Reflection

LM_NET

Bob Hicks Nov. 17, 2011   – Bob was responding to the idea of banning or blocking Google which has been a topic of conversation lately.  I suppose the idea would be that it would protect students from finding information on the Internet that is inappropriate or keeping students from taking the easy way out of true research, however banning or blocking Google would make it very difficult for students to learn how to find and evaluate information.  I do think that students often times use Google as a shortcut or they just use the first thing that pops up which may not be quality information.  This is why it’s important for educators to teach them how to navigate these resources like Google.  Pretending Google doesn’t exist won’t solve our problems.

Robert Joyce Nov. 10, 2011  –  Well, this was a very interesting post about “recipe day”.  LM NET is a professional listserv for librarians and educators to share and collaborate.  However, one day a year, the members take a day to share recipes.  This has become, over the years, a debated event where some in the group feel it is a nuisance and irrelevant while others enjoy the tradition.  So what do you think?  Should a listserv like this be strictly professional or is there some benefit to relaxing every once in a while and communicating about something a little more fun?

Kris Waymire Nov. 10, 2011 – Kris posted a request for information on a swipe in/swipe out program for students visiting the library.  He currently has a sign in, check pass, sign out, write pass back to class kind of policy which is very time consuming.  This got me to thinking about the system in my building.  The librarians do have a hard time sometimes keeping up with the continuous flow of student traffic in and out of the library.  Mainly because some come with passes and some do not, some sign in and some do not.  During the peak times of the day, like lunch time, it can get pretty busy.  I wonder if scanning their ID might solve some of these problems.  I know it has been discussed in the past, but never realized.  What do others do?  How do you manage traffic in and out of the library?

Blogs

Doug Johnson on October 31, 2011  “The Forgetter’s Table” – A horrifying tale

On the Blue Skunk Blog, Johnson reflects on a story about a librarian who described her “forgetter’s table”.  Each week when students come to the library if they have forgotten their book, they have to sit at the forgetter’s table while everyone else gets a new book.  The point is obviously to control the number of books that are overdue and encourage students to return their library books so that they can get a new book to check out.  But what happens to that students who simply cannot remember to bring their book back on time or who doesn’t have the support at home to help make it a priority.  Is that librarian growing the love for reading in that child or do they then see the library as a place without flexibility?

The Unquiet Librarian – November 18, 2011 – “Why I Am Not Signing the ‘Save Libraries’ Petition

In this post, Buffy Hamilton explains why she is not signing the petition that is being promoted on numerous Web sites and listservs.  The petition would require that a school have a certified librarian on staff and a library that houses 18 books per child or else the school would risk losing their funding. Hamiltonexplains that she doesn’t want to criticize the supporters of the petition but she thinks that the petition is too simplified.  Buffy insists that the library is more than storage for books but it is a learning center.  She also hoped that the petition would focus more on resources for learning rather than simply books.  Have any of you decided to sign or not to sign the petition? 

AASL11 – Hashtag Heaven – Sunday October 30, 2011 By Jeff DiScala

Jeff posts a thank you to those that posted take away tweets from a recent AASL virtual conference.  I thought this post was interesting because it shows the way things have changed in sharing ideas.  Twitter has really opened up the possibilities for an efficient way to share information and connect with people.  Last night as I was working with my twitter I commented to my husband that I have now tweeted 5 times. (I’m still new to it)  He said he is around 2,000 tweets.  I was surprised until he told me he has had a twitter account for 4 years.  It feels like twitter is newer than that because it has really taken over lately.  I am starting to think of ways that I can use it in my classroom to encourage student participation in government so it is great to see others using it for learning and professional growth as well.

