Sunday, November 20, 2011

Still fond of school libraries -- sign this petition

Apparently, the President wants to know what the people of America think about issues.  What a concept!  I do believe that we could return to representative democracy and a place where we can debate things rather than shouting at each other. . .

 I think school libraries need more than just certified librarians -- they need certified librarians that have the time to create curriculum and teach, they need trained support staff to maintain the collection and help kids borrow books, and they need computers as well as books.  And probably a few ebook readers as well.  But this is a start, so go ahead and sign the petition -- and create your own.

This Thanksgiving week I am more grateful than ever before for my family, my church community, and my friends.  Remember to be grateful for all we have this week.  Happy Thanksgiving. 


Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm the 99

Saturday, September 3, 2011

American Schools in Crisis

American Schools in Crisis

A little food for thought as we move through the Labor Day weekend -- how are we honoring workers this year?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another Word Picture

I love these word pictures.  This is the word picture for my collection of bookmarks on Copyright found at

Librarians often are asked copyright questions, and sometimes we explain the rules even when that's not popular information.  It is both complex and controversial -- but people also want credit for the work they've done. I still think the best information on the subject of copyright in education comes from the Stanford University Libraries.    I know people are looking for a quick and easy list of what to do or not do -- if you find one, let me know.
Click on this symbol to find out about Creative Commons Licenses

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How I spent my summer vacation. . .
I learned about this from a student in my library management class today;  it makes word cloud shapes.  This star is the word cloud of my bookmarks saved on;  more than 3000 of them from many years of being a school librarian and saving bookmarks.  This program has a lot of shapes, and it is fun, as well as having potential as a literacy and writing tool. 

You can type in any URL and then choose a shape.  This is News and Views from Norway today.


I've been getting my news on the tragedy in Norway from this website, Views and News from Norway, published by a woman I knew at Northwestern.  It is interesting to read most days -- I've been their Facebook Friend for some time -- but an important front line source in difficult times.

If you want to try for an international perspective in news, this site from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and this one from the Internet Public Library are useful.  The feature on "Today's Front Pages" from the Newseum in Washington, DC is fun as well as informative.    They don't replace a good collection of newspaper databases, but they do provide perspective that's sometimes lacking in our U.S. focused news reporting.

Where do you turn when something happens?  Where do you get your news each day?

What happens on the Internet every 60 seconds

What happens on the Internet every 60 seconds

I saw this posted on the Appleton Public Library website; they got it from MSNBC. It's a beautiful graphic, and it shows clearly why information overload is a challenge. Of all those things out there -- how many of them are important? Interesting? Vital? Nonsense?

I've used a lot of new tools this summer, and many of them are designed to collect and organize information, but does that really create organization, or does it just tempt us to click on everything and save it for later? Have any cultural anthropologists looked at our obsession with documenting every moment of our lives -- a hundred times? I know children less than 6 months old who have 300 pictures on Facebook. Who is going to have time to look through all this stuff? Of course, I shot well over 300 pictures during my two weeks in Ireland -- on film. It isn't the medium. . . entirely.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Future of Libraries -- or at least, Federal Support for Libraries

This was in my wikispaces inbox this morning -- if you go to the web site, you do have to sign in, but you can do so with a variety of IDs, including Google.  You have the opportunity to both create a comment on what you think the future direction of the institute should be, and to vote on the comments and ideas already posted.  

I think the library world sometimes becomes too inwardly focused, and is too quick to complain -- here's a chance to say what you think in a forum where you'll be heard.  Check it out.

From IMLS to members of imlsupnext   Jul 20, 2011 4:36 pm
Dear Colleague,

Did you know that there is an exciting conversation going on about future directions for the Institute of Museum and Library Services? On Friday, July 15 we launched to engage the public in discussions that will help to shape our next five-year strategic plan. Since Friday, over 90 people have joined in. They are sharing new ideas, voting to agree or disagree with ideas and providing comments. We will use this input to help develop our plan, which will provide a roadmap for future activities, help us communicate clearly and concisely about agency results, and provide for accountability.

We know the years ahead will be full of rapid change and we want your ideas about how we can carry out our statutory responsibility “to support museum, library, and information services to meet the information, education, research, economic, cultural, and civic needs of the people of the United States.”

So visit and participate. You may want to check on the conversation a few times during the coming weeks to see new ideas and add your comments. The site will be open for business until August 12, 2011.

I hope that you will participate and share this message with your networks.


