Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Fair(y) Use Tale

For my Fall 08 class I just viewed this video on Copyright law:

For those of you within a school network you can also view this video at:

I enjoyed watching this video about the laws of how to copyright correctly. I am already thinking about how I can use this with my students in the library and teacher trainings. In a way I wish I could use this at the middle school level with students. I think it goes pretty faster for elementary kids. Overall, I thought the producer/ creator did a great job. I also kind of wish it came with a transcript since some of it is hard to follow. Check it out and tell me what you think!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


**Update-- I got it to work. Here is the link to my school library webpage: click on advanced email tutorial. Oh and the problem? I just renamed the file and it saved perfectly? Who knows why it didn't work the first time...just glad it works now.

Today I had a chance to make my first screencast! I know some of the staff at my campus need tutorials on our email system. So when I was asked today about how to attach a file to an email I thought: "this is the perfect time for a screencast." I decided to download a program from Wink. It was sort of user-friendly. I watched the included tutorial first and that was helpful. My finished product came out well. I didn't have a microphone so I included textboxes with notes. My main problem however is now that I am all done I am unable to embed it or link it in my school webpage.
After I arrived home tonight, I thought: I should have emailed the file to myself to see if I could do the link at home. Alas...I thought of it too late. It really consumed a good amount of time. Tomorrow I will have to try some more. In the meantime I made a print version of the tutorial until I can figure out how to upload it to the webpage.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

#20 Teacher Tube

It has been in the last six months that I discovered Teacher Tube. What I really like about it is that it is similar to YouTube except it is all educational and teacher approved. It is a super convenient source of video clips for professional development and class lessons. I took some time today to view some of the most popular videos on Teacher Tube. I learned something pretty useful to me with the following video. It shows you how to make classroom posters using Excel.

After viewing this tutorial I was able to make a poster advertising our summer reading program. I am super excited to print it out and hang it up at school tomorrow! The best part is that is was so easy to do. What is a little funny to me is, I was looking at a poster the previous librarian made which used four sheets of paper taped together. I was did she do that? Oh well...and then today I discovered this. PERFECT!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hit the ground running!

This week I finally got to start working with student data. I was able to get the students' names and ID numbers on Thursday afternoon and I have been working quickly to enter in all the data. It is a tedious chore and gives me a new appreciation for all the librarians out there. As a teacher, I never realized how much work was associated with the start of the school year.

Our library coordinator recently mentioned to me that she was once told that librarians are always just sitting around at the computer (with the implication that they either 1. didn't do anything; or 2. were probably "playing" around on the Internet.) She said she replied by saying something along these lines: "Look at this beautiful library. All those books don't get there by osmosis."

I suppose that is what I mistakenly thought about the circulation system. I guess I always thought that the names were already "in" there so how hard could it be to start the year. Now I know. In my case, our school district is changing student ID numbers this years so that means a patron by patron update of ID #, grade level, and teacher. Not only once mind you but twice...since I have to do this for both Athena (our circulation system) and Accelerated Reader. On Friday I decided I had to leave by 5:15 p.m. since it was the weekend and my family needs me. As of right now I am not finished entering in student data into either program. Regardless, I will be opening the doors to students on Wednesday. Students will not be checking out books until 9/1/08.

I am really enjoying my campus so far. My library aide is wonderful. I couldn't have hoped for a better person to work with. Also all the staff members I have met have been wonderful to work with. The principal provided lunch for us on Thursday and Friday which was a really nice change from my previous campus. Lunch was delicious. I realize this is maybe a little off topic, but I had never tried Jason's Deli's chicken salad. It is a very tasty combination of white meat chicken, pineapple and almond. It also came with a cranberry, macadamia nut, oatmeal raisin cookie that was irresistible.

I was pleased to decorate the library this week. I removed all the old posters and put up some new (non-faded) kid friendly decorations. I also added a Dr. Seuss welcome sign to the front entrance. The library is ready for the students on Monday! Hooray!