Podcast

Curriculum 21 Podcast.  Integrating literacy into Social Studies

Host Mike Fisher interviews teacher Bruce Leader about how he uses common core standards and technology to integrate literacy into his Social Studies classes.  Bruce uses primary source documents, online reading sources and has students compare them to a variety of secondary sources and discuss the interpretation of information.  His classes also use iMovie to include primary/secondary sources into their study of topics like Absolute Monarchs or the French Revolution to enhance the learning process.  These opportunities allow students to be able to understand cause and effect relationships and different interpretations of historical events.  They work to analyze information and then compare it to other similar events.  Castle Learning is a tool that teachers can use to create document based questions and have students submit answers.  Teachers can grade them on-line and provide feedback.  Mike asked, can we replace a big research paper with other activities and still meet the standards?  The answer is yes!  Teachers can create writing assignments, evaluation of documents and online projects to meet these standards.  Also, the question was raised, how can we teach our students cultural awareness?  Using different tools and technology, we can gain an understanding of people’s perspectives from around the world.  Hear the whole podcast at:  http://www.curriculum21.com/2011/09/curriculum21-podcast-episode-15/ Check out the Castle Learning Web site https://castlelearning.com/review/login/login.aspx

Texts

Empowering Learners – Chapter 4

Empowering learning through leadership looks at the role of the SLMS and the role of libraries in teaching and learning in a global society.  Librarians are in a period of transition with making the switch to new technology and 21st century skills and the idea of creating a learning commons.  Librarians must lead the charge when it comes to new technology, new teaching and learning strategies, collaborative projects and access to the best resources.  In order to do this the SLMS must build strong relationships with teachers and administrators and get involved in leadership roles throughout the building.  They have to share strategies and become a resource to others in their building.  Good leaders are “passionate about their work and look for new ideas in all their experience, both personal and professional” (48).  These librarians can lead their programs to a successful future.

Woolls – Chapter 15 – “Leadership and Professional Associations”

Woolls asserts that school librarians need to take on a leadership role in both their own buildings but also in professional organizations for librarians as well as teachers.  As members of teacher organizations, librarians can work to build relationships and change inaccurate perceptions about the role of the SLMS.  Joining a library media association can obviously help professionals share ideas and build a community of resources that can lead to increased student learning.  There are a variety of organizations that professionals can choose from related to library, technology and communication.  Woolls writes about the importance of “lobbying” or advocating for library programs and contacting our elected officials to update them on what is happening in school libraries before there is a problem or a need for intervention.

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Access To Information

 

The following article by Marjorie L. Pappas highlights the importance of manuals an d virtual policies for libraries.  Having these policies and forms on-line can help librarian’s share information and continually update their information as trends and technology change.  Here is Pappas’ article with new links included to replace those that were not working.

Management Matters

VOLUME XXI, NUMBER 5/JANUARY 2005

Virtual School Library Media Center Management Manual

by Marjorie L. Pappas

Marjorie L. Pappas, Ph. D., is an Associate Professor at the School Library and Information Technology Online Learning, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. E-mail: mpappas@mansfield.edu

School library media specialists often post messages on LM_NET and other state listservs I monitor, requesting examples of information that I used to maintain in a management manual when I was a school library media specialist. I started my manual when I was a student in the organization and administration course we all take in library science programs and I kept it current with information gleaned from conferences, workshops, and networking with other school library media specialists. Manuals are easier to maintain today because of networking through listservs and the Internet. In thinking about the requests for information related to policies, job descriptions, cataloging, resource acquisition, etc., I decided a virtual version of this traditional paper manual might be an interesting and useful concept.

Setting Up My Virtual Manual

My concept of virtual is paperless. Virtual manuals can be maintained without the challenge of adding pages and adjusting page numbers. Virtual manuals can include hyperlinks to information located on the Web. Before starting the development of my manual, I thought about who might access the manual besides the school library media specialist. Library assistants, volunteers, and, occasionally, substitutes should all be able to access this manual. Also, the library media specialist should be able to access the manual when working at home. The best way to achieve that flexibility is to post the manual on the library media center’s website or on the school’s network, assuming the network is Internet accessible. If a library media center website or network is not available, the concept is still feasible, but a little more challenging, because new versions would need to be loaded on separate computers. Once this decision has been made, the next step is to scan and/or key-in the existing information related to the specific library media center. Following are sections and weblinks to include.

Policies

Some policies need to be written to fit the unique needs of a specific library media center, for example, circulation policies that establish the time periods books circulate and the cost for replacing lost books. Other policies, like copyright, are based on federal legislation. Links to Web-based copyright information will be useful to supplement local policies.

Policy weblinks:

Personnel

The school library media specialist’s job description should be posted, but it also would be useful to link to job descriptions for student and parent volunteers. The Web provides examples of job descriptions for this section.

