Blog Archives

Upcoming Knowledge Quest Webinar

I am very honored to be a part of the September/October issue of Knowledge Quest, the professional journal of the American Association of School Librarians.  The theme of the issue is Participatory Culture and Learning and my article Opening the Space:  Making the School Library a Site of Participatory Culture can be found on p. 8.  This article was a joy to write, even though it took hours and hours to create.  I hope that the article inspires other school libraries to think about how their programs can embrace participatory culture as well.

If you would like to know more about the article and our Barrow Media Center program, I invite you to attend a webinar that I am presenting this Tuesday, October 9th, at 7PM EST.  I will expand upon what I wrote in the article as well as offer pieces that didn’t make it into the text.

The following October webinar is FREE to anyone wishing to attend. Members and non-members are welcome to register!

kq headphones iconOpening the Space: Libraries as a Site of Participatory Culture
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
7 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. CDT/5 p.m. MDT/4 p.m. PDT

Participatory culture is grounded in low barriers to artistic expression and allows students to be creators of content as well as pass on their experiences and knowledge to others. The Barrow Media Center is a site of participatory culture through elements such as student book budgets, collaborative projects that culminate in student product creation, opportunities for students to showcase their creations to others in a variety of ways, and students taking leadership in teaching one another how to use technology to create. This year, developing the participatory culture of the library is a specific goal that has been made public to all students, teachers, and families in the school and all members of the library have been invited to find their place in the library and make things happen. This webinar will explore participatory culture and how the library can be a space of participation.

Andy Plemmons is a school librarian in Athens, Georgia.  He teaches students in PreK-5th grade at David C. Barrow Elementary.  The participatory culture and collaborative projects of the Barrow Media Center are regularly featured on his blog Barrow Media Center

Register by clicking HEREThis webinar is FREE to anyone wishing to attend.

Telling Your Library’s Story

Not so long ago, data were hard to come by.  As our society has become more and more infused with technology, data aren’t nearly as scarce as they used to be.  In school libraries, we have circulation statistics, site hits, classes taught, and the list goes on and on. There is no doubt that these data help us when we need to justify our programs to administrators and others. We can also use data to see trends, identify problems, and herald successes.

In between the infographics, statistics, and charts, lately I’ve noticed the call for stories. Stories are one of the main ways that we learn from and share with one another. Numbers can be informative, but they are all the more compelling when accompanied by a well-told story of a successful learning experience made possible by the school library.

April is School Library Month. AASL has adopted “Create Your Own Story” as the 2011 School Library Month theme. Students can use the library to find and tell stories, and we can tell our library’s stories as well.

If you’re not sure how to tell your library’s story, there are a number of resources that might help you think about how to start developing a collection of stories about your library.  Starting March 15, AASL is offering a free series about creating strategic stories to gain support for libraries. I also learn a lot about the power of effective stories from resources like StoryCorps, not to mention friendships with professional storytellers including Linda Martin and Stephanie Jones.

There are many ways to begin collecting stories, or add to the collection you’ve already started. You might grab a flip video camera for an interview. Record photographic evidence of student learning and audio record accompanying reflections. Encourage digital storytelling.

Of course, librarians can’t be the only ones telling positive stories about school library programs. When programs are in trouble, parents and other community members need to speak out on our behalf. Keep an email file with comments from parents and community members who have been enriched by your program. Include a “press” page on your website with links to local news stories about projects that include your school library.  If a crisis comes, you have ready resources to share efficiently.

Unfortunately, outside of the library community, there are too few people telling positive stories about what school libraries do.
I’ve seen calls for positive examples that aim to stretch beyond our usual conversations.  This is one way projects like the Learning4Life video contest and PC Sweeney’s Great Librarian Write Out! can inspire us to share stories in different ways and places.

As School Library Month approaches, take time to cultivate your library’s own story as you enhance student learning and storytelling.  Find interesting ways and unexpected places to tell that story.

Beth Friese

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Language and Literacy Education

The University of Georgia

Free Webinar Series Using Emerging Technology to Advance Your School Library Program : Social Capital

Free Webinar Series
Using Emerging Technology to Advance Your School Library Program

Next Webinar in the Series
“Social Capital”
Wednesday, January 12th at 4pm Eastern Time

The words “friend,” “like,” and “follow” have taken on entirely new meaning in the last seven years. How is this impacting students, teachers, and schools?  In this session we will talk about capitalizing on the advantages of using social media to improve program delivery, focusing on the concept (participatory), rather than the venue (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and how this is possible in a “blocked” environment.

Presented by Michelle Luhtala
Head librarian at New Canaan High School and winner of the 2010 National School Library Program of the Year.

This free program for school librarians offers a live presentation once a month on using emerging technology.  Librarians who attend the presentations receive CE credit after each session. All programs are recorded and archived in the community so that they can be viewed at any time.  A CE quiz accompanies each recording.

