Personal Learning Journal

By Donna Martin

Closing the Information Literacy Gap

Date: 2/2/16

Trend: College and Career Readiness

Source: American Library Association


Just as a Math teacher takes their role of preparing students for the next level Math class seriously, I believe in making sure that my high school students leave my school with the information literacy skills needed at the college and career levels. The first year at my job I made contact with one of the librarians at the local community college. I learned that many of the research challenges my students face are still prevalent when they enter college. I started researching the topic more and discovered that despite national standards and efforts by school librarians, there is an information literacy gap between high school and college.


In the 2015 State of America's Libraries Report, it was revealed that students often rely on websites such as Wikipedia and Answers.com. Also, college students struggle sorting, selecting and making sense of sources. I strongly believe that K-12 schools need to not only emphasize information literacy instruction but assessment as well. Not until we know where the the exact problems lie will we know how to conquer them.


I recently discovered an information literacy tool called TRAILS: Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills. Developed by Kent State University Libraries, the TRAILS assessment includes multiple-choice questions based on standards for the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th grade levels. For both the 9th and 12th grade assessments, students answer 50 questions about the following categories: research topics, potential sources, search strategies, source evaluation and using information ethically. The questions also show which 21st Century Learner Standards and which Common Core State Standards are addressed. Another helpful feature to this too is that assessment reports are generated which show overall class performance.


As a school librarian I teach information literacy lessons but rarely get feedback from assessments. Students usually complete their project or research paper at home and turn it in to their teacher. I try to collaborate with teachers after the student's work has been graded so that I know how the students did, but this does not always happen. I really like the idea of being able to test the information literacy skills of the students I work with when they are both 9th and 12th graders. Collecting such data over the years will help guide my instruction and hopefully help close the information literacy gap from high school to college.

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A New Form of Collaboration

Date: 2/10/16

Trend: Listservers

Source: CALIBK12 Listserver


I work in a high school district with three other school librarians. I am happy I have a team to work with and I regularly call or email them with questions. Recently I posed a question through email and one of my colleagues asked if I had checked the CALIB Listserv for the answer. I told her that I had never heard of it. She mentioned that she checks it out each day for new posts about happenings in school libraries. I quickly signed up through Google Groups and was happy to see some familiar names on some of the posts. Since the listserver is published through the California School Library Association, many of the participants are former conference presenters. Since I was able to match some of the names with faces, the listserver felt less distant and intimidating. Overall, it does not matter if posters are new to the profession or veterans. We all have questions and we are all eager to figure out solutions to help one another.


My coworkers and I have been struggling with how to mange the amount of ink and paper that gets wasted in our libraries. We were told from our district that our Canon printers came with a a printer management program called Uniflow. While we waited to get more information about the program and a instillation timeline, one of my coworkers used the CALIB Listserver to learn more about it. There were several posts from different high school librarians describing the pros and cons of the program. We felt this was good feedback to be aware of and share with the technology department.


Overall, checking the listserver to learn more about Uniflow was useful because it allowed use to expand our question to a broader group. I could see this Listserver being extremely valuable to librarians that do not have a group of colleagues to work with. Although I do not have the time needed to check the listserver each day, I will probably continue to search the different posts when I am curious about a topic. I am thankful that the listserver exists and am excited about adding it to my Personal Learning Network.

Shannon McClintock Miller: A School Library Leader

Date: 2/20/16

Trend: Using Technology

Source: The Library Voice Blog


I first read about Shannon McClintock Miller in a School Library Journal article called, "The Heart of the School: Iowa's Van Meter District Plans Library Expansion." At the time the articles was written McClintock Miller was the district librarian and technology specialist, at a small K-12 district that served under 1,000 students. However, McClintock Miller has since become a superstar in the school library scene. She is known for using technology in different ways with her students. One of my favorite examples is when she used Skype to talk with another class in a different state about the book, "Where the Wild Things Are."


Last year I had the opportunity to hear McClintock Miller speak in person. She was the closing keynote speaker at the 2015 California School Library Association conference. She spoke about changes within today's new generation of learners and trends available to inspire these young people. One tool that McClintock Miller discussed at the conference was Symbaloo. This bookmarking platform is very similar to creating a pathfinder with resources, however, with Symbaloo, all links are in the cloud. Also, Symbaloo's main pages are visually appealing because instead of text, users see icons for different sites such as Twitter and YouTube. From what I hear, students seem to enjoy the layout and the easy navigation platform compared to LibGuide.


