Sunday, November 5, 2017

September and October in the Library

Well, here it is November.. and I realize I hadn't taken the time to catch up what is going on in Libraryland! There are LOTS of pictures in this post.. but I wanted to share! I have had some awesome volunteers that come in once a week, Dot Day, bulletin boards, pumpkin contests, book fair, book fairies and MORE!
Good news... I PASSED my certification test! I find out tomorrow if  I passed my portfolio.. after that it is just to finish up my practicum and one more large assignment for my public library class!

I first wanted to share what my awesome 18+3C kiddos have been doing! I have a group of 3 young adults that come in once a week.  They are students in a work based type program that have high functioning abilities. I LOVE THEM! They have taken over this cubby.  During the month of September they made an I spy board by cutting out pieces of magazines for students to find the different items.  During October they made this awesome word search.. and right now it is a bubble map of Thanksgiving items (I will try to post pictures later)

 These kiddos made the decorations for the specials trunk or treat car! It was There is a Frog in my Throat.  They made the teeth and tongue.. and my awesome art teacher made the frog!
 I try to have very organized tasks to be done.  This is a GREAT one!  I printed off letters and lay them out.  I then have the students sort the books by alphabetical order.  This is my green dot (easy reader books) but I also got super overwhelmed with my fiction books.. so they sorted those too!  They are so good at shelving these easy readers too!

I LOVE having this group of students come in and help me out!  They also help me set up for Destination ImagiNation and help me pull books for seasons.  They just pulled almost all of my Thanksgiving books.

We celebrated Dot Day during meet the teacher this year.  I am so thankful for my art teacher... because she is always up for an adventure!  For our sign in, we had students and parents make their own dot on a paper.  We only had 2 stations this year, but we had over 150 people come through!
One station we used a compass and a paint brush and the other used a different type of compass and pencils.  We had cardstock set out.. and the pieces of artwork turned out awesome!

We had new books come in, but I wanted to make sure to have a teacher preview first! This year the theme was Reading Takes Us Places. Last year I did a New Bookstache party.  I had a check in station where teachers wrote their name down and I did a drawing for Scholastic Book Fair gift certificates.  I also had In Flight Snacks-it had drinks, cookies and pretzels. I then put all the new books out for staff to peruse.  I really try to get all the staff in because I want them to be invested as well.

Had to share my October bulletin boards. We also had book character pumpkin contest.  I divide it by k/1/2, 3/4/5 and a family group.  It was hard for the judges to choose the winners, so we had several ties.  In October we also had Camp Read A Lot and book fair. This is a HUGE event!  During Camp Read A Lot the school sets up tents in the gym that are different genres.  We also have the book fair.  This year we added Trunk or Treat.. so the Instructional Leadership Team became book fairies!

The Instructional Leadership Team Book Fairies.. minus one.

OMG! I also got a ukulele!! I LOVE using it in kindergarten library time.. and I am currently working on a grant to get some ukes in the library! More info to come after I finish the grant process.

One more picture for good measure! Last year my husband came and read to the 1st graders for Halloween.  This year, however, it just wasn't going to work out.  However.. he DID make it to my Girl Scout meeting! I do believe the girls loved it!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Adventures in LibraryLand!

I am now a couple of weeks into my second year of libraryland, and I love it even more every day! I still have a TON to learn, but I feel so much more confident in what I am doing.  I am also in the last semester of grad school.. y'all I graduate in just a few months and OMG there is so much to do (like do my practicum, finish a portfolio, take a test, complete my last elective and about 100 other things too!)

But, I wanted to overload you with pictures of what is going on in the Elliott Library.
Our first day of school was the day of the Solar Eclipse.  I invited teachers to come and make a solar eclipse cookie.  I also had a place where they could drop their name in a drawing for a gift card to our next book fair and invited them to help me a make a eclipse playlist! (you can find the playlist here)

Lesson area for the younger grades. Still working on how this one is set up. (but isn't the library always a work in progress)

Everybody books.  The cart is for browsing for new books.

Amazing display that Mrs. Gamez made!

New computer set up! I will invite classes to bring chromebooks with them so we can have large group lessons.

Directions on expectations for placing holds.

Coming into the library (that large space.. it is going to be an I SPY board this month.. I am going to have the 18 plus program work on it!)

This is the check in station.  I have so many better ideas of procedures and organization this year. Don't worry, the empty bookshelf behind is totally full!

New Shelfie station

I love all the new letters and signage!

We just had a Bluebonnet Tasting.  

Did I mention how much I love my new signage!

When checking out, I created a stop sign to remind students where to stop so it doesn't stop traffic.  This is for kinders, but I have another one that is closer to the circulation desk to remind the 1st-5th graders.

Booksmarks! Students can have one per visit.  To keep count of kiddos, after they check out their books they drop a bead into the check out bucket.  If they came before, after or at another time other than the scheduled library time they drop a bead in that one.  I have library helpers count daily.

I have really good ears, but I tend to startle people when I come out of the office, backroom or pop up from behind a shelf from shelving.  This is a doorbell that I pull out if I am not right at the circulation desk. The teachers have appreciated it
I loved reading I Will Not Eat you from the 2x2 list.  The LIFE students made these dragons to go with it.

Dot Day is next week! This year Mrs. R (our AMAZING Art teacher) had the idea to make Dot Day headbands (last year we did shoes, but we have done shirts and scarves before too) I LOVE how they turned out! We invited staff down to make their own.

