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Showing posts from July, 2012

Changing Role of School Librarians

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I love being a school librarian. It is absolutely the best job in a school. I am going to date myself here, but I have been teaching for 31 years. I have been a librarian for two thirds of my career. For a little over half of that I worked in an elementary library, and now I have been in a 6th-12th grade setting since 2003.

When I began in the library in 1991, I was lucky to have inherited an automated system. I never had to worry about those pesky cards in the back of the books. I did have a card catalog and for several years kept it up to date because I had no computers for the students. It was a great day when I could rid the library of that monster piece of furniture.
Even with little technology, I loved the role that I played of finding the right book for the right kid and sharing stories in puppet and song form for the little ones. Finding information in the old days was hard because I never had a huge materials budget. I was always looking on the shelf at outdated books that had…

Awards are Awesome

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I have already blogged about the awesome award that I won from the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association. The official photographs were released last week, so I want to post them here as I like to use this blog as my professional portfolio. On June 25, 2012, I was given the 2012 Information Technology Pathfinder Award at the secondary level. The picture above shows the cover of the program from the event. The picture below is the program page from the IT Pathfinder award. I won the secondary division of the program. This amazing librarian from Minnesota, Sally Mays, won the elementary division. It was an honor to win with Sally. She is so dynamic. I love meeting librarians with energy like hers. 


Each award presented at the ceremony was sponsored by a different vendor. Follett Software Company sponsored the IT Pathfinder Award. However, it was Chris Schubert, Director of Marketing at BWI/Follett Library Resources who is pictured bel…

Bookmarked Members Review Upcoming YA Titles Part 2

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The members of Bookmarked, the high school library book group, are at again. They have been reading and writing all summer long. Please open here to read their newest reviews of the young adult literature that resonates with them. 
This group of teens will have reviews printed twice a month for the next year. You can find the archives of all the issues right here.

100 Things Kids Would Miss without School Librarians

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Okay, I try to stay on top of things, but somehow missed this list. Last May, as Nancy Everhart (at the time she was president of AASL) was finishing her Vision Tour of excellent school libraries around the country, she announced 100 things that students would miss if school librarians were eliminated from schools. As I read this list, I see so many of the activities that I do day in and day out in the library at Patrick Taylor Academy. I decided to post the list here so I will remember it, but also for others who might have missed this last year just like I did. Besides, we need to be reminded why we are so important to a school's culture.


100 Things Kids Will Miss If they don’t have a School Librarian in their School
Released by Dr. Nancy Everhart (everhart@fsu.edu) Past President, American Association of School Librarians (AASL) May 19, 2011

Books that are professionally selected to meet school and personal needs.
Equitable access to computers and other forms of technology.
Som…

What I Learned at Ed Camp LA Part II

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This is Part II of a two part series about what I learned after attending the New Orleans unconference, Ed Camp on Saturday, July 7th at Trinity School. The day was divided into fourths, and I described the first two sessions in Part I. In this post, I will describe what I learned in the second two sessions.
For session three, I began by having a long conversation with Valerie Burton. She teaches high school English in my district and is one of the organizers of Ed Camp. I really liked her energy and focus. I can imagine being a student in her class. I think that it would be amazing, though don't ask me to go back to being 17 again, that would be a nightmare. She told me a story of her principal walking into her classroom as the students were using their phones to post on their blogs. She was unable to get the mobile laptop lab for class that day, but she wanted to stick to her lesson plan. She knew that it was  against the school policy for the students to be using their phones …

What I Learned at Ed Camp LA Part I

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Yesterday, I attended Ed Camp in New Orleans. It is an unconference that educators have created around the United States to teach each other best practices for using technology tools in the classroom K-12. This was the second annual event in New Orleans. I could not attend last year and was excited to go this year.
Okay, I am going to first vent here because I think this could be improved for next year. The beginning of the event in the morning was sooooo slow. I was getting restless and thought the day was going to be a waste because I arrived at 8:15, and the first session did not begin until 10AM. That is just too much time for sitting without a focus. If you ask me to come out on a Saturday in July, I want to be brought on board from the minute I walk in the door. I think that the two take-aways that we wrote to guide the sessions for the day should have been collected the minute that we walked in the door. The planning for the day could have been done much faster. I am just not …

Winning the AASL Information Technology Pathfinder Award was Awesome

I have lots more to share about the 2012 ALA annual conference.

One of the ultimate highlights for me was winning the Information Technology Pathfinder Award from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). This award is given to two librarians, one at the elementary level and the other at  the secondary level for their innovative approaches to information technology in the school library.

On the first night that I arrived in Anaheim, I am walking through the exhibit hall and see a familiar name, Sally Mays, on the name tag of the person walking by me. Sally was the elementary division winner of the IT Pathfinder Award. We jumped up and down together a bit and shared what winning this award has done for us and our libraries. Both of us were blown away when we received the news that we had won. Unfortunately, we didn't meet up again until the award ceremony on Monday morning, but through social media we should be able to keep in touch.

This is the first award ceremony tha…

Meeting Many Authors at ALA Annual 2012

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I had a blast at ALA. I was kept busy from the time that I landed on Friday, June 22nd until I left for my vacation on Tuesday, June 26th. I began my Anaheim adventure by having lunch with a former student who I had not seen since she graduated high school in 2003. She was in first grade when I first became a librarian, and now at 28 she hopes to illustrate children's picture books. I sure hope that she can find a way to fulfill her dream and maybe some day I will be standing in line for her to sign her book at ALA.
One of the things that I like to do most at ALA is get some face to face time with many of the authors that I enjoy reading. It was really cool that I got to meet three authors with whom the students at Patrick Taylor had communicated with through Skype. Here are some of the authors that I had a chance to meet. All of them were delightful and took the time to chat with me. 
On the first night I went to a dinner hosted by Penguin for three dystopian queens: Ally Condie …