Which way do we go? The “e-book” dilemma

It’s Beta vs. VHS vs. Laserdisc all over again.  8-Track tape versus cassette.  We’ve all been there, standing on the precipice debating formats. The precipice which is foremost right now in my mind is what to do about e-books.  We are faced with Kindles, Nooks, Sony Ebook readers, iTouches, Follett e-books online, Netlibrary, Gale Virtual Reference Shelf, and all the various librarian-y reference book publishers e-book products.    In a high school, it’s pretty hard to get student attention long enough to direct users to all these different e-book […]

High School Daze to Praise

 I’ve been tagged by a few people for the High School Daze to Praise meme so I thought I’d toss in my contribution! (thanks Diane, Susan, and Doug). The name of the game started by Paul at Quoteflections is–pick a book you’d recommend for teens, include a photo, entitle it Meme: High School Daze to Praise, and tag four people. The book I’m picking I haven’t read in awhile, but it’s one of my favorites, called The Day I became an Autodidact by Kendall Hailey.   It’s her […]

Learning with experts

 Today the library held our first “virtual” author visit via Skype.   One of our sophomore English classes, accompanied by teacher Kristy Robins, interviewed children’s and ya author Cynthia Leitich Smith (author of Tantalize and Rain is Not My Indian Name), by means of the text-based chat feature of Skype.  The engagement level of the students really illustrated the power of bringing an expert into the classroom.  Smith shared insights on how she writes, inspiration for characters in her most recent novel, clues that were embedded in her novels, and her varied career choices. As […]

What’s on your bookshelf?

Ethan Bodnar (a blogging high school senior) has a clever request for people to share photos of what’s on their bookshelves. He’s created a flickr group for readers to post a photograph of some of their books as a way to illustrate something about themselves.   What a great project for students as well! To help him get started, I’m tagging a few of you to share what’s on your bookshelf.   I agree with Ethan that it’s a great way to get to know more about people. So here’s a shout […]


  Happy Earth Day!   Wangari Maathai, who instituted one of my favorite “green” projects, the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, has a new book, Unbowed, about her experiences as a tree planting project turned into a democratic movement in her country.  I first learned about her efforts from the film, Nobelity Project, which is the inspiration of Austin author Turk Pipkin and his wife, producer Christy Pipkin, who traveled the world (with their school age daughters) interviewing Nobel Prize winners about their recommendations and hopes for the future.  The film is fascinating. As Desmond Tutu points out in […]