Wish they all could be California…..LIBRARIES!
Ok, ok….not exactly what the Beach Boys were thinking of, but it could work, right?
My first mission was to subscribe to the CALIBK12 Google group which is a discussion forum for California school librarians. Members can post questions and crowdsource responses, or they can post general comments that they wish to share with others. One thread I found useful was the discussion on magazine subscription services. Our library staff plans to order some subscriptions this year (they had not before because the public library within our high school library already supplies some), and so I appreciated the feedback given. (For anyone interested, it seems like people have had good experiences with Subscription Services of America.)
My second mission was to delve into what the California School Library Association (CSLA) had to offer. I have been fortunate enough to attend the CSLA annual conference for the past two years.
The CSLA website has some great resources. I downloaded the poster below from them and plan to post it on my office walls.
Their website also offers some library tutorials, including one named “Discovering Assistive Technology” (and it’s free!). I am drawn to this tutorial because I have county classes on my school campus that cater to students with sight and hearing disabilities. While I have been able to develop a relationship with some of these students, I have always wondered how I can be of more assistance to them. Building a strong assistive technology program in the library is pivotal because “AT [assistive technology] improves the quality of education in schools, prepares students with 21st century skills, and creates a visible leadership role for school librarians” (Ennis-Cole & Smith, 2011). This tutorial aims to provide librarians with strategies to help those with physical, sensory, and learning disabilities.
The CSLA Blog was quite engaging as well. I appreciated the post on how Teacher Librarians can support the CCSS math standards. Apart from creating some Safari Montage playlists for my math teachers, I have yet to find a way to be of genuine assistance these teachers. This post helped me dissect just what these new standards are requiring (a stronger emphasis on mathematical reasoning and the diminished role of rote skills), and how dependent they are on reading and literacy. I could see myself conducting a lesson for a math class that teaches students how to use credible databases to locate news articles that involve math in some way. I could also see myself offering my services to help a teacher design a website that students work through in order to create a project of their own.
Additional Resources Concerning CCSS Implementation:
In complete honesty, I valued the offerings from the ALA and the IIRT slightly more than than those of CSLA. The CSLA blog does not post as often as I’d like, and the webpage does not provide as many resources as the ALA website. However, I do think that the CSLA will still be a good contribution to my PLN.
Ennis-Cole, D., & Smith, D. (2011). Assistive technology and autism: Expanding the technology leadership role of the school librarian. School Libraries Worldwide, 17(2), 86-98.