Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Redesigning Library

The 4-6 grade school where I have been the librarian/media specialist since 1996 is being revamped as a K-6 school as are 3 other schools in our district. (One of which will be brand new) As of yet the schools are not even named. The collections in our k-1, 2-3, 4-6 schools are having to be divided and the libraries redesigned for the new patrons we will have. All of this with very very little funding. Also I am redesigning for whomever takes my position as I am retiring at the end of this school year. Huge task! Our faculties will also be split up between the 4 schools. So the school I am leaving at the end of the year will no longer exist in any form or fashion except maybe the actual physical plant. All this is taking place while we still serve this year's students and attempt to teach to fidelity. And that's another thing.....Teach to fidelity does not seem proper use of the word to me.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Save the Words

This is so cool. Adopt a word and save it from a certain death.

Sponsored by the Oxford Dictionaries

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's International School Library Month Time (almost)

My students are again participating in the bookmark project for International School Library Month. We are paired again this year with Lam Tin Methodist Primary School in Hong Kong for an exchange of 450 bookmarks. Our other sister school is G. D. Goenka School in New Delhi, India. That match is for 300 bookmarks to be exchanged. We started today with our research on these two countries. The resulting project will be a poster display of the students' research. Look for these in the next few weeks.

This is a project we totally enjoy every year. I encourage all media specialists to get participate in this activity. Registration can be as early as July.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Finished Mockingjay two nights ago. Was disappointed with the epilogue. My teacher friend, who turned me onto the trilogy, and I agree on this. Could it be because it was a "young adult" book Collins decided to tie it all up neatly with a bow? Co-worker said it reminded her of the epilogue in the last Harry Potter. Also we were somewhat disappointed in Gale's post war occupation. However, the choice to shoot Coin....outstanding! Reread those paragraphs several times. Wish I had reread Hunger Games and Catching Fire before beginning Mockingjay. Too long away from a series sometimes muddles up the read.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Reading Rewards

Finished 22 books over summer vacation. Our public library sponsored a summer reading program for adults. Anyone reading 10 or more books was entered in a drawing for prizes. I won a grill/smoker, 10 pounds of charcoal, lighter fluid and grill tools. Fun, fun!

Books: Dead in the Family Charlaine Harris
The Shack William P. Young
Second Hand Michael Zandoorian
Take One Karen Kingsbury
Shades of Grey Jasper Fforde
Susannah's Garden Debbie Macomber
Ribbon of Years Robin Lee hatcher
Secret Keepers Mindy Friddle
Beachcombers Nancy Thayer
Home for Christmas Andrew M. Greeley
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Alan Bradley
The Walk Richard Paul Evans
Her Fearful Summetry Audrey Niffenegger
Bone Appetit Carolyn Haines
Mrs. Darcy and the Blue Eyed Stranger Lee Smith
Small Change Sheila Roberts
The Christmas List Richard Paul Evans
Lakeshore Christmas Susan Wiggs
Wedding Belles Haywood Smith
The Last Time I Saw You Elizabeth Berg
Wrecked Carol Higgins Clark

Most thought provoking......Shades of Grey. I love Jasper Fforde and have read all the Thursday Next books.

Guess I'm back to children's books for now. Lots of book talks to do. Nothing gets a book circulated faster than a good book talk/pitch/promotion.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Last Week of Summer

School starts back next Monday, August 2nd for faculty and staff. Our first day with students is August 9. This will be a bittersweet year. The last one for our 4-6 grade school as the district is reconfiguring the grades and 2011-2012 we will become a k-6 school with even a name change. I will have served as media specialist for the whole 4-6 tenure of our school. This also will be my 35th year in public education and if all goes as planned my last year before retirement. But there will still be lots of exciting times this year as we again have book fairs, celebrate International School Library Month, Jigsaw puzzle marathon, Dr. Seuss's birthday, Poetry Month. Stay tuned for all our activities.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where do you see poetry?

I recently visited another librarian's blog who asked the question....Where do you see poetry?

Would love to hear some answers. She and I both agreed on the song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen...although the Bon Jovi version is my favorite.

Also I see poetry in the Charter commercial running on TV right now with the child telling his grandmother how much he loves her.

Any takers? Will you share here on this blog?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Closing Libraries

Although we have not experienced library closings in our district, our state completely did away with any library funds this past school year. Also when the district gave the teachers $400 for classroom supplies librarians were not included. Thank goodness for successful book fairs.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

School's Out!!!!!

92 steps to the top

Just finished the last week of school and our family hit the beach. Can you guess which one?

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Our library held a coloring contest for part of our Earth Day celebration.

We have been watching a mama barn owl, Molly, and her owlets on a live stream from San Marco, California.

Our students have loved it. We have it up and running on a designated computer in the library.

The coloring page was a complicated picture of a barn owl in flight coming in with a mouse to feed her owlets. We required colors to be exactly like Molly's. Winners recevied new boxes of colored pencils and large boxes of crayons. The pictures are on display in the hallway outside of the librar.

