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Over the next week, through April 14, AASL is seeking “endorsements” of the finalists named AASL Social Media Superstars. There are SEVERAL names SCASL friends should recognize, as they have been prominently featured at SCASL Conferences (even as recent as this conference.) Consider visiting that link, and clicking on the area that contains a name you recognize, and leave a ringing endorsement.  Yes, that’s right, YOU can help select the AASL Social Media Superstar by leaving a comment to endorse your choice for winner.

Below is an edited reposting (with permission) of my dear friend Jane Lofton‘s original post.  I too serve on this unique committee and am excited to participate in the naming of Social Media Superstars.  The decision is not ours (the committee) alone to make, and we are affording the social public an opportunity to help with endorsements and more in the final selection process.  Do take advantage of this! And thanks Jane, for allowing me to use your original post!


AASL’s Social Media Superstars!

Over the last several months, I have had the privilege of serving as Chair of AASL’s Task Force to establish new “Social Media Superstars” recognitions. And, yesterday, our task force had the excitement of announcing the inaugural group of superstar finalists. We developed seven different categories for the recognitions (in no particular order), and there are three finalists in each category:

  • Sensational Student Voice
  • Advocacy Ambassador
  • Tech Troubadour
  • Program Pioneer
  • Curriculum Champion
  • Leadership Luminary
  • Social Justice Defender

We shared the details about what each category represents on the AASL website. Here are the descriptions and the finalists for each category:


In every case, the finalists are, of course, exemplary in what they do in their teaching and programs, but they take it a step further by generously amplifying their ideas and messages using social media to model practice and reach more of their peers. I’m not linking to the individual categories, here, only because I REALLY want you to go to through the overall posting, then link to each category from there, to read all the wonderful things about each finalist.


Why is this new superstars program important? In my mind, anyway, I love that the AASL Board chose to create a new recognition for our members, appreciating the value of social media to amplify our voices for advocacy, leadership, and social justice; exchange of great program, curriculum, and technology integration ideas; and empower our students’ voices. And, equally important, I believe, is the opportunity this gives all of us – librarians, other educators, and education and library supporters, alike – to learn about 21 amazing people (7 categories x 3) you may not yet be following and add them to your Personal Learning Network for new inspiration and networking.


Then, once you explore all seven categories, please add endorsements for your favorites. The task force will consider all the endorsements as part of the selection of the seven top superstars. Please add your endorsements by April 14, then stand by for a webinar announcing the winners on Thursday, April 27, at 6pm Central Time.


And, finally, share this information far and wide so that more people in the school library and education community can benefit from learning about and following the 21 AASL Social Media Superstar finalists.


I’d like to thank the task force members, all of whom worked very hard on this and are definitely also great people to follow on social media!: Marifran DeMaine (@abookforfrances), Liz Dodds (@lizdodds), Elissa Malespina (@elissamalespina), and Cathy Jo Nelson (@cathyjo). Many thanks, too, to our amazing staff liaison, Jennifer Habley, and our Board liaison, Pam Harland @pamlibrarian).



It will take quite a while to process a state level conference that one planned from scratch! There are so many people I need to thank. I know I will miss many who helped me in so many ways, but I want to start here while I am fresh from the #SCASL17 conference and beginning to reflect. My reflection here will be from the view of not attending a single session, only the keynote and Authors Celebration Luncheon. I work Command Central the rest of the entire conference, a chaotic, challenging, and at times very difficult job, but I must confess it was a labor of love

Top Ten who I owe thanks and warm acknowledgements:

  • Diane Geddings
    She served as my Vendor/Exhibitor Chair, coming back from #SCASL16 to help out again. Diane really made me realize the importance of cultivating meaningful relationships with our loyal vendors who come each year, and why we want them to be happy in the exhibit hall.  Her easy going, friendly demeanor and persistent reminder to remember the exhibitors in anyway we could scored us so many brownie points. She is giving it up after this year, so we are looking for a new one for #SCASL18, but she certainly has laid the groundwork out for how to have a successful vendor space. Not only did she make us have a very successful exhibit hall, she scored us many sponsorships.  I am sad she is not doing it again next year. (UPDATE:  DIANE IS BACK FOR #SCASL18!!)


