•May 12, 2017 • 3 Comments


“Librarianship is the ultimate service profession,” and we need to all be mindful of that (Stephens, 2014).  Some time ago, a person said to me that as a librarian you never get a second chance if you upset someone. With a classroom, the student will be back the next day. In the library, if someone leaves mad, they just leave and they may never come back. You must always strive to put your best foot forward. While sometimes this can be difficult (we’ve all had our challenges), try to keep in mind that this may be your last chance otherwise.

Katie Clausen (2012) wrote about the importance of professionalism in speech, attitude, dress, character, and online. This is especially true if you live in the community where you work. Although I live in a suburb of Los Angeles (an enormous city), I live just five miles from my school. This means I inevitably run into students and their families at Costco, the mall, the YMCA, etc. Frequently I recognize them, but often I get a shy “aren’t you the librarian at …” question at the end of a transaction or passing each other in an aisle. You never know where you will see someone, so it’s important to always look and act in a professional manner.



Clausen, K. (2012, October 19). The importance of professionalism [Blog post]. Retrieved from

The Importance of Professionalism

[Professionalism]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.peterstark.com/quotes/professionalism-workplace/

Stephens, M. (2014, January 13). Reflective practice [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/01/opinion/michael-stephens/reflective-practice-office-hours/

Virtual Symposium

•May 8, 2017 • 5 Comments
Virtual Symposium - The Hyperlinked Library

Virtual Symposium – The Hyperlinked Library


This course has been a wonderful experience.  Looking over the semester, the ideas were so positive and uplifting.  I chose Piktochart for my presentation.  Hope you enjoy!


Director’s Brief – New Learning Commons

•May 1, 2017 • 4 Comments

Welcome to the learning commons!

My school library is currently undergoing a $50 million modernization project that will take 5-7 years.  Unfortunately the library didn’t make the cut (too many buildings in need of earthquake upgrades).  However, I was given permission to dream big.

Here’s my Director’s Brief – Learning Commons.

Lead by Example

•April 22, 2017 • 3 Comments

In addition to the classes that visit my high school library, I have Library Practice students enrolled in my classes. They learn how to run the information desk, circulate and shelve books, and the basics of librarianship. I include elements of a unit called Library Promotion throughout the year in which students use technology to create book ads, post book reviews on the library book blog, and create book trailers.


Learning 2.0

Learning 2.0

Beginning in the fall, I plan to incorporate more technology into all the units. I want to begin by having students create their own blogs, using EduPress, and have them post their work online. Joan Lippincott (2015) suggests that active learning takes place when students are more engaged with the course content, and that they need more opportunities to explore new technologies. For example, my students will create their own group videos, screencasts, or animations on a theme related to the library, such as privacy, online safety, plagiarism, how to add reviews to the OPAC, etc., and vote for the best presentation (other than their own). There are many sources for ideas online, including the California School Library Association (CSLA) Teen Learning 2.0, the CSLA Tools2Create blog, which include lessons ideas and links to web tools, and the AASL Best Apps and AASL Best Websites award winners that I can look to for ideas.


Instruction & Collaboration

Instruction & Collaboration

While working on these units with my students, I hope to share the ideas behind the assignments with my peers and encourage them to incorporate more technology and active learning in their assignments with their students. My students will also be able to act as peer mentors for the other students working on class projects. I know this will take a lot of planning this summer, but changes I have already made in the library this semester, for example, greatly reducing my reference collection, and (hopefully soon) interfiling the remaining books, has necessitated that I redo several of my lessons already.



Best Apps for Teaching & Learning Committee 2016-2017. (n.d.). Best apps for teaching & learning. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards/ best/apps

Best Websites for Teaching & Learning Committee 2016-2017. (n.d.). Best websites for teaching & learning. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards/ best/websites

California School Library Association Learning 2.0 Team. (2010, July 17). Teen learning 2.0 [Blog post]. Retrieved from Teen Learning 2.0: An Introduction to Digital Treats and website: http://teenlearning.csla.net/

CSLA2Team. (2011, November 21). Tools2Create. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from http://tools2create.pbworks.com/w/page/39093259/FrontPage

Braver New World

•April 6, 2017 • 3 Comments

There is so much change on the horizon that dystopian novels, old and new, are the basis for many new shows on TV and in the theaters (think Handmaid’s Tale, Divergent, Ghost in the Shell).  According to Diomedes Kastanis (2015), in the near future companies will have to be glocal to succeed, meaning that they need to provide for a global market, but adapt to each local community in which they serve. This is not really a new idea, but how this is accomplished is certainly changing.

