Sunday, April 13, 2008

PLA Conference

I had the tremendous pleasure of attending 4 days of the PLA conference held at the Minneapolis Convention Center at the end of March and just want to say that it was an opportunity I have rarely experienced. The networking and socializing with so many different public librarians from as far-reaching as Texas, Michingan and Boston as well as Virginia, and Eden Prairie, Mn. Through the many opportunities and sessions I attended, it afforded me a glimpse of the similarities, not differences that we experience very day in our jobs. I especially enjoyed the discussions regarding Teen services as that was of particular interest to me. I personally met 19 authors, received or purchased 14 individually signed novels, as well as the sharing of resources and Readers Advisory, Web 2.0 sessions. It reinforced my thinking and feelings about how important it is for us school librarians to support and communicate with our public libraries. We can become a valuable TEAM that delivers services and resources to our community and we can work together to make our programs successful and worthwhile.

Thing 16: MnLINK

I am a user of MnLink. But there are difficulties. I try to collaborate with my Chaska and Chanhassen Public Libraries but it takes a minimum of 3 weeks to bring other items in from libraries outside of our region. Almost daily, I am requesting or looking up materials for my students to obtain from either of these branches as many of my students have cars and can go immediately after school to pick up. We are fortunate, here in Chaska that we have a Union Library Catalog and get items from any library in our district in a minimum of 2 days, most within 1 say. Students really appreciate and it helps us in that we don't have to continue to purchase multiple copies of many resources.

Thing 15: Collaboration

Recently, I collaborated with a Business Marketing Class in my Chaska High School. I worked with this teacher in developing a Fair Use, Copyright and Intellectual Property lesson for her classroom, scheduled a classroom time to teach the lesson, and then followed with an evaluation of the lesson. I will be doing it again this quarter and from the evaluation, the teacher and I met and decided I could save her an additional day of teaching if I merely incorporated a couple of other things in my lesson on Intellectual Property - Patent/specifically Business Patent.
Went very well and will continue to collaborate and change as needed.
Barriers: Time to plan/allowing time away from Media Center to spend in classroom teaching -- pressures on Media Center staff during that time...when 3 classes booked at same time.
HUGE Benefits outweight barriers...students and staff aware that we are also teachers and information specialists and can save students and teachers time and energy that can be placed in other areas needing expertise. Especially important to do followup evaluation so the experience can be maximized. I can't ever remember not benefiting from the final evaluation and changes to be noted for future presentations prove invaluable.

Thing 14: Reliable Online Resources

Exploration and the time I spent reviewing many of these made me want to immediately create a pathfinder for such things as digital books online, ebooks, famous poets and poems, folklore, mythology, William Shakespeare in entirety in print online...and most especially and useful to me immediately is the ipl site for literary criticism. A site that my high school language arts teachers will use over and over again. What a wealth of criticism organized in an extremely useful and easy way. I'm excited and overwhelmed at the same time. YEAH to MILI for forcing (encouraging and presenting) these wonderful tools for exploration in such a useful way. This year I have found Britannica has really come a long way with improvement to their online encyclopedia...I especially like Best of the Web on the right hand side...their links for example under "Afghanistan" are awesome and can save lots and lots of time browsing in Google. Another thing I noticed this week on SIRS Researcher is that they are not including weblinks to their topics as well as the Primary Sources. And for countries, our subscribtion database "CountryWatch" is excellent" with the useful sidebars and easy access cultural and political pieces included.

Thing 13: Subscription Databases

Haven't spent as much time as I should using EBSCOHOST, so I viewed the Webinar by Beth Staats using Academic Search Premiere and EBSCOHOST. Liked being able to set up personalized folders for searches, Journal alerts for which I have set up Journal alerts for LMC, VOYA and Library Journal in MasterFile Premiere. Was interesting to learn about the development of LISTA and look forward to more on that. AND set up two (2) new where books can be accessed online such as poetry, Grimms Fairy Tales, and many other classic titles. I also enjoyed viewing and using Galeschools and learned all sorts of information on grants available to schools, libraries and teachers tabs with special programs. Just being able to learn how to use and navigate in this complex database will prove helpful for searching for and teaching patrons where to find the best resources and how much more is available if we spend a little more time learning about these databases...and the best news: they're FREE!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thing 12

In using the terms "intellectual freedom" in these databases and meta search engines, I really didn't find a whole lot of difference...some were much more difficult to get to the information I was really looking for like kartOO but I think what makes the most sense to me is to use something that is easiest and most comfortable for the user. I hadn't used Dogpile in a while but this seemed the most similar to Google which I am most familiar with. I did like the way clusty created the clusters that made it really easier to sort the sites. Will need to practice more and use with more topics to really become familiar with all of these.

Thing 11

Interesting and informative time spent reviewing some new things I did not know about Google. I especially liked the currency exchange, and took time to look at some Google Videos with a very good one for Copyright instruction at which will prove helpful in my presentation that I am doing next week. I also spent some time in Google Calendar which I began using but couldn't save into my own desktop but will play around some more as I think this would be a very good way to keep track of my schedule because I could always check wherever I am. And I plan to help students who don't have Microsoft Word to use Google Documents which will allow easy exchange of information from home and school. I knew this was available but had never taken time to look at.