Archive for December, 2010

Successes! (And Goals)

Just another day in the PHS Library!

Fall of 2010 has been a great semester! The library has been bustling, resources have been added, collaboration and teaching has increased, the website has been updated, and many students have benefited from library services!

First, a look at the Fall semester, and then, a look at where the Spring semester will take us.

Subjects taught/collaborative ventures:

  • Primary Sources: Duke/ American History AP
  • Booktalks and Author Information: Scheffler/Sophomore English and Pre-AP
  • Video Foreign Exchange: Radke/World Studies (still a work in progress)
  • Image Copyright: McPherson/Graphic Design
  • Improving Powerpoint: Deneault/Public Speaking; Carlton/Intro to FACS; Marietta/Word Processing; Turrentine/Word Processing
  • General Research & Citation: Reed/Zoology
  • Photography Copyright & Ethics: Horchem/Photography 1
  • Ready for College Research?: KU Librarians/Interested students
  • A little feedback from teachers:

On Powerpoint Literacy instruction:

“If you’ve never had Meghan work with your kids, it’s AMAZING.  The quality of student output is so much better than I could have ever imagined, and the kids seem a lot more confident in what they’re doing.”     –  Katie Deneault

“[The presentations] were SO MUCH BETTER!  They actually presented instead of read.  All of them were better.  Thank you so much!!”    -Megan Carlton

On tech tips offered by the librarian:

I love it….  Thank you very much….  ALL my students will be taught how to do this by the end of the semester!!!!!!  What a time saver    – Denise Duke

Some numbers: (4A sized library- Fall semester)

764 books checked out
189 class visits- Mrs. Deneault wins the Most Frequent Flier Award
28 instruction sessions taught
683 new website visits
123 new books added (more donations being processed)
Uncounted volumes of student questions answered/ assistance provided

Goals for the Spring Semester:

1. Revamp the research process lesson plans and use with Mrs. Armstrong’s classes
2. Increase frequency of blogging with lesson plans for teacher/librarian collaboration
3. Find a place for bringing back booktalking and “If you liked _______, try reading _______” for “beyond required reading”
4. Weed fiction section and reorganize in bookstore model (a huge undertaking)
5. Plan “choice reading” events for 4th quarter (such as mini-ReadIns)
6. Create procedures manual

And, finally, some snapshots of Fall, 2010 in PHS LibraryLand

Coffee shop style seating rearrangement:

Selecting books:

A visual of the number of books checked out (each Post-It is a title checked out):

KU Librarians speaking on College Research Readiness:

New books!:

Text report below. Here’s to a great semester!

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Ready for College Research?

Today, three fantastic librarians from the University of Kansas Libraries visited to speak with some of our college bound students about what they can expect in college in terms of workload and  research skills, and how the library system can help them with these things.

They did a great job giving students a wake-up call in terms of the independence and necessity for self motivation that all high-school-students-transitioning-to-undergraduates face, and kept it general enough that it was applicable for students looking at any college (not just KU). They were honest, funny, and genuinely reached out to our students, showing them that librarians and libraries are there to make life easier and more interesting!

It was also good for the students to hear from someone other than me that these skills are needed (among others mentioned):

– Developing specific keywords for database searching

– Google vs. databases (pluses and minuses of each)

– Identifying information sources

– Ability to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of sources

– Using sources ethically

A few pictures from the event:

Many thanks to Tami, Jill, and Bayliss!

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My Dream…or What Students Deserve

Flickr CC Attribution AMagill

If I had my way…

1. All students and faculty would be able to access hundreds of e-books, research databases, and other quality resources from anywhere in the school or at home.

2. There would be ample room, comfortable seating, technological hardware, and thousands of fresh and current paper books and magazines available all day long for students and faculty to use in the physical library. Ample desktops would be available and e-readers could be checked out and used, coffee and hot chocolate would be served, and students would be free to explore and learn about the things that interest them as well as school assignments.

3. The library  would be staffed to allow students to use the library as early as 6:30 to as late as 4:30, as well as over their lunch breaks. Adult library staff would check out materials, keep the space orderly and correctly filed, create marketing displays, and other tasks. The certified librarian would teach students to find, analyze, assess, and use information effectively and ethically, whether in print or digital format.

4. Information Literacy would be a dedicated course offering taught by the librarian. The librarian would also be available to collaborate with all teachers to create multidisciplinary lessons that address needed 21st century skills.

Our students deserve all of these things to help prepare them to be successful and competitive in a very different employment and professional environment than ever before.

Some of these items are in place here at my school. Most require a financial investment that feels very out of reach. Bill Gates, are you listening? Congress, are you listening? State legislature, are you listening? It is not just educators that serve impoverished students that stay up at night, worrying about whether we are adequately preparing our kids.

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