Google self-driving car

Google self-driving car

Kastanis also argues for new ideas about the concept of ownership, that many resources will be shared. Airbnb currently allows you to stay in someone else’s home. Google, Apple, and Uber are already working on car sharing. You’ll order a car in the morning for the ride to work, and it could be a different car every day. I suggest this will go another step further, and you can order a different driverless car each morning to take you to work. This is on my mind as this last Sunday I was quite surprised to have a slightly close call with a driverless car while walking across a busy parking lot at the grocery store.

Entering Loevang Library

Entering Loevang Library (Photo by Peter Soholm)

Resource sharing will make a variety of things available to the community 24/7, rather than only a few hours a day or a few times a week. In Guldborgsund, Denmark, five branch libraries (and now, the main branch) are available “after-hours” to patrons with their library card, or their national health card, and a PIN code [I must say that this sentence makes me jealous in two different ways – after hours library access and national health care]. The library staff is not available during these hours, but patrons are trusted to take care of the library and use it appropriately. Rather than close libraries when funds are lacking, self-serve library hours account for 61% of all Danish library hours (Holmquist, 2016). According to a Danish local government survey in 2013, 75% of municipalities with open libraries were planning to expand their hours and/or locations in the future, and 78% have seen an increase in library visits and a 65% increase in library loans (Larsen, 2013).

I can see this on the horizon for U.S. libraries. However, I think most patrons (at least in larger cities) would insist on a security guard on duty. In many areas, this might be the only way to keep some libraries open. It may also be necessary to have only certain areas of the library open to late visitors, but I think it’s a lovely idea. Maybe someday we’ll be able to gain access with our national health cards as well.



Holmquist, J. (2016, April 6). Open libraries: Self service libraries – the Danish way [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://janholmquist.net/2016/04/06/open-libraries-self-service-libraries-the-danish-way/

Kastanis, D. (2015, November 15). What technology will look like in five years. Retrieved April 5, 2017, from https://techcrunch.com/2015/11/15/what-technology-will-look-like-in-five-years/

Larsen, J. H. (2013). Open libraries in Denmark. Scandinavian Library Quarterly, 46. Retrieved from http://slq.nu

CHS Library of Things

•March 20, 2017 • 3 Comments

Create an experience for your patrons

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:  Cleveland High School students and staff will have access to a Library of Things, which will include a variety of learning and creative materiel for use at school or home. The library will support an environment of expression for their social, creative, and academic potential. Students will create new experiences.

Description of Community you wish to engage:  Cleveland High School has approximately 3,200 students. They range in age from 13 to 18 years old (with some special needs and language learners up to age 22). The overall student body is a broad mix of students, with varying languages and abilities. Sixty-two percent of our students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. The ethnic breakdown of the student body is 61% Hispanic, 16% white, 12% Asian, 5% African American, and 4% other (LAUSD school profiles, 2011-12). There are 23 home languages other than English and Spanish.


Library of Things collection at Sacramento Public Library

Action Brief Statement:  Convince Cleveland HS students and staff that by utilizing materiel available to them from the Library of Things that they will be able to explore, create, and problem solve, providing them with fun unique experiences to make them feel successful because they have the opportunity to explore new ideas and experiences.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service:  A library leadership team (LLT) composed of the teacher librarian, ten to fourteen students from a variety of grade levels, student organizations, and abilities, and two to four staff members would choose the materiel available for check out and establish policies for circulation. This would be in conjunction with principal approval and district policy. Length of circulation may vary depending on the item. Late fines and loss/replacement policies would be established by the LLT. We can look into other schools’ policies by making inquiries on Calibk12 (a listserv for CA school librarians established by CSLA).

Possible items include GoPro Cameras, knitting needles and yarn (to support the knitting club), Makey Makey kits, Legos, robotics equipment, Google Cardboard, craft supplies, seeds (for planting at school or home), supplies to create kites, mini microscopes and slides with slide covers, specimen samples, etc. Items will be of a small nature, as storage is a concern.

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:  The materiel for the Library of Things will come from donations, grants, and Donors Choose projects. Additional fund raising and/or requests may be made to the PTSA and local civic groups as necessary for larger ticket items, if deemed necessary.

