Sunday, November 23, 2008

CSLA 2008-Day 4

Sunday morning began with committee meetings, so those of us who aren’t on committees got to sleep in. The first regular session began at 9:15. I had chosen Good Slick Stuff to Do with PhotoShop Elements, iPhoto, and Picassa (Beyond the Basics). It was just starting to get interesting when I had to leave for an overlapping session, because I had volunteered again as facilitator. The description of Virtual School Librarian, Are You Ready? was :
“Soon there will be job descriptions calling for virtual school librarians. This session will discuss the job description and characteristics needed for such a position. Join in the discussion to define the role and expectations for a Teacher Librarian who will only interact with teachers and students online.”
This is an interesting area for discussion. What do you think the librarians of the future will do? How does this relate to our ESLR about becoming a life-long learner? What will your children’s experiences of libraries and librarians be?

The conference ended with a celebration of books and reading. The author/illustrator brunch brings together librarians with the authors whose books we share with our patrons. Each round table for 10 people has a seat reserved for an author or illustrator. When you choose your seat, you don’t know who will be at your table. Author Pamela Turner sat at our table. I had not heard of her before, so it was interesting talking to her. She has written 4 books. Almost all of them have some tie to animals. (You’ll get to see her newest book, because each author brings a copy of one of their books which goes to the person whose birthday is closest to his or her own. I was closest.) The main speaker was Rosemary Wells who has been writing for children from preschool up for over 30 years. She was passionate about the importance of libraries and librarians, the value of reading for all children, and issues related to war. Many of us received advanced reader’s copies of her newest book, which is about Abraham Lincoln from the point of view of his sons. After the brunch ended at 1, there was an hour set aside for librarians to get books signed by the authors. I didn’t stay because of the almost 400 mile trip home and concerns about getting caught in the tule fog in the Central Valley.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

CSLA 2008-Day 3

The brisk 4 block walk from the hotel to the convention center was really needed to have me awake for this morning’s 8 a.m. concurrent sessions. I leave it to you to figure out why I chose one titled School-to-Work Connections for Student Library Staff: Running an Academic Library Service Course at Your Library.

Then more exhibit time and more books bought.

It takes many people doing different jobs to make a conference like this one go smoothly. One of the jobs done by volunteers is facilitating sessions. This involves introducing the speaker, helping with handouts and getting the techies in to help if there are problems with the technology. I facilitated the session Making Connections with Teachers and Students. Although it was listed for 4-6 grades, the presenter was very high energy and I got some tips that will help me collaborate with teachers at our school.

At lunch I took my food across the street and walked around the Capitol grounds. There are many trees, monuments and squirrels. To the right is part of the firefighter memorial. On the way back, I saw a small group of people carrying signs about peace and equality. Little did I know that there would be a large demonstration going on while we were in our afternoon sessions.

Inside the convention center, all went on as usual. The next session was Beyond the Traditional Library Orientation. What I found interesting was that at the presenters’ school, all students had to pass a library literacy requirement in order to graduate. I’ll tell you more about that next week.

Between the last two sessions, was the final exhibit time. Some of the book venders do not want to have to ship books home, so they may give them away or reduce the prices. I got 4 free books that I will give to the elementary school. I also got 2 sets of Chicano history and literature books for half price. These will be immediately helpful to Mrs. Bravo’s and Mr. Calzada’s classes.

For the day’s final concurrent session I chose What Does the Research Tell Us about Working with Latino Students in the School Library? The presenter is currently working on her doctorate and she shared information from her research. Some of what she had to say fits in with the article you are reading.

The afternoon ended with the membership meeting where we divided into regional groups to brainstorm ways to improve the CSLA. Our group from Los Angeles county had a lot to say.

The evening ended with the California Young Reader Medal Award banquet. The award is always given to a winning author or illustrator by a student. This year it was a 17 year old girl who spoke about 2 of the winning books. She introduced the featured author, Gennifer Choldenko. Ms Choldenko won the award for a book called Al Capone Does My Shirts. (If you never heard of Al Capone, you might want to Google him.) In her talk she told what books inspired her as a child and what inspires her to write the stories she writes for children. It was an interesting evening.

Tomorrow: 2 more concurrent sessions and the author/illustrator brunch.

