Friday, December 16, 2011

Award opportunity

Would you like to have your PTA recognized statewide for their collaboration with your library?  It’s easy!   Apply for the Shirley Igo PTA/Library Collaboration Award and your PTA and your library can receive recognition at TLA and the PTA leadership conference in 2012.  This is a fairly new award, and we hope to hear from your school!

Go to for more information.

Past winners have been from the Houston, Dallas, and Austin area. Let’s hear from your area!

Deadline is March 23, 2012.

Robin Dwight
Chairman of the Shirley Igo Committee

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tracking Charts for Bluebonnet and Lone Star

Tom at Follett has provided us with tracking charts for the new Bluebonnet and Lone Star lists. They have been posted to Docushare. Please feel free to download at your convenience.

Bluebonnet Reading Chart 2012-13

TX Lone Star Reading Chart 2012

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Reading Year

After hearing Donalyn Miller at Region 10 last December, I was inspired to really make reading a priority and started faithfully tracking the books that I read on Goodreads. I also entered the 2011 Reading Challenge and set a goal to read 111 books in 2011. As of today, I have read 99 - #100 is in progress. It will be close, but hopefully I can reach my goal by the end of the year - especially if I finish reading all of the new Mockingbird books that came in not too long ago before the Christmas holidays!

Since I have been keeping track of what I read on Goodreads it is easy to tell you that I have read 23,355 pages and my genre chart looks like this:

I've obviously spent a lot of time this year in the Adult Mystery and YA Realistic Fiction genres!

This year I read in more formats and using more devices than ever before. I read print books (hardcover and paperback), digital ebooks on the Sony Reader, iPad, iPad 2 and iPhone, and even listened to a couple of digital audiobooks using my iPhone. I read books that I bought, books on loan from friends, books borrowed and downloaded from Overdrive libraries (ours and Mesquite Public) and books that I got in the Exhibit Hall at ALA.

Looking back at the books I rated with 5 stars, I thought I'd share with you my top 10. Remember, these weren't necessarily published in 2011 - these are the top 10 favorites from the books I've read so far this year (in no particular order):

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Room by Emma Donoghue

Columbine by Dave Cullen

The Ridge by Michael Koryta

How was your reading year? What were some of your favorite books? Please share in the comments!

ALA Midwinter is in Dallas

ALA's Midwinter Meeting is in Dallas this year! Midwinter mostly consists of ALA committee meetings, so you might not want to attend the whole thing, but you CAN attend the exhibits FREE OF CHARGE.

Exhibits passes have been given to us, courtesy of Tom Bolger, our wonderful Follett rep!

ALA exhibits are known for having a huge quantity of ARCs available for free, as well as top authors signing in publishers' booths. Click here for the list of authors/illustrators who will be appearing.

Other features in the Exhibit Hall.

Exhibits open on Friday, January 20 with an all-conference reception from 5:30-7:30pm. Additional Exhibit Hall hours are Saturday, January 21 and Sunday, January 22 from 9am to 5pm and Monday, January 23 from 9am to 2pm.

If you are interested in getting an Exhibits pass, leave a comment below and I will email you the information you need to sign up.

I hope many of you will take advantage of this opportunity!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Are you a fan of Pinterest?

Pinterest is like a virtual bulletin board where people save and organize all the cool things they find on the web. People use Pinterest to plan weddings, redecorate homes, and organize recipes.

Now librarians are also using Pinterest to share great ideas.

Check out these boards (some by MISD librarians!):

Teen Programming in Libraries

Colleen Duke's library board

Brittney Tubb's library board

Biblio Board

Marnie Cushing's Library Stuff board

If you have a favorite library "pinner" that you like to follow, please share in the comments!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Library leaders needed!

Leaders for the library profession are needed now as budgets, services, and the very concept of school libraries are under the gun. 

The TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute provides advanced training in strategic planning, management, communication, and advocacy that can help librarians transform their positions to become leaders at their campuses.

If you have worked in libraries for five years or more, if you have started new service initiatives for your library or in your community, and if you are looking for ways to help school libraries thrive, please check out the TALL Texans Institute at

The seminar will be taught be ALA President Elect Maureen Sullivan, a nationally-known consultant for organizational development, and Jack Siggins of George Washington University. Additional coaching will be provided by six mentors drawn from the top veteran leaders of the Texas library community, including Nora Galvan of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD and Deborah Hall of Houston ISD.

