My Online Professional Learning Network will help me to…
- Connect with other school libraries that have similar needs and populations to serve
- Pursue grant resources for technology implementation and collection development
- Use the online LIS Professional Commons as an initiation to the library learning community since I am only a Special Student and am not officially admitted into an MLIS program yet
- Develop my skills in outreach programming for at-risk learners, especially bilingual and reluctant readers
- Engage in trend-spotting of up-and-coming digital tools and instructional technology strategies
It is my goal to be a secondary (preferably high school) Library Media Specialist in Southern Wisconsin. I would like to work in a place that honors my technology skills but does not require that the majority of my professional time be spent fixing computer problems. I want to serve students and staff directly by meeting their media needs and increasing their information literacy skills. I also intend to keep my “eye to the sky” because I have a strong interest in working in public libraries if I ever decide to leave K-12 education.
The Adventures of Library Girl
This blog features explorations of a lot of trends in school librarianship. The author, Jennifer LaGarde, has been honored as a Mover and Shaker of 2012 by Library Journal.
American Association of School Librarians @aasl
This website has information about issues, advocacy and continuing education for school librarians, plus an interesting section for school librarian students.
Association for Library Service to Children Listserves
I can use these listserves as a means to casually tap in to discussions between school librarians around the country.
This is a listserve for discussion of all matters regarding library service to children.
This is a discussion listserve about partnerships between public libraries and schools.
This is a listserve that discusses children’s collection management.
Cathy Nelson’s Professional Thoughts
This blog by a Nationally Board Certified Teacher Librarian features posts about the integration of technology in authentic and ethical ways to increase student engagement.
The Daring Librarian
This award-winning blog by Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones shares lots of ideas and reflections for school librarians.
School Library Journal @sljournal
This is website by a respected journal provides online content of the print publication plus other news, features, and leadership tools for school librarians
Teacher-Librarian Twitter Feeds
These are the primary hashtags teacher librarians are using to share interesting insights and links on Twitter.
A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet
This blog shares digital resources for school librarians and the teachers they serve. Especially unique is a collection of information on book repair, which seems to be vital knowledge for school libraries that coordinate textbook checkouts.
This is the web-presence of a journal for school library professionals. Some parts of the site do not seem to get updated regularly, but the current issue is always available.
TL Virtual Café
This wikispace has webinars (upcoming and archived) and conversations about teacher-librarians and educational technology.
This is an online charity specifically that schools and classrooms make requests for materials they need.
Among other school subjects, this website lists grants for school libraries, literacy grants for schools, and reading grants for school librarians and media specialists.
This website is a crowdfunding platform where people who want to raise money can create online fundraisers to get the money that they need.
The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries
This foundation offers grants for school libraries to update, extend and diversify their collections.
Authors of the book, Winning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians with Multimedia Tutorials and Grant Development Tools, Stephanie Gerding and Pam MacKellar offer a blog for librarians interested in grant opportunities.
Scholastic Library Grants
Scholastic keeps an online list of current and ongoing grant opportunities for school libraries, complete with links and deadlines.
Tech and Learning Grant Guru
Gary Carnow offers grant-writing advice and tips for people seeking grants in educational technology. They also link to a calendar for 2012-2013 of grants for education compiled by Dell and Intel. http://www.techlearning.com/portals/0/Dell_Grants_Calendar_2012-13.pdf
Wisconsin Humanities Council Grants
The Wisconsin Humanities Council offers grants and mini-grants to public humanities programs that encourage conversations, connections and reflections upon our world.
Initiation to Library Learning Community
Hack Library School @hacklibschool
This is a group blog that tries to redefine library school using the web as a collaborative space outside of any specific university or organization.
In the Library with the Lead Pipe @libraryleadpipe
This “peer-reviewed” blog offers essays from librarians, educators, administrators, library support staff, and community members to help improve our communities, our libraries, and our professional organizations.