I recently read on LM_NET a list-serv for librarians about an idea for handling interruptions during library lessons. A fellow librarian suggested using quiet tickets. She said she first explained that when you drive too fast a police office gives you a ticket. In her library she does the same thing with quiet tickets. She makes laminated "Shhh!" cards and gives them to the student who is interrupting. This first time is a warning. The second time...another warning. They get the chances before getting a note to their teacher/ parents. I plan to implement this in my library. Hopefully I will be able to make my "Shhh!" cards this weekend for use in the library next week. I will definitely post an update with how it all turns out.

Let's see...what mind is racing to say the least. I am overloaded with new ideas, new people, new programs, just everything new. Oh I know...let me leave you with this quote I heard on Friday:

Experience is what you get, when you don't get what you want. --Dan Standford

Web 2.0 Awards-- My Hertiage Genealogy

I just had a chance to check out MyHeritage an online geneaology tool. It is very easy to use and has a popup guide to help you along the way. In a matter of minutes I was able to enter in my parents and grandparents as well as my husband and our kids. I liked the optional email feature which allows people who you are including in the family tree to view it and add information to it. There is also a search feature which allows you to see if there are any matches for the names you have included in your family tree. When you are ready, you can easily print out your family tree. This is a fun tool for geneaology buffs.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Web 2.0 Awards- Comiqs

Today I had fun playing around with Comiqs a website that allows you to create and publish a comic book. I chose to make one to advertise our summer reading program for my school. Here is my finished product:

Bright Summer Readers 2008 from Amy_DZ on Comiqs

I am really excited about using this website to promote my library. It is easy to use and has a picture library through Flickr using copyright free photos, or you can upload your own. If you haven't tried it out yet, I highly recommend it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Web 2.0 Awards- Lulu

Lulu is a publishing tool for aspiring authors. What I found especially cool about this site is that it has a section for teachers/ students.
Here's the dish (directly from their site):
"If you're in grades K-8, Aspiring Authors will help you create your very own book. Have your teacher register your class on Lulu and start writing your original story. Each student that completes a book will receive their first printed copy for free."

I will be definitely be looking in to this to use with our fourth graders especially since in Texas 4th grade is tested in writing on the TAKS.

#19 Web 2.0 Awards- SpanishPod

This is probably one of the best activities on 23 Things in my opinion. I liked seeing all the best web tools in one place at the Web 2.0 Awards Site. The first I decided to explore was SpanishPod. They have a pretty cool set up to help you learn Spanish through podcast/ mp3, lessons, etc. The free stuff on this site consists of podcasts. For $5 per mo. you can get a little bit more and if you're willing to dish out even more $$ then SpanishPod has lots more to offer. I went ahead and subscribed to the Spanish podcasts for free to see what SpanishPod has to offer. I am trying hard to improve my Spanish but I am on a budget.

#18 Online Productivity Tools

I signed up for Google Docs a while back when I set up my igoogle/ calendar. I must add that I have been using igoogle as my homepage and I ABSOLUTELY love it.

Now back to Google Docs. One thing I like is the ability to save my documents online and no longer have to rely on my pen drive. I didn't like that the formatting was not the same when I uploaded it to Google Docs. I also liked the variety of templates available such as this scrapbook. There is also a template for a credit card payoff calculator. Not that I need to use that as an educator but for my personal use that is pretty cool. I liked the business cards template. There is even a teachers/ students section. In addition I like that the templates are organized by type: document, spreadsheet, presentation. I think I will definitely be going her for templates.

Another option for online productivity tools is OpenOffice. I decided not to download this program at this time. Right now I am not using my personal computer and to me it is sort of a hassle to have to download it to try it out.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Librarian Training Day

Well, a lot has happened over the past two days. I wanted to write this entry sooner, but you know how life can interrupt some times. My daughter, who is fifteen months, started daycare this week after hanging out with her father and I all summer. So in the evening, she needs mommy time which limits my blogging time. Just seeing how excited she is to have me sit down and play with her makes it so special to me.

