Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm taking an online class through Simmons College, and it's got me thinking a lot about Social Networking and my junior high library. Currently, my social networking efforts are rather limited, though not totally non-existent. I do use Twitter, and a link to follow me is included on the library's home page. Twitter isn't blocked at school, so I thought it would effective in reaching students - but to be honest, most junior high kids just don't have Twitter accounts.

I've been nervous about making a foray into other social media avenues because I'm not tenured yet, and I'd love to keep my job (as I do have a fabulous one!) smile This is my tenure year, so I'm willing to branch out a little bit, though I'm promising to be SUPER vigilant. I decided I wanted to create a Facebook Page for our building's library.

My first step was to do TONS of research. I began by investigating other school libraries with Facebook pages. Here are some of the ones I looked at:

I also asked a librarian friend in Albany, New York for suggestions, as she recently created a school library page. She used Buffy Hamilton's "The Unquiet Library" page (Creekview High School) as a template for her own. It's the second link in the above list.

After seeing what others had done, I needed to decide what TYPE of Facebook page I would create. I know the whole point of social networking is TWO-WAY communication, but until I have tenure, I don't want the stress of worrying about inappropriate comments.

I initially thought I would create a fan page, as that's what MOST other schools have done. A fan page doesn't allow people to write on your wall, BUT it DOES allow them to comment on your posts -- which, in my mind, is the same thing as writing on your wall -- because, DUH!, it shows up on your wall! This option made me nervous -- at least for right now.

The alternative was to create a regular "person" page for my library. Although a little atypical from what most libraries are doing, a person page has a lot more options for control -- I can prevent ALL posts on my wall from showing to the public, and better monitor the content.

After deciding on the type of page to create, I had to decide what content I would include on the page:

  • I think links to the library's Google Calendar and databases are a must.
  • I'd also like to include photo albums featuring projects and programming at the library - I'll need to double check our district's photo posting policy.
  • I'm most excited to use the wall feature. I plan to use it to announce contests (which we host regularly), book reviews, announcements, news items, etc.

The final step would be to actually CREATE the Facebook page, but there's one hitch in the plan -- I decided I need permission from my building principal. smile We haven't had a chance to sit down and chat yet, but hopefully will be able to soon, now that school's starting again. I'd love to have it up and running for Orientation, so I can talk about it with the kids. FINGERS CROSSED!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rolling Stone, you're killing me!

Our junior high library gets Rolling Stone. It's a music magazine, and teenagers love music, right? Lately, though, the Rolling Stone covers have been so risque I haven't put them on the shelf.

See what I mean?
July's cover, August's cover, and September's cover

Do you get Rolling Stone? Any qualms about putting it out in a junior high library?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Taking the Contempts Challenge

The Contempts are a group of 21 YA authors who write contemporary fiction. Each of these 21 authors is publishing a YA contemporary fiction novel sometime between September 2010 and August 2011. Using their new blog and tweets, their goal "is to help teens, booksellers, and librarians connect with and celebrate books that feature true-to-life settings, characters, and situations, and to let publishers know about the ongoing demand for contemporary stories."

Hurrrahhh!! It's about time! I'm getting sick of the whole vampire/zombie/werewolf/shapeshifter onslaught. I just unpacked a book order this morning, and I couldn't believe how many of the titles fell into this category. Yeah, a bunch of new "realistic fiction" books were there, too, but the number of fantasy books featuring a vampire were overwhelming!

I don't know about you other school librarians, but I'm ready for the whole Twilight ripple effect to peter out. Although I'm sick of this genre, I guess I shouldn't complain about it too much, as kids DO read it. Ultimately, I'm happy to get ANY book into their hands - even if it does feature blood sucking and howling at the moon.

Even though I'm overjoyed to have a kid read anything -- I'm ready for the tide to turn! So, I'm accepting the Contemps Challenge.

About the Challenge: "Love to read contemporary fiction? Accept the Contemps Challenge and promise to read at least 18 of the 21 upcoming Contemps books between now and August 15, 2011. One lucky challenger will win the grand prize: ALL 21 of our books! That's like a whole bookshelf of books!" Details on entering the challenge are here.

I'll review all the books I read for the challenge, so stay tuned!

Anyone else ready for the next big thing (as long as it's not fantasy)?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pat yourself on the back!

Congratulations!! You made it! You've successfully completed two weeks of web design! I'm really proud of all you've learned and how you've grown. You seem to really understand the basics of HTML and design.

The final blog post is two part: 1) What are you most proud of having accomplished during your two weeks at Sheldon? It can be from any session -- not just this class. 2) What are you looking forward to come September? I know I'm excited to start getting a paycheck again! :) And to see all my teacher friends.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Finish Line!

Wow! So you're almost done!! I'm really impressed with all you hard work. I hope you feel like you've learned a lot during the last two weeks.

Your question of the day: What did you learn in this class that you can see yourself using again?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What's the plan, Stan?

Welcome back! Today we're going to create a free account at This site allows you to upload your own HTML and also use a visual editor to create a web site. Once uploaded, you'll have your first web site under your belt.

Now, it's time to start work on your second site. I want to know what kind of marvelous, amazing, creative web site you plan on building. Please answer these questions:

1) Are you going to use Webs or straight-up HTML?
2) What is the purpose of your site?
3) Who is your audience?
4) What will your content include?
5) Describe the creative vision for your site - colors, designs, feeling, theme?

Monday, August 2, 2010

And what next?

So, if you look at what you've learned in a week, it's so impressive!! You knew nothing about HTML last Monday, but today you've almost got a complete web site. Today we cleared up some CSS confusion, talked about embedding videos and images, and learned a few showy tricks.

Tomorrow we're going to look at web hosting services - places you can upload your web site to to make it "live." We're also going to look at visual editors, or web bases sites that employ WYSIWYG. Then, you'll have Wed, Thurs, and half a class on Friday to build a three page site on a topic of your choice.

Today's question: What haven't we learned yet that you'd still like to know? "Nothing" is NOT an appropriate answer.