in which I attempt to be a rockstar teacher librarian :)

I’m up and at ’em early this morning! Arrived before 8 AM, armed myself with a mug ..well, you get the picture. But in case you don’t:

Note: just because #coffeewithmarie is a theme doesn't mean I look bright-eyed and super psyched at 7:45AM. I'm working on it. Stay tuned...

Note: just because #coffeewithmarie is a theme doesn’t mean I look bright-eyed and super psyched at 7:45AM. I’m working on it. Stay tuned…

James King, Information Architect, NIH Library, National Institutes of Health and Past President, DC Chapter of SLA
Jill Hurst-Wahl, Associate Professor of Practice, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University
Heather Braum, Digital and Technical Services Librarian, Northeast Kansas Library System

James King:

Things are shifting – a lot of things are moving to “a self-service mindset”
Those who we serve want to/are able to do it themselves, but our library message HASN’T changed, which is problematic
“The skills that librarians/information professionals bring to the table are more valuable than ever”
question the status quo, everything, in your organization – “Realistic and honest strategic planning”
willingness to experiment is a necessary skill – craziest ideas can –> best ideas (selling shoes online?! CRAZY. except not.)

Heather Braum:

regional library system – in KS; 1 state, 7 rgl, 365 library buildings
the libraries are very independent from each other, but they collaborate in order to become better
they are vastly different from each other (size, budget, etc) – collaborate or die
some of them run an open source ILS
UK in Lawrence – works actively with open source initiative

And then we brainstormed as many “crazy ideas” as we could. Here are a few tweets from that…check the #cilsun tag for more!



This session was awesome. Seriously. I had a feeling it might be.

Polly-Alida Farrington
, Consultant & Trainer, PA Farrington Associates
Sarah Ludwig, Library Department Chair & Academic Technology Coordinator, Hamden Hall Country Day School
Sara Kelley-Mudie, Library Director and Educational Technology Facilitator, The Forman School

First up was Polly-Alida Farrington! Here are the highlights from her “10 minutes of fame” (with my interpretative spin, of course):

  • The 23 Things program started at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library, but was licensed under Creative Commons (librarian win!) and has become quite “the thing”, interpreted in different ways by different people!
  • There was a “read the lesson, do the activity, respond on your own blog type of system” in place. One of the first “things” in the program was to create a blog, so that information could be shared by participants throughout the program.
  • It’s mostly likely difficult and unsustainable to build the program as a “come, watch, do” – hence the idea of building on a blog/online platform –  but you can (and should!) encourage your participants to build a learning community among themselves and use it for support as they learn.

Next up was Sarah Ludwig. Again, my notes:

  • She built her 19 things program using a free wordpress blog and had about 30 participants out of 60 teachers — but they were NOT the “expected” teachers/staff. You never know who may be interested in your program!
  • Promotion of the program? Done mostly through personal conversation & interaction and “talking it up”.
  • Have incentives for your participants/those who complete the program – whether it’s an award, a completion certificate, continuing ed/PE credits, coffee shop gift cards, etc!
  • Group your tools/things together by theme — this aids understanding and adds purpose to the whole process (examples: productivity, presentations, learning, writing/sharing, online life) –then  wrap up with a few lessons on continuing learning and how to keep in touch with the prof dev community.

The final speaker was Sara Kelley-Mudie! A few comments:

  • She used a free Blogspot blog, “14 Things to Tame” – designed as a self directed, self paced online learning community – with the addition of a weekly email.
  • She had a tracking spreadsheet so that participants could see their progress along with other, and it was updated incredibly frequently.
  • A lovely side-effect/result: the people who finished it became the evangelists for the program!

Here’s the breakdown of the first half of the day!

There was a keynote. It was decent, but admittedly my coffee hadn’t kicked in to great effect, and I was trying to get in my inaugural blogpost before it happened. Here’s my interpretation of what happened, though:

  • the speaker discussed that Amazon just bought Goodreads. I barely use Amazon because I have no extra money, and I’ve never once liked Goodreads, so I’m not nearly as outraged as many librarians are. (Note: not all librarians are outraged; but some are. That was the general feel of the room to me.)
  • Customer relationship — even if they’re not necessarily buying a product — is important. Learn how to do it. Train yourself; train others; treat people incredibly well.
  • “A 1% change in website satisfaction can predict a 14% change in revenues generated on the web” was a statement that generated conversation.