  • Heather Thore P20_SLATE_HTHORE
    Heather served this year as local arrangements chair, and I am not kidding when I say I did not have to worry about anything related to the site and making conference run smoothly. She arranged facilitators, drivers back and forth to airports, flowers and decor, and so much more. I’m a little jealous, as she will be the conference chair for next year where we will be in the same venue, so she really got to experience conference planning from an entirely different view, and will be able to improve upon anything that may need to be improved for next year’s conference. We shared to do lists using Google Keep, and so we always knew what still needed to be done. It was such a blessing having here there leading and learning, and now she can begin the preparations for next year with a huge advantage over me–she will know the site inside and out, and can make it even better than what we did this year at #SCASL17. I can’t wait to see what comes of #SCASL18!


  • Krystal Capps
    Krystal was our Events Manager at they Hyatt, but I cannot say enough great things about her. I realize she is a professional with many events under her belt, but I still have to say she made planning our conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Greenville a delight. She was quick to make any adjustments we needed to make spur of the moment, and she made them happen immediately with no questions asked.  I was extremely thankful she was our events manager. The Hyatt can rest assured we are THRILLED to be coming back next March, especially knowing Krystal will be helping us plan it again.


  • Doug JohnsonmyON-2color_small[2]Doug was not at our conference this year, but he was instrumental in connecting me to potential sponsors when on short notice I found out I didn’t have a sponsor for our name badges. Doug made e-introductions for me with Todd Brekhus of MyOn, and the rest was history! I had a sponsor for our badge holders that were extremely popular with attendees, and a first time vendor at conference, all the way from Minnesota. I hope they will return next year!


  • John Schumacher  and Colby Sharp – “MrSchuReads was supposed to be with us last year, but illness (back injury count here?) laid him out and he had to miss. Score one for me–he promised to come this year, and he did not disappoint! Every time I saw him he was surrounded by attendees, so I know he really impressed everyone here. Since he was coming this spring, we decided to add Colby Sharp to the program, and had a “SharpSchu” session too.  I felt extremely lucky to have both here, and now I’m campaigning to get Travis Jonkers here next year so we can maybe see them record a part of a “The Yarn” Podcast. Time will tell, as it’s not my call.


  • 22 Authors! WHAT!!??

    Jason Reynolds poses in front of the winning SCASL 2017 Young Adult Book Banner Contest. (Picture by Heather Loy via Twitter)

    Oh my, in August I was so worried about not having an adequate number of authors at our library conference, so much so that I began online stalking them. I began with some that really impressed me at ALA Annual Conference 2016, and spread out from there. I had no idea authors booked themselves so far out from dates! Luckily enough I scored promises to attend from 2 of our 2016 book award winning authors (Kirby Larson and Alan Gratz) and then I began working to secure more. I was amazed at the number who were in proximity to Greenville, SC, and then who knew that authors share with one another about Conferences? Before I knew it, we had 22 authors lined up. Checkout the SCASL Conference Link while it’s still there to see who we had! Some were contacts form ALA in Orlando, FL, some were authors that had visited Greenville in November for ReadUp, others were from book club contacts where we’d invited authors to visit online, and more. I was so pleased to have them all in attendance. We were diverse in gender, ethnicity, age, and even experience. Having Jason Reynolds keynote our SCASL Authors Awards Luncheon, and having Kirby Larson and Alan Gratz accept their 2016 SCASL Children’s Book Award Medal and 2016 Junior Book Award Medal in person with both moving acceptance speeches, I have to pinch myself to be reminded I was there–it was real! It was also awesome having Jason Reynolds present when we announced our Young Adult Book Award Banner winner this year, which was for his book


