Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Performer's Showcase

The Fort Worth Library is hosting a Performer's Showcase on January 31. If you are looking for a guest speaker, storyteller or other performer for a program for your school, you might like to attend.

See details below or click the link to download the flyer.

Performer's Showcase Flyer

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tayshas giveaway winner

Sub list updated

The list of recommended substitutes has been updated with a new name. Amanda Strickland is a recent graduate of Texas Tech University. She is a former Library Service summer school worker and has had some experience with the automation system. Please see the list in Google Drive for her contact information.

Library Sub Info

Does our focus on technology do students a disservice?

Research is starting to show that recent college graduates don't have the information literacy skills needed by employers. What implications does this have for us?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Be in two places at once!

Librarians with no clerical assistance often have to be in two places at once. This librarian in NY has come up with a simple strategy that allows her to do just that...

Great idea!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tayshas book giveaway!

These titles from the Tayshas 2013 list were found in our preview library:

Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Desert Angel by Charlie Price
My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

If you'd like these for your very own, leave a comment before 4:30pm on Monday, December 17 and you'll be entered in a drawing for the books. Good luck!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

News from Dallas County Schools

Dallas County Schools has added some additional titles to Power Videos.  Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill Nye's Solving for X, The Science of Disney Imagineering and the Schoolhouse Rock series all have new titles added this year. 

High school librarians will be receiving the Shakespeare in American Communities Toolkit.  This kit provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest includes:
Add caption
  • Why Shakespeare?- DVD
  • Shakespeare in our time- DVD
  • An Introduction to Shakespeare- CD
  • Life and Times of William Shakespeare- 22'x 28' poster
For more information about this toolkit visit Chip Taylor Communications
We had to order this kit and will get to you as soon as we receive it.

Region 10 Offerings - Spring 2013

from Terry Roper, Library Consultant, Region 10:

Online registration will be open for all sessions by Friday, December 14th.  We realize Spring is a very busy season between testing, TLA, TCEA, and Spring  Break so we deliberately kept our offerings light here at the service center. 

Library Flyer Spring 2013

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Reading in 2012

2012 was another good year for reading! I'm still keeping track of my books on Goodreads and am coming down to the wire on my Reading Challenge. So far I've read 91 books towards my goal of 112. I don't know if I'll make it or not, but I know I'll enjoy trying.

Here are my stats for the year, so far:

Goodreads Stats page
91 books
20,801 pages
The longest book: The Passage by Justin Cronin (784 pages).

Genre stats

Of the books I rated with five stars, these are my top 10 favorites:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Press Here by Herve Tullet

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

How was your reading year? Did you read more or less this year? What were your favorites? Leave a comment and let us know!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Playaway reset

Our Follett rep, Tom Bolger, sent the following information regarding Playaways:

The Playaways have a "reset" feature on them in case they get stuck or start skipping.  

You hold down the reverse button and the SP button and it resets the player.
This information is printed on the current inserts on the left hand side very bottom of the directions. 

It’s also on the Playaway website…  
(Do a search on the word reset.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Great lesson plans needed!

Brian Summers / First Light / Universal Images Group
The following letter is from a group seeking to collect library lesson plans from great teacher-librarians across the state. I know many of you have lessons that are worthy of inclusion. Please consider sharing your lessons with this group. See below for detail on how to submit your lesson plans.

Dear Texas School Librarian Community,

The AASL-TASL Learning4Life (L4L) Implementation Team is seeking your participation in the ELA-R TEKS and AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Alignment Wiki.
We are soliciting exemplary lesson plans that can be linked to the wiki to provide examples for Texas school librarians.

This is how you can contribute.

1.    Review the Sample Lesson Plans at:
2.    Download the Word document linked to the Lesson Plan Template page:
3.    Determine ONE ELA-R TEKS with which to align your lesson.
4.    Identify AASL standards indicators (up to three) that align with the ELA-R TEKS.
5.    Complete all sections of the template.
6.    Teach or coteach the lesson.
7.    Make modifications.
8.    Self-assess your lesson using the criteria on the Peer Review Recommendation Form:
9.    Submit your lesson plan for peer review to:

The peer review and publication process:
1.    Two members of the Peer-Review Committee will review your plan.
2.    You will receive feedback from both reviewers as well as the decision of the committee within three weeks.
3.    If the committee accepts your lesson plan, you will receive a permission form to sign.
4.    Your plan will be linked to the ELA-R TEKS and AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Alignment Wiki.
5.    Members of the peer review committee will publicize the publication of your lesson plan.
6.    You will receive a badge to place on your Web presence or to add to your portfolio.

If you have questions, please contact Judi Moreillon or Suzanne Lyons:

We look forward to your lesson plan submissions, which will contribute to the on-going professional development of Texas school librarians.

