Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sorta Like a Rock Star

I'm not talking about myself, but about a book titled Sorta Like a Rock Star. It's a great read. The heroine of the book is really likable: a high school girl who is an eternal optimist despite the adversity that she and her mom face- living in a school bus to be exact. But she's got her friends- the Five- her dog, a caring teacher, and a few other eccentric adults in her life to look out for her. They come through for her when she needs them most- after the death of her mother. As a reader, you experience the depression with her and wonder if she'll ever pull out of it. But with the help of her friends and the community, she manages to come out sorta like a rock star.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last one

Looks like I made it! Just in time too since school starts tomorrow! Out of what we've done, my favorite is the Image Generators because I think we need more visuals in the library to attract the attention of our patrons. My least favorite was Library Thing because I really just didn't see the point. That may be because I don't need my personal books to be like a library and I have the library organized with the software and vendors we use. Perhaps there is untapped potential there that I didn't see. The most challenging for me was Instant Messaging. I only managed to have a couple of conversations with one other participant due to the complexity of searching for users, adding them as "friends" and getting those user names correct and everything. Maybe there were bugs with the program I used. I learned a lot- not sure exactly how to express it all. Obviously I learned a lot of new programs- or sites or whatever you call it. I learned how to add blogs as feeds to my igoogle page. That's one that stands out. I'll use that. I'll use the image generator and mashup sites. I'll use Flickr now that I've created an account. I'll use LibWorm occasionally to keep up to date with library news. I think it was a good use of my time overall and will help me provide better service to my patrons.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thing 22

Since I am a school librarian, having all my staff trained in 23 Things isn't really something I'd "do". That would be only my clerk. But I could see being a facilitator/administrator for the whole campus. I definitely think there are Things they know nothing about, even though our district is a technology rich one. Our superintendent had made it one of his goals to enrich our students' education with technology, so we have a plethora of laptops available to our students. What we need now is more support staff-- oh, I mean, ideas for how to intertwine technology into daily lesson plans. And with the competitive principal that I have, I don't think it'd be hard to convince her to embark on a project like this over the summer. I DON'T think they'd go for it during the year!!! I really think that's non-negotiable. Well, I'd have to enlist the aid of our campus Instructional Technology Specialist to do this, so I'd need to make sure she had done it all as well. So that timeframe isn't unreasonable in that aspect. I'll put it on my list of things to do, and see if another one of librarians gets one started in the meantime... Oh, but wait, some of these things were VERY library specific. How do you adapt them to teachers?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Wow, I feel so cutting edge- I've already made one! Go me! Sometime last year the idea came up and after one of my fellow middle school librarians made one and shared it, I decided it was time to create my own. I grabbed a book I'd reviewed and wrote out something, recorded it, and added music. It was easy! Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to put it here on my blog. I thought it turned out really cool. I played it for several classes when I was doing booktalks last year. I have to admit though, it felt weird to have no image whatsoever on the screen while they listened to it through the projector. I want to work on that detail.
Ok, so about my experiences browsing other podcasts this evening. I really like the idea that I saw of including a transcript with your podcast. That actually gives the audience two ways of getting the info, so that's smart. I was drawn to checking out how other middle school libraries are using podcasts. Obviously booktalks is one great way. The one school listed as using podcasts had broken links, so bummer on that. But i checked out the school that was middle and high combined and they had awesome examples. The audio tour is a great idea- the merchant librarian in me thought, how smart! I may have to do that. In fact, all those instructions I constantly have to repeat- I could just make a podcast and then have an FAQ page on my website... Another good idea was the interview where the teacher and librarian collaborated on recording students doing radio plays. The idea was cool, but having the two of them talk about how they did it seems more effective than a written out lesson plan. I wanted to check out one library's series on online resources- that also seems like a really good use of podcasting. But those weren't loading. bummer. I hate it when technology doesn't work. But I'm seeing at least that there are a lot more options out there for podcasts in my library and I'm inspired to try a few of them out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

You Tube

Well, if you're going there just to browse, you might as well watch our video at the Book Cart Drill Team Competition THAT WE SHOULD HAVE WON! I'm not bitter.
For allowing us to post such videos many would find unimportant, I applaud you You Tube. Man, and guess what I learned playing around out there, they are making a movie out of Hunger Games. Score! I LOVED that book. They have a few trailers out for Catching Fire too, so that rocks. Let's see, I also did a search for Banned Books Week- in preparation for the upcoming celebration. I found a video Katie Couric did that I might use. I also got another idea for creating a video of the top ten challenged books. I may try that. I also did a search for Yalsa and found two interesting things: videos on a gaming exhibit at ALA and a program called Teen Book Drop. Interesting. I REALLY need a Flip video camera for the library! I have been inspired by You Tube today to make a promo for Java Makes Me Jump and maybe book club too.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Update on Lib Worm

It worked today! I was shocked. Now I'm disappointed. Looks like I'll have to sit around at night and read library news instead of playing webkinz. Darnit.

Google Docs Thing

I have been using Google Docs for years! But not regularly until the past six months. Again, the Maverick committee forces me into Web 2.0! We use Google Docs to share our nomination forms with each other and keep our list of reading and nominations updated using Google Docs. So there's a regular word-type document that we use and also a couple of databases- or are they spreadsheets- still a little fuzzy on the difference here. Also, our group of middle school librarians has shared things using Google Docs. I already have a list of contacts established for my Google Docs. However, it does not always work smoothly. Sometimes people don't get things you think you sent. Sometimes I have trouble logging in and I'm not the only one. The way you accept a document doesn't always work smoothly- sometimes after following that link, I don't see all my documents pop up! I tried organizing my stuff into folders, cause I do manage quite a few documents there. I got them into the folder I created, but they were still in the full list. Wel, then what's the point of the folders? I don't know. For this Thing, I explore the Templates section. That was new to me. So I used a couple. One for a photo scrapbook gave me lots of problems. I could only get one photo uploaded to it. The rest failed. from the web and from my computer. frustrating. So, what I don't see using Google Docs for is creating documents- especially after reading the blog where they advertise adding features that are readily accessible to me right now. But I see it's value in sharing and co-editing documents.