  • Conference Surprises
    Lucy Green, Dacia Jones, Kitty Tripp, Heather Moorefield-Lang – We had eight pre-conference sessions, but I heard over and over through tweets and comments made at conference registration desk (Conference Command Central) over and over how fabulous these presenters did. Many have asked for us to bring all four back next year, and I’m hoping we can do it. We have already secured Heather Moorefield-Lang as our 2018 Conference Keynote, and both Dacia and Kitty have expressed interest in returning, so I am hopeful. All of our precon speakers were excellent! One more huge surprise came during the Thursday Keynote given by Dr. R. David Lankes, the Director of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. He surprised us all by announcing that Dr. Lucy Green from Georgia Southern University, one of our pre-conference and concurrent speakers, will be joining his staff at USC! YAY. So now I am very hopeful she will join us again next March in Greenville. Icing on the cake, we announced that Heather Moorefield-Lang will be keynoting our 2018 Conference.
    Women Speakers (4) Women Speakers (5)


  • Greenville’s Mother Nature
    We arrived at our conference venue Tuesday evening to begin setting up the rooms and conference registration. Upon doing all we could do Tuesday, we decided to wander downtown, eating at a great restaurant, Tupelo Honey. As we ate dinner we watched the evening sky darken with an approaching thunderstorm, and then once back the the hotel, we had an eight story view of the lightening that came with said storm. Amazing, but it made me thankful I was indoors. John Schumacher was stuck in Charlotte waiting to board a puddle jumper plane to Greenville. SCASL Past President was en route to Greenville from Spartanburg and shared how frightened she was driving in the storm, and we were reading posts from Facebook and Twitter where folks in our area said windshields and sunroofs were shattering from the force and sheer size of the hail in the storm.  We had a wide range of weather for the four days I was in Greenville, from 80 degree flip-flop weather to sunshiny, but cool and chilly days afterward. This brings to mind our official welcome to Greenville, which came from Tom Taylor. Check out his video of his pictures he has captured personally to share with us the Greenville he knows and loves. Job well done Tom!


  • Meeting New Friends/Reconnecting with Library Friends
    You just can’t beat getting together with Librarians you network with online throughout the year.  We added several opportunities to socialize, particularly withCounter Clockwise- Past Presidents Reception, Food for receptions, desserts for visitors, AASL Meetup and Voting, AASL Members Group shot! SCASL Board members. Traditionally we have a Past President’s Reception and a Regional Network Breakfast, both food events by invitation only. Most conference venues have astronomical costs associated with these kinds of functions, so we have been seeking ways to bring the cost down but continue the tradition. Last year we decided to get a condo and use it (with our own food and supplies) for the Past President’s reception. The Regional Network Meet-up was a quickie “pickup a donut and coffee in the lobby before we get caught by hotel staff” event. After conference, the board decided to look into reserving a hotel suite if not a condo, and have the Past President’s Reception and the Regional Network Meeting there. The cost of the suite was more than we had ever spent on rooms, but the cost of food and service items was significantly less, so in all we were saving money. Then during ALA Midwinter 2017, we had the genius idea to have an AASL/ALA Member meet-up for breakfast, and use the time to remind and or help our members with their voting, which closes in just a few days. We also decided to do a fun BreakoutEDU activity in our Suite the Thursday night of conference.  I cannot tell you how many attendees came thru our suite for different events, but we had a rash of folks asking how to get MORE involved, and expressing interest in being on future boards. Checkout some of our pictures from those events!!


