Bowditch School Library


Prerna Gopinath, Journalist/Editor

Bowditch’s school library is vast and has books for everyone no matter what they may like to read. You can go explore the media center’s extensive collection of books whenever you are bored. 

The library is open before and after school for about 10 minutes and also during lunch. If you want to have time to see the library’s entire collection you should probably visit during lunch when there is the most time. If you visit during lunch you need to get a lunch pass from the lady standing by the double doors. When you get to the media center you should put your laminated pass in the box by the desk at the front of the library and write your name in the library log.

If you have any questions the librarians are there to help you. Bowditch has 2 librarians Mrs. Alfonso and Mrs. Goller. Since Mrs. Alfonso works in both Borel and Bowditch she splits her time. Mrs. Goller works here Mondays, Tuesdays, and every other Wednesday while Mrs. Alfonso works Thursdays, Fridays, and every other Wednesday.

The library is categorized in 2 ways. The fiction books are shelved by genre and within that in order of their author’s last names. Nonfiction books are separated by the Dewey decimal system; a poster on a shelf explains how it works.

The library also has many computers you can use to search for books or use if your Chromebook is not working or if you do not have access to the internet. You can also use these computers to print out work or do your work if you need to.

The library also offers homework help every Monday and Thursday, where you can go to the library and your teachers will be there to help you with your work and teach you anything that you do not understand. There is also a book club where you can meet with other students after school on Thursday and read and discuss books together. All books being read have multiple copies available so you can check them out and read them on your own time if you are not able to attend the actual club. This club is not in the library, but actually in Room 38 from 3:15-3:50 on Thursdays.

The library also has a catalog where you can look for books online. To access the catalog you go to ‘’ and it will take you to the access page. To view the site you tap ‘middle school’ from the different school options. Under that, you hit ‘Bowditch Middle School’. Once you do that it will take you to the catalog. You will not be logged in and to do so you click ‘login’ at the top right corner. Your username is your school email without the ‘’ part or your initials with your student id number. Your password is your school account password which is your birthday in the year/month/date order in all numbers. 

Once you are in you will see popular and newly added books that you can browse. You can click on a book to see information about it like its author, title, genre, call number, and sublocation as well as a description. You can also see ratings other people have made on the book when you click on it. 

To personalize your account you can go to the top right corner where it will say ‘welcome (your name)’ and a circle. You should press on your name and 2 options will appear: profile and log out. If you click on ‘Profile’ you will be allowed to enter information about yourself like your reading interests and grade. You can customize your profile picture by clicking either emojis, people, or stickers each of which will give you pictures to choose from and set as your profile image. If you click the ‘logout’ button you will get (you guessed it) logged out.

To easily find books you may want to use the search tool. To search you tap on the magnifying glass in the top right corner next to your name and profile image. You type in the name of the book you want to find. If there are any special characteristics you want you can use the drop-down menu to the right. This button is the filter button that you can use to specify what kind of book you want.

To navigate books you have to click on the drop-down menu that says ‘my stuff’. When you click on any of the options in ‘my stuff’ a white bar will appear that shows all of your options so that you can go easily from one option to another. There are 4 options that you will see: ‘Checkouts’, ‘Holds’, ‘Favorites’, and ‘Fines’. ‘Checkouts’ will show you any books you currently have checked out and tell you when they are due. ‘Holds’ will show you any books you have on hold and when you have to pick them up. You can click on the 3 dots in the bottom right corner to unhold a book if you decide you don’t want it anymore. ‘Favorites’ show any books that you have favorited for easy access. ‘Fines’ show you any fines you have. Keep in mind that Bowditch does not have fines for late books only for books that have been purposely damaged. 

To place a book on hold you find the book that you want and click on it. There will be a white hold button that says ‘Hold’ in blue letters. If after putting a book on hold you decide you don’t want the book you go to the ‘my stuff’ button and click ‘holds’ to see any books you have on hold then simply press ‘unhold’. 

Books also say whether they are in or out on their covers. In the top right corner of the book viewing page, there are 3 dots that you can click which will give you more options. The options you have are to ‘Share’, ‘Make a Wish’, and ‘Add to Collections’. When you click on ‘Share’ it gives you a QR code to download and share as well as a link that you can copy and share. To make a wish you first have to pick the book you want. When you press it, it will take you to a screen that will display the book title, cover, and reason for wishing for it as well as a drop-down menu that will say ‘Desired Title’. When you click it there will be two options: ‘Current Title’ and ‘New Title. If you want the book that is currently being displayed you tap the ‘Current Title’. If you want to pick a different book you select ‘New Title’. After that, you can add why you want to get the book if you’d like, then hit ‘Send Wish’. If you are adding a new book to your wishlist then you enter the title of the book, the author, ISBN, and reason for wanting it if you would like. To add a book to a collection you need to create a collection first. To create a collection you click the ‘Go to Collections’ button displayed under ‘Make a Collection’. If you already have collections you simply add to that collection. When you press that you automatically get transported to all public collections so you have to select ‘Private’ from the white bar at the top. You then hit ‘Create a Collection’ and enter the information needed.