Up to twenty-four participants will be selected by March 1 to attend the 2012 Institute on June 10-13 at the Montserrat Retreat Center in Lake Dallas, Texas. Many sources of financial aid are available to cover the registration fee of $595, which includes all instruction, classroom materials, quarters, and meals for the duration of the program.
An online application form is available at

Completed forms are due by January 27; applicants are encouraged to begin the form as soon as possible to have adequate time to complete all sections.

More details are available on the Institute home page at

We've had several Mesquite librarians selected to participate in this Institute. I was a graduate of the class of 1995 and it was one of the most beneficial experiences of my career as a librarian. 

Will you be next?

Power Videos

I have had several teachers request the passkey to Power Videos. I think they are starting to see links in the curriculum and have forgotten that you sent out the info earlier in the year. It might be kind to resend that info! Remember I have specific links that will take your staff straight to the registration page for your campus. If you need me to send you that link again, let me know. :-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Co-teaching in the library

Andersen Ross / Blend / Learning Pictures / Universal Images Group
***Although these examples are elementary, this is what co-teaching in the library looks like at any level.***

I recently had this question from an elementary principal:

I believe first and second grade classes are going to the library for 30 minutes.
What would I expect to see in that 30 minutes?  What is the responsibility of the teacher/librarian?

This was my answer:

The ideal would be for there to be some type of lesson focusing on either reading, research or technology skills where the librarian and the teacher co-teach.

 The teacher sets the purpose for the instruction to take place and ties it to what is being taught in the classroom. The librarian then teaches the skill lesson, with the teacher monitoring groups or independent practice as needed. At the end, the teacher again ties the learning in with what is going on in the classroom and both talk about why the skill is important in the real world.

 For example, if the class is working on main idea, they could continue this in the library. The teacher would review the definition of main idea as she taught it in the classroom. Then the librarian could introduce a read aloud, asking students to listen for the main idea. After the read aloud, the librarian would lead a discussion about the main idea in the story read. Students would tell what they think the main idea was, while the teacher scribes these ideas. Then the librarian and the teacher would help them come to a consensus on the correct answer based on the definition of main idea.

 A research lesson might be how to use a picture dictionary. The teacher would tie that in with spelling, vocabulary, reading, etc. The librarian would teach the lesson. Both the librarian and the teacher would monitor as students practice using the dictionary, then the teacher would talk about why it's important to learn to use a dictionary.

 Checkout should be taking place on an as needed basis - maybe daily for the little ones. They can come individually to the library when they need a new book or the teacher can bring the whole class. If the library is big enough, instruction and checkout can take place at the same time - especially if individual students are coming on their own.

Co-teaching with the librarian is a new idea for some teachers. How is it going on your campus?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TumbleBooks now for iPad!

TumbleBooks now has their first batch of iPad-compatible Tumblebooks. Just below the "StoryBooks" heading, there is a link called Click Here for iPad-compatible Titles. Click on this link and the iPad books will be sorted for you. Then, simply click on the iPad button to launch the book of your choice. The book will appear in a small window at first but it can be expanded by clicking the full screen button.

They have plans to create iPad content for the entire TumbleBooks collection!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Fair/Activity Account Purchasing Procedure

Please remember that all purchases made with Book Fair funds must be approved by Library Services in one of two ways:

1. If you are getting one of the credit cards from Purchasing, send an email request for approval. Take the email with you to pick up the card.

2. If you are requesting a check, your secretary must send the check requisition to Library Services for approval. We will then send it on to the Business Office for payment.

The Business Office has called to get approval on a couple of check requisitions that were not sent to Library Services first, but they are going to start sending them back to the secretary if they don't have the proper signatures. You might want to remind your secretary about this the next time you purchase something.

Close Up Of Hand Writing Check. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 22 Nov 2011.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ensure school libraries are properly staffed

While we in Mesquite are fortunate to have a certified librarian on every campus, we know that this is not the case everywhere. Signatures are now being collected on a petition to ensure that all school libraries are properly staffed, open and available to children every day. It still needs 16,000 signatures before November 27. Feel free to share the information with friends and family and on your social networks, if you think it is important.
Here's the link:

Day Williams / Photo Researchers / Universal Images Group

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Thanks to Joyce Valenza for posting about this new directory of apps selected by a team of four Apple Distinguished Educators. The apps have been actually classroom tested. Very nicely organized by Preschool, Themes, Multiple Intelligences, and Bloom's Taxonomy. The website is very visually appealing.

