Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Weekly Reading- The Magnolia Story

    I am a big fan of Fixer Upper(HGTV) , so my husband got me "The Magnolia Story"  by Chip & Joanna Gains for Christmas.  Chip and Joanna met at her Fathers Firestone store  when Chip was there with a friend. Chip was outgoing and an entrepreneur. Joanna  called her self an introvert,  After dating , they were soon married and lived in their first renovated home.

  There story is told in both their voices  , but mostly Joanna's. It details their many projects , setbacks, and problems. This was both interesting to learn about their early married years , and also inspiring   in ways they managed their personal and work lives in the businesses they pursued. This is  well written and show cases how they appreciate their hometown and the simple values of family and their ethic of hard work.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Librarian as a Technology Specialist

  The librarian in the 21st century needs to be also be a technology specialist. In the past we were the keepers of the AV equipment. ( Who remembers those days??)  We were the schedulers / fixers of the movie projector, slide projectors, FS projectors. DVD players, ect.
  Now a days, we may be in charge of the Chrome books, laptops, and I pads that are used by staff and students. But most importantly , we need to step up and be users and instructors in the newest programs and resources,
   This involves using technology to create research projects, using tech to produce lessons, and teaching students how effectively use our sources and cite them.  We also need to help teachers integrate technology in to their lesson,s We can do this by  large group formal staff development  or showing individuals ( or by department) new technologies and new tech tools. So as librarians we need to keep up with the latest  tools and resourcesn.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Talks- How To

  When you are preparing a book talk remember is not a review or a book report. A book talk is told to convince the listener to read the book.  So in your book talk , we should 'sell , don't tell' . It is like an advertisement or commercial for the book. Try to hook the listener and make your talk funny, exciting, and interesting.
   Everyone has their own style  of book talks , so you will need to determine what yours is. Don't try to copy or steal someone else book talk , but listen  and see if you like the style of the way it is presented. Be sure to read the Whole book!! Don't try to do a book talk without reading the whole thing! Most of all be sure that it is a book you would recommend - don't do a book talk on a book you are just luke warm on.
   Some suggestions for book talks to consider: read a quote from the book, introduce the main characters or set the scene or setting , highlight the most interesting part of the plot. Make sure you give the title ad author of the book. In a few short sentences , summarize the plot of the book. But don;t tell the ending. Show the cover  of the book. Most importantly- Practice what you say! Practice in front of a mirror , or  for a co-worker or family member!  Be enthusiastic when you deliverer your book talks and have fun!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Librarian as a school leader

    Librarians act as leaders in their schools. Most of the time we call this 'Leading from the Middle'. Librarians lead by modeling best practices, and acting as a person who works with teachers to help bring lessons that are Technology tested and engaging.
    By developing one unit or lesson at a time with one teacher, word of mouth inspires other staff to want the same services.    Changes in lessons and units takes place, as the librarians builds relationships with staff. This in turn , effects students and their learning by having more engaging learning and more information skills to help them with technology. 
   Leadership by librarians can be done in several ways.Professional development, reading promotions, and programs , integrating two curricular areas, sharing tech tools new strategies and websites are just a few  ideas.  By demonstrating energy and enthusiasm for our job we can make a difference in our students lives.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Weekly Reading- Eleanor & Park

     Eleanor & Park / Rowell was a book I just couldn't stop reading! Eleanor is a back with her mother and stepfather.   She wears weird clothes to conceal herself, and trys to manage her read curly red hair. She doesn't really fit in with most of her school mates.
   Park is part Asian, very cute, and also doesn't fit in with most of the school either. The two are thrown together on the bus- there is no where else for Eleanor to sit. They slowly develop a friendship and then a more serious relationship. 
  Rowell writes tight with great description and dialog that is just what teens sound like. This book make me laugh and cry. A true ending that is real life.  I loved this book and doesn't want it to end.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Librarian as Program Administrator and Advocate

   The Librarian is the developer of many   library programs. We need to highlight the value of the Library and also promote the important role of the librarian as a member of the instructional staff.  We can present students at meetings (PTA, Board, Staff Dev) . We can conduct reading challenges. ( I use Accelerated Reading challenge)
   I also promote programs, services, and books in my monthly newsletter.  I actually do a twice a month brief newsletter and I also send occasional emails targeted to specific departments. I take photos to show case what is happening in the library and what the students are doing.  The other way I promote my library and programs is my monthly report to administration. 

