Image copyright: AASL http://bit.ly/YELsaN
As the recipient of the NCSLMA scholarship to attend the 2012 AASL Fall Forum, I’m here today to tell you all about “Transliteracy and the School Library Program.” (Not really, but I will share what I learned and pondered most.) First, a little about me - this is my first year as a middle school librarian in Chapel Hill, NC. I was previously an elementary school librarian in Urbana, IL, so middle school and the South are both new to me! That being said, the topic of transliteracy was also new to me, and I thought this the perfect opportunity to jump in and learn more.
What is transliteracy?
“Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks” (Thomas et al)
Let me paint you a picture that you might be able to relate to:
I’m sitting on the couch. The television is tuned to HGTV - another episode of Property Brothers is on! One of these days I’ll tackle a home renovation of my own, thanks to the knowledge gleaned from these guys. I’m browsing a knitting magazine or two looking for my next project. I text my sister, asking her what she’s knitting these days (she replies with a photo of her latest creation - a lace shawl). I grab my laptop and log on to ravelry.com, a knitting community where I can keep track of my projects, find new patterns, and interact with other fellow knitters from around the world. I search for projects that use the yarn I just bought. I look through pages and pages of results, hoping to find a new pattern to try. Mind you, I have yet to leave my couch.
Sound familiar? This, I imagine, is not far off from where many of our students are. Change the channel, the hobby, and add a tablet, e-reader, and/or video game system, and welcome to our students’ worlds.
How does thinking about transliteracy impact my practice as a school librarian?
In our Keynote Session, Henry Jenkins spoke about participatory culture in his travels and experiences. This culture can be summed up with the 4Cs - create, collaborate, circulate, and connect. Think about the Learning Commons model so many of our libraries are adopting (see references) as a place to not only read and check out books, but also to create multimedia products, engage in thoughtful discussions, and connect with others. At my school, students are most definitely participating in our library - they are recommending books to me and to each other. They are writing responses on our “Google a Day” bulletin board and talking about their answers. They write notes on our table tops (we cover them in butcher paper for this very reason!). They write reviews for our book blog, and they will soon begin to use DestinyQuest to keep track of their reading and recommend books to each other. Yes, we have a participatory culture! But what does that have to do with transliteracy?
In our next two sessions, Kristin Fontichiaro presented more deeply on the meaning of transliteracy and how to apply it to our practice. Her “nagging questions” were:
If transliteracy is the ability to move in and out of genres, engaging as a reader/consumer, writer/contributor, and if we believe that is valuable, how do we build those skills to ensure a robust future citizenship?
And how do we talk about effective student work and instructional design?
These questions led to some very familiar (and sad but true) examples of integrating technology for technology’s sake. You know the assignments I’m talking about - creating a PowerPoint presentation about a famous inventor or moving the beloved bird unit to Glogster. These types of assignments require very little thought on the students’ part and abandon the notion of critical thinking or academic rigor. But somehow they are justified because we are using technology, and isn’t that the goal? Instead, Fontichiaro insists that we employ standards of good technology use, what she calls “Rigorous Learning with Technology.” Learning with technology should be student-centered, focus on synthesis rather than retelling, authentic, value-added rather than automated, and should show a strong understanding of genre/format. When we collaborate with teachers to incorporate technology into their lessons, are we pushing ourselves to these standards?
In our last session, Barb Jansen asks another BIG question:
How can school librarians ‘bridge the gap’ by connecting the informal learning occurring in the participatory culture to formal educational experiences?
The answer? Collaboration, of course. In its many forms, collaborating with teachers is the best way to make sure that students are able to move seamlessly across formats and genres. Moreover, we focus on moving between traditional print-based media to electronic and interactive media, where students are creating their own digital content with just as much (if not more!) academic rigor. Jansen shared many personal examples of her successful collaborations with teachers (see references).
