Tech Roundup! Library Websites/Virtual Libraries/Digital Branches

A library website is also called a virtual library or a digital branch and it allows your patrons to have access to your library 24/7, 365.

There are now so many ways to have a digital presence and it's easier than ever thanks to ready-made templates and click-go-creation platforms. You no longer need to know code. You no longer need to pay someone else to do the work. And you don't need to buy anything.
I won't lie. It's work. A virtual library doesn't just magically appear. You do have to take the time to build it and maintain it but it's so worth it.
It’s a matter choosing a platform in which to create your digital branch by picking a mobile-friendly template (and almost all are nowadays), spending time planning its navigation and structure, and building the site. Of course, it doesn't end there. Updates, additions, and maintenance are needed just like they are in your physical library.
Some freely available popular platforms include Google Sites, Weebl…

2018 AASL Social Media Superstar at this Year's Boot Camp!

Each summer the SD State Library offers a professional development opportunity called School Library Boot Camp. This is a two-credit Black Hills State University course that can be taken at either the undergraduate or graduate level by any educator in South Dakota. Scholarships are available to cover tuition costs.

This year's date is set July 23-26 on location at the State Library in Pierre. The theme is 21st Century Literacies: The School Library Connection. Content will revolve around digital, media, and information literacies as they relate to education.

One of the presenters/teachers at Boot Camp is one of this year's AASL Social Media Superstar winners!

It's Jennifer LaGarde, otherwise known as Library Girl. You can check out Jennifer's blog The Adventures of Library Girl and read more about her accomplishment as AASL's Social Justice Defender Superstar.

Kristen Echtenkamp and Lynn Klundt, librarians/educators from Northern State University in South Dakota, …

Children's Book Week

99 years!

This April 30-May 6, 2018 marks almost a century of celebrating for young people and the joy of reading via Children's Book Week.

Children's Book Week, a program of Every Child a Reader, is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country that connect kids with their favorite books and authors to instill a lifelong love of reading. Check out the media and event kits to promote this fun week. You can also sign up online as an official event to get extra freebies. Your event/celebration it can be simple or elaborate.

Another program that schools can use to promote reading is The Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards. Online voting started March 1 and runs through Sunday, May 6, the last day of Children's Book Week. Winners will be announced on May 30.

Tech RoundUp! Digital Audiobooks

It's often our ENL (English as a New Language) students, students with special needs, and struggling learners who benefit the most from audiobooks. These types of books are wonderful for early and struggling literacy, making oral gains such as fluency and pronunciation, independent reading, scaffolding, pairing, and comprehension. Not to mention, they help to make a long car ride fly by!
This month I'm sharing several online sources for free, digital audiobooks. I've added these and others on my Padlet titled Digital Books if you'd like to explore more or bookmark for later. I'll keep adding to this Padlet so check back.
Unite for Literacy

Loyal Books


Storyline Online

International Children's Digital Library
ebooks via the South Dakota State Library including Book Flix, Gale Reference Center, EBSCOhost eBooks, and SAGE Knowledge

P.S. Here’s the Tech Roundup Digest - a running list of all the roundups. Feel free to share with your staff.

Disclaimer: The Sout…

Advocacy for School Libraries: Resource Share

It's that time of year when advocacy questions increase in my inbox. Cue the SD State Library Advocacy page. Visit this helpful page for links to local and national tools and readings.

Take a look at the South Dakota's Future Ready School Librarians pamphlet. Its intent is to help administrators understand the importance of school libraries in our state. I encourage you to share this with your local administrator/principal, school board, and superintendent.

Another local reading includes the School Library Data Digest. For two years now the SD State Library has published it in a handy format so that you can display it on the end of a shelf or anywhere else in the library. Each autumn print copies are mailed superintendents who should then distribute to librarians and other stakeholders.

The 21st Century Self-Assessment Tool is a good one to use as an aid in implementing the SD School Library Guidelines. This tool can be a catalyst for conversations with your administrator conc…

National Library Week 2018

Did you know National Library Week turns 60 this year? Yep, read more about it here. The history is pretty interesting.

