Friday, June 20, 2008

Book Blogs

Last year I came across Readergirlz a blog which reviews great books for teen girls with terrific author information that includes playlists selected by the authors themselves to go with specific books. A recent example is Laurie Halse Anderson's playlist for her novel Prom. I have Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, one of her choices, playing in the background as I type. And there's more: links to reviews of her book, interviews with the author and a roundtable discussion. This is a dream site for teenaged girls who read and may entice many who aren't avid readers already. It has been named one of the ALSC Great Web Sites for Kids.

Today my RSS feed offered the suggestion of a site that will appeal to the male population. GuysLitWire "... was created after a broad discussion among YA bloggers within the lit blogosphere about the lack of books for teenage boys." A quick read of recent posts turns up a review of the classic gem Kon Tiki and a list of books with strong heroic characters. I loved their comment about both sexes needing strong role models and that you have to learn how to take care of yourselves because there's not always a hero around when you need one. Read more about them here. I'll be spending some time reading through the posts as I prepare my next book order.

If you have English teachers looking for blogs to share with their students these two would be great choices.

Monday, June 16, 2008

What's Your Focus

Several people have blogged lately about Wordle which lets you create tags clouds from blocks of text or as I have done here, from a account. It became immediately clear that the focus of my bookmarks is around web2.0, resources and tools. (Click the image for a larger version.)

There are ways you can alter the appearance of your Wordle by changing text font or direction and picking different colours. It makes for great visual impact in a way other tag clouds have not.

Some have suggested using Wordle as a way to analyze creative writing pieces. I think it could also be used to aid group decision making by prioritizing ideas. If all group members added their top five items and the cumulative list was submitted to Wordle it would be easy to see where preferences lay.

Or if you kept a diary of your daily tasks and submitted that you could see a graphic representation of which tasks were performed most frequently. That might make for an eye-catching addition to an annual report.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Ah the joys of inventory. We automated this year. Our district selected Unicorn, a SirsiDynix product, with lots of bells and whistles. I must say I am underwhelmed. Our first attempt resulted in our mystery section being labeled, in its entirety as ‘missing’.

Our wonderful resident techie says we were asking for trouble, it being Friday the thirteenth and all that. And we did have to choose the mystery section for our test run. She is attempting to fix the problem so we don’t have to re-enter all 195 items individually.

And here I thought this year inventory would be a snap.
So I sit, cleaning up computer files.
Waiting for word on how to get the report to run smoothly.

Photo thanks to Mermaniac
Used under a Creative Commons License

Friday, June 6, 2008

Resources for Librarians

My friend Hazel has booked marked some excellent sites for librarians in her account. Here are some of the goodies she has found:

The Teaching Librarian: Exploring the intersection of reference services, technology and instruction.

School Library Media Activities Monthly
has some excellent articles on a wide variety of topics such as collaboration, search techniques and 21st century skills.

Resources for School Librarians offers a list of journals, listservs and sites for library research.

Some of my favourite periodicals, like School Library Journal, have many online offerings worth checking into.

Teacher Librarian The Toolkit page which offers excellent resources such as the Collaborative Program Planning and Teaching: Record of Unit of Study that covers all the bases when it comes to planning units. The image above shows a much more simplified version I use with my high school staff who are often too busy for meetings that last longer than a few minutes. [Click to enlarge.]

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tattoo Anyone?

Came across some great librarian tattoos from Archie McPhee. I got very excited until I discovered they don't ship to Canada. Too many shipping fees and taxes to make it feasible they say. Ah well. I'll have to think of other ways to impress the kids. LOL!

However, as I was searching for a suitable image for this post I came across some photos in Flickr of a henna tattoo event in someone's library. Now that's an idea I can run with. We could celebrate International School Library Day by having some of the mum's come in and do mehndi style designs on the kid's hands. Maybe "I love my library/books/reading" tattoos.

Image thanks to L.Marie

What does Change Mean to You?

This morning I have been rebuilding my Google Reader (Help) and came across this video in a post on Helene Blowers' LibraryBytes blog. It got me thinking about how I might put together a presentation to inspire the teachers in my school to want to extend their boundaries a little. To have the courage to try some new things.

The Essence of Fundamental Change

From: TraindeTrainer, 3 months ago

This presentation is the personal view of Marina Noordegraaf of the essence of "Presence: An exploration of profound change in people, organizations and society", Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski en Betty Sue Flowers

SlideShare Link

Something new I'm going to try soon is Gogrok an online collaboration tool.
It seems you can work on a project simultaneously with the added feature of having an audio chat at the same time. If you are watching some of their demo videos be forewarned that the music bits are overpowering. I had to keep turning the volume up and down between the music and the spoken bits which were very soft by comparison.