Monday, September 23, 2013

What I'm up to this fall...

It's that time of the year, and I'm going to be doing some professional travel over the next few months...perhaps I'll see you at some of these conferences or workshops?

School Library Journal Leadership Summit in Austin, September 27-29.
It's been years since I've been to Austin, and I missed last year's Summit.

University of Alabama's SLIS Alumni Day October 11.
I'm on a panel talking about professional service.

USBBY's Regional Conference in St. Louis, October 18-20.
I represent ALA/AASL on the Board of Directors of this fabulous organization.

AASL in Hartford, November 14-17.
I can't wait to catch up with my school library friends from far and wide.

ALAN in Boston, November 25-26. 
The author schedule is up!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Indispensable technologies

There's a tiny, inexpensive gadget that has become an integral part of my daily's the Sansa Clip MP3 player. I use it for the Overdrive audiobooks from my public library. Without it, my commute would be a lot more trying.

How did I find this device? I had synced some Overdrive audiobooks to my various iPhones, but they just weren't ideal. I hated having to give up manually syncing, and then, as a digital packrat, I also need the space. I bought a no-name MP3 player from the office supply store, but, with practically no ability to control the tracks, it was rather useless.

The Sansa Clip was well-reviewed, and you can find it online for about $30. You can add a microSD card for up to 8GB more storage. It's not impossible to fast-forward and rewind through tracks, too.

If you're an audiobook listener, I'd recommend it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A year on...

Almost a month of this school year has flown's hard to believe I've only been working in Cullman for a year. It has really begun to feel "like home," and I'm not sure if I could "go back" to my previous school system.


What's different here?

  • The parents care. It's their school system. They tax themselves to support it (or pay the out-of-district tuition that a third of students pony up).
  • The teens are strangely responsible. It took me aback not to have multiple copies of some popular books. How could we get by with single copies of books by Sarah Dessen or Rick Riordan? These students actually return their library books
  • Not having to touch (or receipt) money is terrific.
  • The district tech support is practically instant.
  • The faculty is top-notch.
  • Unlike many school districts in the state, we still have paraprofessionals to assist us. Mine has an MLIS. 

We're in a shop this year, but even our temporary space isn't THAT bad. I have seen many libraries that were worse-situated.

What still needs work?

The library isn't as integrated into the curriculum as I'd like. It really functions more like an administrative unit. The teachers actually apologize when they ask for help, which I hate. But I'm working on that...