I started back to work on Tuesday. I felt like I got quite a bit done. First and foremost I want to thank the previous librarians. Whichever one(s) of you were sooooo is much appreciated. I discovered that in the storage closet there are clear plastic boxes perfectly labeled with each month's name and decorations were inside. There were handmade curtains and other misc. items. Wow! That is SUPER! Along with the help of my new library aide, who came in to help even though she is not being paid I might add, the library is starting look ready for students.

I got about three weeks worth of lesson plans done. I made a nifty checklist to have my library aide use for each week to help me prepare the lessons. I will attach it here later. Right now it is at school and this site is currently blocked. (Although I have already requested that it be unblocked.)

Yesterday, I found out I am the Campus Instructional Technologist (CIT) for my campus. This I am excited about. I really enjoy technology. I started working on my library webpage and the school home page. Right now I am looking around at other campus websites to get some ideas for how I can improve our school site. Next week I will attend a training session for CITs to help make sure we are familiar with software/ hardware issues.

Let's see....what else? Today is my first meeting with the library department. I will get to meet all the other elementary librarians. I can't wait to get jazzed up about all the new things we are doing this year. Did I mention they are providing lunch? That's perfect because right about now I am broke.

I have to send out a great BIG THANKS to Dee Lopez, my library mentor, for coming on Tuesday to my school and showing me the ins and outs of the Athena program. It was so generous of you. Every new librarian should be as lucky as me to be taken under the wing of a veteran librarian.

It's about 7:20 a.m. and I need to go to drop off my daughter at daycare and then off to the meeting. Wish me luck ;-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Today is the DAY!

Today is my first day of work as on "official" librarian. I am sure you can tell I am pretty excited about that fact. While I was at Target yesterday I picked up two books. One to use in the library called First Day Jitters and the other one I have been wanting to read (but never had time for it due to my SHSU literature classes)--Eclipse. First Day Jitters is about how everyone gets nervous going back for their first day of school. Last night I was sooooo restless and I kept waking up... I think so that I wouldn't accidentally be late. I will have to post later tonight or tomorrow to late you know how it went.

Here is what I hope to accomplish:
1) scheduling of classes
2) shelving new books
3) becoming familiar with Athena
4) finding out exactly what my library has to offer

There is much more to do, but I guess I will just have to see where this leads me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Using Creative Commons photos

Librarians everywhere push for patrons to be sure to use images that do not have copyrights. A while back I found out that Flickr has a feature that allows you to search for creative commons images. It was a bit tedious for me. If you click the link mentioned above, images are sorted into six different categories: Attribution License, Attribution-NoDerivs License, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, Attribution-NonCommercial License, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License and Attribution-ShareAlike License. At times this is very useful, based on how you want to use the images. But, it can be cumbersome to search each category for the image that interests you.

That is where this tool comes in handy: JohnJohnson's Flickr CC Search Toy. Not only can you search for creative commons images on Flickr. This website will help you embed the picture you want from Flickr along with an attribution. This is definitely going to be added to my bookmarks. The image below is my first attempt at using this new "toy."

Photo by Pensiero
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

I must also note that I found out about this new toy from using my Google reader to keep up with all the library blogs I read. If you liked this useful tool, you might like Cathy Nelson's blog Techno Tuesday.

#17 Rollyo

Powered by Rollyo
I tried out Rollyo, a really cool customizable search engine. The one above is for book reviews. I think this will be very useful for students and teachers. I think I will probably use this website when I train the teachers in using great webtools.

Wikis...I'm back for more!

Well, I felt a little frustrated by the last post. I want to figure this Wiki thing out and to be quite honest I love technology and I dislike the idea that I can't make something work for me. So this morning I spent some time getting to know PBWiki better. I looked through their tutorials and informational whitepages and came across Mr. Lindsay's wiki. Wow, he did a great job. Since, at times I am not that creative...I needed to see a site like this to help me visualize just what can be done with a wiki in the library. (Although Mr. Lindsay's wiki is for his classroom...not the library.)