Check out:

Appitic: a learning app directory

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Bluebonnet Titles added to the digital library!

We've just added several titles from the 2012-2013 Bluebonnet Master List to our digital library. See the titles below. They should be ready to checkout now!

  • Aliens on Vacation--audio books
  • Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!-- ebooks
  • EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken--ebooks
  • Hero--ebooks and audio books
  • Play, Louis, Play--ebooks
  • Ruth and the Green Book--ebooks
We'll check again later in the year as more titles may become available digitally.

Photo credit:John Shaw / NHPA / Photoshot / Universal Images Group

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MP3 Players

If you are thinking about purchasing MP3 players to use with the digital library always check the Overdrive Device Resource Center. Even after you decide on a brand to purchase you want to make sure that it plays secure WMA files.

When looking at a device go to the Product features and look under Supported Formats. It may list WMA but make sure it ALSO lists Secure WMA as shown below.

These devices may be a little more expensive but can usually be found for around $50. Some of the less expensive MP3 players won't play secure files. I believe you should easily be able to find these players at Best Buy or Walmart.

Once you have these devices you should be able to download any audio book from our digital library. Several schools are already loading books and lending to students on these devices. Comment here if you are doing this and let others know how it's working.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Elementary: Opportunity to see Jeff Kinney

Jeff Kinney's author visit to the Bank Street College of Education will be webcast live by School Library Journal on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 10am EST/9am CST. The webcast is for 3rd-6th graders.  

Click on the link below to register your campus!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Preliminary schedule for TLA 2012

If you are on the list to attend TLA and not sure if you want to go, please review the preliminary schedule below. Instructions for registration will be coming after the Winter Break!

The Texas Library Association is proud to announce the preliminary schedule for the 2012 Conference in Houston, Texas!

The 2012 Conference will be on April 17-20, with over 125 programs for school librarians!
Or see the big picture at!

Just a few of the featured speakers include Susan Ballard, Orson Scott Card, Patrick Carman, Willy Claflin, Harlen Coben, Justin Cronin, David Ferriero, Nathan Fillion, John Green, Tim Green, Christian Grey, Robie Harris, , Bruce Kingma, Mike Millard, Eli Neiburger, Christopher Paolini,  David Shumaker, Megan Smolenyak, Barbara Stripling, and Christian Zabriskie.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Be a shining star!

Here's your opportunity to shine and let librarians around the state know about the great things that are happening in MISD libraries!

The 2012 Annual Conference Program Committee is looking for librarians who would like the opportunity to present at a TLA conference event – “1001 Great Ideas:  A Best Practices Forum”

This event will be held on Tuesday, April 15 from 4:00-5:30 PM. “1001 Great Ideas” is designed to offer small table top sessions representing best practices from all types of libraries in an informal, conversational atmosphere. This event will feature more than 50 small programs occurring simultaneously that are geared to give attendees a taste of the current research, projects and best practices in the library field.  If you have great ideas and examples of best practices please consider submitting a proposal!

The deadline for proposal submission is extended to November 30, 2011.  The online submission form is available on the TLA website at

Please feel free to contact Suzanne Lyons at the address/phone below if you have any questions on this exciting opportunity.

Suzanne Lyons, M.Ed., M.L.S.
Library Specialist
Houston ISD Library Services
Student Support Services Annex - Route 6
6100 Knox
Houston, TX 77091
713.695.5652      fax 713.696.6438

Photo credit: Andy Crawford/ Dorling Kindersley / Universal Images Group

Friday, November 4, 2011

Always Available!

We've added some titles to the digital library that will always be available. No holds on these items! For secondary students we added 25 MP3 audio books of classic literature by Blackstone audio. Elementary students have 25 Crabtree nonfiction pdf titles always ready to download.

To see the exact titles:
  • Go to Advanced Search

  • Search by Publisher--Blackstone or Crabtree
You will see Always Available on the new titles we have purchased.
Please promote these titles with students and staff!

***Special thanks to the librarians that helped select the titles: Tracey S, Elizabeth, Anna B., Kelly, Sharon H , Sherry, Marnie, Selena, Cheri, Brenda,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

STAAR update

As we learned on Monday, new information about STAAR is released daily. The latest news (found in the STAAR Q&A below) is that TEA will NOT be producing Information Booklets as they did for TAKS. The curriculum coordinators advise checking the TEA STARR web page on a regular basis for new information.

