Thursday, June 14, 2012

On the Road With the Librarians in the Middle

I have to start this post by bragging on my two middle school colleagues, Monique German and Kristen Hearne. I couldn't ask for more supportive, creative, and talented people to work with. I am so lucky to have them. Lately we have been on the road with our library show.
We recently presented a session to our middle school English/Language Arts teachers that explained the three components to evaluating text in the Common Core Standards. After explaining how to evaluate text we shared titles that we felt were exemplary novels. We shared genre bookmarks that we created on topics like zombies, after the Hunger Games, something for the sweet sixth grade girl, action packed, novels in verse, and more. We highlighted titles from our SC Junior Book Award nominees, and gave them several blogs to follow that would help them keep up with new and noteworthy titles.

Last week we presented two full days of professional development for our teachers. One day was for our foreign language teachers. We had so much fun with them. Kristen, Carla Nash and I led that day. We shared web tools, shared tools to create a PLN and had a very personalized version of the gadget petting zoo. They were so enthusiastic. It was a great day. The following day Kristen, Monique,  Jen Chesney and I presented to our social studies teachers. I started the day with nonfiction literacy strategies, followed by social studies resources with Kristen and Monique, and ended the day with tech tools with Jen. This was a session specifically geared toward helping them prepare for the new requirements in the Common Core standards.

This week we have been busy at the Upstate Technology Conference organized by the Greenville County School District. This is one of my favorite conferences and completely free! We presented two sessions together. Our first session was "Tech Gadget Speed Dating". Eleven of our fifteen librarians were able to attend the conference. We each adopted a gadget. Attendees came into the session and started at one station. Every five minutes we rotated. Just like a speed dating session, they had a few minutes to meet and get to know a gadget before moving on. The gadgets we discussed were cell phones, digital frames, iPads, iPods, Edmodo, Flip cameras, QR codes, ereaders, and the Livescribe smart pen. Attendees were raving about the session as they left and we even had people coming up to us during the day saying their friends were talking about how much they enjoyed it.

In all the pictures we are the ones in purple. We wore our state organization's t-shirt so they would know were to go for the next station as well as promote the fact that we are proud, techie librarians.
I'm excited that the attendees learned something, but I am also proud that so many of our librarians came and presented. We showcased ourselves, as librarians and Anderson District One employees. I know that many of them have not presented tech sessions before so it was a big confidence booster for them. Only having to learn one gadget and prepare one five minute lesson let everyone get involved, regardless of comfort level with technology. If you are hoping to motivate your group of librarians you may want to try something similar. I hope we can do this again next year.
Our next session was a modified version of the PD With a Twist webinar that I presented with Tiff Whitehead. Kristen, Monique and I shared all of the professional development sessions that we have organized and presented to our teachers. There were a few librarians in attendance, as well as instructional coaches and administrators. We hope that they all left with ideas for their school and an interest in asking their own librarians to share expertise and lead PD for their school.

After the session we had administrators from neighboring counties asking if we would be willing to come and talk to their librarians and share these ideas. This is really exciting and makes me so proud to work with these ladies.


  1. I am so proud of our ASD1 librarians! Thank you for your hard work!

  2. This is fantastic. I am so pleased that you had a so many of the librarians in your district sharing tech with others at UTC. I mean, you can usually get two-four to do a session, but to actually have as many as you did was FABULOUS! I was intrigued with your "Technology Petting Zoo" to begin with, but this is even more awesome. Our district has a TechFest and this would be a perfect session to have as many of our own librarians as we can share a gadget or tag team to share a gadget! Thanks for the ideas - keep 'em coming! Reading the wonderful posts from folks who attended UTC has made me doubly sorry I couldn't go this year!