Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Volunteer Opportunity with ASLA

Have you registered for the ASLA Summer Conference? Well, what are you waiting for?! :) Click on over today and get yourself registered for the event of the year for school librarians.

I need a few volunteers to help at the registration tables. If you are interested, please email me. Thanks!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Alabama Library Association Annual Conference

The Alabama Library Association (ALLA) will hold their annual convention April 24-27 at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover. This conference moves each year throughout the state, so we are so very fortunate to have it so close to our area this time around.

Most of the sessions for children and young adult programming will take place on Wednesday, April 25. I hope you'll consider attending!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

National Latino Children's Literature Conference

The National Latino Children's Literature Conference will take place on March 29-30. Because it is being held at the University of Alabama (and sponsored by UA's School of Library and Information Studies-of which many of us are alumni), we should consider attending this highly unique and pertinent conference. What better way to reach our growing population of English Learners than to attend a conference focused on their literature and cultural needs?

Go here to see the schedule of speakers and here to register. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breaking Britannica News

So it appears that after 244 years of printing volumes, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print. 

It is interesting to see what students' reactions will be to this. I can only imagine very few cases where patrons actually prefer print reference resources these days...especially the nature of encyclopedias and the number of databases available through the Alabama Virtual Library.

Still, it's most certainly the end of an era!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Let the Games begin!

*This post is by Carla Crews, one of the school librarians at Shades Valley High School/JCIB/Shades Valley Technical Academies.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, movie adaptations of books give us a great opportunity to promote recreational reading. Our library recently invited teachers and students to participate in our own version of The Hunger Games, based on the popular series by Suzanne Collins. The movie release is March 23, and we wanted to encourage students to read the book first! We set up activity stations around the library, which included archery, rope tying, costume design, arm wrestling, trivia questions, online games, and a viewing station for the movie trailer. Several of the station activities offered students a chance to put their name into the “reaping.” Here we deviated slightly from the book, as contestants actually wanted their name in this drawing. Students were quite competitive when they learned that a local theater donated movie passes for the prize drawing!

We began with some brainstorming sessions (and the Internet). The following two resources were particularly helpful during our planning phase:

We gathered our supplies, only spending money on a bow, arrows, and rope. We created themed signage for the event and typed questions for the trivia station. The braided nylon rope was cut into 18” pieces, and instructions were placed at the station for tying various types of knots. Paper rabbits were set up as targets at the archery station. Due to some concerns about teenagers shooting a bow in the library, we used a child-size bow and ‘play’ arrows that had suction cup tips... no damaged walls or speared children! For the opening ceremony costume designs, we already had all the necessary supplies – paper, pencils, crayons/markers, and lots of books on fashion, costumes, and clothing design. We also included a list of the districts’ trades and industries for inspiration. The Scholastic website offers some exciting online games related to The Hunger Games series. These online games, along with The Hunger Games Wiki, were set up as desktop icons at the computer station. Students could scan a QR code at the viewing station to watch the movie trailer. Tributes showed off their strength as they conquered opponents at the arm wrestling station, our school-friendly alternative to the brutal combat of the actual Games.

If you’re looking around on the web for ideas related to The Hunger Games, check out the hashtag #THGyalsa on Twitter. This was a YALSA-sponsored tweet session during Teen Tech Week to discuss the movie release and library programming ideas. One librarian tweeted that she is planning a Wii Archery tournament. And should you decide to turn your library into a Hunger Games arena…  may the odds be ever in your favor.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Managing Multiple Devices

Just for kicks, I wanted to share with you all one little tiny techno device that has really made my life a lot easier of late.

I was browsing Pinterest one night as a treat between graduate work assignments and stumbled across this adorable USB hub shaped like a little pot of tulips.

I immediately pinned it to my "WANTED" board. 

As luck would have it, one of my family members saw the pin and gave it to me for Christmas. Sweet! 

Many of you may be using these little hubs already, but this was my first one. Okay, it's true that I like it because it looks like a pot of tulips...but I LOVE it because of the added convenience it brings to my use of various technology pieces throughout the day. Now I can keep my printer, scanner, barcode scanner, digital camera/video camera, and a multitude of other devices connected at once, whereas before it was a matter of figuring out which item to unplug in order to use its port.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pinterest + Contest = Fun!

*Today's post was written by Meg Brooke, one of the school librarians at Shades Valley High School/JCIB. 