   The other simple thing that we do is to make signs for programs to be up all around the school. And we use the morning / afternoon announcements to promote the library and its programs.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Talks

    Librarians use book talks to encourage reading and to showcase new or great books. There are many  different  ways to accomplish book talks. If you have scheduled classes , then you can do  book talks on a regular basis.
     If you have a flex schedule  then you will need to devise ways to share your collection, Go into ELA classes or Social Studies classes with a tote bag of books.Give book talks during lunch time if your library is open and students have 'free time"

    Book talks could also be produced into blog posts, pod castes, short videos, or other ' digital " ways. This way the promotion would be on your library webpage or the schools webpage,

    Another idea to promote reading is a 'read around' whereby staff members present their favorite books . Students would hear many different titles this way.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Librarian as Information Specialist

  The librarian's second most important job is that of Information Specialist. As librarians , we develop our collections according to our curriculum  and teacher/ student needs.  The second part of being an information specialist is identifying and sharing resources that will support teacher created  lessons and project based learning  activities.

  So as librarians we learn our schools curriculum and our teachers lessons , and we build out collections based on these  specifications.  I am constantly speaking with teachers regarding their lessons, and if they need support material to be had in their classrooms. I build project pathfinders ( series of internet sites based on lessons/ information needed  ) that are placed on the library web page. Each time a class does a project, appropriate databases are reviewed

  As librarians, we look for print , streaming videos, databases, reliable websites, and eBooks for students and staff. The addition of electronic resources add to our roles of  information specialist. Resources of online databases and eBooks provide with further information. Instruction on how to access and use goes back to our primary role of teacher..

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How to use your Weekly/ Daily Master List

  Do you keep a weekly  or daily master list of to do items / jobs for you library work life? Do you prioritize your tasks? This is the first step in being organized ad getting items accomplished.   Once your list is in place ( I do a daily - either in the morning or right before I leave school)  

  Then I prioritize  each item. Elimination of items that are not worth the time are  the ones I struggle with . I use a D to delegate the tasks I can give to my assistant - depending on the task - some times I can get some students to help.

  My most important items I mark with an A- ( must do as soon as possible)  and B ( ( should do but no serious consequences if ti doesn't get done right away.) 

 If you do this on a regular basis , you can begin to gt ta flow of tasks competed in the most efficient manner, Determine what is most important   and do the items  that are on your list first

Thursday, November 30, 2017 is an online library of free literature and Informational texts. Teachers can quickly locate a passage that fits with a lesson for students can read and answer comprehension questions. This can follow with discussion in small or large groups.
      Teachers can select by grade level, genre, literacy device or theme. These are mostly short pieces which comes from classic works, writing that has been  in other publications, and short works that have been donated by authors; Each text has a summary about the author and the piece. There are text dependent questions and also a readability factor to adjust font size.
    Also available are related media, audio and video clips which go along with the text. There are parent guides. For teachers there is the option to create classes and track learners. It seems that this site is full of interesting items that I feel it might be very helpful for teachers.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Using Elink

 I am using Elink for my project pathfinders. I had used Livebinders to do this previously but am at my limit for my free subscription. So I needed to find another way to curate a series of web links for students to put on the library page.
 Elink is a visual collection of web links, I find it very useful when students are researching topics for their projects.  If I know the topics the teachers are having students do investigation’s on , then I will be able to find relevant & accurate  links for them to pull from.
  Students can use the websites in the elink pathfinder  and they will have a quick easy way to find accurate information quickly.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Reading for Pleasure ( article)

  Jeffrey Wihelm recently wrote an article abut reading for pleasure and its benefits.
The first question he brings up (which I think is key) is: promoting reading is a civil rights issue. He gives data that reading for pleasure helps youth in both social mobility and cognitive progress.
He encourages all staff regardless of subject area to promote reading for pleasure. In reading for pleasure the student is engaged and immersed in the book. 
The article also gives some examples of how to share and promote reading in a school setting.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


  Read.Gov is a website which is a Division of the Library of Congress's  The site encourages everyone (kids, Teens, & adults) to discover the world of books and reading.  You will see a variety of free reading resources to explore.  There are programs to be done on line, and classic books to read online. Author webcasts( where authors speak about their  books and their work as a writer .)

  Also helpful to both librarians and teachers are the book lists that are related to research and school topics. There are  online book exhibits( Books that Shaped America- which shows covers of the first edition and gives a synopsis of why the work is important) There is also  a list of some best American literature. This is a good resource for librarians, elementary teachers , ELA ,and English teachers.