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K12 Online Flyer to download

K12 Online is coming soon! Check out the website for teaser videos!

It's a great opportunity for staff at your schools, since it's free, and online to be viewed at their convenience.

If you'd like a flyer to share with staff, please download the one attached here!

I attended some sessions last year, and it really invigorated my understanding of web 2.0 tools and how they could help librarians and teachers serve students better.Download k12onlineflyer_letter.pdf

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Quick question. Does anyone use Winnebago/Spectrum for their catalog? If so, when you take books out of the system, do you have to choose "weed" or can you just delete? In every other environment I would just delete the item. Here, the library assistant has chosen the "weed" function which keeps the items in the system as weeded. I would prefer to delete them completely from the system, but am wondering if there is a reason why that would not be the right thing to do. My assistant is a little resistant to change so I want to make sure that deleting from the system is fine before I make that change. Changing over to school librarian is going to be more of a challenge than I thought.

Anyone's help is really appreciated.


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A Thousand Splendid Suns

I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns and I found it achingly poignant, just as riveting as Kite Runner and I was so drawn to Mariam and Laila's lives in Afghanistan. This novel speaks volumes about the travesty of revolution in this country, the never ending travails of its people and they are still so resilient. I highly recommend this novel because of its cultural significance, the horrors that young girls must endure marrying when they 13 or 14 and strict adherence to ideas that place educated women as subservient and having no voice in society.
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Library 2.0

This is one of the best descriptions for the general public I have seen for library 2.0. It is from the Rapid City Public Library's website. Their director, Greta Chapman is one of two people who have had a profound effect on my development as a librarian and an information professional.

Libraries have to evolve continuously to keep up with the changing needs of their users.

In the past, Libraries were just places to find books. Since then, the library has grown to become a community gathering place where people can share ideas and experiences together. When the Internet revolution happened less than 10 years ago, no one knew what kind of impact it would bring. One impact was the creation of Library 2.0, the second generation of enhanced Library services existing in the online world.

Library 2.0 is not something specific—it is a concept that refers to a collection of online tools used to deliver services in an interactive online experience. With Library 2.0, the library will be a meeting place existing both online and in the physical world where patron needs for entertainment and information can be met. 2.0 services also offer patrons the ability to actively contribute information, giving them a stronger voice in library collections and services.

The Rapid City Public Library will release these new interactive tools to the public along with user classes to introduce the tools to the community and demonstrate their usefulness.

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Boy, I've Been Busy!

Elementary School Teacher-Librarians-

If you are looking for information literacy/technology literacy integrated reserch projects todo with your 4th-6th grade classes, please look at the projects I have posted, ready tobegin the first week of October. I just finished editing them, and theyare ready for registration. Any teacher-librarian wanting to get involved with their classroom teachers in any of these projects, leave me a message or email me.

Thereare various opportunities for sharing and collaborating with theseprojects. Here are the links to the projects and a brief summary:

  1. Federal Holidays: This project is designed for upper elementary and middle school students studying themeaning of American culture, United States symbols and core values ofthe Americandemocratic system. Federal Holidays proposes two main tasks: 1) students willteach their class about an existing federal holiday by creating a PowerPointpresentation; and 2) student teams will imagine a new holiday that represents thespirit of America and then write a persuasive argument which will be supportedby a poster that visually represents their proposed holiday. Using VoiceThread,student teams will comment on and persuasively argue why their holidaybest represents the spirit of America. The site includes linksto all the required resources and rubrics. Originally created in 2002,Federal Holidays was a response to 9/11, to help students deal with thefeelings generated by that horrible event. I am running the projectagain, with updates.
  2. Explorations: This project is a 4th grade social studies project where students will study explorers from "The Age of Discovery." Students are asked to become "docents" - knowledgeable guides who willvirtually guide "visitors" through our "Age of Discovery Museum" bycreating photostories. Students will place a marker on our Google WorldMap, showing the area their explorer discovered. The marker willcontain a link to the student/docent PhotoStory. The PhotoStory(vodcast/podcast) will inform "visitors" about the explorer theyresearched with narration and images. It would be fun if anotherteacher wanted to do this project as is, or modify it to have theirclass research other types of explorers...for example, 'explorers ofthe sky' or explorers of the arts, etc. etc.
  3. On the Trail of the First People - I have posted about this one before, we do have some teachers who signed up for it! Thanks librarians! Would love to have more!
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The Little Prince

I thought I would share my favorite book, which is The Little Prince by St. Exupery. This is the first book I ever read (and not until I was about 21) that ever really struck a chord with me. I felt that I shared many of the Prince's feelings and sorrows, so I understood him. I re-read the book about once a year, and I always find new insights when I do.
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k12 Online Conference coming!