Susan H. Hildreth
Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Connected Life

I have always paid attention to new books wherever I am;  I don't think either collection development or professional reading are things you do only at your desk.  I used to spend time in bookstores writing down titles and ISBN numbers of books I thought would be good for the library -- now I capture the ISBNs with the "red laser" bar code app on my phone.  [it takes about the same amount of time, actually].

This morning, I opened the daily Unshelved in my email -- and if you're not reading this library comic every day, you should be -- and found an ad for this book TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments.  I followed the link and read part of the sample chapter.  I went from there to my public library Manitowoc Public Library and looked for the book in the catalog, after signing in.  It wasn't there, so I clicked on the "I need material" tab and was given the option to create an interlibrary loan request or to recommend a purchase.  I recommended that the library purchase the book, including the link to the Wiley page.  The automatic message promised that the library staff would get back to me but recommended I call the library if I needed something immediately.  [And we need to continue to provide that option, and the really old fashioned option of going to the library and talking to someone.].  I then logged into Goodreads and added the book to my [ever growing] "to-read" list. 

Even though all my interactions have to do with reading a print book, I used six web sites (including my email program and this one) to discover, explore, recommend and capture the information about this book.

People talk all the time about the digital generation, and about how students are constantly connected, and this is what they're talking about. The readings all focus on the creativity piece, and the sharing piece -- which I'm doing right now.   It's similar to what Jenny: The Learning Librarian said about students creating their own videos of summer camp. 
My point today is that we need to be sure that our students can access all these tools and use their phones or other devices to access them.  I think the risks (cheating, distraction) are worth the rewards (engagement, remembering assignments, finding new connections). 

I'm not losing sight of some of the concerns about capturing experiences rather than having them (a concern my camp counselors had about still photography as well) or the importance of  human interaction. We need to talk about those another day -- possibly after we've read the book. 

Hemlock Trail Peninsula State Park, WI
Every day should have a picture. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Common Core Standards and Libraries

Thanks to Jean Parks, Librarian in the Appleton Area School District, for this link to library standards and the newly adopted Common Core Standards. 

I think the Common Core Standards are a good idea, and I like the information literacy components that are included.  How they will be implemented remains to be seen, but it is bound to be interesting.

A big shout out to Pam from my class who posted a great article today that I've forwarded to all my colleagues.  Again, good ideas and lots to think / talk about.  The article talks about restructuring libraries for today's users, and makes a lot of good points.  Changed but Still Critical: Brick and Mortar Libraries in the Digital Age.  I downloaded his free book because I liked the title.  Machines are the Easy Part , People are the Hard Part  I have only read a little bit of it, though it is a lot of very short mini essays.  I especially enjoyed hearing him say "don't advocate for libraries", something I learned on the Connecticut Library Association Executive Board in 1988 -- libraries are buildings, which don't do anything -- advocacy should focus on librarians, library staff, and library programs -- and maybe collections, but they don't DO anything, either, nor would they exist without staff. 

I am going to admit that I'm getting more comfortable with reading things on my tiny phone screen. . . but I don't want to give up print books just yet.  And there's no way to annotate PDFs that I could find.

On a completely different topic, but one which has generated a lot of interest among those living on the shores of Lake Michigan -- here's the story on the alewife die off.  Alewives

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"We been up nort'" Reprise from Guys and Does (imagine the music)

The advantage of going away is a new perspective.  I was able to be outside, which is always good, including camping, fires, swimming, and stargazing.   I was mostly cut off from the computer ( the wifi in the snack bar doesn't work when the wind is off the lake) so I was able to relax.  I did begin reading A Whole New Mind as well as 21st Century Curriculum and learned that I have a much greater comfort level with reading in print but that I also suffered computer withdrawal symptoms when people would ask things like "what's the weather going to be" and I would realize that my phone would only say "No Service". 

I now feel ready to tackle the work for my classes and for next school year.  I've gotten past just being hurt and angry, about the politics of school budgeting in Wisconsin, though I have not gotten over the need to work in the political process to change things.  On to working on my actual assignments (though this blogging project has been my favorite all summer).

"Umbical Cord II:   Nicolet Bay Snack Bar, Peninsula State Park, WI.  Missing from the photo -- the man charging his cell phone in the booth next to the outlet; he was not gracious about sharing the electricity and I didn't think he wanted to be in a picture. . .

Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog. . . please keep reading.  I've also discovered that I want the interactive experience -- I don't want to just be talking, I want to know what YOU think.

