Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Goal of Research

My fellow Pennsylvania Elementaty Librarian, Susan Hefley, recently sent out a request on the Pennsylvania School Librarian's Association list-serve asking for us to tell her what research means to us, the goal of research to us. So, how would you define it or how would you explain it to your students? She took all of our answers and put them into the Wordle below. As you look at the beauty of the research process explained in the design below please note that the bigger the word the more times it was expressed as important to those that replied to the informal survey.
Wordle: Goal of Research So what do you think? What does research mean to you? What is your goal when you do research?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Closing Thoughts- PSLA 2012

Reflections on the close of PSLA 2012- when I published my thoughts about librarians and librarianship the first morning of the PSLA 2012 Conference, I was praying that this would be the PSLA where change would happen.  And I totally agree with Karen Hornberger in her blog post on Saturday, I too "felt an energy this year that I have not previously felt at our conference which is VERY exciting!" Karen you are so totally right. This year was different.

Professionally and personally, I have never taken so much away from PSLA! And I know why, it was the conversations. People were talking to each other and asking questions and there was the kind of dialogue that usually only happens at an Educon or EdCamp like event.
I also agree with Karen, I love the PETE&C conference and this year PSLA felt more like PETE&C only with librarians!!! And that is the way it should be, librarians should be the technology leaders in their schools and districts. Maybe we are waking up or maybe it was just me sleeping and not realizing that over the past year my fellow librarians were doing wonderful techie things with their students!

In the past there was never any reason to follow Twitter during PSLA, usually I am the only one Plurking away (I Plurk rather than Tweet) adding a PSLA hashtag to an empty audience. Oh, I get responses from my Plurk PLN but not from anyone actually at PSLA. This year was different, Twitter was aflutter with #PSLA12 comments! There were dialogues happening via Twitter, even one of the librarians in my district took a Twitter workshop and texted me for my Twitter name and we’ve kept the conversation going all evening via Twitter!

I was thrilled to see so many of our younger librarians stepping out of their comfort zones and presenting much needed sessions and two hour technology integration workshops that were vital, vibrant, and viral! And others were feeling it too. Patrick Higgins (@pjhiggins) tweeted this from Pam Berger’s Becoming a Connected Librarian- Create a Personal Learning network session: “Interesting how many devices in this room: 95% of people on phone/laptop/tablet. Two yrs ago, you would not have seen that. #psla12.” What a difference two years makes.
Thank you so much PSLA. You made my weekend. I actually have ideas to take back with me on how to improve my library program. I even have a new PA librarian friend on Plurk that I have to start introducing to my PLN! Thank you PSLA12 Conference Committee, you deserve much applause! Because of your forward thinking I have many ideas on how to engage the iPad generation in my school!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Breakfast Thoughts PSLA 2012

Reflections after the first morning of my state library conference... Dear school librarians, please wake up.  We need to change. We all need to become powerlibrarians!  If we don't there is no need for us. What makes us think we can continue with library programs as usual when our students are using iPads before they come to school in Kindergarten? Why do we think we can continue with business as usual when our library classes are one of our student's least connected time of the day? Yes, we need to read to students but we also need to engage them with the media they do not know how to live without. Yes, I said they can not live without it because they never have known a reality where the world was not available in the palm of their hand. I am proud that we are having some technology sessions at PSLA 2012 but we need to do more. And despite the wonder that is Joyce Valenza who is my hero at the high school level, the change I am talking about has to now start with me at the elementary level! We who are on fixed library schedules and see students once a week need to start adding multimedia modalities into our curriculums and we have to do it now! We are behind the curve of our students! What can I do to start? It does not have to be a total shocking change, we have to get our feet wet fist and go in from there.  We can do it if we add one or two new mediums and modalities a year and before we know it we will have a vital, vibrant, viral library media center that is so integral to our school communities that there will be no way to cut us. Necessity is the mother of change. Right now it is necessary that we change!  Ask yourself the question I am asking myself, "What am I going to do in the library next week to engage the iPad generation?"