Newbery / Caldecott 2015: The Summer Prediction Edition

Newbery / Caldecott 2015: The Summer Prediction Edition.

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Reading Matters

Does it matter what we read?

It matters that we enjoy reading what we are reading.

It is so satisfying when you give a book talk and generate interest in a story, or an author.

But then what is so demoralizing is when a classroom teacher discourages students from borrowing books from the school library because they are afraid the children won’t return the books on time or at all.  How else are they going to develop a real love of reading and the responsibility that comes along with using a library.

Teachers worry that we won’t have any books left in the library! That, my friends is the point!  I don’t want books <em>in</em> the library.  I want them in students hands.  And then I want to hear about how much they loved or did not love that story and on and on.


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So much fun!

So my friend just introduced me to Mr.Doob, and because I like what he does so much I learned about flattr  This is a site where you can set up an account to easily make microdonations to developers that you like.

Mr. Doob makes all kinds of fun visuals for you to play on line.  Here is a screen shot of our ball pool.   Reminds me of marbled paper.  But my favorite is Harmony.

It all started for me with my friend showing me Google Space and Google Gravity

It is all so mind boggling beautiful.


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Embrace their world, it is, after all our world too!

A colleague and I recently used the Common Sense Media “Raising Media Smart Kids” slide show and supporting materials to do a parent information session at a local public library. What I am most impressed by is what a great resource Common Sense Media is. I have been using it to check movie and game ratings for years but now as an educator I use their materials to guide my technology curriculum.

The slide presentation covered etiquette, safety, bullying, copyright – fair use, legal issues and a short clip from an internet safety lesson we do in the schools. There was a great conversation among participants which really went to the heart of how we deal with technology use with our youngest students. I live in a rural area in NH and some parents just do not see any benefit to social media and are happy to just keep their kids lives free of technology figuring that by the time their children get their hands on it, they will know how to deal with all the complexities involved in being a responsible digital citizen. Others felt that elementary age children are too young to be using computers, and there were some who are very anxious about their young children going online and being exposed to unregulated potentially frightening content.

Regardless of what family rules there are, as an educator I feel it is my responsibility to teach students and their parents how to use technology tools ethically, safely and for their overall benefit. As a matter of fact, one thing I kept stressing is how important modeling is! We all know this but do we think about it in terms of how our children see us using technology? Parents can’t model if they themselves don’t know how to properly give credit (cite) to authors of web content, or what the proper protocol is for sharing documents etc… Just like everything else, we can teach students how to behave, take turns, use technology responsibly, and more. But if it is not reinforced at home our lessons are short lived.

Putting together this presentation was really easy thanks to Common Sense Media’s editable slide show and supporting materials that I would encourage more library media specialists to engage with our broader communities and get this discussion going. And have fun!

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Second EARA International Bookbinding Competition

American Bound

Second EARA International Art Bookbinding Competition 2014
Organized by EARA (Encuadernadores Artesanales de la República Argentina), The Book and Language Museum , The Argentine National Library and Eduardo Tarrico .

Here are some, but not all, details (make sure you check the link above for the full details in Spanish and in English (sorry – no French).

10,000 Argentinian pesos are the total amount for prizes and they are divided as follows:
1st Prize: AR$ 4,000.00.
2nd Prize: AR$ 2,500.00.
3rd Prize: AR$ 1,500.00.
1st Honorary Mention: AR$ 500.00.
2nd Honorary Mention: AR$ 500.00.
Prize to the best Argentinian or Argentinian resident bookbinder: AR$ 1,000.00.

The last day for enrolling to the competition will be June 30th, 2014.

Each participant can freely choose the book to bind. It has to be a printed book, it can not be a book filled with blank pages.

The maximum allowed measurements of the…

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23 Things

Well, I am finally getting to do this.  It is hard to make the time but…. So thanks for hosting this again.

What I am really hoping to get out of this is becoming more comfortable with all the different social technology and how to manage it better.  I also want to learn from others what some of their obstacles have been to becoming more engaged with web 2.0 technology.   I learn by doing and while I have built web pages for three libraries where I have worked, none of them evolved into what I hoped would be a real resource to the community.  The 24/7 library.  Unfortunately here in rural NH most libraries don”t really have the money to have a web presence.  The reason for that is that many directors and trustees still don’t see the usefulness of having an up to date web site and don’t really believe that patrons will visit their facebook page or care about library tweets.  So honestly none of my library jobs here in Rural NH have demanded I use social media tools.   Frustrating.  So I am hoping for some “how to” training but also some discussion on why do it at all?  and how to do it efficiently!  So with that I’ll go and browse some of your blogs.