Bing, The Cherry Musical and Guys and Does were the two musicals I got to see at American Folklore Theater.  If you have a chance to get to Door County, I can't recommend them highly enough.  The songs still in my head:   "Work hard, Play harder" from Bing and "Up Nort'" from Guys and Does

Sven's Bluff, Peninsula State Park.  I saw a sea gull chase an eagle off the water in an apparent fishing territory dispute.  Overlooks

Monday, July 11, 2011

"up nort'" Homework on Vacation

As I drive out of the park, away from my campsite and into town, my phone beeps to show that it is now receiving messages;  all the messages since I drove out of range yesterday. I am avoiding the temptation that represents.   It's 85 degrees, unusual for the area but a beautiful summer day.  We went swimming at 7:30 last night (the water was refreshing -- I have not looked up the water temp, like wind chill, some things you don't actually want to know.) 

However, this morning I am at the Fish Creek Public Library, using their lovely, portable desks so I can be near the electricity.  My traveling companion works in a public library in another state, so part of our breakfast conversation was about post-apocalyptic fiction and what the future of ebooks might be in a world without electricity.  Even on vacation, I'm thinking about my work and my homework.

I took a close look at the introduction to Curriculum 21 (edited by Heidi Hayes Jacobs, ACSD, 2009) this morning and was struck by a few ideas: 

"There is rising concern about 21st century skills and tools for our learners, although it is noteworthy that as of the writing of this book, almost 10 percent of the 21st century has already passed."  (p.2)  I have thought for quite some time that we should stop talking about 'technology integration' and '21st century skills' as something which we are going to do in the future and move ahead to an assumption, for example, that all schools will have available, accessible technology.  [Though, when I mentioned my concerns about school reform this morning, my traveling companion did say "you mean, you expect someone to pay for that?"  Though we agree on the need for education and the concept of "the public good" that is by no means a given in our current political climate]. 

We may not be able to change the funding structure or the political climate immediately, but we can, and should,  change the things in our control -- such as school policies which allow students access on their personal devices, including phones, and the policies which limit access to free productivity tools.  We need to reorient our thinking about the dangers of computer access to the same kind of manageable 'attractive nuicence' we deal with every day on the playing field, in the gym, and even in our classrooms, where scissors and chemicals and electricity all are available -- for use or misuse.

Let us all take as our watch words:  "Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child."

Language lesson for the day.  "in Latin, curriculum means "a path to run in small steps."  We negotiate and choose that path, but ultimately it is the students who determine how they will, or if they can, take steps on the path. . ." (p.2).  I  suppose I should have known what the word origin was, but I didn't, and I think it creates a really interesting context for thinking about curriculum design. 

I usually skip introductions, but I'm glad I read this one.  I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book -- from my beach chair.  I especially want to see what the author has to say about "four program structures that need to be seriously altered and altered in sync with one another:  schedules, the grouping patterns of learners, the configurations of professional personnel, and the use of space (both physical and virtual).  (p. 5)
I hope that she has some constructive suggestions as to how we can move the schedule away from being driven by the bus companies and the sports schedules to being something that works best for most students -- and teachers. 

Fish Creek Public Library -- portable lap desk.  [The librarian told me she bought them at Walgreens, on special, two years ago.  She's looking for more if you run across them. . .]

Umbilical cord of the 21st Century 

Excellent use of a very small space.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Connections and Community --- and a thought provoking video

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on

This video came to me from my friend Lauren, who is also a librarian, but an academic music cataloger -- in library land, it is rather as if a tennis star knew a NASCAR driver -- both professional athletes but in very different worlds.  We met through a friend who is yet another kind of librarian, though a school librarian and a children's librarian are more like, say, baseball players in two different leagues.  I've been several kinds of librarian, which is considered unusual.  That could be the whole topic of an essay, but what I'm really thinking about is connections and community.

I now get email on my phone, and, in an attempt to simplify my life, am trying to have one main email address, so much of my professional mail in terms of online groups and communities now comes to that address.  And I scroll right past it.  What I click on are the items from people I know.  Sometimes, they contain brilliant and interesting professional or personal growth items, like this one, and I have my blog idea for the day.

When I've found all the emails from friends and family, and all the ones with work attached -- like online bills -- I will  go back and read the listservs and community newsletters.  Occasionally, they make the first click cut if they have really interesting headlines -- or if I have extra time.

