based on their success on each quiz. The questions are designed to show how well the student understands the material. It’s one thing to read a book – it’s another thing to comprehend it in a meaningful way.

How is my child’s Reading Level established?At the beginning of the school year, your child will take a Star Reading test that determines his/her appropriate reading level. This test can be given three times per year. Based on his/her performance on this diagnostic tool, he/she is assigned a zone of proximal development, or ZPD. The number roughly correlates to the expected performance in a specific grade at a certain month of school. For instance, a level of 3.4 indicates third grade, fourth month.

What does ZPD stand for?The ZPD is a number range that correlates to levels assigned to AR books. The ZPD is designed to encourage students to read at their fluency level (the level at which they can read easily and with good comprehension).

How can I find out how many points my child has accumulated?Your child can check his/her reading record through the AR program at school. You can also check the Renaissance Home Connect Website to see your child's AR quiz scores. Another option is to check the reading log, which should have the score and number of points earned for each quiz taken.

Can my child take quizzes on books we own or check out from other libraries?

Yes, but the tests will need to be taken in the Saint John Fisher Library. Please check to make sure the book is on the Accelerated Reader List and that your child has not already taken the test! AR tests may only be taken once for each book. It is important that you help your child choose books that are suitable for their reading level.



Access the AR booklist here:


Access Accelerated Reader Accounts here:

You will need your child’s username and password to access your their bookshelf.