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!