Session 1: “To Flip Or Not to Flip” – internet @ schools track
Kari Arfstrom, Executive Director, Flipped Learning Network
Pat Semple, Upper School Librarian, Bullis School and Metropolitan Washington Independent School Librarians Association

  • “What is the best use of your face-to-face class time?” <–the #1 question you need to ask yourself
  • The idea of lecture as homework, project as classwork is the general idea, but we want to broaden that idea — that’s the “flipped classroom” idea, but we want to look at flipped learning itself
  • “A lot of the reason to flip library instruction is to be more efficient” with my time — Pat Semple
  • One of Pat’s comments was that transitioning to a flipped environment means that your physical environment will necessarily change. There needed to be more space for tables, chairs, places for “meeting of the minds” — and as such, shelves were condensed and the physical facility had to change to meet the needs of the students. Keep your users in mind was obviously the driving force behind that.

Session 2: “The Seven Deadly Sins of Websites” – Web Presence track
Casey Schacher, Resource Discovery Librarian, University of Wiscosin – Madison, Memorial Library
Paige Mano, Web Communications and Social Media Coordinator, University of Wisconsin – Parkside Library
Tony Aponte, Science & Engineering Librarian, UCLA Science & Engineering Library

Here are the highlights.

  • Your website is acting as a librarian. It needs to be good.
  • Consistency is highly valued. If a page is PART of your website, it should LOOK like it’s part of your website — don’t get fancy with every single page. Make them look uniform!
  • Use analytics on your website to figure out where your users are clicking, and what they’re looking for. Then prioritize those items.

Sidenote: this tweet came out of that session…unrelatedly, I should probably fill that prescription for new contacts!

And here’s your drinking-coffee picture from the second session! SO EXCITED.

second session with my mug!

I’m writing this to you from the main ballroom of the Washington Hilton near Dupont Circle.

Did you know this is the hotel where President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr? Well, now you do.

I’m sitting with a group of fellow iSchoolSU students. We’ve gotten muffins, bagels, and bananas, and are armed with some hot java to get through the morning. The keynote speakers, Brent Leary of CRM Essentials, and Rebecca Jones of Dysart & Jones Associates, will take the stage soon. Apparently it’s going to be an interview-style keynote. The topic?

Evolving Community Engagement: What Would Amazon & Google Do?

I’m psyched for this conference, can you tell? It’s a picture of me with a coffee mug!

In keeping with tradition, I have a coffee mug in m hand. :)

In keeping with tradition, I have a coffee mug in m hand. 🙂

That’s about ten minutes from now, and then things kick off for the rest of the day. Until then, I’ve got a bit more coffee to drink 🙂 and some decent music piping through the speakers to sing along to. Happy conferencing, y’all!

From “Minors and Internet Interactivity: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights” – ALA

“Prohibiting children and young adults from using social networking sites does not teach safe behavior and leaves youth without the necessary knowledge and skills to protect their privacy or engage in responsible speech.  Instead of restricting or denying access to the Internet, librarians and teachers should educate minors to participate responsibly, ethically, and safely.”

This statement, I feel, was the clearest and most undramatic that emerged from this week’s IST 611 readings. I particularly appreciate the effort ALA makes to ensure that their guidelines and suggestions apply to librarians and teachers while preserving the right of parents to make the best choice for their child.

One of the questions posed to use this week is:
How important should / will the teacher-librarian be in providing the additional educational component required of CIPA?

The educational component referred to is as such, “The Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act directs E-rate applicants to also certify that their CIPA-required Internet safety policies provide for the education of students regarding appropriate online behavior including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and regarding cyberbullying awareness and response.” More information on this revision is available via the Federal Communication Commission 11-125 Report.

