Library Connections

Entries for month: July 2013

Part 1: First Through Fifth Grade eBook Authors

July 30, 2013 · 23 Comments

Yes, you read correctly, first through fifth grade students authored their own ebooks!  This past spring I collaborated with three different teachers to help students write their own ebooks.

Last February our staff returned energized from IntegratED, a technology conference held in Portland, Oregon.  Several of the workshops focused on the many uses of the iPad in classrooms and teachers returned eager to make use of the seven iPads we have available for student use.  However, during lunch discussions and other casual conversations, I discovered that despite the great tools and ideas teachers had learned at the conference, there was still apprehension.  How would they use seven iPads when they had twenty-eight to thirty students in their classrooms?  Could first graders really handle this tool without one-on-one supervision?  What would the rest of the class be doing when seven students were using the iPads?  How could the iPads be used for what they were already doing in their classrooms? 

This past year, my principal built some collaboration time into my schedule in hopes that it would allow me time to come alongside teachers in their classrooms and support, collaborate, or build on what they were teaching.  It had been a slow start, as teachers were not used to having this opportunity and were not sure how to utilize me given the limited time they have available to plan.

I decided to start with one teacher and see what would happen.  Mrs. Patterson had a first-second grade blend classroom  and when I spoke to her about using our set of seven iPads in her classroom she was interested but was not sure how to best utilize them with her students.  After a discussion about what she was currently teaching,ereader photo 1 photo ereaderpicture1.png we came up with a plan.  Her students were about to begin research on an animal of their choice.  Once they finished their research they were going to write a report. 

I suggested they could create an ebook as their final product using an app on the iPad called Book Creator, by Red Jumper Studio.  I found the resource through Silvia Talisano’s blog.  It is one of the easiest, most user friendly book creation apps I have found.

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We discussed ways to rotate students through stations all tying into their animal study and divided the class into four groups of seven, which would rotate through stations: animal art, partner reading, research, and writing on the iPads.

The students learned how to use the iPad with ease.  Once I showed them how to use the app and insert pictures, they took off.  Students now know how to write text, change the font size and color, select a page background color, insert an image, and even record their voice.  It was fun to see Mrs. Patterson gain confidence as well.  As she saw how easily the students learned to use the iPad and the app she began to feel confident herself in using it.  Eventually, she did not need me to be there as often or for as long. 

Amy Page is a K-5 library media specialist with a passion for reading, learning, technology, travel, and adventure.  You can connect with her by leaving a comment below.  Check out her library blog.

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23 CommentsTags: Libraries Without Walls

Are you collaborating globally? Follett wants to hear from you

July 18, 2013 · 16 Comments

Global collaboration allows students a connection to the real world, where our photo Pandaawards.png work and social environments are rapidly changing, and where our physical spaces are only limited by the boundaries of technology and spurred by mindful creativity. 


Classrooms around the world are increasingly collaborating with each other, but collectively blogging, skyping, and using Google Hangouts to chat with each other and share their opinions and views.

We would like to share your story of global collaboration.  If you are a Follett customer who is using technology to collaborate with students overseas OR if you are a Follett customer who is collaborating with students in the U.S. we’d like to hear from you.  Please email Rebecca Levinson,

Let us amplify your success.

 photo RebeccaLevinson-1.jpgRebecca Levinson is the Manager of Social Media Marketing for Follett School Solutions.  Social media is her passion and blogging is her first love. You can find Rebecca on Twitter @follettlearning or @rebeccalev.

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16 CommentsTags: Global collaboration

Middle School Students as eBook Authors

July 17, 2013 · 36 Comments

One day I made a casual comment to an innovative middle school teacher who had participated in last year’s Libraries without Walls training: “Why don’t you have your students write their own ebooks this year? We could put them right into our own library system...”

Six weeks later: “My students are almost finished with their ebooks! They have been totally engaged every day for every minute. How do I get them into the library system?”

