Thanks for visiting my blog – Since I’m a Jack of All Trades, it goes in all kinds of directions. Since I’m a librarian, it goes in that direction quite a bit! Scroll down to see my most recent posts.
I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed, so I’ve created a classroom project request through DonorsChoose.org, an award-winning charity.
Donations of any size will help my kids. Right now, any contribution you make to my project will be doubled by An Anonymous Funder. Your donation will brighten my students’ school year, and you’ll get heartfelt thank yous from my class and photos of your gift in action.
Here’s my classroom request:
To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, just make a contribution on that project page – donations will be doubled automatically, but only while funding lasts.
If you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. My students and I greatly appreciate your support.
This time last year, I was just beginning the great adventure of turning a
storage bin Library into a welcoming and functional place. This week, we about got the final physical changes down that I’ve been waiting to complete.
The library last year looked like this:
Below shows the space as empty as possible. Our fabulous custodial staff put as many of the tables as possible in the corner for carpet cleaning. It’s an amazingly large space.
Now, the last little challenge is computers. The desktops are in front of the SmartBoard. I didn’t take a great picture of this terrible arrangement, but you can kind of see it here. I tried and tried to get a rug in front of the board, but it was not going to happen!
I’ve been chipping away at them computer by computer. This is the next incarnation, and there is now space for a rug. There are computers hidden on those tables. Really 😉 This meant we could have a rug for the littles between the computers and the Smart Board. Fabulous move, but still not quite where I wanted things to be.
Thanks to the Reading Railroad Express grant, we got a cart of chromebooks and no longer need to house desktops in the library. WooHoo! What a game changer this is! With the desktops, the best seating I could hope for was always off center. Or I used a screen and projector in another location and just didn’t use the Smart Board. Kind of a waste of technology, but I kept trying to find that perfect layout that would work best in this space.
First of all, with the desktops gone, we were able to remove these knee bruisers.
Now, we can shift tables absolutely anywhere! What a freeing experience! Now there are two larger distinct areas in the library and several smaller ones.
I’m excited about the possibilities of these two spaces.
Saturday, I went to see Wonder Woman with my oldest son. I know. I’m late to this game, but since most of you have already seen it . . . It was great, wasn’t it!?! I didn’t think about real life once during the movie!
Now you’d think, at this stage of my life, I’d know I’ll never be Wonder Woman. But I still grapple with that little fact. I’ve got the drive, I’ve got energy, I’ve got ambition. I want to simultaneously fight for better education and funding for libraries while at the same time making my library a not-so-hidden paradise. But I had regular parents and lacked interference from Zeus, and this my friends, makes me a mere mortal. To top off that sweet little fact with a maraschino cherry, I’m at the wrong end of middle age. I can’t do everything I’d like to do. OK, so that was never my reality, but now it’s painfully obvious that doing everything I want is even more of a dream. Darn.
What is a mortal to do over the summer then? Well, first of all, I have to make some choices. I did not get to go to ALA or ISTE. I’m fighting the green-with-envy syndrome on that while watching all my friends from afar. But, last week I went to a great workshop for Clinical Teachers at UNCG. Yes! I did use the term great and workshop in the same sentence. A shout out to Barry Barber and Evan Hill for making it an enjoyable experience along with lots of fabulous educators from other disciplines.
I am going to master the universe of an inventory allowed to lay barren for years. We obviously have our own little land of misfit toys, mmmm instructional materials, that I’ll have to mount an expedition to find.
I am going to finish what I started last summer in this beautiful library home of mine. Want to see more about my library’s transformation?
- New Library = Messy Plans
- Working in the new digs
- Flipping the library
- Fiction and its genres
- Three weeks in
- This mess of an easy section
- Update on the flip
- Nonfiction shift
I’ve made more changes throughout the year and just been too busy to write about it. You know that old tyranny-of-the-urgent thing. But I plan to get some more updates written this summer.
Some other things on my have-to-do list:
- Work on an OTES strategic plan with a team from UNCG. (Anthony Chow, Nina Smith, Amy Watterman)
- Catalog a surprise batch of Title 1 books.
- Come up with a conference theme for the 2018 NCSLMA conference. I think I’m close on that one.
- Get conference speakers for the big events. 2/3 of the way there.
- Open the library Tuesdays in July for students to check out.
- Paint some chairs.
- Nail down some quarter round.
- Caulk more than a few places.
- Work on a new IMPACT study for NC school libraries.
- Not be totally bummed that the best principal known to man is moving to district to be an instructional superintendent.
- go to the pool.
- spend time with family and friends.
- Move those last two to the top of the list.
Not too bad for a non-superhero. Now I’m off to fight for truth, justice, and school libraries!
If you don’t know who Jeff Mack is, you have to meet him! Or at least read one of his fascinating books. His art can move a story along with few words!
Four groups met with him. Each presentation was different. Each was fascinating. The students were enthralled.
The highlight of the day for me was our luncheon though. We had a contest to see which students got to eat with him. A picture story book contest with one winner from each grade. Now I say it was the luncheon, but it wasn’t the food, it was the time that Mr. Mack took with each student. He read every story and looked at each picture. He made comments and suggestions. He treated each child like an author worthy of his time. I was impressed on so many levels and really hope that I have the opportunity to work with him again!
Since Jeff Mack is visiting our school, I planned a cross-grade level project for welcome signs. My plan was that the first grade level (3rd grade) would draw ups some plans for a sign, the second grade level (4th) would put the plans to paper, and the third grade level (5th) would finish up. That would leave me one last class to get the library ready for assemblies.
First two classes were fairly smooth sailing. Signs are planned and moving along. Third class comes in, however, and the first thing several of them say is I don’t want to do this. Great, I smell a mutiny underfoot. I do understand this artsy stuff isn’t necessarily your thing, but I really need your help! We are running out of time, I was out for three days last week, then we had two field days. Please! Just pick up a marker, paper, scissors and give it a try. Do something in that corner or with those letters or that one needs a frog or the fly is too small. And then I walked away. (Did I mention this was a class of 5th grade boys?)
So they hemmed and they hawed, some walked around the table and examined the project from every possible angle, but eventually everyone worked. And they worked until the very end of class. Then I got a surprise when some asked if they could come back after their lunch. Not only did they come back and work, they worked with the 2nd graders until they had to leave.
We had a NCSLMA board retreat this May 6-7. It’s always great to see everyone, get caught up on old business, and start new things. One of our ongoing projects is a second cohort of emerging leaders. We pulled together a strong team of facilitators to lead our next cohort through the program. AND an amazing program is taking shape!
If you have been a school librarian in NC for five years or less, please take a look at our emerging leaders page to see if it is something that interests you.
What we need:
- Resume (google doc link)
- Principal Recommendation
- Application due 7/31/17
- Notification will be 8/31/17
Plans are to have a cohort of Emerging Leaders every other year, so if you will be in year four or five next year, this is the cohort for you!
Representatives from NCSLMA joined with other NC librarians on Capitol Hill . Our main goal was to share funding needs for 2018 since 2017 is pretty much set.
We had several things we asked for:
- Funding of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
- Re-authorization of the Museum and Library Services Act which is run by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
- Appropriate funding for Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL).
- E-Rate & Net Neutrality.
We heard amazing stories about what libraries are doing in their communities. I’ll be sharing more with you over the course of the next couple of weeks about the things we learned, the stories we heard, and the kinds (and levels) of support we received from those that represent us in the Capitol.