OK, all of you “Pinners” in the Jefcoed library world. We have a contest especially made for YOU!  Michelle wroteabout Pinterest on a blog post several weeks ago, and hopefully several of you have started using this tool for curating your ideas as well as others’ ideas on various boards. I know that several of you are Pinterest addicts because you follow me, and I, you!  It’s a lot of fun, and I’ve learned so much from you and others in the Pinterest world.

I ran across Joyce Valenza’s blog post today, and got really excited when I saw that it pertained to Pinterest.  Say the word, and I’m all about reading anything Pinterest related. Rather than recap her post, I’ve copied and pasted it below so that you can read it and see if the contest is something that would interest you. If so, the contest rules link is at the bottom of Joyce’s post.

Good luck, and happy pinning!

from NeverEndingSearch by joycevalenza
I am beginning to love Pinterest as a tool for searching, exploring, and curating visual content.  Teachers and librarians are currently settling this visual territory with their boards of professional content.
In the spirit of Pinterest Challenges, the iSchool at Syracuse University just announced a forward-thinking, library-flavored Pinterest challenge.  Participants are invited to share their new library vision on Pinterest, the highly popular, visual (and pretty) curation network.
The Pinterest Contest for the New Librarianship is a search for a a few good boards that define and illustrate the future of our profession.
But, well beyond the contest itself, the resulting boards should demonstrate the value of this tool for creating communities of practice and visual professional sharing.  I am hoping it will create beautiful inspiration for us all.
Kelly Lux, Executive Editor of Information Space and Social Media Strategist and Community Manager for the iSchool, writes of the Pinterest platform,
"communities revolving around shared interests are creating dialogue that transcends borders. Librarians are using it as a way to build a collection of resources, organize display ideas and facilitate collaboration. The Pinterest community is a reflection of your local community—members include Moms swapping recipes, lifelong educators and professionals networking and making their experience a resource for others, young people building their careers and defining their lives, artists and entrepreneurs sharing their products and services."

Lux shares the example of librarian Joe Murphy’s boards

To enter the Pinterest Contest for the New Librarianship challenge, submit your Pinterest Board URLs in any of these three ways:

Winners will receive a copy of David Lankes’ ground-breaking and provocative Atlas of New Librarianship.
Entries will be accepted through March 19th.  So start pinning your library future right now!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

ASLA Honors and Awards

Look, you don't have to tell ME that you people rock. You are leading the information literacy and technology charge every stinking day in your schools. You don't do it for the money and you certainly don't do it for honor or prestige.

But hey, why not consider recommending one of your peers or administrators for one of the incredible awards presented at the Alabama School Library Association's annual summer conference?

Get all the deets here: ASLA Awards

Monday, March 5, 2012

Burrow Library Services: Spring Fling

I hope you are making plans to attend this event coming up in April. Hearing authors present on their work is one of my most favorite things in the world!

Contact their office if you have any questions about the Spring Fling. It sounds like it is going to be a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Big6 In Middle School: Teaching Information and Communications Technology Skills by Barbara A. Jansen

Spring is in the air which can only mean one thing in most of Alabama's public school libraries! Research. Paper. Season. It's an exciting time in the middle and high school library, but an anxiety-ridden time for those doing the research and writing papers.

Throughout the year I reach for The Big6 In Middle School: Teaching Information and Communications Technology Skills by Barbara A. Jansen to assist students and teachers with projects and research. But in the spring it is always within grasp. (The Big6 is a model of information problem-solving developed by co-authors Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz, The Big6 in Middle School, xi).

This book features many types of research organizers for students and is chock-ful of information essential for school librarians.

One of my favorite tools is the Big6 Assignment Organizer for Grades 7-9. It is found on page 181 of the reference book. The first question asks the student to answer, "What am I supposed to do?" It seems a simple question, but students get stumped and they have to go back to their teacher if they can't answer it. The sheet continues with Information Seeking Strategies, Location and Access, Use of Information, Synthesis, Evaluation, and due dates. It is a tidy little organizer that keeps research on track for students. Many other presentation guidelines and planners are featured in the book that are extremely useful as well. I wish I could copy it here, but the cover of the book will have to do.

Here are some other useful tidbits in the book:

  • Correlation Chart Between Big6 Skills and State Curriculum Standards or Tested Skills
  • Checklists for Writing Assignments for Different Grade Levels
  • Lesson Plan Examples
  • Note-Taking Methods
  • How To's of a Class Project Wiki
  • Many Different Charts and Graphs

The book, published by Linworth, is available from different jobbers, Amazon, and your favorite online ordering spot. If you order now, you'll have everything you need to ease the stress of busy researchers.