Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Back it up!

When someone loses their data and doesn't have it backed up, I usually get wind of it. It can be just annoying or devastating. I try to be a good example and back up every week or so, although more often would be even better. Time Machine saved me when I  lost my iWeb files recently.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Connecting with my Teacher Librarian colleagues

I am so fortunate to work every day with outstanding educational professionals right here in my own district.

But occasionally it is reenergizing to get out and have F2F (face to face) connections with people who are doing the same thing as I am. I had that opportunity this last weekend when I attended the Iowa Association of School Librarians in DesMoines.

I have presented before at IASL, but this time I had the big stage, with the goal of getting folks excited for the Sunday evening activities and Monday's keynote and concurrent sessions. When conference chair Denise Rehmke asked me to do the opening presentation, I was honored, but surprised and nervous. I'm just a K-12 librarian out here trying to make a difference, not doing anything that unique from colleagues around the state. But I spent a lot of time thinking about what I could share that might encourage others to get out of the comfort zones of traditional practice and start to be a little "fierce" to quote Joyce Valenza (a TL who has had a tremendous influence in how I think about my role).

Here is the slide show I created for the talk:

It has a lot of references to school libraries, but much of the underlying ideas could be applied by anyone trying to develop a personal learning network.

It was a scary, but invigorating thing for me to do, but the feedback I've gotten from my peers really means a lot. I hope that it encourages them to share and reach out, not just to their own students and staff but to the world of learners.

The highlight - getting about 100 school librarians up to dance to "Super Duper Library Dance Party" by LJ Mover and Shaker, Scooter Hayes.

Here are some of the sources and apps I referenced:
Knowledge Quest - journal of the American Association of School Libarians
Lakeview Elementary Media Center (links to grade levels and blogs)
Books, Balls and Blogs (SMS Middle School Principal's blog)
Cybraryman (administrators love him)
Tweetdeck (a way to organize your twitter feed)
SLJ article on "Appy Hour" - wardrobe fail!
Transparency is the new black (Daring Librarian)
Dewey Decimal Rap (Melvil Dewey)
Library tech geek tribe (order swag!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A life boat or the cold water...

You are issued a boarding pass. It will determine if you survive the sinking of the Titanic or if you go down with the ship. 

5th and 6th graders learned about the passengers and their various fates, tied for a few minutes to their own. 

Thank you to Mrs Butterfield for organizing this activity, which truly brought history to life.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Drop Everything And Read

Drop Everything And Read Family Reading Night is one of my favorite events of the whole school year. Nothing fancy. No refreshments, no video, no computers (not exactly true - more ereaders this year...). Just reading.

It is a wonderful experience. Readers, young and old, on the floor, curled up in corners, with parents, brothers and sisters... spread out all over the library - and there is silence.

I love the library a little loud, but there is something about all those readers, that just puts a lump in my throat.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

School Library Month

Every month is school library month at SCSD, but April is when we pull out all the stops and celebrate. 
At Lakeview, the highlight of the month is D.E.A.R. family reading night.
Students, staff, family and neighbors are invited and welcomed to drop by just to relax a few moments to READ. It is one of my favorite nights of the year.

When that is over, I will be presenting my IGNITE slideshow to the SCSD School Board.

All month, the SMS Media Center is hosting a spectacular display in recognition of the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. It is bringing in lots of traffic and stirring up interest in the history of the event.

Next week we will be asking students and staff to share their thoughts about the Media Center on a poster just outside our entrance. We can't wait to read the comments.

At the high school, School Library Week dovetails nicely with National Poetry Month, so we celebrate both with displays and activities. Mrs Nielsen's 9th grade Language Arts students will be creating "book spine poetry" and sharing with another LA class in Van Meter. The result will be an online collection shared using FlipSnack.

We will also be running a YouTube playlist of poetry videos and scheduling an open mic poetry reading at the end of the month.

SHS students will be invited to submit essays (200 words or more) via Google Docs with the theme of "What the Media Center means to me". The prize will be a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card.

April is always a busy month - but we love it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

School Pride

A couple of weeks ago, the Iowa Press Citizen published a insert subtitled "34 of your teachers and students who make a difference". I was honored to be among those featured.


I have such respect and admiration for each and every one of the dedicated people who work for our school district, I believe that any one of them could have easily been selected to be interviewed and given the opportunity to highlight their strengths and beliefs.

I have the privilege of working every day with inspiring, fun, creative, caring and smart people. Who could ask for more?