Which leads me to my question of the day about creating online communities and about technology integration.  I encourage faculty to join online communities;  I sign up for lists and add things to Google Reader (where I am more likely to have my attention caught by good headlines, because I've gone to the site intending to do some professional reading);  I try to organize incoming things into folders -- but I am buried by things I'd like to read -- much of it relegated to the someday that never comes.  I think the forwarding rate of routed magazines, if studied, would show that it wasn't /isn't that different with print materials. It's not helpful to let it create dusty stacks -- physical or electronic -- or shame.  We should probably celebrate, instead, the gems that do make it to the top.

So the question remains -- how do we take advantage of all the information out there and all the opportunities to learn new things or adapt new techniques -- without being overwhelmed? 

Email remains our 'technology integration' success story.  We put it on everyone's desk, we let them play solitaire to learn how to use the mouse, and we encouraged them to use it for personal correspondence to provide the ultimate carrot "you could see pictures of your grandchildren."  The same carrot works for Skype -- most of the people my age I know who Skype have either distant grandchildren or students studying abroad -- but what of other technologies?  Can we afford to give everyone an iPAD and let them play "angry birds" at work?  Probably not.  In education, we have moved back to thinking that if people really want to have their own technology, they will buy it, but that may not be true with shrinking budgets and shrinking salaries. 

All that, before we get to the real question -- which technology?  which tool, which group, which community?  What are our priorities?   Should we look at what's the newest thing out there?  Or would we be better off concentrating on perfecting the use of tools which students and teachers already have? 

We know there's some value in  relying on serendipity and the good taste of our friends.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Parenting and Praise

I've been trying to remember to praise students for effort -- for figuring stuff out -- for hard work and perseverance -- but it is really hard to do and somewhat counter-cultural.  It's worth working at, though.  That's one of the lessons I learned in my Quality Instructional Training class last year.  A friend of mine just sent me this article from the Atlantic on "How to Land Your Kid in Therapy" that makes very interesting reading.  How to Land Your Kid in Therapy

I did  tell all my intermediate (4th - 6th grade) students that research shows the key difference in your grades is the effort you put into your work, and about half of them remembered that when I asked about in our end of the project reflections. . .

It needs to become a part of our mindset to the point where we don't think about it -- and, as this article points out, it has to be part of the parents' mindset as well.

I wonder how ready all of us are for the project based, student centered learning we're supposed to be creating, where teachers function as coaches and students solve their own problems.  Can we let them fail in order to learn? 

How do we teach them to be creative -- to see things that are not there?  Or have never existed before?

 The Milwaukee Art Museum -- with the "sails" open, with the "sails" closed, and from inside the museum.  All views look East, toward Lake Michigan.  They have very nice art, but the building itself is the most amazing part of the visit.  Weather permitting, they open the sails in the morning, close them at night, and open and close them at noon.  We saw the noon "show" and it was awe inspiring.

Monday, July 4, 2011

"Let Freedom Ring"

I always hear that phrase in the voice of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. as he used words we all knew to remind us of what they should mean. Please take a minute to read this essay by a college student finishing up her study abroad in Israel. Thanks, Nashira!

Happy 4th of July

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Web surfing

My nephew blogged a whole week in one day, in part because he was on a train without electric plugs.  As I fight to find the space in the library, the space in the coffee shop nearest the plug, or sit on the floor in an airport corridor next to a wall outlet, I wonder about a future where access to information is based on access to abundant and cheap electricity.

I spent all day online, including three hours of working at my online job, as well as several hours catching up on reading for my classes;  and I love having information at my fingertips.  An internet connection and books on my phone -- it's a librarian's dream come true.  BUT

I bought my textbooks in the 15th century portable information storage device format -- technology that has worked very well for me all my life [though there is a photograph of me as a 2 year old proudly holding my book -- upside down].  Just wondering. . .

However, I would have a Nook for a present, and I'll probably buy a few for my school library and see how it goes.  I know from the questions about how to download library ebooks that I'm fielding, the readers are popular.  Will they continue so?  Probably.  They are lighter to carry -- and so Star Trek!  e Reader Sales

Other interesting things I came across today:
Google +   Google Social Network beta
and the next thing you'll need if you're cool enough to have a Google+ invite How to actually delete your facebook page

Beyond bedtime.  How do people find the time to blog every day?  Sometimes all day every day?


Friday, July 1, 2011

A Beautiful Sunny Day -- in the Library

I'm looking at the beautiful summer day through the Manitowoc Public Library's patriotically decorated windows -- the children and teens painted all of the library's windows (and they have a lot of them) with Red White and Blue for the holiday.  It's a great yearly event, and the sunny skies have preserved their masterpieces (a lot of stars and flags and fireworks, though one window quotes from The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.  Check out the video from Good Day, Wisconsin!

