Monday, May 24, 2010

Ever Think about National Board Certification?

There are many reasons for pursuing National Board certification, but the credential's emphasis on instruction does puts school librarians on par with master classroom teachers in terms of demonstrated efficacy in a time when that has never been more important.

You can log on at 8pm EDT on May 28 to learn more about a range of resources supporting school librarians seeking certification during the May ISTE SIGMS webinar.

Along with fellow National Board Certified Library Media Specialist Cathy Nelson from South Carolina, I will be talking about the process in general, discussing some online and print resources for candidacy, and propose ways you can get started preparing for candidacy over summer break. Cathy has covered all the technical specifications on her awesome blog.

There wasn't a Nationally Board certified library media specialist in my district when I sought certification in 2007-08, so I had to use networks and mentors at a distance to clarify points of the process. I hope the webinar will provide an overview of the portfolio requirements and assessments and demystify what can be a labyrinthine prospect.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Breakfast Club and Library Revolutions

According to IMDB, Library Revolution was one of the proposed names of John Hughes' masterpiece, The Breakfast Club. I hadn't revisited the flick since it was released (1985) until last night. It was one of the first rated "R" movies I saw in a theater. 25 years later, it more than holds up, and I am realizing it has influenced my life in untold ways.

After all, don't I spend my days in a space similiar to the one where Allison, Claire, John, Brian and Andrew are sent to what is supposed to be a purgatorial punishment, but ends up being illuminating and uplifting? I did enjoy scoping the set space. Okay, there's no LIBRARIAN there for Saturday detention, but let's not quibble over staffing. Though the school where it was filmed is now a police station, the fictitious Shermer High was modelled on New Trier High School. I spotted helpful signage -- "Current Periodicals" -- and strategic displays -- "Librarian Selections." And what about those boxy table-top electronic devices? Are those early PCs? Microfilm readers?

While my rural school doesn't have the resources for a Henry Moore (or even Moore-esque) sculpture, there are still philosophical takeaways for librarians. As I watched, I realized that I want my school libary to be infused with a Breakfast Club ethos -- to be a space where people connect and come to respect each other in new and unexpected ways. And I suppose I have other, less positive connections to the flick as well. John Bender destroys Moliere, but my husband tossed random books out the window of his junior high school library. But I married him anyway, and I still find the connection between Claire and John Bender absolutely electric.