Sunday, March 30, 2014

Why I Became A Librarian

The amazing librarian Andy Plemmons started a hashtag #whylib as a way to hear stories about why people became a librarian. I am loving reading all the different stories, and thought I would share mine.

I guess I should have known all along that one day I would be a librarian.  Both of my parents were English teachers and our house was always filled with books.  My bedroom as a kindergartener was the local neighborhood library.  I made check out cards and due date slips that I put in each book in my "library".  My home life was not as pretty on the inside as it looked on the outside and I used books as my safe place.  My mother worked at the high school across the street from my elementary school. In those days the high school started an hour earlier than the elementary school.  I spent my mornings in the high school library everyday over the span of my entire school career.  

My career goal in high school was to become an attorney with an eye on a Supreme Court seat (LOL!  I have always had lofty dreams.)  Reality, however, found me single, pregnant with twins and on welfare with just a high school diploma.  Entering the teaching field allowed me to have a common calendar with my children, a blessing for a single mom.  I loved everything about teaching but hated all the administrative BS that gets in the way of actual teaching.  Frustration was settling in.  A friend encouraged me to go after my Master's Degree.  Library Media seemed like a place where I could teach, be creative, self directed, and help everyone in the school rather than just the kids in my classroom.  I have loved everyday in the library.  The worst day in the library still beats my best day as a classroom teacher.  

What I love more than anything about the library are the amazingly creative librarians around the nation that are willing to step out of the stacks and share their genius with the rest of us.  I love that my insatiable desire for learning and my love of technology neatly folds into the job of librarian. I love that I can be helpful and giving everyday to those in need.  I love the library because it encompasses my passions and joy as an educator.

Tell your story and let us know using the hashtag #whylib.  Thanks Andy Plemmons for getting this great hashtag started for School Libraries Month 2014.

Friday, March 14, 2014

HHS March Madness Final Four Summer Reading

Ready to announce HHS March Madness Final Four Summer Reading Brackets! Take a look at the books that will be facing off in the first round HERE.

What is your prediction for the final four?

Monday, March 10, 2014

This Week in The Library@HHS March 3rd-7th, 2014

Vote for us HERE!

Read Across America Day:

In The Library@HHS we take turns rotating out weeks reading to Ms. Hollis and Ms. Vann's students each Monday during 6th period.  I was thrilled when I figured out it would be my turn to read on Monday, march 3, 2014... Read Across America Day!

Green Eggs and Ham is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books for several reasons, but mostly because it was written using just fifty words! (The fifty words are: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you)

My original intent was to read the book to the students using the iPad version of the book on our big screen TV paired with our Apple TV, but, Apple decided to automatically start an update right when we were ready to read.  Luckily I also had the book in hand!  

We read the book and then we made our own version of Green Eggs and Ham using sugar cookies, vanilla frosting, green M&Ms and pretzel sticks.  I had made a sample the night before and my crazy cat decided to eat the sample!  I showed the kids my cat eating the Green Eggs and Ham and they thought it was the funniest thing EVER!

Here is a slideshow of some more of our Green Eggs & Ham FUN!

World Read Aloud Day:

A few weeks ago while on Facebook I saw one of my Elementary Librarian friends posting pictures of his fun during story time with the kids.  As a former Elementary Librarian, one of the things I really miss is story time.  I lamented on Facebook about how much I missed this part of being in the library.  Shortly, another librarian chimed in that I could still read aloud to the kids even at the high school level.  I was then reminded that World Read Aloud Day was coming up soon and I could arrange something for that day at the high school.

I put out a Doodle for teachers to sign up for a time for me to come read to their students.  Ms. Gannon and Ms. Tanner took me up on the offer.  I started out by talking to the kids about the purpose of World Read Aloud Day and showing them this short video:

I then let the kids choose which picture book to read aloud.  Both classes choose The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs.

After that, I asked the kids if they had ever heard of Rudyard Kipling.  When I mentioned The Jungle Book they knew who I was talking about. I told them about his Just So Stories and read them How The Camel Got His Hump.  

It was so cute before we started reading when one of the kids said, " Are we going to sit "criss cross applesauce?"

I got hugs from kids who tower over me as I left the classrooms.  It was truly a highlight of my year!

Personal Shopping:

Friday was a day filled with an impromptu personal shopping request from Coach Holcomb for her 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th period classes.  Crystal Camp and I did a great job tag teaming these groups.  Crystal devours fiction books and I love non fiction books, so we each started out the periods with a quick book talk and then worked to match students up with a great book. It was fun to see the kids get excited and snatch up the books we had book talked!

Follett Challenge:

We found out Friday, March 7th that our school had made the cut to be voted on for the Follett Challenge. We have the chance to win $30,000 for our school library. We are competing against 103 other schools around the United States.  Crystal Camp, Holly Sutherland, and I all worked very hard on our submission. Fingers crossed! Votes count toward 30% of a school's score, so please vote for us HERE!

Monday, March 3, 2014

This Week in the Library@HHS February 24-28, 2014

Professional Development:

This week we continued our four part series focused on becoming device agnostic as Hoover High School anticipates a shift from iPads to Chromebooks, and eventually to a bring your own device (BYOD) environment.

Google 101/Session 2 focused on Google Forms, Spreadsheets, Flubaroo and the Google Chrome Web Store.   Here is the link to our session recordings and Google Presentation:

All PD sessions are always followed up with small group, one on one, or co teaching if requested.  We know that all of this information can be intimidating and overwhelming and are here to make this transition as smooth and pain free as possible.

Budget Conscious:

Although The Library@HHS is luck to have local funding for the library (there has been no state funding for Alabama Libraries for the last seven years), we are feeling the pains of a restricted budget.   This has also come on the heels of a massive one to one roll out which the library needs to keep up with patron needs. One big need is charging stations.  These can be quite expensive and may not meet all of the needs of your particular school.  Luckily, we have very resourceful people at HHS.  Crystal Camp and Keith Fulmer used existing end tables, Plexiglas display holders, surge protectors and charging cords to build our own, custom made charging stations.  The kids love them and they get lots of use!

Public Library:

We love our public library.  Ms. Katie Jane comes out once a month and reads to Ms. Vann & Hollis' students.  This week, however, we had Wendy and Stephen from the Hoover Public Library out to sign students up for a public library card.  Hoover Public Library uses OverDrive for their ebook collection just like Hoover High School, but their selection is much larger than ours so we want to make sure students have access to both locations for their ebook needs.  Additionally, Hoover Public Library also has a great new online magazine database that we wanted our students to be aware of.  Find out more about the Hoover Public Library HERE.

Book Displays:

January and February featured our student library aides book displays that they created for their sections of the library. A deliver of new books spurred a change in displays this week.  Down came the old displays and up went great new displays created by Dana Latta and Ronna Michaels, our amazing Library Aides.

Library Interns:

We are lucky at HHS to periodically have library interns from local colleges and universities that offer degrees in Library Media.  We introduced our Library Intern to the joys of Inventory this week!

Library Classroom Spaces:

The weather was gentle to us this week thus our new outdoor classroom space saw some patrons enjoying the sunshine.  Other classroom spaces in the library were also well utilized.