This past fall, for the very first time, students in the middle school elective technology course were required to publish an ebook consisting of an original piece of fiction, original works of art (hand or computer illustrations and/or photos), cover, title page, and summary. Books, divided into chapters, ranged in length from 4 to over 50 pages. Skills included the manipulation of text, images, and drawings in word processing programs, coding the headings, and understanding the formatting for different file formats such as .docx, .pdf, and .epub.

Technological, reading, and writing skills were all taught/reviewed/modeled throughout the project, as was appropriate use and internet safety. Dreams of Dance (this is an epub file) is one of the books that was published; when you view the book, note that the photos were taken in such a way that student privacy was maintained (no faces are showing).

Students collaborated throughout the entire course of the project. Writing “in the cloud” provided a way for students to peer edit their stories and to provide feedback to peers throughout the writing process. The classroom teacher worked collaboratively with both the school’s media specialist and the district’s library media coordinator to develop a process for contributing MARC records to Destiny and hosting student work for worldwide distribution. All ebooks, including those from special education and TAG students are available on the Resource List of the Briggs Library.

Ebook Formats — There are many different types of file formats for ebooks. The most popular one is epub — this file format is nicely displayed on ereaders (e.g., iPads, Nooks) and simulates the look (e.g., page turning) of a real book. These files may be viewed on computers, but the look will depend upon the ereader software installed on the computer and may not have that "book like" look.

There are a couple of options for creating an eBook. The thing you must decide on is who is your intended audience (computer users or ereader users) and what kinds of files will they be able to easily access (epub or pdf). Creating epub files on computers (when you don't have a budget for fancy software) sometimes can be a little tricky because the formatting may not look "just right." That said, if you are designing for reading on a computer, you may want to save your book as a PDF. Most computers have software installed for viewing PDFs and the formatting will look pretty much the same as how you intended.

Publishing — It is important to celebrate all of our students' writing and to publish it for the world. And how cool is it for the kids to have their books formally included in the library with their own MARC record and author information!   That said, there are two approaches we have now adopted when publishing student ebooks: informally via a classroom website/Google Drive and formally through the school library.

Formally including the book in the library requires collaboration with your school librarian and a little extra legwork. It is recommended that you have a scoring guide for your finished products and that the books that are scored "exceeds" are the ones that are put into the library. Considerations for inclusion in the library include server space for the files, cataloging and the creation of the MARC record, and book "expiration" (how long the book will be kept in the library and what is the process for "weeding" the books and associated MARC records?). For those books that don’t quite meet the criteria for formal publishing, storing them online and sharing them via a classroom web site is an easy way to recognize the authors.

For additional information, see the  eBook Authoring/Publishing information on our web site.

Coming soon? A blog post from Media Specialist extraordinaire Amy Page about ebook authoring at the elementary level.

Lynn Lary is the Instructional Technology Specialist & Media/Library Coordinator for the Springfield Public Schools in Springfield, Oregon where she spends her time working with teachers and teacher librarians to support 21st century teaching and learning.

Visit her at Libraries without Walls — a professional development resource for classroom teachers.

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36 CommentsTags: Libraries Without Walls

The News is Poetry

July 16, 2013 · 19 Comments

One major concern that keeps coming up around the common core standards is the emphasis on non-fiction reading.  In earlier posts, I talked about using novels in content areas to offer more opportunities for content teachers to teach reading.  No, novels are not a big part of the common core and they really only show up in the English language arts classes, but novels can be used to build interest in content through their narrative structure.   A student who becomes interested in a narrative will be more likely to want to acquire any knowledge that will deepen their understanding of that narrative.  The story can be a gateway to the non-fiction writing.

This is similar to something the New York Times does on their educator’s network.  They teamed up with the Poetry Foundation to pair a poem with an article every week.  The poems and the articles aren’t necessarily exact content matches, but they might share similar themes.  These pairings are great for teachers who want to challenge their students to reach the higher levels of the critical thinking hierarchy.  I think these pairings are exciting because they illustrate how relevant poetry really still is.  They can also help us expose our students to a wider variety of writers than the typical teen anthology or AP study guide might include. 

