Thursday, May 31, 2007

Library drops Dewey!

The Gilbert library in Arizona is opening a new library and ditching Dewey. Here is the link for the article:

The are going to shelve by topic...Move over Barnes & Nobles!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

There was a great article on the Association of College and Research Libraries blog today discussing the formula for academic success.

"Given what Law shared about his research results, there may be cause for optimism. It seems that students may be more savvy about using library research databases than we suspected. They also tend to depend on search engines less heavily for serious research than we may think, and more frequently as a complement to library databases. Yes, students may typically begin in a search engine, but that’s how they acquire background or introductory information. But they then seek out the library’s databases for more detailed information or scholarly content on their topic. "

Posted by StevenB on May 14th, 2007 under Libraries and Learning, Research Issues, Public Services.

There is an archived copy of the webcast available here if you are interested in listening to the presentation that verifies this theory.

I think that much of what was dealt with here has an impact on school libraries as well. We spend quite a bit of time on database instruction. I was gratifying to know that much of what they learned could have a basis in their school libraries.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

SLMS 2007 Luncheon with Tim Green

Tim Green has recently written a new YA book called Football Genius. He was a wonderful speaker and a great way to end the conference.

I went back and spoke to my principal about getting Tim while he is doing his book tour. I emailed Tim but am still waiting for him to get back with prices and dates.

Jane and I are hoping to split him between East & West.

Odds & Ends:

The Knickerbocker Award banquet was very nice. The sound system wasn't hooked up correctly or something making it very hard to hear the award recipients. Jerry Pickney was a great speaker and very charming. He didnt' stay for the dancing afterwards.

I danced from 9-12 (after I ran upstairs to lose my jacket and do the inhalers that I brought-though I forgot my rescue inhaler). It was a lot of fun though part way through I had to remember not to sing at the top of my voice since I had to present on Sat!

Thank you to all the great people I met and for those of you who attended my presentation! I am going to send my information into Bernie. I have also made it available on a wiki if anyone is interested! if you want to post a comment the password is library.

SLMS 2007-SOS for Information Literacy-Dr. Small, Session 5

I presented during Session 4.

SOS for Information literacy is a free K-16 multimedia database. It contains:
  • Lesson plans
  • Quick teaching ideas
  • Online lessons
  • Videos

It encourages collaboration.

S. Situation (grade level, curriculum area)

O. Outcome (information skills)

S. Strategies (teaching, motivation, techniques)

There is no Ask A service because you can contact the author of the lesson directly.

You don't have to sign in to use this but if you would like to save your lessons after you find them you have to create an account.

You can create teaching units by putting together different lesson and saving them to "your space."

Information literacy and the Information Power standards are included.

The next phase of this project will contain a new search engine created by Liz Liddy.

The Educators Spotlight Digest in part of this site.

There are tutorials as well as online help.

If you would like to submit a lesson to be included there are templates on the site. Each lesson is evaluated by two teachers.

Dr. Small is looking for volunteers to evaluate lessons, people to write lessons to be included in the database, people to write articles for Educator's Digest, and video submissions.

With the Builder feature, you can create Webquests. When you begin a webquest it automatically creates a URL so you can link to it.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Small at Syracuse University.

SLMS 2007-Ethics-Session 3

I went to Information Ethics presented by Ed Nizalowski.

His concept was good-putting a section of information literacy into a Participation in Goverment class. His project took 5 days to complete but was taught in isolation with the teacher leaving the room during it. On a positive note, he did get to evaluate his part.

He created a webquest to go with it but he didn't show it to us or share a link for it.

Unfortunately his presentation was poor (due to many things). This caused much of the idea to be lost. We received one handout on the project. The idea was a good one though.

SLMS 2007-Advocacy by Jane Fenn, Session 2

Okay-some of you may be asking yourselves-how could I have gone to both session 2 presentations? I left early after I copied down Jacquie's information (took the handouts) and heard it's all online, then snuck over to Jane Fenn's.

Great handouts were provided. She will be sending these in to be posted on the website that Bernie Tomasso said was being created to house them.

