#FReadom Fighting – It’s about our students!

I am a #FReadom fighter who believes fundamentally that students deserve to see themselves reflected on the shelves of the library.  As our culture becomes more aware, open, and inclusive, our students do too, and they expect and hope to see themselves reflected in their own schools and in books in their libraries.  Recently, my colleague Becky Calzada reminded us in an interview with CNN: “Growing up in South Texas, Calzada says she didn’t see herself represented in books as a young girl. ‘I grew […]

What is our call to action?

It’s National Library Month and a great moment to celebrate libraries and how they’ve endured this COVID year and found ways to support our students and teachers!  There are many Twitter hashtags where librarians are sharing stories about their libraries like #TXAsl and #AASL.  But in a recent session(Digital Library Tools) at the Computers in Libraries Conference, Patrick Sweeney from EveryLibrary reminded participants that every celebration of libraries also needs an “ask.”  What do we want people to do if they believe in libraries when […]

Turning “remote learning” into “connected learning”

Over the summer, some of my most meaningful interactions happened over Zoom;  a weekly “Happy Hour” with retired colleagues, a student book group that met informally all summer, a family get together to color Easter Eggs. Teachers, librarians and counselors around the country are worrying about how to make meaningful connections to students they haven’t met before.  Yet many of us have proven that can happen – by experiencing life through our own Zooms the past six months. In taking some courses this summer on […]

Planning in uncertain times

Planning for fall in uncertain times Just like teachers, librarians are facing uncertainty for the fall.   As our librarians began trying to outline fall plans, we ran across Kim Borden’s Plainview Elementary School reopening plan which inspired us to create our own leveled plan.  We wanted to have uniform expectations, even in uncertain times and provide leadership for our principals. We learned a great deal from our experiences this past spring about what we can do instructionally. Also, like many librarians, we have been monitoring […]

Remote learning begins: connecting with students and joy

Our district and many others found out recently we will be starting school with remote learning.  It’ll be different from last spring because we already knew many of our students then, but when school starts we’ll all have many students who are new to us.  It’s had a lot of us thinking about how to build connections with students.  Whether we are librarians or teachers, finding ways to bridge the gap and create a sense of community matter.  And it reminds me of what my […]

Resources on Racism for Parents and Students

The resources below are just a starting point for building more conversation and understanding.  As we begin to understand our roles as parents, educators, students – we are all learners.  Coming into this with a growth mindset allows us to create new understanding. Talking to your kids about equity, diversity and inclusion Young Adult titles: Black Lives  

What educators should expect from legislators: calling out racism

I rarely write a political blog post on my professional blog.  But today a response from my Senator’s staff felt like a bridge too far. Yesterday, I once again heard the President calling coronavirus the “Kung Flu” at a rally in Arizona.  Hearing it, I thought of all our Asian and East Asian students and how this would feel to them.  I thought of a Filipino family member telling us recently how as a boy he was called “Chink”as a child and various other derogatory […]

We are all learners together…Or how not to compare yourself and celebrate your wins.

Through conversations with many of my colleagues at conferences – I hear a common thread (other than their passion for their work).  I hear it over and over and it secretly confirms issues I’m struggling with as well. The conversation goes something like this – Is our work good enough?  Are we doing enough? Are we doing as much as others?  I hear it from newer librarians and experienced presenters as well.  I hear it on Twitter in Twitter chats, but more often in quiet […]

TXLA Conference update – Advocacy Tips!

The TXLA conference in Austin last week provided a plethora of learning opportunities for librarians!  I’ll be sharing a few notes over the next two blog posts. First off, I attended a paid preconference – “Use Your Library Voice: Personalizing Advocacy”.  This preconference has the unusual opportunity when the conference is in Austin of taking the attendees to the capitol to actually lobby their legislators at the end of the day.  (While I was unable to do that, I did catch part of the preconference). […]

SXSW Edu Recap — Book picks!

  As always, my taste at #SXSWEdu run towards an eclectic mixture of topics – from library related to teaching to technology to policy to…..well, you get the idea! I love browsing the SXSWEdu bookstore for ideas since it’s an amazing curation of all the authors speaking at their conference!  Here’s a couple I picked up(and a few more that are on my future shopping list!)   The first title is Nonobvious: How to Predict Trends and Win the Future(Rohit Bhargava).   I love reading […]