Next year, I plan to work these pairings into my class every week.  I imagine we will have expository activities where students will try to find the links between the poems and articles, but I also hope we can use these as a springboard for the creative writing we will do in class.  Perhaps students will find articles to write their own poems about.  Hopefully, using these activities will help students become more civically engaged.  Hopefully, students will develop stronger, longer lasting interests in poetry.

Have you used this tool before?  How did you implement these pairings for your students?  What concerns would you have for using this tool with your students? 

Elizabeth Joy Levinson runs a high school writing center and library on the west side of Chicago.  She has been teaching for more than ten years, with experience in museum education, private education, and in the classroom. She is also a writer with work appearing in several journals, including Grey Sparrow, Hobble Creek Review, Up the Staircase, and Apple Valley Review.

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19 CommentsTags: The Umbrella Plan

Repurpose and Regroup Your Furniture

July 15, 2013 · 18 Comments

Hello My Friends!

Now that you have removed empty bookcases and selected your fabulous colors for your transformed Learning Commons it is time to redesign your room with furniture.  This will be fun, exhilarating and frustrating all at the same time.  Why?  Because not everyone has the natural or acquired ability of interior designers. Do not worry as this blog post is dedicated to helping you repurpose existing furniture or purchase new furniture to change the look and feel of your area.

Your creativity needs to come alive and you need to have fun with this!  Let the fun begin and let's dive into it!!

I am a visual person, so I like to see pictures and see what it could look like.  Have you ever used Better Homes and Gardens website to help you design a room?  They have a link to Arrange-a-Room.  This is free and you do need to fill out a form.  PLEASE uncheck the boxes on the form so you do not receive unwanted mail or emails.  Here is the link to the Arrange-a-room section on theBetter Homes and Gardens website:

Now follow these steps which include screen shots I took for you.

Step 1
Do you see the RED arrow?  In the search box type "virtual arrange-a-room tool" and on the left side of your page the first result will say Arrange-A-Room. Click on Arrange-A-Room.  Now I realize that this is for arranging rooms inside your home, however, my library learning commons was home to my students.  This tool allows you to size the room for the dimensions of your actual learning commons and then add furniture.


Better Homes and Gardens photo BetterHomesandGardens-1.png



Step 2

When you add furniture be creative and add it according to size.  Next you can move the furniture around and then paint your room!  As a visual learner this helped me be creative.  I also talked to the Art Teacher who really helped me with color and furniture ideas.


arrange a room 1 photo arrangearoom1.png


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Step 3
Need help with "fun furniture"?  Me too so I became the Sherlock Holmes of librarians and found this video which really opened my mind.  When I compared American library furniture to European library furniture...WOW the difference!  Watch this video: Eurobib.

Do you remember looking at pictures of some of my campus learning commons?  We used Eurobibs and BCI Softline Seating.   Take a look at the BCI softline library seating in Stockholm.   When money matters and you are thinking "out of the box" as they say why not look at OfficeMax back to school furniture or Target's lounge seating.  We have used their furniture also and our students love it.   Happy shopping!

OHH OfficeMax and Target are not "out of the box" enough?  Well okay I did have a librarian or two...hmmm maybe three,  really have fun and look into yoga balls for seating.  Yes I said YOGA balls and you know these are VERY good for your core muscles.  :-)   What the librarians said is that for the hyperactive students, they bounced and worked at the same time!  Imagine releasing energy and typing all at the same time.  Oh aren't true stories the best!

Try these links to Yoga Balls and shop for the ones with legs.      or   


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Last but not least please shop at garage sales, estate sales and Goodwill and Thrift stores for amazing deals.

My Friends this has been a fun visit with you.  As always keep in touch with me.  I have been excited watching my followers grow!   Happy Shopping and Happy Creating!


Works Cited
BCI Library Design. BCI, n.d. Web. 9 July 2013. <>.
Beteter Homes and Garden. Meredith Corporation, n.d. Web. 9 July 2013. <>.
OfficeMax. OMX Inc., n.d. Web. 9 July 2013. <>.
Target. Target Brands Inc., n.d. Web. 9 July 2013. <>.
YOGA., n.d. Web. 9 July 2013. <>.