Ideas for Advocacy

Breakfast and bulbs

When the AV position was cut at Corning West High School, Jane invited her teachers to bring down their overhead projectors to clean them and teach them to change the bulb. They had breakfast, got a can of air and a new light bulb.

Go to high profile events (so the parents & students see you)
  • concerts, plays
  • sporting events
  • be a club advisor
  • go to school events and award programs

Call attention to the extra jobs you do

Write up professional/library events and send them to the district office to be included in the district/building/parent newsletters.

Ask yourself what you can volunteer for-be a part of the school community.

Write grants-even the ones for $100 that come from the Teacher Center

Write up an annual report to hand in at the end of the year. You can include:

  • Database usage statistics
  • Library usage statistics
  • Special programs
  • Collaborative projects
  • Professional accomplishments

Write for professional journals-not only for library ones but for ones the teachers/administrators subscribe to. She mentioned that we provide services for all and our reports/articles should reflect this.

There's a powerpoint on plagiarism on the state website.

Create a library brochure for your home teachers so they know what services the library has for them and their students.

Be the building expert on something-copyright, plagiarism, international books, etc.

Two books mentioned:

Building Influence in Your Library

Powertools Recharged

Jane also mentioned that Mansfield University offers a 1 credit online course for principals on School libraries.

Did You Know; Shift Happens - Globalization; Information Age

SLMS 2007-J. Henry Was Columbus Wrong? Session 2

Jacquie Henry has a blog called Wanderings

She shared with us A Song for Students: Not on the Test by Tom Chapin

Her notes and presentation are available here!

I am checking out the "Did you Know" video by Karl Fisch at Youtube! (I added it to my blog if you would like to view it.)

Please add her blog to your reader. She has a lot of fantastic ideas that are definitely work reading about. A great example of Library 2.0 all around!

SLMS 2007 Luncheon with Alice Yucht

You would think that after sitting through session 1-Web Feeds I would've had enough but Alice Yucht delivers fresh materials and ideas with each presentation. Her luncheon presentation was entitled: The New 3 Rs, Digital Literacy Skills for the 21st Century

There has been a evolution of information:

  1. The information superhighway
  • User driven
  • Interactive
  • Collaborative

2. Information Ocean

  • Can't control the ebb and flow of information
  • Kids need instruction to stay afloat

Teenagers now referred to as screenagers. They are digital natives. They use their thumbs (from texting) the way we use our pointer fingers.

Pew Internet-Teens, Privacy, and Online Social Networks

Alice referred to students by their millennial characteristics. I found an interesting PPT on how it effects them as students.

She commmented that we are teaching digital kids analog skills. We are in 1950s buildings using 1990s technology with a 1980s curriculum.

We should be looking at contextual learning

You can also visit Alice's site to look at information skills.

Pam Berger-Learning in the Web 2.0 world lists survival skills

The 3 rs!

  1. Reasoning
  • Graphic literacy
  • Context
  • Focus

2. Reconnoitering

  • Navigation
  • Skepticism

3. Responsibility

  • Ethical Behavior

What is Reasoning?

  • Asking
  • Arranging
  • Assessing

What is Reconnoitering?

  • choosing the best path
  • how/when/where
  • balancing choices
  • building bridges
  • using the best practices
  • Using thinking skill to navigate

What is Responsibility?

  • This is the most important skill.
  • Fair use of information
  • giving credit
  • having a conscious
  • consequences for actions

David Warlick (Of the 2cents blog) stated "No generation in history has ever been so thoroughly prepared for the industrial age.)

Alice closed with this quote from Plato:
"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life."

Very eye opening!

SLMS 2007 Web Feeds 101-Alice Yucht

If you ever get a chance to go to a workshop presented by Alice, take it! She is a great speaker-very down to earth, humourous and knowledgable. Her SLSM presentation was entitled:
"How blog reading can make you look brilliant"

She mentioned many blogs in her presentation including Shiny Shiny, Indexed and Lifehacker.

She stated that our role is "chief information officer". (Which I agree with!)

Some sites she mentioned:
AAA Fuel Cost Calculator
Jot-it (where you can leave yourself an electronic note)

Even a texting translator!

