#whylib – Why I became a librarian

April 4, 2014

#whylibI wish I could say it started with a burning desire or a lifelong passion or a journey that started in my childhood. But I can’t. Here’s my story: I went to college a year after graduating high school to study Musical Theater. I dropped out to live off the grid in the Appalachian Mountains. I spent my young adult life in the “job-of-the-month” club. I was a Camp Counselor, Shoe Repair person, Food Stamp Eligibility Specialist, Leather Fabricator, Front Desk Receptionist (newspaper office), Secretary, Fine Art Salesperson, Singer, Actress, Writer, Mat Cutter, Waitress, Live Sound Tech, Lighting Tech, Production Assistant and Studio Manager. When my son was born I re-enrolled in college and earned a B.S. in Commercial Music Recording and Production. I graduated when I was 33 years old. In November of 1994 my daughter was born. I was working as a Technical Liaison/Project Manager with a sports and entertainment marketing company. That job expected a high level of time commitment since our projects were usually staged on evenings and weekends when the rest of the world was out to play. During my maternity leave (a very, very short 6 weeks), I read an article in the Atlanta Journal/Constitution about how there were more jobs for media specialists than graduates to fill the positions. I didn’t know what a media specialist was but it sounded like something akin to what I was already doing. Plus, it was a school position so I’d have the same schedule as my daughter and her older brother. I began investigating, realized what the job entailed, got my paperwork together to enroll in Georgia State University’s graduate program, took the GRE, got accepted, and started that August. Now, it just so happened that I was visiting my dearest friend one day in May of 1995 and noticed a copy of The Jewish Times on her coffee table. While I waited for her to get ready to go out, I picked it up and skimmed the articles. When I got to the back page I noticed an ad for a Media Clerk at a nearby private school. I applied for the job and got it. When I told my boss I was leaving he said, “How much will it take for you to stay?” I replied that I was taking a pay cut to leave – and that was that. To say I was fortunate to be working in a library while I earned my degree is an immense understatement. I was able to go to class on Monday night and then come in on Tuesday and try things out under the supervision of a very willing school librarian. When I graduated, I was promoted to the Media Specialist position and stayed there until my daughter started kindergarten at which time I moved over to the public system in which she was enrolled. In fact, through an amazing sequence of circumstances, I ended up as the media specialist in her elementary school under the supervision of my son’s former principal. Being a library media specialist allows me to be creative. It allows me to explore. It allows my innate ADD to flourish because something is changing all the time. I love being a part of a child’s journey of self-discovery through reading and literature. I love hearing their stories and then connecting them to stories that resonate and change them. I love making bulletin boards and QR codes and book trailers and media displays and websites and videos. I hate to admit it but sometimes, when I need a brain break, I even love laminating (please don’t tell my teachers…) So… was it luck or divine intervention? I believe that if we open our eyes to possibilities, the universe conspires to place us where we need to be. My friends will tell you that whenever I’m ready to try something new I’ll say, “Let’s throw it out to the universe and see what happens!” I am exactly where I’m supposed to be and there is a deep level of satisfaction in being able to say that. I know that when my working life is over I will still be a librarian in my heart and soul. I’ll be the old lady in Barnes & Noble organizing the Teen Fiction section… Follow me! @sksgrigsby

8 Powerful Extensions to Use on Google Spreadsheet

March 13, 2014

See on Scoop.itK-12 School Libraries

March 12, 2014
As I mentioned in an earlier post today , Google recently announced the introduction of add-ons to Google Docs and Spreadsheets. With these add-ons installed, users will have access to…

Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby‘s insight:

This is a timely post for me as I just spent the morning trying to clean up a Google Form spreadsheet! Now I can download these add-ons and make my life so much easier! Hope you find them useful, too.