So here are some of the things I'd like to have in my library wiki:
  • Help desk- for library issues and tech issues
  • calendar
  • to do list - for me to list things I am working on
  • about the librarian
  • about the wiki
  • student blogs
  • teacher blogs
  • lesson plans- so parents can see what their children are learning in the library
  • book reviews- students can collaborate here to recommend books to each other
  • resources for educators
  • cool stuff for kids

Saturday, August 9, 2008

#16 Wikis

Okay, well I kinda get wikis and I kinda don't. I keep looking around for a really good example to inspire me to use this in my library. Just about everyone has used Wikipedia. An online reference tool that allows users to contribute their expertise to the topics of their choice. It is a really neat collaborative tool. Wikis are that way. A meeting point that allows users to contribute to defined subjects. In the classroom/library, we can set up topics and allow users to contribute. I guess I am uncreative, because I have a hard time picturing what I would have students contribute about.

Then I found this wiki about booktalking. I went ahead and logged in (the password is booktalk) and I posted a review of a realistic fiction book. I think I am starting to get this now. I like the idea of collaborating with other people who share a common interest with me.

I also really liked Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki.

Something new I learned is that Wiki means quick in Hawaiian.

#15 Web 2.0 and its effect on the library

According to this article librarians need to prepare their libraries for the current shift in technology that is happening. There are three icebergs that may hinder the success of librarians: 1) keeping a collection "just in case" it is needed; 2) not teaching patrons how to use technology; 3) focus on bringing services to patrons instead of expecting patrons to seek us out.

How to be a librarian 2.0:
  • plan for your users
  • embrace web 2.0 tools
  • question the necessity of new technology
  • evolve and change as needed
  • plan for the future but don't take too long to decide
  • use popular web features to promote the library- google, MySpace, Flickr
How exciting it is to be a part of this shift in thinking! I feel lucky to be here to see how everything all unfolds.

Friday, August 8, 2008

#14 Technorati

Ok, so I got a little ahead of myself the other day. I didn't realize Technorati was one of the things I would be exploring in 23Things. This is a neat tool for searching for blogs. I went ahead and registered my blogs. I am curious to see if there is any additional traffic to my sites. Tagging information is essential especially if I want others to be able find my blogs. Since exploring these activities on tagging and bookmarking I have been more conscious about which tags I use.


Another social bookmarking I like is Diigo. What I like about it is that it has quite a few useful features. You can collaborate with colleagues here. You can also highlight and add sticky notes to websites (that only you can see.) In addition, and probably the coolest feature (in my opinion), you can make a slideshow of your bookmarks that you can use in staff development. Here is a quick video tutorial for using Diigo.

In addition, Diigo has groups you can join such as this one for k-12 librarians.

Within this group, I browsed the bookmarks and found this helpful article on 100 free library 2.0 webinars and tutorials. How cool is that?

# 13 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Here we go again. This is the third time I will try to post this. I don't know why...but for some reason the web just doesn't want to hear what I have to say about I was introduced to this social bookmarking site a while back. It is pretty neat. You can collect all your bookmarks here. You tag them and then the website keeps track of everyone's tags. What I found most useful is you can search these tags and find for instance what others have bookmarked with the tag "librarian." I found this article titled 17+ Things to Do with your online photos. Also useful is the fact that you can allow others to use your bookmarks by giving them your web address. For example, mine is Although right now I only have a limited number of bookmarks. I could see this being useful to link to my school library webpage so others could find bookmarks relevant to elementary school librarians. I feel conflicted about whether to transfer all my bookmarks over to On the plus side, we can access within my school district network while others are often blocked. On the negative side, I just set up my iGoogle homepage with my bookmarks organized just the way I like. I may just be lazy but I am truly enjoying my iGoogle homepage and I like being able to access my RSS feeds, bookmarks, email, news, etc. all in one place.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More cool stuff

So I was browsing around on the internet tonight...yes I realize it's after midnight. Here is this really cool blog on things to do with your photos. I tried out Picnik just now and made a goofy picture of myself in neon lights. So here it is:
Kinda neat right? I haven't explored all 17 items listed in the blog I mentioned above, but something I like about Picnik is that you don't have to sign in to get an account. You can if you want to, but sometimes it is just overload to register for all these internet sites and I appreciate the choice of whether to register or not. Overall, there were some really neat effects from basic to zany. You just upload any picture you have or you can play with their samples. You can make your picture black and white or sepia, add a border, add text. Lots of fun. I think this would be fun to use on my library website.

