Saturday, June 30, 2007

Family Wiki

I just created a family wiki on Wetpaint. I thought I should try this out for myself before I tried to teach it to someone else. Part of the family moved out of state this week, and it suddenly seemed like a great idea to create a place where we can share events and pictures and whatever is happening with far off family. I made a home page and a page for each family or couple or kid out on their own, and invited them all to join. We can keep it private, just for the family. It wasn't too hard, but I don't know if that is because I've made it to thing #17. It will be interesting to see what kind of response I get from everyone.

Friday, June 29, 2007

California Curriculum Connections wiki - week 7, #17

The calcurriculum wiki has some great ideas collected on it. It will be absolutely awesome by the time everyone finishes this SLL2.0 adventure and contributes ideas. It will surely be a valuable resource for us all to find ideas of how to use the new tools we are discovering this summer.

I posted an idea on the Wiki page about reviewing the projects that have been worked on in the past at my school with various teachers and their classes, with an eye to creating the projects next time with wikis. I am going to try this myself and be ready with some suggestions and training for the teachers in my school in the fall.

meebo me - a sidebar to thing #16

I was checking out some of the links under thing #16 and I followed a link from "Using Wikis to Create Online Communities" to a wiki used for subject guides. This would seem to me to be a great use of wikis and I want to go on exploring the information on the wiki. However, I got sidetracked by a chat box on the subject wiki called "meebo" and I went off and created one for this page. You can scroll down and try it out at the bottom of the left column. If you click on "get meebo" at the bottom of the widget, you can create one.

This could be used for online reference or homework help with students. The LMT could post hours of online chat service on a wiki, blog or website and then chat with students and answer questions if needed. For now it is right next to the post about IM in the classroom. This could be one of the ways to use IM effectively in education. Something new to try!

Notes from the ALA Conference in Washington D.C.

I just received my latest email from ALA Direct. If you don't subscribe, you can read it at

It has news of the many events, including the premier of a documentary about librarians and I wish I could have been there. You can follow the links to the film's webpage at as well as to the blog written by director and to the review of the premier at the ALA Conference written up in the Washington Post. The film sounds thought provoking and like a lot of fun. I hope it comes to a library near me. Maybe for our CSLA conference in the fall?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Longest Acronym in ALA

For those of you who belong to the American Library Association, here's a link to a fun short video on the longest group name and acronym in the organization. The ALA Wheel of Confusion #2

Tagging and Folksonomies for Real

I just had an interesting experience. I either hit a wall or I had an epiphany. When I found the article in my previous post, I tagged it in and then before I went on, I thought I would also bookmark it on my computer. I guess I was just being conservative or old, maybe. This digital immigrant sometimes reverts back to the old ways. Well, the point I am trying to get to is that I couldn't find a place that the site fit in my many bookmarks, and was such a better solution for keeping this place for me. It's nice to have this kind of confirmation of usefulness for something new one is using. I think I need to clean out my bookmarks!

IM at School

I subscribe to eSchool News, Tools for Schools, and I found this article from a link in one of the items on the June 18 issue. It's a report from a series entitled, EdTechNext on "Instant Messaging" and goes along with a post on 2CoolTools from a member of the SLL2.0 team. Very interesting. I am all for trying to use the "tools" the students already have if we can use them effectively and safely, and get them past our IT gurus. It will be interesting to see if we could actually utilize cell phones and IM the way it's being described in these articles.

If you haven't seen eSchool News, you can go to

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's Flag Day!

Today, Flag Day, is my younger daughter's 23rd. birthday. I wanted to mention it as we celebrate it in our family today. Our children's birthdays are very special to mothers, I feel, and I have been thinking over how much the world has changed in the time she has been alive.

We usually use flags to decorate the house and family celebrations for my daughter's birthday. This is a picture of the large flag displayed at Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove CA on patriotic holidays. It's awesome. I snapped the picture when we visited at the service on Memorial Day. That's pretty awesome too. I took a picture with my phone and posted it here on my blog to share with all of you.

Today was the last day of school and the last day of long lines of students returning textbooks. Once again we had wonderful volunteer parents who helped us accomplish this gigantic task and I truly appreciate them and their hard work.

Happy Flag Day to you all. Long may it wave.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wikis and libraries - week 7, #16

There is a great collection of links to wikis to explore here. I could spend hours and will probably go back and do so. I particularly like the SJCPL Subject Guides, using a wiki to collect pathfinders. I can do this. This set my mind whirling with ideas on how to develop a wiki for my pathfinders.

I also really liked exploring the Blogging Libraries Wiki and spent a lot of time on the school libraries list, exploring how other school libraries are using blogs and wikis. It was great to have to tag the interesting ones to come back to. I also found a count down clock to the latest Harry Potter book on one site, but after exploring it, I decided not to download it. You can find it at Scholastic online if you are so inclined. I am going to be messing around with this "wiki thing" for a long time.

Finally, I came upon this video again, and I am going to use it with the teachers at school. These guys do a great job.

Wikis in Plain English

Library 2.0 - thing #15, pt. 2

This exercise asks us to reflect on: Library 2.0 - It's many things to many people. What does it mean to you? What does it mean for school libraries?

