Thursday, November 17, 2011

Leadership and E-Books, plus other important stuff

It’s hard to believe the end is near, but it is. The semester is almost over and this is the last blog for a little while. I’ve definitely explored areas I might not have in this class.
When reading through the LM_NET postings I found one talking about more ways to share links with other teachers and students. The posting was shared by Becky Schaller on November 12th. Some of the websites shared were new to me including:,,, and is a website that can be used to set up blogs. Using this method the Librarian could begin the blog then teachers could add their own favorite websites in the comments section, or have the librarian add the websites for them. is a website that lets you bookmark many sites. It’s like being able to take your favorites everywhere. is very similar to looks very interesting. Not only can you save url’s, but you can also save pictures, screenshots, highlights and more. I can really see the potential uses of
Becky Schaller also shared responses she had received to her question regarding the librarians expectations for students to locate books at different ages on November 13. This posting was interesting for me since I’ve spent most of my time in a high school library. By the time students reach high school they can find books fairly quickly. I had never sat down and considered at what age students can be expected to locate books on the shelves. There were some really good suggestions from other librarians on this subject. I really think the idea shared by one librarian to have relay’s with students in 4th and 5th grade in the library to practice finding books sounds like it would get students involved and having fun.
On November 14 Barbara Braxton shared information on a book that is being called the “Australian To Kill a Mockingbird”. I was intrigued because I always loved To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s one of the few books I had to read in school I would reread. The book is entitled Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey. The plot description does lead back to To Kill a Mockingbird. The protagonist is a teenage boy and many prejudices of the 60’s are examined from his perspective.
Scanning through the various blogs I follow I checked out the November 17th entry in A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy. This was a review of the book Saving June by Hannah Harrington from Liz B. This book caught my eye because one of the main characters is obsessed with music and playlists are included in the back of the book to coordinate with various sections. I’m noticing a trend in music and literature coming together like this. In the story Harper’s older sister June commits suicide 9 days before graduation. Harper is mystified by this because June was always the cool and popular sister which she was the more withdrawn and unmotivated. The parents are split up so they make the decision to put half of June’s ashes with each one. Harper doesn’t like this idea so she takes the ashes and decides to take them to California, a place June was obsessed with. Leaving for the trip to California Harper takes her best friend and Jack a boy who knew June and offered up his van for the trip. Along with the way all three answer important questions about themselves and who they are.
From there I went on to two blogs which discussed e-readers and e-books. The first of which was Blue Skunk Blog by Doug Johnson on November 12th. The blog entry “Defining terms associated with e-book use” discusses the need to standardize definitions when referring to e-books. Johnson gave his definitions for e-books, e-book reader, e-book reader app, e-book apps, and e-book in the cloud. It is also important to remember how the resource will be used before considering the electronic format. For example it makes sense for reference materials that can only be accessed on a computer to be in an electronic form, having the latest novel in electronic format which can only be accessed on a computer does not. The students are not going to want to sit in front of a computer to read the novel, but are used to computers as a reference tool. Johnson also points out how important it is to remember e-content still carries collection development and management responsibilities. It is also key to know why you are switching to e-content is it to save money or improve the opportunities of the students and staff? Or do you just want to have the most cutting edge technologies and not improve the opportunities.