#12 Commenting on Blogs

One thing I have been known to do... is lurk. It's hard when you're pressed to stop and make comments. These tips on making comments got me to stop and think about how important comments are to blogs. I should know, I love when I see a comment here on my blog. Lately I have been trying to comment more on the "just for fun" blogs and forums that I visit. I try my best to be a fashionable librarian and I love to read blogs about fashion and makeup. After reading these articles I have decided it is important for me to try to comment whenever possible. The authors of these sites deserve it. And, that's the whole point of reading their posts...right? To be a part of that community.

I liked what one blogger wrote (though I can't remember who...think brain...think) that blogger friends understand what it is to maintain a blog. You can relate to them in different ways than your nonblogger friends. I have developed some friendships based on blogs and forums that I might not of ever made. This is all possible through commenting. SO I should take my own advice and get busy posting already!

Back to work Tuesday!

I just found out I return to work next Tuesday August 12, 2008. I got to meet with the library district coordinator also. I enjoyed talking to her and asking a few questions. I am very hyped up about getting started in my new library! Also I made my lesson plans for the first week of library classes. I can't wait to see my library schedule. Something else cool is our district schedule changed this year so elementary students will go to school from 8-3:30 and secondary 8:15-3:45. That is super! (15 minutes less time for those of us counting!)

#11 LibraryThing

Well, last year I set up a Library Thing account and one of my goals was to keep it up to date. It is not as easy for me to keep up with it as I had hoped. Since I am taking my library science classes I am reading a tremendous amount of books. This is a great way for me to keep up with the books I have been reading. You know how it goes, a year later you're like what was that book I read? Well, Library Thing keeps a virtual bookshelf of all your titles. What is even cooler is that you can get recommendations for other books you might like. I only wish I could organize my library into personal and professional reading. That feature may be available, but I haven't figured it out yet. Also I got a custom blog widget with my recently added book covers to post on the right side of my blog.

Library Thing is a lot of fun!

Make your own free clipart like this @ with free web based tools (hundreds of image generators that run through a web broswer, no software to buy or install).
Made with free image tools @

Image Chef

Ok...just a few more fun things. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
So this is me NOW (on vacation.) - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
This is me next week...FINALLY I start as a librarian.
***Doing happy dance***

If you'd like to try these your yourself go to

More Image Generators

This was a fun book cover I made. You can make your own here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Librarian from the Black Lagoon

As I sit here planning lessons for the first week back to school, I came across a book trailer for The Librarian from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler. I plan to use this with my 3rd and 4th graders soon:

Monday, August 4, 2008

#10 Online Image Generators

This activity was a lot of fun. My first site to try was Comic Strip Generator.
Make your own free clipart like this @ with free web based tools (hundreds of image generators that run through a web broswer, no software to buy or install).
I thought I'd start by making something useful for the library. Above is a library day reminder.
Made with free image tools @

Meme: Passion Quilt

I got this idea from the DIYLibrarian's site. I had not seen this before, but now that I look around a little there are so many people who have participated! Such a cool thing to do.

Here is how you can get involved:

The meme:

  1. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  2. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  3. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.
**As far as Twitter...I don't...yet. One day perhaps I will come back to this post and have 5 folks I follow.
Here's my second try:
I just couldn't help but make more than one!

#9 Useful Library Related Blogs & Feeds

Well as I mentioned in an earlier post, I got signed up with Google Reader and all I can saw is, how cool is that? So far it is helping me keep up with my makeup addiction. I admit it...I used to frequent many beauty blogs to find makeup reviews and now they are all sent to my Google Reader! Yippie!
I learned in this activity how to search for blogs. Google Blog Search is probably one of the easiest way to do this. Also I registered my blogs on Technorati...yes I said blogs. I also have a great blog called ReadItUp! where I review books for the library. (Check it out if you have a chance.) By the way registering your blog on Technorati is super easy. Except for some reason I kept getting logged out of Technorati, but I think that has to do with my cookies or something.

