Friday, July 15, 2011

Thing 3 - Branding

As I stated in a previous post, I made a blog last year and because of the name of our school, my aide and I both called our blogs Valley Girl 1 and Valley Girl 2. Well, our school has since closed, and the name no longer seems appropriate. As a matter of fact, the name didn't seem appropriate from the beginning, because I am far from a Valley Girl! So, I have renamed my blog and renamed it something that doesn't have to do at all with a school name which can change. It needs to reflect just me. I hope to learn to gain from 23 Things to reflect more on my practices and development as a learner. I can see the benefit of having a personal as well as professional blog if one wants to share lots of pictures of children, etc. I think I will just stick with a professional blog for now and we'll see how it goes!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Going Global

Just listened to the webinar for cpd23 and at last I know that I'm taking "continuing professional development". :) What a cool thing to work on new tools with professionals from all around the world and get another take on them. I also think it will be refreshing to learn from professionals who are just starting out in the field. I know I will gain much from fresh new perspectives.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thing 2

I have been all over the place reading blogs and I do mean all over the place. Wow. I explored the Delicious tags to narrow my search to school librarians and am amazed by the countries represented. So many from the UK, Sudan, Thailand, Canada? Wow. As I stated in my previous post, I earlier participated in 23 Things Kansas which was cool to connect with librarians in my own state, but this is awesome! It is good to hear about librarians in other states who face the same issues ie. blocking websites, the perception of librarians, budget cuts, etc. I was impressed with A Cloud Clearless Sky in Scotland who is definitely not a newbie to blogging. Love the name The Lucky Librarian in South Carolina - "Lucky to be teaching children to love reading and technology". So refreshing. And "Coming Together in the Library" from Virginia - we are all coming together through our learning in 23 Things.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Giving it another Try!

OK. So I tried this once and didn't finish. And I'm not going to beat myself up over it, I'm just going to give it another go. If at first you don't succeed.......blah, blah, blah. I started "23 Things Kansas" last year and encouraged by library aide to do it with me. Wouldn't that be fun to learn together? Guess who finished and got her certificate (proudly displayed over her desk) and who didn't? How embarrassing is that??? Oh well. Now my "former" library aide (more on that later) has gently nudged me to try it again. (Because she now twitters, blogs, facebooks, etc., she found out about this.) Not sure whether to thank her or kick her. Charlene, if you ever read this, I really am thanking you. :) Now that summertime is here I don't have any excuses. Well, never mind , I can always find excuses.

I would really like to participate in this again, try new technologies that I may not know about yet, and not have to depend on Charlene. Especially since I don't have Charlene anymore! Our middle school closed this year in May and I will be moving from the middle school to high school and I want to be on top of my game. Nothing new that the kids know more than me, I just want to not appear stupid. Have I mentioned that I will not have Charlene anymore? How scary is that? 2000 students and no library aide! At least we still have a library for now, so I'm not going to stress out over it.

So, my main goal is to learn new things, get more comfortable with the things I already know and most importantly, be able to share these wonders with my colleagues come fall. Fall? Are you kidding me? I mean August 13. :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Down in the Valley

I started thinking about writing about the bad news of the state of affairs affecting Shawnee Mission libraries and librarians. And not only the bad news, but the emotional toll that closing a building as well as the possibility of job closings has on one. There is still bad news out there, but after reading the blogpost in School Library Monthly entitled Be Proactive: Face Your Fears I am not quite so pessimistic. There is a very good possibility that our library budgets will indeed be zeroed out for the 2011-2012 school year. What they don't realize is how creative we librarians can be when we are faced with no money. Book fairs, selling cappuccinos to raise money for library books (we did this for 5 years) , etc. We definitely don't sit still and not provide good resources for our students though. The other possibility for next year is a little more daunting. What is on the table is to eliminate secondary librarians and replace them with library aides for a savings of $568,000. There would be 1 librarian retained to be in charge of high school libraries and 1 librarian retained to be in charge of middle schools. That librarian would rove to a different school each day. OK, now we all know how ridiculous this is, but when we're talking $10 million needing to be cut, they see this large expenditure of librarians and we are sudddenly a target. The district conducted a survey among it's employees, students and patrons. The good news is that the survey results were published last night at the Board of Education meeting and the public is definitely in favor of librarians being retained in our schools. The librarian question is #17. 37.7% agreed that we could be eliminated and 41.1% disagreed. I know this doesn't add up, but you'll have to look at the report. Will we be saved? I doubt it. We had a very eloquent parent and student speaking on our behalf with convincing arguments. What we didn't do was speak ourselves because many thought it would be like begging for our jobs. In retrospect, I'm not so sure about that was a good idea. Sooo, probably 8 of us will be reassigned. Another librarian position? Classroom teacher? Here's the other bad news: The board isn't voting on these proposals until August! What's up with that? So, stay tuned for more rants, ravings, and musings. From Death in the Valley.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Week 14 - Library Thing, etc.

I have accounts on LibraryThing, GoodReads and Shelfari. I like the looks of Shelfari the best, but do not think it has as many options as the other two. I use Shelfari on my library website for showing the William Allen White nominees. I also like the feature that gives just a short summary of the book as you move your mouse over it.

I first started with LibraryThing about 5 years ago and was pretty religious about keeping up with it, but realized that more of my friends were GoodReads users. I tried keeping my personal books on LibraryThing, and my books that I read for school on GoodReads. This was just too confusing and so I finally shifted all my books to GoodReads and just created different shelves. I have a shelf for each book club I'm in (3), shelves or books I read for school, both grades 5-8 and YA and also the audio books I listen to. I use the GoodReads widget on my library webpage for books I'm currently reading as well as we keep a widget for new books that havae recently come into the library. I don't like this widget as well as Shelfari, but it'll do.

I just finished navigating around some of the "explore" features on GoodReads that I hadn't ever done before and discovered that you can spend wayyyyy too much time on this! Before I knew it, almost an hour had gone by. I answered trivia questions (addicting), explored quotes and added many of them to my list of favorites, I saw what people were on GoodReads at that very moment and what they were reading (probably won't visit this feature again). What really wowed me was the events link and how everything that is going to be happening in Kansas City comes up. Awesome!! I can't wait to tell some of the girls in my school about Ellen Schreiber coming to the Johnson County Library in June! This was definitely a gem to be discovered.

It's great having an online journal of what I've read. I still keep a little handwritten notebook by my bedside, but I do like having it online also. I also just learned about comparing the books with your friends. Very cool. There's always something new to learn!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thing 8-Cloud Computing

Wow. All this time I have been doing lots of cloud computing and never knew there was an official word for all of it! Google docs, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter, etc. I'm introducing the idea of Google docs to our faculty tomorrow morning in the hopes that we can finally get a curriculum map together and put it on a google spreadsheet. I think it is important to let everyone know what is being studied at any particular time in order to coordinate units when possible. I may get booed out of the room but hopefully not. I think the only hassle of it will be that as the administrator of the spreadsheet, I will have to get everyone's g-mail address. Guess we could do that on a Google doc also! Anyway, I'm crossing my fingers that it comes about.