Another option would be to sign up for the Student Assessment listserv to get the latest info delivered to your inbox. To do this, go to, choose Student Assessment from the pull down list and click Join.

I have uploaded a couple of documents that Terry mentioned on Monday to Docushare for your convenience. Click the links below to open the documents in PDF format.

STAAR Q&A (11-1-11)

ELAR TEKS Vertical Alignment (with readiness and supporting standards color coded)

Overdues, bills, and time--OH mY!

It's that time of year when students are accumulating bills and overdues. I just wanted to do a quick review of our policy since it changed last year.
  • Bills are automatically created after items are overdue for 1 month
  • Books are billed at 16.00; AV billed at 24.00; Magazines billed at 4.00
  • Payments may be accepted as CASH, CHECK or TIME
  • You should never use TIME to cancel a bill that is a mistake. Call me for help with this- 5547
  • Time is worked off at 8.00 per hour, so it would take 2 hours to work off a book
  • Students paying with time are limited to shelving, edging and dusting
  • If a book is found, return it to cancel the bill automatically
Post questions here!

David R. Frazier / Photo Researchers / Universal Images Group

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tech Help

As you are aware, the district is using a new filter this school year. Instructional Technology has asked us to help spread the word about the filter and websites. We are basically starting over with the "allowed" websites. If you find websites that should be allowed please fill out the "allow" form. They feel many teachers (and librarians) are dealing with the issue and not filling out the form. Please encourage staff to fill out the "Internet Filter Allow" and make the filter work better for us. You can get to the form through the links above but it is located on the Staff button of the Mesquite ISD homepage.

Along these same lines, I've heard from several of you that on particular machines or with particular students the filter doesn't seem to behave as you think it should. Maybe it's asking for a login after a student is already logged in. I have gotten permission to send these to tech services so we can troubleshoot some of the problems instead of going through the help desk. Below is a form for you to fill out explaining issues you experience in your library. Fill out the form and I'll pass on to the appropriate personnel. Hopefully, this will help you and tech services find some solutions to problems. Any new technology always has glitches to work out. Thanks for being part of the solution!!

Filter Issues

Adam Peck / PA Archive / Press Association Images / Universal Images Group

Go Grolier!

We have trials to 2 databases for you to try! Scholastic owns Grolier and has updated all the encyclopedias and databases. Some of you may remember we used to subscribe to Lands and People, America the Beautiful, New Book of Popular Science and others. The True Flix database is actually "new true" books online. There are 56 books to access appropriate for elementary students. The trial links can be found on the Library Services Virtual Library or you can just click the images to the left. I will email the username/passwords. The trials are good through December 15.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Follow me to AASL!

I'm very excited to be representing TASL at the AASL conference in Minneapolis later this week. Imagine a whole conference full of sessions just for school librarians - I'll be in library heaven! :-)

To see what I'm learning,you can follow me on Twitter. I'll be posting updates frequently. If you aren't a Twitter user, don't worry. You can follow me without having a Twitter account yourself. Just come to the sidebar of this blog and look at the Twitter widget to see my last few tweets. To see all of my tweets, click on my name, then click the link: See @marywoodard's full profile. This will give you access to all of the resources and ideas that I'll be gathering throughout the week!

To see what other people are tweeting about from AASL, just type #aasl11 in the search box on my Twitter home page. This is a great way to follow what is happening, even if you can't be there in person.

So check in and see what I'm up to. This is one instance where stalking is ok! :-)

New Bluebonnet list announced

The Texas Bluebonnet Master List for 2012-2013 was announced over the weekend at the Texas Book Festival by Phil Bildner and Jack Gantos.

Click here for a copy of the list in PDF format. reading challenge is sponsoring a program called "Raise a Reader," which includes a reading challenge. Schools can register to win $5000 for the school library by logging the number of minutes read by students. Click the link above to get more information!
Leave a comment with your name if you think you might participate.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And the winner is...

Students at Agnew will soon be enjoying more copies of this year's Lone Star books. The winner of an additional set is Paula Hill!

We will have them processed and sent to Agnew ASAP. Congratulations, Paula!

TLA District 5 meeting

This year's TLA District 5 meeting is right in our own backyard!