Another thing that impresses me about McClintock Miller is that she is a voracious blogger. The blog that is in my Personal Learning Network is the Library Voice. McClintock Miller posts often and shares videos, pictures and links to inform others about her library and to share ideas and tools. Sometimes while viewing posts I feel like I am right there in the library with her and her students. However, like the CALIB Listserver, it is both intimidating and invigorating. I am glad people like McClintock Miller are able to share their experiences with others so that we can all be included in their learning community to share ideas and inspire young people.

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Access to Reading for All Children

Date: 2/26/16

Trend: Open access to materials

Source: School Library Journal


School Library Journal is a source that I have relied on for both academic research and current library trends. There are a few blogs within School Library Journal that I have started to follow. Joyce Valenza, a teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School produces one blog called "Neverending Search." She recently posed about the launch of an app called Open eBooks, which serves low income children. Adults that work with kids in need can download the free app and get access to thousands of titles. This project was made possible by a partnership between the Digital Public Library of America, New York Public Library, First book and Baker & Taylor.


I was very excited to hear about the Open eBooks app since it regards a topic I feel very passionate about; access to reading for all children. For the past two years at my school site I have been advocating that all children need access to reading materials. Each December, students at Oak Ridge High School where I work, collect items for one week in December. Things like toiletries, socks and canned food are gather for the kids at Oak Ridge Elementary School, about 30 minutes away. Most of these students are from low income families and appreciate the gift boxes they receive from our school. Two years ago I proposed that books be added to the donation drive. To help explain what a difference books can make I posted the handout below around my campus to show how books are directly related to school achievement. I also reached out to other school and public librarians in my area to see if they had any extra children's books to donate. Each year I worked to organize the donations by grade level and then visited Oak Ridge Elementary School to help distribute the books. In 2014 we collected 2,078 books and in 2015 we passed out 2,568. It has been very rewarding to see the students get excited about a book that they can keep forever.


Making sure that there is equity among our students and school libraries is sometimes an uphill battle. For example, in my high school district, all four high schools have access to a set of Gale Databases. These databases cost about $4,700 per school. My school's budget is over $11,000 so I can easily pay for the databases along with other materials and supplies. However, another high school in my district about 15 miles away only has $5,900 to spend each year. After paying for the Gale databases the librarian is left with little money for things like popular fiction books. The librarians in my district and myself have started to advocate that the district pay for the databases. We are also thinking about contacting our state representatives to push for state funding. We believe that all students should have open access to research and other reading materials to help them succeed. The Open eBooks app is a great start but there is still much work to be done.

Introducing Open eBooks
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Research Tips from College Students, Librarians and Professors

Date: 2/28/16

Trend: Researching in College

Source: Bay Area Young Adult Librarians


The Bay Area Young Adult Librarians (BAYA) are a group of librarians that serve teens in the San Francisco Bay Area at public and school libraries. I first learned about this group after hearing Sara Oremland speak at the 2014 California School Library Association (CSLA) Conference. Oremland described how she collaborates with a Science teacher each year to teach students how to write an essential question and conduct research. During her presentation Oremland showed the two videos below produced by BAYA.


To create these clips, Oremland and other members of BAYA interviewed UC Berkeley students, librarians and professors about how to do research at the college level. The videos are helpful because they can be shown to both students and teachers as a guideline about what will be expected in college. These videos and Oremland's presentation had an impact on me. They helped me think more about preparing my students for life after high school. This gave me a renewed purpose and help guide my curriculum and instruction.


About a year after hearing Oremland speak I emailed her about a paper I was writing about how today's "iGeneration" conducts research. We ended up talking on the phone and I enjoyed hearing more about how she guides students through the research process. In 2015 I heard Oremland speak again at the CSLA conference, where she shared how she teaches Freshmen to think about and evaluate sources. Since Oremland focuses a lot on research, something I am interested in, I consider her part of my Personal Learning Network. Unfortunately I live too far away to join the BAYA group but have thought about forming something similar in my area.

What Should High School Teachers Teach About Research?
Research at the College level: Advice for High School Students

Lobbying for Libraries

Date: 3/5/16

Trend: Advocacy and Virtual Library Legislative Day

Source: American Library Association


I recently saw on the American Library Association website that the National Library Legislative Day is May 2-3 this year. I have never participated in this event but understand that some lobbying, both at the local and national level is part of a school librarian's duty. At the 2015 CSLA conference I learned that California is one of just a few states that does not have statewide databases for its students. Although individual schools like mine provide such resources, this is not the case for every school in California. I also discovered at the conference that there was a plan years ago to have state funded databases for our students, which was approved by voters, but then vetoed by the Governor.


Instances like these make me want to get involved in fighting for libraries. I believe that if our representatives at the state and national level knew more about the power of informational texts and the current information literacy gap, they would consider such an initiative as state funded databases. As educators and librarians we understand the value of these resources but many people, including teachers at my school, do not know that they are available nor the impact they can have.


At my school site May 2-3 will not be the only day I lobby for my students. This is something that I am always focused on. At my school I visit a different department each week. At these meetings I listen to discussion about current curriculum and explain the library's resources. Recently I visited the Special Education department and did a demonstration on our library's Gale Opposing Viewpoints database. I showed the teachers how to search for and cite an article, highlight and take notes and have the article read allowed.


By demonstrating that these databases are available and how they are useful to all students, I promoted this resource. My goal is that database usage statistics will continue to rise. With this data my coworkers and I feel that we will be better prepared to argue our case that the databases be paid for through Local Area Control Funding, rather than our individual budgets. My district has set goals to better support students with disabilities and special needs as well as foster and low-income youth. The Gale databases do all these things and we are anxious to share this with the district office. I believe that a little advocating can go a long way!

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Transforming Libraries for the Future

Date: 3/12/16

Trend: Makerspaces and Learning Commons

Source: Revere High School Learning Commons


The other day I had a meeting with my high school principal I told him that currently I am worried about the impact the Chromebooks are having on library usage. Each year our school purchases more and more Chromebooks. These computers are a wonderful tool for students, however, now that teachers have the resources they need in their classrooms, they no longer feel that it is necessary to bring their students to the library. During the 2013-2014 school year my library was visited by 437 classes. From 2014-2015, the number of class visits dropped slightly to 399. Although I do not have the data for this school year, I predict that there will be a total of about 250-300 class visits. There have been days in a row, almost weeks, when we have not had any classes scheduled. I have tried to meet this challenge by visiting classrooms with Chromebooks so that students still have the opportunity to learn a new information literacy skill, however, trying to figure out when a teacher is conducting a lesson is often a challenge when collaboration does not occur.


After I shared my concerns with my principal I told him about the current trend of Makerspaces and Learning Commons. He seemed as if he was not familiar with the term Makerspaces and asked me to define the concept for him. When I first heard about Makerspaces I assumed that they were just a passing fad. It seemed like a radical concept that libraries would be completely transformed. However, I think the video below from Revere High School does a good job of showing that libraries today do need a facelift. They are being used for different purposes and if they do not transform for today's new generation of library users, then they will be forgotten.


As I have observed with my own library, books are being used less and less. Teachers no longer feel that they need to bring their students into the library in order for them to complete a research project. The databases provide a good source of reliable information to students outside of the library's walls, however it is up to me that they are being used rather than passed up for an easy to find websites.


So far I have not seen a lot of discussion online about how Chromebooks are affecting libraries. I plan to keep my eyes on this topic. In the meantime I plan to work with my principal to slowly transform my library so that it has Makerspace areas. I am intrigued to discover what changes this will have and how kids will react.

Advocacy Through an Annual Library Report

Date: 3/16/16

Trend: Annual Library Report

Source: Springfield Township High School Virtual Library


Besides looking at her School Library Journal blog, I have also relied on Joyce Valenza for other resources. While searching for a model of a good annual library report on the Web, I came across the Wikispace and LibGuide for her school, Springfield Township High. These two sites are very expansive and include a lot of great links for both staff and students. Valenza's sites are part of my Personal Learning Network. I often reference them for ideas and try to not get overwhelmed at the same time.


This was the case when I came across Valenza's sixteen page annual library report. As my first year as a teacher librarian came to a close, my coworker at another school told me that she was working on an annual report for her library. She explained that while it was not required of her, she wanted to create a report that showed her work in the library that year. I loved the idea and started researching examples right away. In Valenza's 2012 report there were a lot of topics that I found useful to highlight such as: curriculum, class visits, circulation, database use and goals. I also found Valenza's visuals appealing since they helped show how her students and staff utilized the library.


To create my library report I used Microsoft Publisher and added images, a pie chart, a rubric and bullet point lists. My seven page report included: staff and hours, collection, circulation, class visits, usage statistics, collaboration, curriculum, professional development and goals. Overall, creating the report was a great way for me to reflect on the school year. I have also found that the statistics I recorded on usage, class visits and circulation have been useful to revert back to over the past few years. More importantly, my annual library reports have been a great way for me to promote my school library. Each year I send them to all the certificated and credentialed staff members on campus as well as a few administrators at the district office. This allows everyone to know what we have accomplished and the resources available.


Recently a library coworker of mine introduced me to smore.com, which is a platform for creating flyers. My coworker uses it to make monthly library newsletters. These are similar to annual library reports, except they are miniature versions. Her newsletters highlights current events in the library along with monthly statistics. Creating a monthly report is useful because it makes assembling the annual report less overwhelming and keeps the school staff updated on a regular basis. Either way, I would highly recommend that every school librarian create some type of library report to share with their learning community.

TeenBookCon: Book Festivals 2.0

Date: 3/22/16

Trend: Book Conventions

Source: The Greater Houston Teen Book Convention


While looking at an author's website recently I noticed that on their speaking calendar it was listed that they would be participating in a BookCon. I was drawn to the play on words and had images of a packed convention center like for Comic Con. I checked out the link and learned that the event was the Greater Houston Teen Book Convention at Alief Taylor High School. I was both surprised and excited to see that a BookCon was taking place at a high school. Immediately I thought, that would be fun to try!


The Greater Houston Teen Book Convention is a yearly free event that brings together about twenty-five young adult authors and their fans. There is a keynote speaker at the beginning of the event and then fans break off into panel sessions with authors. At the end of the day there is a closing session, book signing and book sales. Many of the authors listed on the convention website are well known nationally. I can only imagine what an amazing experience this must be for young adult readers. I see how excited teenagers get when a new book comes out by their favorite author, I bet they are overjoyed to have the opportunity to meet them in person.


On the Greater Houston Teen Book Convention's website it says that the convention goals are to: connect teen readers with authors, educate and entertain local teens, encourage literacy skills, promote interactions between young writers and authors and celebrate the benefits of teen reading. I can't think of a better way to accomplish all these goals than a teen book convention. However, I can only imagine the amount of work involved. The conference website lists various sponsors for the event and states that about $5,000-10,000 is needed to cover author's travel, lodging and meal expenses along with publicity and other supplies. Other logistics include parking and food for attendees.


I think this is a wonderful event that I may way to try to organize on a smaller scale in the future. I work with three other high school librarians and I am confident that if we all participated together, we could organize something similar with local and state authors. This idea gives me something to think about and I was happy I came across it while looking at an author's website.

Thoughts From Places: Books

Library Inspiration Through Pinterest

Date: 4/2/16

Trend: Great Ideas on the Web

Source: Mirian the Librarian's Pinterest Page


One of the librarians in my district always has great ideas for library programs. Most of the time when I ask her where she got the idea she responds, "Pinterest." One page she follows is: Mirian the Librarian. This Pinterest site includes an array of visual links that have been selected just for this page. Overall the page contains a lot of great tips, but like the ALA Facebook page, there are also silly photos, like ones that show a diorama of a library made up of legos. The page also covers topics such as recommended summer reading lists, placards showing suggested titles by staff, coloring ideas and informative infographics.


Just like with the ALA Facebook page, I like having these types of resources within my Personal Learning Network because I can quickly scan the page for new ideas. I often don't have time to read long blog posts or look over wordy websites but it only takes a few seconds to scan a bunch of images posted on a page. I think it is important to have a balance between these types of resources. The materials about literacy and advocacy will get an administrator's attention but the ones about makerspaces and events will draw students in the door.


I now have a library folder on Pinterest so that it is easier to save all the good ideas I have collected. Although, I probably need to start following more specific pages like Mirian the Librarian, so far I have just saved whatever ideas on Pinterest that have caught my attention. Now the trick is finding the time to put some of these ideas into practice.

A Booklist with a Book For Everyone

Date: 4/6/16

Trend: Booklists

Source: Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Booklists!


I found out about this booklist blog a few years ago when I started my job because it was included as a recommended site for students on my library website. The creator of this eighteen year old booklist is a middle school librarian. Readers can sign up for e-mail notifications so that they are alerted each time a new book review is posted. The blog is truly for a teen audience since the author proclaims that she wants teenagers to read anything they feel like. She does not believe in categorizing books according to age level. Although the author does give a synopsis of each book, she makes it clear on her blog that the site is not for teens that have not read a book yet need a quick summary of one for a report. Another thing that is unique about this blog is that the book categories are not typical genre categories. For example, she tags books by categories like: Nail Biters and Slacker Fiction. To some this may be confusing but to others it might be a new way of finding a great book.


I use this blog as a way to find out about unique books for teens. Although I normally prefer websites with booklists that include ratings, it is also nice just to read about a book before placing judgement on it. I tend to let ratings drive my book purchases but I need to remember that not all popular Young Adult titles are going to appeal to everyone. Having a resource like "Reading Rants," is important because it alerts me to books I had never heard of before.

Wikispaces: A Collaboration Tool for all Users

Date: 4/14/16

Trend: Wikispaces

Source: EDCOE Library Wiki Page


I am a teacher librarian at a high school in El Dorado County, California. I work in a high school district with three other librarians that I collaborate with almost every month. However, not all librarians in my county are as lucky as me. Some are the only middle school or high school librarian in their district. This does not allow for many collaboration opportunities unless that librarian travels to a conference or workshop. Because of this, Kate Doyle, who works at the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE), moderates three library network meetings a year for staff in the county's elementary and middle school libraries. The purpose is to provide staff who may not have a library credential or coursework in Library and Information Science an opportunity for professional development with other library staff members. For the last two years Doyle has invited myself and the other high school librarians in my district to attend the third meeting of the year.


At each library network meeting I have attended Kate has used the EDCOE Library Wiki Page to facilitate discussion. The page is about ninety percent complete at the beginning of the meeting and includes resources about advocacy, book selection and websites about library programs and technology tools. During the meeting the wikispace is projected on the screen to guide discussion or highlight useful resources. Also, if a member has something they want to add, Kate will include it to the wikispace during the meeting.


I have heard about wikispaces but never thought about how they could be useful to my work. After seeing the EDCOE wikispace used during the library network meetings I realized that it is similar to the Pathfinder web pages I use to direct students to reliable resources. What makes wikispaces a little different is that they are more appropriate for collaboration. Similar to a Google site, wikispaces can be setup so that multiple users can add and edit content. I could see this being useful in the library when having students create a list of shared resources within a group. Most of the students at my high school use the tools available to them through Google, but a wikispace could be a nice alternative to suggest to students working with others not part of the high school. For example, each year the AP History students conduct interviews with people from around the community for a local history project. A wikispace might help them do some prep work with the person and share ideas about the project. I will make sure to remember wikispaces as an available resource to share with students in the future.

Quick, Great Ideas Through Facebook

Date: 4/23/16

Trend: Social Media

Source: ALA Think Tank Facebook Page


I love connecting with other librarians in person and online. I have a few librarian friends who are also friends with me on Facebook. One of them shared a post from the ALA Think Tank Group page and it caught my interest. I joined the group and since then have been rewarded with quick, inspiring ideas ever since. When I first joined I liked the fact that the Facebook page was from a professional group, ALA. Although I knew the page would be social in tone, since it was on Facebook, having it be associated with ALA led me to believe that there would also being some great professional development ideas posted. I was concerned that since the Facebook group had members from all library fields, rather than just school librarians, I may not find the information as helpful. However, so far many of the comments and ideas have been easy for me to relate to.


I often check the Facebook page quickly while in line at a store or while taking a quick break at work. I love the different library stories and photographs. We all understand the benefits and challenges of our profession and it is fun to converse about it through library humor. Also posted are stories in the news about literacy or libraries. It is nice to be able to see these types of resources on the Facebook page as well rather than having to solely rely on a library blog or wikispace. What I love the most are ideas for library programs. This is one area I would really like to work on for next year. So far I have seen interesting posts about YA booktalks, high school book clubs, and coloring projects. These posts inspire me and make me anxious to get back into my library to try out new ideas.


I appreciate the fact that these great ideas are open to the public but also the fact that anyone who joins the group on Facebook can post and comment. So far the comments I have skimmed have been positive and engaging. I feel like I am part of a discussion group with thousands of other librarians. I can't think of anywhere else but online where so many librarians can collaborate together on a daily basis. I am often quiet in large groups but since these discussions are all online I feel more comfortable. I am so glad I found this group. It is easy and enjoyable for me to check the postings and I'm looking forward to more great ideas to come.

Advocacy: It Takes a Village

Date: 4/27/16

Trend: Advocacy for Teacher Librarians

Source: California School Library Association


A go-to resource of mine is the California School Library Association (CSLA) website. CSLA works hard to make sure that all librarians have the support and resources they need to succeed. This has been proven to me at the CSLA conferences I have attended and also through the CSLA website. While doing some research on advocacy I discovered that on the CSLA website there is an advocacy toolkit page. On this page there are links to advocacy talking points, information about the Local Control Funding Formula and the Common Core State Standards. What I found most useful was a video titled, "Does Your School Have a Teacher Librarian?" which features a few words from Dr. Harlan, among others.


In the almost ten minute long video there are a lot of useful talking points for librarians to use to advocate for their positions within the school community. The film highlights the fact that teacher librarians can connect students to all subject areas, teach them how to use technology, help them be college ready and prepare them for research. It is noted in the film that many students rely on Google for all their information needs and they need to start thinking critically about the information they are being given. Students need to be cautioned about the fact that any content created on the Web is accessible to all users which is why it is so critical that sources be evaluated. It was also noted that many times school districts hire outside consultants to stress these points. However, the school districts have all the resources they need on campus through their teacher librarian.


I was impressed by all of the points mentioned in the video. I think it would be the perfect source to show during a school board presentation. Not only did I feel all the necessary points about the role of teacher librarians were covered, but I also felt that all the students, teachers, professors and other leaders interviewed served as powerful advocates for the profession. I think that showing this film at a school board meeting and having these voices heard would be a great advocacy tool.

Does Your School Have a Teacher Librarian? A CSLA Film

Extending Summer Reading Opportunities Through Audiobooks

Date: 5/11/16

Trend: Audiobooks

Source: Jane Lofton's Adventures in School Libraryland Blog


I recently came across this blog by teacher librarian Jane Lofton. I have heard Lofton speak before at CSLA. I attended her workshop on becoming a Google for Education Certified Innovator. In Lofton's blog she discusses new happenings in her library along with recommended technology tools. Since I have heard Lofton speak and I know people that have worked with her, I feel more connected to her blog than others. Also, Lofton is a former CSLA president so I know that she is knowledgeable about new events and free resources.


Recently on Lofton's blog was a post about Sync's free audiobook program. During the summer teens can download two free high interest audiobooks titles per week. Sync's objective is to show teens that reading can also be done by listening. At my school I only have a handful of audiobooks and they mainly get checked out by special education students. The databases we subscribe to do have a feature where the text is read to students and I do see this being used using. I assume that some kids do prefer listing to reading and might check out an audiobook if they had more to choose from.


Hearing about resources like Sync's audiobooks is a real treasure for librarians and just another reason why we all need to communicate with each other through social media, blogs and listservers. Librarians work hard all year to purchase resources for students so it is nice to see something free for a chance. I would be interested to find out at the end of the summer how many students took advantage of this service. I have already shared this information with the Youth Librarian at the county library down the street and plan to promote it with students and teachers at my school this week.

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Professional Development in the Comfort of Your Own Home

Date: 5/14/16

Trend: Webinars

Source: edweb


This is only my third year as a school librarian so I value any professional development opportunities and I can participate in. I am fortunate that I work in a district that encourages and pays for teachers to go to conferences. I have been to CSLA twice and CUE once. However, going to a conferences requires planning for a substitute and traveling away from my family. However, I recently learned that webinars are another option to conferences.


I have been invited to attend webinars before from different vendors I work with, however, many of them were either at times I was unavailable or I felt the subject mater was not interesting enough to attend. However, for INFO 295 I recently discovered the site, edweb.net which offers approximately 25 free professional development webinars a month through its website. The webinars are focused on education and one can either attend the session as it is happening or watch it later at a more convenient time. This feature was very attractive to me. I could watch the video in the comfort of my own home and pause it to take notes if needed.


I was impressed with the discussion topics available on edWeb. It was great to have some many to choose from. I recently watched one webinar called, "The Big 6 Curriculum: Essential & Practical." The webinar was moderated by two authors who have published on the subject. During the webinar I realized the the Big 6 is not just a trendy buzzword within the library profession. It is a critical information literacy process, especially for young adults learning how to do research.


I was surprised I had never heard of edWeb before. I think it is more useful than popular TED talks yet it seems relatively unknown. As a free professional development option, I am surprised this site has not yet been promoted at my school. Since the webinars are online and easily available, I could use them during trainings with teachers or meetings with other librarians.