February 7, 2008 by aklibrarian1
It is sometimes hard to judge how your year is going mid-year. I have been recently thinking that I am not doing enough. Then I came across several things to help me rethink that.
- A list of accomplishments from the yearly report of my predecessor. Quick check shows me in line for accomplishing a similar set of tasks that she had done. (I still feel she was one of the best school librarians in the business.)
- Reading a blog post that used pictures from one school that participated in our Battle of the Books program. The students look happy with the program they are participating in. One of my main goals of my life is that students are happy with reading. Seeing student’s faces as they get a school banner for their Battle Book win.
- The support from people in my office when someone questioned a book that is in the Battle of the Book program for the year that is winding up. Support from coworkers is a definite sign to me that I am doing a positive job.
- Comments from colleagues about the materials that I send them when they are looking for new teaching ideas. People tend to be surprised by the wealth of materials that we have to cover the subjects they are teaching.
- The work that I am doing on Koha. I am learning more and more each time I sit down to it. I keep thinking there has to be an end to the learning curve, apparently not.
- Purchases that I have made this year to build a collection that has a more digital bent. I have found a lot of dvds that I know will help teachers in their classrooms.
What I hope to accomplish this year:
- ILTL Grant – Finish the write up by this weekend 2/10/08
- Send grant proposal to others to get their input. Encourage input on the goals and activities in the grant to get other’s good ideas.
- Visit schools that I haven’t been to.
- Planning Fall In-service for library aides.
- Set up a system for books with duplicate barcodes. We need to rebarcode the books.
- Determine which books have duplicate barcodes.
- Make new barcodes for those books.
- Find an easy way for the books to be rebarcoded.
- Go to sites to help with this process.
This should be enough to get me through this year and maybe next school year.
Posted in Automation, Collaboration, Connecting with people, Koha, open source | No Comments »
March 21, 2007 by aklibrarian1
I am attempting to gain admission to University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa School of Library Information. This has required me to step out of my box to some extent. I took the Miller’s Analogies Test. The results came back today. I was expecting to be in the 60th percentile based on my raw score. I am in the 89th. I am hoping that helps me to get in. I have gathered my transcripts, letters of recommendation, written my purpose statement, and sent it all in. Now, comes the waiting time. This is new to me. I have not had to apply for admission to college before. I hope the wait doesn’t seem too interminable.
Next week I am starting to travel again. I will spend a week in Brevig Mission. They finished some new construction there. During the construction period a class moved into the library. I know there will be maintenance to take care of. I will work with the library aide and build some training modules for Koha based on what we find difficult.
Posted in Collection Development, Connecting with people, Education, Professional Outlook | 1 Comment »
February 27, 2007 by aklibrarian1
I gave a presentation at the Alaska Library Association conference last weekend. This week I will give another one today for the Alaska Society for Technology Education. One of the interesting aspects of the two presentations is finding out who wants to know more about this program.
One colleague ask me to make sure that I mentioned how much time this has taken for me. She wanted to make sure that I had talked about both sides of instituting Koha. I did mention it because I know thatI need to rein in my enthusiasm for this program. Five people attended the session at the library conference. It will be fun to see how many people are at the session today.
I did have one librarian let me know that she was driving up to Anchorage a day early for a meeting so that she can be here this afternoon. She wasn’t at the session in Juneau because she knew I would be here. That gets logged as on of the biggest ego boosters I have had in this process.
Monday starts the training sessions with library aides. They make a normal group of people when it comes to technology. Some are raring to go with the program, some are willing to get into it, and some aren’t interested in it at all.
Posted in Connecting with people, Education, Koha, open source | 1 Comment »
February 13, 2007 by aklibrarian1
For the last week and a half I have been fixing MARC records in my spare time. This means I take my computer home each night and purge lines that shouldn’t be in the records for hours each night. Note to self, never make broad based copying in database records. Each book record should have one line for each thing with very few exceptions.
