Library Blog #1 http://library.castilleja.org/
Sure, this is a library blog, but I noticed that books weren’t the stars, students and school activities were. The purpose of this blog is really focused on the student users. Most of blog’s homepage is filled with pictures and clips of students and events happening, not the top book reviews. For example, one post reviewed the 6th grade fractured fairy tale unit and celebration (http://library.castilleja.org/recent/6th-grade-literary-salon-reviewed). I think the post was even written by a student. I bet this generates a lot of blog traffic because kids and people want to see what’s going on and see themselves reflected in the blog. Super idea. I plan to keep this in mind when I build my library online presence. I wonder if they got releases for the kids to show their photos on the internet?
Library Blog #2 http://www.jgreller.net/Teachers/#
This blog is interesting because it is more of a resource blog for adults or older students. It details different technology sites that can be used to develop multimedia technology-based projects. Of course the title says it all: A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet. I like that at the top were tabs differentiating the different grade levels. Within each section were lists of resources (http://www.jgreller.net/Teachers/hs.html). I can see this as being a big time-saver for teachers. She also included posts about different types of apps, websites, software, etc. that could appeal to many different teachers of different grades and contents. I would like to include a section like this on my library blog. I think providing resources and curriculum support for teachers is a critical responsibility of the media specialist.
Library Blog #3 http://heartoftheschool.edublogs.org./
This blog actually represents the library system in the United Kingdom, not a particular library. It highlights different activities, resources, events, etc. that are happening at different libraries. I found the evidence tab particularly useful because it provided links to pieces of evidence that validated the importance of reading http://heartoftheschool.edublogs.org/evidence-base/ . Having this handy helps justify your job and the rights of children to have access to reading material, whether it’s printed or through other modalities. I also thought their idea of including the Day in the Life of a Librarian a very clever way to show that many different roles a media specialist plays. Different librarians had their own posts describing their day. I plan to “steal” both of these ideas when I build my library site. I think I will include more photos showing what I do, though. This site did not have a lot of graphic appeal.
I can’t imagine not representing the voices, resources, events, activities and patrons of my media center through an on-line webpage, blog, wiki or some other forum. Blogs in particular can help unite patrons and other librarians, allowing us to collaborate quickly and from far distances. Students who are too busy or may not physically march into the library to share comments, interests, suggestions, etc. may be more willing to do so through email, blog responses, etc. By demonstrating the value of online communication and information sharing, teachers and parents may also see its benefits. Proper introduction, training and support can help teachers embrace this technology into their own classes after seeing it modeling through the media center.
I think maintaining a web-based resource/information hub will also allow me more freedom to interact with classes and students. We can run many different projects online, but I can also refer people to the site when they need particular information. They can find it there instead of waiting to talk to me. Their needs can be met more quickly. Finally, in terms of developing PR, the internet is a powerful extension of traditional ways of publicizing the many different nifty things going on in the library . . . from announcing the latest graphic novels to posting videos of poetry slams, everyone can see and hear the buzz!