Fall: A Time to be Busy (and Remember What We Do)

I don't know about you, but fall is always incredibly busy for me as a librarian. Between orientation, starting to collaborate with teachers, and attending conferences, every moment is good, but every moment is full, too. Through the course of the last month or so, I've experienced and reflected on many things that I've been wanting …

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Orientation, Making, and Welcoming Everyone into the School Library

Happy back to school! I know most of us have been back for a while, but oh man, I feel so drained after school for most of September. There's so much going on: launching clubs, processing new books, meeting & getting acquainted with new staff, and oh yeah, that minor detail called orientation. Since my school …

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Keeping Your Library Relevant When Your School Goes 1:1 (part 2): Helping Teachers Facilitate a Digital Classroom

This post is Part 2 of Making Your Library Relevant When Your School Goes 1:1 (see first post here).  So, why do we as librarians need to know about tools like these? They are going to help us have staying power with our staff and students when all students have their own devices and may …

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Welcoming Staff & Students Back to School

Hi Friends! Pretty sure I'm in the majority when I say I do my best to welcome my students into the library at the beginning of the year. There's bulletin boards, displays, intros to new programs, and so much more! I also do my best to welcome my staff. Not sure about you, but I'm constantly trying to reinforce to my staff that the library is not the same place at the library we experienced when we were kids. Unless there is testing, I never SHH my students. We are more than just for checkout. So I created two things for back to school this year that I wanted to share with you: one is specifically for new staff and the other is for both staff and students.

Keeping the Library Relevant When Your School Goes 1:1

This coming school year (2016-2017), my school's region was fortunate to be selected by our county to pilot a 1:1 rollout. This means that all 1300 of my 7th and 8th graders will be provided with a laptop to carry to all classes. With this kind of announcement, several emotions and questions most likely go through a librarian's brain. -Excitement: Hooray! Constant competition for computer labs is over! -Creativity/Wonder: How many possible opportunities does this create? The sky's the limit! -Hesitancy: Will the kids ever look up from them? -Uncertainty: How will this affect my current collaborations with my teachers? -Concern: Will I get need to get involved if something gets broken/goes missing? -Dread: How can I keep the library popular when they don't need our computers anymore? I think every single one of these emotions is fair game for the 1:1 arena. It's a lot of new possibilities, but also a lot of extra work and adjustment, not only for us as librarians, but also for teachers, who are used to the way they have taught for however many years (or even just a few years but are now settled into their rhythm). This is a big deal! This post is going to stick to answering question 6 in this list: How to keep the library popular in this very digital age.

Book Trailers (and why they’re amazing)

I have to be really careful with what I watch on TV, mostly because I have this thing called a photographic memory. Basically, I remember a lot of what I see, which is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing when I need to remember where I left my keys (and it's great when comparison shopping!) but it's a massive curse when going to the movies, especially when the trailers come on. Some trailers are a bit scarier than I'd like them to be, mostly because those images stick in my head for a really long time (and quite frequently haunt my dreams). Most people love movie trailers because they get a heads up about what they're going to see. Likewise, book trailers are really helpful for students because the content may persuade them to read the book. For a lot of people, reading a book plays like a movie in their mind, and seeing trailers helps them to start those visualizations.

Making a Makerspace (and why my students need one)

Like you most likely know, I am a huge advocate for my library, students, and staff. Being in the classroom for many years really brought to light the variety of experiences, abilities, and wealth students bring with them to school each day. It is the teacher's responsibility to take all of those and ensure all …

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The Great Weeding of 2015-2016, part 2.

In my previous post about weeding, I talked about the rationale and why weeding was so necessary in my middle school library (and shared photos, too!). This post will finish my thoughts about weeding (for now) but I felt like adding this info to the end of the previous weeding post would have been over …

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