Use the link below to register, if you'd like to attend. Here's the invitation:

Please join your library colleagues for a free afternoon of continuing education, networking, and fun!

District Five of the Texas Library Association will hold the annual conference at the Texas A&M Commerce Metroplex Center
(2600 Motley Drive, Mesquite, TX) on November 9, 1pm to 4pm.

Breakout sessions include:

Digital Collections in the Library
There’s a Google App for That!
Jing: When Words Aren’t Enough!
Cloud-Based Presentations using Prezi!

To register, please visit (click the REGISTER button in the left hand menu).

Image citation:
Hispanic Man Reading In Backyard. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 20 Oct 2011.

Monday, October 17, 2011

iOS 5 is here!

You will want to update your iPad with the new software! Click here to watch a video on the cool new features.

To update your iPad:
  1. Update iTunes to version 10.5 on your laptop or computer (the one you used to originally sync with the iPad)
  2. Connect your iPad
  3. Transfer all purchases on the iPad to the laptop/computer for a backup
  4. To do this: go to file and choose "transfer purchases from (your iPad)"
  5. Sync your iPad
  6. Click your iPad icon listed on the left side of iTunes and click the Summary tab on the top
  7. You should see a message that there is a new software update.
  8. Click update
You might want to allow some time for this. It took Mary and I about an hour for the process.
This sync is more in-depth than other updates and there will be some questions for you to answer on your iPad to reset it up. Call me if you have questions!! 5547

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lone Star giveaway

I have a set of Lone Star books to give away!

Entering is easy...just leave a comment telling me why you'd like a set of Lone Star books for your library. Be sure to include your name with your comment.

The drawing will be held Wednesday, October 19.

Friday Food for Thought

It's the second six weeks of school. Have you updated your web site lately? This blog post has some great ideas for your web site. If you don't have time to read the whole post, I have quoted the most important points below - 5 Things Every School Library Website Should Have:

Communicating what you're doing is all-important! How are you showcasing the learning that takes place in your library? Do you post examples of student work? Do students have the opportunity to provide feedback on your site? With all of the interactive tools that are available now, there is so much that you could do. 
If you'd like help adding some of these elements to your web site, Debbie and I are always available to help you figure it out!

Happy Friday!

This would be a great example of parody to share with older students. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And the winner is...

I used the True Random Number Generator to determine the winner of the Bluebonnet drawing. The winner was commenter #6, T. Cowart!

Congratulations, Terri! We'll have the set processed for Beasley and send them right out to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Activity Report clarification

At the beginning of the year, I posted information regarding how to complete the Activity Report each six weeks.

As with anything new, there have been a couple of questions. I'm posting those questions and their answers here for your future reference.

Q:  I taught 1 lesson to 6 classes. Do I count 1 or 6? 

A: The report asks for how many lessons you taught, so you would count the number of times you taught the lesson. In this particular example, you would enter "6."

Q: I taught Biography Resource Center to students doing research on Leaders. Can I count it in both categories – research & technology?

A: Yes, if you feel that the focus was equal on both areas.

Q: Do we count leadership per event or position? I am the announcement sponsor, so do I count it once each day or one time for the entire six weeks?

A: The report asks for number of leadership activities. In this example, you would count each time you perform that particular leadership activity, which would be once each day.

Paper On Clipboard And Pen. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 5 Oct 2011.

Bluebonnet giveaway

I have a set of Bluebonnet books to give away!

Entering is easy...just leave a comment telling me why you'd like a set of Bluebonnet books for your library. Be sure to include your name with your comment.

The drawing will be held Tuesday, October 11.

Image citation:
Texas Bluebonnets. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 5 Oct 2011.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Trailers from Permabound

Barb Swanson sent a link to book trailers for elementary, middle and high school students. There are some individual book trailers and compilation trailers for this year's Bluebonnet and Lone Star lists. She said feel free to use these trailers. They have no copyright restrictions.

Permabound Book Trailers


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Linworth webinars

Library Services is coordinating two Linworth webinars this semester for any librarians who would like to attend. Each webinar counts as 1 hour of CPE credit.

If you're interested, please register by Friday, October 7.

Using Digital Tools to Support Inquiry-Based Learning
with Pam Berger

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 3:00-4:00 PM, PDC Room 216
Technology has never been easier or more accessible. Now is the time to learn how to harness its power to support learning! Explore some of the newest and the best Web 2.0 tools that engage and motivate students, support inquiry learning, and scaffold thinking skills. Learn which tools best serve to support the thinking skills at each phase of the inquiry process.

