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"Filthy" book

Recently a parent spoke at one of our districts board members ranting and raving about a "filthy" (her exact word) book that her child checked out at a middle school library. This parent did not contact the Teacher Librarian at the school nor did she contact the principal. She went straight to the board meeting and blindsited everyone involved. As a result our district has pulled this particular book and removed the Accelerated Reader quiz. I do not have the title in question "TTYL" but if I did I most certainly would have been advised to pull it from my shelves.I am embarassed and angry that this parent went over the head of my collague. This book has been in this particular school's library for five years! Five years before anybody said anything about it. Of course the parent has yet to return the book in question.
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Games in the library

Currently enrolled in school right now is the video game generation. Why not take advantage of this in the library by programing lessons on the computer that are like video games? I've been researching this recently along with my school site computer tech. We're exploring ways on how to incorporate a role playing game such as "Age of Empires" into Middle School Social Study standards. It does seem like this is possible but there are obstacles like expense, copyright issues, and time. Stil, I think innovative forward teaching that can use what kids are interested in could be the future. Sort of like hiding some vegetables in a kids favorite meal.
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7:30 am: Small committee meeting to evaluate 8th grade “technology” literacy assessment test pilot data. Yes, we understand that you can’t really adequately assess these skills in a multiple choice test. However, this is what our middle school principals want. Okay – for one year. After all, the data might be very interesting. We decided last month that information literacy skills were more important – looking at both our district and state “definitions” of technology literacy – all framed within the important skills and concepts of information literacy. We tried out our assessment on 9th grade students to see how they’d do. The results were less than spectacular. We dissect the test – try to determine what the problem areas are – is it vocabulary? Are we really not teaching students how to evaluate information critically and competently? We decide to continue our analysis on our wiki – as we separate for conferences, teaching, and other job responsibilities. Time is running short.

10:00 am: Travel to one of our high schools to train and brainstorm with a new audio/visual paraprofessional how to use the library system to effectively search and report on her equipment inventory. Dissect the MARC record form, see what fields display in reports, the circulation module, and the PAC. Yes – we can make this work! How lucky I feel that this new staff member has the technology skills to follow me as I show her searching and reporting strategies in software she’s never really seen before.

11:30 am: Meet with the high school’s library media specialist. She’s been saving up her questions for me. Right and left brain questions. How should she introduce AASL’s new Learning Standards and gain buy-in from her teachers? How do I see these relating to the previous 9 Information Literacy Standards, and the state-adopted ISTE NETS? Big questions – no immediate answers. How can we make the online library catalog display a message to students, when they are looking at non-fiction results, a suggestion to go to our online subscription databases for further information? And lastly, have I looked at her school’s linked “citation machine” to determine if this is producing accurate and up-to-date MLA citations? I did not have an answer for any of these questions – more to explore later.

1:00 pm Back in my cubicle – scanning email for “emergencies” and checking voice mail. Is Kids Catalog down? -No. Why can I only check in items and not check out? –You haven’t loaded a patron. My principal wants me to add these books to the database. The first few worked – then I keep getting errors. Why? – I need a bit more information to answer that question. Can you load this MARC record file right away? I have a student who has been asking to check out this book for 2 days! - Ok – wow – no errors – it loaded in less than a minute! The other 50 emails will need to wait…Checking my calendar – what’s on for tomorrow? A half-day training with teachers, librarian and technology teacher at an elementary school. A chance to model collaboration, integration of information literacy, backwards design, formative assessment…need to check my notes and make sure I have enough handouts.

2:00 pm Department meeting to review our progress on creating a video to show what 21st century learning looks like. The script is in place – but where can we find those examples of excellence to capture on film? Do we all agree what it looks like? I am not sure. Add to my list of to-dos – find out when some great collaborative projects are happening in our school libraries. Schedule the film crew.

2:45 pm: My chance to be with kids – I am scheduled to read to a preschool class today! What a delight! I feel grounded.

3:30 pm: Finally a chance to catch up with the school I’m working with tomorrow. The agenda is approved – the plan is in place. I run off the handouts I need.

