Sunday, December 9, 2012

Questions about the Common Core?

In my district. we've been talking often about the Common Core. This past week I met with a group of teachers for an afternoon as we tried to develop a rubric to use to help us examine text complexity. The Common Core talks about three areas in evaluating texts: quantitative, qualitative, and reader and task considerations. Looking at existing models, we developed a draft of a rubric for our use. This weekend everyone in the group read a novel that has been used at the sixth grade level and completed the rubric. Tomorrow morning, we'll meet to compare notes, debrief on the process, and determine if the tool we have will work for the job at hand. I am excited we've moved the conversation beyond talking about Lexiles alone and are looking at works more holistically. 

Later this week, the seventh grade literature teachers, special ed department chair, and I (the school librarian) are going to work through a common novel taught at the grade level and delve into examining how the novel is taught and the kind of tasks being asked of student with an eye on the Common Core standards. 

The Common Core State Standards are a hot topic, and it behooves us to be up on what is happening and know the role the library can play in supporting teachers and learners. TLChat is exploring the topic Supporting Teachers with Common Core at 7pm Central on Monday, 12/10. Follow the hashtag #TLChat to participate in the conversation. 

Another really helpful resource that explores the school librarian and the Common Core is a livebinder put together by Carolyn Starkey. Wow! It is a rich collection of resources and articles. Ms. Starkey has done a tremendous job curating a huge collection of materials. There's no need to duplicate the work of the initial research, use the resource and start/continue learning!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Publisher Previews

There is nothing worse than walking through the bookstore and seeing the next book in the series of a super popular title sitting on the shelf.  You had no idea it was out.  How can you keep up with all the new choices coming out through the year?  Publisher previews are a great way to get ahead of the game.  This Thursday, December 6th, Lerner Publishing Group will have their spring preview; you can register here:

Scholastic already has their spring preview up and access is granted here:

Enjoy your chance to preview book titles that are scheduled to come out in the next season and choose the best books for your students!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meeting of the Minds at Dominican: Future Teachers and Librarians Collaborate

Collaboration with content area teachers is critical in our work as school librarians. Building those collaborative relationships takes time and effort. This event at Dominican University, while trying to draw pre-service teachers and librarians, is open to practitioners too. Please join the conversation about collaboration between classroom teachers and teacher librarians. Hope to see you there.

Meeting of the Minds: Future Teachers and Librarians Collaborate
Thursday, November 29th
Butler Children’s Literature Center, Crown Library 2nd Floor
Refreshments will be served
Join educators for a discussion about the power of collaboration between teachers and librarians moderated by School of Education professor Dr. Marilyn Ludolph and School Library Media Program director Dr. Don Hamerly. Practicing school librarian Dr. Erin Wyatt and teachers from Highland Middle School will share their experiences and artifacts from collaborative projects they’ve done with students.
The organizers hope that education and library students and practicing educators will attend the discussion and ask questions, share ideas, and join in the conversation. We’re looking forward to putting our heads together and developing our collaborative relationships!
*When educators collaborate, students benefit*

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hearing Authors Speak

Sometimes, one of the best ways to get students interested in a book is to hear the author speak about their work.  This is not always feasible, but Booklist is offering an amazing opportunity to hear author Patrick Ness speak from London about his books.  On Tuesday, November 13th at 1pm (Central Standard time) you have a great opportunity to hook your kids into something special!  Register here for this great event!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Catching up on the SLJSummit Through a Hashtag Search & More Hashtags for Learning

The School Library Journal leadership summit was held this past weekend in Philadelphia. I was able to follow some of the conversations, presentations, and resources through the Twitter hashtag, #sljsummit. Doing a search for that hashtag will bring up a results of tweets for the event so you can catch up on all the happenings.

In addition to following individuals and organizations on Twitter, these hashtags offer a helpful way to connect with other professionals and follow threads of conversations!

The second Monday of each month, there is a TL Chat held on Twitter. It uses the hashtag #TLChat and has a wiki with an archive of chats and for planing. The next #TLchat is scheduled for November 12.

This recent infographic shares a wide range of educational Twitter hashtags.
Popular Educational Twitter Hashtags
Compiled By:

Monday, October 15, 2012

ISLMA Conference Countdown

It's almost time for the annual ISLMA Conference.
The session lists are posted, and it looks like there are loads of fantastic professional development opportunities through the formal sessions. Another great thing about conference is the networking opportunities to chat with others in the field, share ideas, and develop new collaborations.