Register here

Get in the Game: Developing a Plan for Choosing Technologies to Support Student Learning Through Your Library Program
with Buffy Hamilton

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 3:00-4:00 PM, PDC Room 216
Want to know how to choose the right tech solutions for your library? This webinar explores best practices for developing a game plan for your technology integration projects, and considers inquiry, instructional design, and participatory learning as contexts for thoughtful, collaborative decision making in conjunction with classroom teachers to choose technologies that best support student learning.

Register here

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday FYI's

  • Your TitleWise Collection Analysis has been updated so if you are ordering from Follett,you should be able to see copies you own.
  • We purchased iMovie (as promised) and Explain Everything. for your iPads. Explain Everything is a design tool that lets you annotate, animate and narrate presentations. Check out the link!
  • You will be receiving REDEEM codes in the mail soon for these 2 apps. Remember to go to iTunes and then click REDEEM so you don't pay for them.
  • In the Digital Library, 6th grade students now have access to middle school books. YAY!
  • Did we mention Kindle format is here NOW! Have you tried it yet?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spread the word! Kindle format is available in the Mesquite ISD Digital Library! Let your Kindle owners know they can now checkout our digital ebooks and have them delivered to their Kindle.

Don't have a Kindle but have the Kindle app? This works too and lets users experience all the great features that Kindle has to offer.

Try it for yourself. Mary and I both just downloaded a book from our iPad to our Kindle app. After checking out the Kindle book it directed us to login to our Amazon account and then delivered the book to our app. Easy!

Let me know if you have questions!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flash on the iPad

At our iPad training Monica teased us with how to get flash on our iPads and then ran out of time! I asked her about it and she sent a list of apps that may work. According to Monica, "While the iPad does not officially support any Flash, the iPad apps below are designed to play Flash content on the iPad. None of the iPad apps listed below guarantees the content you want will play, but all are worth exploring."

I loaded the free iSwifter and ran a test from a YouTube flash test and it worked fine. It's definitely worth a try!
Apps to try:


Encyclopedia Britannica sent us some promotional materials for our newest database, Image Quest. You should be receiving posters, monitor ads, and flyers. Image Quest has over 1.5 million rights-cleared images from over 40 of the best collections in the world. Dorling Kindersley, Getty, National Geographic are a few. Teachers can use the images in their lesson plans and classroom activities while students can use these in products. Below is an image I found after typing in learning.

Photo credit:LWA/Dann Tardif / Blend / Learning Pictures / Universal Images Group

Friday, September 16, 2011

Are you giving yourself credit?

At the beginning of the year, we talked about how many of you weren't submitting statistics for things that you deemed an ordinary part of your job. 

We just finished up Open House for this year. This is one of those ordinary parts of your job. You do it every year. In fact, you are required to be there. You're not required to do anything but hang out in the library and visit with any parents and students who happen to come in.

Some of you, though, use Open House as a golden opportunity to showcase the library and design ways to get people in. You go beyond what is required to get people into the library.

What did you do during Open House this year to encourage people to stop in and visit the library? 

...Demonstrate the Digital Library or other library resources? 

...Offer a story time or activities for toddlers while parents met with their older siblings' teachers? 

...Check out books to parents?

...Pass out a flyer advertising the services you can provide?

...Display a video of students learning in the library?

If you took the opportunity to promote what you do in the library at Open House, you need to give yourself credit - because it's not required and you have gone above and beyond.

Count what you did as 1 Special Event and describe what you did that was a step above the norm. You deserve it!

Photo citation: Superman.

Elementary only: Tejas Star Book Award

Elementary librarians who serve Spanish speaking students may want to consider having those students participate in the Tejas Star Book Award program. This program is similar to the Bluebonnet program in that participants who read three (3) books from the list are eligible to vote for their favorite. This list, however, features books that are published originally in Spanish or in full Spanish/English bilingual format. More details about the program can be found on the Region 1 ESC web site.

Even if you choose not to participate in the reading program, this list is a great resource for you to use when purchasing Spanish and bilingual books. The web site also has lists from years past that you might want to use for collection development purposes.

