Thursday, July 31, 2008

Promethean Board

I just spent the last two days at a workshop about this new tool I have in the library called a Promethean Board. It was an extremely valuable workshop that was packed full of ideas. Thank you Lisa Thumann! I can not believe how interactive the lessons are going to be in the media center this year. The options that the board has are endless. Lisa created a wiki full of valuable resources! There are many flip charts ready to be borrowed on Promethean Planet. I was so happy to see at least 20 lessons for the library! I can't wait to get started. If anyone out there has lesson or ideas to share, please let me know!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I started to search around the web for interesting educational podcasts. Once again I was amazed at what goes on out there on the web. I found this site that SLJ recommended extremely useful. Look for a future post about my favorites soon.

I made a storytime podcast on my library website for a class I took in the spring. I used Garageband to make the recording and sound effects. I plan to put a new story up each month with an activity that the children can complete and bring into the library. I found it was quite easy to create and so much fun!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Web 2.0

I am trying to learn as much as I can about web 2.0 technology. There is a coworker who has really motivated me to learn more about it. She has an entire blog devoted to web 2.0. Recently School Library Journal put out a challenge to learn more about web 2.0 this summer. I have taken up the challenge! The first task was to create a blog. So I was already ahead of the game! Love that feeling!
The second task was to look into Google Reader. The idea being that instead of going to many sites to get information you set up an account with Google and subscribe to different sites. That way you can go to one site and all the things you'd like to read about are right there waiting for you. Wow!
So far I still feel like I am looking everywhere and spending much time reading everything. I think over time I will become more selective about what I subscribe to. Right now I feel like this huge room of wonderful ideas has just been unlocked and I can't waste a minute not reading something!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Here's an update on my library. I still have not had the meeting about the floor plan. Hopefully it will happen next week. Instead I put my energy into completing an inventory of the entire library this week. God bless my mom and dad and even my son for their help! My dear dad spent two whole days, one without air, scanning books! (I love that he is retired now!) We needed to scan everything with a bar code so that certain "filters" could be turned off on the system. I was told that this would allow me to import new titles with the "next available bar code" instead of creating my own. I was really upset about the process at first and no air conditioning didn't help. However, after the inventory was complete I felt that I really got to see what was on the shelves. I made some notes about books to use for lessons, great authors that I didn't know we had and how many copies we had of certain subjects. I think the process of physically touching almost every book in the library was more valuable than looking at the titles from the computer screen. I was proud to have run the inventory by myself! All and all I was very pleased with the last three days. I have my librarian mentor coming on Tuesday to help set me up to import new titles. Ed from Follet is coming on Wednesday to help set me up to order books from Titlewave. Wow! I feel like I am making progress. I am giving myself Monday off!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Layout of My Library

I love my school's library! The wood furniture, cream walls and green carpet compliment each other nicely. There are some beautiful murals on the walls of story book characters, season murals on support polls and quotes about reading on the walls. There are these beautiful skylights throughout most of the ceiling that let in amazing light. However, the circulation desk is directly under the sunlight and this causes some problems.
#1. It's too hot sitting under the skylights.
#2 The computers need to be covered by a patio umbrella because the sunlight casts a glare on the screens.
The other problem with the circulation desk is that is faces the entry of the media center. This is welcoming, but you are not able to see children behind you as you check out and return.
So, I set about getting the circulation desk moved. My husband came out and measured the entire library and its contents. He then created a foam board map of the library with cut outs of the furniture. This way I will be able to visually present the new layout to my principal and key administration.

These are some articles and books that I have been reading that I found helpful in what a Media Center should look like.

OELMA Ohio Educational Library Media Association

New on the Job: A School Library Media Specialists's Guide to Success
New on the Job: A School Library Media Specialists's Guide to Success by Ruth Toor and Hilda K. Weisburg

Designing a School Library Media Center for the Future
Designing a School Library Media Center for the Future by Rolf Erikson and Carolyn Markuson

I will be "selling" the idea next week. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Why the blog?

I am now a Media Specialist! For 14 years I have worked as a classroom teacher in the same building. I have loved every minute of it! I wasn't sure I would ever leave. Yet the love of reading, technology and kids has turned me in this direction. It just seemed like a natural progression for me.
There is a huge task ahead for me with many challenges. One of my downfalls is that I try to move too quickly and try to accomplish too much. The program that I want to build in my school library will take at least 5 years. There is so much to be done and I already have a huge support team including my principal, friends, co workers, classmates and family.
I thought that extending this journey to the world wide web would help me reflect, learn and gather information. I am looking for suggestions, comments and of course support.