Friday, October 26, 2012

Good elementary program IS Advocacy

Melissa Techman of the Albermarle County Schools presented on her AMAZING elementary program. 
She suggests that advocacy is easy when you get kids engaged and excited at the elementary level.  Every student that goes home and describes a cool day at school, makes a product to share (digitally or physically), or tells a parent s/he loves the library is creating a parent advocate.  Librarians who interact with adults have a built-in opportunity to showcase what they do….so it is important to volunteer for duties and activities where you see parents, to invite visitors in, and to use volunteers.  When they see what you’re doing, they become your advocate.  Get their emails and send out regular updates about your program. 

When the library is exciting and busy, the rest follows….

How to thinks about space:
  • ·         Does it work for your users (and not just for the monthly faculty meeting…but the actual kids)?
  • ·         How do you combine public and private spaces?
  • ·         How to you make the space look EXCITING?

Some of her ideas:
  • ·         Weed maniacally to free up space; put everything you can on wheels to make the space as flexible as possible
  • ·         If you are within driving distance of a university—invite the set design crew, art students, etc to come in and help you think about cool cheap ways to redesign and decorate your space (for example, she had a student build a GIANT clip board to put in the room)
  • ·         Talk to local companies and ask if you can have their displays when they are done
  • ·         Put up boards with giant speech bubbles made of paper that is laminated; when kids have conversations—have them put their very best idea on the bubble and post it
  • ·         She has lots of great ideas on Pinterest

Things she does with kids:
  • ·         Ask kids to evaluate products—even preview boxes from book companies; look at Amazon; look at your book orders—they don’t make the final decision, but they give opinions that they know matter
  • ·         Lets kids come in at lunch time and teach things to one another—e.g., google maps
  • ·         Scaffolds lots of ideas for having kids learn how to have “academic talks”—how to check that they are staying on topic, how to use evidence to back their ideas; uses check lists, etc.
  • ·         Blogs:  uses approach developed by Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano:

TThings she supports:

Online life:

SLJ Summit--Thinking about Disruption

Here in Philadelphia with the MSLA crew at the  School Library Journal Leadership Summit.  Our topic is advocacy.  We are starting the day talking about the disruption in our culture as we get used to living in the 21st century.  The focus of the day is advocacy and how librarians lead in this new culture.  Focus is on how to create cultural spaces for contemporary learners--we need to have spaces where people search, connect, communicate and make!  We need to get kids in the room and get them excited.  Want to follow along?  Here are the slides etc:

Some fun ideas already--

  • tweet as a book character--create a hashtag; assign kids characters and throw out some questions--have a twitter meeting!
  • show your teachers a text book and then show them what it cannot do!  You can't touch a word and get the definition; you can't swipe the corners of a photo and get it to enlarge; you can't run a search for a topic--so maybe an e-book has some advantages!
  • The word "book" used to be so simple!  (love that)
  • Number one skill kids need in this century is curation capability--wow!
More coming!
Judi P.