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So, I've been doing a lot of thinking about this recently. Wondering- what are our best practices? Do we TL's have certain things that we all (mostly :) agree that are really important to our work IN and OUT of tech land? Joyce Valenza has put forth lots of challenges in her 21st century wiki , and Meredith Farkas has a great stuff in her Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki (even if it is a bit heavier on public library tips right now).

What are the best practices for our libraries? What do YOU think is most important? What are the resources you have to have? Is it number of collaboration times and number of principal visits? Or is it something a little less tangible? Come on- join the fun- list a few of your top "I've got to do these things to be successful" tips!

Looking forward to the conversation!

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Hi guylibrarian:

As a grad student I think it is important for TL to have important practices for one's library in order to have a successful program. Some of the things I feel is important are Teacher collaboration, Up to date technology programs, diversity of instructional resources, diverse reading materials and subjects (age and grade level appropriate of course) and flexibility. I believe if a school library program includes these basic fundamentals, then a TL will be able to develop a successful library program.
After reading Joyce Valenza's 21st century wiki, I have determined that either she is an incredible multi-tasker, or she has a truly collaborative faculty. I believe that the #1 best practice for our libraries is collaboration! Without this, it is nearly impossible to ensure that students are meeting the information technology standards. 1 person cannot do it alone, even after a pot of coffee! In my opinion, the resources come second in importance. I believe you have to work with what you have. Begin a collaborative project with the resources that are present, and then develop plans for attaining more technology for future projects. Students must be involved, and they cannot truly be involved when the media specialist is in it by her/himself.
Top "I've got to do these things to be successful" tips.
1- be an advocate - stand up for your media center and your role
2- collaborate
3- have students involved in a variety of information technology
4- show off your students' work
5- COMMUNICATE effectively with teachers, parents, students, etc.
Thanks you two for replying....this is really going to get good. Lets have some more of you great thinkers- I'll even add my 2cents in a bit!
I have also been doing a lot of thinking about the 21st century teacher-librarian and student and where our library should be headed. I read Joyce's list and wonder how one person can do all that.

I have been overwhelmed by the amount of material "out there" to read. I have spent a lot of time doing that this entire year. I also hosted a parent focus group (podcasted that) and am having two teacher groups in the next week (which I will also podcast so I can collect notes later). After that, I will facilitate a couple of student groups and then prepare a number of surveys to reach teachers and students not targetted earlier. I have been collecting student bibliographies to determine what resources students are "actually" using (even if I have workied with them on databases, etc.

I have been improving my web 2.0 skills and have included the IT academic teacher (works with teachers and teaches grade 7 students) in my discoveries.

I read about all of the amazing things other teacher-librarians are doing and wonder how they find the time to work with people while maintaining a web site, a blog, a wiki and on and on, keeping up with the blogs I read, learning what's new and how to use it and managing the library, all of its collections (print, AV, electronic media, digital video, streaming video.........) and its personnel....

I have often wondered...do I become a virtual being (I have created my own avatar in Voki) or do I carry on trying to be all things. In my reading, I come to the conclusion that students still need what they have always needed from me; it's just more difficult to reach them even though we have such great options because of technology (or perhaps know I have reached them...we all have laptops and students can choose to "read" what I provide or not).

I am using igoogle and will be teaching it to the Math department and to one class of grade 8 students as well as Google reader (thank heavens for that tool).

Our school is an independent (1-12) school and, as such, has no district support. Any ideas for how to manage my time better?

Cheers,
Pat
Pat I am amazed at all you are doing with technology at your school. I agree with the idea of teaching the Math department iGoogle. We are educators who have to educate students of the 21st century, and in order to do this we must be in on the cutting edge of technology,
Collecting student bibliographies is a unique way to discover what resources students are actually using, so this way you are able to develop a technology base curriculum based on the resources they are actually using.

Thank you for thoughts,

Tammy
Hi Pat,

I'm interested in how you are creating your podcasts for your groups. I know about microphones, using Garageband or Audacity, etc., but I'm really interested in the logistics of getting the group recorded and where you store your podcast files so they are available, etc. This all sounds especially amazing as you say you have no district support for all of the wonderful things you are doing. If you have a moment (ha1) I would love to hear some details.

I totally agree about how overwhelming all of the new sources there are to read, absorb and practice using. I find I can just go with the one that meets the need of the moment, teaching it to someone else when I can, and then paying attention to how it adapts when they use it. I think I can only try to be aware of as many new things as I can be, so I can recognize when I might be able to use a new tool or recommend one to someone else. There's always a new one!

Thanks for your inspiring words.
Janet
Hello Janet,
I decided to use a podcast to record my library focus group discussion yesterday. Present were junior and senior high teachers and the Director of Academics (My "boss"). I chose to use www.mypodcast.com. All you do, after you register, is download the recorder. It is accessible after that in your programs. I recorded our discussion, clicked the save button and then the publish button. It was that easy. I sent the link to all of the people present at my focus group plus to the administrators who could not attend. If you send me your email address, I can send you the link as well...my address is ropchap@sts.ab.ca (the files are stored on the mypodcast site). I used my laptop and a very cheap mic purchased at the dollar store.

Pat



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