It would seem to me that Library 2.0 is an exciting place. It’s that “life-long learning” place. It’s going to be the place I want to be, and the place the students want and need to be. If the library doesn’t grow into Library 2.0, and even move on to Library 3.0 and 4.0, as suggested by one of the authors we read here, it will be left behind and no one will come there. I don’t think I want to be there if it is not a continually changing and evolving place.

Future of Libraries - week 6, thing #15

Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 are cropping up everywhere. Several of the journals and now of course the blogs I read are all about these subjects. Once again, things seem to be converging at this point in my tenure as a school librarian. The ideas suggested by these authors are compelling. They are talking about libraries in general, not specifically about school libraries, but I think much of what they write is applicable to today’s LMT and school libraries.

Without mentioning all of the points they made, here are two that resonated with me from just two of the authors:

Michael Stephens, Librarian, Blogger, “Into a new world of librarianship” writes about the Librarian 2.0:

“The most important traits of Librarian 2.0 include:

Librarians 2.0 plans for their users - This librarian bases all planning and proposals for services, materials and outreach on user needs and wants. User-centered libraries breakdown barriers and allow users access wherever they are: home, work, commuting, school, or at the library. This involves users from the get go in planning and launching services based on their needs. This librarian asks what new technologies or new materials users need. This librarian proposes building projects and involves users in designing those places.”

Right now, my high school is working on the plans for a large facilities building and remodeling project. The library will not be torn down and a new one built, but will be gutted, rebuilt and considerably enlarged. I am trying to take a serious look at what the library should be. Mr. Stephens’ words challenge me to plan for my users and ask them what they want and need. I read somewhere that I should take special note of those areas that users create for themselves in the library and try to incorporate those spaces in our plans. This seems to truly be what is suggested in this article.

Rick Anderson, Director of Resource Acquisition,
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries , - warns us to keep “Away from the icebergs”:

“The ‘icebergs’ that I see threatening our progress, indeed our existence, are these:

The “just in case” collection - Crazy as this may sound, the time has come for us to look skeptically at the very idea of a library “collection.” … it no longer makes sense to collect information products as if they were hard to get. They aren’t. In fact, it may no longer make sense to “collect” in the traditional sense at all. As a Web 2.0 reality continues to emerge and develop, our patrons will expect access to everything – digital collections of journals, books, blogs, podcasts, etc.”

Again, this caught my attention as I look at the high school library and try to decide what needs to be in the library to meet the needs of the students and teachers. What books need to be here? What print and digital resources do we need to support the curriculum and meet the standards? What equipment, what shared or quiet spaces do we need? This article made me consider the standard we have for how many books we should have in a school library. In our own CSLA standards, we have long said we need so many books per student in our school libraries. What books are we talking about? Who uses my school library? What if the fiction collection and the reference collection were the only books I kept in the library? What parts of the classified collection should I keep? Should we keep the same standard and still strive toward a particular number of books on the shelf per student or do we need to find a new standard? What can Library 2.0, Web 2.0 and even School Library 2.0 give me to replace or supplement the books if I no longer have them? This is an interesting scenario for me to contemplate. These articles would seem to fuel this discussion with my school and with you all, my colleagues on this quest we have set for ourselves to learn more about the tools of Library 2.0.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

TTMs - Teacher teachable moments!

Last night at our high school retirement dinner, I happened to sit with the social science dept. chair and several social science teachers. They are not only my friends, but some of the library's and my personal best supporters and collaborators. I was telling them about this course I am embarked for the summer and we all got very excited about the possibilities for projects in the fall. We hope to make some collaboration time on creating projects using blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc. part of the staff development time before school starts. I am going to be ready!

It's not a particularly new idea, but the social science dept. at the high school has a password protected "file cabinet" on the server. The district is totally networked. The teachers in the dept. can share and store things in the file. They have been writing, rewriting, and aligning curriculum to standards this past year as they chose new social science textbooks. This can all be stored in the files so the entire dept. has access to specific lesson plans, bench marks, and curriculum as they are developed. They gave me access to the files as well, so there is a "research and resources" file. I can add things and they can too. As far as I know, they only have access to this when at school, so maybe we can work on a place to have Internet access to the files. If they want to keep it private, a password protected wiki could probably serve that purpose. We are supposed to be getting a district wiki site within the year, but no projection when that might be. I'll let you know what develops.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

3 days and counting!

Only 3 more days, 3 half days of finals and 18,000 textbooks to go, but the end of school is in sight!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Note to the SLL2.0 Team

Thanks to any and all of you for your encouraging words. Something I have been doing is reading some of your posts on the 23 things and sometimes I leave comments. Do any of you have time to go back and read comments on your old posts or should we be communicating with you mostly through the email address?

Technorati - week 6, #14

Help! I feel like a mime stuck in one of those invisible glass-walled cabinets! I feel like I'm stuck in Technorati and I can't get out. I claimed my blog and chose some favorites, but beyond that I can't seem to go. This is definitely something I will have to come back to as I come across it. I went off to some interesting blogs, especially one about creating better presentations

There is lots to explore here, but I don't see a great use for me right now. is working for me for tagging and I might come back to this if I want to specifically search for blogs by subject. For now, I need to move on.