The second blog about e-books was the ALA TechSource blog entry on November 7th by Kate Sheehan. The title was “Do You Really Own That eBook?” This entry really did make me think. Do we see e-books as being books in the same way we see a physical book. Many librarians are aware of the “I loved this book so much I sent out and bought it” occurrence in libraries. I know I’m very guilty of that, if I love a book enough I must own it. This is now going to buying the book after reading and enjoying it on an e-reader. I can also say I’m guilty of this. I had checked a book out on my Nook from the library and loved it so it now went on my Christmas list where I felt the need to say specifically I want the real book, not a gift card to buy it myself. There’s just something about being able to hold the actual book in your hands! Sheehan compared the phenomenon to the movement of CD’s to digital music. Now I’m still a CD buyer so maybe that’s where the I must have the book comes from. . . One section of the blog mentioned one day actual book owners could be the weirdos. I guess I will end up being a weirdo if this idea comes around because I know there’s no way I’ll fully give up books. I love the convenience of my Nook when traveling and the ability to have so many books in one spot, but the books I truly love I must have in a physical form. The question then that stems from the blog: “Is digital ownership the same as physical ownership.” Obviously I see a difference and must have the real book when it comes right down to it. If I love the book enough it also must be the hardback version for durability.
Of course for my Podcast I listened to Books on the Nightstand, episode 155 posted on November 15. I just keep going back to this podcast because it keeps increasing the list of books I must read, in turn this increases the list of books one of my friends must read. I was amused at the fact that Best of 2011 lists are starting to come out. I thought those usually waited until December at least. Anyway Publisher’s Weekly has already published a Best Books of 2011 list and a few of the books on the list were discussed. I was most interested in After the Apocalypse which is a collection of short stories about people who have survived different types of apocalypses. I’ve always enjoyed reading books and watching movies with that apocalyptical feel. Something about the world as we know it ending is intriguing to me I guess. Other books which made the list included The Devil All the Time, The Marriage Plot, and Bossy Pants. The next segment of the podcast discussed the fact that 2012 is the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens birth so many publishers are planning on reissuing commemorative editions of his books. We read Great Expectations in school and that is probably the other book I was required to read that I would read again. I did learn while listening that Oliver Twist was written to expose the underside of London with its pickpockets and prostitutes. Dickens hoped to make reader’s see what exactly the city of London was all about. It wasn’t just sunshine and flowers. The third section of the podcast mentioned a book entitled The Headhunters which is being issued for the first time in paperback in the United States. There was a Norwegian film based on the book which has become the most successful Norwegian film of all time. This whole explosion has been compared to The Dragon Tattoo books and movie situation.
Both textbooks were focusing on the Librarian as a leader: in the classroom, the school and various organizations. Wools is very clear on the need of librarians to take leadership roles in their profession. The foremost goal is to change the outdated view of a librarian. So many still think of librarians as the women sitting checking out books and shushing everyone. As we all know the job of a librarian is so much more than that. One way to work on changing the perspectives is by selling the services of the library. Make sure all teachers, students and administrators know exactly what is going on in the library. Empowering Learners points out one of the main responsibilities of the librarian is to help prepare students for a global society by teaching the skills necessary for success for lifelong learners. The librarian should be on the forefront of new technologies which can be used to promote learning. We need to help other teachers realize teaching strategies must change as learners change.
This generation has grown up participating and not just watching so interactive technologies are a huge advantage. The key aspects to leadership include: being creative, being interactive, being vision-headed, empowering others and being passionate about their profession. These 5 skills can easily be translated into the leadership needed to promote the library profession. Wools mentions all the different associations’ librarians can join to be more active in their profession and to keep up with the changes going on. In this technology rich world and profession it is vitally important to stay on top of the changes going on. Joining any of the associations can offer benefits such as: connections to librarians across the country, advisory support, written policies, strategies for defending programs, public relations information and the opportunity to serve on committees. Wools also points out it is vital to serve on committees, both in your school and the organization you belong to. It is important to lobby for the library program, first at a local level then working the way up.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Policies Project

