Sunday, July 22, 2007

820.9 Harry Potter : A File Folder of Sorts

As a service to all you Harry Potter fans who are too busy reading the new book or are in the middle of one of your great group discussions, here is a nice "pile" of information that you may want to consult at some point for a variety of reasons!

Blogs that I follow that have postings on all things Harry:

Book Moot

Chair, Fireplace & Tea Cozy More Even More

Chasing Ray (a little different perspective?)

Chicken Spaghetti (NY review issue!) Jim Dale info

Educating Alice More Sweathog Parody

Miss Rumphius More Even More

and here are some web sites with all kinds of information...background, fun, educational...whatever!

Harry Potter Official Site (Warner Bros.)

J.K. Rowling Official Site

Harry Potter Lexicon ALL kinds of stuff

Leaky Cauldron Another comprehensive site

Harry Central from

Wikipedia coverage

If you have come across anything else worthy of "filing," comment here and I will update!
I KNOW I haven't even made a dent in the mountain of information, reactions, reviews...

...and I hope it is meeting all of YOUR long-awaited expectations!! Happy reading!

Friday, July 13, 2007

346.7304 Free Doesn't Always Mean Free to Use: Copyright Issues on the Web

With summer more than half over, all of us will begin thinking about lessons and projects sooner than later and will be looking for resources to use in said items. Not only will we come across print information, but we will also stumble on pictures, sounds, podcasts, music and videos that may be appropriate and useful in making our points... and many of these resources may be "free" in it will not cost us $ to download. the saying goes (or at least my paraphrasing of such saying)...nothing in life is really "free!" Look at the small print...and if at first you don't see it...look again just to be sure. There may be COPYRIGHT issues attached to the resource...i.e. the owner of the material may have strings attached to the use of the material.

Case in point: Free Children's website full of just what its title implies...all kinds of children's songs and Mp3 format...easy for downloading. Cute, colorful website just screaming "Bring the kids and listen!" The home page states:
This is the place for great free songs for kids! Download all the terrific
children's songs you want to. There are no guarantees how long any of them will
be here, so grab them while you can. Have fun exploring!! And don't forget to
click on the artists' names to visit their web sites!

At the bottom of the home page is an even more important statement "Hey can I use this music to..."
It is intended to be downloaded and listened to on computers, MP3 players,
custom CDs for personal listening, etc. It is NOT intended to be played on your
web site, mixed with video or graphics and posted on another web site, played in
public as warmup music for a paying audience, burned to CDs intended for resale,
used on TV shows, etc

The website author goes on to explain that it is not his music so he can not grant use. Anyone wanting to use it in the ways listed above should contact the actual owner of the music. Yes, email the artist and ask if the music can be put on in PPT, on a web page, in a photostory presentation, etc.

The ability to download the file does not give us the right to use it the way we want.

And those stacks of CDs we all have with all the "perfect background" music for that special welcome-back-to-school PPT program or campus TV news program aren't "free" for the using either...unless the artist/owner states so!!

Be careful...our kids are watching!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

025.21 Books for Boys: A Quick Laundry List of Titles

Just a quick post about an article from the LA Times I came across giving good (but not necessarily new) ideas about books for boys…probably in the 9-11 age group on up to YA.
How to hook the reluctant boy reader Gags, gadgets and adventure — sure fire recipes to make boys (and girls) read by Denise Hamilton

If you have spent 15 minutes in a library with boys at this point in ther lives, these titles will be well known to you…Alex Rider, Capt’n Underpants, Wayside School, Hank the Cow Dog, Ender’s Game, Crispin, Lighting Thief, Cirque de Freak…

Personally, I am SUCH an easy mark for books with catchy or gimmicky titles. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by Oh Yuck! or Oh, Yikes! History’s Grossest, Wackiest Moments ?
So if you need an idea for one of your display corners when school opens back up…this article is a good place to get some inspiration.

Maybe you have some other thoughts to share with all the lurkers(oops! I mean readers) out there!

P.S. I do—Grossology and It’s Disgusting and We Ate It (kind of a history of food!) come on….NOT every book has to be “serious!”

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

371.33 Blogging Class: The Whys and Wherefores in the Library

We are sitting here in class learning about blogs. The class is made up of librarians-in-training at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Don't they look like hard working librarians?

