Presenting my vision

I had the opportunity last week to eludicate my vision for the school library to the elementary faculty.  I did so using this Prezi.  The big points:

The goals of the library:

  • Create a library space that is welcoming, attractive, and organized.
  • Instruct students in research and information literacy.
  • Support recreational reading by students.
  • Support the curriculum of the school through print and digital resources.

Statistics on the elementary library:

  • 7,330 holdings
  • 19 per student
  • Average age is 1990

A good school library includes a solid collection plus programming and teaching.
But a great school deserve a great library.

This can only happen together.

Then I discussed some initiatives – leveling all the books in the library, coordinating library and tech instruction, and working in the classroom with teachers. 

Dr. Pasco’s law:  The quality of our library tells students what we think they deserve.
My law:  This is my classroom, but it is your (and the students’) library.

How can I help you?


It’s a colorful world

It may be dark and gloomy outside today, but it’s colorful at preschool storytime!

“Good morning” song

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin

Welcome chitter chatter – “I see someone wearing orange!  Oh, I see someone wearing green.”  But aren’t preschoolers funny?  If you have a teeny tiny bit of green on your socks, that means you’re wearing green.  I guess it’s true, but so literal.  (Of course I encourage color recognition!)

If You Take a Paintbrush by Fulvio Testa

“Red Dress” rhythm – the students really liked this!  Mary wore a red dress, red dress, red dress, Mary wore a red dress all day long, while slapping their thighs.  It continues with Mary wearing a red hat, shoes, gloves, but then the end is Mary is a red bird, red bird, red bird, Mary is a red bird, all day long.  Shouldn’t Mary be Mark or Martin since red cardinals are male?  Perhaps Mary is a scarlet tanager!

Alas, this is a male scarlet tanager.  The females are olive green.  I think Mary was Martin after all, but then what could he wear?  Guess we’ll just stick with Mary!

Lemons are not Red by Lauar Vaccaro Seeger

“If you’re wearing red, shake your head” (to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” – students loved this, but the only second part of the rhyme I remembered was “shake like a jello, be a fellow.” 

   Blue – touch your shoe
   Green – bow like a queen
   Yellow – shake like Jello
   Brown – turn around
   Pink – give a wink

Color Dance by Ann Jonas 

“Little Boy Blue” rhyme 

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh

“Baa Baa Black Sheep” rhyme

Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd

“The More We Get Together” (goodbye song)

What a great group!  The students really know their colors, and were such good listeners.  I think they could have listened to more books!  

Extra fun was when I had a kindergarten class in the afternoon and I read some of these books to them.  They read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, I just would turn the page early enough that they knew what the next picture would be.  They really knew their nursery rhymes, too.

Next week – monkeys!

Pictures take two

I should add on the what I’ve learned post something about testing in different browsers, OS, etc., but I did that! I’m not sure why the Picasa slideshow isn’t working for some people, but here are the before and after pictures for my library, if you don’t mind the loading time.


The large library space was used for students taking PSEO classes, and not much more
The books were kept in a room off the large library space
Not the most technical of a design project, but it seemed to work (and much better when I started using a tape measure rather than a ruler!!)

Next the books had to be moved – a great time for weeding

The guys came to help

Straps are our friend

And after!
Our popular “comfy seating”
Another angle
Gutter shelving – thanks Kathy for the idea!
Students enjoy the space to work on their schoolwork
We have lots of students take college courses while in high school, and the library is their classroom
Football players use the space – and check out books, too!
I am really blessed with a great administration who understand and support my vision for the library as the learning commons of the school.  
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this is the best job in the world!

What I’ve learned as a new librarian

Some things I’ve learned in the past two months:
  • Worldcat is your cataloging friend.
  • Use pencil in the lesson plan book!
  • With a big job – like entering over 400 books into the catalog – divide it out, a little chunk at a time.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.
  • I should have taken a class in copyright. 
  • Have one place to make lists.  Either a planner that is always with you, or Evernote.  (Or better yet, I’m thinking of buying an iPhone.) 
  • Have one place to put papers.  I do most everything digitally, but not everyone is sold on that, so know where you put that paper.
  • Even if you use multiple computers (desktop at HS library, desktop at elementary library, work laptop, home Macbook), designate one as the default for keeping documents.  Better yet, use Google Docs.
  • Organize emails and online documents with the same folders – administration/collection, elementary/tech, etc.
  • Use Diigo and Pinterest to keep links – Diigo for text, Pinterest for images.
  • Twitter is important, but RSS is even more so.  It’s easy to miss important info on Twitter, but on RSS, it waits for you.
  • Do preschool storytime!  Talk about putting a skip in your step. 
  • Know the names of the janitors and secretaries.  Mucho importante!  I’ve been picking up names of teachers pretty well, too.  700 students?  Not so much, but a little at a time.  I have no idea why I thought it’d be easy to learn everyone’s names in a small school – rather than a bigger school where kids wear nametags and I wouldn’t be expected to know their names at all.  Ah well, this is where I want to raise my kids, so I know it will come eventually!

And most importantly:

Smile!  This is the best job in the world.

“smile!” by seanbjack.  Retrieved online from under Creative Commons licensing.

Back to school – and back to storytime!

Today was a marvelous day as I did my first preschool storytime for a long time.  It could *not* have been better.  What a great group of kids, and only in school for three days!  They sat so well, and I was able to do a whole half-hour storytime with them!  I’m doing it again on Friday with three-year olds, but I might make it a little shorter.

Here was the fun!  Books are in italics, songs or fingerplays are in quotations.

“Good morning” sung to the tune of “Happy Birthday.”  (Good morning to you / good morning to you / good morning dear preschool / good morning to you.)

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

“1-2 buckle my shoe”

Late for School by Stephanie Colmenson

“Two little houses all closed up tight”

The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort

“The Wheels on the Bus”

Clifford Goes to Dog School  by Norman Bridwell

Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss

“The More We Get Together”

 I gave them a sheet to take home with a reminder that September is Library Card Month.  Go get your kids a library card!

I do need to get some better material as far as songs go.  It went pretty well, but I need to get a CD with children’s music that is pretty straightforward (rather than the Raffi concert CD that I have, which includes a lot of banter with the crowd).  Any ideas?

This is the best job in the world!