Advocacy: School Library Newsletters


Planned:  monthly library newsletter to keep our school community abreast of library happenings and resources

Reality:  one, perhaps, two newsletters a year

Fix:  create a template that will simplify the process of creating the newsletter

Searching for Exemplars

Because I tend to be a perfectionist (I know, those of you who know me well are shocked), I wanted to locate some exceptional school library newsletters for inspiration.  I was surprised that my searches provided very few results, however, I did find several that provided me with food for thought as I worked on our template.

The first two examples are from slideshare allowing you to go through the entire newsletter if it is multiple pages.

To view two other newsletters, click on the links below.

Hillside Middle School Library Newsletter

The Dean Librazine

Widespread Problem?

Are other school librarians also having difficulty finding time to create a monthly/quarterly/once a semester newsletter?  Is that why my searches on Google and Libworm produced few results?  Or are school librarians just not posting the newsletters online?

As we advocate for our programs, we need to strive for transparency.  In today’s connected world, that means posting information online for our communities to see.

BSHS LMC Media Matters

Below is the January 2011 issue of BSHS LMC Media Matters. It still needs some tweaking, but if I were to try to perfect it anymore, it would go the way of past issues that I had every intention of finishing (but never did).

Please Share

If you know of any other online school library newsletters, could you post links to them in the comments section? 

Free eBooks for Your Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, etc.

I finally did it; I gave in and  asked for a Kindle 3 for Christmas.  (Looks like I wasn’t the only one:  “Kindle 3 Is the  Best Selling Product in Amazon History.”)   Friends and family have had Kindles for quite some time and have all been pleased with them, but I was holding out for an eReader that met all of my requirements.

Did I find it in Kindle?  No.  But, after playing with several of these eReaders at my local Best Buy, I decided Kindle was the best fit for me.  (The one thing Kindle lacks as far as my definition of the “perfect” eReader is the ability to read EPub format so that I can borrow and read books from our public library on it.)

My good friend and gadget guru, Heather Loy, had shared a blog devoted to free and low cost eBooks with me months ago.  I had added it to my Google Reader and even downloaded some of the free books to read on my iPhone, iPod Touch, and Mac.

Since my Kindle arrived, I have discovered a couple of other worthy blogs devoted to free eBooks and thought I’d share them:

Books on the Knob

Free eBooks and Tips

Kindle Nation Daily

Happy reading!

2010 Edublog Awards

The 2010 Edublog Awards

Although this is my first year submitting nominations for the Edublog Awards, I have eagerly anticipated this event for several years. Each year my faith in educators deepens as I discover bloggers, tweeters, and others who generously share their passion for educating our children.  So it is with pride that I nominate the following:

Best Individual Blog: Carolyn Foote’s  Not So Distant Future
Best individual tweeter: Shell Terrell
Best group blog: Genrefluent’s Bistro Book Club Teens Talk About Books
Best new blog: Tamara Cox’s  Eliterate Librarian
Best class blog: Shelley Wright’s Wright’s Room
Best resource sharing blog: Richard Byrnes’  Free Technology for Teachers
Most influential blog post: Joyce Valenza’s “Things I Think Teacher Librarians Should Unlearn (20 and counting)”
Best teacher blog: Dana Huff’s
Best librarian / library blog: Buffy Hamilton’s The Unquiet Librarian
Best educational tech support blog: Sue Waters’  The Edublogger
Best educational use of video / visual: Khan Academy
Best educational wiki: MHMS Tech Wiki
Best educational webinar series: Teacher Librarian Virtual Cafe
Lifetime achievement: Doug Johnson

Search Stories Video Creator

If you have yet to play with this video creator, put it on your “to-do” list for this summer.  It’s as easy as 1-2-3 (steps, that is).

Step One

What story do you wish to tell?  You will be asked to enter six search terms.

For each search term, you can choose the types of results you wish to show:  web, images, maps, news, blog search, product search, or books.  Once you make a choice you can see a preview of the search.

Step Two:  Choosing Music

Next, you will choose the music you wish to accompany your Search Story.  There are eight categories:  action, comedy, country/western, drama, family, horror, sci fi, and romance.  Within each category, you are given three choices to further personalize your Search Story.

Step Three:  Let Search Story Video Creator do the Rest

Once you have chosen your music, the video creator goes to work.

Finalizing and Uploading Your Search Story

Now you can preview your Search Story and choose to edit any portion of it.  Once you are satisfied, you will be asked to give it a title , description (optional), and category.   Your category choices here are the same as they are for the music.

Now you are ready to upload it to your YouTube account.

Easy – peasy!  How will you use this in your library?

Email Treats

I’ve recently subscribed to two more library related listservs (LM_NET and YALSA-bk) and found some gems from them in my inbox this evening.

I know you shouldn’t wish your life away, but the first gem is a YouTube video for a book coming out this fall.  Gotta get this book!


Another great find was this list of YA series on the ECYA Blog.  What a great site!  Check out the book lists, display ideas, and the Young Adult Authors page.

Publication Date Nearing

Are you a fan of the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness?  The third book in the series, Monsters of Men,  is being published May 3rd – in the UK.  Not sure of the release date here, but Jennifer Rothschild shared on the YALSA-bk listserv that you can order it with free shipping from The Book (direct link to the book).  Have never done business with this site, but for diehard fans of the series, it might be worth checking out.

Book Trailers

If you have yet to discover Book Trailers for All, head on over to the site.  It’s still in its infancy (eight weeks old), but it is brimming with book trailers.

These were just a few of the great tidbits shared through listservs today.  What goodies have you discovered lately?

Make Word Mosaic

Earlier this week, someone requested a link to a concrete poetry making site on the SCASL (South Carolina Association of School Librarians) listserv.

Today as I was reading and tweaking my Google Reader, I came across a new tool through Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day that looks very promising: ImageChef‘s Make Word Mosaic.

ImageChef’s simple description: “Write a comment or poem in the shape of hearts or other symbols.
Send a greeting or post to MySpace or your blog.”

After you have chosen your symbol and typed in the text you wish to include, click on the heart symbol to the right of the text box and you can add a variety of symbols to your word mosaic. In the example below, I added musical notes, envelopes, stars, and people to the mosaic.

Free Book Friday!

free book friday teens logo

Free Book Friday Teens was started by author Jessica Brody.  Each week, a YA novel and its author are featured on the site.  You’ll find a synopsis of the book and an interview with the author.

Five copies of The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams will be given away on Friday, July 17th (only to those with a US or Canada mailing address).  To enter the drawing, complete the entry on the site (it requires only your name and email address).

Even if you don’t win the weekly drawing (you do have to revisit each week to enter), the site is a great resource . Authors featured in the past include Alyson Noel, Cassandra Clare, and Melissa de la Cruz.

To read the first chapter of Jessica Brody’s The Karma C lub , her first YA novel, click here.

Adult readers may be interested in the Free Book Friday adult site. (Using the word “adult” here makes it sound sooo racy, doesn’t it?) You can enter to win an autographed copy of Jennifer Weiner’s Best Friends Forever to be given away July 17th.


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