Yoga Direct. Yoga Direct, n.d. Web. 9 July 2013. <>.



 photo JoAnnConlon-1.jpg

JoAnn was born in Oakland California, and after two boys finally her parents had their one daughter.  After JoAnn's father retired from the Army they moved to Loveland, Colorado where she graduated from high school.  Later

JoAnn obtained her M.Ed then MLIS both in Colorado.  For twelve years she taught at Poudre School District in northern Colorado before working at Cherry Creek School District.

Because Denver hosted the ISTE conference, JoAnn's life took a dramatic change.  While looking through the ISTE website, she  discovered a job opening for Director of Innovative Resource Media Systems. Being the wild Irish woman that she is,  JoAnn applied for the job and six months later moved to Houston, Texas. 



Because her loving family supports her, JoAnn can honestly tell you this she has a wonderful job and she is a lucky woman. JoAnn's three children live in three states, so frequent flyer miles are her best friend.  She has two grandchildren and two grand-dogs who she spoils every time she visits.

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18 CommentsTags: Learning Commons

ALA 2013 Reflections

July 09, 2013 · 16 Comments

I’ve been home for about 3 days now….just enough time to get the laundry done and put away, check in on those cute nieces and nephews, and begin to think about what I need to pack for Ireland/Scotland.  But, before I get too far down that road, I need to take a little time to reflect on ALA.

It was a great conference!  Why?

Well, first and foremost I got to connect with my friends.  Over the 10+ years that I’ve been going to ALA and ALA Midwinter, I’ve made some amazing friends and the opportunity to see and talk with them in person is just invaluable.  I’ve said it countless times, but I love networking at a conference.  These are the folks I have come to rely on, and once again they didn’t let me down. 

As has become a habit lately, I didn’t get to very many sessions.  My commitments to AASL and other committees pretty much took up my entire time.  There were lots I wanted to go to, and especially would have loved to see the Best Apps for Teaching and Learning inaugural list and the Best Websites for Teaching and Learning presenting their 5th annual list.  Luckily all of those resources are online for me to access once I get a little down time.  I also heard that Susan Ballard’s AASL Presidential program with Mark Edwards, Supt. of Mooresville (NC) Graded School District was amazing.  It is always great to see a school leader speaking up for school libraries. 

Why did I miss so many sessions?  Well, I was wrapping up my term as Immediate Past-President of AASL.  So as of the end of the conference, I am now officially off the AASL Board.  Susan Ballard is now the Immediate Past-President and Gail Dickinson is the AASL President.  I leave the organization in very capable hands. I’ve had an amazing opportunity as AASL President to learn and grow over the last 3 years that I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.  It will be something I will always treasure. 

I made it into the exhibit hall a little bit to see some of the latest and greatest and check in with some vendor friends. I also attend the AASL Awards luncheon to recognize some of the best and brightest projects and programs in the country.  Congratulations to all the winners. 
One of them could be you next year?  Think about it! 

I also got to the closing session with Octavia Spencer where ALA President Barbara Stripling did an amazing job interview.  Finally we celebrated the retirement of Julie Walker as AASL Executive Director.   After 16 years, she is retiring and moving on to new adventures, so this conference was a lot about thanking her for the great work she has done for AASL.

For me this time around, the biggest thing I got out of the conference was a little rejuvenation. I’m excited to start back to school (which will be all too soon here) and see what the possibilities will be with my students and staff.  I needed the buzz of conferences, I think, to help get me going, but all the talking and sharing about school libraries was wonderfully exciting. 

Finally I ended the conference at the inaugural brunch where ALA President Barbara Stripling officially began her year.  I know amazing things will be happening this year with her at the helm of ALA.  It was a great celebration to end a great conference!

Carl is the librarian at North Elementary School in Noblesville, Indiana.  He can be reached at or @caharvey2 on Twitter.  He is a Past-President of AASL, and an author of professional books for school librarians.  He blogs at Library Ties.