I decided to do this project in my wiki and post the link here in my blog. I find it easier to do hyperlinks in my Wiki. I could not find a disaster plan for a high school library so I included one from a college library. This project came at a good time and the links I found were helpful in the other class I'm taking this semester! It'll be a project to look back on and use resources from.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Reading, overdue fines, the results of Mount Rushmore

I will admit my first thought when looking at the assignment this week is that is a lot of textbook reading.

When doing the assigned textbook reading a few ideas seemed to come through multiple times. One is the idea that the librarian should promote collaboration and encourage teachers to utilize library resources. A second idea is to understand their schools curriculum. These are both key ideas that not all librarians may recognize. A person coming into the school library from outside the field of education will have very little knowledge of curriculum and how it impacts educational needs of students. It is important for the library to support the teaching and learning that is happening in the school. The textbook readings also pointed out the fundamental skill reading is for 21st Century Learners and that it is necessary to teach students information literacy skills. Both books also pointed out in this age of technology and constant internet access it is important to have library services offered at all times. In other words just having an on-site collection will not be enough, students should have access to online databases from home. It is important to have a selection policy which can be shown when and if parents wish to challenge a resource in the library.

After getting all of the textbook readings finished I moved on to checking to see what was new on the LM_NET this week.

The first posting I checked out was from Brenda Lemon and was posted on Nov. 3. Lemon had sent out a request for Web 2.0 tools to promote and use in the library. This posting was her response. Some of the Web 2.0 tools I was familiar with such as Blogger (obviously), Wiki's, Google Docs, Prezi and Glogster. Other such as Polleverywhere and Livebinder I had to look up. It turns out Polleverywhere is a site that can be signed up for and it allos instant audience feedback through texting, the web or Twitter. Teachers could pose questions which students go online to answer. Sure texting would be great - but many schools ban cell phones. This is an interesting resource which creates many ideas for how to best use it as a classroom tool. Livebinder is a free website which allows for the organization of resources. I could see many applications for this when creating resource lists for projects that utilize the library.

A second poster from Nov. 3, Jennifer Dovre, was requesting information on student library committees. She wanted to know who had them and how they operated. It seems like an excellent idea for high school libraries to have a student advisory committee. The information Dovre recived indicated in most situations the librarian ran the group and it tended to help plan activities in the library. One activity a student library committee could assit with in Missouri is planning the Gateway reading promotion and voting party.

The third post I checked out on Nov. 3 from Abby Tipton was about overdue library books. She was looking for ways to stop overdues. Some of the suggestions were interesting. I think the one that sounded the most time consuming was one librarian had the ability to give students grades and could mark down those who had late books. That would almost have to be at a small school becuase too many students would make that method impossible, it would be all the librarian did. Other ideas included having an amnsty or fine forgiveness day, contests which couldn't be entered if students had fines, and multiple locations to return books. Some of the ideas are more useful than others.

When I started looking at blogs I read the one posted by Doug Johnson in his Blue Skunk Blog on October 31,2011: "The "forgetters table" - a horrifying tale." This entry appropriately went with the LM_NET posting on overdue books. Apparently some librarians have a "forgetters table" where students who forgot to bring their book back must stil while the rest of their class looks for books. Johnson related the story of a child who lost a book in kindergarten and was still regulated to the "forgetters table" in third grade. This seems a bit extreme and possibly not the best method in dealing with overdue books.

As I was looking through the other blogs I've been following I found a post by Brian Herzog to his blog Swiss Army Librarian entitled "Reference Question of the Week - 10/30/11." This posting just made me smile so I had to share. Herzog works in a library somewhere in the North East because they had been out of power until Thursday due to the storms. Then when power was restored the library was very busy because many were still without power. That day a patron called the reference desk with an interesting question: "Do you know how Peter Pan and Tinker Bell first met?" This only goes to show that librarians can sometimes be asked for information to unusual questions. Herzog did some research and finally determined they most likely met when Peter Pan was living in Kensington Gardens and Tinker Bell liked him because he was "lost."

The third blog I read was the assigned one for the week: "My First Week with iPhone" by Austin Seraphin, posted in Behind the Curtain. I actually learned a lot from this post. It had never occured to me to question how a blind person could use a phone or anything with a touch screen. There was a time it would have been impossible of course. With the new technologies accessibility for everyone, including those with disabilities is becoming easier. The VoiceOver software on the iphone opened many doors for Seraphin. He could "read" stock charts for the first time and recieve text messages. This was revolutionary for him. There are still issues dealing with iTunes because it is almost impossible for a blind person to access easily. Not all are willing to try the phone due to the issues with iTunes but Seraphin is willing because so many other doors are opened for him.

Finally my podcast. I was looking through what I had missed and found Books on the Nightstand had posted the first part of the listeners Literary Mount Rushmore responses. I had to listen to see what authors would be listed. I found there to be many I had never thought of and several favorites. In fact I had never heard of some of the authors listed. Maybe that was because one of the callers was from Denmark? The two most popular authors in the calls for this episode were F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jane Austen. Some of the callers just called and left their list, others explained each choice. I really enjoyed listening to why some were chosen. It was so difficult to come up with only 4 authors who would be included when I attempted this for myself. Michael Kindness had created a Tag cloud he posted in his blog over this posting which I have included so everyone can see what authors came up:
The Link:

