Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Changing Libraries

I just finished reading an article published in the August edition of American School Board Journal called "The Changing Library". In this article, the author talks about the impact that a library can have on a school. She gives examples of schools that were consistently performing on the low end academically, administrators decided to put more money and time into their school libraries, and the performance of the students drastically improved. I think it is really interesting to hear her perspective and how it matches with the content that is being taught in the LM program at UCA. Every administrator and library media specialist needs to read this article.....why then is it in ASchool Board Journal??? I certainly hope that at least one board member in every district in Arkansas receives and reads this journal. It is in this months edition. http://ursa.uca.edu/cp/tag.e3c40aa12a173824.render.userLayoutRootNode.uP?uP_root=root&uP_sparam=activeTab&activeTab=u11l1s26&uP_tparam=frm&frm=frame
This is the library link. It also has some fabulous pictures of school libraries around the nation that will definitely make an LMS jealous!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

AASL Top 25 Websites

What are the top websites for teaching and learning? AASL lists 25 of their top websites. Very interesting to me is the fact that social networking sites (social media) were listed inside this top 25. Since we have been discussing this in our reference course and even had an in depth question and article related to this, I was excited to see Facebook, Twitter, Edublogs, TeacherTube, and other social media as a part of that. The AASL chooses websites that "honors websites, tools, and resources of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the American Association of School Librarians" To see the whole list of websites and check them out (I am!) go to http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aboutaasl/bestlist/bestwebsites.cfm.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Storyman

According to www.storyman.com, Neal Shusterman's newest novel is already receiving awards. I have loved every book I have read written by Shusterman. He uses such emotion and makes his readers think about what he has written and issues involved. Looking at his site, I learned that he is also a screenwriter, having written the movie PixelPerfect and is working on his own screenwrite of Everlost. Check out his website....btw....Shusterman is scheduled to be at our school (Mena) next year, I believe. Exciting!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


A really neat website that I was turned on to this last school year was visuwords.com. This site is a neat thesaurus like tool that provides kids with a variety of words linked together. By typing in one word, a plethora of new words appears. Students can determine parts of speech, synonyms, antonyms, definitions, etc. This is a nice tool to use when teaching students to be more specific in their writing.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I just found another neat tool on School Library Journal called Wordle at wordle.com. It is neat and fun! Basically you just plug in a bunch of words....I did the terms we use to build a narrative text anchor chart in my classroom. The program generates a word cloud for you. It can be personalized and printed out. I was really excited, though, because the article goes on to say how this can be a useful tool for teachers to use with students when brainstorming for ideas to research. One teacher said she used it to show students how many times they repeated certain words. Also, apparently emphasis words float to the top, so it helps kids see what should be the most important topics. I thought it was neat! Here is the link to the article http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6666671.html if anyone is interested.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hunger Games-The Movie

While reading an article in the June edition of School Library Journal, I learned that my favorite book and new series by Suzanne Collins will be made into a movie. The Hunger Games was a fascinating story line. It created an interest in my students that was phenomenal. I read it a total of three times during the school year and never got tired of it. Throughout the book I was amazed at Collins's ability to create vivid images in the mind of the reader. By using Katniss and her thoughts, the reader is able to feel and understand her every move and thought. After learning that this book would be made into a movie, I looked a little further on my trusty web and found that others have the same concerns that I do. It is impossible to make a movie out of this story that will be able to compare to the awesome story told in the book. I am never a fan of movies made from books. In fact, I think it is a reflection on the lack of creativity in Hollywood that so many movies being made today are based on novels.....but this book made into a movie is even more out of reach than normal in my opinion. Being able to grasp Katniss thoughts and feelings while putting the terribly graphic story line on the screen leaves me with the thought that there is no way this can be pulled off.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Give me the money!

I just found out that there is money available to LIBM graduate students for reimbursement since it is considered a deficit area in Arkansas. It won't reimburse everything but every little bit helps! I just hope that I remember to fill out the paperwork and send it in when January rolls around!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Okay, I am super excited! I was just reading an article on School Library Journal and found the top ten digital resources that all school libraries should have. This (animoto.com/education) was one of them. It is a way for kids to make quick book-talk videos online. Educators can use it for free if they are willing to set up class sites and give feed-back. I havent' gotten to look at it yet but will as soon as I finish this. I have been thinking and looking for a way to revive book talks with my students. They have been done to death by the time they get to 7th grade and just want to read! Which is wonderful! But we also want them to learn how to share the books that they love. Anyway....I'm going to go check it out!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not so easy!

Every class I attend, whether physically or online, I am reminded how detailed and intricate library information work is. It astonishes me to hear people make comments about how easy it must be to get a master's for a LMS. If only people really knew what kind of work goes into such a position. Why is it that so many, even in education, have that idea? Do we under-use our libraries? Are we just careless about noticing how much is accomplished through them? Hearing one LMS tell how she meets regularly (weekly) with the teachers in her building to ascertain what their information needs are makes me more and more aware that the benefits of the LMS are beyond what we notice and acknowledge.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Changing Face of the Library

After reading the article, What is to become of reference in academic and public libraries, I feel strongly that though the face of libraries, reference, and books is most definitely changing, there is as much if not more need for library media technologists as ever before. One thing that kept coming to my mind was this: What will happen to our level of accurate information if no one directs people in the ways and types of information that they are using as answers to their research questions? I think it is kind of scary to imagine people making decisions and basing research on information found on sites that are not regulated by anyone that is capable of determining the accuracy of the presented information. If there is to be improvement and advancement in any profession, areas will have to change to meet the changing needs of the society around it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bluford High can impact students.

I have often felt like books could be a way to reach even those students that many have written off as too far gone. When I discovered the Bluford High books a few years ago in Lit Lab, I was surprised and excited. Although there are no ethnic groups in our school, many of the students still deal with the same fears, temptations and struggles as the characters in the stories do. I was amazed to see how quickly these books were passed around. It only took one student in the class to read one of them, tell the others how great they were and there they went. I really like that some are from a girls perspective and others from a boys perspective. It really brought around good discussion between the two groups. When I stumbled across the article (http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6655502.html?industryid=47070) sharing a librarians experience of a book club using Bluford High I thought it was a great idea. She even created the article itself in a graphic format....really neat! I love how she points out that a librarian can impact students fluency and their desire to read other books can start through a project like this. Too often educators are willing to write off a student once they hit upper middle school. There are ways to reach, influence, and even impact these students; it just takes a little creativity and desire to figure out how.