She proceeded to define what a blog is: "A website with entries in reverse chronological order with catagories."

There are 3 different kinds of blogs:
  • Personal/ point of view (covering events and impressions)
  • Practical/purposeful (new resources/links)
  • Philosophical/polemical (exploration/big ideas)

You can use blogs to further your professional development. They provide:

  • Instant information
  • Hot topic in the profession
  • Lifelong learners
  • Conversation/collaboration among professionals

She mentioned:

a wiki on Children's book series

Something that allows you to send messages back and forth called Twitter

California Dreamin' (Rob Darrow's blog)

An excellent resource on Fair Use: Tales from the Public Domain

Current Issues in Education

Periodic Table of Visualization

RSS on any page will allow you to subscribe to the blogs you are interested in. These subscriptions are put into a reader such as Yahoo! or Google Reader

RSS gathers in the information, puts it into a virtual file cabinet, and allows you to share the resources you have found.

RSS tutorials:

RSS in plain English

Other websites mentioned:

Flickr (World's largest location for photographs) (a social bookmarking site)

Ted talks (audiocasting of a design conference done by the top people in various fields)

Directory of open access journals


How to Save the World

Cancer Survivor's Handbook

America's favorite architecture

How to make things with a single sheet of paper

Library of Congress blog

She also said that you can set up webfeeds in Ebsco and Proquest to send updated information on subject searches. (I will need to check this out!)

Alice has a wiki and a blog for any who are interested!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Great tips for patrons to promote libraries

I came across a great list of tips from Superpatron's blog. Not only could patrons use it but librarians too! He also created a video that he presents at libraries that is listed on his site.

People who love their libraries want them to be better. Here's what you can do.

Ten ways for superpatrons to build better libraries:

1. Blog about your library
Write about your experiences at the library on your blog. Note who you talked to, what you noticed while you were there or while you were online, and how things worked. You have a set of eyes that the people who work at the library don't have, and by giving feedback in public you have some way to draw attention to what is working and why your library is valuable to you and to your community.

2. Request the books you want to read
Libraries have book acquisition budgets, and people whose entire job it is to put books on the shelf that get circulated. There's no way that they will know every last title that should be on the shelves, especially (in my experience) the non-fiction titles that have no marketing budgets to speak of. Let the acquisitions staff work for you, and let them know what you want to see and what you will check out and recommend to your friends if you like it.

3. Borrow by inter-library loan the books that the library doesn't have
A well kept secret at many libraries is an interlibrary loan system that speeds books from all over the area or all over the country to you if your library doesn't have the book in stock. These systems have gotten better over time, moving from paper and telex based systems to in some case all-automated systems that are relatively economical for libraries to run. Assume, by default, that if there's a book that you want to read, your library can get it for you.

4. Browse the library catalog with your kids
Kids gravitate to libraries for all sorts of reasons, and if you have a kid who likes to read books they have a curiousity that is way more interesting and able to make leaps and bounds from one idea to another than yours. Sit down with the online catalog with your kids and browse from topic to topic and subject to subject and see what else the library has that they might be interested in.

5. Connect your library catalog to LibraryThing
LibraryThing is an amazing social catalog which lets you keep collections of books (either yours or your favorites from the library), write and read reviews, rate books and link to other people with similar interests. It is way, way, way better than any commercial online catalog that libraries buy. You can take advantage of all of the energy and effort in LibraryThing by adding a very small amount of configuration to it which lets you look up any book in that system in your home library's catalog and link directly through to its holdings for it.

6. Connect your library catalog to Amazon
Jon Udell in 2002 wrote a short but powerful bookmarklet that lets you link directly from an Amazon book information and buying page to your local library, showing book holdings and availability. Make it a routine habit to look and see if your local library and your local interlibrary loan system already have a book that you're about to buy - you can save money, get better service, and reduce clutter on your shelves all at once.

7. Remix the library catalog into your own applications
Library catalogs hold huge amounts of data about your library's books, but they tend to be creaky old dinosaurs of code. Use your programming skills to pull data off hard to use library screens and rewrite what you find into simple pages that highlight the information you are looking for. Take a page full of links to the new books on the system, pull out link and ISBN information with an RSS feed or Beautiful Soup, mix in the Amazon data for book covers, and create a "Wall of Books" view of your library's new book shelf.