The records look good, but not great. My problem now is that I want them to look great. I will upload what I have today and call it quits on editing records for four to five months. I still have changes that I want to make so that it looks more like a union catalog rather than a collection of individual records.
Library conference is a week from now. I have three or four posters to get ready and two Powerppoints to prepare. The good news is that two thirds of my desk is clean. Here is to working on the third part today.
I have to know when not to be bothered when a principal wants to talk about a program that I oversee. Yesterday I had a pleasant surprise when a principal wanted to talk about the Battle of the Books program because participation is down. He didn’t want to give me a hard time, he wants to talk to others in our district about why and what we can do about it. I don’t know why my first thought is that someone wants to get on my case. The results are in from the meeting, it seems that students these days have a lot of options now that they didn’t have before. Participation in all activities seem to be down.
Posted in Automation, Connecting with people, Koha, open source | No Comments »
January 30, 2007 by aklibrarian1
Today was a great day in the training arena. Maggie, the library assistant in my office, was asked to check out some books. I had already checked the books out in Koha and wanted her to check them out in LibraryPro. The first step she took was to check them out in Koha. She quickly realized that the page I had handed her was a print out from Koha, but I was thrilled that her first step was to look at the new program that she isn’t as comfortable with.
The library aide that lives on Diomede Island, three miles from Russia, has Skyped me a few times over the last couple of days asking for clarification. She loves the new program and sees the improvements over Library Pro. Even the library aide in Savoonga has emailed me to ask a question or two. While I knew he would like the new program, the fact that he is attempting to use it and understand it really makes me proud.
Now back to checking out materials from Library Pro and reprogramming the bar code reader.
Posted in Connecting with people, Education, Koha | No Comments »
November 26, 2006 by aklibrarian1
It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving has now come and gone. I have so much that I am thankful for this year that I didn’t realize I would be at this time of my life. My family is doing great. I was really worried that I would miss being a mom when my kids were out of the house. Instead I take great joy in their steps toward productive adult life. This is not to say I am a little bit taken aback with Michael’s move to Oregon today, but I am thrilled he has the skills and the self knowledge to set out on this road.
Robert had to go to Fairbanks this afternoon on an emergency fix it trip due to a renter that seems bent to bother the other renters by turning off the water. I can be very thankful that I work full time and he has to deal with the renters. I would want to drop kick this guy who has cost us two hundred dollars in repairs from shutting down the heat over the weekend. Mike got it up and going this morning and then this afternoon we get a call that it is messed up again.
I love being a librarian. I think librarians have the best jobs in the world. We hook people up with the information they need so that they can make their decisions. If we do it correctly, we teach them to find the information so that they will always be able to get the knowledge they desire. If you ever need to get a shot in the arm about how important the job of a librarian is, go to visit The Library of Congress. The ability of the public to have access to quality information is a cornerstone to our democracy.
I am happy that I have had this time in town to work on Koha. We are still updating the records, but that is a lot easier to do here in town where I can deliver the information to Dan than where I have to upload over the Internet.
I am thankful for the district that I work in. The growth we are making in open source programming is great to watch. I like the feeling that we are helping our money go further. If we can provide the programs that our teachers and students need for a fraction of the money, we can pursue new academic programming for students to get even more excited about learning.
Posted in Connecting with people, Koha, Technology | No Comments »
November 10, 2006 by aklibrarian1
I read the article Disconnects Between Library Culture and Millennial Generation Values in the new issue of Educause. A checklist is mentioned that would be good for libraries at all levels to ask themselves:
What is your library doing to:
- Support the user’s affinity for self-paced, independent, trial-and-error methods of learning? – Are we putting up online tutorials for students to look at when they need to? I have seen some libraries that have iPod guides for library tours. Currently, I have built some online tutorials for using the Alaska Statewide Databases.
- Create opportunities to make library information look and behave like information that exists in online entertainment venues? This may be the best place and time to install Worldcat buttons and the new search features of Google for each of our libraries. Websites that interact with the students rather than sit there and wait for student to search and the OPAC to distribute information. Why haven’t we added the ability for students to leave their book reviews in our OPACs? I think a lot of this has to do with the software we have at our disposal. I am hoping that this is something that will be able to the added to Koha down the road.
