Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wired Wednesday- Technology Tools

    Having readers make book trailers  is a great motivator for continued reading among all students. Students promoting books provides skill practice in many areas ( reading, writing, organizing, analyzing, just to name a few).  Book trailers for readers can be in many forms,  many of the sites we have mentioned in this blog can be used to make book trailers, or posts  about favorite books,
   One site that is wonderful for this is :

   Michelle Harderode, teacher librarian , has developed this  site. On it you can find  book trailers she has produced, and also student produced book trailers.  There are so many great features to this website.  There is a section on readers theater, authors book trailers and tips for making book trailers with students.  You can find trailers on newly released books.

   Under special features there is information on book trailers and the common core, research on the value of making book trailers, battle of the book information, and literacy lessons for school librarians.

  Since the sub title is "Spotlighting Books for Kids and Teens" , you can just start introducing this site to your students to help them find great books that they want to read!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Library Policies- Book Selection

  What other library policies do you have written down( or at least in your head?)  A book selection policy will follow your Collection Development policy. ( See March   blog post)

   In your book selection policy, how do you select books that will be purchased for your library? Do you read reviews before purchasing? How many do you read?    Does what you do for selection all make sense and is it a reasonable way to select books for your collection?Whatever you do, refine and write it down.   
   In my policy , I have written that I will read  two reviews for non-fiction and three for fiction. I will check also  the ALA listing for children's / teens books and will check other award lists for recommended books. The policy also details what  the current curriculum is following , and will note that library selection of nonfiction also depends curriculum requirement I had this written down in detail in my book selection policy.

     With your mission statement, your collection development policy and your book selection policy, you are now on your way to your policy and procedures book . I will continue to add different topics / statements  so that you will have a complete book for your library . Keep me posted as to what  you have and what you are working on. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Organizing your Office-

       Maintaining a neat  and organized office workspace is an ongoing process.   You should never think that you are organized  and that is the end.The initial  organizing will be the most work , but you can begin seeing improvement after a few sessions.  When you think you are done , then you will be on a maintenance schedule  similar to  keeping your house work  done.
      If  you have read my blog on 3/11/13 about Organization in the Library, and files and piles and have started to begin this process then you are on your way. By now your library will be looking and feeling more organized and you will be getting more work done  and feeling better and better.
    Let's look at some other areas of your office and library where you might want to be more efficient. Look at an office supply catalog ( print or online ) When you do you will so many organizing tools.  If there is a spot or area that needs redoing , look for ways that organizing tools could help you accomplish that task.

   Where you do keep your files?  Do you have adequate file space? Are the files in order?  Keep your file with your current to do and daily activities close to where you work.  Other files that are needed can be kept close to your desk.  Files that are needed but not looked at daily can be kept in another file cabinet .  ( I call them my historical files)

    Develop and keep a consistent naming system for both your  print and computer files. ( See The Organized Librarian book)   This will help you to easily find and retrieve the information and files you need .

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wired Wednesday- Technology Tools

      There are so many links on this site!!   It is great for librarians, teachers and parents. Librarians will love it! 
       Under Library and Literature Lesson plans you will find links to Curriculum and Standards, library scheduling, information units, and literature units. There are also links to technology units.
      Also there are many links to literature web sites. The site has links for both elementary and secondary levels.
      Under Information Literacy, there is a small list of Web 2.0 tools for use by teachers and librarians .In the Media Lit tab there many links to resources for librarians and technology teachers to use with students of all ages.
      The  Library Curriculum tab is arranged by month and has links to lessons,  topics, and authors. I can't  wait to see the new ideas for each month.
     There are tabs for each month  with ideas for  lesson ideas and step by step models. Also there are extensive author links, and  also links  for books on each age level.
     Check out this site, you will be amazed on how much information you can use  to help you with.  .  Your staff will love it too! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Library Policies