They are looking at samples of blogs and getting sense of what blogs contain and what bloggers write about.

At the beginning of class, because they are a new group pf students, we popcorned out what comes to mind when you say the word "LIBRARY." Their answers included...resource, book, books, information, technology, FUN, interactive, access, reading.... What are your thoughts?

One of the students brought a very important question? What do you do if parents of your students do not want their picture on the web? (we had been viewing the video from the elementary school's student blogs). I suggested doing audio podcasts only in the beginning or making blogging an after school elective! What suggestions can you give this person for her concern?

The students are looking at different types of blogs and noting the similarities and differences found in blogs. I will post some of their findings at a later date.

I had fun...I hope they did too (and I hope they learned a little something about blogs as well!)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

025.3 Cataloging Camp: A Case for Lemonade

We recently completed our annual month of summer staff development for our district Librarians. For the last few years, we have offered a series of classes and workshops based on what the Librarians have requested and what we determine will help all continue to provide superior service to their students and teachers. For instance, some of this year's schedule included podcasting, creating webpages using the open source software DotNetNuke, books and online resources for books, and an open technology forum where the Librarians could bring their questions or concerns about anything technology-wise.

An annual workshop that ALWAYS draws a crowd is our Cataloging Camp! We hold it 8 times during the month...4 days (cuz Fridays we are off), 2 classes a day. That way, Librarians can choose to stay all day if they want to (or their schedule allows it) because once you drag all your items for cataloging out and gather up all the tools and information you need to complete the task, time is essential!

This gathering became essential 8 years ago or so when our district decided the processing center was a luxury that could no longer be supported. 40+ Librarians who had NEVER had to do anything to a book, video, or kit except stamp a school name and maybe slap on an extra sticker were left with piles of items to catalog. We banded together, found books to help us, read up on rules, and dug into it. At the end of the year, we decided that a group effort would help...we could support and help each other learn the missing pieces. In other words, collective wisdom would be a huge benefit.

And before you ask...Yes, we now order almost all of our materials processed by the vendors, but there are ALWAYS those items (gifts, freebies, departmental, and great "deals") that require cataloging attention.

What we didn't count on...and what continues to this day...about these group gatherings for doing something that most School Librarians (and probably a lot of others as well) put at the bottom of their to-do that THEY ARE F-U-N!

Way back, the term cataloging "camp" was coined at one of the first sessions...many of us were mothers of children who were going off to day camp, sleep-over camp, or earning badges at scout the word was in the air and I suspect that is one reason for the honorary "title." That, the brown bag lunches we brought, and the fact that we came with enough baggage to warrant a "stay-over."

We found out that it is MUCH EASIER to share the "pain" of learning cataloging rules, learning the system, learning the software we had selected, and learning not to repeat someone else's work. Quite often the same items show up in several people's piles. We help each other interpret things in Spanish, decide if the call # should be this or that, and figure out just what is the exact terminology for all the "funky" subject headings that seem to pop up every year.

So the "work" gets done, the records get loaded, and life moves on. the meantime, we have bonded...laughed more than you can imagine (and some of it even about cataloging!)...shared our lives, our recipes, our goals, and even some of our fears (snakes, cockroaches, spiders). Collaboration and team-building at its best...all with a dash of chocolate! O, yes...summer staff development can NOT be held without the mandatory chocolate. It helps get thru the rough times...when the Internet is sluggish, the AC suddenly goes off, or there just does not seem to be a category for that cantankerous kit.

We don't claim to be experts...most of us would rather have our eye-teeth pulled without the benefits of gas...than to catalog library items. But we all recognize that access and accountability is necessary and so we take the lemons we have been given, come together, and make the best batch of lemonade possible...swweeeeet!

[P.S. thanks to Library girl for the hint at the "I hope temporary issue" of the title box problem!--it worked!]

302.2 Communication Power: Why Not Use It?

This week, I was reminded about the power of radio in FDR’s time. 75 years ago he made his first presidential nomination acceptance speech in person…the first candidate to do so…took a plane ride to get there…and it was covered by radio. Of course he made communication history as well with his famous fireside chats.

An of course, many of us digital immigrants can remember first hand all the hulabaloo there was over the Kennedy-Nixon televised debate and the “famous” shadow problem. And how we all were riveted to the TV during those terrible days in November only 3 years later.

