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 blyberg.net 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!