Wednesday, May 9, 2007

10 things

Over at the SLJ blog Practically Paradise, Diane Chen talks about 13 things that a school librarian can do in 15 minutes a day to change their program. Since I am off on a new adventure next year (new job) I thought this might warrant some thought. She came up with 5 things (in red) and I have added a few more (in green), although some of my ideas would take more than 15 minutes and I still didn't get to 13!

1. Read your RSS feeder (like bloglines). Limit yourself to 10 blogs in the beginning so you can keep your 15 minute time-limit. This will help you prioritize. If you don't know whose blogs to read, choose one and look at who they are reading.

2. Read your favorite journal's top articles. If you truly read something everyday, you could actually read far more journals than you anticipated.

3. Read new picture books as they arrive. Sit beside a child and ask them to look with you while you think to whom to match the title.

4. Make a short list of new titles or 3-5 books that thematically go together. Then type these in a pre-formatted bookmark template and print off a few copies. Simple bookmarks like these disappear and quickly become checklists for your methodical readers. I find that I can jot down the ideas while someone else volunteers to type these and add artwork.

5. Jot a thank you note or email to a teacher and ask them to stop by to plan with you. If you could write one thank you a day, could you sincerely reach your entire faculty several times that year?

6. Send out an e-mail a few times a week to the faculty or to certain teachers alerting them to an interesting blog or article you have found.

7. Write a newsletter to the faculty once a month introducing new books/materials in the media center, highlighting websites they can use with the students or professionally and maybe add an article about a web 2.0 tool (blogs, podcasting etc..)

8. Read a book review everyday and keep a list of the books you might consider for purchase (paste the book review into the list or at least paste the URL if it is an online review)

9. ASK some of the students at least once a week what they are reading and write it down.

10. Have fun!! Ok, this might not change your whole program, but I think that when I am having fun doing something in the media center (dressing up as a pirate, for example) I think the kids have fun and think the media center is a pretty cool place, and *hopefully* it makes them want to come in and check out books or it helps them to not feel intimidated in asking us for help when they are doing some research.

I have lots of goals that I am working on for next year. Since I am entering this new job as a "seasoned" media specialist and not a brand spanking new one I do know that everything I want to do won't get done, but at least it gives me a place to start. I'll write about some of those goals this summer.

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