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

Posts tagged ‘libraries’

Rapidly Live-Blogged: “Rethinking Digital Literacy for All Ages” at #CILDC

Michele Farrell, Senior Library Program Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Enid Costley, Children’s and Youth Services Consultant, Library of Virginia
Matt Montgomery, Technical Services Librarian, Mechanics’ Institute
Jeremy Snell, Web Librarian, Mechanics’ Institute

Here are my notes, largely unedited – I can only type so fast, after all. Sigh, human limitations. ::sips coffee::

Michele and Enid:

Most libraries today have a children’s room, but that’s a “new” thing – as in, circa 1890 – so literacy in libraries is not a recent trend

“Storytime” isn’t what you think it is (my note: so stop stereotyping children’s librarians, please, thanks) – we’re engaging in children’s social, emotional, physical development – we’re branching out and creating new partnerships with the community to advance literacy

What’s the federal role?
Majorly comes out of support from the Inst of Museum and Library Services – their goals are to promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning – and the “early literacy” focus means working toward these goals before kids can read and write
other goals: build healthy communities; support and empower parents; create possibilities for more things libraries can do through partnerships — IMLS partners with a lot of different organizations all under the umbrella of leading to children’s success
At the end of May: IMLS will be issuing a report on early learning – stay tuned!

Digital Literacy:
what does it mean? –> “skills associated with using technology to enable users to find, organize, evaluate, create, communicate information”

Programs in existence that may be of interest:
Rhode Island’s Getting Ready for Kindergarten
Utah’s Getting Ready to Read program
StoryBlocks: collection of 30-60 second videos to model songs/rhymes/finger plays for young children & enhance ‘early literacy’
DaybyDay: every day there is a song to sing/activity to do that’s high in creativity, along with a TumbleBooks – family literacy project –there is a bid underway to translate the entire thing into Spanish
Colorin Colorado!: helping children read and succeed – a bilingual site for English language learners
Project ENABLE: training sessions for gaining skill and understanding in creating and delivering effective library/information services to students of ALL abilities (my note: I’ve done the training, and it is highly useful. Recommended.)

Current national ad campaign: “3 2 1 Everyone On” – aims to promote digital literacy at multiple skill levels, searchable by zip code for programs in your area that may fits your digital literacy needs

Matt and Jeremy:

(My note: I hate when I accidentally +1 something on Google+ when I’m on a different website! ^_^)

Their work has focused on a population that tends to lack digital skills. They needed a way to serve this population better than they had been – one barrier was that the reference desk is in the middle of the library space, so approaching with questions wasn’t nearly as comfortable as it should be. SO they set out to fix that.

Change the setting and set the mood:
using an upper space in the library and having “open office hours” to provide one-on-one service – one hour, each day, for an entire week. You could set up a 15min appointment or just walk in for help. Fifteen minutes is not enough time to do anything and there were very few walkin/dropins.

They tried it again – and instead of the previous setup, it was a six-hour shift with 30minute appointments. There were more drop ins and overall, a more effective approach to solving problems and teaching digital skills.

How’d they promote it?
The usual – website, posters, print newspaper, etc – they had a few prompts on what they could do – “help with eReaders, the library catalog, general technology questions” – and one staff member was tasked to set up all the appointments so that the patrons had just one person to meet with via phone/email. (My note: the thought of not shuffling between staff members on the phone makes me smile!)

What happened as a result?
They’ve assisted 69 people over 38 “staff hours” in a 6 month period. This isn’t something that only older library users are attending! Basic email/computer questions are what they handle – but they do a number of things from formatting eBook formats to building a WordPress blog for professional uses – it keeps the library staff “on their toes” as well. 🙂

The library members are appreciative of the service – and the library staff have been able to learn more about the needs of their community and thus, respond more effectively to those community needs.

 

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Rapidly LiveBlogged: “Open Education Resources & The School Librarian” at #CILDC

Session presenters:

Heather Braum, Digital and Technical Services Librarian, Northeast Kansas Library System
Gary Price, Co-Founder, INFODocket & FullTextReports

I came to this session and thus, had the pleasure of bookending my sessions for the day with Heather Braum of the Northeast Kansas Library System! Here are my notes from Heather’s presentation, unedited:

Open Source Software — Open Access Journal — Open Ed Resources

Apparently we should all go watch this video on OER — http://goo.gl/uxWER — but not ’til after

Open Ed Resources – The Verbs:

REUSABLE without violating a copyright
REWORK/REVISE to meet your needs
REMIX and combine it with something else
REDISTRIBUTE it so that others can do the same thing to your resource
CREATE new content and give it back to the community

You have to cede some of the control you may want to enter into the idea of open education resources!