Examples of job descriptions:

Collection Development and Acquisitions

The purchase of resources and technology for the library requires access to information about producers and jobbers.

Useful websites:

Forms

Examples can help school library media specialists develop the forms for use in the library media center. This is a section that can be developed over time.

Examples of forms:

District Portal as Manuals

School library media services in larger school districts have developed excellent portal pages. These portals provide school library media specialists with both instructional and management resources and tools.

Examples of portals:

  • Indiana Learns. Office of Learning Resources, Indiana Department of Education. This website was developed as a companion to the book Indiana Learns by David Loertscher with Connie Champlin (Stenhouse Publishers, 2002).
  • Library Media Center Procedure Handbook Longfellow Elementary School.  Matthew Winner 2008.
  • These virtual manuals and portals enable parents, community members, and other school library professionals to view how school library media specialists manage media centers and teach students to gather and use information. Now all we need is a portal page to the portals.
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Weekly Reflection

Podcast

This week I watched and listened to a TED Talk by Sugata Mitra called The Child-Driven Education and How Kids Teach themselves.  In this series, Mitra reflects on an experiment that he conducted in some of the poorest communities around the world.  In these villages he exposed children who had no access to technology of any kind to a computer with Internet access.  Without instruction these children were able to navigate the Internet, play interactive games, make recordings and more.  Mitra left computers with Internet access and CDs in only English and when he returned, the children had learned how to operate the computer and also learned how the machine worked.  His point is that if children can do these things without any instruction what could they accomplish with dedicated teachers, resources and funding. 

http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html

LM NET Postings

 Jennifer Dovre – October 26, 2011

A school librarian asks users about starting a student advisory group to give input on library events and programs.  A program like this could be really beneficial for a library in order to gain a student perspective and ensure that the library is meeting the needs of all users.  Currently our library program does not have a student advisory committee but rather informal student input from frequent users.  I wonder if a student committee would be helpful.  Do any of your buildings have committees like these?  How do they work? 

Sharron L. McElmeel – Thu, 27 Oct 2011
In anticipation of a visit from author Jim Aylesworth, high school students made this short video on the joy of reading.  Aylesworth is a children’s author who wanted to visit with students about his life as an author and his love for writing.  This is a great way for students to get involved in advocating for the library and reading.  Check out this short video.  It’s very cute. 
http://www.youtube.com/user/sephslibrary?feature=mhee#p/u/0/lGd0YGUHeOA

 Brian Johnson – Thu, 20 Oct 2011

Brain writes that his principal asked him to provide some activities in the library during parent teacher conferences.  He came up with this list of activities.

Access library databases
Set up a school website account
Join the Library and School Facebook groups
View book trailers/library services

Our library is usually pretty quiet during parent/teacher conferences so I thought this was interesting.  What types of activities have been going on in your library during conferences?

Blogs

Tame the Web – October 27, 2011

Excitement is building for the Library 2.011 Virtual Conference.  There are going to many sessions from librarians, technology gurus, teachers and more that can help enhance any library program.  The sessions vary from e-readers, collaborative tools, creating virtual classrooms, social media and more.  There will me more than 160 sessions and the conference is completely free.  This will be a great opportunity for librarians to connect with colleagues from around the world and share ideas.  This is the perfect example of how Web 2.0 is inspiring Library 2.0.   If you attend this conference, leave a comment and let me know how you liked it!

http://tametheweb.com/

Doug Johnson presents Myths of Creativity – October 25, 2011

On the spur of the moment, Johnson creates a presentation on creativity for a conference.  He included the concerns and myths about creativity and then offered some tips for including creativity in assignments.  Included in Johnson’s “myths of creativity”, are the ideas that only gifted children are creative, creativity does not require learning or discipline and technology automatically develops creativity.  Doug suggests that creativity is extremely important to learning and that creativity should be included in every subject area and modeled by teachers.  In order to encourage students to use creativity teachers should ask for detail and explanation, give points for “design” on assignments, use online tools, allow students to express their personal interests and talents.  To read more: http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2011/10/25/myths-of-creativity.html

