Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blind Date with a Book

Library Lovers Day Display Mosman Library
This is a cute idea for a February reading promotion. Wrap up books in brown paper, write the genre or a clue as to the title on the outside and encourage students to have a "blind date" with a book. (Print an extra barcode for the wrapper or just write the ID number on the outside for check out purposes.)

Some libraries even include a card inside the book that kids can fill out to report on how they liked their "date." Participants who return these cards are entered into a drawing for a prize.

Check out these blog posts for other ideas:

What Happens in Storytime
Cranbury Public Library
Harris County Public Library
Keshia Garnet (Pinterest)
Grove City Community Library (Flickr)

Friday, January 25, 2013


We are still working to change over all the magazine titles to the new streamlined titles.  Thanks so much for your patience during this process.  Follow these steps to search for a magazine in Workflows. 

  1. Go to Item Search found on the Librarian's Toolbar
  2. Set the Index to Title
  3. Set the Type to Keyword
  4. Type the Title
  5. In the results list, you will see the title displayed with all the schools shown under "held by".  The old titles only show one school listed under "held by".
If you have problems finding your magazines let me know!  5547 :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2x2 Reading List Announced

From Sheila Acosta, chair of the 2x2 Reading List Committee:

I am excited and extremely pleased to announce the 2013 Texas 2x2 Reading List.

I would first like to thank the members of the 2012 Texas 2x2 Reading List Committee who devoted many hours this year to reviewing over 600 titles recommended for this year’s list. They will tell you it was not an easy task at all to trim the list to 20, but in early January, after hours of friendly discussion and debate, Heather Jankowski, Laurie Kirkscey, Troy Lawrence, Aubrey Sanders and I were excited about the final recommendations. We hope you enjoy reading and sharing these great titles with the children of Texas from two years to second grade.

Complete list found here:

Remember, as you see great 2013 titles, don’t forget to submit a recommendation at

~The 2013 Texas 2x2 Reading List Committee

Friday, January 18, 2013

iPadpalooza coming this summer

iPadpalooza, an all iPad conference, will be held in June, with sessions for teachers of many different subject areas and also librarians and technology teachers.

Registration opens today--more info can be found at

Early registration prices will be less expensive, so get yours as soon as you can if you are interested!  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A new "thing" to try

Joyce Valenza always finds the coolest online tools! Check out her latest find...

Learn new leadership skills with i-DO-make-a-difference

The course described below would be a great way to earn staff development hours. ~mw

From: Ted Wanner []
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2013 10:00 PM
To: Texas Library Connection
Subject: [tlc] Learn new leadership skills with i-DO-Make-A-Difference

School librarians make an enormous difference on their campuses, yet sometimes other faculty and even administrators seem strangely unaware of their importance. The Texas Association of School Librarians and the Texas Library Association are presenting a special multi-part online course to teach new ways for school librarians, a.k.a. teacher-librarians, to connect with students, parents, other teachers, and administrators. Help others to see your value!

i-DO-Make-A-Difference is divided into five modules. Each module consists of two live webinars with readings and discussion assignments, and carries 4 hours of Continuing Education credit; completion of the entire series is recognized by a special leadership certificate:

i-DO-Lead (FREE to TASL members) – Learn to find the leader within you.
i-DO-Collaborate – Learn to design practical curriculum based on the latest standards.
i-DO-Manage – Learn the “Big Picture” view of managing a school library program.
i-DO-Teach – Develop and promote your role as an instructional expert.
i-DO-Technology – Adopt a personal professional development strategy to identify new instructional tools and infrastructure.

Register at
Base price is $100 per module. TLA members receive a 10% discount; TASL members receive a 25% discount; all attendees may receive an additional 15% discount by registering for the full program.

Grant opportunity

Literacy grant open to Texas public school libraries
David R. Frazier / Photo Researchers / Universal Images Group

AUSTIN – The Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) Foundation will award seven literacy grants to Texas public schools during the 2012-13 school year, up from five grants awarded the previous school year. The foundation has also increased the amount of the literacy grant from $1,000 to $1,500.

The Beth Ann Rogers Literacy Initiative, named in honor of a former teacher, librarian and principal, encourages public school educators across the state to apply for the grant. The  funds can be used to update school library literacy materials and resources including books, e-books, audio books, newspaper/magazine subscriptions, computer software and online databases. The deadline to apply for the grant is Feb. 1.

The ATPE Foundation was established by the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE), the state’s leading educators’ association and the largest independent association for public school educators in the nation.

Educators interested in applying for the grant on behalf of their school do not have to be members of ATPE to apply.

To learn more about the literacy grant and to download the application, visit

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Need help creating your new password?

Since we're being required to create "strong" passwords, I thought this blog post from Richard Byrne (who will be a presenter at TLA, btw) was interesting.

Strong Libraries, Strong Scores - School Administrators Conference Goes Online

The following message was posted on TLC last week. This is a great opportunity to educate your administrators on the benefit of having certified librarians and a strong library program. In the past this mini-conference has been associated with the TLA Annual Conference and travel has been required. The switch to webinar format should make it much easier for administrators to attend and receive the same great information about how libraries can influence student achievement.

If you'd like your administrator to receive information and be invited to this event, please click on the invitation link below.

Dear fellow Texas school librarians,

It's time to invite your administrators to Strong Libraries Strong Scores. This year we are hosting 3 webinars. We are hopeful that it will be easier than ever before for administrators to participate. This is a wonderful opportunity to treat your administrator to a program regarding the influence of libraries and librarians on student achievement. We hope that you will encourage them to participate.

Alan November will kick off our first webinar on February 18 speaking on the Role of Librarians in 21st Century Education.  Our second webinar will be on Feb. 25 (corrected date) and will feature Nora Galvan and Dr. Lydia Savedra speaking on the role of librarians in Reading and Curriculum Support. Our final webinar will be March 4 and will feature Dr. Sunni Johnson and Mike Blankenship speaking on Building and Evaluating a Library Program.

In this time of budget cuts, this is an important message that our administrators need to hear. Follow this link to more detailed information about the conference and to the invitation.

This webinar series is specifically designed for and limited to Central Administration personnel including: Superintendents, Asst. Superintendents, Curriculum personnel, Directors, and Principals. Don't hesitate to contact us to see if the person you would like to invite is considered an administrator.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope to meet your administrators virtually at the Conference.

Donna Kearley ( and Naomi Bates (,
Co-Chairs Strong Libraries, Strong Scores Conference

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Did you know...

that you were circulating books over the holidays?? Check out the stats below for the number of books checked out each day during our Christmas break!  Wow!  Thanks for all you do to promote READING!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year's resolutions

We all have things that make our lives complicated and messy, but it's the way we respond to these difficulties that make or break our attitudes. I recently read an article that prompted my resolution for 2013: find the joy.

A Simple Way to Increase Your Joy