Sunday, October 14, 2007

023.8 TLA Distirct 8: Professional Development & a Little Social Networking!

The area TLA District 8 meeting was yesterday...around 275-300 members attended, I hear. It was a nice opportunity to learn and share information and visit with professional friends.

At the general session, among the welcomes including TLA president Steve Brown, we heard a little bit about the coming of Encyclopedia Britannica Online to all the school libraries as an addition of TexShare things we get as a result of the the recent legislation change. That is quite exciting!

The speaker for the general session was Rene Saldana, children's author and education professor at Texas Tech University (his blog). His new book is A Sky Full of Stars, a book about friendship. In his remarks, he shared with us some of his favorite books as a child. He spoke fondly of things like The Hardy Boys and admitted he liked Nancy Drew stories even more because of "one chick being able to do more than 2 guys" and he also loved the Little house books as well.

The most enduring moment for me was when he told us how he takes his 4-yr. old son to the public library only one a month because the child checks out 50+ books at a time (yea for that librarian/library) and that on the first day of "real" school, he intends to take his son FIRST to the library to meet the librarian before going to the classroom or filling out the "mountains of forms" required of parents!

If you would like to participate in a live chat with him about this book, go to at 8:00 pm CENTRAL time on Wednesday Oct. 17th.

Among the many sessions offered, I attended one on copy cataloging pointers and helpful sites. During the Q&A portion, I did find out the records from WorldCat are not downloadable as I was not my inability to make it work after all! But the info for many items including AV can be found. "Copy & paste" is still faster than original cataloging.

A colleague reported that in the session on transitioning from high school research to college research that bib cards are still required by many professors at her college (although she doesn't necessarily agree with that practice) and when asked how to help more traditional teachers understand there is NO difference between an article in print that is identical online, the speaker said "good luck and just keep plugging way one teacher at a time to make them understand and accept the online version!"
Then it came time for my presentation on blogging. The room was overflowing and VERY warm, but the audience was so gracious and enthusiastic and attentive...even when we discovered that virtually ALL of the blogs (including my own!!) were blocked. Yup...the firewall and the technology department got us right where it hurt...nothing got thru except for Library Stuff and some Teacher Tube videos. This was the pitiful situation despite the careful planning by the people in charge to obtain the list of websites, blogs, etc. that I needed unblocked well in advance of the date.

Thank goodness for PowerPoint...I had planned for this situation because it had happened before...not this badly, but before nevertheless, and screen shots are not as good as the "real" thing, but with the enthusiasm of the audience and the slide show, we had a great discussion on the power of blogging and the many things that you can do with it. And needless to say, we a had a very frank discussion on what we all have to do in order to make administrations and tech people understand that this type of situation can NOT continue. It is unfair to our students...the very reason we were all in that hot room on a beautiful Saturday morning!

HANDOUT for those who did not get a copy!

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