Library (8)


Well, isn't that the life of a teacher librarian? We are constantly changing what we do and how we do it.

This summer I moved every book in my library and discarded some very old non-essential materials and made lists to replace them with 21st century materials. I also dumped all of my VHS tapes. Yes, you read this correctly. ALL VHS tapes are gone.

There are two reasons for dumping the technology. First, it is ancient technology in schools today when we have laptops instead of DVD players, LCD projectors, and electronic whiteboards. None of the teachers have VHS players in their rooms. None of the teachers have TVs in their rooms. We have one TV in the entire building located in the lobby and it is not to be used for TV shows.

Second, like most people we download, we subscribe, we stream, or we play from a DVD in our laptops. We may be replacing student laptops with Chromebooks so we will only have teacher laptops left in our building. So, out with the VHS tapes. I have spent a lot of time ridding the library of ancient tech and I think I am almost at the end. Baby steps but steps indeed.

Third, I needed the space for my students. I teach in a PK - 4th grade school where very few children reach my shoulder before 4th grade. Due to lack of space my books were shelved on 72" shelves where many students could not reach them and certainly did not maintain the integrity of the shelf once a book was removed. I spread out the books by reclaiming four three-foot 72" tall units and so could lower books for my shorter students, raise individual shelf height to accommodate tall books and make the library look much neater.

I shifted my non-fiction materials, weeded a few I went, to take back those shelves. By doing so I was able to shift my biographies into the non-fiction section and put them at a better height as well. I also reorganized my picture book section by AR level. Our school enjoys using AR and I wanted to make the sections more distinct. I spent a great deal of time color coding levels and reshelving. Books without AR quizzes are shelved at the end of the section to be revisited and enjoyed.

I finished reorganizing the fiction section of the library by genre. My students loved that I did this last year as it made the sections easier to access and when students asked where the fiction sports books were shelved, I could point to a section. I also removed a computer table and two chairs in order to make way for two recycled seating benches. I want my kids to enjoy sitting and reading on days where we are free to just read.

My next goal is to replace some of the old furnishings in the library. I have a GoFundMe account set up so if you are interested in see what has been done and want to help out, go here:

Thanks and enjoy!


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Treasures Just Waiting To Be Discovered

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.-Chinese Proverb

This year I have been included in a special group of Alabama School Librarians from my region to learn ways to improve our school libraries from each other and master teachers, Sandra Hornig and Anita Meadows. 

This past week we learned how to use VoiceThread.  Ridgecrest Elementary School Librarian, Jamin Ellis, started a fantastic VoiceThread designed for School Librarians to share how they have designed interactive areas in their school libraries for students and/or teachers.  


Share treasured ideas from your library by adding to this VoiceThread!

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LIT framework from WLMA

In Jan 2010 WLMA advocates drafted a great one-page School LIT Program framework, pasted below. I shared it today with the British Columbia Teacher Librarian's Association leadership meeting in Kewlona, BC. In a similar way, they announced their new "Points of Inquiry" framework as the culmination of three years work. Here's to sharing!

School Library Information and Technology Programs for 21st Century Learning
Mission: To ensure that students are effective users and producers of information and ideas
Three essential functions of Teacher-Librarians:
  1. Information and Technology Literacy Instruction
  2. Reading Advocacy
  3. Information Management and Services
The scope and mix of these functions will depend on the program priorities and goals of each local school district and school building.
  1. Information and technology literacy instruction
  • Leads information literacy instruction including evaluation and analysis of the credibility, relevance and currency of information
  • Coaches instructional staff in support of curriculum, information technology and information management
  • Teaches students to be critical consumers and producers of information
  • Teaches students and staff to use emerging learning technologies for school and lifelong learning
  • Teaches students to be safe, ethical and responsible digital citizens
  1. Reading advocacy
  • Establishes and models a powerful, fashionable and ubiquitous culture of reading in the school community
  • Motivates and guides students to read for enjoyment and understanding
  • Develops a relevant collection of fiction and non-fiction in a variety of formats, ensuring quality reading choices for all students
  • Manages resources in support of established curriculum and student passions
  1. Information management and services
  • Provides open and equitable access to resources, technology and information services for the entire school community
  • Develops and administers inviting and effective physical and digital library environments
  • Manages resources to support teaching and learning
  • Administers information management systems to support student learning and school and district programs

Program framework development group (January, 2010):
Secondary Level
  • Marianne Hunter, NTCB (North Thurston S.D.)
  • Stephen Coker (Rainier S.D.)
  • Sarah Applegate, NTCB (North Thurston S.D.)
  • Mark Ray (Vancouver S.D.)
  • Roz Thompson (Tumwater S.D.)
Middle Level
  • Linda Collins (University Place S.D.)
  • Linda King (Yakima S.D.)
  • Leigh Lohrasbi (Yakima S.D.)
  • Nancy Mowat, NBCT (Bellevue S.D.)
Elementary Level
  • Dave Sonnen (Edmonds S.D.)
  • Wayne Osborn, NBCT (Clover Park S.D.)
  • Laura Berry, NBCT (Issaquah S.D.)
  • Steve Goodwin (Edmonds S.D.)
Higher Education
  • Mike Eisenberg (University of Washington)
  • John Marino (University of Washington)
  • Betty Marcoux (University of Washington)
  • Lorraine Bruce (University of Washington)
  • Christie Kaaland (Antioch University)
With additional contributions from Lisa Layera Brunkan, Washington Coalition for School Libraries and Information Technology and Colet Bartow, Montana Office of Public Instruction.
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Most of you have probably heard of Glogster but if you haven't, I suggest you try it out! The .edu.glogster site is now private and is an amazing tool for student work. This year our school theme is Star Trek and I created a Star Trek themed Glog web for our school. It will continue to grow as the year progresses but if you would like to see it go to: will be posting more book reviews there as we get into the school year.
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Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (from the University of Alberta Learning Services) has published another issue. This issue features "school libraries and their connection to evidence based practice." The articles are: 1. Weaving Evidence, Reflection, and Action into the Fabric of School Librarianship 2. Creation of a Research Community in a K-12 School System Using Action Research and Evidence Based Practice 3. School Library Media Specialist Collaboration with Special Education Personnel in Support of Student Learning 4. An Emerging Theory for Evidence Based Information Literacy Instruction in School Libraries, Part 1: Building a Foundation 5. School Librarianship and Evidence Based Practice: Progress, Perspectives, and Challenges 6. Librarian-Teacher Partnerships for Inquiry Learning: Measures of Effectiveness for a Practice-Based Model of Professional Development The Link:
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