All in all, it turns out I knew more about transliteracy than I thought - I just didn’t know what it was called. Now, I can share my newfound expertise in “Rigorous Learning with Technology” with teachers, and we can co-plan assignments that challenge students and use technology to its maximum potential. It won’t be easy to shift some mindsets, and it might be completely new to some teachers, but this is where we really ought to be leaders in our schools, and I’m ready for it. Are you?
Smith Middle School
Durham Academy Upper School Learning Commons
North Carolina State University Learning Commons
Transliteracy: Crossing divides by Sue Thomas, Chris Joseph, Jess Laccetti, Bruce Mason, Simon Mills, Simon Perril, and Kate Pullinger
First Monday, Volume 12 Number 12 - 3 December 2007
Transliteracy, libraries, and participatory culture : Research 2 Practice by Barbara A. Jansen
Transliteracy: The Word is Not Enough, Part 1 by Kristin Fontichiaro
Transliteracy: The Word is Not Enough, Part 2 by Kristin Fontichiaro
-Posted by Natalie Sapkarov, NCSLMA Fall Forum Scholarship Recipient
Now that you’ve met NCSLMA’s 2012 Media Coordinator of the Year, it’s time to feature our 2012 Media Administrator of the Year. Each year NCSLMA provides media coordinators across the state an opportunity to nominate administrators who go “above and beyond” in their support of the school library media programming. This award is supported by Hart, Inc., with a $1000.00 gift certificate for the recipient’s school. But even more importantly, it allows our organization to illustrate just how significant administrative support is to a strong and thriving school library media program.
NCSLMA is proud to recognize Bob Grimes as our 2012 North Carolina Media Administrator of the Year. Mr. Grimes is currently an Assistant Superintendent at Brunswick County Schools and previously was the principal of North Brunswick High School. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Grimes’ nomination, expressing his personal philosophy for school libraries:
“The school library media center reflects the school’s culture and should be the hub of the school. It takes a collaboration of administrators, media specialists, teachers, parents and community to create and sustain a media program that will make a difference. I truly believe that effective media centers make an impact academically as well as socially in the lives of our students. Media centers should not be considered add-ons to the instructional program. They must be an integral part of every student and teachers academic and home life.”
Some of his contributions to library media programming include: proposing a budget initiative with the goal to bring all district media center up to the outstanding level based on collection age and books per student, instituting a middle school reading that promotes self-selected reading, and supporting summer programs involving summer circulation and online book discussions. In his nomination one media coordinator stated “He's actually the principal who taught me to be a media coordinator, to truly promote a love of reading in students, to make the media center a place where students want to be.”
Hats off to Mr. Grimes for his outstanding support of school libraries and media programs! NCLSMA members, if you know an administrator who exemplifies noteworthy support of your library media program, please consider nominating that person in the coming year. Nomination forms for the 2013 awards will be available on the NCSLMA website in the spring.
Each year NCSLMA receives many wonderful and deserving nominations for Media Coordinator of the Year, so this year the board decided to recognize four regional finalists from among the many outstanding candidates. Take a few minutes to get to know this year’s regional finalists and learn a little bit about what makes them great school library media coordinators. For each honoree, a brief excerpt from their nomination follows. First let’s meet our 2012 Media Coordinator of the Year Award Winner:
Natalie Strange, Piney Grove Elementary School, Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools, Piedmont West Region
Natalie tells us in her nomination, “A strong media center is the place that everyone in the school immediately thinks of if they have a question. It shouldn’t be, “let me Google ideas on planning a lesson on writing informational texts for 2nd grade”. Instead, the teachers should think, ‘I want to talk with the school librarian to see what we can plan together.’ Similarly, the administration should think of the library media center first when looking for a place for discussion and finding answers. The media center provides support for all aspects of school life, enriching the community.”
As the winner, Natalie was presented a $1000 gift certificate from Follett Library Resources and a beautiful plaque at the NCSLMA conference. The other regional finalists received a $325 gift certificate from Mackin and a $150 gift certificate from Perma-Bound Books.