4:00 pm District Accreditation Sub-committee Meeting: We have been re-writing the district plan to accredit schools. This is an important place to have my voice heard. This is hard work – deep thinking, and it is late in the day. I contribute what I can to the conversation and decision making – content in the knowledge that the administrators and teachers, as well as the parents on this committee know that I am a librarian by profession – and I have good ideas to contribute and support the ultimate mission – student success.

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Fantasy shopping

With out a doubt one of the top things I like about my job is ordering books. It's like fantasy shopping. I really like researching reviews and finding out what's hot in YA and other genres. Thankfully I am in the process of building a book collection for my library and finances have not been a major obstacle. I am pleased that so far my orders have payed off in increase circulation. The Meg Cabot collection took off better than I expected and I of course can't keep the many copies of "A Child Called it" on the shelf. I recently took an informal survey of my patrons about books that they would like to see on shelves and was surprised but also pleased that many wanted fantasy and romance books. Refreshing after hearing "where are the scary books" too many times to count.Ironically, I didn't enjoy my Selection class in the School Library Program I'm completing. Maybe because the class was small but I thought it should have been combined with the Reference class. Just a thought.
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Book Talks

Video book talks is something I started this year at my middle school. My school is lucky to have enough technology to incorporate a broadcasting class that cast a daily broadcast. Using my background in television I took the initiative to learn iMovie and create my own book talks much in the style of a movie trailer.I love the fact that I can use my Telivision/Film background in a way that encourages reading and markets the library. I wish I had more time to create my own video booktalks but since I am the only one running the library I have been unable to. Lately broadcasting students have taken on the book talk editing task (I still write the scripts and find the images for them to edit), but their book talks have fallen far below my standards since their orginal broadcasting teacher left and has been replaced by several subs.I have uploaded my first and I think my best video book talk based on the book "Interstellar Pig", a book I first read when I was in junior high.
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What I think about AR...

I sort of have a love/hate relationship with Accelerated Reader. On one hand I dislike how it seems to test just recall skills, has questionable reading levels, and can turn off students from reading for fun. On the other hand it's good for showing accountability, has an incentive for students to read a variety of books, and most importantly job security for elementary and middle school Teacher Librarians.I've had more fun with the AR program this year because I attached a theme to it. The theme happens to be a Pirate theme after I thought about the stereotypical Pirate phrase of Arrrrrrrrrrrh!. I have a bulletin board loaded with pirate stuff such as a Jolly Roger flag, a treasure map, as well as a hook. I've even shot a promotional commercial for our school broadcast using pirate action figures.Anybody else have thoughts on AR?
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Hello teacher librarians!

I just joined the Teacher Librarian Network here at Ning. Since I already have four blogs and a MySpace page I'm not sure just how much I will be using this, but hey, why not try something new? At least I'll have something in common with the folks here.
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WOW2 Show

Hello everyone, From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog comes the upcoming Wow2 Schedule. From the Blog: Every Tuesday night at 9pm EST, I meet with three dear friends over at to co-host the Wow2 show. (See the archive of past shows and this is the RSS feed to add it to your podcasts.) Put March 4 on your calendar: Doug Johnson AND Joyce Valenza are the invited guests. The post gives further details and links about how to listen to the podcast and join the live chat. Richard Beaudry Teacher Librarian
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Join us at Educon 2.0 on Saturday!

Joyce Valenza, Cathy Nelson, and I will be leading a conversation about libraries at a conference this Saturday called Educon 2.0. The session, Extreme Library Makeover, will be a discussion of what Library 3.0 could look like at your school.

The session will be streamed LIVE on Ustream, at 2:30 Eastern time.

For the link to the stream, click here:

In fact, all the sessions at the "unconference" will be Ustreamed!

You can watch the sessions or if you want to join the "chat" you can create a Ustream account.

Hope to see some of you there!

