Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Countdown - 2014 completed

It is always amazing the magnitude of information to learn. How can anyone not be a lifelong student? As I finalized the last installment of this year's Holiday Countdown: 15 Days of Apps, Google Features, Websites, Twitter and Blogs to try, it is overwhelming the amount of links or features I have discovered in the quest to share. I can only hope that someone has found one gem among the fabulous resources that are available for our students and ourselves. I always get so much from this journey. Other librarians have given similar gifts, I was especially impressed with Jan Hodges, Crowley District Librarian. Jan also included a TexQuest feature daily. That will be my New Year's challenge to publicize. Michelle Cooper shared with Henderson Middle School faculty and staff an awesome daily S'More entitled Twelve Techie Gifts. I love learning from others.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Countdown - Sharing the Best of 2014

Last year as 2013 was winding down, all the awesome lists of of the "best" were announced. I was inspired to share them with my co-workers as an end of year holiday greeting formatted like the “12 Days of Christmas”. In addition as a Google school, there were many features that the instructional tech team had not shared.
Holiday Countdown 2013 - 15 days of Apps,  Websites & Tech Tools was the theme used to share tidbits with Marshall High School faculty and staff; a daily gift of some of the wonderful apps, web tools, etc.; a few things to experiment with, trying to tempt them with something new.
Aware that in all probability very few would try them, I did include all three items each day for variety. Surprisingly, several used one or more with their students to break the tension before the Christmas holiday.
Changing schools this year I have updated the chart with links that I will share with my teachers and staff in the emails for Henderson High School, including many new links and 2014 best lists. Added also this year are webinars, hashtags and bloggers since those have been a fabulous source for professional development. A screenshot below shows the format with the link to the table being shared in both this blog and in the chat tonight. Believing that all good ideas are only as good as are used... borrow anything you can use. So our #TxLChat moderators have worked with it for the December 2nd chat. On the 2014 table is included a link to those shared last year. Then, the final email contains a link to a shared Google presentation culminating all the email links.
If this is not the best time for your campus try sharing them at the beginning of the new year or for Valentine's Day as "Web We Love" or some theme. 

Example of the email content & format

Example of the chart - the ideas for it become an obsession!

Elf Yourself

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Makerspace @ Your MHS Library

What do you have when you add 
AP Biology Project 
+ AP students 
+ Library space
+ Old books discarded from the library 
+ crafting supplies 
+ fresh leaves and flowers?  

elements for a great Makerspace

On April 25th MHS Library hosted a day and resources for AP Biology students inviting them to work on their collecting species project during class, lunch and until 5pm. On hand were discarded, large volume reference books for pressing leaves and flowers while the librarian provided assorted craft resources to create their notebooks and discussed with students some of the notebook options to consider. Mrs. Edney created a website with links as a starting point for online sites to identify and research the student's collections. Fresh leaves and flowers were collected to assist with those without vehicles or not yet involved with the project.

It was so incredible to be a part of this endeavor.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Travis Elem Students help Flat Stanley celebrate 50

Book Character, Flat Stanley, turned 50 this year with celebrations and travels provided by our WB Travis students. In keeping with a national emphasis, Mrs. Yosten challenged students to share their Spring Break adventures with individual paper character cutouts colored by our students. Adventures include travel under beds, into yards, to buy the family car, to various zoos; extending their travels to various states including New Mexico and New York and all the way to Japan.  He was treated to sunning with the turtles, playing basketball, a fresh mohawk haircut and a pedicure by our creative students. This week students share their drawings, pictures and written stories in presentations with their peers during their library time and class time. The activities will be extended as students share their adventures with other grades around the school.
Stephany Yosten, Travis library assistant, created the project, energizing it as she read aloud from the many Flat Stanley books available.  The WB Travis halls boast the travels and adventures that our students created during their holiday to be seen by parents and visitors during Parent Conference night and many days of April during National Library Month. More information about the adventures contributed by other students are available at the website.
Reading aloud continues to support learning that stimulates and extends our student’s experiences and much needed and practiced skills as our students are challenged by more information.

Pictured L to R:
Stephany Yosten, Melissa S., Nina R., Claire G.
Kelton T., Jordan C.

Students in Mrs. Nixon’s second grade class view presentation poster and report.

*Flat Stanley welcomes students to WBT Library
*Cristal reads with Flat Stanley

* 2nd Graders tour the United States & study populations with Flat Stanley

Friday, March 14, 2014

Reader's Cafe @Your MHS Library

To culminate our "Blind Date with a Book" Event, all students and adults that "rated their date" (book) and submitted the form received an invitation for themself and a guest to join us at our Reader's Cafe any time during the day. Our MHS Library staff set up the front window area of our library as a cafe with table clothes, serving table, beverage cart and served approximately 100 student and faculty members. Always a table cloth... always fresh flowers....always a bounty of food. It was a real show stopper for our students who did not attend, those that participated want to know when the next event will be.

State Funded Resources for Texas K12 Public Schools - Update

As a Taskforce Committee member I am delighted to share the notice with Texas Public Schools for our libraries and students.

State Funded Resources for Texas K12 Public Schools - Update 2014 March 14
New digital resources coming soon!
      The Legislature provided funds to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to re-establish statewide digital resources for K12 public school libraries. The bid process is complete and the digital resources selected will be announced in April. Schools will have access to new content starting in June 2014.
How can school districts participate?
      School districts will receive forms starting in late April asking them to sign up for the program.
Is there a charge for these resources?
      There is not a charge the first year of the program (June 2014-June 2015). The Legislature requires a participation fee from school districts starting in FY2015.
How much is the charge to school districts in FY2015?
      The K12 school library program advisory group recommended $0.22 (22 cents) per pupil. This is a flat rate for each district which will be assessed based on the FY2014 data submitted to the Texas Education  Agency.
When will a school district receive an invoice for the FY2015 participation fee?
      The Texas State Library and Archives Commission expects to invoice school districts starting in January 2015. The FY2015 contracts begin June15, 2015.
What if a school district does not pay the participation fee?
      School districts that do not pay the participation fee starting in FY2015 will not have access to any of the online resources.
How does my district set up the Texas State Library and Archives Commission as a vendor in its system?
      If your district has forms that must be submitted please send them as soon as possible to: Texas State Library and Archives Commission, PO Box 12516, Austin, TX 78711 or emailed to
Deborah Littrell
Director, Library Development and Networking Division
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin, TX 78711-2927
512-936-2306 fax
Keep in touch with our programs by subscribing to the Library Developments blog
*** Please update your bookmarks: TSLAC has a new web address ***

Monday, February 3, 2014

Blind Date with a Book

 photo image_zps4e1e58fd.jpg

While many folks were wrapping Christmas presents our MHS library aides or SLA's we're wrapping books- not in bright colorful holiday wrapping but in yellows, browns, black, newsprint and anything else available for the 200+ books students have chosen to cover in multiple genres to offer our MHS library guests.
Excitement abounds as students and adults unwrap their chosen date! Ms. George keeps the library traffic aware inviting each visitor to try one - even our bathroom friends.