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Short Review: We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers

17 Apr

Charlie and Lola: We Are Extremely Very Good RecyclersCharlie and Lola: We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers by Lauren Child, Bridget Hurst

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was glad to find this after struggling to find a good read-aloud for Kindergartners leading up to Earth Day. Charlie and Lola are adorable and lovable characters, and in this story kids are introduced to recycling and celebrate as Lola and her classmates achieve an important goal. The illustration style combines drawings and collage in a way that allows opportunities to look for interesting details with young readers.

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Short Review: Our Choice: Young Readers Edition

16 Apr

Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate CrisisOur Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis by Al Gore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Young Readers edition of Al Gore’s Our Choice is not new, but important to highlight. This book takes the very complex issues of climate change and the solutions Gore calls us to enact and makes them engaging and understandable to middle grade-and-older readers. I found this book informative and interesting as an adult, and it is a great resource for inquiry projects around climate change and conservation in school libraries.

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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.

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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

Short Review: With Their Eyes

30 Nov

With Their Eyes: September 11th--The View from a High School at Ground ZeroWith Their Eyes: September 11th–The View from a High School at Ground Zero by Annie Thoms

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am soon going to be completing a school library practicum at Stuyvesant High School, in Manhattan. This book is a collection of monologues written and performed by Stuyvesant high school students in 2002, as a way of processing their experiences on September 11, 2001. Stuyvesant is just 4 blocks from ground zero. The project was spearheaded by a Stuyvesant English teacher, Annie Thoms, when she noticed the stories exchanged between students on websites and message boards in the period after 9/11 when students and faculty were unable to go to school. I found this idea compelling educationally and psychologically. I also thought it would be interesting to read these stories and learn a little bit about what Stuy has recovered from. Certainly, none of these students are still there, but perhaps some of the teachers, administrators, custodians and cafeteria personnel who were interviewed are, and their experiences 10 years ago I’m sure inform their feelings about the Stuy community to this day. The stories were insightful, honest, engaging, and full of symbolism.

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