  • Heather Loy
    Our organization is strong because of the members, past and present. I have been told numerous times how great this conference was. It was not perfect and without problems, but our process for developing and implementing a strong program seems to hide our flaws relatively well. Those who have planned conferences before me can attest to the tremendous amount of work that goes into it, and the sheer amount of exhaustion the Program Chair experiences afterwards. These now present and past presidents have been a godsend to me as well, all offering tips along the way, answering my many questions, and steering me in the right direction. Each conference these people have tweaked and modified our Conference Handbook to make the next Program Chair have a better conference  than theirs was. I can attest to how very helpful that handbook is, and am already planning my additions to the handbook to ensure that Heather Thore will have fewer questions for her planning of our next conference in 2018.  Then she’ll join this highly regarded and respected group. Heather Loy brought to conference a gift for me, one that I will bring back to conferences in the future. Her gift to me was a “welcome to the club” gift, the club of those who before me who have put their blood, sweat and tears into conference planning. I will give to Heather Thore the same amount of attention, assistance, ideas, and help, as much as she wants. This gift, an iron works rendition of our SCASL logo, will be a treasured gift from Heather Loy for years to come. I will bring it back to conference next year and proudly display it at registration again, if Heather Thore allows it. You see, these people, Heather Loy and all the other past presidents, they are the most passionate people in our profession and organization. I hope I live up to their standards as leader of our organization. But just as this gift is made of strong  steel and iron, so too is my passion for my profession and this organization.  And this gift will always remind me that I LOVE our SCASL organization. Thanks Heather for this reminder.



All the images in this post were given to me with permission for use with the SCASL 2017 Conference and posts on or about the conference. Tom Taylor’s video came from his sharing it (at my request) which he did via Youtube.

Now that summer is here, I have so much to do.

First up–ALA Orlando

I will be attending ALA in Orlando in just under a week from now–attending the affiliate assembly, learning how to represent SCASL and South Carolina in the coming years. Yes, that is right, I am assuming more leadership within the organization. On July 1 my role in SCASL changes from Regional Network Director to President-Elect. Much of my responsibilities will shift to the planning of our March conference. I’m just a little intimidated by that, but Ive already begun making contacts and plans for this adventure. Wish me luck. This will be a change for me as usually I attend ISTE every summer. But accepting the challenge of SCASL President elect means I’ve committed to ALA for the next three years. I will sorely miss all my ISTE friends. ISTE has always been a great way to connect face to face with members of my PLN. Don’t get me wrong, a number of my PLN attend ALA every year as well, but not all ALA attendees are school-minded, so there are just less of them there. I am looking forward to ALA. Orlando I can give or take. Living just under 8 hours away from Orlando, well, been there done that–multiple times. So I’m not looking forward to competing with all the ALA attendees and the mega tourists in Orlando to get food and have fun. Who in their right mind thought having that conference during the height of tourist season in Orlando was a good idea? ALA has it all wrong. ALA Midwinter should be in Orlando, not ALA Annual. Oh well. I’ll still manage to enjoy learning and networking.


2nd up – DENSI2016 in Chicago

In late July I’ll be attending  DENSI. Discovery Education has become a favorite resource over the years, not just for the instructional materials made available to subscribers, but also the wealth of learning and networking with its most valuable asset–> Discovery Education Network Members. You just cannot beat the human factor of learning from one another. Even though my state no longer funds Discovery Education for us anymore, it is that important to me and my school. We continue to subscribe even though it’s pricey, but it’s so worth it. Each summer there is the institute that brings together roughly 150 educators, and I made it in another year. It’s very competitive trying to get in. We’ll be in Chicago for a weeklong stint of learning the best way Discovery Education does it–through community and its members. Bonding and lifelong friendships will result from the teacher camp type atmosphere, but the real winners will be our faculty and students who will benefit immensely from the annual event when we return refreshed, rejuvenated, and full of ideas to try out and learnings to share.


A hopeful 3rd – Santa Barbara, CA

My oldest son moved to Santa Barbara, CA in April, so we are hoping to visit there sometime this summer. Mr frugal son #1 says he isn’t ready to entertain, but this mamma just wants to make sure he has furniture and is living in a good area. Oh and she also wants to go to the SB beach! I hope we can get out there this summer. Time will tell. On two teachers’ salaries, it’s looking iffy for sure.




Salt to the SeaSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ruta, you have hit a grand slam AGAIN. It was a fascinating story, and mid way through I had to stop and research several things, including the Amber Room, the Amber Swan, the Wilhelm Gustloff, and more! It kind of gave me an idea what might happen in the story, but I still read on, enraptured! I can’t wait for our “virtual” book club with you in April, just a few weeks away.

Dabbling in Data

Recently the librarians in my district were asked to provide our library collection number of holdings and our average collection copyright age from the group working on our district reading plan. I don’t want to assume anything about how that data will be used. As a matter of fact, I’m delighted to know the library information for our district’s libraries is being considered at all. But providing this information once again has me worried. This same information made its way for the first time this past year to the annual school report card.

  • Library Collection by the numbers = 23,472 and this is not counting subscription services & ebooks through Gale. (Note – current enrollment, 2381)
  • Library Collection Average Copyright Age = 2002


Tsk, Tsk

It is such a shame to feel we are being nailed on age when we in my teaching context have not seriously invested in our nonfiction in the last few years due to our patron’s preference to do research online. What librarian doesn’t struggle with some pangs of guilt over this information? Instead of getting newer nonfiction books, we have instead bought more subscription databases and services (Gale, Ebsco, Discovery Education, etc.) to supplement project based learning and research needs. The nonfiction on the shelf have been weeded some, but they are ridiculously outdated for research, and more or less now serve as a source for interest reading. We even tell students that check out from these sections to be sure to look at some of our purchased online resources for better quality and more current information.



I don’t mean to make excuses, but rather defend our spending practices which haven’t really focused on nonfiction print materials in quite some time. To be good stewards of our budget, we must provide what our community wants, and let’s face it, now in terms of research, I don’t even know experts in our field or any field that haven’t moved over to vetted, authoritative, and continuously updated subscription and online services that are.


Where is it better?

I would like to bring attention to the more respectable sections of our collection. The most dominantly checked out materials by our patrons hold more current average copyright ages; the fiction section has an average copyright date of 2008, and the arts (non fiction) has an average copyright date of 2005. These materials make up just over 43% of our collection.


What now?

I do not know exactly how this requested data or information will be used, but it did bear sharing and defending our data. With such a large school and large collection, it is difficult to weed more, though we all know it must be done.  Our state’s collection standards are under revision this year, and I hear these revisions will be even more strict, but also take into consideration that research has dominantly become an online entity. So I shared with my colleagues to be proactive with this data, and leverage the information to bolster a proposed budget plan, one that addresses the need for more books and more money to invest in online resources.


Leverage the tools

We in South Carolina have just the right mixture of data to make our case. We are very publicly a part of our school’s report card, and we have solid data from our South Carolina Library Impact Study to make the case that we make a difference in student success. Just this month School Library Journal has our Impact Study featured.  With these tools, timing is ripe to approach the powers that be who decide how much funding the library gets in our state’s dominant site based management world for school funding. Equip yourself and go forth with your data, a budget plan (shoot for the moon people), and the Impact Study. We all know in this day and age of the education landscape, our administrators respond to data. And data this year we do have.  (NOTE: Infographic representing the 2015 SC Impact Study. Click on the image to visit SCASL.net for more information.)
We are quite proud of our SC Impact Study.


As many schools are slowly but surely moving to 1:1 or close to it, librarians are discovering that their role is changing. Here is a recent question posed in one of my networking circles, and I find that it is a legitimate concern. The person states the needs here:

In the next couple of years, my district will transition to 1:1. I would love to hear from middle and high school librarians who have been through this transition in your school/district. Specifically, those who can speak to how or if this changed the dynamic of your library and your day to day. Feel free to elaborate on the good, bad, and the ugly.


I love that one requesting information asks us to include the good, the bad, and the ugly. We all know the transition to any new way of thinking is not always rosy for every party involved. I’m going to respond based on my own experience. I’m also going to add another area to explore, that of “what has NOT changed.”


