Buchlady’s Blog turns 2!

Today is this blog’s second birthday.  Woohoo!  I have written just over 120 posts and I’m looking forward to another year of blogging.  I’ve learned a lot along the way and added new friends to my PLN.  The blog keeps me accountable  (if I say I’m going to do something in a post I know I have to do it!)  It’s been a great way for me to share resources with all of you and if you’re reading this I hope you’ll come by again.


Been there, done that, didn’t like it

I’ve been timid about writing this post.  Or rather, I’ve not wanted to share it with a wide audience lest I be considered old-fashioned,  “old school,” or whatever similar label I could conjure up.  You see, on the heels of presenting at Vermont’s Dynamic Landscapes conference last week came an email appeal for proposals for the fall 2012 conference and I think you can count me out.

Why?  Because as much as I enjoy sharing through presenting I was not prepared for the lack of interaction I experienced last Friday.  There were probably 12-15 people in my workshop and during that hour I think maybe two made eye contact with me.  The majority were on one device or another, seemingly disinterested.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised;  this was largely a tech conference after all.  And, to be fair, there were technology glitches (my worst nightmare and no I.T. support in sight!)  But I still had plenty to share, and truly we could have had some great discussion instead.

This is not sour grapes.  Honestly.  I’m the last person to be anti-technology.  I get that we are in a connected world.  Heck, I’ve spent the last five years re-inventing myself as a librarian and trying to learn all I can about how to harness the power of web tools to facilitate and enhance learning.  But after spending many hours preparing a presentation it felt like a lack of professional courtesy to be looking at attendees looking at keyboards.  When I attend a presentation, even if I bring along a computer, I try to engage with the presenter and connect as a person.

Help me out here.  Am I totally off base on this?   And for those of you who present a lot–if this is the new reality, how do you deal with it?  What am I missing?

Monday PD: Two Libraries, One Voice!

Join SLJ Mover and Shaker John Schumacher and librarian extraordinaire Shannon M. Miller this Monday night at 8 p.m. EST for the Teacher Librarian Virtual Cafe.  They’ll be sharing their collaborative efforts around “Two Libraries, One Voice.”  Register here and you’ll get information about how to tune in to the live webinar.  Check out the other resources at TLNing while you’re there!

Marty Mcguire

Yesterday marked the (fun!) end of a blogging book group with two students from my school and eight from four other schools in our region.  We all read Kate Messner’s book Marty Mcguire and used a blog for students to answer and ask questions and reflect on their reading.  (Each Sunday night, one of the librarians posted the prompts for the week.  We shared the work!) A great discussion guide for the book is available from Scholastic  if you want to introduce some students to this spunky character!

Because they were second and third graders there was a bit of a learning curve with the features of the blog and the mechanics of posting comments, but they learned quickly.  I dare say my students improved their keyboarding skills somewhat just from the twice weekly practice for this project.

To make the project’s culmination more special we agreed to meet face-to-face at one of our schools to Skype with the author and enjoy a celebratory lunch (complete with frog cookies!).  Kate Messner was a wonderful author to Skype with.  She was enthusiastic, pleasant, and “real.”  She wove great comments into her chat about writing and how students might think about their own creative process.

Both boys and girls enjoyed the book and are now excited to read Marty Mcguire Digs Worms, the sequel which came out a few weeks ago.  Kate Messner has posted links (think compost and worms) to accompany the second book on Pinterest.

Thanks to LibraryStew for planting the original idea in my head!

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Fresh out of ideas? Check this out!

'288/365: Winners' photo (c) 2009, PlayfulLibrarian - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I am very grateful to have found a site recently called  Centered School Libraries.  It’s an amazing resource–lesson plan ideas, bulletin boards, printable bookmarks, suggestions for centers and stations, management techniques, you name it!  It’s all so beautifully done and professional looking.  (I’m jealous!) Cari Young is the librarian behind the site and her new book is apparently available from Upstart.

