ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Every Word a Poem with Sophia Thakur at #ALAVirtual20

I will admit that I was not familiar with poet and storyteller Sophia Thakur before her featured presentation at #ALAVirtual20. Several minutes into it, my family could find me crying in the kitchen at her beautiful and inspiring words. (Shedding tears of joy/inspiration/amazement is a common occurrence for me at ALA, and now my family gets to witness this during the virtual conference). Thakur is a “performance poet” from the United Kingdom. Throughout her presentation, she recited some of her poems, but EVERYTHING she said was itself a poem. I am hoping for a transcript because I was desperately trying to write down every word that she said. She epitomized her statement that “Poetry is in the gap between art and conversation.” She talked about literacy and empathy. She encouraged people to tell their own stories because literacy is a tool to explore the self. Reading empowers through windows, mirrors,…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Welcome to #ALAVirtual20

Welcome to #ALAVirtual20! I had been looking forward to my first visit to Chicago and the home of #ALA, but I am still excited to spend the next few days immersed in everything LIBRARY! I started my conference with an ALA Happy Hour via Zoom. Mixologist Andres Arias showed us all how to make Palomas. The Paloma, one of the best-selling cocktails in Mexico, was first created in Mexico and is similar to a margarita. With drinks in hand, we then broke into small groups to meet each other and discuss our favorite drinks, Chicago, and, inevitably, Covid19.  We were then challenged to some trivia about Chicago, home of 5 major league sports teams in addition to some amazing libraries! While I knew Chicago was famous for its deep dish pizza, I learned that brownies originated in Chicago (at the Palmer House) and about Holy Cow dark chocolate potato chips…

ALA Annual 2019

Tough Stuff: What’s OK in Middle Grade Books? at #ALAac19

This morning, I attended a great discussion at the Pop Top Stage of the Exhibit Hall.  I was so excited to hear some of my favorite middle grade authors talking about their craft and what they feel they can and cannot do in their books.  A panel of six female middle grade authors discussed their “awkward” moments from childhood.  They then went on to discuss how they write middle grade fiction.  )For purposes of the discussion, “middle grade” was defined as the transition period between being a kid and growing up.) Middle grade novels allow authors to deal with the harsh realities of life but show the silver-lining and the hopefulness of a child.  The authors agreed that middle grade books should give readers HOPE.  These books provide educators and parents with a way to address the tough topics with which children deal.  We can’t ignore these tough topics because…

ALA Annual 2019

This Recap Does Not Give Justice to Justice Sotomayor at #ALAac19

  Sonia Sotomayor entered to a standing ovation to which she replied, “My favorite people! I love librarians” because librarians open the world to children and give them opportunities they otherwise could not have. Early in the discussion, she came down off the stage and wandered through the audience hugging and shaking hands with adoring fans! She said so many inspiring things, here are a few of my favorite quotes and details: She is “living proof of how libraries can affect people for life.” She loved going through the old library card catalogs! Her first chapter books were “Nancy Drew.” In 6th grade, “Lord of the Flies” really affected her-she wanted to become a lawyer so she could help people see that laws serve us as a community Laws help us make sacrifices for the greater good Our greatest obstacle in life is fear. “Most important skill for librarians is…

ALA Annual 2019

It’s All Fun and GAMES at ALA Play #ALAac19

I just got in from ALA Play, An Evening of Gaming, Maker, & STEM, sponsored by the Games and Gaming Round Table at #ALAac19.  Attendees got to watch demonstrations of and PARTICIPATE in different board games and card games.  There were games for young children as well as for adults.  We also got to paint our own Warhammer miniature.  (This was very relaxing and a good way to meet and interact with other librarians from around the country!)  There were also ten or more raffle prizes given out at the end of the evening. It was great learning about the new games that are available.  I was excited to see that a lot of the games for younger children incorporate STEM and problem-solving while making it fun–what kid wouldn’t love solving crimes committed by cats or designing their own working mini-rollercoaster?!  I got some great ideas for game nights(/afternoons!) at…

ALA Annual 2019

On the way to #ALAac19

Ready for #ALAac19!  Bags are packed (and hopefully on the plane, too) as I leave sunny, HOT New Orleans for Washington, DC!  This is my second ALA Annual conference but my first one out of town as I was lucky last year to have it here in New Orleans.  So, I have two checked bags that are completely empty.  The check-in agent commented that they were empty.  I said, “Oh, they won’t be when I get back!” 

ALA Annual 2018

AASL 2018 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning #ALAAC18

What a great session from the AASL!  While many librarians may be aware of the AASL’s annual listing of the best websites for teaching and learning, this session delved into each website giving information about the site, age levels, the standards the site addresses, and even showed short video clips about each site and its application. It was a fun way to learn about new resources, and I plan to experiment with a lot of these and hope to use them in my elementary school library curriculum next year. To check out the AASL’s best websites, here is the list… Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2018 Past recommended websites can be found at: http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards/best/websites And now, I am signing off to build my own code using Pencil Code!!!   This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: II. Reference and User Services and IV. Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials.  

ALA Annual 2018

STEM for Babies and Toddlers #ALAAC18

What is STEM… Some may think, STEM?!  for toddlers?!  for babies?!  Of course, we think of teaching and using STEM for kids in high school and even in first grade.  But, is it ever too early to start STEM?  I always knew STEM as “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math,” but two librarians from the Brooklyn Public Library, a librarian from the Everett Public Library, and Early Childhood Literacy Consultant and Expert Saroj Ghoting gave a more detailed definition.  The science portion is really a way of thinking, technology is a way of doing, engineering is a way of creating, and math is a way of measuring. Within this new context, it was easy to see that toddlers and babies naturally engage in STEM every day.  When they throw their full cereal bowl on the floor, they are practicing cause and effect and learning about gravity.  When playing with blocks, a…