Action Steps & Timeline:  The project will be phased in and grown over a two-year period. The library leadership team will meet and choose the initial items over a two-month period. Purchases and acquisitions will take place over the next three to nine months (and into the future if the project is deemed useful). Most items should be “acceptable” to the principal immediately, however, policies for loss/replacement of more expensive items will need to be approved if fines will be assessed for loss.

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service:  The teacher librarian and student volunteers will handle processing and distribution of the Library of Things materiel.

Training for this Technology or Service:  The teacher librarian and volunteer staff and students will handle training for robotics equipment, etc.  Student volunteers will be trained on how to use equipment, such as GoPro Cameras, so they can, in turn, explain to patrons how to use and care for equipment. Training will take place after school.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service:  Once a sufficient amount of “Things” are available in the collection (presumably within four months), traditional advertising will begin through the school PA system and the library website. In addition, a one to two minute informational video will be created with new branding for the Library of Things. The library leadership team will work in conjunction with the KCAV staff on production of this video, which will be aired on KCAV, an in-house TV station that provides a weekly broadcast each Friday for campus announcements. As new items are added to the Library of Things, additional announcements and/or videos will be created.

Evaluation:  Benchmarks for the success of the program will be at the end of the first semester, second semester, and second year of use to determine which items have been the most popular and which items should be added to/deleted from the Library of Things’ collection. Students will also be surveyed informally and formally to determine how the rollout is going. Are students aware of the available collection? Have they taken advantage of it? What would they like to see added to the collection? How do they feel about the collection (and the library)? How else might the library serve their needs?



Garrison, E. (2015, February 1). Borrow a sewing machine? Sacramento Public Library to start loaning more than books. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved from http://www.sacbee.com/ news/local/education/article8920145.html

Los Angeles Unified School District. (2011-12). School profiles: Grover Cleveland Charter High School [Webpage]. Retrieved from: http://search.lausd.k12.ca.us/cgi-bin/ fccgi.exe?w3exec=schoolprofile&which=8590

The New Media Consortium. (2016). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2016 K-12 edition [online written report]. Retrieved from http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2016-nmc-cosn-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

Toronto Tool Library. (n.d.). Inside a ‘Library of things’ [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://torontotoollibrary.com/inside-a-library-of-things/

The Hyperlinked School Library

•March 9, 2017 • 4 Comments

The learning commons concept has begun to be applied to academic and school libraries. Rather than a quiet, independent study space and book warehouse, learning commons are vibrant, active spaces in which learning, collaboration, and instruction intertwine. Adaptable spaces with moveable chairs and desks, even bookcases, replace traditional spaces of rigid structure, stacks, and cubicles (Holland, 2015). Adding comfortable furniture, natural lighting, and wireless connections make the space more accommodating and inviting. In combination with a participatory culture, the learning commons can provide space for students to learn, play, and innovate. As Loertscher & Koechlin proposed in 2014, “the learning commons serve a unique purpose in the school as a bridge between educational philosophy being practiced and the real world” (p. E3)

CSUN Oviatt Library Learning Commons

CSUN Oviatt Library Learning Commons

Allowing students to make more decisions in their own educational experience is important. In reflecting on education, Sir Ken Robinson described our educational system as being based on the fast food model – everything is standardized, and like fast food, our educational system is “impoverishing our spirits and our energies.” We need personalization, rather than conformity, and we need passion (TED, 2010). In current educational practice, it feels as if the Common Core dictates everything. Teachers’ passions are avoided, as well as students’. The old days of allowing some freedom to discover and inspire are virtually eliminated. Allowing students to come into the library and follow their hearts is motivating.

If I could plan a learning commons at my school, I would include it in the first floor of one of our new buildings, near the heart of the campus. It would be a large space, with room enough for two computer labs for class visits, plus additional space for 30 free-access computers to be used for instruction or as needed (with additional laptops available). There would be lots of electrical outlets (currently a huge problem), some café-type tables and chairs, and if possible, an actual café. The seating would be comfortable and flexible, so it could be moved to accommodate student groups working on projects, individuals working on assignments, performances or speakers. Using the Nordic Four-Space Model for Public Libraries, the performance area would allow for author visits, poetry slams, and student performances to take place. The quiet area would allow students to read and study. The inspiration area would allow students to create presentations, videos, 3D printing, etc. While the meeting space would allow participation in programming and planning of library and school activities (Velásquez, 2015, pp. 9-16). I would recruit student and staff input for the planning of the learning commons, and the vision would be a shared one.



