Three for: Awesome Ideas for Library Displays

Is there a support group for Librarians Who Lack “Display Panache”?  If so, I need to join.  Until I can find that support group, I rely on Pinterest, Flickr, and Google to provide me with ideas.



Google Search

Now, finding time to create these awesome displays is another problem.  Fortunately this semester I have some talented and willing service learners to help!

Image attribution:

ALA and ISTE: Attending Conferences Vicariously

Cold Light

Ever feel like you’re on the outside, looking in?  It’s not a bad thing!  If, like me, you are not attending either of the “biggie conferences” this weekend, you can still keep connected to those who are and learn vicariously though them.

Getting Live Feeds

First, you need a Twitter account.  (If you have never used Twitter, now is the PERFECT time to see this powerful learning tool in action – promise!)

Have no idea how to get started?  Visit David Wees’ “Eight Videos to Help Teachers Getting Started Using Twitter.”  He includes information on not only how to sign up for and customize your Twitter account, but also videos on how to use Tweetdeck, an application that simplifies and organizes your Twitter experience.

The Twitter client I use is HootSuite which is an online application (you don’t have to install anything on your computer).  There are many YouTube tutorials to help you get started with HootSuite, but I’ve embedded one below you might want to watch.


Using Hashtags

Once you have chosen your Twitter client, you want to set up columns, or threads, based on hashtags.  Then either Tweetdeck or HootSuite will do all the work of finding the conference tweets for you and you can sit back and let all the conference updates come to you!

American Library Association Conference – #ALA11, #ala11

International Society for Technology in Education – #ISTE11, #iste11

HootSuite Conference Columns

Let the Learning Begin!

Some of the best professional development of the year is about to begin.  Are you ready?

Image used through a Creative Commons license

“Cold Light” by Scott Ripton (Quasic)

You Can Take the Librarian out of the Library, but…..

I’m into my third week of summer vacation and loving every hectic and relaxing minute of it.  I have been back to the school library a few times to water plants, check on the mail that piles up over the summer, and just visit with office staff.

Today after stopping by the school library, I headed over to my local pubic library branch (two libraries in one day – nirvana!).  I had to return a couple of public library books that had been left in lockers at school  (those rascally kids!) and also turn in one of my book reviews for our public library’s Rock and Read summer reading program.

As I walked in the door, I heard my name being called – one of my favorite students was in the library with her aunt checking out  a load of books to carry home.  When I asked her if she was participating in the teen summer reading program, she said “no” and then gave her aunt a strange look.  Turns out her aunt reads as much as she does and wasn’t participating in the adult reading program.

So here I am, a school librarian, encouraging one of my students and her aunt to join the public library’s summer reading program.  Then up walks another one of my students who is also – gasp – not participating in the summer reading program.  Can I keep my mouth shut?  Or do I urge her to sign up, too?  Whadda ya think?

Photo attribution:

“Relaxing on the Beach” by Andrew Osterberg

What’s Your Library’s Story?

I just came across this gem today. Nancy Dowd, Director of Marketing of the New Jersey State Library,  created this powerful video simply entitled “Sean.”  Powerful.

Bull’s Eye!

Image attribution:  Poster by thewikiman

Ned Potter, author of thewikiman blog, created and shared the above poster in a Jan.4th post.  Short, simple, to the point. Love it!



The Ultimate Teen Bookshelf from YALSA


Another notable reader’s advisory and collection development tool has just been released. The Ultimate Teen Bookshelf list  is available for download as a .pdf file.  The list includes 50 books, 5 magazines, and 5 audiobooks.  It was compiled by Pam Spencer Holley and Judy Sasges from suggestions by subscribers to the YALSA-BK discussion list.

“Ultimate YA Bookshelf,” American Library Association, June 25, 2009. (Accessed July 01, 2009)
Document ID: 549310

Library Usage Soars in Poor Economy

An interesting report on the popularity (and necessity!) of libraries in today’s economy from the Today show.

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

And the Winner Is…..


Recognizing Excellence!

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences bestows the Grammys (short for Gramophone), the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League recognize achievement with Tony Awards, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes excellence with Oscar winners.

Excellence in literature is recognized with myriad awards.  There is the Pulitzer Prize  for newspaper journalism and literature, the Edgar given by the Mystery Writers of America, and the Newbery Medal given by the Association of Library Service to Children just to name a few.