See on www.educatorstechnology.com

Winning Words Match Games – Fun & Free Vocabulary Games

March 13, 2014

See on Scoop.itK-12 School Libraries

Winning Words is a series of free iPad apps that feature matching / “memory” style vocabulary games. There are six apps in the series. Each app is played in the same manner of flipping a card and trying to find a match for it.

Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby‘s insight:

No registration required – just open and play. Appropriate for both elementary and middle school. 

See on ipadapps4school.com

An Upcoming Anonymous App Called Cloaq Promises A New Way To Post & Share, No Email Or Phone Number Required

March 13, 2014

See on Scoop.itK-12 School Libraries

A team of engineers, who have asked to not be identified by name, are working to develop a new platform for anonymous posting called Cloaq (pronounced “cloak”).

Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby‘s insight:

Heads up, school librarians! Here is just another in a long string of anonymous posting apps that students will surely tap into to bully and harass each other. According to TechCrunch:  … what Cloaq says would be different on its platform is that it won’t even collect users’ email addresses or phone numbers at signup, like Secret or Tumblr or Twitter or anyone else these days, would do.

See on techcrunch.com

Robotiky Is (Yet) Another Cute Way To Teach Kids Coding Using Robots

March 12, 2014

See on Scoop.itK-12 School Libraries

Say hey to Roboticky: a robot designed to be programmed by kids using a simplified drag-and-drop software interface on their computer.

Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby‘s insight:

VERY cool addition to your maker space or to share with your science teachers. I think I want one, too.

See on techcrunch.com

Teachers as talent scouts

March 12, 2014

See on Scoop.itK-12 School Libraries

Every student has a talent that we can uncover if we keep our eyes and mind open. If we teachers were able to harness a fraction of the talents our students possess, we’d find enough creative energy to power our classroom for the entire school year.

Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby‘s insight:

I love how this teacher chronicled the sometimes painful shift from a teacher-centered to a student-centered classroom. I also love how this shift changed the dynamic so that students who might have melted into the background or felt like failures had the opportunity to share their talents and shine. Share this with teachers when they want to know WHY they should make this kind of change.

See on smartblogs.com

Why You Should Share Your Ideas

March 12, 2014

See on Scoop.itK-12 School Libraries

I was chatting with a friend the other day about how the business she now runs got started.

Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby‘s insight:

It is amazing to me how many school library media specialists are out there doing great things but feel they’re not doing anything special. While it may not be the greatest lesson plan that ever existed, it may be an idea that sparks someone to create something in their own program that then sparks someone else… On and on. Let’s face it: we have a PR problem in school librarianship and sharing ideas is one way to build us all up to a higher standard and improved quality practice.

See on www.edudemic.com

The Teacher’s Guide To Using Screencasts In The Classroom

March 12, 2014

See on Scoop.itK-12 School Libraries

Screencasting is getting a lot of attention as a tool for teachers when using the flipped classroom model. Certainly, screencasts are a great tool for teachers to create presentations for their students to view at home.

Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby‘s insight:

Wonderful article for those thinking about how to flip their classrooms. Most of these tools are super easy to use so if you’re comfortable with computers, you’ll be able to jump right in. Librarians: think about how you could use screencasting to save time (and provide reinforcement) when teaching students how to search with Boolean operators or how to use the school’s online catalog!

See on www.edudemic.com

Build Your Own Bletchley Park With This Kickstarted Enigma Clone

March 12, 2014

See on Scoop.itK-12 School Libraries

If you invest in an open-source, crowd-funded Enigma machine today, make it this one.

Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby‘s insight:

This looks like a fun and interesting addition to your MakerSpace! The machine provides hours of exploration in breaking and making encryption codes. Read on…

See on techcrunch.com

Google’s 10th Summer Of Code Is Now Open For Applications

March 12, 2014

See on Scoop.itK-12 School Libraries

Share For 10 years now, Google has been bringing together open source software projects and students who are looking for a challenging summer project through its Summer of Code program.

Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby‘s insight:

Share this with your teachers so that students will know how to take advantage!

See on techcrunch.com


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