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Library advocacy

I just read The Not Too Distant Future blog

about library advocacy.  Two mothers from Spokane WA, Lisa Layera Brunkan and Susan Lloyd McBurney have done a lot of footwork to figure out how we can best advocate for our libraries.  While they are focused on school libraries, much of what they have shared applies to public libraries as well.

As they have discovered,  we need to advocate for the specific library services lawmakers may care about.  Be informed of what is happening in your state/community and address those concerns.  Libraries serve so many purposes. Even reminding local lawmakers that the public library serves as a comfort zone during emergencies, such as snow storms, floods etc… is not a bad thing.  Nurturing early childhood literacy is in my opinion probably one of the most important things local public libraries can provide.  Providing up to date medical information, help with employment skills…. Okay you know the deal, need I say more?

And we have to make it clear that libraries aren’t an enhancement or a luxury.  They are a solution.   Libraries are a solution, as the Spokane moms point out, for the digital gaps and participation gaps and inequities in our students’ lives.    I think they are also a solution to the problems of information literacy, ethical uses of information, college readiness, and more.  It’d be a good conversation for librarians to be having within their districts and with their constituents about the problems libraries provide solutions for.

I hadn’t thought of libraries as a “solution” before.  And here again, thinking in those terms, try to figure out what specific program or service  your library provides a solution for.  Libraries need to be relevant and stay relevant to our small and greater communities.

Lastly, if it is not already clear, public libraries are an integral part of the community.   Partnering with other community organizations and interest groups can only strengthen everyones mission.  Figure out who your advocates are (or should be) and vice versa and lead the way to form a coalition to advocate for education and culture in your community.

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Rural Librarian bookmarks on Delicious

I have bookmarked lots of what I think are reliable, vetted and cite-able web resources on Delicious

These are primarily for public library user community but also contain many good links to resources for K-12 teachers including sites with lesson plans etc… Enjoy and share at will.

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Library policies

I can’t stress enough how important library policies are.  Not just for public libraries but school libraries and special libraries as well.  Not because they tell everyone what they can’t do but because they provide the framework to let everyone know what they CAN DO!

Please be sure to write your policies with positive, inviting but firm language. You want to welcome people to the library while letting them know what you expect and what they can expect from the library.

Policies should inform patrons about their rights and responsibilities regarding library use.  Policies inform patrons of the procedures that are followed in decision making processes, regarding collection development, or how and why access to the internet is to be provided, for example. Policies governing children’s use of the library and parental rights and responsibilities must be explicit.  The term “children” may be defined differently in different communities.  What is your definition of children?  At what age do you think children have the right to privacy regarding the materials they check out of the library?

Ideally the policies are formed by a team of library trustees, the library director and interested staff persons.  There may be a respected member of the community that you would want to invite into the process as well.  This can be helpful in establishing community standards.  Policies take time. They need to be thought through and tested with a lot of “what if” brainstorming.  Library policies can be researched by asking libraries from similar demographics to share what they have.  Don’t just take one example, but find many and synthesize the information to suit your particular library and library community.

All management areas are important but a few are at the top of the list regarding public use of the library.  Collection Development, Internet Use and a policy that guides the challenge process.  The ALA provides solid basis for Internet use policy and an excellent resource for shaping a challenge process.

A very helpful book is Creating Policies for Results: From Chaos to Clarity by Sandara Nelson and June Garcia.  Amer Library Assn Editions (June 1, 2003)

ISBN-13: 978-0838935354

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Hi readers; This blog is mostly about librarianship and rural libraries.  I realize this is a broad topic.  I will be breaking it out into pages such as: technology, library management, intellectual freedom and open access etc.  Since I have a special interest in YA literature there will be posts about that too.  Or, I may use this blog as a way to organize all the information regarding libraries that I find interesting and share it at the same time.  Feel free to add or comment.  Additionally from time to time I may throw in something relevant to my rural lifestyle and of course in the background there is always art.

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