Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog Interaction with Teresa Garreth - Mon. Oct. 15 to Wed. Oct. 17, 2007

Joining the class for the first time is media specialist at New Chrysler High School, New Castle Community Schools: Teresa Garreth. Teresa is another outstanding Indiana teacher librarian, a well-rounded leader in our profession.

Learn more about Teresa and her professional interests and expertise at http://eduscapes.com/sms/overview/garreth.html
.

Visit her media center's website at http://www.nccsc.k12.in.us/hsmedia/

To begin the conversation, you might blog-discuss with Teresa about professional leadership and development, technology integration and the SLM program, or collection development. I'm sure that Teresa is willing to discuss any relevant idea and issue related to school library media.

25 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:20 PM

    Hello Teresa,

    I noticed that one of your interests is library automation. Our school in Tokyo is currently being rebuilt and will be ready in about 3 years time.

    We are thinking about changing/upgrading our current system to a better one (if one exists) just before moving into our new library.

    How would you go about deciding which library automation system is the best? What features are absolutely essential? Are all of the systems on the market pretty much the same? What would be the deciding factor?

    It would seem (from an article in MultiMedia & Internet @ Schools V. 14, No. 5, 09/10/07) that Follett's Destiny is the most popular (62%) followed by Alexandria (15%).

    I'd be grateful for your advice.

    Thank you.

    Karl

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  2. Good Morning Teresa!

    Thanks for being a part of our class this semester! I have two questions for you:

    1. I'd love to hear about the challenge (or not a challenge) of getting high school studenst involved with the library. While there are always the studenst who are "readers" how do you as a media specialist reach out to students who might not normally think to utilize the libarry for business OR pleasure?

    2. Also, I read in your bio that you supervised 7 elementary libraries prior to your current position. As a new librarian who is struggling to travel to only three libraries, how did you do it??? Any advice you can give me as to keeping involved and motivating staff while you aren't in the physical building would be appreciated.

    thanks-
    Lora

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  3. Anonymous8:03 AM

    We have been discussing upgrading our current automation system so I too have been asking myself some of the same questions. The best way to test a system is to find a school using the system you are considering and make a visit to the school to discuss pros and cons with the media specialist and see the actual system in action. I have heard wonderful things about Destiny. Money is holding our corporation back from making the switch right now. I know this may sound strange, but one of the biggest deciding factors for me is their customer service--is it always available, is it a real person, and just how good is it. This too would be best evaluated by someone who is currently using the system.

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  4. Anonymous8:10 AM

    Getting high school students involved in the media center can be challenging. Each year at the beginning of the year I encourage each English class to visit the media center the first week for an "orientation" type meeting. I introduce myself, my staff, and go over very basic information. We try to make them feel very welcome and challenge each student to visit the media center "on their own--not with a teacher or class" sometime within the next 2 weeks. I find if they feel comfortable and welcome they return. We try to make it relaxing, inviting, and comfortable.

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  5. Anonymous8:16 AM

    2.
    Supervising more than one media center is becoming more and more common for school media specialists. I played more a supervisor role than I wanted to because of all of the mandatory responsibilities I held. Each of my elementaries was staffed with a media technician who was full time. I would visit each building every other week and stayed an entire day in each building once a month. I handled major programming (Young Authors, all book fairs, Young Hoosier book award, all ordering/cataloging, grants, etc.). I also held a staff meeting once a month to bring all media technicians together to share ideas and stay connected. Balancing several schools is difficult. If you are having specific concerns, please let me know and I'll try to answer more exact.
    Teresa

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  6. Anonymous4:02 PM

    Teresa,

    As a new media specialist, I am attempting to become involved with my colleagues in an effort to learn and grow. I will be attending the AIME conference this year, however, my co-worker will not. She has told me that she no longer "gets anything" from AIME and I'm wondering, how would you, as someone who is very involved with AIME, convince her to attend?

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  7. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Oops! I hit the publish button too soon. Teresa, the previous question regarding AIME was from me, Kimberly.

    Also, I was wondering if you feel the trend towards media specialist supervising more than one library media center is justified. it appears to me that this trend is purely an effort to save costs.

    Thanks for taking the time to blog with us!