I hope everyone has a good week. I can't believe this is getting so close to the end. One more blog posting and two projects and that's it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Library Advocacy

Advocacy of the library is important and key in keeping a successful program. After careful consideration and reading of material I have come up with the following four ways I could work on advocating the library in the next school year.
1. Create a Wiki for the library:
I would create a Wiki for the library that advertises the services offered by the library. There would be pages promoting the Gateway Awards and new books received in the library. In addition I would create a page for each of the teachers. On this page we could link projects which have been worked on collaboratively by the classroom teacher and me. The project information would include a description of the project along with attachments of any papers which go with the project. In addition any tutorials would be embedded which could be useful while creating the project. For example if the project is created in Windows MovieMaker any tutorials could be embedded about the use of MovieMaker. All of the teacher pages would also contain a list of resources which specifically pertain to their classes. This wiki would also contain a schedule of what teachers have signed up to use the library each day during each class period.

To create this Wiki I would need to setup a Wiki and potentially Jing. I would use Jing to create any tutorials needed for the projects. These tutorials could be made by myself, or students. This wiki would be linked to the main library website and be for students, teachers, administration and parents. By having all of the information out there on the website anyone in the school can find out what is going on in the library and see how busy it can be.

The inspiration for this project came from:

2. 30-Second Spot on the Weekly Newscast
The Mass Media class is responsible for creating a weekly newscast and I would approach the teacher about doing a 30-second spot on the library each week. This spot could contain book talks for new books or the Gateway nominee books. It could promote other resources and services the library provides. Other options for this section could be profiling projects occurring in the library and using photos taken of students working. This would get the library and its services in the minds of both students and teachers each week. In addition a link to the newscast is put on the website so parents would also see what is going on in the library.

To create this I would need the cooperation of the Mass Media Teacher and the students who were willing to work on this project weekly.

The inspiration for this project came from: and

3. Weekly Blog
I would use a blogging website to create a weekly blog for the library. This blog would include information on the library happenings for the week. Things such as the frequency the library is in use during the week, projects I have helped with, any trouble-shooting I had to do for the technology and more. Basically I would keep a written description of anything that occurred that week in the library. This would be a good way to showcase all that is done as a Library Media Specialist.

To create this blog I would use a free blog website such as Blogger. The blog would be linked to the Library Wiki and be more for administration, teachers and parents. Students are not as likely to want to read a blog about what happens in the library.

The inspiration for this project came from:

4. Monthly Department Promotions
I would have a monthly promotional meeting for each department. During this meeting I would provide snacks and showcase library resources which could be beneficial in their classes. Information such as databases which would have useful information, website ideas, and any new books that apply to their classes. In addition I would demonstrate free online resources which could be used for class projects such as Animoto and Glogster. I could also preview any iPad apps which would be applicable to their classes. When scheduling these meetings I would schedule them starting with the departments that use the library least first. Some departments spend little, if any time in the library. I would hope to encourage them to utilize the libraries resources too. So I would start with the Fine Arts, Vocational, Math and Physical Education departments before scheduling the English, History and Science departments. I would invite the school administration to each of these meetings.

To have the meetings I would need to gather the materials I hope to show the departments. I would also need links to any tutorials that could come in useful and of course I can’t forget the snacks. These meetings would reach teachers and administration.

The inspiration for this project came from:

Then I also considered the following question:
What do I do that no one else in the building does?
As a librarian I keep up with the latest new technologies and resources available for free to our students and teachers. I assess the resources and then share them with the teachers most likely to benefit from their use in the classroom. While providing the resources to the teachers I give them hits, tips and a basic tutorial in how the resource is used. There are plenty of amazing free resources which have untold classroom applications that teachers just don’t know about yet. They go to conferences about teaching their subject, but not necessarily introducing the new technologies. Applications such as Animoto, Prezi, and Glogster are just a few of the resources out there for use. Also Google provides tons of great options which teachers and students should be educated on.
I also work closely with the teachers to ensure we have resources which align with their curriculum and ensure its success. My expertise in research and the library resources will be beneficial to the teachers. Yes, classroom teachers can instruct their students in research, but I will have a better knowledge of the collection and be able to help students locate their resources more quickly.
In addition I strive to find outside funding options for the library. Current budgets are extremely tight and the library is unlikely to get additional funding from within the district. One way to improve the resources available to the library is to look for grants and private donations for the library. Who else will have the time or inclination to do this?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hype, Homecoming and Mount Rushmore

Another crazy week! Homecoming week is such a blast, especially when you’re a class sponsor and the students aren’t feeling any school spirit. I supervised float building and they actually told me they don’t care what it looks like as long as we can get it finished before 6 pm.

