Thursday, September 26, 2013

Interesting Writing Sites for Students

More sites to try
   Use to motivate students to write and make books!  Students will have fun with this one and be glad to get into writing. They show 7 simple steps to help the story progress. There is a tutorial  and a short video to help you get started.

 Students can use storyjumper’s art or they can create their own.  They do offer hardbound books printed for 24.99.

  There is a classroom edition made just for schools. Students can read some examples of other student works. 



On Scribblitt there are many assists to help students be motivated to write. This site is for older students with a more modern look.  This site has a lot to offer for student- make an avatar, illustrate your book, word games, and fund raisers for schools. Under several tabs you  can find a place for messages, contests' story starters,  and writing competitions. There is also a verh short video on some of the items on Scribblitt.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Circulation Desk - Organization & Supplies

     How is your circulation desk? Does it look like its been hit by a tornado?  Do you have trouble finding things? 

     If so take a few moments each day  to becoming more organized at the circulation desk.  As librarians we probably spend a lot of time at the circ desk so  it makes sense to have it orderly and organized, It will be helpful to know where everything is . Also  it is nice is having all the circ supplies at that location instead of having to run to a storage room to get something you need to use immediately. If you have a drawer that you can use, place your normal supplies in there so you do not have to go some place when you run out,
     The first step of action is to  determine what you actually need at the circulation desk.   You will need the most obvious desk items: paper, pencils, and pencils. Do you need data due slips?  What kinds of records do you need to keep?  What reports are necessary each day?

    Keeping items organized is a great way to keep your desk in order. So grab some file organizers if you have to keep papers at the circ desk.  Have a can for pens, and pencils. If you use lots of paper clips or rubber bands get a container for each type.

     At your desk supply list: pens, pencils, paper, scrap paper, report forms, manila folders, paper clips, rubber bands, post it notes.  Include anything else you need on a daily basis!

   Check out the top tab- The Organized Librarian-  for more organizing at your library!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

File Cabinets- taking Charge, taking control

It's  another week at work on organizing the library office ( if you have one)  or your main desk if your workspace is right at the circulation desk.  I am always working and refining on my files and file cabinets to make them more efficient.
   Now that does not mean that I am constantly working on my files and cabinets. It means that almost every week, I spend some time organizing, deleting, and compressing my files. It may be 10 or 15 per week  or  10 minutes per day.   It all depends on  what  kind of shape the files are in and also what other pressing tasks I need to complete that week.
   Do you have duplicate files? I found that in one draw alone I had several files in several places with the same name. Obviously I will take each one and see what is in each one , consolidate and then eliminate.

    Why am I doing this? Well for one reason , it makes things easier to find. Second
reason, I like orderly files. When I need something I don't want to spend extra minutes tracking down two files.  Check out my book The Organized Librarian    ( see pages tab Books for sale) for more tips  on keeping files updated and organized.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

More sites for student surfing

   Finding sites for students to use is one that teachers and librarians are always on a look out for .  Two that are very realizable are listed. These sites have been around awhile and have been used my many librarians and educators.   Perhaps you already know about them.  The rcls one  is the most impressive for use by students. This regional library council is in our local school district area and supports the public libraries .   Check them out and let me know what you think.

   This is a collection of children's search tools that help kids find facts on topics. There are age appropriate websites and databases of information specifically for students of all ages.  Basic information , dictionary's and teacher sites are used to help students find their facts fast.

  This site gives you lists and pages of librarians choices of the best of the web. It is my go to choice when trying to find sites that students and teachers can use to find the information that they need.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Essentials for a Public Library Website

     What should a website for a Public Library include?    First of all think about your patrons ( children, teens, adults, and    senior citizens) . What do they need to get from your site? How can you draw them in to get them to use resources and bring them into the library?

   Does your site provide patrons with an accurate picture of what your library is all about?  A public library should focus on resources and programs.

     A good site will show case what a books, resources, and services the library provides  So of course one of the primary items should be the online catalog.  Information here can also allow patrons to request items and place them hold.

