Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Quick ways to publicize the library

It has been a while since I have posted, I have been so overloaded doing our PowerSchool migration that I have really had to put my blog on the back burner.  I am hoping that I can start back up.  One of the things I have been doing between data cleaning and importing is library publicity.   In Indiana, we are required to create a Student learning Objective, which for a library media specialist is a challenge. How does one who doesn't teach kids directly handle that?  I decided to focus on increasing library visits by students.   Last year, I averaged 1780 visitors a month.  My goal is to increase that number by ten percent.   Here is how I plan to see that happen.

1.  Maker Space:  We had some money left over in an old account so we bough some duct tape, legos, and origami. We also got new computers so I snagged a few old ones from the pile to recycle and added those items to the space as well.   Though we aren't functioning yet, we are ready to go. Kids are already asking when they can come in and make crafty things.  It is super exciting to see the kids interested.

2.  Postcards:  I started sending email postcards with little tips, facts and ideas to all of the students from time to time.  I wanted them to see what was happening in the library.  I put little tidbits about book orders, new releases, surveys and things we can do for them.   I am not sure how many kids read them, but I do get some replies.

3. SMORE:  I started making a newsletter to share with staff (and sometimes students) on SMORE.  I got inspired by a fellow Hoosier librarian who started doing this.  I add some info about what is hot in the library as well as a tech tool that can be used.  The newsletter comes out once a month and is mailed to all teachers and students.

4. Posters:  I make posters about very important topics and scatter them around the school.  We have a color printer so I print them in color.  Publisher is my platform of choice for that, or even PowerPoint.  Both are simple.  I take the poster and do a screen clipping of it and make it an image and put it on facebook.

5. Social Media:  Last but certainly not least:  I post everything I do on social media.  Twitter, Facebook and sometimes Pinterest.   I even post videos of all new releases on Animoto to YouTube. Then I share them on my school library blog.

If what I am doing doesn't hit a few people, then I am not doing something right.  I have already seen an increase in visits and library usage and I know a lot of it is in part to the numerous things I have implemented to publicize the space.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

From the Archives: Personalized PD: Twitter

Often as educators, we are called to a staff development and hear about the newest trend, data that pertains to a small group of people and very irrelevant to others.  Yes, learning about math data is important to the staff as a whole, but, if there was a way as a teacher we could grow personally and develop our own PD, I think we as a whole can become better educators.

There are many ways, as educators, we can personalize our staff development and these are the ways you can do it:

If you are not on twitter, you should be.  Twitter is by far one of the most powerful ways to learn and grow as a professional.  If you spend 10 minutes from time to time glancing and reading what people post, you will learn something new.  I had a teacher ask me for some insight to a topic.  I went to my twitter, posted a quick question and in a matter of five minutes, I had close to 10 responses with suggestions.   WOW!  Who would have thought five years ago that something that powerful would be available at our fingertips.  (For more information about personalizing PD with twitter, please check this link and read this material.)  Select a few hashtags (#) and watch them from time to time.  There are a lot of programs that allow you to follow the chat, some even allow for an archive so you can go back and see it later.

Here are some fantastic education chats and links to places you should visit to learn more about twitter for education:
The Cybraryman:   This site is a plethora of information for everyone in education.  The link here is for Twitter and it includes a lot of informational pieces for you.  He has established a schedule of all of the education chats out there and the times. (PLEASE DON'T BE OVERWHELMED) There are many of them, but only a few may pertain to your needs.

Here are the ones I personally attend from time to time:
#edchat  (Tuesdays at 7pm)  Lots of fantastic ed topics.
#INeLearn (Thursdays at 8pm)  Directed by IN-DOE department of eLearning.  Excellent source of information.  Topics vary weekly. (Every state has their own, I follow Indiana's since I live in the Hoosier state.)
#edtechchat (Mondays at 8pm) Focus on educational technology.

Are you looking for some people to follow?  Everyone listed here are a good start of who should  be followed on Twitter.  As you follow these folks' posts, you will see more people to follow.  If you are looking for content specific people, ask it on Twitter, someone will help you.:
Jerry Blumengarten                                             edweb.net
ISTE                                                                 Kimberly Munoz
Edtechtalk                                                         Sara Hunter
Angela Maiers                                                   Larry Ferlazzo
Matt Miller                                                   
Michelle Green
George Couros
Chris Casal
Connected Educators Project
Shelly Terrell
Will Richardson
Kathy Schrock
Adam Bellow
Pam Moran
Richard Byrne
Erin Klein