My finished headaband
I need to get back to homework, but wanted to share where the Elliott library was right now.  More blogs coming soon! What changes have you made to your library this year?  How do you stay organized? What are you doing for Dot Day?

Ohhh!! So, I am feeling more comfortable doing what I am doing and I have decided to make my kinder lessons more interactive.  I started last week with using a song from Jbrary (their stuff is wonderful!) One of my favorite things to do with Girl Scouts is sing songs.. so I am going to start adding in music.. AND.. guess what.. I am going to get a ukulele this week!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A New Year!

A new school year is just around the corner (really.. I go back on July 31st) and I am SO excited! I have a couple of weeks left of my summer classes, and then I only have one semester left to be a full fledged librarian! I will hopefully graduate in May.

Just like a teacher, as a librarian my brain has been moving fast as I think about next year.  How am I going to promote the library? What types of activities am I going to have? How am I going to work with teachers?

This summer I promoted the Irving Public Library activities by having a couple of Meet Me At the Library.  The Irving Public Libraries offer so many great programs through the summer and throughout the school year.  I am already excited about some guest authors that will be coming to a public library near me!

The first part of the summer I also spent working summer school programs at the library. It gave me a chance to still keep the library open, and also think about rearranging for next year. One of the things that I took time doing was creating new labels for the shelves. 
Old shelf labels- new ones coming soon!

I also moved some tables around, moved some book sections around, and also worked on weeding (which I couldn't do without some help!)

The month of July I chose to spend front loading some items, so I wouldn't be so behind (of course I will still be behind on some things.. oh wait.. who am I kidding.. lots of things!) 
-I have designed shirts for the beginning of the year and for Dr. Seuss day
-I cleaned up emails (do you know how good it feels to start at a zero inbox on 5 different email accounts.. AMAZING!)
-I have cleaned up my 3 different Google Drives
-I have backed up and cleaned my desktop
-I have decided what my theme will be this year.. going for the Travel theme

Although these all seem like little things, they make a big difference in organization. 

I also nabbed a couple of sets of these cuties.  I have not been a big fan of stuffed animals in the library..
but OMG.. it is Mo Willems!)

Some things I hope to incorporate in the library next year-
-more planned out Library Helper and volunteer opportunities
-more technology
-Sponsor a shelf

My word this year is Seek. I plan to Seek out new ideas, Seek out new opportunities, and most importantly Seek calmness as I take on new tasks and ideas!

What did you work on this summer?  What ideas do you have for next year that you for sure want to implement?  Do you have a word of the year?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Who I Am

I know that TLA ended last Saturday.. but the thoughts have been swirling in my head.

I recently had a friend post that what happened to 90's country music? I grew up in a small town (Canyon, Texas) and lived out in the country.  I had the same thought and my Spotify playlist became 90's country.  I digress.. this post really is about TLA.. but this song came up in my feed today, and it reminded me that no matter where I am.. I am lucky enough to have people that surround me to push me to be Who I Am (check out the lyrics here) (really.. this song does tie in with the blog!)

Thursday started a little later, because I was being more of a turtle than the rest of the time!  I went to a FANTASTIC session over Sribblers: Creative Writing in the Community.  These 2 ladies had a fantastic idea about creating spaces for creative writing outside of the library.. and using the community.  I will be incorporating this into Late Night in the Library next year!

I also attended the session where the Irving Public Librarians shared how they started working together using Pixar's ideas.  I even won the book Creativity Inc.  I am super lucky to work in a district that collaborates with public libraries and community members.  I ended the day with a lovely group of women with Scholastic many great resources!

Friday I was up and moving a little bit faster!  Oh my goodness.. each day was amazing and  I learned so much.. but guys.. Friday was AMAZING!!!!!
It started with a session from Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell over Building Blocks of Language Learning.  I can't wait to check their books out of my own library and use them!

Of course the next session I had to make it to was with Peter Reynolds.. and an amazing panel that included Melissa Sweet, Bob Shea, Peter Reynolds, Isabel Quintero, and Patrick McDonnell.  Such great books to share with students.

My brain sort of exploded with Tiffany Whitehead (aka.. Mighty Little Librarian.. and I can't believe that I failed to get a selfie with her!)  Although I LOVE technology.. and it is my first masters, this is an area that I struggle with in my own library.

The end of the day came with a keynote that had me laughing.. and then crying.. and then laughing again.  I could sit and listen to a good storyteller, and Carmen Agra Deedy was just that.  She spoke of her own journey and her library experience.  Now, the video here is not her exact speech.. because I was able to listen to her amazing storytelling for almost an hour.
During this keynote, I looked around at all the librarians that are changing the world.  I looked around and saw that the people in this room are making a difference.  Every educator whether in a private or public school has a hard job.. but guys.. being a Librarian is one of the toughest and most amazing jobs I have ever had.  As she said "Did you know the moment you were born, somewhere in a dusty corner of the world a book was written just for you."  As a librarian I have the chance to touch lives of hundreds of students every day... help them find stories and adventures in the pages of a book.  The library is a place where all are welcome no matter the background, social status or beliefs.

I am thankful for each adventure I have had to get me to library land.  I know that I have so much to learn.. and so much to do.  But.. I am a spitting image of my father and my mom is my biggest fan.. and I have friends that love me for Who I Am.

I do have one more TLA blog coming up over Life Lessons in the Library!