Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bonnie Grimble - Mon. Sept. 21 to Wed. Sept. 23, 2009

Bonnie Grimble is department chair of the Media Center at Carmel High School. Carmel High, grades 9 through 12, has over 4,100 students, 240 classroom teachers, eleven administrators, and 150 other support and service staff members. In her position, Bonnie works closely with two other media specialists and three media managers. Learn more about Bonnie Grimble at

Bonnie has a comprehensive range of expertise and experiences gained at her large-urban high school workplace and her service and contributions in the school library media profession.


  1. Anonymous5:19 AM

    Ms. Grimble:
    You have a wonderful library at Carmel! I enjoyed the Media Center's website and orientation video. I noticed that you use many volunteers. I wondered how you acquire your volunteers, in other words, do you solicit help or do most of the individuals come to you? What, if any, criteria do you use to select volunteers?
    -Carol Sanders, Bedford, IN

  2. Ms. Grimble,

    I noticed that you are the department chair for the Carmel High School Media Center and work with three other media specialists and media managers. I am in my first year as a media specialist at the Indiana School for the Blind. I work as an English teacher from 10:15-3:15 and as a librarian from 3:30-6:30. The daytime media specialist has been in the profession for about 7 years, but this is my first year. We don’t see each other as much as we might like, but she is supposed to be my supervisor. I’m wondering how you collaborate, make decisions, and implement programs/ideas with the various librarians at your school and what you think is the best way for a productive partnership.

    Thanks for your help!
    Dayna Masih

  3. Hello Ms. Grimble,

    I am going to student teach in the school media center this spring. I was not a teacher prior to entering the SLIS program. Could you tell me about some of the classes you teach? What are the topics you teach on? Do you teach in the library or in classrooms? Since you work with other media specialists, do you each focus on a specific grade level?

  4. Hi Ms. Grimble,

    I, too, was impressed with your school's orientation video on the school website. Would you please tell me what technology you used to produce it? Did your students produce it as part of a class? It was edited rather well.

    Thanks, Kelly Hladek

  5. Anonymous4:18 AM

    Good morning Carol,
    We incorporate student volunteers and parent volunteers. We restrict our student volunteers to juniors and seniors only.With our block 8 system, all students carry a full load except for a few (remember a "few" in our 4,300 student body is still a lot!). Those students are the ones who come looking for various options. We provide 1/2 credit for each student. Their resposnibilities run the gamet and they are held accountable.
    Out parent volunteers are from our very active and very large PTO. There are various committees staffed by our PTO and the media volunteers is just one such group. One of our media managers basically runs this program. We, as a media team, established guidelines, job lists, training, etc. Our mother volunteers are also assisted by a volunteer chair of the group who does an excellent job helping to schedule each volunteer. We post a volunteer calendar on our website.

  6. Anonymous4:34 AM

    Good morning daynam:
    FIRST...a MESSAGE TO ALL: Our staffing situation has been altered changed. We now are a staff of TWO professionals ( one retired this summer and was not replaced)and 5 meid managers. I also am department chair of the Communications program, which consists of 5 teachers.
    I have the great advantage of workign with my co-professional for over 10 years. We are at the point where we can pretty well read each others thoughts and we are very much on the same page in our mission, visoin, philosophy. As far as our program development and planning, we both are early risers and so our mornings are great planning time together. Outside of the school time (summer, after school, etc) we work on developing lesson, new ideas, etc. Being in the same media environment on a daily basis...we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other.
    Bonnie G.

  7. Anonymous5:03 AM

    Good morning Jenny,
    We (the other professional and I) have created a Carmel High School Information Literacy Curriculum. It is a work in progress and therefore not posted on our website yet. It is based on our Carmel board adoptyed Information Literacy standards and the AASL national standards. We have developed 11 units to date.
    We teach anywhere and everywhere! Sometimes in the media center (on the floor, in our adjacent classroom, in our computer lab)and often going to the classrooms. We custom it to meet the currciulum teacher needs. We are a 9-12 building level and we keep our instructional focus on that level, however...we also are working with our middle school media programs to build a comprehensive level program. Like is a work in progress and ever evolving.
    Anyone wanting a copy of our Carmel HS Info Lit Curriculum...pelse email me and I will send it as an attachment to you.

    Bonnie G.

