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  • valarie907 9:51 am on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fun, , networking, SLIS students   

    networking with QR 

    Thank goodness I made business cards as advised to before I went to ALA 2011 in New Orleans.  I was told they were handy for networking.  Netwhat?  I’ll be honest and say I pshawed the idea.  Me?  Network?  Right.  I’m as reserved as I am private, so, even I wasn’t prepared for my enthusiasm to meet and talk to people who shared a mutual passion.  The cards came in handy.  Since then, I’ve attended a few conferences and have exchanged many business cards.  It’s a challenge to place the card to the person and conversation, so I devised a system to note the conference, date, keywords or description on the cards for later reference.  It also occurred to me that I might be hard to remember.

    Last year, after receiving a message on Twitter, I took a look at the sender’s profile and followed an URL to their about.me page.  Wow, I was impressed!  It was a simple, attractive and informative online business card.  It also included a photo of the person, making it much more personal.  Since then, I made my own about.me page and recommend other students to do so because it’s easy to customize and update.  The next time I order cards, I’ll add the URL to it, but it isn’t going to happen any time soon.  After hearing my son talk about using QR codes at school, I decided to make one to put on the my card.

    It was cheap and easy.  I made the QR with a free generator.  There are many to choose from, but QRStuff.com lets you adjust the colors, and GoQR.me lets you adjust the size.  I used a template for 3 x 11 (1” x 2 5/8”) address labels and copy and pasted two codes to a label, centered them and then copied them into the rest of the labels.  After printing, I cut the sheet into strips and placed them on my cards.


  • valarie907 10:12 pm on November 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fun, , ,   

    school library messages 

    school library signs and posters

    school library signs and posters collage made with photocollage.net

    Since our User Experience module, I took the opportunity to take a fresh look at the signs and posters we had up around our school library.  The image above is a fair sample of them.  I was relieved that none warranted immediate removal, but I did feel that a more personal touch could be added.  Signage has a tendency to become “unseen” after some time, so fresh messages are also important.

    The messages we send to our library customers can be subtle; with signage, in our correspondence, and use of physical space.  Children are especially vulnerable to these messages because they are absorbing knowledge about how the world works through their experiences which shape their future behavior, expectations and interactions.  I’ve been trying to see the “library” brand and their experience in our school library through their eyes.  Of course there is a list of improvements that can be made, some easier and cheaper to implement than others.  Fortunately, we have been progressing in the right direction.

    Yet, sometimes the obvious shames me…such as when I asked if a student was ready to check out and he exclaimed excitedly, “We can check out magazines?!”  I felt bad as I told him, “No.”  As he walked away disappointed, I asked myself “Why don’t we check out magazines?”  This led me to the conclusion that we should absolutely check out magazines if the students want to check them out, and any objection could be countered with a solution.  My co-worker agreed and amazingly enough a stand became available that would work perfectly for our new service.  We received permission to order a set of very nice, brightly colored, magazine covers, a policy was fashioned and voila, we are checking out magazines!  In fact it’s a challenge to get them back to change out the old issues.

    children's magazines for circulation

    children’s magazines for circulation


    • Pamela Hawks 8:44 am on November 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Of course! Why shouldn’t magazines be checked-out? I was surprised when I started working at my library that serials could be checked out because the old model was that serials were for reading only in house. A demonstration that re-evaluation is always a needed part of any public service. Good for you in bringing about a needed change!

    • Judi 11:23 am on November 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You’re a mover and shaker school librarian Valerie! This is a fabulous example of “Why Not?”
      It’s sad that lack of funding prohibits some of the best children’s materials in my local library system from being checked out because they’re too fragile and too expensive to replace, so are kept in the reference section. The disappointment is on a child’s face is heart-wrenching!

      Also, terrific sign photo collage!

    • Patty Miranda 1:18 pm on November 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      First of all Valerie I would have to say I love how you used the library signage pictures. I will have to try it out in one of my blog one day.
      I have also had students ask me if they can check out magazines or paperback books. Normally I would say they have to stay in the library, but because our student body and staff consist of 750 people and I am struggling to balance everything on a 15 hour work schedule by myself I tend to give in. I don’t have the time to officially add it to the library policy. I do wish we could get new subscriptions to magazines, but there is no money at the moment for anything. I am glad that at least I was able to catalog some new books that were transferred to our school when a Kindergarten center closed down. They are titles that we desperately needed especially since Kindergarten students were now going to be using our school library.

  • valarie907 10:50 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fun, , reading,   

    read it maybe! 

    I know you might be tired of “Call Me Maybe,” but I want to share how a bunch of 3rd-6th grade students responded to a parody of it during Open Library (lunch/recess hour).

    Let me preface by sharing that I heard a little guy singing “Call Me Maybe” while playing a video game in the library last week and I thought how wonderful it was that he felt at ease to be himself in our library space.

    So today, I came across this video in my Facebook feed from I Love Libraries and shared it with my library/teacher friends and colleagues. When I opened the link to copy the URL for an email at school, and the video started playing, it grabbed the student’s attention right away. So I set it to full screen so they could watch it. They absolutely loved it!

    It drew quite a crowd, even the ones glued to their video games, and the look of surprise, disbelieve and happiness was precious…it made for a more playful and engaging atmosphere. They left the library with grins on their faces and a spring in their step…some were still singing it. I think I need to surprise them with something fun like this more often!


    • Pamela Hawks 12:30 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Woot! Go New York! Sorry, just a little home state love. Thanks for that Valarie…the perfect transition from my school work to my dinner prep time! I am glad you got such a great response.

    • Patty Miranda 12:52 pm on September 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      That is so cool!!! I will try to see if I find any videos that the kids can watch and listen to while in the library. They would love that!

    • Angela Bernard 1:30 pm on September 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Here is another one, “Read it Maybe.” One of the patrons at the library I work at actually posted this on the wall of my Facebook page for the library – talk about working with your patrons! Enjoy!

  • valarie907 1:34 am on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fun   

    my study buddies 

    Since we started talking craft in our Guilty Pleasure’s forum, I thought I’d share the study buddies my son made that keep me company while I work and study…<3

    • Beth Morrill 6:51 am on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I love those! They are adorable. How can you not do well while looking at those happy faces.

      • Valarie 7:55 am on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        *beaming* I’ll pass on your compliment! I also love that his teachers put in their own requests, too.

    • Jan Oliver 12:18 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      So sweet!

    • Holly 1:07 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      That is soo cute! 🙂

    • Jesse B 1:35 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      So cute! Kudos to your son. Great pic idea, too!

    • Valarie 9:02 pm on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      My son say’s “thank you!” …actually, he said, “yeah, I’m pretty great!” but I told him that was bad manners… Kids! :/

    • Patty Miranda 9:17 am on September 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      They are adorable!!!

    • Mickel Paris 8:10 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      those are cute! He could make a living selling those on etsy!

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