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16 CommentsTags: Where in the World of Library is Carl?

Research as a Verb

July 08, 2013 · 21 Comments

The site: tells us that:

“In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge.”

They go further to elaborate that researching includes a systematic approach following a set of protocols developed through time. This especially applies to scientific research during which researchers hypothesize, review the literature, develop questions and then experiment to find answers.

Eisenberg and Berkowitz, with their Big6 process for researching an information problem, helps us to break down the research process into skills that, like the scientific method, allow us to actively search for answers to questions.

This brings me to yet something new to ponder. I’ve always been a little uncomfortable when I’ve come across the term “doing research”. Research is active. “Doing” it seems less active, less involving.  IF we’re ramping up our research activities in the library and classroom, then don’t we want our description of it to define this active engagement?

 I wondered if I was on the wrong path with this so I asked Arlene Miller, “Grammar Diva” and author of “The Best Little Grammar Book Ever” if I was off base in my approach. She replied:

“It is common, and not good, in our writing and speaking, to nominalize -- which is to use nouns when we should be using the verb. Using the nouns weakens our statements. For example, "The mayor is making a decision about....." is much weaker than, "The mayor is deciding..." which is what people should use for better writing. Using strong actions is always better, and "doing research" is much weaker and less active than "researching."

Boy, was I glad to read that reply  . I only bring this up because as teachers of an incredibly dynamic and active process it seems like we want to describe it in the way that best exemplifies it; and by believing ourselves that this process is dynamic, we can help teachers design assignments that require this sort of investigation.

As researchers, students are involved and engaged practitioners of a process of inquiry. There is no room for passive participation- each step requires students to think through their questions, evaluate possible solutions and apply them systematically as they build the new models that show their new learning.

I am taking Arlene’s response to heart and applying it to the many things we do in the library – active, participatory things that deserve to shine. 

Connie Williams is a high school librarian and an advocate for school libraries.You can contact her via email, or leave a comment below.

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21 CommentsTags: Inquiring Minds in the Library

Reaching Out with iPads and ebooks

July 04, 2013 · 16 Comments

In my last post I wrote about a grant I received that allowed me to implement the use of ebooks and iPads in the library in which I work.  Though the program has been wonderfully successful in many ways, there have been a few obstacles to overcome.  The most frustrating was getting the device in the hands of students we felt would benefit most from its use.  These were readers that seemed to struggle to finish books either because of reading issues or simply because they were not interested and had yet to find that one book, you know the one, that opens the doors to all the wonders and adventures that can be found in reading.  These were the kids I really wanted to reach. 

Many of these students were targeted initially in the grant.  However, due to the potential financial burden should the iPad be lost or damaged, there were families unwilling to commit.  A few months after the program was in full swing, the chair of our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) approached me with a question.  If the PTO were to purchase seven more iPads for our library, would it be possible to offer them to students regardless of whether they could replace the device should something happen to it?  She said parents were really excited to see ebooks in the library and would like to make them available to all students regardless of whether they could afford to replace the iPad should it be lost or damaged. 

Oh my!  What a fantastic opportunity!  Of course that would work!  Before I knew it, I had seven more iPads added to our collection! 

My next obstacle was getting parents and their children to a meeting where they would learn the basic features of the iPad and how to access and download ebooks to the device. During the meeting I would highlight the expectations and care of the device and before they left, parents and students would sign a contract stating that they were willing to follow these expectations.  This proved to be difficult because there were several parents who simply could not attend a meeting no matter when it was scheduled.  They either worked nights, did not have a car, or simply did not read the invitation sent home with their student.

Frustrated, I once again did some brainstorming and decided to train students on how to use the iPad for ebooks during library time.  I then called parents and informed them of the program, expectations, and care of the iPad.  All of the parents I spoke with were excited their child was getting this opportunity.  I told them to expect a contract to come home with their child and to sit down and discuss the contract with them before they both signed it and returned it to school.  Once I received the contract, their child was eligible to check out an iPad.