    -Kimberly

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  8. Hello Teresa!
    Thank-you for this opportunity to talk with you! My name is Michele Linn. I was reading about your interests on our Eduscapes course website. One of your interests included INSPIRE. Recently I visited Concord High School's media center in Elkhart, Indiana. The librarian stated that they use INSPIRE and just raved on and on about this database. My question to you is what do you like most about INSPIRE? Do you heavily promote the use of INSPIRE in your own media center? The library I visited provides all students with a flyer stating the benefits of INSPIRE. Do you do the same? Do you encourage teachers to inform their classes on the research engines that are available?

    Thank-you!
    Michele

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  9. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Hello, Teresa. I also appreciate the opportunity to visit with you. We may be changing our LMC to a new location in the building. We currently use Athena as our automation system. I noticed that several have asked about systems. Are you familiar with it? How does it compare.
    Also, what do you think about going wireless? Is the technology ready to handle a school setting?
    Thanks, Bev

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  10. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Teresa,

    I understand why having customer service available is important. My first automation support system was located in Oregon and kept 9 - 5 hours (Pacific time); my current system promises a reply within 24 hours. Sometimes the reply consists only of a case number!

    On a list serv I use, there has been a discussion about which automation system to use. One of the librarians commented that they had been using Follett for years. It provided everything needed, and they did not intend to upgrade to Destiny.

    So,aside from support, are there report generating factors or patron search elements that you find to be pivotal in automation selection?

    Alice

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  11. Hello again Teresa!
    I had another question for you regarding collections. How do you go about choosing your collections. Do you have any input from students teachers, etc. beyond curriculum standards? Do you ever find yourself biased or judgemental towards any particular genres, areas, topics, etc.? Is there anything that you would consider too controversial to include in your collection. We have recently discussed these issues in class, so I am curious to know your views!
    Thanks!
    Michele

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  12. Anonymous5:52 PM

    Teresa,
    Have you had any experience with "Moodle?" Our high school might begin using it. I have had a workshop in it, but have not had much opportunity to work with it. Thanks, Bev

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  13. Thanks for your response about the multiple schools. It is a challenge! My specific concern currently is how to connect and collaboate with staff members and teachers that I only see once a week at most. I am trying to be visible but it is difficult. YOu mentioned that you had to spend more of your time managing- did that take away from your collaborative efforts?

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  14. Kimberly- In response to your post about the justification of cutting certifies media specialists I would say that from my vantage point, students are definetly suffering from it. I am actually only one of two certified (nearly certified) in my whole school district- all 8 elementaries have full time aides but these women receive no training or professional development. The three middle schools all have full time aides, and i split my time between the three. They consolidated media specialist positions several years ago in response to a MS retirement. Now, they "cant find the money" to reinstate this position.

    Studenst i am receiving at the middle school are very low in their library skills- almost to embarassing levels.
    While the school is saving the money on a professional media specialist, I believe they are sending kids on towards high school and college completely unprepared. Teachers also suffer in this scenario because they have no one to work with, collaborate with, or look to for support.

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  15. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Thanks for your honest response Teresa. In my former school system, where I taught for 7 years, the elementary LMS retired and instead of hiring a new one, they consolidated the position of high school LMS with elementary. They justified this because the schools are on the same lot. The LMS now spends the bulk of her time at the elementary where she has parent volunteers, and leaves the high school to be run by a paid assistant who, with the help of high school students, takes care of the daily business of the library. Since this time, Sharon (the LMS) has been unable to collaborate on any level with the high school teachers and has little time to do so with the elementary. They are forced to maintain a rigid schedule at both libraries and(in my opinion) this is unfair to both the LMS and the students. This has been the situation for 3 years now, and the school system seems to look at this as a good working situation. There are no plans to hire a second LMS.

    Thanks again for your honesty.

    -Kimberly

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  16. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Hi Teresa,
    There is a theme here - multiple building media specialists! I am the library/media teacher for 4 elementaries. It is interesting to read responses and questions from others with more than one building. This is my first year. Everything sounds very familiar. The students do lose out. I've been able to work pretty well with all the teachers because I had taught with them for so long - lots of collaboration between buildings lately with NCLB initiatives. Everyone has been very approachable, so that hasn't been a problem. My problem has been not being able to follow through with so many of the "administrative" tasks. with only 1 day in each building, it is hard to finish.