Friday, April 16, 2010

We Rocked!

One of 17,000 at Philips Arena last night at the Bon Jovi Circle Tour.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Insights into State Testing

My wonderful friend who is a 6th grade teacher at our school wrote these musings on state testing. Just had to share.

5 Days
by Niki Millraney

For 5 days you will be judged. For five days, I will be judged. It is hard to comprehend that the sum total of our time together is measured in five days.First of all I want to say…. I am sorry. Testing starts and I morph into a robot. One you aren’t used to seeing. For 5 days I must turn into a stranger, reading from a script- afraid that one wrong word or slip--- could ruin it all. That must be strange to you-- I am sorry.For 5 days we test you- We ask you to pour all of your knowledge out with booklets and pencils and little circles. For five days we tell you to “Do your best on the test!” Some people care about those 5 days……I care about the other 180------I know that on Mondays when we have pizza- you get sad because Mom loved that kind of pizza and now she is gone. I know your “Very best” today already happened. It was getting up and out of the house on time by yourself ---- and you made your own lunch…you' re 11Yes, you feel asleep during the test and I woke you up. I hated to cause I saw you crying this morning, Who knows how your day started. ---We talk in class all the time about when will we use this anyway? I can honestly tell you that no one has ever asked me to find the conversion for a centiliter in the metric system.Don’t get me wrong. I do believe in accountability- Just it is to the One I answer to on a daily / hourly basis. It is Him who I try to pleaseWe ask you to “Bring your A game”---- “To leave it all on the field”. “To give us your best for five days---- Funny, I just expect more. I want your best everyday – and I know what that is.I know that those two paragraphs you wrote – while considered mediocre to the world – Caused me inside to jump up and down—I know that was your very best.I know you like to take your time and draw out the pictures--- I am sorry the time keeper said stop. I saw you start to cry today. Inside I wanted to rescue you, to show you how to fix it. to let you know, “ you really are smart- you got it right- but I can’t. I have to watch, to see you in pain- you are used to me lending a hand or a smile or a hug to encourage—today I have to stay away. I am sorry.I am certain you know the answer—but the bubbles --- they just messed you up. So – don’t worry about what that test says about you…. we know the truth.We know you like Goldfish for snack and Corn dogs at lunch. We know that you want to be a lawyer one day (but are already convinced you are not smart enough because of the test .)We know that last night, at home, it was kind of scary and you really like school because here you feel safe. We know that while you can’t prove it on the test—you are the best computer fixer or furniture repair man around—even at 11.We know the truth . I know you – I know the sum total of who you are can’t be measured on paper. I know your strengths and weakness and how they make you who you are. I know that 5 days is just a glimpse into who your are becoming—While others see a snapshot--- I get the movie. Let them have five days---- I want YOU!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Students Publish Books

Each year one of our 5th grade teachers has her classes write, illustrate a publish books using a company, School Treasures.

Books were distributed yesterday to the students in a presentation ceremony in our school library.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

Wordle: GreenEggsandHam

The entire Green Eggs and Ham in a wordle, thanks to Susan Grigsby.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Penny Drop for Haiti Earthquake Relief

The students at our school began a penny drop for Haitian Earthquake relief 2 days after the disaster. On Thursday I mailed a check for $731.90 to the Salvation Army Disaster Relief from our school. This is the 3rd penny drop for disaster our school has completed. The first was the Louisiana Libraries following Hurricane Katrina, the second was to Enterprise, Alabama, after a tornado struck the town on March 1, 2007, devastating the high school and killing 8 students.

Our students are compassionate, generous and thoughtful. So proud of them reaching out to others.

Monday, February 1, 2010

On a roll

I am on a roll reading some of the titles we have in the library. In the last few weeks I've read Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, Schooled by Gordon Korman, Stolen by Vivian Vande Velde, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Heartbeat by Sharon Creech, No Talking by Andrew Clements, The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett, A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban, Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss all by Richelle Mead.

Don't you find that when you talk a book to some kids the book just won't stay on the shelf? I needed some new repertoire and have been reading a new book every two days or so.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hard Times Come Again No More

This was sung last night on the Relief for Haiti program by Mary J Blige. This version is by Nanci Griffith. Did not know it was originally written by Stephen Foster during the civil war.
It has been recorded by many Wikipedia lists many of them http://

Stephen Foster's original lyrics:

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times come again no more.
Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.
While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.
There's a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o'er:
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.
Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.

Friday, January 15, 2010

AIMA Winter Conference

Attended a wonderful Winter Conference of the Alabama Instructional Media Association today. Theme was Promoting Your Library. Breakout sessions were helpful. Attended one on the FLIP camera, one on Signage using Microsoft Publisher, and one of the Encyclopedia of Alabama.

Here is the link

Encyclopedia of Alabama is a free resource. Visit it and look around