In between these adventures I took the time to catch up on the LM_NET. A few interesting things popped up. On October 3 Aviva Adler posted the responses she had received from people giving tips for books needed in an out of date high school library. There were some good ideas for this librarian such as getting input from the faculty who teach the subjects which really need to be beefed up. This way the new books will fit in with the ideas of the curriculum. Another poster said they put the catalogs out and see what students would be interested in. This is an interesting idea – though I see the value in asking students, you want to purchase stuff they’d like.

On October 1 Alice Yucht shared the link to an article about discovering if someone has been quoted correctly or not. I’ve never really stopped to consider until now how often people are misquoted and this article made me consider that. Maybe it’ll make you think too:

If you’re looking for information to help teach students about cybersafety and copyright issues Marcia Dressel posted some websites on October 3. All three websites looked to have good information and one even had a couple of quizzes which can be taken online.

I’ve noticed I keep getting drawn back to the Books on the Nightstand podcast. This week was no different. I listened to the September 27 episode which was #148 and entitled “Your Literary Mount Rushmore.” The first part of the podcast was discussing the difference between hype and buzz. With all of the books which are pushed so much anymore is it really worth it? Are they going to be worth the hype? It was decided in the podcast that the difference between hype and buzz is that hype is manufactured and buzz is genuine enthusiasm. Hype can start out as buzz but the buzz takes on a life of its own and the powers that be decide to really push and manufacture the excitement. There are so many books which have huge hype and I wonder at the truth of it. Twilight was huge and still is due to the movies, but at first the books were what people were talking about. I think this is an excellent example of something that starts out with buzz that becomes hype. I finally read them when a couple of students brought their copies to me to read. I figure if they are going to go to that much trouble I need to actually read the book. I’m sure I’ll get some flak for this, but honestly they were only okay. After the first it seemed so awkward and like she was just pushing to get more books out of the series and ride the hype. Another one that started with buzz that turned into hype would be the Harry Potter books. I remember them first coming out and hearing everyone talking about them. I finally had to go to the public library and check the first out and from there I was hooked. I was the perfect age for them when the series started and I couldn’t give them up. The ultimate question is, when is it too early to start hearing about a book?

The next section of the pod cast was inspired by a message from a listener who asked; “who would you put on your literary Mount Rushmore?” The entire time they were discussing their own lists I was trying to think of mine. My first and it seemed most obvious choice was J.K. Rowling, she wrote an amazing series which helped get so many back into reading and books. After that it got harder because there are just so many authors I love. Do I stick to children’s/young adult authors? Do I just go with my favorites? There were no parameters because that leaves the question up to everyone’s own interpretation. I must continue to think of my Mount Rushmore and I’ll get back to you on that.

Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog never fails to amuse me in some way. His Blog on October 6th, “Thank You Mr. Jobs,” was his response to the death of Steve Jobs. I was amused at his description of the Apple II he was chosen to learn how to use in 1982, which I have seen these in pictures I will admit I’ve never had to use one because well, I wasn’t even alive yet. Now I do remember the later models with the floppy disks we had to change to finish the Oregon Trail. To me the computer has just always been there, sure they’ve become more common throughout the years, but I grew up learning how to use them. I can definitely say they are faster now than when I was a kid. I can’t imagine the life before computers really. I do see how much they benefit our students who struggle to write neatly. There have been times I’ve had to ask, now what does this say and often they have no clue either. I do have a deep appreciation for the innovations of Steve Jobs and the impact he has had on the world.