Behind the Curtain – Austin Seraphin’s Weird Blog – June 12, 2010

Austinblogs about the purchase of his new iPhone.  Austinis blind and he says that buying an iPhone changed his life.  He describes VoiceOver which is a screen reading software.  The application allowed Seraphin to receive text messages, check the weather and get updated stock prices.  Austinreveals that he was a skeptic when the iPhone first came out, but after hearing how much a friend liked hers, he decided to give it a try.  The only feature that he doesn’t like is iTunes because it is inaccessible to the visually impaired.  None the less, he loves his iPhone.  He even described an application that he credits with enhancing his senses called Color Identifier.  It uses the phone’s camera and speaks the name of colors.  He can use his phone to watch the sunset change colors or check on the progress of his plant life.  Seraphin proclaims, “I have seen a lot of technology for the blind, and I can safely say that the iPhone represents the most revolutionary thing to happen to the blind for at least the last ten years.”  Read the full article at:  http://behindthecurtain.us/2010/06/12/my-first-week-with-the-iphone/

Text Reflection

1.  Empowering Learners Chapter 2

What struck me about this chapter is that the SLMS is responsible for such a wide range of materials and curriculum.  It can appear to be very overwhelming to undertake collaboration, reading programs, multiple literacies, the research process and assessment in addition to all of the other responsibilities of the SLMS.  The one thing that initially surprised me was the guideline regarding assessment.  Originally I hadn’t considered assessment being a part of the library media program, but as I read on and thought about my experience with school libraries, I realized that assessment is taking place continuously.  In my building the SLMS conducts plagiarism tutorials and assesses students on the content.  They evaluate student’s research process and analyze research questions.  They collaborate with teachers on projects that result in final products and assess the material.  They create scoring guides and incorporate subject specific curriculum into every aspect of their program.  Reading this chapter helped me develop a new perspective on the extent to which a school library must serve its diverse population and the range of the programs they offer. 

2.  Empowering Learners Chapter 3 – The Learning Space

Librarians must consider how to provide equal access to all library users.  Not only does the environment need to user friendly with available resources and equipment, but the library hours need to be flexible with access to helpful library staff.  The environment is important when trying to draw users into the library.  Librarians should try to create a welcoming, comfortable and easy to use facility.  Since students often times have work to do before and after the school day, the library should try to provide extended hours for students.  In addition, the virtual library should be available 24/7.  There are many available databases, research and media tools that students can and should be able to access from the library’s Web site.  Librarians should try to make their Web site a learning environment for students.

3.  Woolls Chapter 8

In Woolls Chapter 8, the author writes about managing access to information.  As information becomes more readily available this responsibility is on everyone’s mind.  The first thing to keep in mind is the right to privacy.  With automation a routine part of library business it can be difficult to maintain privacy for patrons.  Librarians also have to work hard to defend the patron’s right to access.  With new federal laws preventing access to certain Internet sites, it is the librarian’s responsibility to ensure students and patrons are finding the information they need.  Copyright is another tough issue that librarians have to tackle.  It can be a difficult task for librarians to ensure that students and teachers are obeying copyright law and using resources ethically.  Using good modeling and showing students and teachers where to find high quality resources that don’t violate copyright is a win-win situation.  Finally, selection and de-selection of materials is something that all librarians struggle with.  Which resources are going to be right for my students?  Will these sites provide the best information?  Should I weed these outdated reference books?  Managing access to information in the library whether it be on-line or in print can be a difficult process.

4.  Woolls Chapter 10

Perhaps equally challenging as managing access to information is managing the library services.  What can librarians offer to teachers and students that will make them want to engage in their lessons in the library?  Not only do librarians have to manage students, but also library personnel, materials, equipment and facility.  To get teachers to want to engage in library services, librarians can try a variety of strategies.  Learning the curriculum of a course or department can go a long way to helping that teacher develop a lesson in the library.  School librarians service all students in all subject areas so knowing the curriculums is to their advantage.  In addition, librarians just like teachers have to have teaching strategies that will engage students.  Students want to think creatively and learning outside of a textbook or a powerpoint and the library is a great place to give them that experience.  Furthermore, if a librarian volunteers to help the teacher teach the lesson and assess student work, they are sure to get some positive responses.  One way that librarians can provide services to more teachers is to create a classroom environment that can be used by a teacher as an extension of their own room.  Create seating opportunities for big groups, have flexible furniture, make presentation tools available as well as creating great learning opportunities through collaborative lesson planning.  The media center in my school can accommodate multiple classes at once, with access to technology, ample seating and presentation tools.  Teachers love to come to the LMC because they offer so many services from media sharing to plagiarism prevention and information literacy, creative lesson planning and in-service training monthly.  It is inviting and exciting to see what is new in the LMC.

