Saturday, October 31, 2009

365 Project: October

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!" -Humbert Wolfe

October is a bittersweet month, as the northeast celebrates Autumn while moving inexorably towards the challenges of Winter.

The most popular photos this month were Adirondack Autumn, a glowing landscape

and Born Digital, a still life with glasses and book

My personal favorites were Ann Lee Pond (a painting created for our new kitchen by my talented husband)

and Soccer Dreams, since it represents a reconnection with my former students

You can see a slideshow of the 31 October photos here or view all of my 2009 photos to date here.

The two groups to which I contribute are 365/2009 and 2009/365.

"October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again." -Hal Borland

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Library 101

Library 101 is a multimedia collaboration project started by Michael Porter & David Lee King.

The video features over 500 library professionals from around the world and can be found on YouTube as well as the project's home site.

Guests on the Library 101 essay page - everyone from President Brack Obama to Library and Information Science professor Meredith Gorran Farkas - were asked to articulate "what they see changing in libraries and what we need to be doing to ensure we remain relevant as technology and society evolve."

Enjoy the vision.

The Essence of Civilization

Sharing is the essence of teaching. It is, I have come to believe, the essence of civilization." -Bill Moyers

Next week, members of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and their guests will gather in Charlotte, NC for Rev Up Learning.

In addition to a full program of keynotes, concurrent sessions, and workshops, there will also be the Unconference, an informal gathering where volunteers and attendees can trade tips, discuss problems and solutions, and connect on a very satisfying human level.

The One Book, One Conference selection is Born Digital, by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser. One of the authors' key points is that "there's an unnecessary technology gap between young people and many of their parents and teachers." Palfrey and Gasser recommend that "Parents and teachers...start by putting in the time it takes to understand how the digital environment works so that they can be credible guides to young people."

The Unconference offers a perfect opportunity to stretch and grow professionally, particularly in the areas of technology integration and information fluency.

"Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting something from them. That is only valid for information sharing. Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes." -Peter Senge

"straws akimbo" by Darwin Bell

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Geeks Get It Done

"In a 2007 interview on The Colbert Report, Richard Clarke said the difference between nerds and geeks is 'geeks get it done.'"

There's been a lot of discussion lately about librarians and technology. Many LMS (Library Media Specialists) would like to become more familiar with electronic resources but lack the time or expertise to do it on their own.

If you plan on being in Charlotte for Rev Up Learning, look for volunteers wearing the geek@aasl ribbon. We (yes, much to my amazement I qualified for the Geek Squad!) will answer questions, offer assistance and help you connect with people. Although the Unconference area will be our home base, we'll be in sessions and at events, mixing and mingling, sharing and learning, just like everyone else.

This second ribbon, #aasl2009, displays the tag that will be used as attendees add their comments and photos to Twitter, Flickr, TeacherTube, and other sites.

Puzzled by those names? Drop in at the Unconference for a quick tutorial...or ask a geek!

"In its more general usage, a 'geek' is anyone that knows a lot about a certain area that you don't. For this reason, geeks are associated with knowledge..." -wiseGEEK

A Very Merry Unconference!

In addition to the amazing keynote speakers and a multitude of scheduled sessions, AASL's Rev Up Learning will host an Unconference - an informal, loosely-structured opportunity to meet, greet, share, and learn.

Be sure to stop in at the Bloggers' Cafe. You can ask questions, exchange tips and resources, and connect with colleagues from around the world.

To put you in the right mood, here are two very creative clips created by fellow AASL members,

"The Unconference at the Bloggers' Cafe" by gwyneth

and "Bloggers' Cafe @AASL 2009" by Brenda Anderson

A very Merry Unconference to you!

"Mad Hatter" by EricByers

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


It's only a few weeks now until the AASL Conference, Rev Up Learning, in Charlotte. Be sure to visit Learning Times for information on speakers and activities.

And watch this Animoto by Joyce Valenza - it is guaranteed to Rev you Up!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Adventures in Copyright

A cartoon in yesterday's daily paper caught my eye. It addressed the issue of student boredom, giving me an idea for a blog posting.

My text would be more derivative than transformative, so I decided to do the correct thing and file a request for reprint rights.

The following is the nitty gritty of the response I received from King Features:

Since my husband is an artist, I could have asked him to draw a variation of the cartoon in question, but that would still involve appropriating someone else's original concept. I understand the company's concerns regarding commercial use of their product, but had hoped they would allow my use of this cartoon in an educational context, properly attributed, of course.

