I’ve been a big fan of podcasts for a long time, and I love that podcasts are, once again, on the radar and a popular topic of conversation. Several times over the last few months I’ve heard people say, “Have you listened to [insert podcast name]? It’s so great!” Podcasts sometimes feel like short little audio books; perfect snippets for those of us with limited spare time or those of us with commitment issues. I listen to popular podcasts like Serial and Hidden Brain, literary podcasts like The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, music podcasts like Tiny Desk, and book podcasts like Book Riot.
Recently, I decided that it was time to take podcasting into my own hands. I’m an avid reader, and because of my role as the school’s “librarian” (even though that’s not my official title), I’m often asked to help others find a book. In conjunction, I’m also in a high school setting which can sometimes be a finicky place to get reading traffic in to the library. High schools aren’t like elementary and middle schools where classes of kids come down once a week to check books in and out. Instead, I often rely on the roaming traveler in the book stacks or the rare, “My friend said I just HAVE to read this book!” for foot traffic. Podcasting seemed like the logical blending of these two situations. I could push out my book recommendations and at the same time try to create a bit more excitement about reading and the new books we have available.
This post was written by a CMLE Guest Blogger: Connie Laing is a Patron Services Librarian with Great River Regional Library.
A few weeks ago at the Long Prairie Public Library, I was part of a unique collaboration of teachers, students and librarians. We had a common goal of sharing information about using Great River Regional Library services with a class of English language learners, but we spoke three different languages. How did this work, you ask? Here are the highlights:
The environment was noisy and chaotic.
Many voices were talking at once.
My agenda did not go according to plan.
I did not cover all the material I brought.
It was about the most inspiring class I have been a part of!
Background: The Library Services Coordinator in Long Prairie, Nancy Potter, has developed a relationship with the local instructor of Adult Basic Education classes in her area, which includes this class of English Language Learners. Amy, the instructor, is determined to get her students out of the classroom and into the community, and the first place she thought of to visit was the local library! After she contacted Nancy Potter in Long Prairie, Nancy contacted me for reinforcement, since one of the duties of the three Patron Services Librarians at GRRL is to assist at any of our 32 branches with class visits and information presentations. I was charged with creating a presentation on GRRL services for the adult ELL students.
CMLE Guest Blogger: Carli Spina If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or contact me on Twitter where I’m @CarliSpina.
In my last post, I explained what Creative Commons licenses are. But how can you make use of these licenses and incorporate items that are licensed under them in your library? Perhaps not surprisingly, an array of resources have emerged to make it approachable to use Creative Commons licenses and to aggregate Creative Commons-licensed items. The resources suggested below are not the only ones available on this topic, but hopefully they will help to get you started with a variety of Creative Commons resources.
Reflection on TIES Conference
Instructional Technology Specialist
Sartell Middle School
I love going to the TIES conference! It is so refreshing and helps motivate me to constantly be pushing forward for our students. I have two main takeaways. The first being more about paradigm than practice; I need continue to strive to bring joy to my job and the school. I want to get to a place where, as Dean Shareski (Monday Keynote) stated, ‘Learning is a joyful act all by itself!’ Shareski points out that this can be done by living in constant wonder, embracing play, and eliminating busyness. I love these tips, as they seem such practical steps to making life more joyous. I have already tried to implement this. We have embraced place in the Makerspace and have even upped the use of Spheros in curriculum since TIES!
My second takeaway is learning about the use of drones in education. This is really fresh and new technology. I learned how some schools are using the drones to teach coding and also explore other applications: videography, photography, agriculture, and more. I plan to explore this more and see how we can incorporate this into our Makerspace and other areas of curriculum. I think there are lots of opportunities to engage students with drones and potential for them to explore this new technology.
I am grateful for the opportunity to attend TIES! Thanks to CMLE for allowing me to go and connect with other passionate educators and better my practice!
Reflection on 2016 ASRL Conference
Chisago Lakes Area Librarian
East Central Regional Library
This fall I attended the annual conference for the America Rural and Small Library in October. It was a fantastic conference, and I recommend it to any small library that struggles with “doing it all” with limited staff and time.
A session that stands out to me is the first I attended, which was “Top Tips for Patron Technology Training,” which was led by Crystal Schimpf and Cindy Fisher. I chose this particular workshop because I struggle with finding a balance with my patrons. At times I cannot keep up with the technology my patrons want help with, other times I am too familiar with the technology which results in my explaining the tech quickly.
Here are the three tips Crystal and Cindy provided that I found the most helpful:
1) Self-Identify as a Technology Trainer—this means you should be intentional about seeking out opportunities to interact with technology on a regular basis. This way you add to your knowledge base just a little at a time rather than all at once.
2) Take Slow Deep Breaths– when a patron asks you an overwhelming tech question, or you don’t have the time to assist the person step-by-step. Slow breathing will help you stay calm and keep your explanation of the tech at a reasonable speed.
3) Focus on Quality, not Quantity- When it comes to one-on-One training it is OK to find the “teachable moment” which is the one thing the patron needs and concentrate on that. Sure the patron will not have all the information, but they will have gained one piece of information they did not have before whereas if you provide the patron will all the information, they may retain none of that training.