Use social media to connect at conference and follow what is happening. The hashtag for the conference is #islma12

See you at the conference in St. Charles!

Wednesday Webinar from ICE

If you are a member of ICE (Illinois Computing Educators), mark your calendar for the organization's next free webinars.

On November 7 from 5:30 - 6:30 pm, Carolyn Skibba and Michelle Nash will be leading a session on Using the iPad to Assess, Document and Reflect on Student Learning. This session requires online registration

Monday, October 1, 2012

TL Cafe: Your Common Core Secret Weapon

Tonight on TL Virtual Cafe, the session was focused on librarians and the Common Core. There were lots of great ideas and practical examples. The Librarians in the Middle, Tamara Cox, Monique German, and Kristen Hearne, led the webinar. If you missed it live, you can watch the archive. I'm also looking forward to all the post-webinar resources that will be posted on the wiki page.

You can check out the resources here -

Monday, September 24, 2012

Anderson's Young Adult Literature Conference

Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville is hosting its 9th Annual Young Adult Literature Conference this Saturday, September 29. It looks like a bang up line-up of authors.

Thursday, September 20, 2012 Free Webinars and Educational Community offers a wide range of free webinars for educators. It's an online social and learning community. The group recently announced a new relationship with LMC (Library Media Connection).

The complete lineup of upcoming webinars is available at

Fall 2012 Webinar Schedule
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 4pm / Eastern Time
Guided Inquiry Design: Inquiry and 21st Century Literacy Skills
Presented by: Leslie Kuhlthau Maniotes, PhD, administrator in the Denver Public Schools as well as a curriculum specialist and national consultant on inquiry learning.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 4pm / Eastern Time
Ramping Up Reading with Technology
Presented by: Sue Kimmel, Assistant Professor, Teaching & Learning at Old Dominion University, Darden College of Education, Norfolk, Virginia.  She is nationally recognized for her expertise in literature and a former member of Caldecott and Notables Committees.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 4pm / Eastern Time
The Nuts and Bolts of What Common Core Means to You: The Ultimate Opportunity for a Critical Role for the School Librarian
Presented by: Kristin Fontichiaro, clinical assistant professor and coordinator of the school library media program at the University of Michigan’s School of Information.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 4pm / Eastern Time
Social Networking for Schools
Presented by: Steven M. Baule, MLS, PhD, superintendent of North Boone Community Unit School District 200 in Poplar Grove, IL, and Julie E. Lewis, JD, partner with Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd., Chicago, IL, where she concentrates her practice in school and municipal law.
Wednesday December 12, 2012 - 4pm / Eastern Time
The Nuts ‘n’ Bolts of Common Core: Building a Robust Program for Teaching Research
Presented by: Kristin Fontichiaro, clinical assistant professor and coordinator of the school library media program at the University of Michigan’s School of Information.

ISLMA Conference Sessions Posted

The ISLMA Conference is quickly approaching. You can start to plana your conference experience by checking out the listing of the concurrent sessions available on the ISLMA website. While you are at conference you can use the hashtag #ISLMA12 to share your conference learning and experience.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Upcoming Booklist Webinars on Nonfiction and Graphic Novels

Thanks to Sarah Hill for forwarding information about these upcoming FREE webinars from Booklist. If you register and you can't attend the event as it is happening, you'll get access to view the recording.

What's New in Series Nonfiction: Fall 2012
Learn what's going on in the world of series nonfiction with presentations from four of the top publishers in this booming field: Crabtree Publishing Company, The Creative Company, Rosen Publishing, and Scholastic Library Publishing. REGISTER NOW!
Tuesday, October 2

2:00 p.m. EDT / 1:00 p.m. CDT
12:00 p.m. MDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT
Getting Kids Hooked on Books
The weather may be getting cooler, but books are always hot. Representatives from ABDO Publishing, DK Publishing, James Lorimer & Co., and Listening Library will share books and media designed to spark reluctant readers' interest in reading—be it turning pages or pushing play. REGISTER NOW!
Thursday, October 11

2:00 p.m. EDT / 1:00 p.m. CDT
12:00 p.m. MDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT
Surprising Reasons to Go Graphic
Join the expert panel from The Graphic Classroom blog, Capstone, and Booklist Publications for a lively discussion about how you can build on kids’ fascination with graphic novels to meet learning objectives and enhance critical thinking skills, such as prediction and inference. REGISTER NOW!
Tuesday, October 16

4:30 p.m. EDT / 3:30 p.m. CDT
2:30 p.m. MDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT
Can't make the date? Register anyway so a link to the video archive of this webinar can be e-mailed to you after the event. 