Now, here are our other regional honorees:
April Benton, Hertford Grammar School, Perquimans County, Eastern Region
In April’s nomination she shares that she believes in “giving the students access to the tools and instruction the students will become problem solvers, collaborators, and creators. The media center also needs to be a fun place where students meet characters that spark their appetite for books that keeps them hungry for more.”
Andrea Lyons, Sycamore Creek Elementary, Wake County, Piedmont East Region
Andrea’s nomination states, “I teach that 21st Century Skills are not only a vital part of our lives, but can also be an amazing journey in which they can “meet” fictional characters beyond their imagination and non-fictional characters who may add to their own dreams and longings in life.”
Jennifer Northrup, Flat Rock Middle School, Henderson County, Mountain Region
Jennifer believes “A Media Center should be an interactive environment where students and teachers are a part of the everyday landscape. Through promoting library services and serving as a collaborative partner the media center and my role have become integral parts of the school’s function to help students learn and be successful.”
Congratulations to each of these media coordinators, who represent our profession so well! If you know of an outstanding media coordinator, please check back in the spring when the nomination forms for next year’s awards will be available.
Media Specialist, School Librarian, Teacher Librarian, Information Specialist, Cybrarian, Library Guru, or Book Dude…. No matter what you call yourself, call yourself “here!” at the NCSLMA conference in Winston-Salem, October 6-8.
I'm personally looking forward to the keynote and sessions offered by the amazing Gwyneth Jones, a teacher librarian at Murray Hill Middle School in Laurel, Maryland, a member of the ISTE Board of Directors, a Library Journal 2011 Mover & Shaker, Gale/SLJ New Leader, and the author of the award-winning Daring Librarian blog
. (Think of a super smart “I Love Lucy” on steroids!) She is an innovator, a techno-whiz kid with fabulous energy, and she always entertains, challenges, and inspires -- I can't wait!
The Frances Bryant Bradburn Award Distinguished Service Award will be presented this year, on Friday October 7th. It's not often that this Award is presented and this year's recipient is truly deserving -- I know this will be exciting and hope you can be on hand to congratulate the winner! Bring your hankies…. this should be a good one.
Need a little advocacy?? Use the power of the force, the technology force, to build your skills in networking and advocacy – Nancy Mangum of the Friday Institute will be your Jedi Master.
How about “Web 2. Uh Oh! Making the Leap from technoPHOBE to technoFAB!” a fab pre-conference con-fab presented by two of our state’s leading Jennifers – Jennifer LaGarde and Jennifer Northrup. I wonder if they’ll mention eReaders or QR codes….?
For you history buffs and literature lovers, you can’t beat the session on “Coming to America: Exploring Immigration through Children’s and Young Adult Literature” offered by the very smart and charming Maggie Gregor from App State’s Instructional Materials Center.
And those are just some
of the pre-conference offerings! I can’t wait!
Check out the conference schedule
-- there are lots of great learning opportunities for all you 21C school library types, including sessions on the new Information and Technology Essential Standards
and the new professional Standards
. Plus, there’s free lunch on Friday. Be there or be square!
Are there authors?? Oh yeah! Ever heard of Gloria Houston? And what about that Origami Yoda guy (Tom Angleberger)? They’ll be there. I will be having lunch with noted author, Frances O'Roark Dowell – how about you? Almost every one of this year’s authors is from North Carolina and they’ll be autographing books and sharing their inspiration. Bring your books. Bring your camera. Bring your Flipcam! I can’t wait!
Poetry performed by Asheville’s amazing Allan Wolf, news from those “DPI people”, and a rock star, LIVE on stage, previewing his latest music video. Did I mention . . . I can’t wait?!
Excitement, adventure, free stuff, and food! Authors, books, library t-shirts, books, cool gadgets, and a road trip with friends! I can’t wait!
Pre-registration closes on September 30th. At $100 (including lunch on Friday), it's a great deal for high-quality PD (with CEUs)! This year, the conference is on Friday and a 1/2 day Saturday to make it easier to get away and get smart! Check out the schedule
and start saving your nickels and packing your bags – it’s conference time!
