Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sorry, to get in- you will need a ticket!

Remember how many of your teachers say to their students- "and your ticket to get out is this assignment". Now you can print them out.

Kim prowled around Concert Ticket Generator website (thanks to Librarian in Black- one of our great blogs). You can use it to create digital tickets for just about anything. She made one for our next Marian's gathering on December 8th.

How cool is that! ~ guybrarian

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Aggregators Unite!

There are several choices for aggregators these days. (Remember these are those things that let you know when a blog or podcast you are following gets updated)

The all time librarian favorite is BlogBridge which is software you need to download and install on your computer. This is a tough option for schools and educators that don't often use their own machines.

The second best choice for educators is to open a free account on Then you can click the "feeds" tab and select ADD FEEDS to paste the URL of LibPower into Bloglines.

The new version of Internet Explorer 7 has the capability of adding FEEDS too. But if you are going to download and install that, get FLOCK - another blog friendly search engine. (I think it is better.

If all else fails- try clicking on the ATOM feed button on the side of this blog and add it that way! Keep getting updates - and share great blogs that you have read! ~guybrarian

How are your students doing?

Recently, an interesting article on Inside Higher Ed about the information literacy skills for college kids. While the title is not that flattering, I found the study they cited interesting. According to the article they interviewed 6300 students and 63 universities and found their skills to be less than stellar.

This has some good messages for us- about reaching kids and helping them to be proficient at info lit standards. For example:

"...when asked to select a research statement for a class assignment, only 44 percent identified a statement that captured the assignment’s demands. And when asked to evaluate several Web sites, 52 percent correctly assessed the objectivity of the sites, 65 percent correctly judged for authority, and 72 percent for timeliness."

The study says that less than half students surveyed found a site that met these criteria.

So- I think we can do better...but we could help each other out by sharing ideas of how we do this. How do you teach resource evaluation? What activities do you do? How do you reach the most kids? Let me know in a comment. ~guybrarian

Monday, November 20, 2006

Library 2.0 and Students Blog?

In the November 2006 SLJ, read the article, A Matter of Radical Trust by Christopher Harris. He explains Library 2.0 (a concept I keep hearing about but didn't have a firm grasp of...) Harris says it's the concept of library services that encourage a more interactive engagement with patrons via blogs and other Web 2.0 tools. OK, that makes sense - interacting with our students & teachers using computer technology.

But that leads me to ask this question again - what is Web 2.0 then? Guybrarian Phil gave me a good explanation of Web 2.0 that I can paraphrase. He said the original web was one that we went to and took information from. The new web (2.0) is something we interact with using wikis, blogs, podcasts, etc We aren't only users of it, but are a part of it!

So Library 2.0 is an extension of Web 2.0 I think. We can have our teachers, students, and fellow librarians interact with us using web tools. I'm thinking of how that could happen and want your input.... I could have my fellow Marian Librarians write on this blog instead of sending emails to our group. I could have students post book reviews on a blog. I could have students do book reviews as podcasts that are on my LMC website - I like that one!
Your thoughts here.....

Back to the article, Harris writes that "the open and dynamic nature of Web sites is...a serious concern to schools." He asks "what if someone puts up something innappropriate"... on his blog for students. Good question! I had a brief discussion just like this with a history teacher here. She blogs, but she wouldn't include it as part of her classes for exactly that reason. She feels that being the blog facilitator is a huge responsibility that she doesn't want. More food for thought...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Kim's First Post

Phil Goerner, guybrarian extraordinaire, has spent the last hour trying to get me to be even more techie than I already am! He's stretching my brain. Now I will be a regular blogger and podcaster, thanks to him. I have a new account with Delicious,, and this one (LibPower).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Marians Meet...

At our most recent Marian's meeting Dr Laura challenged us to think about an aspect of collaboration that I had not before...methods of assessment. We viewed a philosophy from a library that included assessing for knowledge and misconceptions about a subject BEFORE you teach your collaborative lessons. Then finding active realistic methods of assessing She stressed that we "must continue to show that we are active partners of all aspects of collaboration- even assessments." Yeah!

LISZEN is a unique search engine for libraries that allows you to search over 500 library blogs using Google’s new Custom Search service. I haven't tried it too much but I think it could be very useful!

I found a really good library pathfinder site from Lakewood High School with 100's of cool resources for units that the librarian teaches with her staff. I think there are almost more here than Joyce Valenza has! Either one you choose - these are great resources.

I'm also sharing the new
Google's tools for educators (we are using calendar and spreadsheets) quite a bit, but I'd like to play with Sketch Up some more.

Have a good week- I've got to go fix a projector!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Librarian

Don't you just love inspiring movies about us! Too bad we can see this in most schools!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Banned book week is here! Thanks to inspiration from Kim and the Exploratorium museum, ideas from Lynn - we came up with a few displays. In addition- we teamed up the public school librarian to present 1st amendment rights using Vamos a Cuba and the Miami Dade County School District.