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Library Advocacy

As School Librarians we must be aware of the need for an Advocacy Plan.  As a first time librarian, here are four ways that I would start creating a plan for my library.

1.  Collaborative Planning

             The biggest part of what a SLMS does is collaborate with teachers and work with students.  We know that students who are exposed to good library media programs in their schools do better academically than those without.  During the first year in the library, I would attempt to plan a collaborative lesson or project with each of the core departments with plans to expand to elective departments in the following year.  There are so many opportunities for teachers to work with the library staff on projects that meet course objectives.  Some ideas include a living history project with Social Studies where students gather oral histories and learn to archive them.  With Science classes we could work to research a species before a dissection lab.  Math classes could come into the library and collaborate with others to design a park, building or other structure using mathematical equations and the resources available.  Communication Arts classes could use the library to create an instructional manual or an informational video on plagiarism prevention for high school students. 

            Getting teachers into the library with their students is a great way to create advocates for the library program.  If everyone in the school building is invested into the library programs then no one will want to see the budget or staff cut.  In addition, if all stakeholders in the building come to the library to work, then everyone knows what the library has to offer and what resources are available.

In “50 Ways to Love Your Library”, by the Saskatchewan School Library Association, they suggest many things and one is to collaborate and build teacher – librarian relationships.  This can be accomplished through collaborative planning and staff development.  http://bctf.ca/bctla/pub/documents/libraryprogram/50%20Ways%20To%20Love%20Your%20Library_cwalter_fall08.pdf

2.  Newsletter and Annual Report

            In order to keep people inside and outside the building aware of what is happening in the library I would create an on-line monthly newsletter and annual report.  The monthly newsletter would include book reviews by students and staff, upcoming events, project highlights, book club activities, and new resource information.  This newsletter could be accessed from the existing library webpage and users could subscribe to the newsletter in order to be updated automatically.  The monthly updates would be available to students, parents, community members, and business partners.

            In the annual report, I would include information on circulation, student access of technology, teacher/class usage, and more.  I would highlight the amount of student use of not only library resources but also library staff assistance.  We could keep track of how many students came in with classes for help as well as on their own for help.  Keeping data on how the library is used should help make a case for maintaining and building a strong program.  The annual report should also be available to all interested parties just like the monthly newsletter.

According to the Library Grits blog, publishing an annual report will allow for comparative analysis and give exposure to the library and its staff.  http://librarygrits.blogspot.com/2009/06/importance-of-creating-annual-report.html

3.  Library Advisory Group

            The library is a learning commons and is a space that is used by everyone.  If the program does not meet the needs of the user, then it should be revised.  As a first year librarian, I would attempt to evaluate the pulse of the library program by creating an advisory group of students, staff, parents and community members.  I would want to find out how the library could better meet each of their needs.  This could be a way not only to create more relevant opportunities in the library but also to get the attention of more advocates including parents and community members.  The library has great resources that could be valuable to people outside the school building.  This could be the first step to creating new relationships and new advocates for the library program.  The group could meet once a semester or as needed.

Doug Johnson’s 2nd Rule of Advocacy is: Build relationships and inform so others will advocate for you.  http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2011/9/12/4-rules-of-library-advocacy.html

4.  Library Twitter Account

            Finally as a first time librarian in an effort to draw attention to the library programs, serve students and put new technology into action, I would create a library twitter account.  Through this account, I could continuously update users, alert staff and students about events and market the programs in the library.  Each time a monthly newsletter is available, I could send out a tweet.  Additionally, each time there is an event in the library, students could know about it right away.  Hopefully this tool will draw students into the library and keep them informed on what the library has to offer. 

