Blogger Stacy Dillon

#libtechcon15

At my school (LREI), our Library and Edtech departments merged a few years ago. We are in a bit of a unique position since two of our dedicated tech people are degreed librarians, and the Department Chair of the Edtech department is actually our high school librarian. So our joint department numbers 9 strong with 6 of us holding MLS degrees. We are fortunate to work and play well together, but our sense from attending conferences and meetings was that we are a bit of a rarity. In the fall, we hosted the first #libtechcon14 where we invited librarians and tech folks to come in pairs or teams for an unconference style day that would touch on some of the hard questions about communication, working together and the future of libraries. The event sold out quickly and once it was over, we were asked to consider hosting the conference again….

Blogger Stacy Dillon

Summer Reading

  It is time for school librarians to dust off their summer reading lists and refresh them.  I know that the public librarians are wondering how we can possibly just start thinking about summer reading now, but in the school things are a bit different.  We tend to release the students to you all to fulfill their summer reading duties! Since the majority of librarians at my school came from the public systems, we are hyper sensitive to the look and feel of our summer lists.  We remember keenly the super long, out-of-print, completely off grade level lists that we had handed to us.  So we make sure not to contribute to that problem. My own lists are updated every year with award winners, books that will give students a running start in terms of curriculum, books that provide both mirror and window opportunities as well as some personal favorites….

Blogger Stacy Dillon

Spring Break

While I listen to the meteorologist telling me to expect snow tomorrow, and see the pictures of my friends’ vacations on Instagram, I find myself reflecting on my library year and the changes that I want to be making. When I first started in the school library, the culture shock was fresh and up front. I was used to working in a large public library with a population ranging from babies to teens in my section. We rarely saw parents. We rarely questioned book choices. We were always running. Finding books, readers’ advisory, RIF programs, lapsits, story-times, loads of programs and lots of desk time. When I started at school I had a full compliment of classes, but the collection I was working with was a fraction of the size.  Parents were always in the library.  This was different. Anyone who has worked both in school and public libraries understands that…

Blogger Stacy Dillon

Making the Bulletin Board Your Patrons’ First Stop

In our library we have a bulletin board just to the right as folks walk through the door.  We’ve always kept it looking “nice”.  Some timely book displays…occasionally some student work (our second graders’ tall tale characters are a favorite) graced the construction paper background.  But honestly?  I was getting bored looking at it all the time. So I did what any good librarian would do and I headed to Pinterest for some ideas.  Sure there were lovely book ad type of displays, but this is exactly what I wanted to get away from.  And I realized, what I wanted was for our students to have an interactive experience. We started with gratitude.  Modeled off the Gratitude Graffiti Project we seeded our bulletin board with post-its featuring things we are grateful for. Every time anyone (teacher, parent, student) walked through our doors they were invited to add something.  In no time…

Blogger Stacy Dillon

Changing up the Curriculum

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I was going to embark on a Coretta Scott King illustrator award study with my students.  I am lucky enough to be fully in charge of my own curriculum, so what I decided to do was to swap out the Caldecott study I had done in the past. So far we have read 5 honor and winning titles including Beautiful Blackbird, Mirandy and Brother Wind, Uptown, Ellington Was Not A Street, and Jazz on a Saturday Night.  We will continue reading until winter break. After break we will work on our ballot and vote for our favorite of the titles that we have read.  Luckily, one of these classes has library during the award announcements and we will be watching the live stream. The discussions about the art work have been rich and informed (“I think it’s collage”- “Wow…those pictures look so…

Blogger Stacy Dillon

Mindfulness in the Library

In our lives as busy and distracted librarians, it’s easy to get sucked into always keeping that running list in our minds.  You know the one.  It has all of those “to-do” tasks on it that have to get done in the next 2 hours, shift, day, week and month.  I know that I always have several balls in the air and am trying to stay ahead of the game.  It often leads to worrying about what’s next rather than being present in the task at hand. I was speaking with a teacher about this not so long ago, and she told me about a mindfulness workshop she had attended.  She told me that it had not only helped her practice as an educator, but she was using the techniques with her students and it was making a difference in their lives at school as well. I started looking around…

Blogger Stacy Dillon

Harnessing the Energy

This is more of a question, than it is a post. I work in a school that embraces technology. Many of our students have devices, either as part of our one to one program, or they have their own personal devices.  The library in the morning has shifted as a result of the omnipresent tech. Don’t get me wrong…we do not expect a quiet library, especially in the morning. But now the groups of students are huddled around, eyes on screens, raucously commenting and enjoying their selfies/videos/games/instagrams/apps etc etc etc. So. How to harness this? How to direct it? I have a couple of ideas brewing, but I thought I would put it out to the great brain. Any and all ideas appreciated.

Blogger Stacy Dillon

Getting Organized

As summer winds down some public librarians are feeling thankful and school librarians are gearing up.  I have spent a considerable amount of time planning my year (and realizing that some of those plans will get sidelined).  Each year for the past several school years, I have tried some new organizational methods, but have yet to find something with staying power that smooths transitions and helps me in my day to day life. I was excited when earlier in the summer #readadv had a chat on this very subject. How do librarians get and stay organized?  What is working for other people?  The storify for this chat can be found here. It was interesting because folks definitely seemed to use a variety of tools – demonstrating that no one method works for “all the things”.  Being of a certain age myself, I have to say that there is an appeal to…