2011-2012 Tejas Star Book Award List

Alvarez, Julia, and Ruddy Núñez (Illus.). 2009. El mejor regalo del mundo: la leyenda de La Vieja Belén = The Best Gift of All: The Legend of La Vieja Belén. Miami, Fla: Alfaguara.

Argueta, Jorge,  and Fernando Vilela (Illus.). 2010. Arroz con leche: un poema para cocinar = Rice Pudding: A Cooking Poem. Toronto: Groundwood Books.

Brown, Monica, and Joe Cepeda (Illus.). 2010. Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and César Chávez = Lado a lado: la historia de Dolores Huerta y César Chávez. New York: Rayo.

Contreras, Kathleen, and Margaret Lindmark (Illus.). 2009. Braids = Trencitas. New York: Lectorum.

Colato Laínez, René, and Joe Cepeda (Illus.). 2010. From North to South = Del Norte al Sur. San Francisco, Calif: Children's Book Press.

Garza, Xavier. 2010. Kid Cyclone Fights the Devil and Other Stories = Kid Ciclon se enfrenta a El Diablo y otras historias. Houston: Piñata Books.

Hayes, Joe, and Mauricio Trenard Sayago (Illus.). 2008. Dance, Nana, Dance = Baila, Nana, baila : Cuban Folktales in English and Spanish. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Lacámara, Laura, and Yuyi Morales (Illus.). 2010. Floating on Mama's Song = Flotando con la canción de mamá. New York: Katherine Tegen Books.

Lachtman, Ofelia Dumas, and Alex Pardo DeLange (Illus.). 2011. Pepita and the Bully = Pepita y la peleonera. Houston, Tex: Piñata Books.

Luna, James, and Laura Lacámara (Illus.). 2010. The Runaway Piggy = El cochinito fugitivo. Houston, Tex: Piñata Books.

Martínez, Rueben, and Raúl Colón (Illus.). 2010. Once Upon a Time: Traditional Latin American tales = Había una vez: cuentos tradicionales latinoamericanos. New York, NY: Rayo.

Mora, Pat, and John Parra (Illus.). 2009. Gracias = Thanks. New York: Lee & Low Books.

Price, Mara, and Lisa Fields (Illus.). 2010. Grandma's Chocolate = El chocolate de abuelita. Houston, Tex: Piñata Books. 

Saenz, Benjamin Alire, and Geronimo García (Illus.). 2009. The Dog Who Loved Tortillas = La perrita que le encantaban las tortillas. El Paso, Tex: Cinco Puntos Press.

Zepeda, Gwendolyn, and Pablo Torrecilla (Illus.). 2011. I Kick the Ball = Pateo el balón. Houston, Tex: Piñata Books.

I make House Calls!

One of the librarians asked Mary if I made "house calls".

I do!

If you find yourself asking:
  • How do I use Overdrive on the iPad?
  • What exactly is Dropbox?
  • How can I help my students use the digital library?
  • How can I stop the page creep on my Workflows reports?
  • How do I use that new image database?
Any technology question???

I'll make a house call! Please schedule my time to visit with you about any technology questions you have. Fill out this brief form and we'll get an appt set up for YOU!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Author Visit Info

Authors (or other guest speakers) who will be supervised by the librarian or another staff member during their visit will NOT need to complete a background check ahead of time. They will, however, need to check in at the office with a driver's license to receive a name tag upon arrival.

Click here for additional information from our Policies and Procedures wiki about hosting an author visit.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ILL and the Learning Center

You may be receiving ILL requests from teachers at the Learning Center. I heard specifically from Christi Elkins, the CAPE Behavioral Specialist. Since they have no library, they need books! I explained you would be happy to share when possible. Since they do not have an ILL username, just check out the items to the person requesting and route through tub system as you would with normal ILL's. Thanks for all you do for your campus and the district!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book orders due October 28

Book orders may be sent to Library Services at any time between now and October 28, 2011. The sooner you send in your orders, the sooner you will get your new materials!

Gail will be emailing you the amount that you have left to spend in your 11-12 budget. Remember, these funds are to be spent on hardcover books and select AV materials.

NOTE: The preferred format for reference materials and media is digital. You will be asked to provide a rationale regarding any orders submitted that include print reference, DVDs or other media.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Gail or Mary.

Happy spending!

Photo citation: A small wedding gift.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Food for Thought

The article below is by David Allen, author of Getting Things Done. You may remember that one of our groups did a book study on his book a couple of years ago.

