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!

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer commented on the library committee post as well. This is one thing we didn't do and I certainly can see how valuable it would be to have students really vested in the activities of the library. A little more work but I can see real advantages.

    I can't tell you how much I dislike the idea of marking students down because they have overdue books. What a horrible message that is sending. I'm glad you were able to tie this in with Doug Johnson's "forgetters table." Both of these examples are the WORST possible connection between punishment and libraries. Who would want to come to the library after these kinds of treatment?

    Think how the iPhone is even more revolutionary for someone who is blind because of Siri!

    I had listened to the podcast but hadn't gone to the Web site. Thanks for including the tag cloud. That was fascinating!