Thursday, April 26, 2007

004.6 Social Networking: A Nice Evening at WAIS

Have enjoyed the evening talking about Web 2.0 with parents from WAIS. We talked about blogs, wikis, podcasting, mash-ups, social networks like MySpace and FaceBook. It was fun talking about being digital immigrants who point and having digital native children who use thumbs! See the PowerPoint here.

Thanks to all who participated! Special thanks to KL who fought with the technology and did not let it beat her!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

025.2 Collection Development: An Author's Perspective

Every time I attend the yearly conference of TLA, I come back with huge amounts of information that I have to process and organize in my own mind, much less separate out the parts that I want to share with those in my circle of influence...or any one who will pay attention to my ramblings. And this year is not any different...maybe even more difficult simply because my choice of topics (Library 2.0) to concentrate on was thoroughly and completely covered by very qualified and top-notch speakers. So I am still working thru the pile of notes I have on that subject.

In reviewing my blogroll, I came across Cynthia Leitich Smith's review of her time at TLA. It was interesting to read her account of the same event that I attended and go thru all of the book and author related findings she wrote about. She mentions her book Tantalize and how popular it must be in that it sold out at conference. She talks about the authors it was her pleasure to meet or renew old acquaintances with...the amusing story of being mistaken for another author and meeting Scott Westerfield, an author on the mind of at least one other person I know who attended.

That is one thing to say about attending the country's largest state library conference...there is something for everyone, no matter your major interest or objective. And how great to have the blogging world to share in the various interpretations. It is almost like getting to do the conference more than once...and much easier on the feet!

792.028092 Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth

One of the best parts of attending the annual TLA conference is the all the opportunities for meeting up with great books that don't show up on my radar in other ways. An extra special advantage is having a conference "roomie" and traveling partner who has SO many free books, she just has to drop some in my bag for loading the car! And so I get to "borrow" them right away.

Good Brother, Bad Brother is one book I am currently devouring. As is my usual method, I don't start at page 1 and read to the end. I have flipped thru this book and poured over all the historical photographs. I can't help it– I am completely fascinated by old photographs, particularly of the time period when any photo would have been a rarity. To study the actual face of the infamous historical figure John Wilkes Booth and try to detect any sign of the tortured mind and its plan is special (albeit it strange!) and I did it again with this book. I also studied the good brother Edwin with the same intensity to try and read what must have hidden in the recesses of his mind regarding the horrendous deed his brother carried out.

I had spent several sessions with the book before I discovered that its intended audience was for young people ages 10-15. The various vignettes that make up the chapters and the numerous primary documents that were used to create much of the story seemed to be beyond the average young teen reader. Not that I think it is inappropriate information for the age group. It is not, the way it is presented. One interesting ironic fact was that Edwin is credited with rescuing one of Lincoln's sons from a possible serious accident.

It is a somewhat dark book in that it describes the typical dysfunctional matters that often occur when a parent drinks too much and how two brothers were split along the political divide of the day. But the reader also can see how, when one chooses how to react to a situation, two lives can take completely different paths and one can have a satisfactory and fulfilling outcome.

To say that I enjoyed this book is not a correct statement only because the subject material is mostly not of an enjoyable nature. Have I learned some things I didn't know? Yes. Has it made me want to read some more about these brothers? Yes. Has it added to my understanding of a major historical event and what makes people do what they do? Yes. For me, that makes a successful read! Thanks JB for the loan!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

027.8092 The Librarian of the Year!

Hip, hip, hooray!

Dr. Barry M. Bishop was named Texas Library Association's 2007 Librarian of the Year today at the annual conference in San Antonio.

When he is not in San Antonio winning awards or participating in his 3rd Strong Libraries, Strong Scores Conference for Adminstrators from across the state, he is the Director of Library Information Services for Spring Branch ISD in Houston, Texas, home of one of the most-used school library webpages for the last NINE years!

The pragmatist that I am, I consider myself extremely fortunate that he is the visionary I get to follow! It has been a grand adventure for 10 years and I only look forward to what may come as it continues.

P.S. Thanks to ALL who kept the best kept secret ever! It worked...he was surprised!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

371.33 Library 2.0 Instruction Part 2

I'm a little slow this second go-round. I thought the first half went fast...that was "amateur" hour compared to the lightspeed the second presenter Gary Wan used in presenting all of his very technical information. He showed us many of the behind-the-scenes things about all of the topics Michelle presented in the morning.

Some of the things he covered included:
It is Ajax that makes the movement in the Google maps so seamless. You don't have to wait for pages to refresh.
In explaining about mashups and APIs (application program interface), Gary give us the example of where the catalog and have mashed together to give users combined information. has a big list of mashps and APIs.
A Microformat example called h-card looks very interesting! It is the 2.0 version of a business card.

This is diagram on mashups that he showed that really helped me to better understand what they are.

There is so much more to share. I will have to do one more post of a more reflective nature of all this good stuff. I really appreciated all their efforts today! Once again, Michelle Boule's and Gary Wan's 2.0 wiki is here.

P.S. I heard back from a couple of Librarians on the homefront when I sent the morning post...they were so glad I was learning and enjoying it so much...BUT...they couldn't see the info...because.......(drum roll please)....... it was blocked! ( sigh)

371.33 Library 2.0 Instruction

Can you say information overload? a good way!

I am attending the Library Instruction 2.0 Free Online tools for Teaching With Technology preconference at TLA currently. Michelle Boule has taken us thru a great outline of the many tools available to all of us as individuals, but more importantly as teachers. She has shown so many ways to use blogs, wikis, RSS, etc., etc! good examples of use and great analogies to try and explain what this things are!

Michelle ( and her presentation partner Gary Wan who speaks in the afternoon) used a wiki for their presentation. Michelle showed us the tag cloud that she created for the vocabulary she would be discussing.

One of the most interesting and new things to me was all of her discussion about MUVEs and MMORPGs you know what these are? Have you read or seen anything about 2nd Life?

P2P...peer to peer...sharing files from one computer to another. The students do this all the time. There are networks for this. Good discussions for copyright, etc. ...all the ethics that are involved. She has done a good job of discussing the pitfalls of all this technology as well as the good!

We are getting ready for lunch and I will try to add some more hot ideas from this presentation during our break. So stay tuned!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

371.33 School Librarians Who Blog: The Whys and Wherefores

A recent issue of American Libraries, the ALA magazine, included an article on librarians who blog. Problem was...they did not include school librarians. So Doug Johnson of Blue Skunk was among the school librarian bloggers who brought this to the magazine's immediate attention!
Results...there will be an article about school librarians who blog in the May issue.

Several of the bloggers who were interviewed for the article have been posting their answers to the questions. They want to be sure the "whole" sense of their answers are made public.

If you still are not sure about the value of blogging and how some bloggers use the technology to benefit their students, here is a partial list of the bloggers who have posted their answers to the American Libraries questions:
Doug Johnson at Blue Skunk
Christopher Harris at Infomacy
Joyce Valenza's NeverEndingSearch
California Dreamin' by Rob Darrow
Alice (Yucht) in Infoland (her page may load with lots of blank space?--scroll down)
From the Inside Out by Sara Johns Kelly (ALA president-elect!)
Gargoyles Loose in the Library
Carolyn Foote at Not So Distant Future
I will add any others who post their answers to the magazine questions if I come across them.

371.22 Educational Technology: TeacherTube

Been worried about using YouTube videos with your students?
Give this site a look. These are videos that have been done for using with students. I saw some interesting lessons for math on my first pass thru. I will be going back.
I sure hope you can see this from your venue!