   Additionally ,  there could be having easy links to the library's databases . Information can be given on  what to do if patrons are accessing the databases at home.

   Also have in a calendar or a listing  of programs . Our public library has a link to the calendar  which shows all the special programs and events ( book discussions, poetry nights, game nights, story hours, book sales computer classes, ect)

   How about electronic books and magazines? Have  a link with directions on how to download and then also items available. Information on terms of loan and how to request should also be available. Some libraries have Zinio and magazines can be downloaded for patrons to read on tablets.

    Additional tabs or pages could be the basics: driving directions, contact us, about us, board of directors and their minutes,  new arrivals( books, DVD's videos), newsletters,  and library news.

    Last but not least, what kind of fun things can you include?  Do you gave photographs of  patrons using the libraries resources? How about photos / videos of special programs, and classes ( think story hour, kids program, discussion groups, poetry slams, ect.) Put them interspersed around the site or prepare a slide show  that patrons can watch.

    Make  your public library website a place where patrons can find out all that is going on at your library!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sites for Student Surfing!

Sites for Student Surfing!


By helping students to be more critical in their web searchers try to introduce sites that have great content and are reliable.  Put links to them on your library website ( See    ) This will help students to find facts and information quickly and without a lot of needless surfing,  Explain to them that having these sites will save them a lot of time and error.


Cable in the Classroom: Digital Ethics


This teaches safe, courteous and ethical web behavior. There are also lots of tips and ideas for educators.  See Safety and Security, digital literacy, ethics and community!


Kathy Schrock’s Guide For Educators


 This will keep both you and your teachers busy for a while. There are tabs with links to articles on internet,  and internet search engines. There is a lot to find here   have so fun !

Friday, September 6, 2013

Essentials for School Library Website

    If  you have a school library website ( hopefully linked to your school's website) there are a couple of items you should  have .   First of all , figure out the purpose of your site/ What are you trying to do by having the site?  When you have figured that out  it will help you determine what you want to put up on the site

     To get started here is a list of what   is on most school library sites:
  1) With the focus on teaching and learning, there could be a blog or wiki with student ideas and comments about books and what they are learning ( both in the library and at their classes). There could also be slide shows, or pod casts  that showcase student learning and reading.
Anything thing like promotes student participation, especially blogs or Wiki's . Students love to contribute their thoughts and ideas,

2)  To drive more students and parents to your library site, you could also post  current student projects . This will have  many students looking at your site to see what they or their friends have posted,

3) Resources for your audience!!  Most important!! you should have your catalog ( goes without saying) Then your best data bases, and links to most used sites that have the most reliable information .    You may also want some links to best sellers, new books, and reviews by students to help students find out new books to read,

4) Resources for teachers!  websites and databases, services your library provides.  if you are having  workshops or staff development  you could also put an invite here. How about great Web2.0 tools that teachers could use and an offer to help?

5) Photos , or slide shows  of what is going on in  your library. Pictures of special evetns, reading programs,  and other activities that go on in the library.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shifting Shelves! Moving Books!

   What  is your technique for shifting ( moving ) books on shelves?  We were helping yesterday at the Public library . I have shifted shelves many times in my many years of librarianship  and each time I try to think of how to do it more efficiently.

     One of the most obvious things to look at and consider is height of books. If they are all consistent then it is not a problem. If you will have the room, you might want to adjust the shelves and put more of the books all upright and not turned down.  ( This is much better for the  books of course)

  When you get into the mode of moving and adjusting shelves, get a cup for shelf brackets , a couple of towels  to wipe the shelves and backs of shelves and maybe even a tape measure or ruler.( This saves a lot of time when you have to get the brackets even for the shelves.

   If you do not have to adjust the shelves then the job will go a lot quicker. It is easier to work backwards, ( for me anyway) then you can move each shelf either over or down.  While you are shifting, check the books, dust them off if need be , and also  look for books that need repair or could possibly be deleted,
   When you are doing this process it may remind you of inventory . It is also a great way to get to know  your  collection : see what you have, see what you want to check the circulation stats on.