Monday, May 27, 2013

Show me the AWESOME - 30 Days for Self-Promotion

I have always thought it is better late than never and somehow I almost missed the show me the AWESOME - 30 Days of Self-Promotion campaign. As I moved into a new middle school position this year, the annual reflection may be somewhat different than if I had been established in a library program. Here's a glimpse of a menagerie of awesomeness in a middle school library.

As many know, AWESOME libraries are all about collaboration and relationships. I was able to spend the past year developing and cultivating both. Through faculty book clubs, hosting meetings, frequent programming, mini technology projects, and more the library program thrived as a busy hub for the entire school in my debut year at a new position.

I inherited an existing school-wide 25 Book Challenge Campaign program for a school of 670 students. I reorganized the daunting task of analyzing the data for the program through the use of a database. Teachers were eager to embrace the electronic process of the program since the pen and paper method was extremely time-consuming and frequently disorganized. With the help of a committee we hosted celebrations, promoted the program, and easily presented data analysis for an AWESOME 25 Book Challenge.

With the collaboration of my IT coach, we hosted TechnoFridays during every faculty meeting. My principal allowed us 5-10 minutes during meetings to highlight new and innovative technology ideas. The response was overwhelming with teachers from all curricular areas trying new and exciting projects. One of my favorite AWESOME programs that came out of TechnoFriday was the Battle of the Math projects.

Student programming included student book clubs, online student book reviews, Teen Read Week activities, Poem in Your Pocket Day Wordle project, QR codes for student book trailers, BYOD days, student twitter chats, student driven exhibits, and more. As the library facilitator, I have empowered students to become more involved with the planning and process of our AWESOME student driven library.

The eBook collection increased from 106 to over 400 digital and 65 audio eBooks. Through screencast lessons, advertising, promotion, and student liaisons our AWESOME eBook circulation has reached over 1,200 transactions since early December.

With the help of my student aides, we transformed an area of the library into a relaxing lounge gathering where students flocked to work, relax, or read. With the replacement of carpet and painting this summer I have plans of branding an older library facility into an inviting progressive AWESOME environment.

I have been able to modify inventory into a seamless process that allows the library to continue services until the last day of school. We also opened and were ready to check-out books on the first day of school limiting the traditional "library closed" time.

Social media was introduced into our community through tweeting sessions during faculty meetings. 6th graders communicated with 5th graders using Skype and Twitter. School Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and blogging accounts were used to advertise and promote our AWESOME library programming.

With the help of our AWESOME summer reading committee our school has launched a summer reading program that includes students using our digital and audio eBooks during the summer months. Students signed a reading pledge and will share their summer reading through Google docs.

Professionally I have continued to collaborate within my AWESOME PLN by co-moderating the #TXLchat, hosting district curriculum and technology chats, writing articles for professional journals, continuing to blog on library topics, and working with other district librarians on projects for 2013-2014 school year.

As a librarian in the 21st Century I find the endless ideas and tools exuberating. With the help of my PLN I have found a platform to exchange ideas that allows me the opportunity to continue to grow as an AWESOME teacher librarian.

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