Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hollywood Librarian

The image of librarians has not often been kind, flattering, or pretty. One person, Ann Seidl, is trying to change that… she wrote and directed "Hollywood Librarian," a look at librarians through film.

"Hollywood Librarian" made it's debut in front of 5,000 librarians at the American Library Association's meeting in Washington, DC this week. Check out this article from the Washington Post:

I must admit that one of my favorite movies is mentioned in the article. But in the movie, "Desk Set," I guess I never thought of Katharine Hepburn as a librarian. Of course she and the other women in the department, including a young Joan Blondell, were gathers of information, they were the researchers with the background information. But librarians? There was no “shushing” in “Desk Set,” no one going around telling others to be quiet. It was a new look for librarians, a Hollywood glamorization!

Either they knew the answer when someone called for information or they could find the information, using books, in a jiffy. They were heroes! Yet, the women feared they were going to become obsolete because of the new computer system being installed in the department. Hey, that sounds familiar. How long have librarians been concerned that they were becoming obsolete? Well, since “Desk Set” came out in 1957, it looks like librarians have been becoming a thing of the past for about 50 years. Since I just became a librarian 2 years ago, after working as a journalist and then raising a family, here's hoping that I can continue to teach children the joys of the library both physically and virtually for a long time to come.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Operatic Cell Phone Salesman

I am sure most of you have seen this you-tube video of the guy on the British version of America's Got Talent singing opera. I have seen it a few times and I get chills every time. This man's voice is so wonderful that I can almost forget his bad teeth. Take a listen and tell me if you think he is just as good as Pavarotti.

I do not usually listen to opera but I have worked for NPR stations and have heard my fair share. I think this guy is the real thing. Do you think he has had any formal training? Amazing!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cranky Apple Geek

Ok, so I listen to a podcast called Cranky Geeks. Something that came up this week… now that Safari is available for Windows is the future all Apple? I would like to think so because I love the Mac platform. I am writing this on a PowerBook G4… I know it is time to upgrade but there is no 12-inch Mac Book or PowerBook right now. But I digress. I have to say the future of Apple seems bright to me. Perhaps the move to Intel was a stroke of genus for Apple. In my opinion, all computers should be Macs and in this new world where Macs can run both platforms, why are PCs even necessary? Do it all on a Mac and find it all @your library!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tutorials For Free? Check out Teacher Tube!

There are a lot of free sites and free tutorials online that will help you learn technology. My idea is that if you give teachers the sites, they will take the time to learn the technology as long as someone is giving them some kind of credit for it. You know how us teachers are, we need to get credit for things we do on our own time. Most teachers would jump at the chance to learn technology if it was easy and they didn’t have to go anywhere or stay after school and they got professional development hours for it.

Maybe this is not the best example of a PowerPoint tutorial because there is no sound but it is free and posted online. If you are illiterate you could watch this video and get the general idea of how to play with the technology. Just click the link:

I also wanted to add this video by having you go to the site to introduce a fairly new tool for teachers. It is called Teacher Tube. I have been a stalker at this site since there were only 2 videos posted to it. It is a great place to look for teaching videos. I love the math raps. It would also be a great place to post videos that you use in your teaching. The best part is that at my school Teacher Tube is not blocked but You Tube is blocked. Check it out and see if this is true for your school.

Lets get out there and promote these free online tutorials to our teacher staffs. Librarians get techie and start posting some tutorials for your teachers to use and learn from. Want teachers to use the technology in your building? How about videotaping your students using the technology? Or have your students make “how to” videos for teachers to view at their leisure, and give teachers professional development hours for viewing them. What about the students? Give them extra credit, community service hours, or make it a graduation project. Remember in the world of technology, our students are the natives and we are the immigrants! Our students have a lot to teach us and as we are teaching them to be lifelong learners, we can set a good example and learn from them!

Conger on You Tube

So, now that Will Richardson has me totally hooked on You Tube... I am finding all kinds of things.  Check out this Conger Eel.  I was pretty amazed at the good lighting and quality of the video under the sea.  Oh, and our theme for next school year is Sea how we learn... so I am going to open my library lessons with this video.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Which Wiki is Right for Me?

Shonda Brisco is one of the most techie librarians I know. Well, I don't personally know her since she is in Texas and I am in Pennsylvania, I virtually know her from my great library list-serve LM_Net. She wrote a wonderful article for School Library Journal about choosing the right Wiki. Since I am interested in starting a Wiki, I loved it. If you are just starting out with Wikis, maybe you would like it too. I think my favorite Wiki for elementary students is pbWiki and I want to introduce it to my students next year. So, I will be playing with it quite a bit this summer. What is your favorite Wiki?