Reading by 3rd, Books for Lexile Levels, and Using Your School-Issued Chromebooks for EBooks From the Library

Written by Kristen Lanier, Marketing/PR Coordinator for BCLS and mother of a 3rd grader

Earlier this school year I had the pleasure of attending a parent information seminar at my son’s school to learn more about the recently passed Reading By 3rd Initiative for the state of South Carolina. Essentially, we were informed that our 3rd grader would have to take a 3-hour written exam in May this school year to measure their reading level and the scores on this test would determine if the student needs to repeat the 3rd grade. Scary thought! My 3rd grader can barely sit still for 1 hour and you want him to take a 3-hour written exam! While at this seminar we were also given the results of the first two reading tests our child had completed this school year. I was shocked to see my son had scored right at the reading level for this grade leaving little-to-no wiggle room. He has always scored high in reading and has a high B and low A in this English classes, so again, I was shocked and concerned at his score thinking, “We need to jump on this now!”

Since I work for the library, I knew of Lexile(R), the new method SC is using to measure reading. This new method had been discussed around my office for months. We, BCLS, even worked to incorporate Lexile Levels in our catalog to make it easier for parents and students to search and find books for their level. For those like myself, who see the end of the school year fastly approaching and needing to find books for their student’s reading level, here are a few tools to get you started:

What is The Lexile® Framework for Reading?

According to, Lexile® measures help you find reading materials at your child’s unique reading level. With Lexile® measures, you can engage your child in learning by ensuring they comprehend their reading materials, as well as monitor their progress over time. Please note: A Lexile® measure is a measure of text complexity only. It does not address the subject matter or text quality, age-appropriateness of the content or a reader’s interests. The Lexile® measure is one piece of information that you can use when selecting books.  *LEXILE® is a trademark of MetaMetrics, Inc.

How to find books in our library catalog if you know your level:

1. Go to and select catalog.
2. Then click the LEXILE SEARCH button.
3. Enter your Lexile® Range and click Search. Check out books or save, print, text, or email your list!

If you don’t know your level:

Here is a Leveled Reading Map from for range levels by grade or as a comparison to another reading measurement. If you still want help, you can go to and use their “Find A Book” system. Just enter your grade, difficulty level and areas of interest, then find a new book to read. Once you know what book you want, then you can search that title in our catalog.

If you found a book but don’t know the Lexile® Level:
If our catalog does not provide the Lexile® Level for a book you want to read, you can look up the book title on here or use their Analyze Text mode to get an estimate for the Lexile® Level.

If you are like me and can not always make it to the library. Here are some of the digital media you can access from your child’s school-issued Chromebook, tablet, desktop computer and even mobile phones:

Jasmine Digital Library Check out eBooks and audiobooks instantly on your mobile device or e-reader. Choose from more than 10,000 titles, plus no late fees!

RBDigital for Kids and Teens Select from a wide selection of unabridged eBooks and audiobooks for electronic or mobile device.

TumbleBook Library Features an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading in a format they will love.

Here is a quick link to all our digital media sources.

If you don’t have a library card, we can help with that too! You can now register online for a card, 24/7, and get instant access to our digital media or place books on hold to pick up later from the library! Click here to get a card. 

I hope some of this information helps you and your young reader. If you have any other questions, stop by one of our 6 library branches or the mobile library. Our friendly staff are always happy to help and we have set up displays with books ready to check out for various Lexile® Levels, complete with a bookmark and reading chart resource for you to take home.

Good luck and happy reading!

Free Jazz Concert at the Moncks Corner Library with Local Vocalist Alterea Baxter and Friends

Join vocalist Alterea Baxter and friends for a special performance with the Berkeley County Library System. They will be singing classical R&B, Jazz, and Soul.

Assembly Room of the Berkeley County Administration Building (next to the Moncks Corner Library)
Saturday, March 17th, 4 – 5 pm

About Alterea:

Vocalist Alterea Baxter, of Charleston, SC, has been capturing her audience for thirty-five years. Alterea’s appeared on Lowcountry Live as a guest performer with JBS R&B Duo. Alterea can be seen performing with various local bands such as True Concept Reggae Band where they participated in “Save More Kids” Annual Galla 2016. Alterea can be seen performing as “Vocalist & Friends” consisting of Sherylyn (Dee Dee) Johnson, Ernest Brown & Terrence Bryant.

Alterea has also been a guest performer for Fall Reggae Feast 2016 at Music Farm in Charleston, SC.

Alterea has performed from North Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, Savannah Georgia, Atlanta Georgia to Panama City Florida, opening for such guests as, Bobby Blue Bland, Roy C, Eddie Cornelius, and Drifters. Alterea comes from a musical background of local musicians within her family.

She enjoys singing Jazz, R&B, Reggae, and Blues as well as Country. Alterea has been groomed in her vocal abilities by the late Mrs. June Bonner of the Dock Street Theater in Charleston, SC. Alterea has put her vocal style to use with various musical leaders such as Joey Morant, Howard Brown, Oscar Rivers and various artist in the Low Country. You can see her at many local venues in Charleston as well as Little Italy Restaurant in Savannah Georgia, My place/Gulla Quezin, sharing her passion for music with others as well as promoting events with her manager. Terrence Bryant of TNT Entertainment.

See more about Alterea, follow her on Facebook. 