I spent all day yesterday working with my colleagues to hammer out our vision statement.  The three groups  (elementary, middle, high school) of librarians had remarkably congruent top five lists ("big rocks").  We are going to try to polish it via Google Docs, and it is a stronger document because of everyone's contributions.  I will post a final copy when it is approved.

Homework, homework, homework.  Isn't reading Facebook demonstrating my web 2.0 savvy?  Or answering a panic question on my work email from the summer school librarian?   When I was in undergraduate school, I used to study in the floor of the library with the Asian languages collection so I would not give in to temptation.  Only the Core Collection at Northwestern, a library within a library, was open from midnight to 2 am.  I was often there, but, while my boyfriend often got work done, I read a lot of interesting a quite random books published by Northwestern professors. Or whatever was nearest to me in the stacks -- and every study carrel was within an arms length of a book shelf.   I still remember the one about hiking the length of the Appalachian Trail. . .A bucket list item I have not gotten to, and a book which predates A Walk in the Woods by 20 years.  Though if you have not read Walk in the Woods, it is laugh aloud funny!  [And we see how an essay about distractions can itself include distractions. . . ]

One of our challenges as educators is to help our students feel the joy or exploration and discovery, while also helping them to focus in a world of distractions right on their keyboard -- the very tool we want them to use for school.  No hiding among foreign alphabets for them.  Anyone have any ideas?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How I'm spending my summer vacation (beyond library work and classes)

I've been reading a few personal blogs lately, all about travel:  Lechi Lach ,  The Brown Cow and Adventures in Africa and I wonder if it's easier to create and keep up a blog that has a specific, limited time purpose.  If blogs were genres, all these would be "armchair travel" which I seldom read in book form.

I will be have to read a non-fiction book to complete the adult summer reading program at the Manitowoc Public Library.  I did win a prize in the first weekly drawing -- and I was surprised by how excited I was to get the email.  So, note the value of intermediate rewards.  I am turning in my other mysteries, but to get into the grand prize drawing, you have to read 5 books from five different genres.  I like the challenge.

It's finally a beautiful day, so I'm going to see how much professional reading I can get done at the beach.  I will have to go to the library this afternoon to 1. claim my prize  2.  see them paint the library red, white and blue  3. do more homework, both for school and for real life.

My colleagues and I are meeting tomorrow to decide on the five main purposes of the school librarian.  Here's ONE very rough draft.  What do you think?

Vision:  Library and Information Access for Students, Staff  and Community

1.     Information and Digital Literacy Instruction
2.    One on one instruction:  sharing excitement for research and enthusiasm for reading
3.    Acquisition of materials and informational tools
4.    Communication and Collaboration with all members of the learning community
5.    Provide opportunities for student engagement 

1.     Information and Digital Literacy Instruction
a.    Steps of the research process (Big 6)
b.    Evaluation of materials
c.    Respectful and Responsible use of information
d.    Media, print, and digital literacy skills
e.    Choosing literature and recreational reading
f.     Use of technology tools for creating products

2.      One on one instruction:  sharing excitement for research and enthusiasm for reading
a.    Reader’s advisory:  helping students & staff select books
b.    Reference:  helping students and  staff identify information and sources
c.    Coaching students and staff in the use of electronic resources, including library catalogs, databases, and search engines

3.    Acquisition of materials and informational tools
a.    Review the professional literature to select and purchase books, magazines, sound and video recordings, e-books and other materials based on district goals, curriculum, and in response to requests.
b.    Select and purchase databases in consultation with the faculty, after research and trial review.
c.    Suggest content for the District Website and provide content for each library’s website
d.    Identify articles, free Internet sites, applications and other materials for use by faculty and students in accordance with district goals
4.    Communication and Collaboration with all members of the learning community
a.    Work with teachers to design and implement curriculum related information literacy instruction
b.    Lead staff development classes
c.    Coach staff and students on projects and technology use
d.    Write articles for parent newsletters and school web sites on library and information literacy topics
e.    Facilitate cross-curricular lesson planning and discussion
f.     Suggest books and materials for special projects
g.    Serve on school wide and district committees

5.    Provide opportunities for student engagement
a.    Coach book discussion groups, battle of the books, and other literacy related activities
b.    Employ and train student helpers in the library
c.    Serve as coaches or mentors for school wide activities such as literacy night
d.    Provide opportunities for students to share their ideas and reviews of books  (bulletin boards, blogs)
e.    Celebrate book and technology related special events such as Teen Tech Week and National Poetry Month

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Trying to take the weekend off

I should be at the beach, but I'm online. . . I'm finding two online classes to be a lot to keep up with, especially when I'd rather be reading murder mysteries.  I am grateful to my friend Annie for giving me Still Life, the first in a series of mysteries by Louise Penny.  I just finished the third one, and I highly recommend them all,even if I spotted the murder in the 2nd early on.  The characters, the setting, and the infusion of philosophy and religion into the created world are excellent.  Check them out -- but do read them in order!