So why were “we” so shocked that blogs and other web pages were important elements in the last campaign or two and that this go-round’s candidates are also busy creating digital videos that show up on YouTube or the nearest cell phone!

Why would we expect them not to use the latest (and greatest?) methods of communicating to reach as many voters as possible with their plans for our country’s future?

So…why can’t “we” accept that it is JUST as necessary for our schools to use these tools in educating as many students as possible for our country’s future…and theirs!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

031.02 Seven Wonders of the World: The New Bunch

100 million votes later and the list of the new Seven Wonders of the World was revealed today.

And the "winners" in no particular order are:

Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janerio

Machu Picchu [slow loading site, but fabulous pix]

Petra, Jordan [must admit this one eluded me--had to read up on it!]

The Chichen Itza pyramid in Yucatan, Mexico.

My personal favorite (hence my choice for picture) is the Great Wall...I am especially fascinated by the thought that it is the only man-made structure the astronauts can see from space! My only claim to fame of any of these magnificent structures is that I have been to a "cousin" of Chichen Itza.... the pyramids right outside of Mexico impressive and SO scary when I was climbing back down!!
The Egyptian pyramids ware the only remaining structures from the ancient Seven Wonders of the world and were not included in this poll. They are what they are on their own---a continuing wonder.
No "U.S." representative...the only one mentioned in the early news stories...the Statue of Liberty was way at the bottom of the list...and does that really count because it was a gift from France? I'm not concerned...we have have contributed in our own way to the world...and besides, remember we have only existed a mere 231 years...a baby amongst some of these other civilizations and their structures!
Betcha got a favorite?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

027.073 American Libraries: 100 Years of History the 2.0 Way

American Libraries, the magazine for the American Library Association, is celebrating 100 years and produced a 3-minute video reflecting its history.

[try as I might, I can not get the code to embed correctly on my html page so go here to see the video]

There is a pdf time line available as well. And their A CentenniAL Blog covers interesting things about library hisitory.

Although I have spent all of my professional library career in the school setting, I was a child of the public library and many of the things portrayed here are nice reminders (and funny reminders as well) of many happy hours on both sides of the check out desk in the public and school libraries of my life!


371.207 School Leadership Day: What Administrators Need to Know about the 2.0 World of Learning

Scott McCleod has asked bloggers to write about 2.0 digital technology learning for 21st century students for the benefit of school administrators.

The leaders in the blogging world and some other bloggers I found responding to the call can better list the reasons why and the advantages of this change in educational thought.
My contribution to this plan is this...I will provide the links to these important thoughts
Doug Johnson
Scott McCleod
Carolyn Foote
Chris Lehmann, a principal who may not have been writing today directly for this purpose, but had some relevant thoughts for all of us proposing these changes nevertheless including:
"...I do think that the educators in my aggregator can change the world. But I think we all have to understand that a) change is slower than we'd want, and b) to change the world, we have to be as close to the ideal versions of ourselves as we can. We have to be passionate and dedicated and smart and inclusive and tireless and humble. We have to be better tomorrow at being who we are than we are today. Our ideas and work can change the world and make a difference, but only if we are willing to constantly change ourselves...."

Coordinator's Office, a blogger since 2004
Jeanette Johnson, a principal who speaks from the other side and lists things for US to be sure and consider!

... and I will kindly ask anyone in an administrative position who happens to read my blog for whatever reason PLEASE take a few moments to read what these learned and well-versed folks have proposed for the benefit of all our students.

...and to please think about how they, in their various positions of administrative authority, can bring about the necessary changes to allow this type of learning to take place in our schools.

...and to ask questions and to ask for samples and to look for these types of learning opportunities that might already be going on in their sphere of influence.

I promise you will not have to read much, look far, or be afraid. Good "stuff" is happening!

Technorati tag:

Sunday, July 1, 2007

371.3 Digital Immigrants: More Background

In case you want to review information about digital immigrants and how they think and how they learn, here is a link with some good background information, some online samples of digital immigrant format materials in the public sector, and some vocabulary you may want to know. Topics include blogs, wikis, and gaming. There is a good "this vs. that" list of concepts to review.

Thanks to my colleague FM for passing along this link.
You can also review information from this previous post.