    So you have your mission statement and your goals and objectives.  What policies do you have in printed form?
   You may want to get your collection development and book selection polices and procedures written and down and accepted by your Administration/ Board.
   Why should you have Written Policies? Sooner or later, if it has not happened already, someone (parents, patrons, administrators) will question  why you have a book or books in your collections.
   With theses policies( having been hopefully approved and accepted)  you can refer  the question to the written policy ( More information is in  The Organized Librarian)
  To begin your policy for collection development and book selection, think about whom your library serves. What kinds of information do they need, what types of books do they like to read?
  If you are not sure  or want to have an accurate picture find out by asking your patrons ( students, teachers , ect) through surveys, polls, informal discussions, and informal interviews.
    With your audience in mind, prepare your collection development policy.    By using inventory statistics,  begin noting how will develop and expand your collection.  What areas need to be expanded upon? What  formats do patrons and students want?
  This policy , when finalized, will specify subject areas to be developed , with other areas noted to be maintained and eventually developed. A time frame for development would probably be included,
Also there should be statements about how long the policy will be in effect and  when the policy will be revised and updated.
  This policy will help you in purchasing item,s The collection development policy will ensure continuity in selection and revision of materials for the library collection.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

April Bulletin Boards For Librarians

     It 's time again to start thinking about April!  I know March seems like it just started but with vacation , I like to always think ahead!

      I've got a poem in my pocket!-- pockets with poems typed stuck in- these can be changed  weekly. Or let  students put in their  favorite poems.

     Get Graphic@ the Library!  Scan covers of some of your Graphic Novels and put on a colorful Bulletin Board.

      Get Hooked on  Books!- Fishing line with book titles or covers along the line.
( Fishing for a good Book)

     Spring into Reading with Great Books

      Sports Stories

      It's Raining Books- Put an umbrella in the corner of the bulletin board. Then place large blue and grey raindrops with book titles on them.( Again let students put up their favorites.

     April showers bring great books! ( Similar to above idea)

National Humor Month
School Library Month
DEAR- Day April 12

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Technology Tools-Wired Wednesday

        This week the site I am writing about  is Edmodo!  What a great site for educators! It is compared to Facebook for teachers ,but even better!
     There are many safety measures to keep students  on their tasks.   Once you register( its Free) then you can add your  students in class groups.

         Edmodo is a site where students and teachers can collaborate when class is over- continue with class discussions, give polls and surveys to check for comprehension and understanding.

         This is site where teachers  can share lessons and ideas  with other colleagues who are doing the same subject area as they are.   Teachers are also connect to be best  quality resources to assist them  and their students.
       There is a planner chart where you  can place plans for the week. A Progress chart is also provided which will be helpful for keeping track of students work.    Edmodo has  a library tab  where you can add links and files of current and past work. This way you can save all your resources in one neat spot.

      I found lots of items my teachers will love( writing prompts, lesson search,  put in assignments, view slide shows  for different subject areas, reward badges for students  and,  tons of ideas for activities)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Organization in the library

       Libraries are naturally organized- mainly the books and resources. The key to  successful  and seamless library programs / tasks is  the organization of everything else.  If you are organized them you will have more time and get more done.  So lets get started!

      You  may have paper, catalog, files , and you may be  overloaded with these types of items floating around your library and office . Do you have stacks of folders? The best way to attack them is to set aside time each day to go through and decided what to do with all of those files, papers, catalogs,  and items lying around.

     Start with three folders or baskets or bins. Mark each one with : TO DO NOW, TO DO LATER,
TO FILE .  Take some file folders.. Also take a trash/ recycling bin.

     Bring  with you a pen, and sticky notes.  As you look at each item/ paper/ file  decide where it should go. Make an immediate decision. Scan though it .  At this time, you can place a sticky note  for the item to be placed in a specific file,

     If you glance at a catalog and see something you might purchase at a later date, mark it with a sticky note  and file it in a folder marked : Possible Purchase.    I also keep a catalog file( noted in The Organized Librarian  ) of catalogs that I refer to on a yearly basis.

    Put each item in the bin/basket/file  if you intend to keep the item .  If it is not needed put in the trash or recycling bin.  If you take 15 -20 minutes each day, in no time you will have your papers /files in order and your library  more organized and efficient.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Steps To Managing a Library - Planning


       Managing a library is about  producing and coordinating  multiple  functions and tasks.  Functions involving planning, organizing,   controlling, and leading are all part of managing a library and its programs.  As librarians we need to make many decisions about how the library is run, organized, and maintained.  In many respects we are like administrators  , managing the  library , in a similar way that they manage the school.