  8. Anonymous5:12 AM

    Good morning K Hladek,
    The orientation video was a brain child of John Shearin, my co-media prof. We wrote the script and planned the shots during the late spring. John edited it during the summer. He used a simple mini-dv camera and computer edtiting software...there are several available. We collaborated with the theater arts instructor in finding student "actors".
    One new "toy" we are starting to use and circulate for studetn use is the new flip video cameras. The come with their own software edtiing program and they are so user friendly!
    Bonnie G

  9. Anonymous5:15 AM

    Good morning K Haldek,
    Our orientation video was the brain child of John Shearin (other media prof). He collaborated with our theater arts instructor in finding student "actors". We wrote the script and filmed it over a late spring and finalized over the summer. We used a regular mini-dv camera and edited it on the computer. There are several editing programs available to do this. One new item we are starting to use and circulate to students are the flip video cameras that come with their own built in software editing program...very cool!
    Bonnie G.

  10. Anonymous6:42 AM

    Ms. Grimble:
    Thank you for your response concerning your volunteers. It sounds like you have a ready made source through the student population and an active PTO to draw from!
    My next question concerns assessing your area. You mentioned your staff has been reduced through retirement. What type of records or "proof" do you keep to convince your administrators that your area is a vital part of the success of students at Carmel High School (for instance in case further reduction in staff was suggested)?

  11. Anonymous8:53 AM

    Carol (9/22, 11:40am)
    Our corporation keeps and tracks various statical data k-12 via our corporate media director. We just had a discussion last week at our monthly k-12 media meeting about how we can improve this very thing...both at bldg level and corporate level.We also use the AASL planning guide for Info Power:Building Partnerships for Learning. We gather any and all data we can and we also encourage teachers/parents/students to "tell our story" whenever they can. It is a very difficult time, financially, for schools and we do have targets on our back. I am always talking to my administrators, encouraging them to come thru our place at anytime.
    there is no magic key. I would not be surprised to face cuts again next year. Advocate, advocate, advocate.
    Bonnie G.
    ps....please share any ideas you have!

  12. Ms. Grimble,
    I see that you are a former President of AIME, I am new to this field, what is the best way to get involved in this organization? I will be attending the ILF in October, will you be presenting?
    Sue Reber - Mishawaka IN

  13. Ms. Grimble,
    I am a new media specialist at Valparaiso High School.
    I wanted to tell you that your website is WONDERFUL! I was going to skip this round of blogs but when I saw that it was you, I jumped in. I am sponsoring our Book Club this year and I want to start a blog with the students, in fact they are coming in in a few minutes. Do you find that the students in the book club are using the blog in between the meeting days? Do you find that more students are participating because of the blog? Also, we have always done a Power Point for our freshmen orientation. We are going to go ahead with it this year but I would like to do a video next year when we have our video production center up and running. Nice job and send my complements to the rest of your staff!

    Kristine Arthur

  14. As you are a part of Carmel High School, I wonder how equally your department fairs among others. The athletic department at Carmel is widely known and appears favored by the school board from an outsiders perspective. Do you find your department equally funded compared to others? I see that you lost a professional position in your department. Did other departments experience the same loss? How much do you think your department is effected by others?

    -Erin Webster

  15. Hi Bonnie,
    Thanks for the "flip video camera" tip. I'll have to start exploring those. Also, we appreciate your willingness to share Carmel HS's Info. Literacy Curriculum.

    You discussed collaborating with your co-worker in your media center. We've been encouraged by our professors and through the literature we're reading to collaborate with classroom teachers whenever an opportunity presents itself. At my high school, we have 75 teachers, and I'm already brainstorming how I could try to interact with them. I understand you have over 200 teachers at CHS. What does collaboration with classroom teachers look like for you and your fellow media specialist? Do you collaborate mostly with the other teachers in the Communications department? Is there time to reach some of the others? Thanks. -Kelly Hladek

  16. Ms. Grimble,

    Ten years, I guess you would know each other pretty well! The other librarian and I have been together for two months! :) You mentioned collaborating together for new plans etc. How do you balance the business and programming aspects of the media center? Do each of you focus on certain parts?


