The Connecticut Library Association is made up of over 1000 librarians, support staff, friends and trustees. It is a driving force in Connecticut, advocating for literacy and access to information. This year the 121st annual conference was in Groton, Connecticut. I heard some inspiring speakers the day I attended. Here are some of the highlights.
ALA President Molly Raphael was the keynote speaker and led a panel discussion on eBooks. James Benn, author of the Billy Boyle series, Bronwen Hruska, publisher of Soho Press, Jennifer Tyler from Bank Square Books and Connecticut librarian and author Kate Sheehan were on the panel. They were asked to share their perspective from their areas of expertise. Raphael asked questions on ownership, rapidly changing technology and financial concerns, to name a few. She listened to the answers and shared her own experiences and opinions. This was a very interesting discussion about these issues that really looked at concerns from all areas of the book world.
Story Time Crafts on a Shoestring: Simple Crafts Inspired by Picture Books was presented by Lynn Zaffino, a Children’s Librarian from Easton Public Library. She took her favorite books and found ways to make preschools crafts. She used things that most have in their supplies or are easy to find cheaply. Q-Tips became Eiffel Towers, paper bags, muffin cups and construction paper became owls, and foil, cardboard and jewels magically turned into crowns. Lynn likes to use themes for her Storytimes and found that most of the participants liked to do the same. She listed picture books that she liked to use along with a companion book that fits into each theme. She gave a wonderful handout with templates for the crafts that were separated into age groups of 3 to 6, 4 to 7 and 5 to 9. I found some wonderful new stories to use for future Storytimes and new ideas for crafts! At the end of the session, she provided supplies for the crafts and let us all try a few.
Michele Lutala, a librarian at New Canaan High School, and her student Michael DeMattia talked about the use of social media at their school as tools for learning. Facebook has been an instructional tool for them since 2006. One Facebook group assignment was to uploaded pictures and make comments about them. The next step was to write essays and upload them to Google Docs. A group of senior students gave feedback and the finished products were turned into ebooks after the teacher was given their finished products.
DeMattia has Facebook groups for all of his classes. He described how students keep things appropriate for learning by making their profiles something their grandparents and prospective colleges should be able to see. Lutala explained that security settings are checked once a month since things are constantly changing which protects their identities.
In addition, they spoke about their use of Twitter, YouTube, QR codes and Flickr. Lastly, they gave a list of curation tools used to keep websites and applications organized like: Pinterest, Diigo, Scoop It, Livebinders, Sqworl and Pearltrees. I use Pinterest and never knew about all the other options. I briefly looked at few and hope you have time to check them out, too. I use social media and thought I was pretty current, yet this session gave me so much more to explore. I hope you get the chance to look at some of these tools soon.
Our guest blogger today is Shelley Black Holley, a Children’s Librarian at the Southington Public Library in Southington, Connecticut
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