8. Add a librarian to your instant message or Twitter buddy list
Libraries and librarians are in the business of answering reference questions. Local public libraries know a lot about the town they serve, and special libraries are centers of information about the topics they cover and hold. All these helpful people are just an instant message or Twitter away from answering the question you have. At the very least, they have Google on their side (and they are good at Google); even better, you get people who know not just the online resources but the books and people who can get you closer to your answer.

9. Put a library reference desk in your cell phone speed dial
Away from a computer and still need to have a reference question answered? Libraries have reference desks available by telephone, and you can call these from wherever you are to help you track something down or look up something you need. Often libraries will let you reserve books online as well, so if you can get to a phone, you can get your book. Bonus points if you have a library with a web site that's actually navigable and useful by cell phone, so that you can use it as a wayfinding tool in the stacks (havent' seen one of those yet)

10. If you don't have time to browse the stacks, reserve online.
I never get a chance to walk through my library any more picking books off the stacks - two kids, a busy job, and never enough time to browse gets in the way. If I'm in the library I'm either reading magazines or playing with legos with the kids. Fortunately, my library has a great online reserve system, which lets me place holds on books and pick them out at the front counter in the few minutes I have between catching the bus.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

SLMS 2007 Opening session-Toni Buzzeo

The 2007 session of SLMS in NY opening speaker was Toni Buzzeo. Her construct was entitled "Collaborating from the Center of your School Universe: Beyond the Basics to Advocacy". She is very passionate about collaboration. She talked about how information is either causing the collapse of schools or accelerating the growth of learning. She commented that positive growth encourages expansion.

Toni defines collaboration as "The process by which we learn/design, team teach, & team evaluate." Students need to know, understand, and be able to "do" whatever learning task is set. She mention Information Power I which was published in 1988 and was the beginning of the concept of collaboration. Information Power II stated that collaborative energy powers the library media program.

To follow her universe construct, she mentioned that productive collision courses (running into a teacher in the hall) provide an exchange of ideas. (Like when stars collide, energy in produced.) Collaboration is a source of energy and that it provides a juncture of standards that meet with student needs.

5 studies that support collaboration:

1999 Alaska Study-higher test scores
2000 Colorado study-21% higher scores with collaboration
2000 Pennsylvania study-varied collection promotes information literacy
2001 Oregon study-highest reading scores twice as likely with collaboration
2003 Michigan study-with flexible scheduling, collaboration is 4 times as likely
2007 New York study-currently underway

(She did a great job refocusing the group and had total audience buy in)

Teachers each have individual strengths and differences you have to tap in on. Toni's 3 types of teachers:

Oh Yeahs! (the risk takers)
Yeah, buts... (watching to be convinced)
No Way (but if the principal sets a goal...)

(She used statistics from the Nations report card to great effect.)

Librarians need to use the weaknesses of their school found on their state testing data to open the door to collaboration. The key is student achievement. You can obtain your school's testing data from Data Mentor. (usually available through BOCES).

Identify unit of study
Use data
Identify skills
constructed response
LMS documents how data has been improved.

Students have to learn something 24 times to reach 80% competency.

(Toni mentioned the Marzano book Classroom Instruction that Works)

Toni's advice:

  1. On going partnership among teacher/librarian
  2. Skills taught must be useful and applicable
  3. teacher/librarian teams must monitor progress through skills
  4. teacher/librarian team must document student achievement

She also mentioned the flyer available for download through about Your school media program and NCLB that is provided for principals.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Joining the conversation

I read a great post today by Steven Bell on how we don't tend to disagree in the blogosphere. It really made me think and reread the blogs I usually check in on daily. It is mostly true that instead of dissent or differences of opinion there are many comments that are just "yes, I agree" or what a great post. One of Steven's arguments states that if we want to be considered as library science professionals we would do well to debate both sides of every controversy.

Another great blog to check out is Monsterlibrarian This is a site that reviews the horror genre. It's updated often.
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