Next I moved on and read the ALA TechSource blog; “Librarian, Robot,” by Kate Sheehan. Posted on October 4th. It brings up the question of a librarian being replaced by a robot. It is a scary thought that our jobs can be easily replaced on day by a machine. The computer comes close sometimes with automated checkout stations. I do picture in my head robots moving around and putting books back on the shelves, answering patron questions and helping location information. When this world comes I also picture robots asking for the information because well, if a robot can do the job of a librarian surely we’ll all have our own personal librarian to do those tasks we don’t want to do. The blog wasn’t so much about robots completely taking over the job, but taking over those tasks that could be automated so librarians can spend more time on interacting with patrons.

I also enjoy checking out the Adult Books 4 Teens blog and seeing what books are being recommended each day. On October 6th the book Word Hero by Jay Heinrichs was featured in a posting by Angela Carstensen. This book sounds like it would be a great addition to any speech teacher’s classroom library. It helps teach how to use things such as onomatopoeia, alliteration, hyperbole and other tricks of speech.

Empowering Learners talks about “Staffing” and “The Learning Space.” The biggest consideration with Staffing is that each school library must have a certified school librarian to manage the program. There may be other aides, but one staff member must be certified. It seems some schools are trying to get around that anymore. With the budget cuts some have looked at the library and said, why do we need someone certified there when anyone can checkout and shelve books? Part of our job as a librarian is advocating why we are important and why the school needs us. The library should also have both virtual and physical space for students and teachers. The section promotes flexible scheduling so the library is open to use all day. It also promotes having digital resources which are available off campus such as databases which can be accessed from home.

Woolls comments on “Managing Personnel” in the library. Very little focus is put on managing other personnel in the library during the degree programs because often school librarians run the Media Center on their own. As a librarian you need to be able to train your staff, this can include the teachers in your building. With the ever changing technologies the classroom teachers may not have the time to keep up with what’s new, while as the librarian you are expected to. In this era librarians are expected to be a leader in the school because of how they deal with technology. As the media specialist it is our role to help put the new technologies with the teachers and student s who can best use them. It is important to note how staff will be evaluated so the media specialist can be prepared. As a library media specialist we are required to interact with the administration slightly more than regular classroom teachers sometimes. We have the library budget to present and maintain along with getting the approval for the programs we hope to develop. When getting along with teachers it is important to know what they expect from you. Dealing with students just requires being friendly and able to help them locate the books and information they are hoping to find.
Back to my Literary Mount Rushmore, since I started with J.K. Rowling I decided to stick with children’s/YA authors. My final list is J.K. Rowling, Ann Rinaldi, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Gary Paulson.
Oh yeah, and we did get our float for homecoming finished by 6pm for my students!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Budget Project

Budget Project

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Have some fun with new books to make it easier to get through that evil word.