There is one organization that never has fires and crises—the fire department. Think about it.
They are constantly being interrupted from getting their work done. They have to clean, polish, maintain, train, fill out forms, hire, communicate, order toilet paper, cook lunch, feed the dog, give speeches, and maintain a happy face. Suddenly a bell rings and everything gets overturned. And the vast majority of these interruptions are false alarms!
They accept and organize for this. I was in Los Angeles many years ago when a large part of the city was on fire. On the news I didn't see one fire company just throwing the hoses willy-nilly back on the truck to get to the next one. It's just a neat, methodical procedure, implemented with consistency and integrity, taking into account the realities of the situation and the resources at hand.

Is there a lesson here? How long are people going to complain about continual surprises and interruptions, especially the ones that are inherently natural to the business and value we are trying to add? And, if there were never any surprises, most of us would be bored stupid in a few days; and the competition would have probably eaten our lunch already with purely bureaucratic efficiency.
Your ability to deal with surprise, elegantly and proactively, is your personal and organizational competitive edge. You just need to ensure that your systems can keep things under control from any angle, with appropriate distinctions between what's movable and what's not. Then turning on a dime is an effortless spin instead of a clumsy crash and burn.

The school librarian's day is full of surprises and interruptions. Are you organized in a way that allows you to deal with them "elegantly and productively"?

Photo citation: Fire.

Circulation Computers

We were able to change the circulation computer password so that I could create a barcode for you to use. The password is the same as before except the letters are all CAPS. The login name didn't change. (xxxlibrary) You will be receiving a barcode in the mail that you can begin using immediately.

To use the barcode:
  • Start computer
  • Press ctrl-alt-delete
  • Scan the card for the password (your username should already be listed)
If you need to login before getting your barcode, just be sure to use all caps.

I heard from some of you that the Workflows barcode doesn't work due to the automatic return. If you will type the username and just use the barcode for the password, it will work.

Let me know if you have questions. :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sept 13-iPad Training

Next Tuesday we will meet at the PDC Leadership room for iPad Training! Plan to begin at 12:30 and bring your iPad! ;-)

The app store is now charging a price for Go Sky Watch. If you didn't get it for free, let me know and I can purchase it for you to redeem at the iTunes store. Just let me know immediately so I can get you the code for download! There is a Toy Story 3 iphone app that is still free if you are looking for that.

Please make sure you have downloaded the other apps needed at the training. If you have any questions about how to download or redeem apps--call me! I would love to help!

Apps for iPad Training

Usage Stats

I wanted to let you know that your usage stats are still being run the first day of each month. You will find these in your Workflows finished reports.

You may have noticed that we didn't send these to your principal. We are working on reporting the people and not the stuff. Mary will send your principals the numbers of students/classes you worked with instead of the number of items you circulated.

We do feel the usage report has valuable information for you so we will continue to run it monthly.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why do you read?

Saw this today on the Blue Skunk Blog and wanted to share it with all my book-loving friends...

I Read by Richard Peck

I read because one
 life isn’t enough, and 
in the pages of a book I can be anybody;

I read because the 
words that build 
the story become mine, 
to build my life;

I read not for happy
 endings but for new
 beginnings; I’m just
 beginning myself, and 
I wouldn’t mind a map;

I read because I have
 friends who don’t, and
 young though they are,
 they’re beginning to
 run out of material;

I read because every
 journey begins at 
the library, and it’s
 time for me to start 

I read because one
 of these days I’m going
 to get out of this
 town, and I’m going to
 go everywhere and meet
 everyone, and I want
 to be ready.

–Richard Peck, author
, Zihuatanejo, Mexico, 

I read for lots of reasons, but I think I mostly read because as Peck says, "one life isn't enough." I love experiencing other places and times; being privy to other people's thoughts and feelings; having experiences that aren't available to me in my daily life.

Why do you read? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Photo attribution: Potter Summer by Daryl Marquardt

Encyclopedia Britannica is Back!!

We are going to be able to offer the Encyclopedia Britannica databases that we had through the state last year. The databases include The Learning Zone, Encyclopedia Britannica for elementary, middle and high schools as well as Enciclopedia Juvenil, a Spanish encyclopedia. We are also adding Image Quest, the image database that many of you tested during a trial offer in the Spring. Click the link to see Image Quest now!
Please access these new resources through our Virtual Library until we can get them added to your resource pages.