Please note: As a webinar registrant, you will receive follow-up correspondence from Booklist Publications and may receive other special offers from our sponsors.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Booklist Webinars

Booklist and the American Library Association puts on wonderful, free webinars in a variety of topics.  Focused on school and public libraries as well as a range of ages, take a look and see what they have to offer.  You must register ahead of time and links can be found on our calendar.  Always register for the webinar, because if you miss it, they will send you the link to the archive for later viewing!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

TL Virtual Cafe is back for the new school year. This year's first session on Rocking the New Year on Monday. 9/10 at 7:00.

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"Back by popular demand! A casual discussion to generate ideas on how to build school allies, support new teachers & become indispensable to admin & staff at the beginning of every school year."
Here's the participant link.

36th Day of Reading Conference

The 36th Day of Reading will take place on Saturday, November 3, at the Tinley Park Convention Center. The event features Gordon Korman and Carol Jago. There is also a pre-conference day on Friday, November 2. Information and registration can be found at:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Recording - Learning 2.0 Keynote Panel on Technologies & Librarians

Part of the Learning 2.0 Conference, this keynote panel recorded on August 22, 2012 focused on technology and libraries. Panelists included Gwyneth Jones, David Loertscher, Michelle Luhtala, Shannon Miller, and Joyce Valenza.

The panelists addressed the following questions:

View the archive

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Use hashtags for professional development

Are you a passionate school librarian looking for new ways to stay up on the latest library and education news?

Do you tweet?

If not, you are missing out!

Come on over to Twitter and join in on the conversation. You can learn from and share with your virtual teacher-librarian colleagues from around the globe, and all in 140 characters or less. Twitter makes this experience even easier with hashtags.

A hashtag is # symbol. When placed in front of a word or phrase, the hashtag categorizes that word or phrase into a searchable and easy to follow topic. You can even save that search in your twitter account for ease of use in the future. Below are some widely used library and education related hashtags.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Online training for school librarians from ALA

Want to get professional development in the comfort of your own home (or library)? The American Library Association (ALA) has a site that will connect you with a variety of online courses and webinars specifically for school librarians.There are live and archived webinars.

For example, you can watch "Battle Bullying with Books: Celebrate No Name-Calling Week Booklist Webcast from 01/25/2011)" any time for free.

Another option is "Navigating the Divide between Teens and Tweens" offered for a fee from YALSA.

The American Association of School Librarians e-Academy

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) provides online training for school library professionals via the AASL e-Academy. The e-Academy offers a variety of four-week courses that are asynchronous and Moodle-based. Participants will receive 12 hours of learning and collaboration from experts on a particular subject. After completing the course’s culminating project, all participants will receive a certificate which can be used to apply for continuing education credits through their school district.

Check out the the AASL e-Academy web site for a calendar of upcoming courses.

Online Professional Development through WebJunction

Interested in professional development opportunities available right from your personal computer? The following website, WebJunction, offers free webinars, many of which may be useful for school librarians. They also offer online courses to library staff, students, and teachers. Click the following link to find a calendar of upcoming webinar events hosted through WebJunction. At the bottom of the page you will find a list of archived webinars that can be streamed at your leisure.

The online courses offered through WebJunction are available to library, staff, students, and faculty in certain states, including Illinois. To see if you qualify for entry into these courses visit this website. If you know that you are qualified for entry into WebJunction's online courses follow this link to sign in and get started.

Happy professional development, everyone!


Attend free webinars at TL Virtual Cafe!

Have you heard of TL Virtual Cafe? This wiki offers FREE monthly webinars during the academic year on a variety of topics related to teacher librarians, technology and collaboration. No need to register for these webinars - all you have to do is (virtually) show up! All events are hosted via Blackboard. If you’re new to Blackboard, check out the tutorial here.

