Going virtual

My role is about to change.  After 17 years of being a librarian with a physical library, our library is undergoing a major renovation and we’ll be closing in about two weeks.   At that point, we’ll be rooming in with our ninth grade library, and have to navigate a construction zone to work with the grade 10-12 students.   I’ve been thinking this may be a unique opportunity to become a virtual librarian for awhile and explore what that is.   Recently we discovered that instead of […]

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 […]

The library is everywhere

Recently, David Warlick had been exploring metaphors for the library, and has posited that librarians are like viruses,  “infecting their schools with the desire to evolve.”   While I think that is an interesting metaphor, I’m not sure I want to be a virus 😉 I had been thinking that the library is like a heart, permeating the body (school)with life giving substance, or that libraries are like the air, because with the internet, the library is everywhere, all the time, wherever you are. In his inspiring […]

The impact of libraries

A team from my campus just returned from visiting two respected Illinois schools, New Trier, and Adlai Stevenson.  One comment I’ve heard from those attending the site visit is how large the library staffs were at both campuses(one campus had 8 librarians and at least 4 assistants, and one had 6 librarians) ;  in fact, one campus had a librarian specialist for each subject area.  Given that our campus has 2 librarians (one in our ninth grade library facility, and I’m in our 10-12 facility), I’ve […]

Collaborative research–Rethinking the model

As I have been doing some reading all summer, my whole notion of research is shifting somewhat.  Maybe it is reflecting the shift that many of our students are living, as well. I’m coming to realize more and more that although in schools we treat research as a somewhat solitary activity, in its true form, research is a very networked activity. As George Siemens writes, in describing Connectivism, “learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity.”  He goes on to point out that learners “remain current in […]

The “new” librarians

Interesting article in the new issue of T.H.E. Journal about the “new” librarians–it features several Texas librarians as well as a great segment about Joyce Valenza’s “virtual” library. The article gives some good examples of the changing roles of librarians and libraries in the school setting.  But my favorite part was Joyce’s description of her job –“I help teachers teach. I help learners learn.”

Defining your miracle

To get somewhere, you have to be able to imagine where you are going. On her blog, Information wants to be Free,  Meredith Farkas suggests: “Maybe it would make sense to be asking the miracle question in our libraries. If a miracle occured(sic) one night and all of the problems with your library were gone (or we miraculously reached library 2.0 overnight), how would you know that a miracle had occurred? What would be different? What would the library be like? Once you have that vision for […]

“Exuberant discovery”

A few days ago, I wrote asking for others to join in brainstorming  how we can bring web 2.0 learning into our libraries. In his post, “Are Your Ideas Sticky?”, Doug Johnson reminds me that one key part of this is (and maybe the first step) is getting our message across, by keeping it simple and upfront. Scott McLeod had written about this several weeks ago, inviting a collaborative effort to create a vision statement, and while I created a “sticky note” of my question, I hadn’t really […]

Joining the network

Next week is Global Library 2.0 Week.  Libraries often operate in isolation, particularly school libraries.   How can we learn ourselves through the power of networking, as well as help our staff and students connect to learning networks?    During the week, consider connecting with another librarian.  Join the Global Librarian group, the TeacherLibrarian group, or the Librarian 2.0 group on the Ning network.   If you’re just learning some of the web 2.0 tools, check out the School Library Learning 2.0 from the California School Library Association–a self-paced learning guide.    Start with […]