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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Conference, Attending My First Media Center

Library Lady and I attended a Bureau of Education & Research conference in Chattanooga today. The topic was Increasing the Effectiveness of Your School Library Program: Creative, Inviting, Budget-Friendly Ideas. Deborah Ford led the conference (with a little help from Aunt Betty). You can see her conference information here. She is a good presenter; entertaining and informative. The resources in the Resource Handbook are helpful too.

This was the first conference I have attended in nearly 5 years. I was past-due. Sometimes a conference is good for affirming what one already knows...preachin' to the choir meetings. Other times a conference can be a flip-o'-da-switch meeting. This conference was the later. Nothing said was earth-shattering, but I saw immediate application for nearly a dozen things. I'll list a few.
  • Weeding without feeling guilty. People who like books have a difficult time weeding a collection. If the information is outdated, or incorrect, the book is of no practical use. It serves only as an historical marker of previously thought-to-be-true material. An Antique Book Sale can help get rid of books, and rasie money at the same time. Buyers know the information is not reliable for modern use, but they may like to have a book for posterity.
  • School-wide Bulletin Boards. Don't just advertise in the MC, use wall around the school. Have students create the themed bulletin boards. Base the theme on core content standards to advertise what the MC has that could help the teachers.
  • Ugly books don't circulate. Student created book jackets can help. I have noticed really good books, that have been re-bound, that do not appeal to students because the books have "ugly," solid color covers.
  • SoundzAbound.com for royalty-free music for ambience in the MC. Instrumental only. While I mention sound, a CD with snippets from songs like "Hit the Road Jack," "Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye," or "These Boots were Made For Walking" can serve as a 5-minute warning to let students & teachers know the class period is about over.
  • Welcome bags for new students who do not have an orientation opportunity at the beginning of the year. 6th Graders get the full orientation, 7th & 8th Graders could have a refresher "quiz" at the start of each year about MC Rules and Policies.
There were several more great ideas that I might discuss in a later entry. Hundreds of web sites are included in the Handbook. It was a very good conference for me.

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