The K12 Online conference is coming soon, in October!

If you haven't participated before, K12 Online is a conference that takes place entirely online, over a two week period in October.

For more information, check out:

And there are some sample video presentations here as well:

I'll be posting more about it on my blog as well (I'm on the publicity committee!)

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Many Schools with Blogs

Cold Springs Elementary also is using Blogs ( One blog that interested me was the one that had fifth and sixth graders commenting on how they should act when blogging. There was even a video attached to it that talked more about Blogs. This site was not as easy to navigate as some of the others, but still worth looking at.
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Grandview Elementary doesn't just have a cool Blog, they have one of the better websites I have ever seen for an elementary school ( Their site explains what blogs are and how students should handle themselves when blogging. They are encouraging students to publish their writing pieces as a blog so that they can get feedback about their writing from other people. I could not figure out where Grandview Elementary is located, or who is creating the page, but I can tell they have really worked hard on it.
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How about a place to blog?

Fine, this really doesn't count as a blog where people have commented, but it is a place to set up blogging for your school. Check out Learnerblogs ( It is a place created specifically for edublogs. I wonder how my school district would feel about starting a blogging place for my students? I personally think this site should count as two blogs found for my college assignment. :)
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Book Blog - Interesting Idea

The teacher librarian, Mrs. Horowitz, from Northside Elementary in Midway, Kentucky ( has an interesting idea. She has created a Book Blog to keep her students informed on books that she has just completed. She gives a little summary and review on each book. I will have to check back to this blog to see if more of her students comment. She doesn't have many commenting right now, but if they start, this will be a great way to involve students.
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PowerSearching in a Web 2.0 World

The 21st Century Information Project is offering a Moodle based online class: PowerSearching in a Web 2.0 World.

The course starts on September 24. The class is 4 weeks long. Each week we take on a new topic. We will look at searching, evaluating, and ethically using digital information. Along the way participants create a social bookmarking account to track websites of interest. The culminating project is to create a personal search engine on a topic of interest.

We take a game based approach, using learning games and simulations created by Carl Heine to practice some of the essentials of searching & evaluating.

The class earns 2.5 CEUs issued by the Illinois Science and Mathematics Academy.

I'll be facilitating the course & hope to see some TeacherLibrary members later this month!


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It's Elementary!

Please join us Monday night at 23:00GMT for a live,interactive webcast about moodles in elementary education. Our guest isJames Gates. Due to a new server we are directing everyone to join thechat via Worldbridges
Type your name and no password is required. Once you enter the chat room, ask there for sound or listen via the Listen
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School Year 07-08 - We're off and Running!

I don't know about the rest of you, but this has been the rockiest start to the school year I can remember. The new technologies our district has implemented will eventually (I hope!) make things better . We have a new Internet authentication system, and are struggling with the process of helping students log in - when so many have difficulties remembering their user name & password. The great fear is that students will stop trying to use the online catalog all together.

On a brigher note, I had a delightful full day retreat with all of the school librarians from my district, and we spent some time exploring 2.0 technologies, and how they might be used in their school ibrary programs, or just to provide a platform for them to share ideas and best practices with each other between meetings. We looked at the issue of information literacy assessment, and I learned that they are doing some great things to be sure our students are learning and practicing these critical skills. Research reflection journals, peer evaluation, checklists, conferencing, and more.

Hoping all of you out there are off to a great start!

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Lunch Bunch Ideas

Do any of you guys do Lunch Bunch Book Clubs? How do you organize them, how often do you meet, what do you read? I'm looking for some new ideas for this year's groups. I'll be working with 4th, 5th and 6th graders.
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