    My questions:
    1) Only 1 of the 4 schools is automated. Still have card catalogs in the other 3. Working on the collections - spending my allottment before I lose it! - is difficult. I only have a couple more weeks to complete the orders. I like using Follett Tittlewave because I can save, add, delete, etc. as I find that one of the schools has a certain title. Any other shortcuts you can tell me about would be much appreciated!
    2. I must convince everyone that we need circulation/curriculum software! We currently use Winnebago/Spectrum in the one library. I'm wondering if I should use most of budget toward new systems next year rather than adding to collections? What do you think?

    Thanks for your time!
    Cindy Carpenter

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  17. Hi Teresa,

    I noticed in your bio that you worked as an elementary school teacher before becoming an elementary school librarian. Has there been a big difference between the two professions? What are some ways you incorporate teaching in your daily activities?

    Thanks for your time!
    Mandy Kudmani

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  18. Anonymous5:25 AM

    Kimberly-
    Each year I attend AIME and have always come away with tons of new ideas I will try during the year. Sometimes people are chose not to attend because their corporation only supports one conference a year or because they must pay themselves and do not find it worthwhile. This year I am looking even more forward to it because they have combined it with ILF and the conference will have many more opportunities. I'm really not sure what advice to give on encouraging someone who really does not want to go. Maybe they had a bad experience and you may be better on your own so you are not hearing constant negative comments. Try to find some good info to take back and share and encourage her again next year to attend.
    Teresa

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  19. Anonymous5:38 AM

    Kimberly-
    As far as supervising more than one media center, it can be done, but I do not think students or teachers are getting the full benefit when corporations do this. The administrative part (ordering, cataloging, etc.) is possible, but the connection with the students and teachers will be lacking. Students should KNOW the media specialist and be able to go to them at any time and ask for help--not just a certain day or time. Also, it you truly collaborate with teacher, they must plan their instruction around the days you are there a
    and this is not best for anyone. A good media specialist is one they feel like they can never live without and not one who is here one day and gone the next. When teachers see people in that role, they often begin complaining to administration to have them more. Money rules everything now though and some corporations will never change this.
    Teresa

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  20. Anonymous5:41 AM

    Michele Linn-
    INSPIRE is the one database I would say I cannot live without. I teach it each year to every freshman class in orientation (via video, personal instruction, and the first class visit to the media center). Each class that visits to conduct research all year every year, I review INSPIRE. It save our corporation so much money by providing all magazines we do not have funding to purchase. INSPIRE posters are everywhere and a direct link from my webpage. I think all students here know about it and use it often.
    Teresa

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  21. Anonymous5:43 AM

    Alice-
    I think all systems do a good job on providing the reports you request. If they aren't capable, usually if you call they will make changes and provide that for you. Surpass Central is definitely good at catering to my requests and their support is excellent. They are just a very small company out of Florida. They will most likely have a booth at AIME this year.
    Teresa

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  22. Anonymous5:46 AM

    Bev-
    I am not very familiar with Athena but it is one I too hope to learn more about. We are part wireless, part not right now. The wireless has been just wonderful so far this year. I do not think our school is really to take the totally wireless route yet, but I forsee that in two or three years.
    Teresa

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  23. Anonymous5:47 AM

    Moodle is in it's first year at our school via a grant with only 4 of our English classes. I am not familiar with it because it runs off of a different server with students just in those classes.
    Teresa

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  24. Anonymous5:51 AM

    Michelle Linn-
    Collection development is really one of my favorite things. In a high school it is critical you have a strong and appealing collection because as you know high school students are so busy they do not want to read and do not have time. They MUST have material that interests them. I spend hours reading reviews for new items online, use online suggestions from Baker & Taylor (you can run online analysis from their system against your collection), student suggestions, teacher suggestions, etc. I try to stay very open minded and remember that what one has no interest in reading, another will. I feel like my collection does apply to all types of students.
    Teresa

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  25. Anonymous5:58 AM

    Mandy-
    I taught elementary, supervised 7 elementary libraries, and now I am in a high school setting. It is very different. I LOVED teaching and then when I supervised the 7 libraries I really missed my direct connection with the students. I love my high school job. I not only get to encourage and promote reading to high school students, but also get to know and work with the same students throughout their 4 high school years. They are very familiar with me and not afraid to ask for help. I am fortunate now to be in one building all day everyday and work closely with all department and teachers. This is what schools who split media specialists are missing out on.
    Teresa

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