This idea came from a photograph that was posted here.  http://stephenslighthouse.com/2011/06/09/have-you-found-us-yet/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=have-you-found-us-yet  The sign was outside a museum and it made me think of how many students use twitter every day and how it would be a very relevant way to make connections with students.

In response to Granny Beads’ question:

What do you do in your position that, given the present economic circumstances, NO ONE ELSE in the building can do? What makes you INDISPENSABLE?

As a School Library Media Specialist I have a working relationship with everyone in the building.  I make it my job to know each department’s curriculum and how it fits with the library curriculum.  I work to make resources available to teachers when they need them and participate in the teaching process to give students the best possible learning environment. 

As a SLMS I have tested and customized the resources in the library to meet the needs of teacher and student users.  I am available to help students daily with projects, technology, writing, and research.  I am trained to provide staff development and teach students and staff information literacy skills.  I provide resources and expertise that ensures all of the library patrons have the tools they need to be successful.  I am indispensable because I work for each and every user in the school building to create learning opportunities.  The results of exposure to my program are increased tests scores, student learning and preparedness for the future.

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Weekly Reflection

There was much to reflect on this week!

Blogs

On the AASL blog from October 4, 2011, President Carl Harvey II discusses the briefing that will be presented to Congress regarding the 21st Century Library and the SKILLS Act.  SKILLS stands for Strengthening Kid’s Interest in Learning and Libraries.  The American Library Association hopes to demonstrate that through libraries, students learn the skills they need to be workplace ready.  They hope to encourage Congress to include the SKILLS Act in the upcoming Elementary and Secondary Education Act re-authorization.  Part of this briefing includes information on the need for a certified librarian in every school and the need for access to resources.  The briefing will be presented to Congress on October 17, 2011.  http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/news/ala/aasl-heads-washington-congressional-briefing

From the Blue Skunk Blog on October 7, 2011, Doug Johnson created a poll for his readers to respond to about internet filtering in schools and its effectiveness.  One question asked if filters protected students from obscene images.  The majority of people agreed that it did help.  The other question asked if internet filters kept students from educational material.  The majority of respondents said no.  The conclusion was that it seems filters are doing their job.  The conversation then turned to Facebook and whether or not it can be used in education or if it is simply a distraction.  The opinions varied, but Johnson did offer a link to another blog that highlighted some apps for Facebook that might have some educational value.  Here is a link to both Doug Johnson’s blog and the one he referenced about Facebook.  http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2011/10/7/filtering-survey-responses.html 

http://www.hackeducation.com/2011/09/22/read-watch-listen-learn-facebook-f8-and-the-future-of-study-apps-learning-data/

The Unquiet Librarian on September 29,2011 posted an entry about a “book tasting”.  This strategy is used with high school English students who are studying literature on world issues.  As students arrive in the library they are directed toward carts of relevant books.  They are instructed to pick out 5 books to explore and reflect on.  The idea is that they spend 10-15 minutes with each book and write down how they feel about the book and whether or not they could “get into” the book.  Based on their feedback they are put into literature circles with other students.  As they read their selected book they have discussions, conduct research and eventually reflect on their book.  It sounds like a great way to get students involved in book selection and discussions with peers about literature and world issues/events!  http://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/book-tasting-in-the-library/

LM_Net

Julie Dahlhauser  posts on October 5, 2011 about an all-school read.  She asked colleagues to help her with questions about spearheading an all school book club over the Hunger Games series.  She wondered if she needed to purchase a book for all 1,000 students in her school.  She had researched the options but wondered what others in this situation have done.  We have talked in our building about an all-school read, but have never attempted it to date.  I think it would be a great community building activity to have all students reading the same book but I’m afraid it is a little unrealistic.  Then what would you do with all the books after they were done?  Has anyone tried this at their school?

