Thursday, January 24, 2013

Teacher Resources on Library Website

Click here to open teacher resources page
When the 2009-2010 school year began, I realized that it was time for the library to have its own website. I was using the library OPAC homepage which had one page where I could house resources and links for the school community, but it wasn't enough. The school district had a site where I could post pictures and document events, but I wanted one spot on the web where I could post everything library related. That was when pftstalibrary.com was born. I looked at school library websites around the country and found ones that I liked so I could model mine after one that I thought was excellent. I found one library that used weebly.com, and I decided it was easy enough for me to use too. I have been adding, editing and deleting elements on the website for the last three and a half years. I didn't begin the parent page until September 2012, so there is still lots more to add before that page is complete. 

I am very pleased with the teacher page that I have been trying to improve. I added a section on Common Core State Standards recently and through the Diigo in Education group, I am sent new sites daily in my inbox and share many of these with my teachers either by email or through the library website. 

Please take a look and tell me what you think. Maybe I am missing something that you think is crucial. I want to hear your thoughts. Click here to find the teacher resource's page

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Teen Writes Blog Post for YALSA's The Hub


I have been writing forever, but I wasn't  a very good writer in high school and struggled to put every word on the page. To look back on it now, I never would have dreamed that some day I would be posting text on a blog for the world to see because I use to be so self-conscious about every word that I wrote. 

One of the members of Bookmarked, the high school library book group, is an amazing writer. I am in awe of how well she organizes her thoughts and how beautifully she puts her words together. I sure hope that she can use this to her advantage when she selects a career. She recently submitted a blog post to The Hub, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of ALA. Click here to open and read her post on school vs. recreational reading

Thursday, January 17, 2013

BESE Votes to Make Changes to Bulletin 741

Click the image above to enlarge and read the final revisions
Yesterday, was the day. Unfortunately, the librarians did not get exactly what they wanted from BESE. The document, Bulletin 741, now states that secondary schools are required to have a librarian and the staffing numbers are based on student population. There is no provision to require schools to keep elementary and middle schools staffed with a full time librarian. This is so distressing. We can only hope that administrators will keep a professional librarian in every school. The above image shows the edits that BESE members voted to keep in Bulletin 741 at their meeting, January 16, 2013.

The "new and improved" Bulletin 741 on librarians:
1705  School Library Media Programs
A. Schools shall provide reputable and relevant digital and/or print resources for students to access literature and reference materials that relate directly to the educational program and provide opportunities to explore beyond the sphere of the regular instructional program.

B. Each secondary school shall have a library and shall have librarian(s) as follows:
Student Enrollment   Required Librarians
299 or fewer            one half-time
300-999                  one full-time
1000 or higher         two full-time
1. This provision shall not apply to schools capable of providing resources and assistance to students through an alternate structure.
2.The LDE may request information regarding the services provided in situations where the above requirement is not being met.

Teen Readers Return From Break to Review Books


Members of Bookmarked enjoyed a holiday party before the break


The new year started without any teen book reviews in the January 2nd edition of SLJTeen. I actually had some reviews, but it was the holidays, and I waited too long to submit them to our editor. We are now on track, at least I hope that we are. There have been so many boxes of new ARCs arriving every few days that I have been scrambling to find places to put them. I am glad to see that the students seem to be finding titles and authors in these boxes that they want to read. Click here for a link to the latest reviews by members of Bookmarked

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quoted in The Times Picayune

BESE votes today in Baton Rouge on changes to Bulletin 741 which is the guide for all public school administrators. Over the holidays, I talked to journalist Sarah Tan about how the changes in Bulletin 741 could affect school libraries, librarians and students across the state of Louisiana. Her article was published today and she quoted me several times. Click here to open the link.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Last Chance to Tell BESE to Save School Libraries


BESE will be voting on changes to Bulletin 741, the handbook for school administrators, on January 16th. You still have a few days left to tell the members what you think. It is easy to follow this link from the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT) and send an email to all eleven members of BESE. We do not want BESE to amend the bulletin and take out language requiring schools to have a professional librarian on staff. We do want the public school students of Louisiana to get a good education. The schools need a librarian in every building for this to happen. Please support this cause and write to the lawmakers who make decisions about Louisiana schools. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Excited to Interview James Patterson

Over the holidays, I got a nice gift. I was asked if I would interview author, James Patterson, for SLJTeen. The phone interview is scheduled for the end of this week, and the interview will be published in the February 6th edition of SLJTeen. You will be able to find a link here once it is published.


Patterson's newest Middle School book was published last month. It is called, I Funny. It is about Jamie Grimm, a handicapped orphan who uses jokes and comedy to overcome his sadness about the loss of his family. After the car accident that killed his family and put him in a wheelchair, he is adopted by his aunt and uncle whose son happens to be one  of the biggest bullies in school. Jaime uses his humor to charm old and young alike. When his town hosts a funniest kid contest, he is ambivalent about participating. Cute book, and it is very funny. With a male protagonist, it will be an easy sell to middle school boys who may be reluctant readers.

The reason for the interview is to publicize a Stand-Up Comedian Contest for Kids. Beginning January 28th, kids can submit a 60 second video of their stand-up routine. Two grand prize winners will be sent to Universal Studios in July of 2013. A link to this contest will be posted in a later blog post.

Open here for a video of James Patterson promoting this book.
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