Success! Within a very short time I had all my targeted students signed on to utilize ebooks on iPads!  These students could barely wait for their turn to check out ebooks. Their faces lit up with excitement when they downloaded their first ebook on their device.  They were incredibly responsible with their devices, remembering to return them first thing on Tuesday morning.  They always logged their reading and shared their successes with me, eagerly showing me the books they had finished.  And many of them were finishing books! 

Since I have completed the expectations of the Ready, Set, (W)eRead grant, the ten “grant iPads” have been designated for ebook check out for any student whose parents have signed the internet waver and iPad check out contract. 

So what have I done with the other seven iPads the PTO gave to our library? I have collaborated with teachers to create ebooks authored by students!  Tune in next time to see how I worked with teachers from grades first through fifth to help students author their own ebooks.

Amy Page is a K-5 library media specialist with a passion for reading, learning, technology, travel, and adventure.  You can connect with her by leaving a comment below.  Check out her library blog.

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16 CommentsTags: Libraries Without Walls

Chicago ALA 2013 Reflections

July 03, 2013 · 12 Comments

I left northern California just as the temperature was rising far beyond comfort level. A rare heat wave was beginning to rear its ugly head and it seemed to be the perfect time to head out of Dodge and hit the road. And what a fabulous discovery: Chicago was having a rare spate of cool weather – perfect timing!

I started attending ALA conferences after I became involved in AASL. As President of the California School Library Association I attended AASL Affiliate Assembly meetings representing California. Suddenly I had friends from all over the nation, from all kinds of libraries, which led me to gather all kinds of new ideas while working together towards shared goals. Moving to the AASL legislation committee brought even more satisfaction working together to mitigate the many obstacles that challenge us in bringing legislative action on behalf of school kids and their access to strong school libraries.

So it was with a light heart and easy stepcw blog post 2 photo cwblogpost3.png towards the hotel shuttle buses that I left my hotel and on the way discovered that I was staying on the same street at the ALA office.  What better way to start the conference weekend than to pay homage to the building that houses our association? Conference karma was gearing up for greatness.



A brief breakfast whilst reading the news of the day truly brings a sense of wonder. Therecw blog post 1 photo CWBlogpost2.png are so many activities – The President’s Program, the Opening General Session, Divisions and committee meetings…storytelling, author speakers, awards, and more conversations both within programs and sitting about in cafes, hotel lobbies and on the floor outside the exhibit hall.



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Fortified, informed and ready to go – a trip to the exhibit hall for a first “goaround” is warranted right at the start. A stop-in at the Follett booth and then onward to see the newest, latest, and greatest products our vendors have to offer. Many hours later: tired feet, brain filled to capacity, arms laden with “stuff”… it’s time to head back for well earned rest.



As I write this, after two days of soaking up conference energy, I’m getting ready to leave tomorrow. I’ve stopped my packing for a few moments to reflect on how this conference has –and will – impact my library life. I have a notebook filled with new ideas, links, and things I’m going to try next school year. Business cards overflow [this year I remembered to write down action plans to follow up each of those new connections] and my suitcase is overfilled with new books to read and share.

But what just caught my eye from Cognotes was the list of incredible authors and speakers: Ann Patchett, Andrews Solomon, Luis Alberto Urrea, Khaled Hosseini, Paula Poundstone…. how lucky we are to have access to such wisdom, insight and laughter.

I think about why I come to this conference. I review the many events, the many conversations I had, and the people I connected with, the sessions that inform; and I think…how lucky we are to have access to such wisdom, insight, and laughter.


Connie Williams is a high school librarian and an advocate for school libraries.You can contact her via email, or leave a comment below.

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12 CommentsTags: Inquiring Minds in the Library

eBooks: Delve into Digital

July 02, 2013 · 22 Comments

Are you ready to delve into the digital age with adding eBooks to your collection? Have you already purchased some eBooks only to find no one checked them out? Are your students still stuck in the stacks while you are stumped with strategies on how to manage the digital transition? These are all scenarios that I have pondered over the past few years.