Sharron L. McElmeel posted this You Tube video on October 6, 2011.  It is a parody of a classic children’s book called Goodnight Moon.  In the original story a child wishes goodnight to clocks and socks and the cow jumping over the moon.  In this new modern version of Goodnight iPad, Grandma forces the family to wish their technology goodnight including their iPads, HD TV, and Facebook apps.  This new version is clearly a statement about our changing lifestyle and its impact on children.  We have found ourselves struggling to either educate children about this new and changing technology or try to keep it from them in an effort to not allow them to be continuously “plugged in”.  There has to be a balance.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ouOwpYQqic&feature=youtu.be

Jeanne Ritchie on October 5, 2011 writes about ideas for the iPad.  I have noticed that I am seeing more and more interest in the iPad in schools and more librarians are purchasing them for their libraries.  I know that we have purchased 5 iPads for our library and they are being used in a number of different ways by classroom teachers.  The applications that I have seen include one on human anatomy, poetry, brain function, the periodic table of elements, historical documents and more.  I am very interested to see how librarians are using this in other ways to promote reading. 

Podcast

KUOW inSeattle,Washingtonrecorded a podcast with librarian Nancy Pearl in September , 2011.  Nancy discusses the merits of e-readers versus books.  She uses her Kindle to travel but reads her “paper” books at home.  Some of the books that she recommends in this podcast are:

1.  The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach – This is a book about baseball with a focus on people and their relationships.  This is Harbach’s first book and he writes complex characters that you don’t want to let go of.  She says this is a great book for teaching students how to write characters. 

2.  Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard  – Millard is also the author of The River of Doubt about Theodore Roosevelt.  This book is about President James Garfield and his road to the presidency and the attempt on his life by an assassin. 

3.  Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean  – Orlean chronicles the life of the famous dog Rin Tin Tin from being an orphan to becoming a star.  She describes how Rin Tin Tin’s character changed from silent movies to television and how he adapted.

4.  The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern – This book is about a circus that travels around and opens only at night. It is also a story about two magicians in competition with one another and the development of their love affair.

5.  The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway – is a post apocalyptic book described as wildly entertaining and funny.

The Texts

From Empowering Learners, the AASL sets specific guidelines when it comes to staffing a school library.  “The entire school’s students and staff must have the service of a certified library media specialist throughout the school day” (32).  The school library media specialist not only works with students, staff and administration but also is responsible for creating a learning environment and ensuring access to resources and expert help.  The SLMS has to be flexible, not only with time but also with space.  Meeting the needs of all learners in the school building can be a challenge.  By considering the physical space and including virtual space, the SLMS can extend the influence of the library.  The library should be a collaborative, accessible, safe, comfortable learning environment for students and staff alike. 

From The School Library Media Manager, Woolls talks about the importance of managing personnel in the library.  Because the SLMS is responsible for the programs, the collaboration, the technology and the other resources, he/she needs to be able to manage personnel effectively.  Some examples include creating job descriptions for those working in the library whether clerks, secretaries, or students.  As the person responsible for teaching and leading, the SLMS must be able to articulate the expectations for library personnel and be able to evaluate their performance.  In addition, the school librarian needs to communicate with the administration about the successes and concerns/needs of the library in order to maintain a good working environment for everyone involved.  Teachers should expect support, access, and in-service from their school librarian.  When working with students the SLMS must keep in mind safety and order while providing opportunities to learn and explore.  Finally, when working with parents, confidentiality and training are key.  Having qualified, hardworking people supporting your library can really enhance the entire program.

This week I learned a great deal about personnel in the library and the responsibilities of the SLMS!

American Association of School Librarians. Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs.Chicago:ALA, 2009. Print

Woolls, Blanche. The School Library Media Manager.Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2008. Print.

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Budget Proposal

Budget Proposal – Original Document

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Weekly Reflection

LM_Net Postings

This week, three posts caught my eye… 

Ilana Locker (Sept 13, 2011)  After contacting a search education coordinator at Google, Ilana reports that while teaching students to conduct a Google search there are some things to be aware of.  First that Google is a tiered search engine.  So that the first word you search for will yield some results and the second word that you search will also pull results from another tier.  This is why multi word searches may yield results that can be overwhelming to the user.  Ilana was working with students to include a minus sign at the beginning of the search terms and the search education coordinator instructed that students should only consider using the minus sign if they feel that their results have been contaminated.  In addition she informed that Google has webinars that users can take for free to learn more about efficient searching!

