Thursday, April 30, 2009

Watch our Winning Video

A ninth grader won our first ever "Love My Library" Video Contest!
Capturing the spirit of the contest, this short humorous film about the library will delight you.

Enjoy the diary of a struggling Limansa who is helped by brave Gerard. A docu-drama/ romantic comedy (romedy).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

AISL - Wrap Up

I had no time to blog again while at the conference in Las Vegas. We were so busy with school visits, speakers, and there was a lot of networking and socializing to be done! The Las Vegas librarians were wonderful hosts who made everything run smoothly.. and the hospitality room was always stocked with snacks and wine. I had never been to Vegas before, and although I liked some of The Strip, the tourist highlights were eating dinner at Nobu and hiking at Red Rock Canyon.

AISL is a great conference for meeting other independent school librarians and making connections. Also it is a wonderful conference for seeing other independent school libraries - I always learn something new by visiting other people's libraries. In Las Vegas, we had a few sessions about web 2.0 tools and ideas, and some wonderful authors gave presentations, including Jane Yolen. I highly recommend going to Nashville for next year's conference.

I won't be going though, because I am going to AASL in the fall, which is in Charlotte (I am scheduled to be on a panel). One big conference per school year is enough for me. I have been ruminating over the two organizations (AASL and AISL) and what I like about each conference. Why do you choose one over the other? Stay tuned for a comparison!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

AISL Day 1

Phew! I am exhausted! It is about 4:00, and in 1/2 hour the wine and cheese party starts, where we will get to meet several local authors and illustrators, so I can only blog for a bit. Please excuse any typos!
Today was a busy day.
First I wanted to exercise before the heat started cooking Las Vegas - so Joann from Archer School for Girls and I met at 6:15 for a great run. By 8:00 AM we were boarding buses headed to our first independent school visit: the gorgeous Alexander Dawson School. There we first heard the mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman speak. He presented the librarians with a Proclamation that today is The Association of Independent school Librarians Day in Las Vegas, which was pretty cool! I will post a picture of it when I get home. He spoke about the growth of Las Vegas as a very important American city and was very entertaining. Being from Los Angeles, I was a bit uncomfortable with his statement that Las Vegas is the "entertainment capital," but I can let that go.. Maybe it is.. I haven't yet been to The Strip!
Bruce Coville also spoke - and if you are looking for an author to visit your school, I am sure you'd be happy with him! He was fantastic. He told engaging stories, and he also spoke about the gender issues in education and in children's literature. He urged us to "cherish the oddballs," and to be a safe haven for kids who need a refuge. Noting that at least at public schools (and I would venture to say many independent ones too) being smart sets you up for being teased. Bookworm. Suck up. Smart ass. What is lost by these kids who shut down after being so teased? Those kids need to thrive and grow. I would love to look into having Mr. Coville speak at my school. Any Los Angeles schools want to share costs by having him visit both our schools? Let me know.

Next we toured the beautiful library.. the school is so beautiful. The design really blends in well with the desert. It looked like it was Pajama day for the younger kids, which was really cute.

Next we toured Springs Preserve, which was a beautiful way to celebrate Earth Day!

Well, I am off to the next event. I can't wait to meet some of the local authors and illustrators like Frank Fiorello, who has written and illustrated quite a lot of books about pumpkins, and Laraine Russo-Harper, the author of Legal Tender: True Tales of a Brothel Madam!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Indepent School Librarians are Movers and Shakers Too

Today I finally read the March 15th issue of Library Journal, which includes stories on the 51 library Movers and Shakers 2009. All are interesting librarians who "embraced library technology, particularly library 2.0" and are making a difference and an impact on our profession, but none are independent school librarians - or school librarians for that matter. What about the wonderful librarians across the nation who are doing innovative work at their K-12 libraries and in their local consortia? Aren't some of the librarians at our schools creative overachievers? I think so.

I am eager to meet these librarians at the AISL conference (Association of Independent School Librarians) in Las Vegas this week. I learn from them via listservs, blogs, email, twitter - and now I get to meet them in person! I want to learn more about the Greater Boston Cooperative Library Association and their amazing book blog, The Book Network. I want to learn how school librarians are using audiobooks, ebooks, and regular print books with their students. I want to know what 2.0 tools work for them, and even more - what ones don't!

Many independent school librarians are out there doing innovative work. Let's nominate them next year to be included in LJ's Movers and Shakers. We work in such small but vibrant communities - let's show what the independent school librarians are doing!
Who would you nominate?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tip: Store all your Passwords Online

I love getting things done during spring break - you know the things - organizing closets, cleaning carpets, gardening. Getting rich.
This spring break I have been reading I Will Teach You To be Rich by Ramit Sethi. I am not his target audience. Yes, I want to be rich - or at least learn to better save for retirement. But this chatty, informative, and funny book is really geared toward 20 to 30-year-olds who are just starting to get jobs with 401(k)s. I still like it. I am still learning, and I am reminded of things I should be doing better. The book is readable and I recommend it, although people my age (40 and lovin' it) and older might be better served by something different.

Ramit has one suggestion in particular I thought librarians would want to know. As a co-founder of PBwiki, he recommends making a free PBwiki account to keep track of all your passwords and other information you want to be able to access from any computer (p. 88). He vouches for the security of the site as well by saying he keeps his passwords on one. I think that not only could you put your passwords for your financial accounts in a wiki, but you could keep all your web 2.0 links and passwords there as well. I started one up - it took only a few minutes. The wikis are easy to use - many of you use them already for school. Just make a new account, set the security settings to private, make sure only you can view and edit the page, and start loading the links and passwords.

I have to admit - I feel strange putting my accounts and passwords on the web. I thought of just hinting my log in name to myself and putting the passwords, or not linking to the accounts - giving them a code name or something - but then where would I store that information? But for some reason I do trust Ramit. I trust that PBwiki will keep my passwords safe. Am I naive? Do you keep track of your passwords online? or in a Rolodex? or in your head?