Celebrate National Library Week this April 8-14 with the theme "Libraries Lead."

Visit the main site for free dgitial downloads, printables, tools, and this year's spokesperson.

Want an easy way to promote this week? There's a new template for Libraries Transform table tents. The image fits an 8.5" x 11" sheet and will print two tents. You can add your own message to the back, cut, fold and place around your library and school. Instant, low cost, time saving awareness!

And, Tuesday, April 10 is National Library Workers Day. It's a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by ALL library workers.

And lastly, Wednesday, April 11 is National Bookmobile Day. It's a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who ma…

21st Century School Library Award

South Dakota School Librarians! It's time to apply for the 21st Century School Library Award
This yearly award given by the SD State Library demonstrates the importance and strength of not only your library but libraries as a whole. The SD State Library recognizes schools with libraries that meet the characteristics of a 21st Century school library through its program, place, and professional. The State Library is an entity of the SD Dept. of Ed. and this award also indicates to stakeholders that you are an outstanding teacher-librarian and a leader in your profession.

Applications can be submitted through May 1.

To apply follow the steps below:

STEP 1: Complete the self-assessment tool here to see if you are eligible to proceed with the formal application. If you score 75 points or higher, then proceed to Steps 2 and 3. If you don’t meet 75 points you are not eligible to apply for the award; however, you still have the benefit of having completed the self-assessment. This is me…

April is School Library Month!

How are you gearing up for School Library Month?

Every April school librarians around the country celebrate School Library Month. They do this promoting and hosting activities to that promote how strong school library programs can help patrons make connections to learning and the world around them.

New this year is AASL's handy resource guide of activities and ideas to help you plan for four weeks of celebration with the weekly subthemes:
Making Learner Connections
Making Educator Connections
Making Community Connections
Making Global Connections

Take a look at the website for free printables and downloads, ideas and activities, proclamations, and a video from this year's spokesperson, New York Times bestselling author, Jason Reynolds.

From Jason Reynolds... "Here's what I know: I know there are a lot — A LOT — of young people who hate reading. I know that many of these book haters are boys. I know that many of these book-hating boys, don't actually hate books, th…

Tech Roundup! Love Those Free Chrome Extensions

If you're a Chrome browser user (and so many of us are!) you really should check out the Chrome Web Store for extensions. These one-click installs and easy-to-use tiny little software programs will simplify your online life. Extensions allow you to tailor how the Chrome browser functions to better serve your online habits and preferences. There are tons and tons of extensions which can be overwhelming, so let me share three free Chrome extensions that have served me well.

Notes for Google Drive
You know when you're at a conference and are frantically trying to open a Word doc so you can type out notes? Have you ever emailed yourself links that you want to access later? Notes for Google Drive allows you to, with one click of the extension icon, open up a Google Doc. (aka Note) that will live in your Google Drive in the Notes folder. As soon as you start typing on the Note, it's automatically saved to Google Drive. No more emailing yourself or having to open up a Word docume…

Resource Share: The Cult of Pedagogy

For the teacher-librarian, this resource is such a good one.
The Cult of Pedagogy

This is a resource I wish I would have had when I started out teaching English to 11th and 12th graders back in the early 2000's. As an auditory/visual learner (and by the way, many of our students are these types of learners in this 21st-century world!) Jennifer Gonzales and her team nail it with all their educator-focused content.
The Cult of Pedagogy blog is loaded with usable posts and resources with which you can subscribe. Posts are chunked out into 1. Instruction 2. Classroom Management, 3. Technology.
The Cult of Pedagogy podcast is great and it's in interview, real-world format - one of my favorite styles. Gonzales interviews real educators, students, administrators and parents about school, tips of the trade, and all kinds things pedagogy. You can listen via iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.
And the Cult of Pedagogy YouTube Channel is filled with a collection of low-key, easy to unders…