John Green has done it again. He’s written a refreshingly honest and respectful book – not just about teens, but about young love, grief, family, friendship, dying, and the small moments in life that offer hope even in the darkest of times. This book is sweet, funny, heartbreaking, surprising and predictable – hmmm, which is a lot like being sixteen.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Miles is fascinated by final words, especially those of Francois Rabelais, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps”. Unpopular, awkward and virtually friendless, Miles spends most of his free time at home reading or watching TV with his parents, and he doesn’t want to wait until he’s dead to find his Great Perhaps, so he convinces his parents to send him away to Culver Creek boarding school. Miles falls in with a daring group of friends – pranksters and rule-benders with good hearts, sharp minds, and fierce loyalty. Through these friendships in particular, Miles finds his Great Perhaps and wrestles with some of the essential questions we all struggle with, even after growing up – how to love, how to lose, how to grieve and how to recover – and speaks to the resiliency of youth that young people and adults alike would do well to remember.
Please be advised, this book contains strong language and sexual content.
Hello! It has been a shamefully long time since my last post. Brooklyn Biblio really got a shot of adrenaline from my classes last semester, which integrated Web 2.0 into the coursework. Since the Fall semester ended, I have been busily wrapping up my MLIS and it is high time I let you all know what I’ve been up to.
Most significantly, I completed my first practicum at a high school in lower Manhattan. The high school specializes in Science and Math, and the students are high performers from all around New York City. Yesterday was my last day and I find myself already feeling quite nostalgic about it. The thing about student teaching (or fieldwork assignments), is it seems that just as you are hitting your stride and getting to know the students, it is time to leave. I suppose that is not altogether bad, because you are forced to leave your comfort zone before it gets too comfortable, and therefore to stretch your skills and challenge yourself in new environments. My high school practicum included a lot of library managerial tasks, but I really focused a lot on getting hands-on teaching experience. I’m so grateful for that and I think it has done a lot for my confidence as an instructor.
FLT=Favorite Library Thing
I have the idea that “FLT” could become another recurring feature here at Brooklyn Biblio – a chance for me to highlight my personal favorite ways to utilize library resources. Share some of your FLTs in the comments – and maybe it can become a future Brooklyn Biblio post!
The inaugural FLT will be about the LearningExpress Library. I accessed the LearningExpress Library online through a database search at nypl.org. However, the LearningExpress Library is not proprietary to NYPL as far as I can tell. I did not need to enter my NYPL membership credentials, but I instead needed to create a username and password.
As you can see, the LearningExpress Library contains a variety of learning centers for varied levels and areas of education. I found the LearningExpress Library as I was searching for resources to help me prepare for my upcoming New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE). I purchased a Kaplan NYSTCE book and downloaded free study guides from the NYSTCE website, but I decided to register for a computerized test, and I wanted to have the experience of a computerized practice test. Well, the “Teaching” section of the “Jobs and Careers” learning center on LearningExpress Library has one I could take for free. The free practice test also breaks down your score into the 5 focus areas of the exam and provides detailed explanations for each area after you score yourself.
Browsing through the other learning centers on LearningExpress Library, I see this as a great tool for school, university and public librarians to share with library users as well.
As you can see from the screenshot below, the LearningExpress Library offers test prep guides and practice tests for a number of vocational qualifiers, and includes Teaching Certification exam prep for various states and certification levels, including the PRAXIS, TExES, and even Homeschooling.
What are some of the best free test prep materials you have found on the web or at your local library?
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