Monthly Archives: September 2011

ReImagine Ed: A Conference Unlike Any Other

This weekend, Lovett School hosted ReImagine Ed: the Next Chapter.  It was an unusual experience; not always comfortable, strangely contentious at times but, ultimately quite rewarding.  Gathered together were librarians, architects, performers, designers and experts from the field of librarianship.  Our task was to design the library of the future with three main guiding questions:

1. Design a successful ‘unquiet’ library
2. What must K-12 libraries do to spur continual innovation, to make libraries the places and spaces our learners crave going forward?
3. Like a city provides a park the people can use in the myriad of ways, how can the library of the future be designed like a park of possibilities

Groups were arranged randomly and were tasked with going through the design process from brainstorming everything, focusing in on things that can be done tomorrow; projects that need more thought and planning and those that are possible in the near future.  We then met together in a larger group to discuss which possibilities we were going to work on for a presentation on Sunday.  We were to produce a product or a concept and “pitch” it to the group in 10 minutes or less.

It was an amazing, frustrating, exasperating, exciting process!  I don’t know how designers do it all the time…taking hundreds of ideas and narrowing them down to a workable plan.  I came away with a head full of ideas (I particularly liked the  one I thought up…a holographic wall on which students could “throw” their ideas, pictures, etc. and manipulate them in many different ways…think the wall that the techies on the show NCIS use).  Some groups presented actual products that could be created now, like the “Flash Cart” that would house many different kinds of technology like iPads, smart surfaces, white board, etc. and would move from place to place, as needed.  The design challenge that seemed to permeate every group was the idea that the library of the future would be flexible, both in space and with regards to technology.

The library of the future would be a wide open space with furniture and even walls that could be moved and manipulated to create spaces that  users need, when they need them.  There would be an array of experts on hand to help answer questions …the librarian, tech people, teachers from different disciplines.  The library of the future would have 24/7 availability of information in an array of tools and technologies.  There would be places for groups and quiet spaces for doing quiet things.  Technology would be everywhere but invisible.  The user becomes the designer because the user is the reason we are all there.

I just loved the constant flow of ideas and imagination that swirled around me all weekend.  In spite of the few negative or difficult people and divisions that arose, the general feeling was very positive and exciting.  As a librarian, I also know that not only does the actual library have to change but so do the people who work in them.  We professionals need training in so many different areas than librarians of yesterday.  We need to be technologists, explorers, archeologists, therapists, but most of all, we need to be just as flexible as our spaces!  So, here’s to flexibility and future and the possibility of the DREAM LIBRARY!!!

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Bullying: read all about it

In the 6th grade, we’ve been discussing bullying; what it looks like, why it happens, and what to do about it. Being the amazing librarian that I am, I found several books in my library that are about bullying. I have split the list into fiction and nonfiction. These books talk about the different aspects of bullying: the bully, the victim and the bystander.

Bullying: Read All About It

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9/11

Today is a very difficult day for the world but especially for Americans.  It’s been 10 years since one of the worst attacks on American soil in history.  Many authors and artists responded in the years since, with powerful words and images from that terrible day.  Below are just a few of the books that our library has to offer.  On this day, spend time with your family or, if they live far away, call and chat.  Fight the hatred that caused the attack with love and friendship!

 

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And the story continues…

    So, one of my 6th graders just informed me that the brilliant minds that brought us the ground-breaking 39 Clues series is at it again! The first book is already out…The Medusa Plot is written by Dan Gutman. Look for the second book, A King’s Ransom by Jude Watson, in mid-December. The series will wrap up after 6 books.

It seem as though a feud is on!  This second series pits the Cahill family against a shadowy group called the Vespers.  Dan and Amy must fight not only for their family’s safety but now the rest of the world is depending on them to win!

The cards are back as is the web content that enhances the book experience.  I just love the idea of combining two of my favorite things…BOOKS and computers!  If you’ve not already read the first series, you’ll just have to catch up!

I’ll bet  you thought that Conspiracy 365 was all done.  Well, you’d be wrong!!!

Cal had been on the run for a year and after claiming the Ormond Singularity, his life seem like it might eventually get back to normal.  He’s home with his family and friends and the news hounds will one day move on to another sensational story and leave him alone.  All in all, though, Cal is pretty happy…until the evening he found the envelope in his room sealed with a drop of blood-red wax, a tattered-wing angel stamped into it.  His body went cold and his heart began to pound.  What was going on?  Who sent the cryptic message?  Is it all just a cruel hoax?

Conspiracy 365: Revenge is the first book, coming out in October 2011 with a total of 13 books, all together.  I’ll be interested to see if Gabriel Lord can keep up the suspense for 13 books, one per month, like she did with the original.  The official web site is pretty cool.  There are contests (with some pretty cool prizes) that you can enter as you read the books.

Enjoy!!!

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