What a week!  It just seems like crazy things keep happening and I still have this homework to do.  It somehow just never really goes away!  I know it’ll all be worth it when I get the degree.
While checking out the new posts on LM_NET I found some very interesting ones on September 19.   One included hints and tips for maintaining consistency in the cataloging.  From reading it sounds like keeping consistency in the cataloging can be as much of a challenge for librarians as it was for me when I took cataloging.  Some librarians will leave a manual for the next librarian which I hope I’m lucky enough to find when I get a library position.  The post originated from Molly Smith a student in SLM.  Another posting I found was from Victoria Blackshear looking for lesson plans for middle school library media specialists.  Some of the lesson plans and websites suggested would be useful to bookmark.  I even saw a couple of resources I’ve used before such as Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators and Read-Write-Think.  Other links were new to me and had some good information.  The third and possibly most interesting post I found was one detailing the new features of Facebook and a tool which can be used to hack Facebook profiles which was posted by Gary Price.  This is information which everyone needs to know, not just librarians.  I have included the link for the article about the hacking tool for Facebook:
From the LM_NET I went on to reading a few blogs.  The first blog entry I read was the blog entry from “A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy” by Liz B posted on September 21st.  The subject of the blog was the amount of LGBT characters in YA books.  A pair of authors made the claim an agent offered to sign them if they would remove the sexual orientation of a gay character.  Of course the publisher has a different view, but less than one percent of young adult books published have LGBT characters.  While this is an uncomfortable topic for many people, librarians should be open enough to realize there is a niche for literature with LGBT characters. 
Next I checked out what was new on the blog “The Cloud Reads – Adult Books 4 Teens.”  The most recently reviewed book was entitled Secrets of the Wolves by Angela Carstensen, posted on September 22.  This book sounds very interesting in that it is written completely from the point of view of a wolf.  The author did an intense amount of research to make this as realistic as possible.  I’m very curious to see how the book plays out.  I was also interested to note that the book would even be suitable for younger, middle school age readers.  It’s not often you find a book written for adults which can be also appropriate for middle school students. 
To found out my blogs for the week I stopped on the blog “NeverEndingSearch.”  The entry for September 22 was very intriguing.  It’s promoting a new website  The website promotes reading the book before watching the movie as often as possible.  I found one statistic very interesting in that 5 of the top 10 movies of 2010 were based on movies.  It really does seem like more and more books are made into movies.  I’m always ready to compare the book and movie and hope the movie is not lacking.  Seldom do I actually like the movie more than the book.  There are movies I refuse to watch after one viewing because of how much they ruined the story when it became a movie.  I was amused to see the vlog of the creator of Readit1st.  He seems to think very quickly, but I definitely like the idea of reading the book before watching the movie whenever possible.
I can’t help but love the podcast “Books on the Nightstand.”  It’s such fun to hear about all of the books coming out and hearing reviews and tips.  The posting from September 20 had a huge list of graphic novels for the newbie to graphic novels.  This is a format I have very little experience with.  I keep telling myself to read more, but part of me feels like it’s cheating.  I realize graphic novels are a very legitimate piece of literature and it is not cheating to read one instead of a more traditional book.  There are some amazing sounding graphic novels out there and one of these days I really will check one out of the library.  Of course there is Maus which is about WWII and has cats as the Nazi’s and mice as the Jewish which is an ever popular point of discussion with a couple of my classes.  In the extensive list given I did find a couple that I plan to look for the next time I go to the library such as the series Fables about what would happen if fairy tales and fables came to life and Camelot 3000 which is set in the future and Merlin and Arthur have come back and fight to protect earth from aliens. 
Graphic novels were not the only topic of the podcast, I actually first chose it to find out what classic children’s books were turning 50.  I think the book on the list that shocked me the most was A Wrinkle in Time.  I had just never realized that book was quite that old.  All 4 of the books listed to bring back memories such as The Phantom Tollbooth, A Snowy Day and James and the Giant Peach.  Each book I read while a child.  I also remember the movie for James and the Giant Peach. 
Other books talked about in the blog were The Night Circus and Just My Type.  The entire time I was listening to the review and summary of The Night Circus I couldn’t help but think about Water for Elephants.  The only reason for the comparison was that they both take place in a circus.  Just My Type sounds like the perfect book for a graphic design nerd.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being a nerd of any sort, the book is about fonts and how they are created and used, and why some are used more than others.  Not something just anyone would pick up.   
Budgets:  What a fun topic.  I put this off till last because some of my students think it’s an evil word in Personal Finance.  Well, budgeting is an ever present word with the economy being the way it is.  It is not just the library that has to worry about budget.  Empowering Learners promotes finding creative ways to make the budget stretch like using free web-based applications and open source software.  It also points out the necessity of keeping the administration in the loop on what is occurring in the library so the importance is not forgotten in the shuffle.
At the very beginning of the chapter Wools points out that the amount of money allocated to the library affects if the library will survive or disappear.  The library is competing with teachers, sports and other school organizations for funding.  Some states mandate a minimum which can be spent in the library and that makes it more difficult for librarians to have an impact on what money they get.  It is important to know what the fiscal year for the district is so all materials can be purchased by the correct date.  To enlarge the program often a librarian must write a proposal to expand the library in some way.  The proposal could contain a statement of needs, goals, objectives, plan of action, an evaluation plan, information about facilities and other resources available.  It is important to be detailed when writing the proposal.  Budget is a key component of the plan.  Often if a program is approved comes down to dollars, how much will it cost?  When costs are too high often a program is cut back or not approved at all.  Oh, the joys of a budget.
Whew, what a week.  There was some fun stuff like new books to read.  Scary stuff such as the ability to hack Facebook so easily.  Then came the depressing thoughts of budgets.  That evil, bad word we all must face in the library media center and our own lives.