Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Week 5, #12

I was not familiar with Rollyo, so spent a lot of time looking at the suggested sites, especially those connected with reference work. Since we have online databases and ebooks at school, I actually urge students to use the resources we buy and steer them away from general Internet/Google/Yahoo searches. However, I can see positive uses for schools which have limited finances to create search rolls under multiple topics for student use. Teacher librarians and classroom teachers can collaborate to create searchrolls for students to use for research related to general curricular areas,like history, as well as specific topics, such as World War II. Students would spend more time looking at content and less in the actual search process, using sites already vetted by their teachers and librarians.
For fun, I decided to search for web sites with library jokes and was pleased to find several. Some are close duplicates of each other, but the four I listed on my search roll are distinct enough from each other to merit inclusion. I already have an idea to have my student library assistants at school select their favorites, type and print them for a bulletin board display. Maybe we'll do this for National Library Week in the spring.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Week 5, #11

I had a great time looking at the Web 2.0 Award Winners. Looking in the philanthropy category, I found donorschoose, a site where teachers and librarians post requests for contributions to programs/materials they want. Searching specifically for library requests, I found many to support classroom libraries, and a few for school libraries. Most of the dollar amounts are very modest; they remind me of the type of grant applications teachers submit to PTAs and local foundations. One interesting feature is that among the information given is the percentage of children living in low socioeconomic status at each school.
Begreen, an environmental site I found, is one I think would interest the environmental science teachers at my school. Under mashups, I found coverpop, which has montages of similar/related items in many categories. I liked the graphic novels and Harry Potter montages.
Looking at the suggested Nings, I got immediately hooked on Teacher Librarian. I have joined the High School group, and even posted a reply to Mary Ann Harlan about senior exit interviews. I can see many uses for Nings at school, particularly for specific groups like students participating in the CYRM program, readers' groups by genre, etc. Students always seem to be pressed to meet in real time, but they always make time for on line activities. For example, many students who read fantasy don't know each other; meeting and interacting through a Ning would be an effective way of bringing them together.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Week 5, #10

Playing around with the images on Comic Strip Generator, I searched for the pages with titles beginning with the letter L. The only image with library in the title was an old fashioned man carrying a teetering pile of books. I filled in the dialogue balloon with a positive comment about being a student library assistant. I plan to tweak the brochure I give prospective student library assistants, putting the image at the top of the front.

I followed directions at the site to post the image to my blog, wrote my post and sent it. However, as sometimes happens with technology, I got an error message that an internal error prevented the successful completion of my post. As Charlie Brown says, "Sigh....." So, I have copied the link below.

Here is the link to the image:

Since I give responsibility for many displays to my students, I can see how they can use these online image generators to make attention-getting signs for events, book displays on themes, etc. Humorous graphic signs with gentle reminders about restrictions on cell phone use and gum chewing may be more effective than verbal reminders. The possibilities are only as limited as our imaginations.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Week 4 #9

Just for fun, I started by using a general search engine, Good Search, which donates to my school for every search. My search term was "young adult book reviews." Among the results was the Young Adult (& Kids) Books Central Blog, which was intriguing since the format and style are so different from traditional review sources. I decided to put the blog on my page because I especially liked the feature they include of links to author blogs. I could have spent hours reading the blogs of some of my favorite YA authors, whose books are popular in my high school library.

I looked at the Edublog award winners and followed a link from the library winner to Alan November's blog, and added a link to his site. I heard him speak at an ALA conference event several years ago and was in awe of how many perspectives he adds to libraries and education. This will give me a way to keep up with his ideas and initiatives.

I followed the suggestions to try other search tools and look at the results. Since I'm especially interested in finding articles/blogs/news about school libraries and related topics like censorship, I used those search terms. Unfortunately I didn't find anything that immediately caught my eye, but will keep trying. Through Technorati, which was in the business news this week because of a personnel change at the head of the company, I found a school library blog with thoughtful, specific ideas of goals and actions for her school library program. I added that since I'm always interested in hearing about other programs. As the teacher librarian at the only public high school in Berkeley, CA, I am able to connect with other high school professionals through list servs, friends and professional associations, but not in my own district.

When I searched School Library Learning 2.0 in Google Blog Search, I got over 4,000 hits. This is concrete evidence of the need for and impact of this program! The teacher librarians of the California School Library Association, specifically Connie Williams and Jackie Siminitus, plus all those who test drove the program and offered feedback before the official launch, deserve kudos for their work! Thank you!!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Week 4, #8

After getting bogged down with textbooks at school in preparation for student registration, I returned to working on my RSS aggregator. Since I already had a gmail account, I chose to Google Reader for my RSS feed reader.

I always seek out the Unshelved booth at ALA, so of course added that. Another obvious feed for me was from the Librarian's Index to the Internet, to see the new sites added with a weekly message. The AASL blog is another convenient one to add. I also chose a blog from a fellow participant in School Library Learning 2.0, and would like to add a few more as an inspiration to keep going! I also want to find some useful YA review blogs to add.

While the idea of having posts come to my computer, rather than having to visit bookmarked sites regularly, saves time and notifies me when there is new material, I wonder where the time to keep up will come from when school starts. As with all new aspects of the profession and job, integrating this into what I already do will require adjustment. I am optimistic that checking my reader will become second nature!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Week 3, Thing #7

Technology permeates so many parts of my professional and personal life it's hard to narrow down only a few to mention. One amazing change is the ease digital cameras provide in sharing pictures. I do not miss having to identify pictures to duplicate from strips of negatives, take them to be printed, put them in envelopes to be weighed before mailing, etc. Attaching the pictures to an email for specific friends, colleagues and family members streamlines the whole process.

Finding knitting patterns and recipes on line represents a leap forward from the days when wanting a recipe or pattern for something specific meant a trip to the library or knitting store, then searching. If the need arose at a time when the library or store was closed, the search had to be postponed. Having access to the internet eliminates that roadblock.

In my library at school I do not miss the grindingly slow process of guiding students through: 1) picking the correct drawer of the card catalog, 2) biting my tongue as they turn one card at a time, 3) going to the shelf, only to find the book isn't there. Now, the only glitch arises if their search terms are spelled incorrectly!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Week 3, Thing #5

Week 3, Thing #5

I went to Flickr and had fun searching for photos related to libraries, teens, books and schools. I tried a number of combinations of my search terms to compare the results. What interested me is the number of public libraries that post photos of programs and events, and the difficulty I had finding schools that do the same. I also discovered at the beginning that I found some photos totally unrelated to my search; the screen names of the people who had posted them had at least one of my search terms.

I found one picture of an amazing stack of books piled on top of each other, with no visible support. It looked like one puff of air would knock it down. It reminded me of a children's game with blocks of wood.

The link I am putting in is to the end panel of a teen section in a public library. It shows black and white copies of book covers in the teen section covering the panel. I thought this is an inventive, inexpensive and attractive way to lure teen patrons over to the shelves. In addition, the staff can change it to match events, themes, etc.

Here is the link:
Labels: displays, library, teens

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Week 2, Thing 3

After several tries, I have created a blog and am sending my first message. It turned out to be a case of a willing spirit running into a number of technological roadblocks. The good news is that I figured out how to overcome them, just like helping students at school. The even better news is that now I can move forward with the program!