Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A day in my life...

It's hard to break down what my days will be like. Everything is changing right now. Because of that, I don'[t really have a normal. I've heard that from classroom teachers before, but I never understood it in the same way that I do now.

Tomorrow is the first day of school at Mid-Prairie. It is the day that I worked toward and geared up for each year for the past 20 years. And tomorrow I will be working in a completely different district...weird!

I will spend tomorrow in Keota working with Josh to get computers up and running for their first day, Thursday.

...I'll be out of my district working...

I knew things would change - but this feels really weird...really weird.

And the weirdest of all - it doesn't bother me nearly as much as I would have thought. Instead, it's kind of exciting to start something completely different. REALLY hard - but exciting...

So - a day in my life...nothing to base the pattern on yet.

Monday, August 24, 2009


It's been really interesting taking part in multiple building meetings this year. Much of the basic content overlaps and intermingles. The people tend to be a bit interchangeable as well. There are the doodlers, the nodders, the smilers and the frowners. There are also those who take notes often and those who wouldn't consider holding a pen. Then, there are the whisperers.

But, today I saw a new breed. It made me mighty sad.

As the principal was talking and explaining and expounding on ways to improve the building and engage the students one teacher stood up, walked to a sheet of paper on the table behind the principal and signed up to use the computer lab later in the week.

No one in the room gasped or snickered or jeered. The principal continued to talk, the teacher finished writing and returned to the original seat.

I know I am still like a visitor. This isn't really my building yet. I haven't become a part of this mostly millennial staff. But, watching this I'm not sure if I want to. To be so self-absorbed and self-centered...



I think I need to take the advice of a veteran meeting attender...she told me I need to perfect the ability to daydream!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Library Website

One of the things that I've been poking away at all summer is an updated website for the Secondary Libraries at M-P. Previously there was a separate website for the Middle School and the High School. I really wanted to have one website - easier for me to keep updated and many of the links are used by both.

I started with the suggestion of our Tech Director using Squarespace.com. It's a great website for web design. There are simple click and move elements to use in their precreated templates. They provide a 2-week trial to play.

I really liked the options - I found it easy to use and manipulate. So - after two weeks I took the plunge and purchased a one year committment. Our site is housed on their servers and can grow as needed.

With the Tech Director's help we also bought a domain name...so rather than having 'squarespace' as part of our web address - it's just...


It's not quite done...but I'm really pleased with it so far. It was SO VERY helpful to have a great site to start from. The former librarian had great links and that really helped guide me.

So - one thing almost off my list...

It's about time too...next week we start the teacher workshop days - the first one is an optional tech day and I am teaching a workshop on Online Resources and highlighting many of the places we visited this summer. I'm really excited to share! Thanks to Kristin I feel ready!!!


Another step forward...

I had decided not to make many changes in the libraries this fall.
I wanted to see how things worked and then make decisions.


I really wanted to do a little rearranging. Just a little.

What I didn't know is that rearranging shelves in a library is not an easy task. You can't just give them a shove and expect them to end up where you want them to go. It's a major undertaking.


I really wanted to see the change.

So, I talked to the janitor about moving a section of shelves.
I started weeding the section that needed to be emptied.
I emptied the rest of the books off that section.
And in the afternoon when the janitors came in to move, we (the media secretary and I) were ready to help.

The shelves were moved with much shoving and lifting and rearranging of moving carts.

When they were rolled to their new home I knew I had to love them there...no matter what.

I held my breath


I did.

Now - I hope I am not the only one that loves them there. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

That one day of panic...

Each year about this time I have a day of pure panic. It's late summer - school is nearing and I am certain that I should have so much more done than I really do. I wake up early in the morning and stay awake late at night running in circles trying to prepare.

So, my normal pattern is to make lists and spend the day making sure I have all the things I need to jump right in and get ready.

Today was that day! But, this year my patterns are different. I don't have a classroom to get ready - instead I have two libraries.

So - I woke up at 4:00 this morning, wondering and worrying about what this year will hold. I stewed and I worried and I pondered because my confidence was pretty non-existent!!!

Then I grabbed a hold of myself and starting doing something productive! I spent some time cruising the listserv and seeking out the advice of seasoned librarians. I looked back over my notes and idea files from classes. I started feeling a bit better

Mid-morning I decided to go to the High School and spend some time in the library working on the website and getting caught up on some paper work.

And it was there that my panic really changed...

When I arrived one of the media secretaries was working on another project. I am so fortunate to have two very positive, very capable, very dependable and very amazing ladies working in the HS and MS libraries. My stress level drops each time I chat with either of them. They know these libraries and are dedicated to making all the pieces fit! WOW!

After chatting for a bit, I felt so much more focused and excited!

Then a little later the high school secretary stopped in my office. My stress level dropped another notch! Both of the buildings have very positive, very capable, very dependable and very amazing secretaries! (I tell you M-P is a great place!!!) Chatting with her helped me feel welcome and relax a little more.

Finally, our district Tech Director stopped in to ask me to help out with a tiny project. After he left, I was down right peaceful!

Each of these three conversations put things in perspective for me. Each person gave me a bit of concrete advice to apply immediately, and I was ready to go!

So, although it's really early in the morning and I should have gone to sleep looooong ago...I am past my panic. Instead, I am just excited!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


This is from a blog called the "Unquiet Librarian"...It's all about making the changes based on what we see from the outside...Interesting food for thought...

So what might these “pivot points of change” look like in a school library? Here are some examples I’ve brainstormed this evening:

  • Keep books and print materials in your library, but add and promote the formats in which their content appear (i.e. audio books, databases, e-books, downloadable books (such as NetLibrary), free online versions of periodicals).
  • Keep teaching evaluation of online resources, but teach students (and teachers) to apply those same principles of information to traditional sources of information—they are not immune from bias or inaccurate information, either.
  • Keep your traditional sources of authoritative information, but let the research topic and mode of research guide the integration of social media information sources and tools for delivering that content.
  • Keep teaching information literacy skills, but focus on the bigger picture of helping students devise personal learning networks that they can apply to any learning situation instead of a topic specific research task.
  • Keep teaching students Internet safety principles, but also shift your focus on the concept of digital footprints and teaching students how to create and maintain a positive online identity.
  • Continue creating a warm and welcoming physical library environment, but give equal attention to developing a virtual library presence that is accessible to students via 24/7 with elements such as a virtual learning commons or online classroom through a platform like Elluminate.
  • Keep teaching quality resources like NoodleTools for managing and citing information, but teach additional tools for this student toolbox by using tools like Zotero.
  • Keep school rules in mind, but explore ways to tap into the power of devices like cell phones and iPods for student learning and present a plan for using these tools to your administrator so that you can provide service where your students are.
  • Keep writing a vision statement and annual PDEP (Program Design and Evaluation Plan), but compose it in a different format, such as a mindmap format, video, or other multimedia/visualization medium.
  • Keep positing literacy as a primary focal point of your library program, but expand that definition of literacy to include new media literacy and information literacy as mainstream literacies equal in importance to traditional literacy.
  • Keep adding Web 2.0 tools for information delivery and access, but market your library in places where your parents may be more so than students (such as Twitter or Facebook) to share news about your library program and to network with your parent community.