Friday, November 21, 2008

CSLA 2008--Day 2

Today began with the first general session. These sessions are held in a large hall, so that anyone attending the conference may come and get inspired. The speaker is often not a librarian, but someone who is an enthusiastic supporter of reading and libraries. This year‘s speaker was Joe McHugh, a professional storyteller, author and public radio producer. His talk was titled Slaying the Gorgon: Storytelling and Media in the Electronic Age. In a humorous and well-paced presentation, he reminded us that we need to be concerned about who controls the stories that our young people use to build their world views.

After the general session, there was what is called exclusive exhibit time. This is time set aside so people can visit the exhibits without feeling guilty about missing sessions. I purchased some books and videos and picked up some more candy for you library science students.
Next was the first of the concurrent sessions. Out of twelve different topics to choose from, there were 4 I wanted to go to, so the hardest part was choosing which one to sit in on. I finally selected the session on a world lit reading program presented by a teacher and a librarian from the Toronto (Canada) French School. Some of the books on their list are also used in our school.

All that and it was just time for lunch.

In the afternoon I had to make some more tough choices. First I went to a session called How Science Fiction Taught Me Physics, Psychology, and History Among Other Subjects. I was hoping to pick up some ideas to share with teachers of those subjects. While interesting in other ways, the presentation didn’t include any specific details about the connection between sci fi and the subject areas. Sometimes titles are misleading. The last session I attended was exactly as described--ideas for leading the faculty in learning about Web 2.0 tools using Classroom Learning 2.0 ( Extra credit will be given to anyone who checks out the blog and writes up a paper on why we should do some of the 23 activities as part of our class.

In the evening there were several receptions. I attended Gale/Cengage reception. There were gift bags for those who had RSVPed (oops-I forgot) and appetizers for all. In addition the company previewed their new online database.
The second reception was the President’s Reception. This is sponsored by several publishers of children’s books. In addition to a gift bag of books, we were treated to desserts and a live old-time radio theatre production directed by Joseph McHugh. It was a lot of fun to watch, because the voice actors were some of our fellow librarians.
Tomorrow: More concurrent sessions and the CYRM award banquet.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CSLA Conference-day 1

Greetings from Sacramento. It is a beautiful fall day here. Sacramento has many trees and the sidewalks are strewn with colorful, crunchy leaves. Today I registered and attended two 2 hour workshops and the opening reception at the exhibit hall.

The first workshop, given by David Loertscher, a professor at San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science, was titled "Linking into the Center of Teaching and Learning--21st Century Style." He has many idea about ways to make the library a place where teachers and librarians work together to create a learning commons where students are challenged to use higher level thinking skills. He was very enthusiastic about using technology to make that happen.

The second workshop was "The Best of the Best: What's New in YA Literature" by Michael Cart, a nationally-known author and lecturer, who spoke for 2 hours about books published in 2008. He had more on the list to talk about, but ran out of time. I made lots of notes on my copy of the list and will be looking for some of the books to add to our collection.

In the evening I was present for the opening night reception at the exhibit hall. There were food stations serving sandwiches and vegetable platters for people attending the conference. The food is courtesy of the exhibitors. The variety of exhibits is similar to the ads you saw in the School Library Journal. There are publishers and book sellers, library furniture companies, schools of library science, automation system companies (like Follett, which sells and services our Winnebago Spectrum system), subscription services, Internet content providers, and representatives from related organizations like California Reading Association and the California Young Reader Medal program.

Tonight was a scouting expedition. By that I mean I walked through and talked to a few people to see what was there, but I didn't spend anything. Many of the exhibitors put out bowls of candy to attract people, so I have started a collection to share with my library science students. (Another favorite form of librarian bait is pens. My collection is growing.)

Another exhibit was the winners of the poster contest. The top winner was an eighth grade girl. Her theme was "Set yourself free @ your library." You can see her poster to the right. I'll share the pictures of the other winners when I get back.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Prelude to CSLA Conference 2008

This is addressed to my library science students. I will be thinking of you and am looking forward to good reports about your hard work and good behavior while I am away at the conference. This year's conference will be in Sacramento. While you are reading the article on Latino librarians, I will be attending workshops designed to make me a better school librarian. I plan to bring back lots of good ideas, some good books and a few other goodies from the conference. Check back in over the weekend to see what goes on at a professional conference.