What do I conclude based on the above two readings (and numerous others which I shan’t direct you to)? Not only should we be educating our students, as school librarians, in how to act and conduct ourselves on social media, social networks, chat rooms, and other corners of the wide Internet space, but we must do so.

Classroom teachers are often strapped to get through the curriculum within the school year. The additional burden of the Common Core standards implementation is time-consuming and most likely to be a long process for many teachers. In the meantime, and continuing through, we have an opportunity to teach students (as demanded above) in conjunction with our belief in intellectual freedom, our knowledge of information fluency skills and societal demands upon today’s students, and the immediacy with which we must approach our students and begin teaching not only appropriate behavior, but appropriate and useful applications.

What do you think? Do we have time in our school day to accomplish this? Will we be supported if we do? I, personally, think we’re in a great position to take on this role – assuming we find the time to do so.

This week in my “Technologies in Educational Organizations” class, we’re discussing two not-very-related things: podcasts, and QR codes.  If you’re not certain how I feel about QR codes…we could discuss it, or…

So, while I read about QR codes and did try to think about them (see above result), I went with podcasting!
Here are the instructions, which I… somewhat followed. (Oops?)

Try creating your own 1 – 2 minute (approximately) podcast. You can make it a news podcast, a booktalk podcast, or anything that you think could be one in a series of regularly distributed podcasts. This could be something you would use on your own (as in a personal web site or a blog) or something that could be a regular feature on your school’s library web site.

Okay, I said. I can do that. So I downloaded Audacity for free, because I don’t think I have sound recording capable software on my computer [note: I most likely do, but I figured why not get the most out of this task and learn something new to boot?]. And then I realized Audacity has a bit of a steep learning curve — while it doesn’t seem hard to use, I think it has approximately a bajillion functions which I ignored for the time being. I learned:

  • how to add a time track
  • how to add a blank audio track onto which to record
  • how to figure out the whole moving-the-time-forward-and-backward thing
  • how to add an audio track to play in the background
  • how to open the sound mixer for the two tracks

And then I went to town, as I am wont to do. Now, in the context of the assignment, I will explain: my theme, if you will, is a regularly occurring podcast in the vein of “Learn Something New”. The facts are thus:

  1. I am a librarian.
  2. I like learning new things.
  3. I like talking about the things I have learned.

So this seems like a grand opportunity! Admittedly the audio isn’t that great — I’m going to try to figure out more of the “clean up” tricks in Audacity soon, but having an embedded webcam in a laptop that you use many hours of the day means it picks up sounds you don’t want. ALAS. Additional note: I had to search for web-based storage space for a .wav/.mp3 file. WordPress requires you to upgrade in order to upload those sorts of files. I used’s free account this time…but I don’t know what I’d do if this was a regular sort of thing. Any suggestions?

Enjoy the Americana! 😉

Note: Click the link. Download the file, and open it in Windows Media Player or whatever it is you use for audio files. And please let me know if you have trouble with this. I didn’t realize that hosting/embedding/etc., would be such an issue!

A bit tired, so this will be quick. First, what you’ve all been waiting for…

Day 4: drinking a homemade fruit smoothie!

Day 4: drinking a homemade fruit smoothie!

1 very small banana, 3/4 c. frozen mango, 1/2. lowfat vanilla yogurt, splash or three of lemon juice. Process. Drink!

So what did I accomplish today?

  • obviously I made a smoothie. and coffee. and I made chicken-white-bean enchiladas for dinner. and I just took a small batch of molasses chip cookies out of the oven. I love food and beverage.
  • I spent around 3 hours cleaning and packing today. This also included un-building an Ikea entertainment center using only a hex key. My thumbs are still a little sore from that.
  • returned books to the local public library JUST in time! they were due today.
  • returned a few emails. did a bit of job searching.
  • Posted a blog for my practicum “class” in Blackboard; organized my thoughts for the due-soon-assignment that I’ve been working on a lot this week.

So it might sound like I haven’t done much, but I really have! And now… it’s Penguins v. Flyers tonight. So I’m listening to the radio broadcast, sipping a Maple Pecan Porter courtesy of Samuel Adams, and ready for those cookies!