- Explore alternative options for delivering information literacy skills to users in online environments and alternate spaces? I return to the online tutorials for students to gain information. In my position, I am usually not at the student’s side when they need the information. I am connected through three different IM programs for students to get a hold of me when they need to. The problem I am finding is how do I advertise this so it is there when students need it.
- Apply the typical user’s desire for instant gratification to the ways that libraries could be using technology for streamlined services? I am not sure how we can meet these needs. I do know what I do which is offer inter library loan so that users know that their needs are met, even if it will take a week to get the book. I have added downloads to my district’s wiki of sites that give students the information they need to meet different standards.
- Redefine administrative, security, and policy restrictions to permit online users an online library experience that rivals that of a library site visit? I think we need more audiobooks that are downloadable and a better way to provide this service. Copyright stipulations need to be met, but I would love to figure a way that students have access to the electronic resources, electronically rather than having to visit the library.
- Preserve born-digital information? This is a matter of who is willing to stand up and pay for the storage medium. It is easy to be in charge of the digital medium as long as you are willing to ensure that the materials are always accessible through current technology. I think we have seen enough errors in this by now that we know how to keep abreast of changing technologies that we can revisit our ability to preserve materials on a yearly basis. — or am I the only one who lost all my MARC records by using an antiquated back up method?
I hope this gets us thinking to how we can provide the millennials the best library experience they can get. We have moved a long way with technology.
My high school librarian was so afraid that the computer would make her unnecessary to the research process that she actually removed subjects, ISBNs, authors, and other parts of the MARC records so that students would have to come to her for the information. I only know this because I became a library aide there before getting my own school library. I spent the year adding full records and deleting a LOT of books that wouldn’t ever be used.
We need to embrace the technologies that our students are embracing and make sure that our libraries will always be the place that our students can gain more access to information.
Posted in Automation, Collaboration, Collection Development, Connecting with people, Education, Koha, Library Wiki's, open source, Professional Developement, Professional Outlook, Teachers, Technology, Web 2.0 | No Comments »
November 9, 2006 by aklibrarian1
I am getting tired of asking myself how I can get staff to use the Alaska Database better. The database is a collection of Ebsco and Fact on File databases with full text articles for EVERYONE. I was so happy five years ago when I learned that we were getting them. I LOVE the databases.
- I give classes every year at inservice for teachers.
- I teach students when I visit their schools.
- I have built online tutorials for other people to use when doing research with students.
- I am getting ready to work with Camtasia to build some webcasts to help people use these tools more effectively.
Still if feels that no one is using them… I am taking a new approach. We all have journals or magazines that we like to read. I am asking individuals which journal would the love to get, but choose not to due to the cost. I then set up a ‘journal alert’ for them. This will let them know each month when their favorite journals are posted.
This isn’t how I wanted to do it. It doesn’t feel right to me somehow. I always believe you teach patrons how to find their information so that they are free to search again without your assistance. Maybe the mistake was that no one knew what the databases could provide and this will get them to know them better.
Posted in Collaboration, Connecting with people, Professional Outlook | No Comments »
October 28, 2006 by aklibrarian1
I am amazed at how busy in service weeks are. I keep the library open until 8:00 or 8:30 every night so that teachers can use the media center while they are here in Unalakleet. I give away a free book to each teacher that comes by. This year added a coupon to Amazon Grocery store for 10 dollars off a 50 dollar order.
I did this as part of providing information that people didn’t have. This is what our libraries need to continue to do if we would like to stay relevant. Part of the in service training to the teachers included our need to provide relevant information to our teachers and how do we do that.
I am able to work on Koha now. I am doing the initial set up while it is on a server that is not our districts. It will get moved over at the end of next week. Tomorrow I should be uploading the library records. It will be great to see what it looks like then.
Posted in Collaboration, Connecting with people | No Comments »