Friday, October 28, 2011

Greetings from AASL 2011

There's so much going on at AASL 2011 in Minneapolis, MN.  Lots to learn and absorb!  Here are a few highlights that I've picked up in the last day and a half:
This post was brought to you by HVLA president, Anglela Ungaro.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our Embedded Librarian at Library2.011

Are you planning on joining the masses for Library2.011?  The worldwide virtual conference is fast approaching and the presenters have some amazing sessions planned for the three day event.   You can watch librarians from all over the world talk about what they are doing in their libraries.  One of HVLA's  own librarians, Briar Sauro, will be presenting her curriculum as well.  Read all about it below.

Briar was inspired by conference STRAND 2:  "Librarians & Information Professionals" - Evolving Professional Roles in Today’s World. Says Briar, “I wanted to present at Library 2.011 because I saw the term ‘embedded librarian,’ an idea to which I strongly relate but which I rarely see applied at the elementary level.”

Briar has been at Berkeley Carroll since 2004 as the librarian for Grades 2-4 and has been an Independent School Librarian in New York since 1999. About two years ago she began making big changes to her library curriculum. She got the Fourth Grade library class scheduled back-to-back with computer class so that she, along with the computer teacher, could use the time flexibly for computer skills, library skills and online research skills as needed.

Briar did not stop there. That year, she was under Peer Review and was asked to imagine her ideal library program by her Review committee.  She told them about all the things we learn in library school, flexible scheduling and integrating research skills into the classroom curriculum. One wise teacher said, “Sounds like you need to be working with the classroom teachers, not just the computer teacher.”

So, with the support of her Peer Review committee, she presented a proposal to the administration to overhaul her entire Third and Fourth grade curriculum. She now co-teaches with the computer teacher and the classroom teacher. They work in the library, lab, or classroom, depending on the content of the lesson. Briar attends all grade level meetings and works out a research timeline with the teachers. They figure out what the students will need to know for their research projects and then they break it down into lessons and mini-lessons leading up to their projects.

The integrated library curriculum is always dependent on the social studies curriculum and may change over time. For one unit, Briar taught three weeks of lessons on using authoritative websites followed by a short mini-lesson on using Google Docs for note-taking as students launched their explorer research. For another project she built a web page full of video and interactive resources for a trip to Ellis Island and then assisted while the students wrote immigrant journals in their docs (with factual sidebars!).

This new curriculum would not be possible without the support of the administration, a team of enthusiastic teachers up for a challenge, a reworked schedule, and a librarian for PreK-1st Grade who can help the students become independent library users by 3rd Grade. And it is not without its challenges. In her presentation, Briar will talk about all that went into her embedded curriculum: the planning, the collaboration, and the challenges. “This is messy work and we are still figuring out how best to do it. I’ve been pleased, though, by the increase in students’ capability and competence with online tools and their enthusiasm for the work we do together.”

Thanks to Briar Sauro for providing the details of her  program. I hope you check out her session

  This post was brought to you by HVLA Vice President, Kimberly Pallant

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A 21st Century Librarian Conundrum

This week I received my first set of bibliographies to correct and I started thinking about MLA format.  It seems to have taken over my brain recently and left me with lots of unanswered questions.  One question in particular has been haunting me; how does one cite an iPad app?   My students are using apps for research more and more frequently and in fact I was thinking of recommending these apps for a science project next week. But before I do, I want to make it clear to the students that they will have to cite the app and show them how to do it.

Let’s consider the following:

Is an app a website?
Not quite.  One does not necessarily need Internet access to use an app, just a device on which to view it.

Is an app a database?
Not exactly, however you could use an app to access an online database from the library or create your own database using an app.

Is an app an eBook?
Well….there are book apps.  You could purchase and read an eBook using  an app or download a unique book app that lets you play inside the story.

My conclusion: an app is an app!  It seems to me that an app can be any and all of these things, thus it is a completely unique resource requiring it’s own citation format.

So, where to go from here?  I did some googling for app citation suggestions and came across a few helpful responses.

A member of the California K-12 School Librarians List Serv had a great suggestion that 
mimics the citation for a general website, with a few tweaks that are unique to apps such 
as creator, version and release date. The iPad Journal had an equally helpful response. 
The only difference I noticed between the two is a matter of labeling the medium.   
Should it be iPad or app? 

Is this an issue that has come up in your schools?  How have you responded?

This post was brought to you by HVLA Vice President, Kimberly Pallant

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Monday, October 3, 2011

HVLA Goes to the Morgan

Happy October!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for our fall meeting.  The Morgan Library has some great exhibits right now that I’ve been meaning to check out.  I can’t think of a better group of people to share the experience with then my HVLA friends and colleagues.  

We’ll be touring with a Morgan educator and learning about the history, architecture, special collections, highlights, and current exhibits. After our one-hour tour we’ll be meeting up in the dining hall for a meeting/social.  There will be a few welcome back announcements followed by beverages and light refreshments and, of course, great conversation. 

And remember, it’s a Friday so the Morgan is open until 9pm! Feel free to stay after the meeting and enjoy the exhibits again at your own pace. 

If you'd like a sneak peak at the permanent collection, or you can't make it to the meeting, take a look at the video below.

For more behind the scenes information, including a closer look at the music manuscript collection and reflections on Jane Austen, be sure to check out The Morgan Library's Youtube channel.  

If you have any suggestions for future meetings- theme, guest speaker, location- or would like to volunteer to host, please leave a comment or send me an email, kpallant [at]

Update: RSVP here

This post was brought to you by HVLA Vice President, Kimberly Pallant
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