      One of the first functions is planning on what the library ( and its programs)  will accomplish. That is what we have done  in preparing and   developing the mission statement and the goals / objectives of the library.

      Planning will be something that will take time and special thought.  While we did take time with the mission and the goals, they will lead us to better planning of programs and procedures. At each stage , we can  compare them to  our mission and goals to see if they coincide.
     Planning also is the step that if best if done before jumping into action.  Why? Well because if we plan an activity, a procedure book, a program, lessons, or almost anything, we are more than likely to accomplish what we set out to do and also do it more efficiently . 
   How to Plan:  Take a blank sheet of paper. Start with the desired outcome at the bottom of the sheet.  Think and jot down notes: what steps do you need to do to get there?  Does this plan and the outcome coincide with our mission and goals?. Will this activity further our mission and goals?

  To me planning is thinking on paper. I like to write everything down and see the steps and see what I will do before jumping into action,

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wired Wednesday/ Technology Tools

         This week we are looking at

       Kidblog is designed for K-12 teachers who want each student to have an individual blog on which to work. Students publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom  community.    Teachers have complete control over student blogs and user accounts.

      Teachers can use Kidblog to create classroom discussions, learn digital citizenship, and practice their writing skills. The  student blog can serve as an e-portfolio and teachers can assess their writing as it progresses.

         Teachers go in and sign up your classes and give the students their login and password. Kids can log in and write from anyplace. This makes it easy for teachers , they can also benefit because you can eliminate lugging home tons of notebooks.  This is a great motivator to get students to write and read. Great for book discussion, lesson discussion and can lend itself to any curriculum.

        This looks like a great place to have students bring their ideas and writing to the class, and make writing an authentic task. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Just say No

      When you are asked to do a task / job/ activity from your board or Administration , take a second before saying yes.  Will  accepting that  t task or job, take away time and effort from your mission and goals?  Or does it go along with your objectives?   Will it help further you mission as a librarian Media Specialist?  Does this new activity help you complete your focus of tasks and activities? ( Example- hosting a book fair in the library will help increase your visibility and get students and teachers into the library.)
     If the task is not going to further your goals,  saying no  may be appropriate. One good way  to give yourself time to think about the task and your missions / goals is to say, “Let me think about it” or “I’ll have to get back to you.” .

   Saying No with grace and then decide explanations is  a skill learned  by doing. Try to imagine someone asking you to do an activity that does not advance your goals.( Example: You are asked to direct the school play) Rehearse what you would say-first thing comes to my mine- "I'll have to think about it and get back to you."

   We do not want to offend or discourage, but we want to make known the work we do and why we do it.  Perhaps you can agree to a supporting role (helping without being the person in charge) ," "I will have end of year inventory at that time and will not be really able to give full attention to the play- perhaps I could help with props or scenery ?"

   At any rate, stop and think about your goals . Just say no when it is appropriate  .You do not have to compromise your library for the sake of an activity that takes too much time away from what you really need and want to do,





Friday, March 1, 2013

Using goals and mission statement daily

   Now that you have your mission and objective/ goals, it is time to use them on a daily basis. If you work each day without clear goals and missions, you will not get as much accomplished as you would like.  If your missions and goals are posted in your library and office  , you will be reminded of the important things you need to do.

   So either before you leave for work each day, or first thing in the morning, make a to do list of no more than 5 items to accomplish. This simple act will provide focus and then closure.  Check these five items with your goals and mission statement. Make sure that what you plan will further your steps towards your goals and mission. This also allows you to complete items that are high on the priority list, and  disregard the tasks that do not make a big difference to you mission.

     Keep the list in a prominent place( on your desk, on a clipboard, in your planner) where you will see it as you are working. Check each item off when you are done.  While it  may  take a while to get used to this technique, it will bring you to accomplish your missions and goals.  It will provide a sense of satisfaction in seeing tasks completed and your mission becoming part of your daily program.

    Preparing this simple list each day will help you become more focused and more aware of what is really important to your library.  By making this list you will also get much more accomplished  to further your mission of your library.