  17. Anonymous4:00 AM

    Good morning Sue, (weds 9/23 7am)
    Fisrt and foremost I beleive in joining and participating actively in ones professional organizations. Though I am unable to attend this years AIME conf, I will attending the AASL national conf. Prof. organizations provide the best networking opportunities. Learning from each other is very powerful and helpful.
    Bonnie G

  18. Anonymous4:04 AM

    Good morning Kristine (weds 9/23 7am)
    Thanks for the nive compliment on our website...I will sahre the kudos with all. As for the student book club participation, they can grow and foster with little to no care. The responses and interactions can vary from a lot to just a trickle.We haev had some very enthusiastic students in the past who have basically taken charge and run the majority of our book program. Find some energeic students with the enthusisam and it grow just fine.
    Bonnie G

  19. Anonymous4:13 AM

    Good morning Erin (weds 9/23 7am)
    I feel there is great respect for our media program at Carmel HS. As far as the finacial difficulties, I find that each department is treated equally in budget appropriations and restrictions or cuts. Yes...we have an outstanding athletic program, but our performing arts is also national recognized as is our newspaper, rardio station, yearbook, DECA program, Robotics team,etc. etc. About 6 years ago our media proram was runner-up for the national proram of the year by AASL. Yes, we have lost personnel but our funding and fcility has maintained atheir status quo. If anything, the admin takes extra steps to make sure we do have what we need. We have fostered a very vocal teaching staff that is our best advocates.
    We may continue to face diffucult financial restraints, but I feel very confident that our program is judged and respected on the same playing field as all others at CHS.
    Bonnie G.

  20. Anonymous4:20 AM

    Good morning K Hladek (weds 9/23 7am)
    For 30 years that question is one I face can I improve/increase the collaboration? Until I can learn/find soemthing better, I return each time with the answer of "one at a time". I can meet with whole depts or with the PLC small groups but it always seems to prove the most beneficial to the teahcer, students and to OUR media curruclum agendas to go oen on one. No better examples can be given than when we deisgn/team with one teacher who then goes thru their day bragging and singing our accomplishments. Small steps...even after 30 years...still small victories and small steps.
    I am very anxious to know if any of you have any ideas on this one! It is a daily task and with 250+ teachers at CHS...I can feel overwhelmed if I think about those I might not be reaching, those who could use something we can offer.
    Bonnie G.

  21. Anonymous4:26 AM

    Good morning daynam (weds 9/23 7am)
    We have alsways had a 3 point focus of our media program: reading,research and multimedia. When we had 3 media specialists that worked really well. We now have 2 professionals but we still have ouf 3 point focus. The two of us really team thru about everything. he is stronger in technology, I am stronger in the research (that includes teaching the info lit units, etc.) and both of us are pretty strong in the reading. startign this year, we are doing all booktalks in a teaming fashion, using various techniques. The two of us meet almost every morning before we open to review the day, review our "lists of to-dos" and do any immediate planning that is needed. On most all days, we finish in the same manner after we lock the doors.
    Bonnie G.

  22. Anonymous4:29 AM

    Sue..ADDITIONAL COMMENT...Weds 9/23 7am)
    PLEASE volunteer for anything in our state association. It's always best to start with somethign your passionate about (YHBA, "Rosie" HS book program, district meetings, etc) Don't overwhelm ourself with too many committees....but VOLUNTEER!!!

  23. Hi Bonnie,

    I have read through all of the posts and my mind is swirling with all of the ideas and initiatives everyone is involoved in. What I have been most concerned with in my few weeks at this job is the limited collaboration in our building between us and the teachers. While they are using the media center and using us to assist the students, we do not have a unit of instruction between us and other departments that handles information literacy. In my classes that I am taking we are addressing these very issues. You offered a copy of your curriculum and I am planning on dropping you a line to get that. It sounds like something that I feel we need here. In fact, it is one of my professional goals. Have you found that you are the professional that seeks out this type of collaboration or is it shared between you and the teachers? I am wondering how to best approach department chairs. I won't do this until I have a unit in place but once I do I can already hear the argument, "We just don't have any time." What would you suggest?



  24. Hello Ms. Gimble,

    Thanks for sending me your information literacy curriculum. It gives me an idea of what lessons and activities to conduct. I am wondering what does a typical day (or week) look like for you? How much time is spent collaborating, researching new books, teaching, etc.? What do you wish there was more time for?

    ~Jenny Cecil-Jessie

  25. Ms. Grimble,
    I see that you have a background with library design. How do you see the future of the media centers as far as the layout of the center. What are the biggest changes you see happening in media centers in the next 5 years?
    Sue Reber- Mishawaka

  26. Anonymous12:43 PM

    Good afternoon Kristine (weds 9/23 at 4pm)
    It is very difficult to try to sqeeze any more time out of teachers. They are so hard pressed to push thru their currculums and I fear the situation will not improve soon. The best advise is to catch one and demonstrate how you can take something OFF thei plate by collaborating/teaming with you. I try the same approach with dept chairs. They are a busy group and I tried to make things/show-how the media team can help via a variety of ways.
    It is daily issue and one that is ever-present.
    Bonnie G.