My Online Teaching class has been having an interesting discussion about social skills in online students and about the purpose of education -- what do you think the purpose of K-12 education, especially public education should be?

Point Beach State Park, WI


Friday, June 24, 2011

Texas Bluebonnets, Cameron Park, Waco, TX Spring 2011

Summer Vacation

I'm in the public library's quiet study room, hoping the library furniture so familiar from my undergraduate days will influence me to focus on my school work.  I've been here since the library opened at 9, and so far I have spent my first two hours doing work for my job -- sending emails, looking at a project a colleague and I worked on yesterday, and filling in my calendar for a vacation week in August that I'll be spending in my school district at classes, meetings, and working for student registration. 

I actually like continuing education, and I chose to devote this summer to a lot of it, both because there are things I think I need to know for my new job responsibilities and because I have decided to take the classes I need to renew my teaching certificate.

However, I would like to find some way for all the people whose objections to teachers seem to include those "summers off" to see my schedule.  Those "summers off" do include time at the beach and some recreational reading, but it's more like being laid off for two months -- but you still have to go to work AND pay tuition to go back to school. 

I actually think that we should look at different school year models -- even when I taught in a rural community with  many working farmers among my students, I didn't think the 19th Century calendar was working for us.  However, I would expect to be paid for working those extra weeks, and I would want to have the four or five weeks of vacation I enjoyed in other professional level positions.  [I think everyone should have more vacation, but that's another story].

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how we can communicate to our friends, neighbors, politicians, and community that schools have changed since they were in second grade, and that the student's perspective on what a teacher does and how they work is not the whole story?  I do think there is a need for serious school reform, and to look at lots of other possibilities for education -- but seeing something done is not the same as knowing how it is done or being able to do it.  I watch a lot of NASCAR racing, but I wouldn't drive 200 miles an hour.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Calling for more media literacy: Who will teach it?

I just read Why Core Standards Must Embrace Media Literacy from Education Week.  This is a good article on the need for media literacy and information literacy instruction.  I agree, and find it problematic that it seems to fly in the face of school districts eliminating or cutting the hours of school librarians.  The common core standards actually align fairly well with the AASL Standards and the ISTE Standards.  Information literacy and 21st Century learning is what teacher librarians teach.  We've been doing it for a long time, constantly adapting to new technology and new ways of learning.  However, when positions are cut or eliminated, we don't have the opportunity to interact with students and faculty, and it is difficult to maintain these standards.   

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Same blog, new graduate class

Borrowed the title from my nephew's blog The Brown Cow where he is narrating his second experience with going to school in Germany and titled his first post, "same blog, different year."
I started this blog for a graduate class several years ago, and have kept it up only sporadically since then, but now am required to blog once again.
Information literacy instruction, the role of librarians in the school system, and relevant research and tools remain my professional interests.
These have been eclipsed since February of this year by the political events in Wisconsin, though I don't know how much I should say about what I think about politics and education reform.  Continued warnings by both school officials and my union on the dangers of publishing on social media has created a chilling effect  in terms of what I feel comfortable discussing. 
Let's begin with the impact school libraries have on student learning.  The key study is the Colorado Study, first done  in 1993, and repeated both in Colorado and in many other states.  The most important finding was that, in schools that had a FULL TIME, CERTIFIED School Librarian who was seen as a teacher and actively involved in teaching, the students showed an increase in test scores, especially in reading and literacy.  Since that study, and the implementation of the "No Child Left Behind" legislation, which is supposed to be research based, we've seen a steady decline in the number of librarians in our schools.  I find it frustrating, but will be looking for more research and posting some of what I find here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lechi Lach: And now for something completely different

I wish I could be as articulate as my friend Nashira.  Please read this call for sanity and care in our political life.
Lechi Lach: And now for something completely different: "After over three weeks of protests and public dissent in Wisconsin, I can no longer conceal my extreme aggravation and truculence regarding ..."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fortune Cookie

Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is the best.
Frank Zappa