Why the heck should YOU, of all people, care about open ed resources?
-find new perspectives
-share knowledge

OER comes in ALL FORMATS – anything that can be in a curriculum can be an OER. Lectures, videos, quizzes, podcasts, etc!

Long list of links that were mentioned during the talk:

www.oercommons.org – topics organized by subject and grade levels

www.cnx.org – different materials that are shared and may make up components of your courses – THERE FOR YOUR USE! Yay!

Project Gutenberg – www.gutenberg.org – is an open ed resource. Are you using it with your students?

OER Livebinder: http://goo.gl/D2yGI – divided up into subjects, has lesson plans

Khan Academy – controversial, but it IS a source – vet it! www.khanacademy.org

TedEd: education.ted.com – doesn’t quite fit the definition of OER, but you can use it as a reference – turning TED talks into lessons/components

Art history resources that aren’t copyrighted? smarthistory.khanacademy.org – organized by periods/times

eTexts/curriculum – organized by Joyce Valenza – LOTS of resources here – http://www.only2clicks.com/pages/joycevalenza/350887

And it was right around then that we started having an open discussion (quickly) about how we might use OER.

I had to bail out of the session at this point. My apologies for only getting half the fabulous session on the blog!

Notes from #CILDC: Innovation “Sunrise” Session

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!

 

To Blog Or Not To Blog (In Schmedia Land)

Imagine that you are designing a web site for your library (this will be an actual task in Assignment #2 so this is a good time to start thinking about it). Reflect on how a blog might be a tool you could use to support the library program. Would it be a blog of your own? Or one that involved students? Some combination? What aspects of the Common Core State Standards and the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner might your blog address? If you choose this topic for reflection, please post to your blog and return to this thread to let us know it is ready; include the link.

If a blog is going to be part of the library website, I think the two should be integrated. What do I mean by ‘integrated’? I mean that snippets of blogposts should appear on the homepage of the website, to entice viewers to click through and read more. I mean that some of the time, the blogposts should redirect readers to important/new/updated/useful information on the website itself. Having a blog that isn’t in any way linked to what is going on in the library or the digital library presence is a no-go!

Whether the blog would be student-curated, librarian-curated, or curated by a combination of people, would rely on a few important things that have come to mind.
1.) The age-level of the students in the school. Can they help, or no?
2.) The time needed to maintain the blog. Is it going to be a source of news, or a constantly-updated place to share information of all sorts? What is the purpose of the blog? Who is the intended audience? What informational needs do they have, that will be served by the curation of a blog?

To be honest, I wouldn’t start or begin implementing a blog into my library program until these concerns and questions had been addressed, analyzed, and answered. Building a blog audience is difficult. Starting from scratch – ALSO difficult. Managing your time in regards to blogging – difficult. Finding the mental wherewithal to write things that other people might find interesting. (See also: preaching to the choir is easy; who are you preaching to?)

I think, in a high school setting where I felt I had the necessary support from both the school system and my students and teachers, I would implement a blog as a necessary and vital component of my digital library presence. I would most likely take on the task of sharing news and important information (like, yo, new databases! Check ’em out! or perhaps something slightly more professional). If I could, I would build a blog team of several students to help me out in this endeavor. If the numbers of students I see taking multiple high schools is any indication, they might have some free time.

The benefits for my student blog team:

  • diversity of perspectives. Maybe a 9th grade student wants to share what’s going in class and how they’re using the learning commons, a vastly different experience from a 12th graders.
  • an opportunity for the students to collaborate with those they wouldn’t normally encounter during the school experience. (Oh hey, AASL standard 1.1.9: Collaborate with others to broaden and deepen understanding. and responsibility 1.3.4 Contribute to the exchange of ideas within the learning community.)
  • a voice and platform that the students can use to announce “I learned this awesome stuff and here’s how it relates to you, whoever you are, blog reader!” (Check it out. AASL responsibility 2.3.1 asks our students to Connect understanding to the real world. And AASL skill standard 3.1.5 asks them to Connect learning to community issues.)
  • Blogging, especially on a public platform accessible through the learning commons website and available via RSS subscription, allows students to “Contribute to the exchange of ideas within and beyond the learning community.” (Go figure. That’s AASL responsibility 3.3.5.)
  • My students would demonstrate an ability to –> “Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.” (AASL 4.1.7, conveniently enough.)

If it isn’t enough for you…

Common Core, Reading Informational Texts, Standard 6, Grades 9/10:
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

Common Core, Speaking and Listening, Standard 5, Grades 9/10:
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

So yes, I think I’d like to have a student blogging team regularly writing under my supervision and direction in the library. Will that happen? See the caveats above; I can’t necessarily predict everything!