Recognizing Excellence?

Then there are the awards that no one wants to win or awards won for negative reasons.  There’s the FBI’s Tne Most Wanted Fugitives list,  Mr. Blackwell’s Top Ten Worst Dressed Women list  which acknowledged* celebrities’ fashion faux pas, and  the English Department at San Jose University’s Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest that  encourages bad writing (recognizing “winners”  and dishonorable mentions for the opening sentence to the worst possible novel).

The MUSTIE Award

Librarians and school library media specialists are charged with developing their library’s collection. The obvious way to do this is by purchasing materials which will meet the needs of the library’s users.  But the not so obvious way is to pull and dispose of materials which are no longer meeting the users’ needs.

Librarians have been known to pull and dispose of these materials in the dark of night so as not to raise the ire of bibliophiles everywhere:  “What?!!! Throw out books?  Preposterous!”  I propose a new award to add glamour to the fine art of weeding:  the MUSTIE.

The term “MUSTIE” is defined by CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries  in this manner:

M =  Misleading (and/or factually inaccurate)

U=  Ugly (worn and beyond mending or rebinding)

S=  Superseded (by a truly new edition or by a much better book on the subject)

T= Trivial (of no discernable literary or scientific merit; usually of ephemeral interest at some time in the past)

I=  Irrevelant to the needs and interests of your community

E=  The material or information may be obtained expeditiously Elsewhere through interlibrary loan, reciprocal borrowing, or in electronic format

 The 2009 Boiling Springs High School Library Media Center’s MUSTIE award goes to:

2009 MUSTIE Award Winner








Arnold, Robert ,Harold Hill, and Aylmer Nichols. Modern Data Processing (Second Edition). New York:  John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1972.

 Although this book obviously was cutting edge for 1972, it now easily fits the MUSTIE criteria:  misleading, ugly (although it could be mended), superseded, trivial, irrelevant, and up-to-date information can be found elsewhere.

Now, how to celebrate the book’s winning the MUSTIE Award?  Keep it on display as an example of outdated material (keeping the bibliophiles happy), or send it on to book heaven?  After all, it has earned a jewel in its crown there now! 


*Richard Blackwell, fashion critic, died on Oct. 18, 2008

“Oh, it’s so Ning to be with you”

“Oh, it’s so nice to be with you, I love all the things you say and do…” Gallery   Eid+Mubarak+-+%D8%B9%DB%8C%D8%AF+%D9%81%D8%B7%D8%B1+%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%DA%A9

I was first introduced to Nings through Joyce Valenza’s TeacherLibrarianNing (2430 members). I have to confess that I found the interface quite confusing for a while.  However, since joining that Ning, I have joined several others and have become accustomed to the way Nings work.

The Ning that has excited me the most recently is the SCASL Ning.  I’ve attended three SCASL (South Carolina Association of School Librarians) conferences in the past and have been impressed with the enthusiasm and creativity of other media specialists in South Carolina.  The current leadership of SCASL has made intensive efforts to involve our association with Web 2.0 through blogging, podcasts, and even a webcast. 

Now, thanks to Julie Putnam, South Carolina library media specialists have their own social network.  As of today, 235 people have joined the Ning.  Great ideas are being shared and new friendships are being formed. 

I want my teachers to experience the professional development that Nings offer, so I thought I would find several to recommend.  The numbers in parentheses after the title of each Ning are the number of members in the Ning as of the date of this post.

English Companion: Where English teachers meet to help each other (594)       This Ning  was created by Jim Burke, author of many books including the namesake of this site, The English Teacher’s Companion. 

Classroom 2.0  (15,559) Winner of the 2008 Edublog’s Award for Best Use of Social Networking. This Ning focuses on introducing teachers to Web 2.0 tools and how they are being used to enhance instruction. 

Smart Board Revolution (750)      The members of this Ning share tips, ideas, and lessons for using Smart Boards in the classroom.

VoiceThread for Educators  (248)      The members here are participating “to create, build, and keep resources” for those using VoiceThread in the classroom.

So, You Want to Start Your Own Ning?

Ning in Education (3229)      This is a Ning on how to use Nings in education.  It’s a great starting point for anyone considering developing their own Ning.  If you want to start a Ning for your secondary classroom, be sure to investigate the offer for an ad-free site.

Image attribution: