TRA Library Report

Quarter 3

Take Your Parents To School Week Rocks the Library!

Dozens of parents descended upon the TRA Library in early March for Lunch in the Library. Luckily the new TRA Library was designed with flexibility in mind, so the Graphic Novel and Picture Book cases were easily wheeled to the outskirts to make room for additional seating. In the end, more than 80 parents, along with their Fourth Grade children sat together and enjoyed a cold buffet lunch while surrounded by favorite books of today and yesterday. About 40 fifth grade parents and children, half a dozen sixth grade families, and a handful of seventh and eighth grade families enjoyed the same experience, for along afternoon of fun, food, and books!

8th Grade Activism Takes Off!

Eighth grade Social Studies classes have met in the library several times this quarter to help launch their student activism projects. At the NYSCATE conference in March I was lucky to see the keynote presenter share his "20% Project," in which his high school students spend 20% of their year (and earn 20% of their grade) tackling a social issue they care about and feel they can change. They are required to conduct research to become experts on their topic, then they must use technology to communicate some message, ultimately hoping to make a change or at least spread awareness. They then report back to the class what they learned, what they did, and what the reaction was, including how many "hits" or views their project received, and any feedback they may have received.

Knowing that Ms. Becker had recently proposed an activism project to her students, I approached her and shared the ideas I had heard with her. The result has been a collaboration including research and technology use. Students have had three ruMAD (are you Making A Difference) sessions in the library where they have access to both print and digital resources for their research as well as support using various presentation technologies. We are looking forward to some exciting presentations in June!

Professional Development

I was lucky enough to attend two different professional development opportunities this quarter. First was the previously mentioned NYSCATE conference held at Chenango Bridge in early March. In addition to the inspiring keynote speaker, this all day conference allowed the opportunity to attend three different workshops offered by teachers from around New York State. I attended two workshops related to digital citizenship, and one that introduced some fun and useful technologies for assessment purposes.

Later in March I attended What's New in Young Adult Literature featuring speaker and author Kathleen Odean, which was hosted by BOCES at the Broome County Public Library. Kathleen is a professional reviewer and an avid reader. Throughout her day of book talks she also includes ideas for incorporating technology into ELA classes. This annual workshop is absolutely essential in helping me decide how to spend our library budget.