The Absolutely True Adventures of a School Librarian

The Absolutely True Adventures of a School Librarian

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TL News Night Premiere = SUCCESS

Logo designed by Matthew Winner

The idea of TL News Night started with a direct tweet from Michelle Cooper, moderator of the Texas Librarians Chat (#txlchat) two weeks before the first show aired.


Eighty-seven tweets, several phone calls, and a few Google Hangouts later TL News Night was formed.  The first order of business was to come up with a name and/purpose/mission for the show. Michelle and I knew that we wanted the show to be different from anything else going on currently in the TL Community. We quickly decided we wanted "The View" style format that provided in depth discussions of relevant school library topics as well as information about upcoming school library events.  

Next up was getting other school librarians on board.  Michelle and I started brainstorming people in our PLN but also wanted to be sure we gave Teacher-Librarians not as well know in the TL Community an opportunity to step forward as leaders. We also wanted to be sure that each grade level was represented.  It didn't take long before we had assembled a stellar team.

Michelle Cooper - High School Librarian
Nikki D Robertson- High School Librarian
Elissa Malespina - Middle Grades Librarian
Tamara Cox - Middle Grades Librarian
Sue Levine - Elementary School Librarian
Shannon Miller- Elementary School Librarian

The name for the show, as many of you who have started blogs will relate, was one of the hardest things to decide. We tossed several names around but it was ultimately Gwyneth Jones who helped us settle on TL News Night. The name was decided on just hours before the TL Virtual Cafe announced the premiere of TL News Night! Whew!

I have to give a warm shout out to my favorite librarian from beautiful Hawaii, Linda Lindsay, who blogged about TL News Night before it ever aired. XOXO

The next order of business was to develop a basic structural outline for the show.  A few tweaks here and there gave us the following format:

  • Introduction (5 minutes)
    • The news team
    • The Show's purpose/mission
    • How to participate LIVE
    • Official Show Hashtag: #tlchat 

  • A topical "HOT" library issue decided upon by guest experts from a state library association (25 minutes)

  • A wrap up of “This Month in School Libraries” (10 minutes)
    • The News Team review
      • TL Virtual Cafe Webinar review
      • #TLChat LIVE review & highlights
      • News you submit (see Google Form)

  • Highlight a state library association (10 minutes)

  • Title | Tool | Takeaway- This segment features a book, an app or web tool & a takeaway (10 minutes)
    • Guest presenters needed

For our first show we wanted to address the drastic cuts affecting school libraries across the nation.  This lead us to the New York Library Association.  Sara Kelly Johns, Stephanie Rosalia, and Sue Kowalski were a delight. We practiced using Google Hangouts and had fun getting to know each other and generating ideas for the upcoming show. Stephanie did not have a webcam or microphone but managed to get one the day before we aired despite recovering from a recent surgery.

The night before the show the TL News Night anchors did a dry run through through a private Google Hangout just to work through any questions anyone on the team had with how to use Google Hangouts and to review the script one last time.

When I woke up the morning of the TL News Night Premiere I checked my Facebook account and saw this post from Vicki Davis (aka: Cool Cat Teacher) and knew that it was perfect for our inaugural show.


Getting more nervous by the hour as I went about my many library duties I was relieved when the time finally arrived to get "on air".  I started the Google Hangout about 15 minutes before show time and the team as well as our special guest experts from New York were set and ready to go.  About 5 minutes before the start of the show we realized we all had a faulty connection.  We crossed our fingers, ENDED the Google Hangout, and a new Google Hangout invite was sent to all participants.  Two minutes before air time we were all back on, "suited up" and ready to go.  


Those watching the LIVE broadcast could comment and ask questions several ways.  They could tweet using the hashtag #tlchat, use the new Q&A GHO feature, or comment on the Google Events page.  

In preparation for our first show I made an little tutorial instructing viewers how to participate LIVE during the show:



The show was lively, fun and informative. The back channel on Twitter was exciting to read as the show progressed and reaffirming after the show was over.  You can read the back channel comments HERE.

Here are some of my personal favorite tweets:


2hJust watched TLNewsNight w/ &others. WORTH IT

Joachim CohenChecking in from Syd Australia!! Very excited to be listening to this panel of experts

Joachim Cohen ‏@JoachimCohen1231hListening to @spkowalski leading and advocating about school libraries on #tlnewsnight @ 10am in Aus!

Heidi Neltner ‏@heidinelt21m#tlchat thanks for a great #tlnewsnight! As always #tlchat has given me a lot to think about and act on!

Susan Grigsby ‏@sksgrigsby1h#tlchat NYC has 1500 schools and about 300 certified school librarian with more disappearing every day.

Joachim Cohen ‏@JoachimCohen12348mLibraries the One Stop Shop for all students and staff .. how do we make others realise they are indispensable? #slansw#tlchat#oztlnet

James Allen ‏@jallenphotos45mneed to share more thank you notes?http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesallen/2528382736/ #tlchat

Matthew C. Winner ‏@MatthewWinner15mGreat first outing of the TL News Night news team! #TLchat Catch the archive athttp://tlvirtualcafe.wikispaces.com/TL+News+Night  Loved seeing my pal @shannonmmiller!

Linda Lindsay ‏@mauilibrarian215mFantastic inaugural TL Night Live, everyone. Bravisimas! #tlchat

jamie camp ‏@connect2jamie9mFirst ever TL News Night was great! TLs watch the archive if you missed it tonight! Next month TX libraries spotlighted! #tlchat#txlchat

Our baby was a success and we have already started planning the script for October with special guests from the Texas Library Association.


We can't wait to see everyone again in October!  



Bonus Feature:

Want to learn how to conduct your own Google Hangouts?  Click HERE to learn more!




3 comments:

  1. You inspire me, Nikki. We'll be using some of your ideas (like the Google Form) in our little HOA here in the middle of the Pacific. Thank you for all you do.

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  2. Nikki You did an amazing job of capturing the process from birth to delivery in this blog post! Thanks for being such a strong leader and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this amazing Teacher-Librarian project! I want to thank our NY friends for being the MOST amazing guest EVER!!! You guys really rock!!! Thanks again! Sue

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