The Good

I suppose I should go ahead and share that we are not fully one-to-one yet. But we’ve enough devices (in the format of laptops for the most part) to impact the library and staff. I find that we librarians spend about half of our instructional time in classes rather than in the library nowadays, meeting them where they are at. This would truly be a struggle if I was not in a teaching context where there are two certified LMS’s and a full time assistant. Our staffing means when one or both of the librarians are out in classrooms, we don’t have to close/lock the library doors. Our teachers respect that we are willing to come to them, which is less disruptive than them packing up and coming to the library. With online resources being the preferred resource for research, we’ve transitioned to investing in online resources (ebooks, databases, Discovery Education, etc.) to make up for print resources that so rarely get used. To ensure that these materials are used, we spend time promoting and teaching the resources we have invested in. Selfishly it also allows us an opportunity to remind the school community (students, teachers, parents, administrators, etc.) that using these resources IS in essence using their library and library’s staff. It makes us even more relevant. My colibrarian and I have taken on responsibilities that serve the entire school population. We are tech trainers for our school (and even district.) We maintain the webpage, the learning management system, the school’s scrolling tv announcements, the student google accounts and more, giving us even broader visibility in the school program.


The Bad

My photo looking down from the upstairs hallway

For me the bad is that the physical space tends to get ignored, or worse, misused. I work in a beautiful library with high cathedral ceilings with plenty of windows that allow for large amounts of illuminating daylight. But since the space which is located in the center of the main campus is not used as much by classes for research or project based learning anymore, it almost has an empty feel to it during class time. Don’t get me wrong, we still have plenty of visitors that come independently. We are still a preferred spot before school begins each morning, during lunchtime, and for those students who have open blocks.  It is one of the only spaces in our school environment available to students for printing hard copies of any work. In our more conservative setting, we haven’t branched out to offer makerspaces yet (shame on me-what a confession!), only dabbling in small scale activities that we refer to as crafts (up-cycled books anyone?) Our layout is locked in by the design architecture, and the bookshelves and tables are not as easily moved. I want castors on my tables, and newer, more versatile furniture, but it’s not in the budget, though we are long overdue for an update and remodeling. Our library, despite the first impression of beauty and great design, quickly reveals itself as a library intended to serve a different time period. But it does look really nice, and can serve three or more classes at a time. And I won’t complain about that.


The Ugly

Ugly is such a harsh word. Ugly in the library is the many areas of frayed carpeting. Ugly in the library include the nonfiction shelves that are losing ground book-wise, as we weed but do not replace those rarely used printed books, opting instead for online materials referenced earlier in this post. Ugly are the boxes and boxes of weeded books as we struggle to find them new homes. Ugly is the calendar with many days the library is booked and even closed for a variety of testing–WIDA, ACT WorkKeys, End of Course Testing, and I’m sure other testing that has yet to be named for the Spring. Time will tell.  But saying that, even before the trend for our school to go one to one, we still suffered from testing dominating our mid to late spring schedule. It is just part of the public school landscape these days, and one to one didn’t cause it or effect its impact on the schedule. I’m sure many school libraries have some of these same “ugly” features.


So what has not changed?

We still offer great services to our school community. We still offer a variety of in library programming including book promotions, service learning activities, and book clubs. The most popular areas of our circulating books (fiction and graphic novel/manga) are healthy and growing and according to our students and even the visiting teen librarians from the local public library system rival what is offered from the area’s public libraries. We strive to get books almost on demand as students ask for or inquire about the newest or next in the series. We still do booktalks, in the library and in the classrooms. We still work with teachers, plan lessons, and assist or lead instructional activities. We still have the same number of classes schedule to visit the library as a group for book checkout. We still sponsor book clubs, promote YA Lit activities and programs, and cater to the needs of those who come to the physical space. Our school still finds value in our overall program, and we are rewarded with visits, expressions of pleasure, requests for outside visits, and acknowledgement from all that we are providing a dynamic program at school.