All in all, we saw over 400 students and I really feel that after playing a parent, student, judge, librarian or even a school board member- they wrestled with what a book challenge is all about. Many thanks to Kathleen, my Longmont Public Library partner. It was cool!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bifurcate to Survive!

Kim sent me an interesting observation:

Just an interesting observation.... In September's American Libraries magazine is an article called "Bifurcate to Survive". That means, cut into two pieces. The author says "to today's students, libraries means "books", not "information". What a simple, but helpful idea! If we can get today's techie kids to think of the library as a place to get information, and not just a place to get books, we might be able to hook them on how helpful we (and databases) are.

She got me to thinking about what I've recently found within Library 2.0 info...the idea is that libraries have always been providers of information. Now, that information isn't necessarily within the walls of the library. Think about it...our databases span throughout the world, we teach our students research skills so they can find, see, hear and do things from within or outside our walls. All this whether our staff is present or not. hmmm...

So...remember reading about Second Life in SLJ in June? It is a virtual community. The teen Second Life Library construction was spearheaded by Lori Bell, (in real life she is the Director of Innovation at the Alliance Library System). When I visited the library, there was an online reference desk with live chat capabilities. There are events like the monthly Book Discussions where folks gather to talk about books like On the Road, Fire Sale and The House on Mango Street. The Main library has Reference Services, Books, Audiobooks, Special displays (like the Declaration of Independence for Constitution day!)

Sure makes you wonder what our students will do next huh!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Marians Meeting

What a lively gathering we had the other day. I'm always amazed at the passion of my peers for their library work. Sitting down once a month or so with a diverse set of folks is very invigorating. I often find that I leave our gatherings with more energy than when I came. (with that in mind...maybe we'd better meet tonight- what a week!)

OK. I promised to share some things with my buddies. So here goes:

I talked about how an aggregator can use a web feeds to find things like weblogs, podcasts or anything that is updated. They actualy save use time because they go out and find our subscribed pages and look for updates. They are extremely useful tools, and most of them are easy to use.

Blogbridge is my favorite for PC's, and I've heard lots of librarians use it. You can organize your favorites in a variety of ways, and it will display the new material right in the window.

My new favorite browser is FLOCK which is perhaps best described by librarian Kathleen Gilroy on her Library 2.0 blog. She really does a nice job of explaining how this browser is a search engine, photo aggregator, news aggregator and blogging tool. (You could use this instead of Blogbridge if you want) I really like it and had the district install it on my machine here at school.

Some of you were interested in online conferences. There are two really good ones that I know of. One is a K12 Online conference that our own Bud (the teacher) will be speaking at. Another library specific online conference will be happening in February, but there has been a call for presenters. Meredith Farkas is one of the team members setting up this conference titled Five Weeks to a Social Library.

Lastly, we are all working on a online manual to help us with Horizon. Marium is a wiki that is pretty simple to edit, create new pages and links that add valuable information. I would love for you to add info- just contact me for passwords! It is also searchable (which helps me tons!)

Hope this helps! ~guybrarian

Monday, September 11, 2006

¡prohibamos los libros!

Here I am getting ready for banned ALA's Banned Book week September 24-30 and this great story pops up from Miami Dade County School Board banning a book. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the decision stating that they had violated the rights of students and parents, and sent the issue to Federal Court.

I looked up several of the stories that surround this issue, and it is quite emotional. I wonder how we get our students to struggle with ways to combat inaccuracies in the books. Of course I would love for this to happen without removing books, perhaps by finding more stories to stack on our bookshelves. Here is the news from the Sun-Sentinal:

A federal judge sided with the ACLU, ordering the books back on the shelves in a preliminary injunction, but the school board voted Aug. 22 to appeal that decision.

Ronald Bilbao, 18, immediate past president of the Miami-Dade County Student Government Association and a plaintiff in the ACLU suit, served on the district-level review committee, which voted 15-1 to keep the book.

"It's ridiculous that we go to school to learn and to have every educational tool available to us and the school board is hindering our education by removing tools like books," he said.

Hmm, how do we stimulate our students to help them to think and speak in mature ways? Looking for ideas....~guybrarian
Listen to NPR BOOK podcast about this issue!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Card Catalog Creator!

OK Marians- you too can create your own Catalog Card from the generator. I'm teaching a class on Library 2.0 stuff next week, so I've been playing around with new cards. It is pretty fun to add handwritten notes and text. If you don't like a style, click Make It again and you can view a new style. Enjoy!

....and we're off!

This blog is an opportunity to have an ongoing conversation in order to share events, resources and even our different perspectives with one another. Projects, collaboration techniques and successful programs in our school settings are great things to write. From time to time we may present issues or concepts that we are wrestling with. In fact, let's really push each other to provide the best services we can. Let us know your needs and struggles- we'll work on them together. I have invited some Marian editors to help out- but if you would like to comment- just click on the comment section and leave us a note!

Using the wisdom from all of us- we can excel!