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.
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
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.
Doug Johnson takes an opportunity in this post to remind librarians of his Rules of Advocacy.
- Don’t depend on national statistics, studies or publications
- Build relationships and inform so others would advocate for you
- Never advocate for libraries or librarians – only library users
- Don’t depend on the library supervisor to make your case
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.