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 Trueflix..so 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!

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Texas Librarian Association Convention Adventure- Part 1 Tech Camp

As I sit in the hotel room with the bag of ice on my ankle that is propped up and uploading the 60 pictures from 2 days, I realize that the blog for #TXLA17 needs to be at least 2 parts!

This year TXLA17 took place in San Antonio, and I was SO excited!  I was going to be able to mark off one of my items on my #40by40 list (attending a ghost tour), hang out with some amazing people, meet some amazing librarian friends face to face.. and LEARN a ton! Last year was my first time to attend TXLA, but I was an instructional technology specialist, so learned through a different lens. Being a "baby" librarian this year, I knew I was going to have a whole new outlook!

The Sunday before TXLA (Easter Sunday), I was bringing some items down the stairs and missed the last 2 steps.  Yes, we have lived in this house for over 12 years.. and I guess I forgot about those last 2 steps! After a visit to the ER, I was  now a proud owner of a beautiful boot, extremely sprained ankle, and knee scooter.



So, this week started off a little tougher.. and as a Busy Bee, I became more of a turtle.  It didn't stop the learning! Now, I could not have even made it to the convention center without this girl right here! Skye Bryant is one amazing librarian that has mentored me from afar, but during TXLA became the "donkey" to help get me around!

Skye Bryant one amazing and talented librarian!
 The first day of the conference I had a chance to attend TXLA Tech Camp (go check out the #TXLA17tc hashtag, OMG.. the learning was amazing!)  I was so excited to finally meet some librarians that I have known online for a couple of years face to face! I also do love a selfie.. and these are only part of the pictures! I do believe that I will be making a movie of all the pictures.
Sherry Gick is a Mover and a Shaker!

Nikki D. Robertson is another INSPIRING Librarian!

Renee Newry is my official mentor librarian.. and I don't know what I would do without her!

Amy Mayer is that crazy cool kid that I met several years ago, and am continually mind blown when I hear her speak! Not only that.. she is a ROCKSTAR!
 I was able to attend the Keynote that morning with Hadi Partovi the founder of Code.org and then 3 sessions.  I had to miss the last one to get ready for my poster session! Here are my "sketchnotes" of the day.







Although I learned a ton (and my brain is still swimming!) I wanted to share my top five take aways!

1. I have done CODE.org with students and the curriculum (which.. is amazing), but I need to collaborate with my ITS to get this started again!
2. Make more interactive displays! What a great idea for a makerspace that can be done with just some butcher paper!
3. Have students sign up for displays in the library (I think that I am going to do something like this next year to go along with sponsoring a shelf in the library)
4. Begin to help students understand the importance of having a digital portfolio and not just a resume. A transcript only shows letters and numbers, but a portfolio shows what and who a student (or person) is.
5. Using Google Classroom to do a "flipped" style learning for the library (and for bookfair too!)

Of course there are so many other things that I learned.  From every session I heard.. the library is the place to give a student voice and choice.  As librarians, we have an important job of making sure that every student or patron has the opportunity to create, be heard, and be welcomed.

Did you attend TXLA17tc or TXLA17?  What were your take aways? My next few blogs will be over my LIFE Lessons in the Library Poster Session and other take ideas from the conference.

Oh.. and even though I was on a knee scooter.. with the help of the amazing Skye and other people on the tour.. I was able to "walk" on the walking Ghost Tour.  If you are ever in  San Antonio.. I would HIGHLY Recommend Sisters Grimm Ghost Tour! They shared great history.. great stories.. and were as accommodating as could be. Now.. on a knee scooter.. it was pretty tough (unless you have the all-terrain one) love that San Antonio is original and beautiful..but cobblestone is not the greatest when it comes to the knee scooter.
The crew on the Ghost Tour!


Monday, March 6, 2017

I Do So Love LibraryLand a Librarian I am!

Did you like my little play on Dr. Seuss? I need to get better at blogging more than once a month! Of course this busy bee has been busy with everything! Destination ImagiNation season just ended. I had the 3rd grade team.. we stayed busy and I hope they had a good time (I know I did!)
This being my first year I haven't done the greatest at displays.. so I am trying to change that! I am very thankful for Teachers Pay Teachers right now. (I am not getting paid anything to promote these items, but I wanted to share what I used and where I found it)

Here was my Black History Month bulletin board for February.

Loved these posters that I found on Teachers Pay Teachers

For March, I found some great resources for posters on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Loved this set of printable posters from Teachers Pay Teachers


I found several great sets on Teachers Pay Teachers and put them into a book that is next to the display.  You can find them here and here.

During the month of February I wasn't able to schedule a Late Night in the Library, but I did have a modified Late Night in the Library during Open House.  Even better it was Read Across America Day. I purchased all of my library helpers a shirt that said Elliott Librarian Helper I Am.  They practice reading to students and each had a classroom to read to.  We had to reschedule our reading time to this week (they were really bummed.. but I think they will live)

During Open House I had a photo booth station set up with the theme Oh The Places You Will Go and of course I had a STEM challenge set up.  I loved this idea of Cat in the Hat Cup Stacking.  Easy peasy set up and clean up! Now, I have to admit I think the parents had more fun doing this than the kids (and I might admit.. there was some standing on tables and chairs.. and some parents put their kids on their back) I LOVED IT!! They measured and recorded how tall their tower was.  I love seeing the parents work with their kids.  It is my favorite part of Late Night in the Library

Easy set up 


A small tower
Photo Booth set up


Display outside my door


Newest bulletin board put up by our awesome parent liaison.  The pictures are photos of the new 2x2 and Bluebonnet books.

How did you celebrate Read Across America?  What do you do for displays and how often do you change them out?  I will blog again soon about the different lessons that have been going on in the library (4th and 5th grade Drama, LIFE text features, 2nd grade Nouns and so much more!)