Holland, B. (2015, Jan. 14). 21st century libraries: The learning commons [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/21st-century-libraries-learning-commons-beth-holland

Loertscher, D. V., & Koechlin, C. (2014, March 1). Climbing to excellence: Defining characteristics of successful learning commons [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/aaslpubsandjournals/knowledgequest/docs/KQ_MarApr14_ClimbingtoExcellence.pdf

TED. (2010, February). Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_ revolution#t-532202

Velásquez, J. (2015). Real-world teen services. Chicago: American Library Association.

Participatory Culture – There’s a Need for That

•February 27, 2017 • 8 Comments

Whether you work at a public library, school library, or academic library, your users are what matters. If you have no clientele, you have no library. That said, who better to tell you what will make your library better. K.G. Schneider (2006) said, “the user is not broken” and “your system is broken until proven otherwise.” Inviting patron and staff input into your library plans is a no-brainer, whether you are planning a redesign or simply next month’s programming.

NCSU Rain Garden Reading Lounge from the North

Libraries always seem to be on the chopping block when budget crises occur. If your community (neighborhood, school, university) is a partner in your library, you will find greater support when it’s most needed. “Getting them [patrons] to participate, at any level, will go a long way towards gaining their buy-in” (Casey, 2011). Academic libraries are moving more and more books into storage and relying on online journals accessed through databases (Stephens, 2011). To that point, in the eleven courses I have taken so far in this program, I have only used two physical books (other than textbooks) for research so far. Everything else has been online journal articles and websites. I would imagine this to be true for most college students today. The amount of space that can (and eventually will) be freed up in libraries can be redirected toward spaces that accommodate user preferences. At North Carolina State’s Hunt Library, four bookBots (robots) retrieve books from beneath the first floor. The storage space “houses some two million volumes in one-ninth the space of conventional shelving.” The newly redesigned library space focuses on users’ needs from the Rain Garden Reading Lounge to the Game Lab, and was designed in consultation with various stakeholder groups (library staff, faculty, students and community members) (Schwartz, 2013).

The high school I work at is undergoing a $50 million modernization project over the next 5-7 years. The library was originally supposed to be part of the project, but due to the fact that too many other buildings were not earthquake proof, it was eliminated from the plans. Not for lack of effort. We contacted the school board and district library services to no avail. Reading all these great articles about redesigned user spaces makes me, once again, saddened that the library won’t be included.



Casey, M. (2011, October 20). Revisiting participatory service in trying times [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://tametheweb.com/2011/10/20/revisiting-participatory-service-in-trying-times-a-ttw-guest-post-by-michael-casey/

Schneider, K. G. (2006, June 3). The user is not broken: A meme masquerading as a manifesto [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://freerangelibrarian.com/2006/06/03/the-user-is-not-broken-a-meme-masquerading-as-a-manifesto/

Schwartz, M. (2013, September 18). Tomorrow visualized [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/09/buildings/lbd/tomorrow-visualized-library-by-design-fall-2013/

Stephens, M. (2011, April 15). Stuck in the past [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://lj.library journal.com/2011/04/opinion/michael-stephens/stuck-in-the-past-office-hours/


The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

•February 20, 2017 • 5 Comments

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

“The Net seizes our attention only to scatter it” (Carr, 2011, p. 118).


Credit: The Center for Sleep and Consciousness, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine

Intellectual technologies have their effect upon our brains. This has always been true. In The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr explains how inventions change how we see the world. For example, the invention of the map allows for navigation of areas previously unknown to us, but also changes our thoughts and brain patterns. We no longer need to memorize so many details of the world around us. The clock has allowed us to set times for work, play, and community events, but at the same time, we’ve stopped listening to our senses, for example, rising with the sun (p. 211).

Through the evolution of the printing press and cheap paper, reading easily available books led people to think more deeply, study the world around them, philosophize about its meaning, and discover and invent new concepts. However, our brains have great neuroplasticity. In a matter of days, or even hours, we can alter our neurological pathways in response to our behaviors. And what we don’t use, we lose. “If we stop exercising our mental skills, […] we do not just forget them: the brain map space for these skills is turned over to the skills we practice instead” (Carr, p. 35).

