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!