Just yesterday I was panicking about what to do for a new bulletin board. This site came to the rescue with some excellent  ideas.  Check it out here.


'the new camera!' photo (c) 2007, Kellan - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I have recommended AASL’s Advocacy Tip of the Day before, and in that spirit I am passing along this tip to you:

This year, keep a digital camera handy, right near the circulation desk so that you can document as much of the learning and activity that takes place in your library as possible.  Last June I found that when I was compiling my annual report  I had precious few photos to insert.

Click away all year long and you’ll have lots of raw material for your webpage, blog, Snapshot Day, monthly and annual reports, and presentations to stakeholders.

Happy Birthday, Buchlady’s Blog!

Birthday Cakephoto © 2009 Omer Wazir | more info (via: Wylio)

One year agotoday I launched this blog as a way of giving back for all the ways I’ve been able to grow as a result of my PLN.  I continue to be inspired by great librarians and technology integration folks and I hope that in my own small way I am providing a service to my elementary colleagues.

Have I done all I’ve wanted to do this year?  No.  I haven’t touched upon a number of types of posts I originally thought I’d write.  I also haven’t developed a rhythm or schedule quite yet, but I’m happy enough with my record so far.  To date I’ve written 59 posts, so I average at least a post a week.  I may not be prolific, but at least I’m consistent!

I’ve enjoyed doing the writing for my posts and learned a lot by participating in Edublog’s Kickstart challenge. I “met” other bloggers through that challenge and I’m hoping for some collaboration in the near future.  I’m still looking for ways to increase my readership, but  I’ve had over 500 visitors since I added my clustr map widget 6 months ago.

It’s been a good year all in all and I’m looking forward to more birthdays.  Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and as always let me know if there are topics you are interested in by leaving a comment.

Spring cleaning? Seriously?

Mops and Brooms - 01photo © 2007 Barry Solow | more info (via: Wylio)
I have to chuckle about the title for today’s post.  There are 14 inches of fresh snow outside my window and spring in Vermont is still a distant dream!  Nevertheless, this week’s blogging challenge has to do with cleaning up your blog and paying some attention to your “About Me” page.

So here’s what I did:  I added new information about myself and a bit about this blog.  Still not sure I want to add a photo or avatar.  I guess I’m still new enough at this to want some anonymity!

I’m also supposed to add a new page to the blog, and so I’ve decided to compile a list of my “faves”– some of the tried-and-true book titles that I return to again and again.  Watch for it soon!

Is blogging in your future?

Captured In Crystalphoto © 2009 Garry Knight | more info (via: Wylio)
Looking back on 2010?  Thinking about changes you can make or projects you can take on in 2011?  Blogging might be something for you to consider! Even if it’s not something you’re ready to dip your toes into, you might want to encourage some of your teachers to add their voices to the growing number of education bloggers.  Or perhaps a few teachers in your school can begin class blogs as communication and collaboration tools.  I’ve embedded a couple of livebinders below with resources to get you started.  Don’t wait as long as I did–and don’t be afraid to just get started and learn as you go!

Blogging with students
Copy of WordPress Tutorials

In 2011 I hope to develop more of a rhythm to my posting routine and take some very intentional steps to increase my readership. To that end, if you’ve found any of my posts useful, I hope you’ll consider subscribing via RSS.  (Just click on the orange icon and put me in your feed reader!)

Happy New Year!


Why blog?

I have decided to dive in to the world of the blogger because I am feeling the need to give back.  I’ve spent the better part of the past 18 months “lurking”—reading other blogs, reading comments posted, and learning so much from my growing PLN—all from the sidelines.

Things you can expect me to write about include:

  • routines, reports, forms for use in our daily work
  • children’s literature tie-ins for Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop
  • books for themes
  • author studies
  • technology integration and web 2.0 tools
  • fiction and non-fiction pairings
  • advocacy
  • mentoring new librarians
  • lesson plan ideas
  • collaborations
  • outreach to parents

What kinds of things would you like to read from a fellow librarian?