If you are not able to make it to the live event, you can check out past webinars archived on the wiki. Text chat archives and other materials from the webinars are also available.

The complete line-up for the 2012-2013 school year has yet to be posted, but we can look forward to hearing from Joyce Valenza this fall. Check out the wiki for more updates as the school year begins.

Upcoming Fall Events 2012:

Joyce Valenza & our PL in a Learning Smackdown

Continuing and Professional Education from Dominican 
 The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University (River Forest) offers a variety of professional and continuing education courses at the University. Some are a part of a series, some are individual workshops, but all look to be interesting and fufilling. 

First is a three part series about library management: Practical Tools for Challenging Times. Held at the Matteson Public Library the topics and dates/times are as follows.

Tapping into the Positive Side of Conflict
September 12, 9 am-1 pm

Managing Stress and Change
October 17, 9 am-1 pm 

Creative Problem Solving
November 14, 9 am-1 pm

Sign up for all three or the one that best suits you.

The next series is targeted at all library employees: Workplace Survival Skills. Held at Dominican University, the topics and dates/times are as follows.

Positive Responses to Challenging Situations
September 13, 9 am-1 pm

Bouncing Back During Times of Change
October 18, 9 am-1 pm 

Another series which may be of interest to school librarians is the three session 'crash course' on readers' advisory.

Readers’ Advisory: Zero-to-Sixty in 3 Steps
Presented by Joyce Saricks and held October 17, November 7, and November 28 from 1 pm – 4 pm, this series is aimed at those new to readers' advisory or who are looking to brush up their skills and learn what's out there.

Finally, on November 1 from 9:30-4:30, Dr. Peggy Sharp will be at Dominican to discuss:

What’s New: The Best of Children’s Literature 2012 

This event will be held at Dominican's Priory campus, approximately 1/2 mile east of the main campus.

For more information, prices, and how to register, visit Dominican University GSLIS Continuing and Professional Education site. 

Three Great (and free) conferences you can attend without leaving your home!

We lead busy lives and face it, as much as we'd like to attend conferences money, time, and distance can be an issue. Virtual conferences make it easy to partake in some professional development in the comfort of your living room!

Coming up first on the docket is the Learning 2.0 Conference, being held August 20-24th, on-line, across timezones, and free. It's quickly coming up, yes, and may be at a tough time because of school starting up, but the agenda sounds really interesting. From the website: "The Learning 2.0 Conference is a unique chance to participate in a global conversation on rethinking teaching and learning in the age of the Internet."

Topics for the conference include:

Classroom 2.0 --The Changing Nature of the Classroom
Student 2.0-- Changes to Student Learning
Teacher 2.0-- Personal and Professional Development
School 2.0--The Where, When, and How of Formal Learning
Pedagogy-- Re-evaluating Teaching and Learning Methods

Proposals for presentations are being accepted from July 25th - August 15, 2012.

Following in the same format as the Learning 2.0 Conference is the Library 2.012 Conference, taking place from October 3-5th. In this free conference, the current and future state of libraries will be discussed with participants all around the globe.

Topics include:
Libraries – Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces
Librarians & Information Professionals - Evolving Professional Roles in Today’s World
Content & Creation - Organizing and Creating Information
Changing Delivery Methods
User Centered Access
Mobile and Geo-Social Information Environments

Proposals for presentations are being accepted from June 15th - September 15th, 2012.

And finally, the Global Education Conference will take place on November 12th-November 16th. This free (see the trend?) conference is all about making global connections, "while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity."

There doesn't seem to be a set agenda, but the accepted sessions look really interesting. Proposals are being accepted from May 15th-October 15th, 2012.

You probably need to be a little techno-savvy to listen in on the conferences and/or present, but the directions and needed software are all included on the websites!

Happy conferencing!


Monday, August 13, 2012

The Blog's Beginnings

Hello School Library World!

Members of LIS773 - Summer 2012
We are graduate students in the GSLIS at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. This blog started as a project in our School Libraries Management class during Summer 2012. We are working with the Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) to create a centralized repository of professional development opportunities for you - our fellow school librarians.

This blog will be provide information about upcoming opportunities that will help us maintain professional certification and improve our school libraries. This resource will include a calendar with training opportunities, links to other professional organizations and updates of new classes or training as they become available.

Subscribe or bookmark now so you can be in the loop!