I. Can’t. Wait!
DPI person & Conference Fanatic,
Jessica Harden Moore, NCSLMA Communications Section Chair and media specialist at Winter Park Elementary in Wilmington, NC, and a second grade teacher at her school just won the Gale/Library Media Connection Teams Award for their collaborative project with 9 second graders and all 4 of the other specialists at Winter Park.
It all started with a single child's interest in a book and ended with the incredible digital story you can view at http://www.nhcs.k12.nc.us/wpark/Student%20Projects.html
. Jessica and the second grade teacher have already presented The Lost and Found of Sabrina
twice in New Hanover County and taught a workshop on enrichment groups at a summer institute. They will be presenting again at the North Carolina School Library Media Association's annual state conference in October.
Jessica and the second grade teacher will be accepting Gale's award on behalf of the enrichment team at the American Association of School Librarians in Minneapolis, MN on October 28. Three awards are given annually, one at each level - elementary, middle and high. Along with the award, they will receive a check for $2500 and an additional $500 in Gale products.
Click on the link above and view this incredible example of collaboration. It is truly worthy of this national recognition. This is what teaching is all about!Thanks to Jessica's mom, Patricia Harden, media specialist in Wake County, for sharing the good news!
Deanna Harris, NCSLMA President
Posted by Ms. Dee at 8:11 AM
Never knew conference planning looked like this, did you?
This picture doesn't show it, but I can tell you there will be a lot of great sessions this year!
Posted by mrsjustice at 5:08 PM
Explain the birds and the bees to my daughter...wear a bathing suit...teach a group of 7th graders while my skirt is tucked into my pantyhose...these are all things I would rather do than make a presentation to a group of my peers. But, since I don’t have a daughter (two boys so I’ll leave that talk to my husband), I never wear a bathing suit except at the beach, and I never wear pantyhose, much less a skirt (hello! I climb under the computer tables all day long to plug in the elusive missing cables)...a few years ago I decided to sign up for a presentation slot at the NCSLMA conference, and I have done it almost every year since. I have attended the NCSLMA conference every year since my first year in the media center. Sometimes, I would have difficultly finding a session to attend because most seemed to be geared towards elementary and middle grades only. After a few years of complaining to myself about this, I decided that since I was a high school person, maybe I would squash that fear of speaking in front of my peers and sign up for a spot. At that time, DPI was discussing the idea of requiring Graduation Projects for all schools. Since our school had required the projects as part of graduation since 2000, I felt like I should impart the knowledge that had made ours such a success. Would anyone care about this? Would anyone show up to the presentation? Did I actually know what I was talking about? To say I stressed out would be an understatement. But, thankfully the presentation was a success. There was an overflow crowd, I ran out of handouts, there were some great questions, and I don’t think anyone walked out. So, for the next few years, I did this same presentation until DPI decided that maybe requiring the projects wasn’t such a good idea (shame on them). During this time, I also was drafted by NCCAT one time to present on their National Boards support program. I was more than happy to brag on this since I have taken advantage of it many times as a participant and a mentor. And last year, I presented once again. This time I talked about “fun”draising. We all need more money, don’t we? And it should be fun! You might be asking, “What’s the point in this article?” Well, it’s just a little pep talk for those of you who are on the fence about presenting. We all are great at something, but might not realize that other people would like to hear about it. I think we all feel that what we do in our program is probably what everyone else does...but a lot of times that is not true. Teach us! Share with us! And, if it is something that we all do, at least know that some of us feel better about ourselves to know that others do the same thing. Are you ready to present now? If this isn’t enough to push you over the edge, maybe you should take into account that a lot of conferences waive your registration fee for presenting. This was always a nice way to convince my director that I had to go to the conference, and she could pay for food and travel instead! But, the Call to Present form will be available only a few more days. So, before July 15th, you need to fill out an application at http://tinyurl.com/5uzqmg7
. And finally, my journey to sheer terror has not stopped with my small group presentations. This year, I am the president-elect of the NCSLMA. So, during my first presentation to the whole group if I happen to have my skirt tucked into my pantyhose...don’t giggle...too much.
