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?

We’re hiring!

Hello Everyone,

Washington International School, a private, co-educational school in
northwestern Washington, DC, is seeking a full-time Teacher-Librarian
to work with middle and upper school faculty and students for the
2013-14 academic year beginning in August.

Here’s the link to the job post and I’ve attached a full job
description.  My colleague just found out her husband’s job is taking
them abroad and we hope to have a wonderful, tech-savvy, passionate
librarian in place by August 12th.  Please send any candidates my way
and feel free to share/post the listing on your other networks.
http://www.wis.edu/news/item/index.aspx?linkid=4300&moduleid=77

I’m sad to see Ms. B go but am excited to find a new team member!  This is going to be the start of something marvelous.

Searching for Research Methods

A number of conversations must have converged at the Academic Council meeting yesterday because I was invited to join a cross-division committee to develop a preK-12 research/information literacy scope and sequence.  I’ve been talking with my boss (the Director of Information Services) and our curriculum coordinator for some time, so it’s fantastic to see it happen.  Hopefully, this will connect with the WIS Information Literacy Dispositions and Outcomes that I developed in November.

The PS is interested in using a ISP called AGOPPE from Montgomery County, MD.  

Ask Questions

Gather Information

Organize

Prepare

Present

Evaluate

Seems very Big 6-ish to me.  Looking forward to seeing how they use it!

On Goals & Goal Setting

Today, many weeks late, I submitted my goals to Sean.  Here’s what I hope to accomplish this year and why.

Re-establish and refine library services for our user group now that we have two people doing collection and curriculum development.
Now that I’ve got a real sense of the dimensions of the library program and we’ve gone through some massive hiring, it’s time to think about how to improve services.  Meghan and I are splitting up our areas of expertise by divisions, so finally got time to really work with the Upper School.  It’s also time I get the library into faculty and subject meetings.  We need to be part of the conversations happening at every level about knowledge literacy and how our space is used.  Major changes are afoot and I want the library to be part of them.
 
Create an information literacy scaffold for grades 6-12.
As we re-imagine the 6-10 curriculum, I have a responsibility to work with teachers on creating and refining knowledge seeking and knowledge evaluating skills.  I’m excited to work with Jim and Richard to modify the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner and the NET-S standards for our school.  This will be how we deepen the library’s connection to the curriculum.
 
Work deeply with Humanities and History to create more access to more methods of research and kinds of material across the divisions.
This was one of my goals for last year and I didn’t get very far but I think the staff turnover is creating lots of opportunities.
 
Engage with librarians at other schools to learn about other methods of library service and instruction as well as to create a regional consortium of independent school librarians.

I’m hoping the newly re-formed MWISLA will jumpstart a change.  I guess I’m ready to see what our peer schools are doing and how we can work together to up the level of service and the role of the library in our schools. 
 
Contribute to the national discussion about school librarianship and/or IB librarianship in some way.
With this blog, by attending trainings and conferences, and (hopefully) by contributing to conferences.  One thing I learned in Atlanta is that there are very few IB librarians blogging and sharing resources.  I hope to change that.
 
And I plan on reading more adult books and fewer teen books this year. I have ODed on paranormal romance/ dystopian fantasy and need to read more books on the DP lists. Books with adults.  Who don’t think every teen boy is “beautiful”.  Ugh!
After spending 2 years inhaling a TON of teen novels that serve our MS audience, I need to focus on US books.  And I need to remember what it’s like to read “real literature”.

“Origin” by Jessica Khoury

I was lucky to read an ARC of “Origin” but am unable to recommend this book.

Pia, a generically beautiful and “perfect” immortal, has been raised in a science lab hidden in the Amazon jungle. She hopes to one day create her own race of immortal beings and have lifetime-long companions. When a hole in her electric fence appears, Pia enters the jungle for the first time and meets Eio, a beautiful indigenous teen who is the first person Pia has met who is her own age. While “Origin” has elements that flirt with dystopia, it’s really a teen romance.

First time author, Jessica Khoury, packs some interesting ideas and good description here but I was dismayed by the flatness of her characters and unfortunate overtones of the “indigenous” people. How has Pia reached her 17th birthday without ever questioning her existence or her relationship to the outside world? Pia is surprisingly incurious and unintellectual for someone raised by with a cadre of brilliant scientists. Her passivity and naivety keeps the novel from delving deeply into some thought-provoking questions. Eio and his tribe are incredibly problematic as well. Not only is he a shirtless half-white/ half-native (more palatable than an all-native character?) teen but he is the only person Pia can talk to in the outside world. Khoury’s reliance on stereotypical evil-corporate-scientists vs. moral-native-savages does her novel significant harm. This cultural insensitivity will keep “Origin” off my shelves.