All this to say…

The library program will be a living, breathing, vital program if you work at it, making yourself and your program indispensable. Times will always change and throw curveballs at you, and going one to one is just one of many we’ll see in the foreseeable future. Just be flexible and find a way to fit in. Do not worry that your school moving to a one to one environment will adversely affect you and your program. Instead acknowledge it, embrace it, and find a way to be essential despite any change. Most important, don’t resist. As my former University of South Carolina professor Dr. Dan Barron was fond of saying, “Grow or Die.” Be whatever your school and community needs in your library program, and know that your role will evolve just as the school environment changes. I’m often prone to say to those who ask why I became a school librarian. I truthfully tell them no two days are the same, and everyday presents new and interesting challenge, so I never get bored. If you are not experiencing the same, then get worried.



Yep. I said yes. Now I really have some work to do. This and two presentations scheduled between now and March 4. This wordy girl has some work to do! Won’t you join us there in Greenville, SC?

I’m loving the SCBA Group created in Goodreads. It’s for all grade levels for any year our state’s SC Book Award Program.  Don’t you want to join in the conversation??


SCBA 29 members

SC Book Awards Program

Books we’ve read



by Lish McBride
Start date: January 30, 2016

View this group on Goodreads »

For our lunchtime bookclub, we try to find themes for August and January that will draw students in. These particular meetings are designed to be a “bring your own book” meeting, so students won’t feel pressured to get the title we are reading, but instead allow students to check it out and see if it is something they might want to become a part of.  Our August meeting was literally a “bring your own book” where kids could bring any title. We wanted to change up the January meeting while maintaining the byob format, so we came up with the theme, “Books @ the Movies.”  For our January lunch time book club, our kids are encouraged to bring any book that has been a movie. We have se t no other limits.  During this meeting, which happens this Friday, we hope to hear a resounding reminder from all the participants that the books are always better than the movies!

We have designed a Kahoot using pictures from the films based on books, and see who can the fastest with accuracy identify books based on a scene or actor in character.  We’ve selected  which have books physically sitting on our shelves. There are plenty more.


Want to see which ones we’re using? Click here.

We plan to do another surprise BYOB lunchtime meeting in March, as we explore interest in Manga and graphic novels too. We are going to ask the kids to bring any title to this meeting to share with the group. That should be interesting, and maybe even grow into a separate book club/film group.

I always try to attend at least one of Leslie Fisher’s sessions. Sometimes that winds up being in the exhibit hall at a booth. But I made sure to attend her Group Smackdown. I always learn something new that I can use immediately. This session did not disappoint.

My favorite take away:

Mac users who present can be caught in the middle of playing a video and discover the volume needs adjusting. Using a Mac, that’s an easy fix, just quickly tap the increase volume key on the keyboard. While that does fix the issue, it comes with an annoying “wonk-wonk-wonk” noise. To increase or decrease the volume of your Mac computer while playing a video WITHOUT the annoying sound, all the user has to do is hold the shift key at the same time as making the adjustment, and the annoying noise is eliminated! SCORE. I did not know that.

Other take-aways:

I love to see videos that emphasize a point or make me laugh. Here are a few I really enjoyed from Leslie’s session:

Teens React to Books


Selfie Stick Abuse

Leslie has a great website and a treasure trove of content from her presentations not to be missed over at LeslieFisher.com.  Since many educators wear lanyards, Leslie also encouraged us to share a funny school lanyard story. Read some of the hilarious posts folks have shared here.


Special Thanks

I am appending to this post a special thanks to the South Carolina State Library and Halie Brazier for accepting my application for a funding source for travel and attendance at this conference, the Future of Education in Technology Conference. My funding is directly attributed to the Library Services and Technical Services Act and the U.S. Institute of Museums and Library Services. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to attend this professional development opportunity.


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