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The results are in!

2 Apr

Thanks for voting in the New Librarian Pinterest contest!  Brooklyn Biblio took top honors!  If you didn’t get a chance last week, check out the Elite 8.  I’m so proud to be in the new generation of librarians with a vision for what librarians can and should be.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the Women’s History crowdsourcing project! I’ve been a busy little bee applying to jobs because holy wow, I’m finishing my MLS in a month!  Stay tuned…


Vote for Brooklyn Biblio’s Pinterest Board!

26 Mar
Brooklyn Biblio is a finalist in Syracuse University iSchool’s Future of Librarianship Pinterest Contest.  Voting is open until this Friday, March 30th, so please visit this page, pass it on, and vote for me (Brooklyn Biblio!).  If I know you from SU, Friends of the Greenpoint Library, ULU or the NYPL First 500, you may see a special cameo on my board.  While you’re there, check out all the boards and be surprised by what my iSchool colleagues envision for Libraries. (You don’t even need a Pinterest account to vote!)

Let’s crowdsource: Women’s History Month, ages 5-12

2 Mar
Whenever I talk about why I love librarians and why I’m so excited to be a librarian, I always gush about professional ethic of helping one another to help make the profession better and to better meet the needs of our communities.  It’s true!  I see little to no actual backstabbing and under-the-bus-throwing among my people.  I see so much helping, sharing, and supporting!  That’s my rainbows-and-lollipops library thought for today.

The idea:

That being said, I thought it would be fun to try some crowdsourcing here at Brooklyn Biblio.  Since my readership is still small, please help by passing this on through your own blogs and twitter accounts and Facebook and let’s see how many titles and great ideas we can gather here!  I will then compile the best ideas submitted along with anything I come across in my own research and follow up with a nicely organized, editorialized post that could be reposted and referred to in the future as a resource for school and public librarians going forward, with plenty of thanks and hat tips to individual contributors.

This is experimental, but if this works, maybe there can be monthly or quarterly crowdsourcing features here on Brooklyn Biblio!

Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Comp...

Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

The ask:

March is Women’s History Month!  I’m working on putting together a K-5 book display and read-aloud for Women’s History Month at the school library where I’m currently a practicum student.  While I’m researching this, I’d love to know what some of your favorite children’s titles, discussion ideas, and online resources are to use with elementary and middle school students or to use in planning learning activities for students during Women’s History month!


I look forward to seeing all the ideas and suggestions from librarians all over the country (or the WORLD?) and I can’t wait to put it all together.  Thanks for reading and sharing!

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Short Review: Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching…

12 Dec

Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital WorldChoosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital World by Pam Berger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a great starting point if you want to integrate Web 2.0 tools in classroom or library instruction but aren’t sure where to begin. The book does a good job of overviewing some of the best of current web 2.0 tools, but remember that new tools are being created and existing tools are evolving at a rapid rate. I am interested to see if new editions of this book may come about to address this. In the meantime, this book gives teaching ideas and will walk you step by step through how to create an environment that encourages technological exploration and learning.

View all my reviews

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Librarian As Leader

9 Dec
TL09 View of School Libraries

Image by Carol VanHook via Flickr

Here it is, December 9th, and my last day of the Fall 2011 semester. Unreal! It is apropos then, that our last discussion for my Information Technology in Educational Organizations class is on the topic of leadership, as if our professor is sending us off into the future but reminding us that we’re not always going to be library students. We are soon-to-be librarians, and that job description (officially and often, unofficially) extends way beyond the physical act of running the library. We are being cultivated as a crop of new community leaders – whether that community be a neighborhood, a government organization, a school or a company.

One important aspect of leadership is demonstrating value. Not just the value of you, as a member of a staff or faculty, or even just of your library as a space. (Though that is part of it.) We’re going to need to demonstrate the value of our library program to the community and possibly sometimes the value of libraries in the world. Sheesh! No pressure.

Here is a :30 Animoto promo as an example of the types of ideas school librarians need to reinforce in the educator/ administrator and student communities they serve.  The statements here are true, but a bit vague.  I hope this serves as a starting point for people to give them ideas of more detailed advocacy outreach they can do:

Other than video production, there is some every day work we can do to gather evidence to back up our assertions on the value of libraries/ librarians/ programs.  Sometimes you may want to gather specific research or test results to show improvement on a specific challenge your community is having, but these measurements are good to have all of the time, as a way of comparing one semester or year over past years to show long-term accomplishments: Continue reading

Empathy as a Bullying Prevention Tool

19 Nov

In the recent New York Times Op-Ed article “Bullying as True Drama,” danah boyd and Alice Marwick point out that current anti-bullying education programs are falling short because they are framing the conversation in adult terms rather than using terminology used by teens to describe abusive behavior.  As the article points out, rather than using words like abuse, harassment, bullying, or victimization, teens will use words and phrases like “drama” or “high school stuff”.  Teens often use these ways to describe harmful behavior because it allows them to distance themselves from the negative behavior by minimizing it.

For a teenager to recognize herself or himself in the adult language of bullying carries social and psychological costs. It requires acknowledging oneself as either powerless or abusive (boyd & Marwick, 2011, para.2).

Stop Cyber Bullying Day

When tragic suicides of young people like those of Jamey Rodemeyer and Ashlynn Conner occur, questions during the aftermath often center around what the adults in their lives could have done during these children’s times of crisis, and how their distress should have been recognized.  That is valid.  However, in order to prevent things from going this far in the first place, boyd and Marwick say the focus should be to “work within teenagers’ cultural frame, encourage empathy and help young people understand when and where drama has serious consequences (para. 11)” [emphasis mine].

By encouraging empathy, I believe we not only need to stress the importance of youth empathizing with one another, but to demonstrate that we, as adults, can actually empathize (or even sympathize) with them.  Sometimes we forget what it was like to be 12 or 15, and there’s good reason for that.  Children’s brains and emotional coping mechanisms are not fully developed at that age.  But after I read this point about encouraging empathy in the article, I seriously reflected on my own experiences as an elementary, middle and high school student, and I made some astonishing realizations. Foremost among these, I was bullied for years. Continue reading

Arming Myself for Battle: Internet filters in schools

13 Nov
Grayson County, Kentucky's high school filter ...

There are certain issues that I am aware will be a challenge as a certified school librarian, such as censorship challenges and making judgement calls on what is “appropriate” material at various grade levels. One particular issue that intersects with both of these concerns is Internet filtering at schools.

In a school environment, it is very common for administrators to take a very conservative position.  In order to meet CIPA requirements, many schools opt for strong filtering software.  In some cases, not enough people know how much MORE these filters keep out than is required by CIPA, not to mention how much inappropriate material can still be accessed with a filter.  In other cases, people are fully aware of how overly-restrictive filtering software can be, but they take a stance of “better safe than sorry,” meaning they’d rather block out too much than risk not blocking out enough.  Personally, I take issue with this because it is detrimental to the educational experience and worse, it is lazy.  I do not mean to diminish how busy and challenging the work of a school administrator, teacher or librarian can be or how important it is to protect students from unsafe material or individuals, but it is our  job to do what it takes to provide the best tools possible to students and to keep them safe.

Though it may seem counter-intuitive to some, I believe part of keeping students safe is to allow greater access to the Internet and social networking tools with proper supervision and guidance.  How else will students learn to use these tools safely and appropriately?   Continue reading