Attempting to secure permission to reprint was an interesting process, and I appreciate the prompt response I received. I love the comic strip, but not enough to pay for (limited) reproduction rights.

You can view the October 13, 2009 Zits comic here.

"Pay" by walknboston

Sunday, October 11, 2009

On the Fast Track

© Copyright 1997-2009 American Library Association. This document [image] may be reprinted and distributed for non-commercial and educational purposes only, and not for resale. No resale use may be made of material on this web site at any time. All other rights reserved.

In just a few weeks, I'll be heading to Charlotte, NC to attend the American Association of School Librarians' National Conference.

A former colleague asked me, "Why now - you're retired?" Well, there are a number of reasons.

Since I'm no longer tied to a school calendar, I have more freedom to travel. And because I'm also increasingly active in social networking, there are people with whom I'd love to connect in real life, to continue and extend our online conversations.

Which brings me to a seeming contradiction: I'm no longer employed as a teacher/librarian, yet I spend more time on "professional development" than ever before.

This apparent logical incongruity makes perfect sense to me. I continue to care about this country's education system, libraries (both school and public) and the future of our children.

We're at a critical juncture, when priorities need to be re-examined in light of what we know about the nature of learning and the economic realities of the 21st century.

Whatever I can contribute to this dialogue of change will be shared gladly.

If you plan on attending Rev Up Learning, please say hello. If you can't be there in person, a number of us will be blogging and posting to Flickr, YouTube, TeacherTube and Twitter, using the hashmark #aasl2009.

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." -Alvin Toffler

"Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this mission." -Toni Morrison

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Going Green

"Our choices and behaviors have a ripple effect that crosses borders and generations." -National Conference Goes Green, AASL

In early November I will be joining professional colleagues in Charlotte, NC for Rev Up Learning, the AASL's 14th national conference.

Many of us will be blogging, Tweeting, and contributing to Flickr, YouTube, and TeacherTube using the hashtag #aasl2009.

Today, attendees were informed that the conference will be, as much as possible, a Green one.

It's obvious that a lot of planning has gone into this decision. Everything from promotional items to energy consumption to catering initiatives is being handled in an environmentally sensitive manner.

I'll be sharing my experiences in and around Charlotte. The greening of the conference is certainly helping to "Rev Up" my excitement and expectations!

"jungle abstract" by Darwin Bell

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Evolve, Adapt, and Thrive

"Our best librarians will evolve, adapt, and thrive in effective schools." -Joyce Kasman Valenza and Doug Johnson, School Library Journal, 10/1/2009

Things That Keep Us Up at Night enumerates the issues that are a concern (or should be a concern) to school teacher/librarians:
  • economic shifts
  • intellectual property shifts
  • the challenge of keeping ahead
  • failing to embrace networked media
  • advocacy by nonlibrarians
  • national expectations that ignore critical learning skills
  • missing the potential of reading 2.0
  • realizing that Internet access is an intellectual freedom issue
  • recognize that modern practice is directly connected to equity
  • we are bigger than databases
  • define the brand
  • plan for one-to-one computing or ubiquitous computing
  • become an online presence
  • see obstacles rather than opportunities
  • the lack of urgency in our profession
Rather than attempt to paraphrase this article, I urge you to read it in its entirety.

Joyce and Doug have issued a warning and a challenge: embrace the change in our profession or face irrelevancy and obsolescence. We're at a critical juncture; we can become a part of the new information landscape or fade into obscurity.

What will you choose?

"There ain't no rules around here. We're trying to accomplish something." -Thomas Edison

"Alice looking for Wonderland" by micheleart

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Yellow Drift of Leaves

October is a month of bittersweet beauty. Nature's colors ignite in bursts of red, orange and yellow, then fade and crumble, finally yielding to winter's cold white majesty.

These four poets express some of the sadness and glory that is October.

October Journey

I want to tell you what hills are like in October
when colors gush down mountainsides
and little streams are freighted with a caravan of leaves,
I want to tell you how they blush and turn in fiery shame
and joy,
how their love burns with flames consuming and terrible
until we wake one morning and woods are like a smoldering
plain --

a glowing cauldron full of jeweled fire;
the emerald earth a dragon's eye
the poplars drenched with yellow light
and dogwoods blazing bloody red.
Traveling southward earth changes from gray rock to green velvet.
-Margaret Walker

The Love for October

A child looking at ruins grows younger
but cold
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even if death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips
in the sun
-W.S. Merwin

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost

...The leaves fall patiently
Nothing remembers or grieves
The river takes to the sea
The yellow drift of leaves...
-Sara Teasdale