To participate in this free program,
join the Emerging Technology Community on edWeb.

This series on edWeb is sponsored by Follett Software Company.


Free Webinar: Comparison of eReader Device Options, January 11

*reposted with permission from Will DeLamater by Buffy Hamilton*

Hi everybody, and Happy New Year!

There is lots to tell you, so let me start with a reminder of the next webinar, a Comparison of eReader Device Options, that will be held next Tuesday, January 11, at 7:00 pm EST. Once again, there will be door prizes for any member of this Ning who has uploaded a profile photo or avatar image, so get in the game and join in the fun! Sign up for this session at the Ning.

We are also going to a new look for the site in the new year. Keep your eyes open for the changes, which should improve readability and keep things fresh. I am also debating if we shouldn’t rename once and for all as eBook Educators Group, as there is a lot more to what is going on than Kindles and Nooks. What do you think?

As many of you know, I have my own eBook publishing company called eReadia (see logo and link in sidebar). One of the most fun publishing projects we have been involved with is publishing a new children’s book by popular YA novelist Alan Sitomer. Well, Alan just got a new Kindle and really likes it. You can read his thoughts here, and you can learn more about his kids book (title: Cinder-Smella, A Timeless Tale of Stinky Feethere, and you can “like” the book on Facebook here.

I also want to introduce to many of you a new member of the eReadia team, Jeremy Rinkel, who is helping me manage the site and keep it up to date. We are just about to go over 600 members (woot!) and I thought we could use some extra elbow grease. Jeremy is a teacher in Effingham IL and a self-published author. I am sure you will get to know him in the weeks and months ahead. Jeremy has prepared the following contribution to this week’s letter, regarding password protection on ereaders:

Question: Can I password protect my ereader so students cannot download ebooks?

The password question is a very common question on the Ning regarding our students use of ereaders.

With the Kindle and most other ereaders, it is not possible to password protect purchases. The only ereader that has this option is theBarnes and Noble Nook. Below are the steps to password protect purchases on your nook.

In four easy steps you can password protect your nook from unauthorized purchases.

Step 1 click Settings on the touchpad at the bottom of the device
Step 2 click on “device”
Step 3 select “Enable purchase password protection”
Step 4 enter the password for your B&N account

You may also password protect access to your nook following these simple steps.

Step 1 and Step 2 same as above
Step 3 select “Enable pass code”
Step 4 create and confirm password

In fact, Will just wrote a post on this at his blog, which you can view here.

Getting Nooks Ready for Students

One of our members Marianna DeMott posted some great information on getting ereaders, specifically Nooks, into the hands of students.  You can access the post here.  This post focuses on steps of getting downloading books and things to think about the implementation of an ereader program at your school.

When implementing an ereader program in a library or school, proper checkout policies need to be developed.  I want to draw your attention to a check out form that was posted by Kathy Burnette.  This permission/checkout form was designed for the Nook, but could be applied to other ereaders as well.

eReaders in the News

The Sydney Morning Herald published an article discussing the possibility of ebooks taking the place of paper books.  Ereaders have the potential to transform the publishing industry as well as publication education.  What impact will ereaders have on the future of publishing and education?

On December 6th, Google launched Google eBooks, Google’s digital bookselling enterprise. An article in The Wall Street Journal reports that Google now has ground to compete with Apple and Amazon in the attempt to get the strong hold on the digital book business. I really like the concept of having a book accessible via my Google account on multiple devices anytime and anywhere. From what I understand, I will be able to begin reading where I left off, even if I change my reading device. Will content be limited? The answer is no according to Scott Dougall, Google Product Management Director. “The Google e-book store will have a full complement of competitively priced best sellers and contain a wide array of scholarly, scientific, and professional titles making it the largest e-book store on the planet”.

See you Tuesday!

Will DeLamater
Kindle, Nook, (and More!)  Educators

Correction–Free Webinar November 30: TRAILS–Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills

21st Century Resources:  TRAILS–Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills
November 30th 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST

Join Barbara F. Schloman, Ph.D., TRAILS Project Director; Associate Dean, Kent State University Libraries and  Julie Gedeon, Ph.D., Coordinator of Assessment, Kent State University Libraries as they discuss ways to use the free TRAILS assessment tool to address student 21stcentury information literacy skills. Appropriate for librarians, curriculum directors, administrators and classroom teachers.  You will need a telephone and computer with Internet access.   No registration necessary.

To join the webinar audio:

Dial ReadyTalk phone number: 8667401260 (US) Enter 7-digit access code: 9166474

You will be placed on music hold until the Chairperson starts the conference

To join the webinar Web Conference. Click here to automatically login:

Enter your name, email, phone and employer.  You will view a “Lobby screen” until the Chairperson starts the Web Conference.

To test your browser and network connections for compatibility prior to the conference, go to: