Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Library Lovers Month - I love it!

It’s February - one of my favorite months in the library.  This is time of year we try and become festive with ideas and library programming throughout our school.  There are so many ideas to implement during this short month that I try and  choose a variety of ideas to make it fun for the faculty and students.  Here’s a short list of ideas to choose from.
  • African American History Month
  • Digital Learning Day – February 5th
  • Groundhog Day
  • Halfway Point of Winter Celebration
  • Library Lovers Month
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Random Acts of Kindness Week – February 10-16
  • Tooth Fairy Month
Our highlights for February 2014 Celebration

Blind Date With a Book
Although this is not an original idea, my approach to this program was interesting.  I challenged my library student aides to search the Internet and Pinterest for library programming for February.  They came back with the Blind Date With a Book idea and I loved it.  The development of the program began with students choosing books to wrap for the “blind date”.  They wrote short hints on the outside of wrapped books for students to view in deciding their "blind date" choice.  I couldn’t have asked for a more connecting project that included literature, writing, student book discussions, wrapping (yes the library discussed surface area), library promotion, and fun.  Another student aide helped design the flyers and posters using Google Draw to make colorful displays for the library.  Finally the entire program came together with an awesome display of wrapped books for students and faculty to check out during the Library Lovers Month Campaign.  My student aides took ownership in all the displays and programming.

 Heart Collage
My student aides made a collage from hearts displaying their favorite books.  The display not only added color but much discussion with my students book talking books from the display while others asked for recommendations.

 Google Presentation for Faculty
This project is in the planning.  Since our district has just initiated Google accounts for both faculty and students I decided to add a Google presentation activity.  I am going to share a Google presentation with our faculty titled Library Lovers Month. Each faculty member will design a slide with their favorite inspirational young adult book.  Once the presentation is complete, I will download the presentation to PowerPoint, produce it as a movie, and upload it into YouTube.  The video will be shared on the TV at the school entrance, all  school social media accounts (Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook), on the school’s website, during school announcements, and will run on a TV in the library during the entire month.

Student Presentation

I will offer the same to students and set up a computer station with a large monitor in the library for students to add a favorite book slide into a PowerPoint presentation.  Again the presentation will be downloaded and shared on various formats throughout the school.  I’m very excited to see the feedback on this project.

Festive Displays

My students took much pride in arranging the festive atmosphere for the month. Posters, flyers, and hearts adorned the library.  One student commented, “It’s amazing that you can transform the library from snowflakes to hearts in one day.”  I replied, “I didn’t transform the library, you did.”

Student Driven Projects

Pictured below is the "Favorite Book" computer station, the Blind Date With a Book display, and the final library student aide collage.


We put the Blind Date books on display for a week.  The display generated so much interest that we added some components to the programming.  My principal loves the idea and display and wants a book count on how many Blind Date books get checked out.  Other students have asked to participate with recommending Blind Date books.  We have set-up a wrapping station for volunteers to help wrap books.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Getting the Data Out!

Many times we gather data and information from our library program but how do we deliver the message?  Do we wait until the end-of-year reports?  Do we send out lengthy emails that don't seem to get read?  Take a few minutes to make a quick infographic and use tools such as smore.com or other visually pleasing software.Send them out monthly or as you find the time. Mix up the media to make them more appealing. We are our own advocates so let your community know what's happening in your library programming.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year, Time to Tweak Your PLN

It’s 2014 and with the New Year it’s a prime opportunity to reflect on your Personal Learning Network (PLN).  It was interesting to view the results of Naomi Bates’s recent survey on your PLN.  There is not one formula in our profession to “follow” for the most opportune PLN.  You must ask yourself, “Does my PLN help me grow, stay connected, or motivate me to delve into new and exciting areas in my current position?” Our profession as librarians has gone global and in order for you to stay current with the fast paced change, you must come up with a process to help support you as a passionate 21st Century librarian. Take this time to reflect on and evaluate your PLN.  Weed out those who you have no common interests and add progressive thinking professionals that bring concrete ideas into your program. 

I know the issues you face include:
  • Not enough time
  • Overwhelming with your current responsibilities
  • You find the process confusing
  • With so many choices you must choose a few
  • Not interested in learning
  • You follow people but you don't interact

     The choices for developing a PLN also include:
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  •  Facebook
  • Podcasting
  • Webinars
  • Skype, Facetime, and Google Hangout
  • LinkedIn
  •  Google+
  • TLC 
  • TLA
  • Professional Organizations
      As a moderator of #TXLCHAT, I invite you to help expand and grow your PLN through the bimonthly chats.  Mark these dates on your calendar and participate in these awesome events 8:00-9:00 p.m. CST.  Whether you lurk or comment this is an opportunity to learn from a community of librarians for librarians.

Mark your calendar with these dates:
January 14 – It’s All About Your Library Website
January 28 – Live chat with Matt de la Pena
February 11 – TBA
February 25 – Awesome special guest!
March 11 – TBA
March 25 – TBA
April 8 – Highlights on TLA
April 22 – TBA
May 13 - TBA
May 27 - End of Season Wrap Up
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