New issue of Weve available!

Weve is one of the publications I mentioned in my recent post about professional reading, so I’m thrilled to have been invited to contribute to the latest edition!
This challenged, stretched, excited and frightened me, all at the same time! I’m so proud of stepping outside of my comfort zone and creating something new. I’ve always been a words girl, so parsing my words right back and selecting just the right ones with the right images to express my thoughts was definitely moving beyond comfort. I enjoyed the brainstorming that went along with this immensely! Thank you, Sally and Megan for inviting me to do this, and then actually using my little movie!

Heroes Mingle

Read more Click on the image to open Weve

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You Do What? Re-working a Librarian “Career Day” Presentation

I have found Mr. Library Dude, Joe Hardenbrook to be an inspiration and at times a digital kindred spirit over the past few years, reading about ideas such as therapy dogs and postcards from the library. In this offering he shares a fantastic idea to put a different spin when communicating to people (in this case 15 year old students – one of the toughest crowds!) how good it is to be a librarian and what qualities you need to become a great one.

I love this approach and will keep this in mind the next time I get an opportunity to talk to people about what I do. It has the potential to turn that opportunity into something positive for the the deliverer as well as the recipient. Thanks for sharing Joe!

Mr. Library Dude

A group of 15-year old high school students from a nearby city have been visiting my college campus periodically since the 4th grade. They’re part of a pre-college program that prepares students to be the first in the their family to attend a four-year university.

This year, students have been focusing on careers. I was asked to give a 50-minute presentation on: My Life as a Librarian.

What???? I immediately panicked. How would I make a presentation about librarianship interesting to high schoolers? Was it even worth it to participate?

Making Connections

The quick answer: Yes, it was worth participating! I knew I wasn’t going to make mini-librarians out of anyone…nor should I even try. Plus, I’m dubious of pigeon-holing anyone into a specific career so young (says me who changed his college major three times!). What I thought was more important was:

  • Seeing how high school students perceive libraries/librarians
  • Getting that…

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Scaffolding Research and Guided Inquiry

Yesterday was a big day for me!  About a month ago I had been invited to speak to student teachers studying at Otago University in Dunedin about the process of scaffolding research and guided inquiry as part of their Literacy Across the Curriculum paper. I was a little nostalgic and it felt even more surreal walking into a lecture theatre I had sat in during my year at teachers college back in the early 1980’s, only this time I was the one standing at the front talking to students, some of whom had already completed degrees and were now training to go into classrooms as teachers.

The time allocated just wasn’t long enough! There was so much to tell them, share with them and discuss with them.  I easily had enough content to spread across two sessions, but we were constrained to one and so I made the best of it.  My hope is that our short 50 minutes has only just opened up potential discussions as they all contemplate graduation and beginning in their own classes next year.  To that end I have invited them to join me in the new Scaffolding Research and Guided Inquiry Group on the Virtual Learning Network.  I hope we can continue to discuss what guided research and inquiry can look like in classrooms, as these skills are relevant to all subject disciplines in all schools across every year level.

Making a Lasting Connection with your School Community

It was my absolute pleasure to be one of the participants at the SLANZA Winds of Change 2013 Conference held in Wellington last week, not least of all due to the beyond-conference excitement of landing in Wellington last Sunday (one of the last flights to get in for the day!) and encountering the first swarm of earthquakes this past weekend, though fortunately I arrived home mid afternoon yesterday so missed the severe one just after 5pm.

As promised to the wonderful group who attended my workshop on Wednesday morning, here is my presentation Making a Lasting Connection with your School Community, complete with all the links in it for you to go back to and use as and when you want.  I would be particularly interested in hearing from you about:

  • what you found most useful
  • whether there’s anything you would add to the strategies introduced in this presentation
  • what strategy you would consider trying first at your school or with your team
  • if you weren’t at the workshop, does the presentation make any sense?

Also as promised, I have included information about the Library Marketing Toolkit website by Ned Potter.

I welcome any constructive feedback, as that’s the best way to know whether the message is useful to those of you kind enough to take the time and make the choice to come.  There were so many wonderful speakers at this year’s conference and I intend to expand on my own conference highlights and take homes in another post in the not too distant future.

A Day in the Life of a School Librarian

Creating the Future for Libraries blank book

I had the utmost pleasure today to join with a group of 50-strong librarians at the LIANZA Otago/Southland Library Assistants Day held at the Invercargill Public Library and share with them about what it means to be a school librarian.

Where to start!! No two days are ever the same and what you start out planning to do at the beginning of the day may look totally different by the end of the day, so the challenge was how to go about showing the variety and breadth of work that we do in a school library setting.

This presentation is what I eventually came up with.

It turned into a bit of a time and motion study of one day of work for me in the James Hargest Library.  I then finished with some thoughts and ideas about how public and school libraries can begin to think about working together.

If you have any great examples of working with a library that is in another sector, I’d love to hear about it!  Please share them here so others can benefit from your fantastic ideas.

Steps to Becoming and Educator-Curator

When I recently presented a workshop on Digital Tools for Content Curation I spent very little time discussing how to go about actually becoming a curator. Being a hands-on, roll your sleeves up and get stuck in kinda session we went straight for the toys.

However, I would highly recommend this excellent presentation on Educators as Curators from Corinne Weisgerber and Shannan Butler, St Edwards University in the US.  It is worth taking a look at in terms of clarifying the purpose for curation and things to think about before you get into curation boots and all.

These professors of communication clearly describe the “journey of a resource: from birth to bookmark”, the process from finding and selecting material through to sharing and tracking it.  Most importantly from my perspective they share about how to editorialise the content.
It’s all very well saving a whole range of resources but you need to be able to identify why you saved it in the first place, reflect on it’s importance to your own practice or how you might implement it into your library programme.  Document your thoughts on it at the time you discover it to make it meaningful to you and the others you might share it with.

Reading, Research and Recreation: the three R’s of a school library

Last night I had the undivided attention of a small but appreciative group of parents who had come along to the monthly PTA meeting to listen to me talk about how our school libraries support their children’s learning and ways they, as parents could be doing that at home.

Reading, Research and Recreation: the three R’s of the School Library

In this presentation I introduced parents to the school-wide information literacy programme that I have developed to date and described how it fits across year levels and curriculum areas.
To support parents in their endeavours to help their children with homework and enthuse them to read (or keep reading) I also created a Parent Resource Livebinder with some good links in it for author websites, book reviews, book trailers, research help and online safety.
I had several parents stay behind after the presentation to discuss various things that had occurred to them during my talk as well as to talk about their favourite books and how some of the strategies I mentioned had already worked for them or how they intended to try this or that one out.
There was definite interest in sessions for parents to up-skill in their use of the internet and searching strategies so I am adding that to my goals for the 2013 school year.
We have also invited parents to become members of our library for the first time, so it will be interesting to see how many take up that offer and how that aspect of community involvement develops.