Gary Price Sept. 15, 2011  With the new laws regarding student/teacher interaction on facebook, I don’t know that this information is going to change education, but facebook has included some new features.  For those unaffected by laws like the one passed in Missouri, they could use facebook as a way for students to interact with their library.  Facebook is introducing new friend circles similar to those found on Google +.  This should make it easier for users to organize friends and post to certain groups.  They are also including a subscribe button so that users can get updates from people that aren’t “friends”.  This could be a way for the library to interact with students and still protect the professional relationship.  Garyincludes a link to more information at http://infodocket.com/2011/09/15/facebook-releases-several-new-features-roundup/

Thomas Villani September 26,2011  Over the summer all of the desk top computers in his library were removed.  In their place the library received three carts of netbooks.  The idea is that the teachers can check them out for classroom use or bring students to the library to use them.  Thomas’ administrators are looking to the future of library media centers and want him to redesign the space to reflect more of a learning commons.  This sounds like an exciting time for the library of this school.  He is very lucky to have such a supportive administrative staff.

Podcast

This week I listened to an episode of TED Talks from September 2011.  The talk was titled “What we learned from 5 million books”.  The presenters, from Harvard, came up with a way to study what they called “Culturomics” by taking an inventory of words or phrases that have been used in books over time.  At this point Google has digitized 15 million books and have made 500 billion words available for people to reference.  These researchers, in a humorous way, showed what we can learn about culture and society from the frequency of these words in literature over time.  You can try your own at ngrams.googlelabs.com

Blog Postings

Shelf Consumed – http://www.shelfconsumed.com/2011/09/creating-community-of-readers.html (Sept. 12, 2011) 

Leigh Ann Jones posts about creating a community of readers.  She talked about how to create excitement about reading with her students.  So many of our students today would rather find entertainment on t.v. or through video games than by reading a book.  She talked about the “don’ts” like, mandating, testing and rewarding readers.  On the other hand, she talked about how she tries to create a community of readers in her school.  Some of the ingredients are; encouraging reader choice, good adult modeling, keeping a good collection and recommending good books to kids that they will be interested in. 

AASL Website – http://www.aasl.ala.org/aaslblog/?p=1794 (Sept 15, 2011) Heather Moorefield-Lang (Committee Chair), John Schumacher (Committee Member),  Shannon Miller (Co-Author and Collaborator)

In this post, the authors discuss a classroom tool called Edmodo.  Edmodo is a social networking site that is designed specifically for educators and students.  On this site teachers, librarians, students and others can collaborate, discuss, post and read.  Some of the suggested activities were an online book club, connecting students over long distances, and assessment.  Edmodo sounds like a great alternative to some of the mainstream social networking sites out there. 

Blue Skunk Blog – http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2011/9/12/4-rules-of-library-advocacy.html

Doug Johnson takes an opportunity in this post to remind librarians of his Rules of Advocacy.

  1. Don’t depend on national statistics, studies or publications
  2. Build relationships and inform so others would advocate for you
  3. Never advocate for libraries or librarians – only library users
  4. Don’t depend on the library supervisor to make your case

Textbook Reflections:

As I read about budgeting in a library this week, I realized that there is a lot more that goes into keeping a library budget than I realized.  I knew that the amount of money allocated to the library was significantly more than the department budget I managed, but it also became clear that you cannot just assume the money will always be there.  Librarians are responsible for submitting a budget and often times trying to protect their money.  Not only does the librarian need to be familiar with the budgeting process, but also needs to be an advocate for their programs, and often times a fundraiser outside of the district.  Librarians will spend a great deal of time writing proposals for funds to expand programs and this requires hours of research, goal setting and evaluation.  Woolls gave many tips for librarians on how to write proposals that would speak to any agency that may be able to provide funds.  Getting stakeholders involved is one way to improve any proposal.  Woolls suggests, “the process will be much more effective if the input comes from the group rather than the media specialist as a single individual suggesting the needs” (153).

From Empowering Learners, funding needs to support learning priorities and attain the libraries mission, goals and objectives (35).  The budget should be goal based, focused on improving instruction and will show progress through a needs assessment, goals and an action plan.  The AASL also suggests creative planning and alternative funding like fundraising, partnerships, grants and awards.

American Association of School Librarians. Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs.Chicago:ALA, 2009. Print

Woolls, Blanche. The School Library Media Manager.Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2008. Print.

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