Posted by mrsjustice at 6:49 AM
The planning has started...speakers have been booked...convention center is getting ready...All we need is you! The 2011 NCSLMA Conference Call to Present is now available at http://tinyurl.com/5uzqmg7
. The 2011 theme is "Hello...My Name Is" What's the reasoning behind this? Well, it's simple. For years we have advocated for our program, but now it's time to advocate for ourselves. The easiest way to do this is to make sure everyone knows your name and knows what your speciality is! So, show us some of those specialities! Are you good at technology? library promotion? reading programs? professional development? Strut your stuff at the 2011 Conference and let us get to know your name.
Posted by mrsjustice at 11:38 AM
If you were at the NCSLMA conference last week, you had something to talk about.
If you weren't there, you missed 2 panel discussions that were frank, forward-focused, ferocious at times, and frightening to some. If you weren't in Winston-Salem, you need to connect with someone who was there* and talk about where our profession is headed.
Whatever your reaction to the panelists' remarks, you have to admit it got us talking about our library lives. It's true that some of the statements were pretty strong, even hard to hear, but I also believe that those assertions were meant to challenge our thinking about our current practice and the future of our profession.
Book lovers in the audience probably cringed at the pointed remarks about storytime. Hard as it was to hear, there was truth in that statement. Unfortunately, there are some in our field who wield storytime as an easy way to fill the time, simply reading aloud without enriching or connecting the literature to the curriculum beyond the boundaries of the book. Even when our schedules make us feel undervalued and overworked, we HAVE to be promoting reading in all formats, focusing on student learning, and supporting school-wide goals for student achievement. If we're using storytime to merely fill the time, then we're not adding any value with our school library programs.
If you're like me, books worked their magic and lured me into this profession. But books can no longer be the end-all and be-all of school libraries. If we're too focused on the primacy of the book or if we let our easy love of the book interfere with the teaching of other essential skills and content, then there isn't a very promising future for school libraries. Never mind the future, we're doing today's learners a tremendous disservice.
So, what should we do about our peers whose best just isn't good enough any more? Does it really matter if the school librarian/teacher librarian/media specialist at another school isn't at the top of their professional game? It matters. I am convinced that we have to elevate the practice of our peers -- their practice shapes the opinions of stakeholders about our profession and more importantly, their students deserve better! Whether we want to believe it or not, we're all in the same boat and we need to start talking and paddling hard in the same direction.
So, let's keep the discussion going. NCSLMA isn't just the conference. NCSLMA is us, a reflection of our daily work life and a vibrant professional community if we make it so.
Just sayin' . . . North Carolina, let's give 'em something to talk about.
Past President, NCSLMA 2009-10
*check out the Twitter stream from the conference at #ncslma2010.
Posted by Ms. Brannock at 5:06 PM
What are conference authors, speakers, and attendees saying about this year's NCSLMA conference?Lisa Yee
Lisa Yee blogs about her experience at NCSLMA in Winston-Salem in her latest entry at her blog: http://lisayee.livejournal.com/149019.html
Check out the photos of Lisa and Peepy, her muse, along with school librarians Becky Palgi, Beth Obenschain, Evelyn Bussell, and Yvette Davis and authors Cynthia Kadohata and Kirby Larson. You might even find yourself in the pictures from the author luncheon with Lisa on Friday!Doug Johnson
Doug Johnson just blogged about attending the NCSLMA conference -- he looked at attendance at our conference and others, and then wonders if library conferences are fading away? Here's the URL for his blog: http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2010/11/6/library-conferences-fading-away.htmlOn Twitter#ncslma2010 @DebLogan we have to stop advocating for #teacherlibrarians and start advocating for students and who else we serve. - @jenniferlagardeMedia centers have been seen as a respite from testing, but this doesn't help w advocacy or relevance #ncslma2010 - @kellybrannockHome from #ncslma2010 and fired up. Look for something big soon. - pcaggiaWhat are you talking about?
Posted by Ms. Dee at 8:28 PM