The 2008 ISLMA Conference is Coming! Are You Registered?

The 2008 ISLMA (Illinois School Library Media Association) conference is right around the corner.  If you’re not signed up yet, you better hurry up!

The conference will be held November 6-8, 2008 at the Sheraton in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Check out the ISLMA website for more information or to register.

There will be wonderful presentations, information and a chance to have breakfast with Jordan Sonnenblick (the 2008 winner of the Rebecca Caudill Award).

If you’re a library media specialist in Illinois, you should be an ISLMA member if you’re not already!  You get access to valuable resources and a chance to connect with other LMCs throughout Illinois.

I’m registered to go, so see you there!


October 13, 2008 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

Searching for Banned Books

Banned Books

Check out the Banned Books & Authors section of the Banned Books Website and learn about 10 banned books and authors.  Can you discover more banned books?  Find one more banned book and the reason it was banned.  Reply to this post and share the title, author, the reason the book was banned and whether you agree or disagree with the reason the book was banned.

April 1, 2008 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment

Banned Books Poll

Which one of these banned books is your favorite?

Click here to take the poll!

March 26, 2008 at 11:39 pm Leave a comment

Post #5 Follett Destiny; Automated Library System

As I mentioned in my last post, since my library had no automated system and no card catalog, I had no idea what kind of books were in there and what condition they were in. One of my first major goals in my new library (after weeding) was to choose, obtain and install an automated library system.

Since Follett has been buying up many automated systems lately, there weren’t too many other brands left for me to choose. After reviewing several other automated systems, I decided to purchase Follett’s latest automated system called Destiny.


Destiny is a completely web based automated system. Students can use any computer with Internet access to view the catalog for the school library. Every classroom has several computers with Internet access and will be able to search the school library catalog from their classroom when needed,

There are several ways Destiny allows students and teachers to search. You can search by keyword, title, author, subject and series. If any of these results do not provide the user with what they were looking for, there is also an advanced search option which allows the user to narrow their search.

There are several added options that my school purchased that I believe to be valuable resources to students. The first is TitlePeek. This feature adds a picture of the book’s cover to each listing for the book; sort of like The image of the book’s cover is connected to it’s ISBN number. So, if I have a 1992 copy of Bridge to Terabithia, TitlePeek will show the 1992 cover, not the cover with the movie images on it.

The second added feature my school purchased is called WebPath Express. When a user preforms a search, they will of course see all the materials that the school library has to offer. If you subscribe to WebPath Express, teacher-approved websites are also displayed in the search results. This is especially nice because the students are already on the Internet to search the catalog, so all they have to do is click on the link to view the website.

I have only begun to explore all the possibilities this automated system offers since I am just working on importing all the materials in my library right now into Destiny. I am excited to become an automated library and can’t wait to introduce Destiny to all my students!

November 7, 2007 at 12:16 am 5 comments

Post #4 What Do You Do With Weeded Books?

This is my second year in my K-8 school library. When I came into the library last year, it hadn’t been weeded in….forever, the books were covered with dust, there was no organization system, the previous librarian wasn’t letting the kids check out books, there was no automated system and no card catalog. To say the least, the library was in dire conditions. I had no idea what kind of books were in there and what condition they were in.


Before I began weeding, I located my school districts’ policy on weeding and used that to determine what books should be weeded and which books could stay. After about a week or so of non-stop work, I finally had the library weeded (I had dusty, dirty hands and clothes to prove it). I weeded out over 400 books!! There were books that said “when we go to the moon someday…”, computer books from 1970, and country books about East and West Germany. Come on! It took me several more weeks to re-organize the library and put the non-fiction books in order by Dewey, establish my fiction section, create my easy book section and find room for my (little) Spanish and Polish bi-lingual sections. I later also decided I needed to separate my Young Adult (YA) books out from my fiction so my older students could locate them easier.

My dilemma with the books that I weeded out of the library was what to do with all of them! My principal wanted me to give the books away to students, however I disagreed. I weeded these books out of the library because they contained incorrect information. I didn’t want my students to take these books, read them and think the information inside was factual! I conveyed my concerns to my principal, but she wanted the students to have the books. So, I HAD to give them away to my students. I felt awful and torn. As a librarian I am supposed to provide knowledge; correct knowledge; and I was leading my students to false information. As a teacher, I need to follow what my principal says. What to do! I came up with the following solution: to satisfy my principal and also keep my conscience clear, I told the kids that these books contained incorrect information and challenged them to each take a book and then identify the incorrect information by finding sources that provided the correct information. My students really enjoyed this! They gained experience with encyclopedias, the web and other reference sources. It was an excellent teaching tool!

So, if you are a school librarian and you have weeded books and your principal can’t stand to get rid of them in any way and insists the books be given to the students, here is a way that you can at least put them to good use. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

November 6, 2007 at 11:49 pm 4 comments

Information R/evolution: How is Information Evolving?

Information is constantly changing:
Changing form
Changing content
Changing accessibility

This YouTube video does a great job of showing you how Information is changing around you.

What does it make you think about?

October 21, 2007 at 4:21 pm 1 comment

Check out the St. Joseph County Public Library YouTube Video

The St. Joseph County Public Library made a YouTube video that you should take a moment to check out.  It shows libraries in a new “light”.

October 20, 2007 at 7:13 pm Leave a comment

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