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Hi everyone, I am pleased to post this information. Congratulations to Laura Amy Schlitz from Park School in Baltimore. Additional information can be viewed below. Park School librarian wins Newbery Medal for children's literature Baltimore Sun January 15th, 2008 By Mary Carole McCauley and Jill Rosen | Sun Reporters,0,1829647.story?coll=bal_sports_baseball_util Richard Beaudry Teacher Librarian
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Some Positive News in the Press

Hi everyone, I came across this article in the Grand Rapids Press. It describes librarians as thus: "Today's librarians are high-tech information Hardy Boys and Nancy Drews, masters of mining cool databases and wizards at "wikis" -- a Web site or other online resource that allows users to edit content -- as well as social networking Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace." More information can be found at: Richard Beaudry Teacher Librarian
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Check out my blogspot - M A G E E's Blog

M A G E E's Blog is my original blog and I don't feel like it gets any hits. It certainly doesn't get many comments. So, I'm writing about it here in hopes of gaining readership which will hold me more accountable for journaling on it. You can signup to have emails when I post something new.

The latest post is about the "Learning 2.0 A Colorado Conversation" Conference. You should check out if you don't already know about it. It is going to be a great FREE conference in February in Colorado. My school district, St. Vrain Valley (SVVSD) has partnered with Littleton's and Arapahoe High School to put on this event.

Check out M A G E E's Blog and read about this worthwhile event!

P.S. Magee is my maiden name and my husband's nickname for me.

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New stuff (at least for me!)

I have discovered some new 2.0 technologies that I have found useful. These include Clipmarks, Twitter, Secondlife (I need to learn more about this to use it well), and podcasting (I need to learn a lot more about this to be really useful.) I also was given the opportunity to do my first booktalk. It went well with one book of the two being taken out.
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The XO is doing it!

Wed, Jan 02, 2008
Laptop project enlivens Peruvian hamlet
For early recipients of the One Laptop Per Child foundation's XO computers, life is profoundly different
From eSchool News staff and wire service reports

"The children of Arahuay prove OLPC’s transformative conceit: that you can revolutionize education and democratize the internet by giving a simple, durable, power-stingy but feature-packed laptop to the worlds’ poorest kids."

Today I got to touch one of these fantastic little XO's! A colleaque was given one by Santa! As part of the 2007 SVVSD District Technology Fair, we will be giving away one in a drawing for all students attending the awards. The winner will receive not only the XO laptop but also mentoring services from one of the Instructional Technology staff on using the XO. I wonder who will be mentoring who?

Will journal the project on this blog after the fair on February 2, 2008.

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Daily Lit -

Would you read a book from your email or an rss feed? I am going to try it out. My initial thought is yes of course I would, but time will tell. I am a little skeptical of myself.Dailylit began in May of 2007 from an idea generated from the NY Times special supplements of serialized classics. Dailylit takes the same approach only through email or rss.I've been reading "The Message" online this way for the past two years. Yes, many days I do not read it as the amount of text that is emailed is longer than I have time to read. But it is designed to be read in its entirety in one year. I didn't make it.So this will be interesting - will the book I chose, "The Secret Adversary" by Agatha Christie, be sectioned into emails that are of a length that I have time to deal with in email? They state 5 minutes to read each email, but . . .I love the concept, but realize the success of reading a book on email is based on the length of the section sent, the number of days each week that I receive it and how busy I am. As you can see I haven't posted since the beginning of December, but my hard drive failed and is still in the shop and I am on vacation borrowing my other family members' laptops when they are not on them. At least with Dailylit, I can read the book from my Blackberry.As part of the profile options, I chose daily rather than during the week only or Mon., Wed., Fri. to get in the habit, but I may find this is too often to deal with and switch to Mon., Wed., Fri. I also chose to receive the book via my personal email rather than work email or rss. Based on stress, projects, time, etc. I may or may not get to my personal email every day. Rare, but it does happen.I do like the option of getting another email right away if I have time that day, but I can also see these emails piling up faster than I can read them. Perhaps I better go switch my profile right now to Mon., Wed., Fri.There is a blog for comments. About 100,000 users have subscribed as of the Publishers Weekly article of 12/12/07. Sounds like there are a lot of folks out there with better habits than mine. I like that you can post to forums about the book that you are reading. I'll be interested to see if I hear back from anyone reading my choice. Might be a good way to do a book club!Check it out - it may just be your cup of tea!
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