January = Winter Weeding

The new year, for me, is always the time I start my yearly weeding project. This year I intend to evaluate, weed and develop the nonfiction collection. Probably going to focus on the 000-799s (general knowledge – the arts, in Dewey) this year since the 800s and 900s are so massive. I love weeding for many reasons but especially because it’s another opportunity to collaborate with faculty, learn more about their curriculum and start planning for projects in the Spring or following year. Weeding helps reveal the hidden gems in our collection and gives me so many ideas for projects and displays. Maybe this will be the year we do Blind Date with a (nonfiction) Book or a PostSecret project.

What are you weeding this year?

Goal Setting 2015-16

We have to do SMART goals this year. I dunno why, but I love SMART goals! I like being Specific and Measurable and Relevant. Here are mine.

Goal 1: Non-Fiction Collection Development

The non-fiction collection hasn’t been evaluated and weeded in a long time. Looking over, removing old and adding new books will bring freshness and relevancy to the collection. It will also provide a forum for collaboration with departments about changes in their curricula.

Fall: Assess and have department conversations

Winter: Weed and discard

Spring: Purchase new items

Goal 2: S4 Teacher Collaborations

I plan on collaborating with each member of S4 this year on projects which span 9-12 and history, economics and geography. The new faculty (and new 9/10 curriculum) bring fresh opportunities to embed information literacy skills from the ICT Outcomes document. This will be on-going throughout the year. Don and I have spoken extensively about the needs of the program and we are developing a plan to standardized IL classroom practices.

Goal 3: OverDrive/Ebook Promotion and Development

Now that we have OverDrive (yay!) I’ll be spending part of this year ensuring that every Tregaron student knows about it, has the app, and understands how it works. We’re investing boatloads of money so it’s important we get good usage. This work will be on-going with bigger pushes before and after school breaks (Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring, etc.) As part of this goal, I’ll work on developing our OverDrive Advantage collection to better suit our population.

October Toggl-ing, or, What This Librarian Does

October toggling

So, here’s my the report for my first month of Toggl-ing.  I captured 120 hours of my work and learned some things about how I use my time and how I describe the way I use my time.  It took me a few weeks but I know feel like I have some controlled language about how I use my time and, moving forward, will be closer to capturing 200 hours of work a month.  One thing I’ve noticed is that even though I’m in the office from 8-4, I tend to only annotate 7:30 hours of work a day.  In addition, this pie chart doesn’t include the hours I spend reading teen fiction outside work. I’m reading much, much less at work this year. Between Toggl and my Asana checklist I’m feeling super productive and super BUSY. There is simply so much to do this year.  Is it that I’m getting better at my job?  Do teachers trust me more?  Am I feeling pressure to leave a legacy or prove my worth?  All of it.  But I’m also just straight up excited to be doing awesome projects with my peers.  I really, really love my job. [Hooray!]

Digital Literacy + Digital Inclusion: teaching new internet users

I just read this article by Seeta Gangadharan and am having so many thoughts/ feelings.  I immediately want to email it to some friends at the public library but feel like it’s a chastisement to over-worked librarians who don’t get the necessary time or training to really teach these skills.  Please go tell a public librarian today that they are awesome and helpful – they are working their @sses off!

At the same time, this really hit me for my own environment.  Yes, I teach highly privileged students who enjoy constant access to technology, but they are still so _ignorant_ about online environments and how the web works.  This morning I was teaching 9th graders how to access a database on their iPads (yay privilege!) and we got slightly derailed while talking about the authority of databases versus searching on the open web.  The students had a really hard time distinguishing between different kinds of content on the web, ie, how Gale’s Opposing Viewpoints in Context (a paid service that is accessed through the web with different kinds of content) is different than the New York Times (a daily newspaper with some free content) and a Wikipedia entry (a crowd-sourced, free content manager) or someone’s Tumblr.  And I run into similar knowledge issued with the Extended Essay students about sourcing and verifying content they dig up through random googling.  

How and where are students learning where information comes from?  It should be from me and the library team but right now it isn’t.  How do I fix this?

 

Toggl-ing

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 1.54.10 PMAs part of my attempt to get my workflow under control, I started using Toggl to track my tasks and my hours.  I’ve divided my work life into 5 categories that sort of emulate the AASL vision for the roles of school librarians and am updating my tasks every hour.  My current categories include Collection Maintenance, Instruction, Reference/Circulation, Professional Development, Information Literacy, and Program Manager.  Along with my Asana Tasks, I feel like I have a good sense of what I want to accomplish and how I’m using my time.

I definitely define most of my day as Ref/Circ because it’s when I do all the little essential things – circ, processing, responding to email, reading PD, researching new books, finding inspiration, following up with teachers & students, impromptu IL training, and meeting with my officemates. Rec/Circ is the simplest way to quantify how a dozen 5 minute conversations over the course of a week can create and develop an important policy but it’s definitely not a perfect category.

I’ve always been fascinated by the law firm concept of “billable hours” and have some friends how have to notate every 6 minutes of their time.  While I have been pretty lazy about adding things to Toggl, I’m hoping get into demarcating every 30 minutes through the day.  It’ll be fun to see what I’ve been up to and, maybe in December, develop some strategies to be more productive.  Big maybe.

Information Services Cross Divisional PD day

Need to keep track of this!

MIDDLE and UPPER SCHOOL

Sharing of Division Curriculum (10 minutes)

 

Structure/Planning Opportunities(How is the curriculum structured in the division? When/how do you engage in curriculum planning?) Subject areas don’t meet to plan.6-10 curr is undocumented. Accessed thru OCC and teacher Moodle papers.All planning is teacher-driven and dependent on collaboration. Occasional project meetings, mostly 1 on 1 planning. Supports subject-area goals, embedded in subject curriculum.
Resources(What are key resources you use in planning and in delivering the curriculum?) WIS Outcomes & Dispositionsaddresses Standards/Benchmarks in the subject areas (subject teachers altered them a bit). Populated into Atlas.Library resources

Content delivery mechanisms (Moodle, Google, software)

Personal PLNs

Learning Highlights(What are some of the essential skills and bodies of knowledge for this subject area at each grade level? What are key understandings students should have by the end of the course?) Richard: works also with administration and meeting their workflow goals and teachers’ practice documentations.6th – intro to Noodletools7th – Civil rights research/multimedia

9th – doctopus file mgt

9th – Bill of Rights project

10th – writing project

11th and 12th – Voicethread, podcasting storytelling

12th – extended essay
Benchmarks in reading, research, dig citizenship and technology by 6/7/8, 9/10, 11/12:

Overview of Assessment Practices(What are the kinds of assessments you use? How do you differentiate for learning differences? How do students and parents know how a child is doing?) Aren’t really doing this and want to.Need a two-prong approach: teach the teachers plus co-teach & monitor student work.
Challenges(What are some of the challenges faced in ensuring every child reaches expected mastery at a certain grade level?) Curriculum planning is not sustainable.No consistent approach across subjects.Lack of advance notice from teachers — not enough time to plan.

Equipment management time-consuming.

Some teachers reluctant to change their curriculum (lack of risk-taking and creativity), although Project Zero is helping improve this.