  27. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Good afternoon Sue (Weds 9/23 4pm)
    As for library design, I don't think the fondations and philosophies will change that much. There are still the concepts of creating an archival place; a holding place for collections and materials of all types. The basic plan is to provide areas for active, passive and interactive concepts.
    The greatest changes will include technologies and how to keep them "juiced" and accessible...wireless? infared? litheum power? those are the questions/challenges I see. What is need to operate the tools.
    Bonnie G.

  28. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Good afternoon Jenny (weds 9/23 4pm)
    I just wish to be cloned. I want more time to work the floor and help kids one-on one....what a neat way to spend the entire day!!!
    Bonnie G.

  29. Ms. Grimble,
    When the students get to your high school, do you feel they are information literate, are they able to find the information they seek? What skills should media specialists spend more time on in the earlier years?
    Thank you for your responses
    Sue Reber - Mishawaka

  30. Hi Ms. Grimble,

    My name is Laura Collier and I currently teach 3rd grade in Hamilton Southeastern Schools. I will be finishing my degree in December!

    I am always interested about the daily schedule of secondary schools. Do you see students on a rotation schedule like elementaries do or do you work with students and teachers on an "as needed" basis when they might be doing prjoects?

    Also, how do you handle checking out of books for enjoyment? When do students do that?

    Laura Collier

  31. Hi Bonnie: Thank you for sharing your Info. Lit. Curriculum. The documents are very impressive. I studied, in particular, the Info. Lit. units summary page to get a feel for the "larger picture" of the classes you offer.

    What I think is particularly helpful for teachers is that most of the classes are 10-20 minutes long. Is the goal to give students the "larger picture" of each of the topics...a quick glimpse of, say, evaluating materials (Unit 4) that students can practice the skill in more detail with their classroom teachers?

    Also to whom do you give the booktalks...English classes? Could a social studies teacher request a booktalk on books that have to do with Civil Rights?

    Thanks again for sharing your work and advice. We appreciate your support.
    -Kelly Hladek

  32. Anonymous4:20 AM

    Good morning Sue (Thurs 9/24 7am)
    I guess we need to start with your definition of Information Literate.
    To marry it with our AASL (and our CHS) goal of "access and use"...then the answer is some and some. We were working with juniors the other day and the teaecher and I were shock at their lack of understanding of the simple organization of information (yep...that includes Dewey). The students I see are pretty savvy on keyboards, but that does not necessarily mean they know how to always successfully define and carry out successful searches. Thinking strategies, mindmaps, and practice, practice, practice makes one a better searcher...I'm still learning. If every studetn came to me with a basic understanding of dewey organization and how to use our online catalog....that would be wonderful.We are teachign that in lower grades...but their kids and we teachers and we reveiw, review, review at each level because that's what is needed.
    Bonnie G

  33. Anonymous4:24 AM

    Good morning The Colliers (Thurs 9/24 7am)
    We do not have a fixed schedule of classes at our HS. We work with teachers and schedule them as needed. With our block schedule (90 minute periods) teahers have great opportunities to do many things in each block. We have classes coming and going, working on projects, researching, reading, etc. No 2 days are alike and there are often last minute changes. We are open before and after school and kids can come in during their lunch. On most days their is a class in for check-outs or free read time.
    Bonnie G

  34. Anonymous4:31 AM

    Good morning K Hladek (Thurs 9/24 7am)
    We specifially made our Info Lit Curr units to be of a short time frame.2 reasons: teachers are so protective of their time and curriculum and students (even the best ones!) have trouble focusing on longer sessions...I think they think they already know it/don't need it. We have had great response and thank yous from staff for this change in our approach. Almost 100% of the time, after we provide a lesson, we the class then stays to begin their work of implementing what we covered. It allows us to then spend some one-on-one/small group time with studetns to check for their understanding. It is a system that is proving to work well for us. Most bookrtalks are thru English but certainly not all. We provie them to Social studies, Family and Consumer schience (a lot!, science, health, etc. Whatever meets the demand and requests.
    Bonnie G

  35. Anonymous6:57 PM

    Ms. Grimble,

    Are the projects posted on your website mainly for teachers to integrate with their curriculum or units that you and/or your media specialist actually teach? In addition, how much time would you estimate that you spend in collaboration each week? Shelly M.