Technorati also allows you to search for blogs which are categorized, but I didn't see education as a category which was kind of disappointing.

Some cool sites I found were: DIYLibrarian and FreeRangeLibrarian

Sunday, August 3, 2008

And the results are in...

Ok so I am a bit of a nerd. When I saw this nerd test I had to take it to find out the results. I think it is more geared at guys, but here is the result: says I'm an Uber Cool Non-Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!
"From this time forward, you'll hold the title:
Uber Cool Non-Nerd"

Wordle- My first creation

If you haven't tried Wordle yet, you have to check it out. Here is my first creation:

I think this will be fun to use in the library to make posters advertising new books or to have students generate their own wordles about their favorite books.

#8 RSS Feeds

I just got finished creating a Google Reader account. It is so convenient to be able to collect information from all the blogs I read in one place. Also I think it is super cool to be able to share my favorite posts. Here is a link to my shared items. I think this will help me stay organized since I won't have to search all over the place to read all the things I am interested in. It will be especially useful to me in terms of professional growth (library/ technology related). I think it will be useful at work to help me share useful blog posts with a direct link from our library's webpage.

Bluebonnet Books 2008

A big thanks to Texas librarian, Tracy Mapus from San Antonio, who has taken VoiceThread and introduced it to the Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees for 08-09. Please check out her creation.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

# 7 Cool Gadgets on Google

Well for this activity I was already somewhat familiar with Google, however I had not seen all of these features. I do use my email through google regularly. In addition, I have an igoogle homepage where I keep my bookmarks. This way I can reference them where ever I am. I have tried Google Earth.
Some new features for me were:
  • Google Notebook- a neat way to collect information and access it from anywhere.
  • Google Advanced Search- I tried a search for librarian powerpoint and came up with a presentation about Library 2.0
  • Google Scholar- I liked that this allows the user to search scholarly journals
  • Google Picasa- This was okay, but I really like Flikr and photobucket
  • Google Alerts- This seemed interesting to me but I can't think of something that I search for regularly that I need email updates on. Hmmm...I'll have to think about how this would be useful to me

My first PhotoStory Video

Please check out my booktalk on Ginny Rorby's book Hurt Go Happy that I made with PhotoStory.

#6 More Flickr Mashups

Wow! I am just leaping for joy with all the cool things I am learning from the 23 Things project. If you have not tried some of their activities you are really missing out. I just recently learned how to use Flickr and some othe mashup services. I created this motivational poster:

I think students would really like being featured in motivational posters that are hung around school. Make your own at

#6 Flickr Mashups

First I tried Flickr Montager and I used it to create this flower mosaic:

I also created this trading card at

How fun is that! I think kids would like to have a trading card from their teachers or librarian. Each person could include a brief description about themselves and some of their hobbies or favorites. I think I will try this a gain with a more professional looking photo and include a little about myself as some hobbies besides reading. I looked at some other trading cards and I decided to try that again. Still I managed to forget to list which campus I am at. Oh well, it is just practice. I think on my final one I will include my campus, email, blogs, school hours, campus phone number, etc. Here is my second try with a little bit different picture:

More mashups in another post.

#5 Exploring Flikr

I just got finished playing around over at . It is almost impossible to stop looking at so many interesting pictures. Especially their Interestingness feature, which allows user to explore the most unique and interesting pictures Flickr has to offer. Also there is a link to creative commons pictures like the one pictured to the left here. This will allow me to search for pictures that are not copyrighted which I can use in project, presentations, reports, etc.

Recently I was able to use about twenty pictures to create a book review of the book Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby. I compiled some images from Flickr using PhotoStory and incorporated some narration to create a booktalk on this book. I hope to post it later today. So far 23 Things has been a great learning experience for me. I can't wait to get to the next thing! mamako7070


I just found this really cool Educational collaboration website.