For my first blog post, I decided to research blogs created by librarians. As a new librarian, I am constantly looking for new and exciting ideas to try in my library. Below you will find three blogs that I found to be great resources for not only myself but any librarian.
Reederama – http://reederama.blogspot.com/
Reederama is a blog created by an elementary school librarian named Jennifer Reed. This blog chronicles the activities students complete during library. Ms. Reed includes pictures and videos as well as detailed descriptions of how each project is completed. Reederama is appealing to a new blogger, such as myself, because the blog design is basic which makes it easy to navigate. Reed’s blog consists of one continuous page of blog posts.
In one blog post, Reed details how a group of fourth grade students created poems about the author Ezra Jack Keats. Using A Poem for Peter by Andrea Pinkney as inspiration, students wrote and illustrated poems about Keats. I was very impressed by this project, it is a great way to incorporate literature, research, and student creativity. I have spent a lot of time incorporating Science and Social Studies standards into my research projects, so I found this literature based project very refreshing.
In another post, Reed discusses how she used Thunder Boy Jr by Sherman Alexie with her Kindergarten class. The blog provides a brief summary of the book and a short video where the students share what their superhero name would be. I enjoyed how Reed used this blog post to not only promote what her students were doing but also promote a good book.
I was impressed with Reederama, even though the design was simple, there was a wealth of information included in the blog. The way that Reed shares not only great projects but great literature makes this blog a great resource for any librarian. I will definitely visit this blog again in the future to see what her students are creating and get ideas for my own library.
The Adventures of Library Girl – http://www.librarygirl.net/
The second blog I visited was very different because it was created by Jennifer LaGarde who is a Lead School Library Media Coordinator. LaGarde provides professional development to librarians (a link to schedule a presentation by her is included in the blog). Ms. LaGarde’s blog provides articles, resources, and ideas for librarians to use in their library. The Adventures of Library Girl is easy to navigate and bursting with information.
I found one blog post titled “Five Ways School Librarians Can Meet the Needs of Students in Poverty” to be extremely interesting. In this blog, LaGarde provides statistics about how students in poverty have less exposure to literature and a smaller vocabulary than other children. The blog also provides a list of strategies that librarians can do to help these students. This blog post was very relevant for me because I teach at a highly impoverished school. In particular, I love the idea of creating reading communities through social media such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
In another post, “Six Tips for Building Book Displays That Matter,” LaGarde discusses how having “pretty” book displays are not enough, they need to have a purpose. I was very intrigued by this post because I do not have any bulletin boards in my library which makes book displays tricky. LaGarde states “we view our displays as a way to communicate an idea, when really we should think of them as a chance to connect with kids.” She provides six tips for creating better book displays such as: honoring student choice and interactive displays. From reading this post, I have a new appreciation for how powerful book displays can be and ideas for how to make my displays more meaningful.
While this blog is different from a “typical” library blog, I think The Adventures of Library Girl is a great resource for librarians. LaGarde blogs about relevant issues and provides tips to help librarians meet the needs of their students. I would recommend this blog to any librarian as a source of current professional reading and ideas.
Continuously Learning in the Library – http://curtiselementarylibrary.blogspot.com/
The third blog I visited was created by a teacher-librarian named Shawna Ford in Texas. Simply put, this blog is amazing. There are tabs for Library Happenings where student work is displayed. A tab for New Books & Reviews where new books to the library are reviewed. The Teacher Resource tab provides screencasts and/or directions that show teachers how to use new technology. Finally, a tab for Makerspace discusses how to set up a Makerspace and includes pictures and videos of students participating in various Maker activities.
One blog post, showed how the school/library celebrated International Dot Day! Dot Day is based on The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. In this blog Ford discusses how various classes used Skype and Google Hangout to connect with classrooms throughout the country to share their work. There is a video included showing students Skyping and their artwork. I enjoyed this blog because I am a big fan of Reynolds’ Dot book. One of my goals is to take part in Dot Day next year, so I enjoyed seeing how this librarian participated in it.
In the New Books & Reviews tab, several children’s books are reviewed. The reviews provide a brief summary of the book and includes a 1-5 star rating. Ford discusses what grade level she used the book with and how the students enjoyed it. While this page is not very long, Ford only has five book reviews included, I was inspired by this page. I just received a shipment of books for my own library and I think this would be a great way to share the new titles with the staff at my school.
This blog is by far the most impressive of those I’ve explored. Continuously Learning in the Library is exactly what I want my library blog to become. I could (and did) spend hours looking at all the content. What an amazing resource!
From exploring these blogs, I have learned a lot about the power of blogging. Blogging can be used by a librarian to share student work (through pictures and videos), literature, and resources for teachers. My supervisor is always saying that it is important for librarians to “sell ourselves” and show our staff, administration, and board members what a great resource we can be. After looking at these blogs, I believe that creating a blog for my library is a great way to promote the great things happening in my library. I want my blog to include picture and videos of my students and book talks/reviews. My school has a large social media presence so I believe that my library blog would fit in perfectly.
I hope that you enjoyed exploring these blogs with me and I hope you will subscribe to my blog and watch it grow.