This is an online forum for LIS students that offers discussion opportunities, resources for LIS studies and free subscriptions to Library Journal and School Library Journal upon graduation.
Librarian by Day @librarianbyday
This blog by Bobbi Newman has been honored by the Salem Press. She is interested in digital services, the digital divide and innovative new practices.
LISNews: That New Librarian Smell
This is collaborative blog devoted to current events and news in the world of Library and Information Science.
LIS Twitter Feeds
These are popular hashtags being used on Twitter by the LIS community.
PLN Starter Kit
This resource guide hosted on LiveBinders is a crowdsourced collection of resources for connected librarians and educators who are looking to begin a Professional Learning Network. It especially highlights popular Twitter feeds and Blogs.
This is a blog where librarians and researchers share the results of specific, sometimes unique, web searches for information and resources.
Connecting to At-Risk Readers
American Library Association Listserves
These listserves are ways for me to keep up with discussions about at-risk readers around the country.
This is listserve discusses how libraries are addressing the needs of teens who do not or cannot use the library because of socioeconomic, legal, educational, physical or other relevant factors.
This is a listserve is about serving non-English speakers in public libraries.
Children’s and YA Lit Twitter Feeds
There are a few hashtags being used on Twitter to recommend books for children and young adults.
Colorín Colorado @colorincolorado
This is a bilingual website for educators and families of English Language Learners that promotes reading and academic success. There is a specific section for librarians.
Go Big Read @GoBigRead
This is a local common reading program that seeks to engage students, faculty, staff and the entire community in an engaging way through online and live outlets.
Library of Congress for Parents and Educators
This website contains resources that help young people unlock the power of reading.
This website is hosted by the Department of Public Instruction of Wisconsin to provide webinars, videos and other resources about reading for those serving diverse populations.
Wisconsin State Reading Association
This website offers advocacy ideas, resources and professional development that addresses issues and trends in reading and language arts.
Chad Kafka is a technology coach who trains educators and shares his ideas and presentations on his website.
This blog compiles the latest technology, tools, toys and news for “teachers who want to work smarter.”
The Edublog Awards
This website gives annual awards through a pubic nomination and voting process on social media such as blogs, hashtags, wikis, podcasts and their educational applications. This is a great resource to see what has been popular and useful in instructional technology every year.
This is a website with articles featuring technology tools and trends by covering the leading edge of digital learning.
Free Technology for Teachers @rmbyrne
This daily blog by Richard Byrne delivers ideas and resources on instructional technology tools and social media applications.
This blog is written by a former schoolteacher named Kelly Tenkely who now consults on how technology can meet students’ needs and engage them.
Libraries and Transliteracy
This is a group blog and Facebook group that shares information on all types of literacies relevant to libraries (digital literacy, media literacy, information literacy, visual literacy, 21st century literacies, transliteracies, etc.)
Make Use Of
This is a website that features articles and reviews of websites, technologies and internet tips. It is also a great learning resource for unfamiliar digital tools.
Social Media Examiner @smexaminer
This is an online social media magazine that businesses (err… libraries) can use to guide their development of their social media presence.
Network Maintenance Plan
In order for my Online Professional Learning Network plan to be meaningful, I will be using tools such as Google Reader, Twitter and possibly Diigo to keep it organized and accessible to me. These tools are ones that are reasonable for me integrate into my daily routine at a minimal level of about five minutes a day. The key will be to make the maintenance of my OPLN to become a habit so that it remains meaningful to me. This way I can make minor additions or adjustments gradually whenever I discover new ideas or resources.
When I am admitted officially into an MLIS program, I will probably find that the goal statements of my OPLN will need to be tweaked once I have received official career and course advising as to what my plan and path through library school will be. This plan will also probably need a complete overhaul of goals and resources when and if I make a career move from ESL Teacher to School Library Media Specialist (and again if I decide to move to public libraries). At that point, my OPLN should reflect my needs in my precise professional role. This is a reasonable expectation at any career change point thereafter.