What about you?
Blog with reckless abandon? Ban blogging? Thoughts?

Some Quick Thoughts from an Elementary Practicum Student!

I know, I know, I’ve been fairly terrible about blogging during grad school. The truth is that I prefer micro-blogging. Think twitter posts and conversations, long comment threads in facebook groups, and the like.

That said, I want to try to be better about putting things down in blog form this semester.
Reasons why:

  • I have to post a blog once a week for my practicum seminar anyway. I may import some, as possible.
  • I’m taking extensive (paper) notes on each day of practicum. I’m going to have to type them up. May as well share!
  • Sharing is caring.
  • I want to look back and say “oh yeah, I did that!” not “oh yeah, I wish I had typed up some of those experiences before I forgot them”.

So without any further pontificating…a few things!

  1. I interact better with the younger age group than I thought I would, honestly. There’s a learning curve on both sides, teacher-to-students and students-to-teacher, but it’s going well so far!
  2. You know how we talk about teaching “just-in-time” so skills align with activities and projects? Right… well, learning just-in-time works too. Like learning how to use a technological tool 10 minutes before you teach it. Not everything has to be rehearsed, scripted, etc. — there’s a freedom in the land of improv, as well.
  3. One of the most frustrating things, after “I can’t find a book” is when the question “well, what are you interested in?” is followed up with “I don’t know”. It’s this that I’m still working on – how to respond, how to find common ground, how to help a student determine what their interests are. 
  4. It’s okay that I haven’t jumped on the iPad bandwagon yet, but time will tell if I can continue to hold that view.
  5. Not having the privileges to update software as needed so that other software/tools can be used causes frustration. Sorry, tech club. 😦
  6. Wrestling books are COOL, y’all. 😉
This book is double-sided. It's like a "choose your own adventure"... in WWE.

This book is double-sided. It’s like a “choose your own adventure”… in WWE.

day 1, semester 2.

Here we go! Today marks the official day one of semester two, year one, of my experience as a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Library and Information Science with a school media specialization.

I’m spicing things up this semester. Translated, this means I’m taking two courses online while taking one on campus. Translated, this means I’m currently freaking out and attempting to not freak out about this switch to a predominantly online learning environment.

Therefore, this being day one, I’ve set up some general ground rules, which I’m hoping will alleviate some of the stress while also make the online environment just as comfortable as the in-class environment. (Sidenote: the fact that I can now be ‘in class’ while wrapped in my favorite fuzzy blanket with a never ending supply of delicious coffee only a few short feet away in my kitchen is a perk.)

  1. When the laptop is on the desk, it’s school time. Correlaries to it being school time are:
    -Two hours at a time, max. Preserve the mental health.
    -Pandora. Reading of a screen is something I’m still not quite used to – music helps.
    -Nix on the social media. No facebook open, no tweetdeck (my favorite of favorite distraction), not even pinterest (I don’t even like pinterest yet, but it’s a decent distraction.)
    -No checking email. (Sidenote: email annoys me anyway. Figured I may as well throw in a perk.)
  2. One day a week is designated “non-school day”. Last year, I had three on campus classes, and it’s a bit easier to think of them as “Monday’s work, Tuesday’s work”, etc. Online classes have the potential to sneak into “every day’s work”. So, one day each week is non-school day!
    -Correlary: non-school day just might also be bake-cookies day.
  3. CALENDAR. I really need to get to work with a calendar for the semester, and keeping track of when things are due. It’s a bad habit I’ve never fully dropped. (Sidenote: I highly doubt I will fix this in one semester.)

I’m sure I’ll come up with a few more guidelines as this adventure continues. Anyone with advice is welcome to contribute! 🙂

this is not a rant.

If this was a few days ago, this would have been an angsty blogpost that would make you remember high school and want to listen to Linkin’ Park’s “Crawling”. and let’s face it, no one wants to do that.

But it’s not. I saved that post as a draft, and now I don’t want to revisit it. In the spirit of this week – as in, the week that precedes the feast we here in the United States refer to as Thanksgiving – I’m going to say a few things that most decidedly were not in the previous incoherent ramble.

I’m in library school.
It’s an adventure.
It’s frightening, at times, because it’s the unknown.
It’s fascinating, at times, because it’s the unknown.
It’s frustrating, at times, because it’s the unknown.
It’s flipping awesome, at times, because I know that we have the potential to flip this field on it’s head, over time, and do really fantastic things.

So with that in mind… I’m happy to be here, and I’m thankful for the opportunity.

And as a sidebar, I read five books (yes, books. those antiquated bound volumes of printed pages pieced together coherently) this weekend. Five. Perhaps a book review or two would be warranted.