You can also select genres you are interested in or browse ebooks from the sections on the home page. At the bottom of the home page, there are collections of related books you can look through from topics like ‘Computer Science Education Week’ to ‘Jeff Kinney Read Alikes’. 

 There is also a button at the top titled ‘Collections’ which will bring you to all the collections there are so you can flip through them.  At the bottom, there are different genres you can pick on to find books of that genre too.

Books have different symbols distinguishing them depending on what they are. Books have 2 symbols. There will be a book that says In for available books and a book that says out for unavailable books. E-Books are indicated with a little circle that has the letter e in it. Audiobooks are a rectangle with 2 circles in them and, like normal books say in or out. Videos have a camera symbol and say in or out.

The library also has a website! You can access it through the catalog. On the homepage of the catalog, there will be a link to the website. 

On the website, there will be a blue column that you can see. In the column, there will be links that you can use to access the catalog. There will also be tabs including ‘Books and More’, ‘Research’, ‘Digital Citizenship’, ‘Homework Help’, ‘Book Club’, ‘For Fun’, ‘Teacher Resources’, ‘Newsletters’, ‘Library FAQ’s’, and ‘Public Library Resources’. Some of the tabs will be in a drop-down menu. Here is a little bit about each of the options.

The ‘Bowditch Library Catalog’ option is a drop-down menu that has 2 sections. The main section shows a picture of the Catalog’s homepage and how to log into it. The drop-down section is ‘Select a Purchase’. In this area, there will be a google form that you can fill out, it will ask you questions about yourself and any books you think the library should have.

Directly below that is ‘Books and More’, another drop-down menu. ‘Books and More’, has many sections that you can pick that are displayed on the page and in the blue column. There are ‘Genre Lists’, ‘Read Alikes’, ‘Books by Topic’, ‘Award Winners’, ‘What Should I Read Next?’, ‘Book Concierge’, ‘Free eBooks’, ‘Student Recommendations’, ‘Shelfies’, and ‘Student Publications’.

‘Genre Lists’ show you many different genres that you can tap on. When you do so you will be taken to a google spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will have many columns which all include the book title, author, and any awards the book has been given. ‘Read Alikes’ will give you many popular authors that you may like. If you click on one author it will show you many books that are similar to the kind of books of that particular author. Like Genre Lists, there are many different columns with various information in each column. ‘Books by Topic’ have many different links that you can use all of which will take you to collections on the catalog. ‘Award Winners’ show many different awards which are highly respected, you can use those to find really good books. ‘What, Should I Read Next?’, displays many different resources you can use for inspiration to find a book. ‘Book Concierge’ is a google form that you can fill out that will give you a book to read based on your choices. ‘Free E-Books’ give you various resources you can use to get ebooks where you do not have to pay for. ‘Student Recommendations’ show books that are recommended by your fellow students. ‘Shelfies’ show pictures of teachers and what their bookshelves look like. ‘Student Publications’ is just an empty tab that will be updated soon. 

Underneath that is ‘Research’ which has a drop-down menu as well. It gives you multiple websites that you can use to get information for any work you might be doing. The other selection you can see is ‘Copyright and Fair Use’ which gives you information about plagiarism and copyright.l There is also ‘Citing Sources’ which all of you ELA teachers will be thankful for as it gives you information on citations and how to properly cite sources.

‘Digital Citizenship’ is right below and has a video explaining digital citizenship and a quiz you can take once you watch the video.

Next up is ‘Homework Help’ takes you to a page where you can access resources to get help with your homework. ‘Book Club’ is right below that and gives you a quick paragraph about the book club and what it is currently reading.

For Fun gives you links to different websites you can visit when you are bored or need something to do. There is ‘The Blue and Gold’, ‘KBOW’, ‘Inspirational Quotes’, ‘This Day in History’, Happy Birthday Author’, ‘Free Local Museum Tickets’, ‘Read Write Think’, ‘Harry Potter Escape Room’, and ‘NPR for Kids and Families’ all of which you can visit in your spare time.

‘Teacher Resources’ are things for teachers so you do not need to concern yourself with these.

‘Newsletters’ have many different links which display the previous library newsletters.

Underneath that is ‘Library FAQs’ which answer many common questions from students. The other selection is about the library which will give you many different links about the library.

Last but not least ‘Public Library Resources’ gives you access to things posted by the Foster City Library.

Hopefully, this article has answered some of your questions about the library but the librarians Mrs. Alfonso and Mrs. Goller are always available to answer any more you may have.

*All information is as of 12/14/2021 or before