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?