Blogging for AISL: motivation to write

I signed up as a guest blogger for Association of Independent School Librarians, and it has given me incentive to write.  Here are some thoughts I shared on removing books from the collection:

Why I’m Not “Weeding” Right Now

I am pretty sure I’m not the only person who struggles with removing books from the collection.  Not the easy calls. Not the books that meet the MUSTY (Misleading, Ugly, Superseded, Trivial or not right for Your collection) guidelines.  We can all laugh at the science text that says “Someday, computers will fit on a desktop” or the copy of Twilight with the cover half off and the text block falling out. Read more…

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Takin’ it to the peeps: Reader Feeder

IMG_1786-0Eighth graders are so busy!  “I don’t have time to come to the library” is a common refrain, so my colleague and I created two Reader Feeders, and placed them in the Humanities classrooms. To introduce them, we did a 20-minute short-and -sweet book talk, with projected book covers.  Cindy and I struggled to hone each book synopsis to 3-4 sentences, allowing us to cover 40 books during part of their Humanties period.  (Thank you Mrs. Exley and Mrs. Elliott!)  We chose books we could honestly get behind, but ones we were willing to take out of general circulation for a few weeks.  Think Lone Star or other award winners from a year or two back, a classic, a biography, a bit of nonfiction and some wonderful books that were overlooked on the shelf.

Not many of the books are checked out, but teachers report students pick them up to browse or read at the end of class.  Keeping track of the books is still a work in progress, but we haven’t lost any yet, and there have been a few checkouts! I’ll be glad to share the logistics – just let me know if you want details!

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Overdues: Overdone?

A discussion on the nature of due dates took place in December, on the Association of Independent School Librarians listserv.  Has the defined due date passed its usefulness?  What happens if students keep books until they are “done” ?

I came out in favor of keeping the defined due date, with a liberal renewal policy. However, as the nature of research material changes, the idea of scarcity of material is also changing, making due dates a non-issue for more and more materials.  Read my full guest blogger post at Independent Ideas.

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Open Educational Resources, from Edutopia

This is a very helpful link I found to Open Educational Resources, put together by Edutopia.  it covers some of the same topics as this course, but for a Newbie like me, you can’t hear things too many times!

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Struggling with counterintuitive idea

The way to get a handle on content overload is to create more content.  An interesting idea presented in the Powerful Learning Practice material.  My initial thought it that it just makes more “noise.” Granted it may be short noise (as in tweets and retweets) but it’s still mostly noise.

However….if I do what I always do, I’ll get what I always get.  I’m sticking my toe out of my comfort zone to see what happens.  I’ll try to create the content I would like to read, and see how it goes!

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About to jump headlong into 2.0

I signed up with a Powerful Learning Practice team at school, and the idea is I will learn to be a more comfortable, creative and participatory user of web 2.0 media.  Why am I doing this? To understand why the “new way” is better than the “old way.”  To not be one of the people who says “When I was in school…..”  and then tells a story involving a chalk board and a telephone call (on a land line.)  To become a better educator.  I think that by knowing more about all the choices available, I can then pick the ones are the most workable for whatever I am trying to do at any particular time. 

And because I trust Gail Corder, our leader, and the members of my PLP team, and this gives me a chance to know all of them better as well.  Ah….connected learning.

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New Skills

Made a little screen cast using Screenr. If you are interested in accessing the TVS databases, this will tell you how! Watch my 52-second screencast

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