Sunday, November 22, 2009


Having an 8:00 a.m. session in Ontario means getting up on Saturday at the regular weekday time. The session, “Improving Communication through Google Groups and Google Calender,” was worth getting up for. The presenter got his master’s from Cal State the same year I did. He is very knowledgeable about tech matters. We were all interested enough that the session went 20 minutes overtime. I’d like to use Calendar for the library, so that teachers can see what times are available for bringing classes to the library. Google Groups will be useful for both teachers and students.

I think you ladies might have enjoyed the next session, entitled “CSLA Student Showcase”. We were introduced to the Winner twins. They are 13 year old girls who have dyslexia. When they were younger, their father challenged them to try the most impossible thing they could think of, so they wrote a book. It won several awards, and they have written the second in what is to be a six book series. They also write songs and they performed two of their songs. Their slogan is “If you can dream it, you can write it.” It was very high energy.

The next session was very different. The presenter shared the results of her research for her dissertation on the question “How Are School Libraries Meeting the Needs of Latino Students?” One of the findings was that having a library staffed by a certificated teacher-librarian was one hallmark of higher performing school schools. In other words, librarians make a difference.

Between sessions I had been visiting the exhibit hall. This break was the last time it would be open and there was a drawing for door prizes. I won some software. It is also the time when the book sellers offer discounted or free books so they won't have to ship them home. I bought a few books for our library.

The last session of the day was “Practical Steps to Citations and Notations”. As promised, it was full of practical aids to helping students learn how to take useful notes and do correct citations. The presenter also gave us handouts that included information on the newest MLA format. All of this is information that will help me help our students do better work and be more prepared for college.

In the evening I attended a chocolate tasting event held by ProQuest, a database company. That provided the appetizers to the CYRM awards banquet. (You will be learning more about this award next semester.) When we went in, there were four free books on each chair. Among the people at my table were two authors and the Cathedral librarian. Besides the excellent meal, the highlight is the introduction of one of the award winners by a student and the speech by the winner’s author. This year’s primary picture book winner was Stanley’s Wild Ride by Linda Bailey. She gave a delightful talk accompanied by PowerPoint.

Friday, November 20, 2009

CSLA 2009-Friday

Today’s activities go from 8 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. First off was the General Session where everyone is together. Several awards were given, sponsors were recognized and the new state officers were installed before the main speaker was introduced. Ellen Siminoff, who was involved in the early days of and and is currently the president and CEO of, spoke to us about “The Great Online, Where Young Minds Roam Free”.

Following some exclusive exhibit time (read “time to shop”) we had the first of the nine concurrent sessions. These are times when we each had to choose from 10-12 speakers giving presentations on topics of interest to librarians. Some common subject areas are curriculum, technology, literature, library management, advocacy (PR is part of this), diversity, and collaboration. Most of them are only offered during one concurrent session, so hard choices have to be made.

The first session I attended was “New Technology for 21st Century Libraries and Classrooms”. This was an overview and helped me refine my choices for later sessions. Some of the technologies introduced will be showing up in your curriculum next semester. Additionally, there was a brief talk on copyright as it applies to digital media.

The second session I chose was “Building a Virtual Learning Commons Using Moodle and Web 2.0 Tools”. Moodles are shells for presenting classes online. Many college courses are offered using this type of format. A student can log in anytime and anywhere there is Internet to access assignments, links to resources, discussion boards. Some of my classwork for my library credential was presented in this type of format and all of my daughter’s classes are done this way. (She has never set foot on the campus in San Jose.) Next semester you may be part of developing an info literacy course for SHHS using this technology.

For the third session I went to “Using Web2.0 to Enliven Projects”. In one hour, the presenters went through an incredible number of useful (and mostly free) websites for doing great looking paperless assignments.

The day ended with the President’s reception. There was food, more awards and entertainment. Camila Alire, president of ALA, was there to bring greetings from the national organization. The entertainment was songs rewritten with library related lyrics and sung by a group of librarians augmented by a few students from Hamilton High School Academy of Music. They sounded very good. An honorary life membership award was given to a man who has been a life-long advocate for school libraries. So ended the second day of the conference.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CSLA 2009-Thursday

Greetings from the California School Library Association (CSLA) conference in Ontario, CA. I arrived just in time to pick up my registration packet and get the materials I would need to serve as facilitator for two today’s workshops. A facilitator’s job is to welcome and introduce the presenter or guest speaker, get tech help if needed, hand out and retrieve evaluations, count the people in attendance and give the presenter a small gift. It is a fun and easy volunteer job, because you help at sessions you would be in anyway.

The first session I attended was “New Trends: The best in YA Literature” presented by Michael Cart. Every year he reads hundreds of books for young adults (that’s you) and share information about them with the rest of us. He talked for two hours and only got through half his list of good books published in 2009. Look for some of those titles to turn up on the shelves of our library.

The second session, “Reinventing a Library Practice Cutriculum”, presented by Mark Bobrosky, gave me some good ideas for assignments that I can use in our Library Science classes. Many of them will help you with your research skills.

After that session, there was a break, before the opening of the exhibit hall. This is where the various vendors and special displays are located. There were representatives of companies that sell books, software, library furniture, library t-shirts and other things. The first night some of the vendors sponsor food stations, so you can get enough to count as dinner while you browse. Many vendors also have candy, pens, or other small giveaways to encourage people to stop and talk to them. The winners of the poster contest were on display. Our own M.S. in first period got an honorable mention. Finally, to show that even librarians can be silly, there was a library cart drill team contest. One of the teams wore cow costumes and has carts named things like the “Moobery awards”. Everyone seemed to enjoy the lightheartedness of the event.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009