Saturday, October 30, 2010
It was fabulous. I'd never been to Chicago, so I was able to stay over on Sunday and take the beautiful waterway architecture tour, ride the GrayLine all over the gorgeous city, and see fireworks over Lake Michigan at night. I will cheerfully admit that one of the highlights was riding the subway for the first time ever (Yep, I'm a green gal from the country).
Oh...and the Summit was great too!
Dr. Brian Kenney and his staff at SLJ did an amazing job of planning, and no mention of the Summit would be complete without thanking the sponsors: Capstone, Follett, Gale Cengage, Junior Library Guild, Mackin, Rosen, Safari Montage, and Scholastic.
It was a wonderful learning experience to network with about 250 library leaders from around the nation and to listen to library consultants, professors, and gurus in the field.
Among the distinguished speakers were Stephen Abram, Tom Corbett, Peter Gutierrez, Steven Bell, Karen Cator, Paul Zelinsky, and Patrick Carman. Wow. And that's only the beginning. You can peruse the full program here.
The Summit has provided lots of food for thought...
What teens want (Abram)
*they prefer fiction in print
*often can't afford an eReader
*don't Tweet but love Facebook
*get fiction recommendations online
*don't often need help from librarians but will initiate contact if needed
Joyce Valenza admits this time of change and transition for libraries leaves her with many questions and some confusion. We're in pretty good company, huh?
Tom Corbett updated us on Cushing Academy, one year later. Basically, Cushing kept all fiction, nonfiction volumes that had been donated, and art books. They donated the rest of their print collection to other libraries and used the additional space for flexible study in this 1 to 1 laptop campus.
What can we learn from this 21st century library? As the amount of available information grew, the amount of information in their library shrunk. Kind of blows your mind, doesn't it?
I loved Peter Gutierrez and his belief that the present of reading (as opposed to the future) is student interest. Connect kids to text by helping them connect text to self and the world.
Speaking of text, what about eReaders? The Carnegie Corporation proposes nine recommendations for eReaders such as operating system compatibility, standard core and innovative features, and reader personalization.
After spending lots of time talking with library leaders, it was gratifying to come to the conclusion that for now, at least, eReaders are not feasible for our libraries due to price, copyright limitations, and purchasing restraints. We will continue to explore web-delivered fiction ebooks and audio books, but in the meantime, we will purchase them in physical media.
Like Cushing, but albeit in a slower, less dramatic fashion, we will gradually reduce our nonfiction and reference in favor of online resources and ebooks. Sticker shock prevents us from moving more quickly.
Teens from the University Laboratory High School in Illinois who attended the Summit reinforced these decisions as they spoke of their preference for print fiction and textbooks but online reference material.
There's tons more, so if you you want the play-by-play for Summit, check out the Twitter feed, #sljsummit10.
For me, the Summit solidified the belief that the future of reading is changing. It's not a leisurely, stroll in the park kind of change, but a subway-rushing-down-the tracks kind of change. Jump on, librarians. It promises to be an exciting ride!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Last week I was fortunate enough to participate in a fall forum hosted by the School of Library and Information Studies (woot!) at Texas Woman's University.
The timely topic for the panel geared to MLS students interested in school, academic, public, and special libraries was securing a job in a tight economy.
In the six years I've been library coordinator for Frisco (TX) ISD, we've added 30 new schools (nope, no typo--30 new schools). Factor in the normal vacancies for retirement, relocation, and resignations, and I've screened a bunch of prospective school librarians.
I'd like to share the info (along with a few comments) that I prepared for the fall forum.
Stand out in the school library job market!
How you lay the groundwork counts...
- Know when to start the process. For us February is perfect. I may lose your resume in January, and it's often too late in March.
- Follow hiring procedures. Don't know? Ask.
- Initiate contact with a brief email.
- Attach your resume and cover letter. No mistakes, please!
- Resist frequent follow-up. I won't forget you if I want to recommend you.
What you do counts...
- Dress up for your interview. It doesn't have to be new or fancy, but look professional and as if you made an effort.
- Be on time.
- Shake hands firmly.
- Smile and call the interviewer by name.
- Bring your resume.
- Share your portfolio if it's strong. Please, no graded MLS assignments.
What you say counts...
- Use the interviewer's formal title unless directed otherwise. Not Jane, but Ms. Smith. Not Ms. Smith if it's Dr. Smith.
- Refrain from over sharing personal information. I have no clue why people say these things in interviews, but I have actually heard about a messy divorce and too many bad principals to count.
- Ask the philosophy of the library program.
- Be able to articulate how you can carry out this vision.
- Remain calm and professional. Even if you're desperate, do not beg or cry (I've seen both),
- Save a couple of questions for the end.
What you know counts...
- Research the district and campus. Why do you want to be part of it?
- Anticipate questions in advance. Practice!
- Provide specific implementation ideas. General ideas don't show your depth of knowledge.
- Keep examples pertinent to the situation. If you're applying for elementary, don't focus on your previous middle school job.
- Share how you will collaborate for meaningful instruction.
- Show how you can foster 21st century readers and learners.
My own interview for my first job as a librarian was a disaster, and I still got the job (quite possibly there were no other candidates?!) So don't despair if things aren't absolutely perfect.
Smile, share your passion for kids and libraries, and good things will happen if you're a good match for the job.
If you're a school librarian, what job-hunting tips worked well for you? Please share your advice here!
|Image from http://www.balloonmaniacs.com/|
This is the 50th post for Shelf Consumed, so I hope you will join me in a virtual celebration. Pop the champagne, have a huge slice of birthday cake, and what the heck, go ahead and eat that extra blob of frosting on the edge. You're only 50 once!
Happy day to you!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
|Almost...almost...I've got it!|
Last time we talked about how to read review journals. But what if you need to find a review for a book that's already in your collection? You've looked in your online ordering source, but the grade level designations often don't appear unless the book has been published recently.
The fastest way I've found is to do a search in one of your online databases. Select the professional collection in your database. Do an advanced search for the author and title of your book, and I think you'll usually have good results.
If you're still not able to find reviews and you need them for a challenged book situation, don't hesitate to call your state library or ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom. These librarians are extremely helpful and may be able to send electronic copies of needed reviews.