Carr explains that in the days of hunter- gatherers, noticing a change in your environment might save your life. Our brains look for distractions. Now we use that skill whenever we see a hyperlink, graphic, or ad on a webpage. Although it only takes a microsecond to decide if you want to click on a link, it is enough to disrupt the thinking process. Short-term memory cannot hold too many pieces of information at a time. That distraction is often just enough to make you lose your train of thought. The idea you just held may no longer make it to long-term memory. “It’s possible to think deeply while surfing the Net, just as it’s possible to think shallowly while reading a book, but that’s not the type of thinking the technology encourages and rewards” (p. 116).


Credit: Matthew Glasser, Ph.D., and David Van Essen, Ph.D., Washington University

Erping Zhu studied two groups of readers of online text. Both groups had the same information, but one group had more hyperlinks on the webpage. The group with fewer embedded hyperlinks performed better on comprehension tests given after the reading. The same was true with graphics. The more distractions on the page, the worse the understanding of the material presented (as cited in Carr, p. 128).

In 2010, Michael Stephens said, “The Web has changed everything” (p. 5), and that is no understatement. Printed newspapers, photographs, radio, film, and television are being replaced, with the help of the Web, by computers and smartphones, taking the place of many prior technologies. These devices function for business, personal, and social use, and they allow users to send and receive information (bidirectional communication), which only makes their operation more desirable (Carr, p. 84).

Libraries have already adapted to the changing “needs” of their patrons. Computers and Wi-Fi are available at nearly every public, school, and academic library in the country. Public libraries are no longer quiet, bookish institutions, but rather social gathering place as well as information centers. Newer and remodeled libraries often use the Nordic Four-Space Model for Public Libraries to have areas for teens and other patrons that include flexible spaces for inspiration (MakerSpaces, video equipment), learning (computers, homework help), meeting (programming, participation), and performance (creativity) (Velásquez, 2015, pp. 9-16).

Our culture has changed with the digital revolution. How this plays out in the future has yet to be seen, but the effects are already being felt at the societal and personal level for most of us.

In the paperback edition I read, Carr added a few pages at the end. Included was mention of the fact that many school district officials are trying to put a tablet in the hands of every child. I work for one of those districts. While not having access to computers and the Internet puts some kids at a disadvantage, I now think that it might be of greater benefit to the majority of students to spend some time away from their devices. We have the potential to deliver flipped classroom-style lectures and lessons online, as well as assignments and grading. If students have to actually read and talk to one another, I believe it will benefit them in the long run.

I found this video, What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, based on the book, which includes some discussion with Nicholas Carr.



Carr, N. (2010). The shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.

Epipheo. (2013, May 6). What the Internet is doing to our brains [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKaWJ72x1rI

Stephens, M. (2010, March 2). The hyperlinked school library: engage, explore, celebrate [Lecture notes]. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from https://tametheweb.com/2010/03/02/ the-hyperlinked-school-library-engage-explore-celebrate/

Velásquez, J. (2015). Real-world teen services. Chicago: American Library Association.

Library 2.0 – Coming to a high school near me!?!

•February 13, 2017 • 1 Comment

After reading Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service (Casey and Stavastinuk, 2007), I revisited the assessment and plan for my library that my team came up with for the Info 204 class.  As the sole staff member (other than students) at my library, much of the implementing seems overwhelming.  In reality, if I have lots of classes scheduled for a week (a good thing), I just try to keep my head above water.  But the idea of ongoing evaluation, suggestions, etc., and doing things in smaller pieces, allows me to consider goals I am more likely to accomplish.  For example, I am currently in the middle of my annual bookmark contest.  Each year I struggle to think of new themes to suggest for the entrants.  Next year, I will ask my Library Practice students what themes they would like to revisit or use anew. More participatory…

In addition, after reading the Hyperlinked Organization by David Weinberger (2001), I would like to include individual student blogs next year for my Library Practice students (similar to the Hyperlinked Library course, but simplified). The idea of removing the hierarchy of the course, and letting students learn more from each other and from themselves intrigues me. Unfortunately these thoughts are right at the same time my district is trying to move the course from a service class with no real requirements to an A-G elective for the University of California system, which I see as being much more prescriptive. Whether this will happen this coming year, or in a couple of years, has yet to be seen, but I believe it will happen.  Hopefully, I can find a balance of both.



Casey, M.E., & Savastinuk, L.C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, NJ: Information Today.

Weinberger, D. (2001). Hyperlinked organization. In R. Levine, C. Locke, D. Searls, & D. Weinberger (Authors), The cluetrain manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.cluetrain.com/book/hyperorg.html


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