Who knew something so small could be a game changer?

I know that I should be creating reports to document all of the data from the library program. I mean, it’s really Librarian 101. Even though I always have the best intentions, collecting the data, printing out multiple reports, even putting it all in a spreadsheet, I rarely find the time to actually create something out of it. You see, I am VERY creative when it comes to instruction and planning and working with teachers, but anything artistic stumps me. I just wasn’t born with that ability, so creating beautifully laid out reports is difficult for me.

I promised myself at the beginning of the school year that I would make myself publish library reports. In order to make this an obtainable goal, I decided to publish one every 9 weeks. While that’s a long time to go between sharing information, I do stay current on the library’s social media accounts, so I’m sharing day to day in a more informal way.

Yesterday was the last day of the 1st 9 weeks. It really crept up on me and I remembered my promise to myself; create a report, create a report. So, I added that to my already overflowing To-Do list. Towards the end of my day, I carved out a good, solid 30 minutes and pulled all my data and put it in a spreadsheet to organize it all and do all of the math. I began my report using Canva and finished it at home last night. While the report is simple and doesn’t contain all of the elements that I would like it to, I got it done and sent it out in an email to our whole staff last night. And I was amazed at what happened next…

This morning when I opened my email, I had about 7 replies to my snapshot report – all positive comments! I had no idea that something so simple, outlining basic data about circulations, Chromebooks, classes served and our makerspace events would warrant actual replies form my colleagues. What I saw as a report that showed me not doing enough, didn’t read that way at all to everyone else.

Reading their emails warmed my heart and made me feel so proud of my work. I realize now that what might seem simple and lacking to me, can be very eye opening and impressive to others! I think what this taught me is that I’m my own toughest critic and that producing and sharing actual data about the library program is not just a good thing, it’s necessary!

Here’s the CCHS Library Snapshot on the 1st 9 Weeks:




#NCSLMA15, you were amazing!

My head is still reeling from the NCSLMA 2015 Conference. Between presenting and running the Organization’s social media campaign, I left Winston Salem exhausted – but in the best possible way. Mollee and I planned and prepared months ahead of time to ensure that we would be able to build excitement and encourage all of the conference attendees to become more active participants through social media. Our goal was to give members easy and accessible ways to make connections, be heard and learn and grow from their PLNs. After seeing all of the tweets, I feel confident that we accomplished our goal. Now the big question is, can we get members to keep up the same momentum and enthusiasm now that NCSLMA15 is over!?!

During the conference, Mollee and I tweeted out challenge questions that attendees could answer for a chance to win prizes. Since we were so caught up in following the hashtag, choosing winners and using social media to document the conference, Mollee and I rarely had the opportunity to reflect on our own experiences over the 2 days.

So now, I want to answer some of the questions that attendees were given on Thursday and Friday.

  • What is the top title on your TBR list?
    I have multiple books that I can’t wait to read, but I’m most excited to tear into Carry On. Rainbow Rowell is my favorite.
  • What has inspired you the most so far?
    “There is no textbook for modern library service. We are writing it together.” -Joyce Valenza
    Everything she says is inspirational, but this statement really stuck with me. It’s so easy for us to compare ourselves to others who have more, do more, say more, get more recognition – BUT we just can’t do that, it’s not healthy. All of our libraries are different. We serve different kids. We live in different areas. We have different funding. Our philosophies of service are not all created equal. The one thing we do have in common, is that we all do what we do because of our kids.
  •  Share one memorable quote from #NCSLMA15.
    Where do I begin!?! Everything could be a memorable quote. One of my favorites came from Sedley Abercrombie, NCSLMA President-Elect. She tweeted, “I seriously have the BEST. JOB. EVER!”
    I agree 100%.
  • What is your favorite resource or tool from any session you’ve go to so far?
    I think it’s impossible for me to narrow this down to 1 single resource. I can say that I am most excited about all of the coding resources that I came across in sessions that I attended.
  • What is one thing you’re ready to go back to your school and work on?
    • Expand the library’s makerspace
    • Begin a coding club
    • Build a program that teachers digital leadership

The enthusiasm that everyone had at the conference has re-energized me and made me very passionate about finding ways to give all of our members a voice. I can only hope that the conference attendees will now be filled with the confidence to make connections, be heard and become a more participatory part of their own PLNs.


Aurasma Book Commercials with Manteo Elementary School

My friend, partner in crime, and friend Mollee and I decided we wanted to have our students collaborate again this year on a project. We’ve both been using Aurasma in our libraries and thought that this would be a great way to have our kids interact and learn from each other. We both sought out English teachers who we knew would be willing to play. After listening to their concerns/needs for their students, our project was born.

We decided to partner Mrs. Gregory’s Honors English IV students and AIG 5th grade students from Manteo Elementary School to complete a collaborative book commercial project. The idea of this project is for CCHS students to create auras (augmented reality) that will help explain and teach about literary terms/devices, summarizing techniques and the ins and outs of creating a good book commercial. This project allows Mrs. Gregory to meet her goals, as well as, the AIG teacher from MES to meet hers.

I will be co-teaching with Mrs. Gregory during the project. On the first day, we will introduce students to the project, go over the purpose, and do mini lessons on Google Slides and recording videos with Chromebooks. During the second day, I will lead the class in how to create auras using Aurasma Studio and the Aurasma mobile app.

Project Directions for English IV Students

I’m super excited to get this project under way and can’t wait to see what our kids produce to teach the 5th graders.