Friday, October 28, 2011

Mid Conference Reflections, am I a curator? Are you?

Here I am, up at 4 in the morning, thinking about everything I have heard or seen in the last two days.  I am at the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) in Minneapolis.  While the conference has barely started, my mind is already filled with so many thoughts, ideas and questions.  I heard sharing about some wonderful web 2.9 tools I had missed; vimeo, lib guides, and many more I will share later.  I was introduced to a new idea for libraries; curation.  The idea behind this is that collection, by definition, is a person selecting, choosing, and organizing in a group of their own creation.  It has the stamp of that individual on it.  If you stop and think about your library collection, you will agree that it is filtered by the things you don't care as much about, and is more heavily filled with your personal interests and passions.   Curation, on the other hand, is creating a group of materials that answer one question, or are arranged to share one theme or thread.  Alright, I am not explaining that as well as I could, I am still processing through my thoughts about all of this, but hopefully you get the idea.  I think it is fine that we have collections for our libraries, but I also like the idea of curating a subject or theme.  The web 2.0 twist is that you design a curation page and download or link to all the resources you find that supports it.  This idea would come from a unit of study you were doing with students, or even better, show those students how to curate their own theme or idea to build a wealth of information on their topic of study!  One website that will help you find information, especially if you are looking for the most current, is  You sign up, list what you want to follow (OCCUPY, or Bully in schools, etc.) and this site will send a page to you daily that links you to what has been said or done about that topic.  It continues to do this daily so you are creating oyour "collection" to curate.  You can delete pieces you do not want so that you have this page of information relevant to your theme.  Can you see the implications for student research?!?!  Here are a few places for you to read more about curation. , (Robin Good),  and
Have I left you with a lot to think about, GOOD!
More later ...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Reflecting, and more reading

What? It's the middle of October already?!  Time is constantly speeding by -- and what do I have to show for it?  Well, I have been working on making my media center welcoming for students, and it sure feels like I have more visiting every week.  I wanted to improve collecting statistics, I now have students signing in online (  That has also broken down the invisible wall around the circulation desk because sometimes students need to use the computers behind the desk to sign in.  These things are all good.
 Here's my problem, I am still trying to build connections with teachers, and that seems to be more difficult to accomplish.  I am looking for suggestions that would break the ice; any ideas??
On a different note, I am reading a great (YA, of course) book, Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.  One reviewer called it an adventure with a heroine that rivals Buffy, but with werewolves.  The writing is sharp, the main character, Brynn is someone you would definitely want in your corner, and the story has plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading.  I also finished Glow which is another distopian society, this time on a spaceship.  Funny, I had a student who was reading Lord of the Flies ask me why these kind of stories always take place on an island; good question, right?  That's the same issue with Glow, an island space ship.  Why is it that parents are always absent in these books? 
Of course, my best book recommendations come from students, and that is great!