Simplify for effectiveness

One of the things about school librarians in general is that we seek to be understood.


This is also one of our greatest failures.we overexplain.


As I sit here, reading through this 300+ page book from AASL that explains the new standards, I can’t help but think of all the principals in the room whose eyes glaze over as soon as I pull out the new framework.


We are going about this all wrong.


My most effective document boils down the Oregon State Standards to four bulleted PowerPoint slides (okay, Google).


I’m working on one for AASL and ISTE as well, because principals have five million other things to worry about and I gotta make my ten minutes count.


So you know what? Next time, I’m gonna bring in the kids. If a fifth grader can explain what the library is for, a principal will listen and understand.


Folks, keep it simple.


Explaining the library is like eating a whale…little bites, little bits…But don’t give up.





Stimulate that Inquiry!


I love KnowledgeQuest.

I also love Guided Inquiry and this article by Angie Miller offers some important questions to ask yourself as you design Inquiry-based assignments for students.


via What Are We Asking Kids to Do? Designing Research Projects That Ignite Creativity | Knowledge Quest

Looking to get your teachers excited about ed tech integration?

This article from Elizabeth Hutchinson’s blog offers ways to use Google Hangouts/Skype, Padlet, Flipgrid and BreakoutEdu as tools to get teachers excited about collaboration.

It’s refreshing to see a focus on increasing teacher engagement.

Elementary schoolboys using digital tablet together in classroom

via Elizabeh Hutchinson, School Libraries, Information Literacy | Using online tools as a hook: 4 ways to engage teachers

Something Librarians have all known…

In this article from SLJ, Researchers  Irene C. Fountas, professor in the School of Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and Gay Su Pinnell, professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at Ohio State University discuss an important part of choosing appropriate reads for kiddos.


via Fountas and Pinnell Say Librarians Should Guide Readers by Interest, Not Level | School Library Journal

Self Promote, Self Promote, Self Promote!

It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the attention.

You have to make sure everybody knows what’s happening in your library or you face being the one who gets cut.

I can’t tell you how many principals have told me they would rather pay for a full time nurse, secretary, or school counselor if it comes down to it. You have to prove your worth and you have to get those parents to advocate for you.


Read this. 


via School Librarian, Where Art Thou? | School Library Journal