Judi Moreillon and Suzanne Lyons, on behalf of the Texas L4L Lesson Plan Peer Review Committee

Friday, December 7, 2012

Legislative News

State Capitol Building In Austin, Texas. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 7 Dec 2012.

The upcoming legislative session is important for libraries and education. We all need to work to have funding restored. The following is from a recent TLA newsletter:

The 83rd Legislative Session is approaching quickly.  With higher than expected sales tax growth, lawmakers this session will have a "surplus" of state revenue in the state budget, about $10 billion more than last session, for state expenditures, including education.  Additionally, the Rainy Day Fund is expected to balloon to $8.1 billion by August 2013 due to high oil and gas taxes.  The increased revenue in the state's coffers will be key since lawmakers must still pay the $4.8 billion owed to Medicaid from last session. More state revenue could mean there will not be any more cuts for the 2013-2014 biennium.   Nevertheless, achieving funding increases to programs will remain a challenge.

When the new session begins, there will be many new faces in the Texas Legislature.  The incoming class of the House of Representatives will have 44 new members.  In total, at least 50% of the House members will have one session or less experience. The Senate will have five fresh members in its 31-member chamber.  Overall, both chambers remain in conservative hands, as Republicans outnumber Democrats 95-55 and 19-12 in the House and Senate, respectively.

Now is the time for library supporters to take charge of advocacy efforts. We need everyone to participate in and lead grassroots activities. State elected officials must hear from constituents back home about the need to support libraries.

Ask your state senator and representative to actively support funding for libraries by voting for library initiatives in the State Library budget and by talking with colleagues who serve on the House Appropriations or Senate Finance Committees.

What We Want
Support of the State Library legislative appropriations request, especially the exceptional items requests (i.e., request for additional funds) for library programs.
1.      Shared Digital Content – $9.25 million over the biennium for digital (electronic) materials for all types of libraries. Resources include online homework help, college preparation, research, job searching, career and test preparation, and other assistance in helping people reach their economic goals.
2.      Innovation Partnership Grants – $3.4 million/ biennium for training and programming built on local partnerships and innovative practices to advance educational attainment, workforce development, and written and digital literacy.

Why we need this funding
Texas libraries are struggling since the loss of statewide funding. The partial restoration of state funds will help deploy the workforce and educational resources Texans have come to rely upon.

Additionally, without an influx of state funds, the State Library may be unable to make a successful petition to the federal government for a continuation of crucial needed state dollars for Texas libraries.  Last session, state cuts to library programs totaled near $30 million. Texas may lose up to $9 million more in federal funds in 2015. These cuts will affect every community, school, and institution of higher education in the state.

This year, TLA is asking supporters to conduct a virtual campaign in support of libraries on February 12, 2013. Rather than hosting a traditional Legislative Day, this year we want to emphasize grassroots action.

While some library supporters may opt to come to Austin for in-person visits, the focus on Legislative Virtual Action Day will be to have statewide virtual advocacy occurring within your own community.

It is critical this session to focus on grassroots activities and have advocates make strategic visits at home districts prior to and throughout the session. So, while we will not have Legislative Day with statewide library delegations in Austin on one day in February, TLA will offer many opportunities for advocacy and visiting with legislators during strategic times throughout the session.

Participating in Virtual Action Day: Take the time to call your state senator and representative. Tell them about the incredible services your library provides.
Make a commitment to get people writing and communicating about critical statewide issues. Organize a letter-writing campaign, tweet-up, and other virtual campaigns and activities to get people talking about libraries.

Recruit friends groups, students, faculty, and supporters to join the effort. It is particularly important to have administrators, city or county officials, and parents contact elected officials on behalf of libraries and library users.

This trick is to get as many people as possible in your local community to call, email, write, or post to legislative offices. The purpose of all of these activities is to create communication traffic at legislative offices. Your state senator and representative needs to hear from you and hundreds of other local constituents about your desire for them to proactively support library funding initiatives at the State Library!

·        Handout of TLA Platform
·        Video of library activities and need for funding (can be used in presentations to boards, community groups, and elected officials)
·        PowerPoint Presentation on library funding and the need to support library initiatives
·        Template resolution that library supporters can ask city councils, county commissioners, school boards, parent groups, student unions, faculty groups, and other to pass and send to their state senators, representatives, and candidates for office
·        Sample letter that can be sent to elected officials

D. Do You Know of a Champion for Libraries?
Great grassroots advocacy begins by having passionate people speaking on behalf of libraries. As librarians and library supporters, you know of many people in your community who support libraries.

Having influential local people in your community willing to talk to decision-makers about the value of your library is at the heart of developing a solid and broad base of support.

Who do you know in your community who is influential and is willing to speak for libraries?

TLA would like to help you reach these individuals. With your assistance identifying library champions, we can work together to provide them the support to speak out for libraries.

If you personally know of a library champion, let us know! Go to and fill in the information.  Together, we  can create a strong statewide network of library champions.