[bio provided by artist]

Children’s Books for Black History Month

BCLS Now Circulating Board Games

Have you checked out our new board game collection?
Written by Tina Chenoweth, MLIS, St. Stephen Branch Manager
Board games are one of the latest in a series of new products offered by BCLS, and they align perfectly with the library’s mission of lifelong learning.  Thanks to donations from individuals and several generous board game publishers, BCLS now offers nearly 70 games that can be checked out.  The rental time is one week, with two renewals.
The teaching and learning benefits of board games are widely touted, but they also offer a unique social aspect: they encourage players to use cognitive skills to work together and find peaceful, effective solutions to problems.  Many parents, teachers, and families complain about society’s over-dependence on electronic devices and social media – one good way of dealing with this issue is with board games.
New to modern board games?  That’s okay – our staff stand ready to match you with the perfect board game.   Check our catalog today for a complete listing.  You can locate them easily in our catalog with the keyword “board games.” If you are searching in our mobile catalog app, BookMyne, be sure to select the St. Stephen Library as your library before you search.
If you like Fantasy and Science Fiction, give these a try:
  • Werewolf Zombie Fairy
  • The Isle of Dr. Necreaux
  • The Gnomes of Zavander
  • The Mines of Zander
  • Eaten by Zombies
  • Dragon Rage
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Cypher
  • The Red Dragon Inn: Gambling? I’m in!
  • Boss Monster 2
  • Cutthroat Caverns
  • Lost in R’lyeh

If you like Game of Thrones, maybe you will like these:

  • Battle of Westeros
  • For Crown & Kingdom
  • Ivanhoe
  • Game of Crowns

If you like Science & STEAM, then you may want to check out: 

  • Bugs
  • Evolution
  • Steam Works
  • Goblins, Inc.
  • Empire Engine
  • 20th Century
  • Wrong Chemistry
  • Habitat

If you like History, give one of these a spin:

  • Constitution Quest
  • Ivanhoe?Manoeuvre
  • For Crown & Kingdom
  • Myth: Pantheon
  • Game of Crowns
  • Sutter’s Mill
  • The Enigma of Leonardo
  • The Kingdoms of Crusaders
  • Gloria Mundi
  • Municipium
  • Ever Green
  • Nile Deluxor
  • 1844/1854 and 1830

If you like Family or Party Games, these may hit the spot: 

  • Wits & Wagers
  • Splendor
  • Monkey Lab
  • Famous Fairways / Forehand
  • Cover Your A$$ets
  • Leaping Lemmings
  • Incan Gold
  • Little Devils
  • Red7
  • We Didn’t Playtest This at All
  • Ranking
  • Ostrakon
  • The Haunting House

For those Beginners looking for a quick or filler game:

  • A Fool’s Fortune
  • Munchkin Loot Letter
  • Formula Motor Racing
  • Hounded
  • A Murder of Crows

Try these Heavier games if you have gaming experience or you are looking for a challenge:

  • Agents of SMERSH
  • California
  • Gloom
  • Harbour
  • Thunder Alley

If you have more questions about a game listed above, we recommend looking it up on  It is a wonderful resource that will help with any questions you have about any board game.

South Carolina State Library Hosts Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest

About the Contest

South Carolina students: do you believe that poetry can change the world?

Tell us how by participating in this year’s Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest! The Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest encourages young writers to capture the power of their words and experience the freedom of original literary expressions.

We invite you to participate by sharing poems about a person, place, or an experience that has changed your life. Each of us has within us the ability to empower and inspire ourselves and others. We all have ideas about our world. Your poetry may change the world in your own unique way.

By submitting your poem, you have the opportunity to meet this year’s special guest, Kwame Alexander–poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author!

First, Second, and Third Place winners will be selected for the following groups: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12. Winners and their families will be invited to the State Library to read their poems, meet Kwame Alexander, receive a signed copy of his book, Out of Wonder, and awarded an Amazon gift card, up to $50!

Kwame Alexander is the author of 25 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children. His newest release, Solo, a young-adult novel in verse co-authored with Mary Rand Hess is a New York Times bestseller. Some of his other works include The Playbook: 52 Rules to Help You Aim, Shoot, and Score in this Game of Life; the picture books Animal ArkOut of Wonder, and Surf’s Up; and novels BookedHe Said She Said, and the forthcoming prequel to The CrossoverRebound.

Kwame AlexanderKwame Alexander believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his writing and publishing program. He is also the first recipient of the Pat Conroy Legacy Award, which recognizes writers whose books have had a lasting impact on their literary community. He also hosts a weekly TV show, Bookish Show. In this series, Kwame gives the scoop, the lowdown, the 411, the skinny, on his books, fave authors, and the literary happenings of his entourage. Kwame also travels the world planting seeds of literary love and co-founded LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program. He lives in Virginia. Visit him at

If you are interested in submitting a poem, please review the contest requirements, register, and submit your poem here.

Submissions are accepted from Tuesday, January 16, 2018 to Friday, March 16, 2018. All entries must be submitted by 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 16, 2018.

Winners will be notified by email and announced on our website on Friday, April 6, 2018.

Last year’s first Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest received more than 600 student submissions throughout the state and showed us that young poets want to write and share their art. Watch the ETV video above and start writing!

For more information, please contact Ashley Till, Statewide Services Manager at

**Content provided by South Carolina State Library, click here to see the originial post and promotional video. **

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