Here are a few components that helped introduce eBooks into our school library program.

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Set goals - Take some time to analyze your collection, circulation statistics, and set short term goals. Stating that you want students and faculty to checkout eBooks is too vague. I started with setting a goal of 100 patrons accessing eBooks by the end of the school year. Statistics showed only 2 eBooks were checked out in the prior school year so this was a tangible goal as far as I was concerned. I am more relaxed and stress-free when I set goals that I feel I may accomplish.

Demonstrate- This might sound like common sense but take quality time to show your students and faculty how to access your eBook collection and sure you fully understand the process. I actually began with my faculty and was amazed they were immediately interested.

Come up with a gimmick or hook- As with any lesson, program, or presentation you need to grab their interest from the beginning. I didn't plan that my gimmick was BYOD (Bring Your Own Device Day) but it just fell into place. I've also used the term Device Petting Zoo since every imaginable device came in on Device Days. It was awesome to watch student on student teaching and learning with the menagerie of devices.

Empower your students with the teaching process- I had great student aides and volunteers but no adult assistant. With 1 librarian and 670 students I have become quite creative in using others to help manage the library program. I coined the phrase "eBook Expert" and when an eBook question was asked I called for an "expert". In the beginning my student aides would step up to assistant but by the end of the school year students that I barely knew were volunteering their time and knowledge in accessing our eBook collection. I need to take note that many students want to help so I need to encourage a process with more student drive assistance.

Promotion- As with any program, your successes need to be promoted and advertised. The more enthusiastic you become in letting everyone know your statistical accomplishments; the more contagious this phenomenon will spread. I probably went overboard since I became ecstatic when my eBook goals were met in December before the Christmas holiday began. As our vacation continued, I watched the eBook reports and sent text messages to my principal with news of eBook usage over the holidays. I also posted on our school Facebook and Twitter feeds with the exciting news. As the eBooks circulation reports climbed I included this data in faculty emails, the school news, the library online newsletter, in leadership, faculty, and district library meetings, wrote blog articles, brought in donuts for faculty celebrating mini accomplishments, and virtually told everyone whom I came in contact with during our  2nd semester.

Inclusion- As I watched my school embrace our library eBooks I also noticed peaks and valleys in the circulation reports. The students and faculty checked out our digital eBooks as long as I promoted the collection. Thus I referenced our eBooks when book-talking, included a quick title eBook list for my patrons, put stickers on books indicating it was also available in eBook format, provided demonstration screencast videos for the school news, and included promotion of eBooks in every facet of programming.

Reflection- Analyzing and reflecting on the eBook data is very important. The library had 106 eBooks when I began this endeavor in early December and I quickly realized I needed more eBooks added to our collection. I delved into Titlewave looking for high interest titles and added roughly 300 more eBooks by early February. I must add the process of ordering and receiving eBooks was a pleasant surprise. I ordered online on Tuesday and was thrilled to see on the following Saturday the books seamlessly appeared on our FollettShelf. That in turn created more text messages, Facebook and Twitter posts, and emails over the weekend.

I am proud to announce that our students and faculty have enthusiastically continued to checkout and access our eBook collection. We have surpassed 1,200 eBook transactions since the beginning of this campaign. I have added audio eBooks to our collection and have embedded our eBook collection use in a summer reading campaign. Factors that may have contributed to our success may include our district providing 1:1 device, students having access to many types of devices, the school's policy for allowing student devices, and the library's device friendly environment.

 photo SueFitzgerald.jpgSue Fitzgerald began her educational career as a classroom teacher in 1980 in the Houston Independent School District.  After nine awesome years as a classroom teacher she became a secondary school librarian in 1989 and haven't looked back.  

Sue has had the honor to facilitate libraries in Houston, Spartanburg, South Carolina, Dallas, Fort Worth, and now Justin, Texas. 

I love to blend my knowledge and enthusiasm into the changing world of libraries.

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22 CommentsTags: ebooks: No Shelf Required Here