Tales of the #PirateLibrarian

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Reflection on EdcampELON

April 19, 2014

Wow! What a day!
Let me back up and say, that I spent the last Saturday of my Spring Break attending EdcampElon. What a great experience that was!  

I found Edcamp in the Twitterverse. EdCamp is an UNconference that is for educators.  There is not a direct theme of an Edcamp; it is decided on by the attendees what the breakout sessions will be, once they arrive.  That is done basically by proclamation. In this case, it was via a padlet.  There are no real formal presenters, just people willing to become facilitators of the discussions.  

Also, they use the ‘rule of two feet’, which is to say if a sessions is not what you wanted, use your two feet and leave for another session instead.  No hurt feelings. And I did use that rule-more on that later.

My first goal upon arriving was to find and actually meet in person my #nctlchat buddies.  That happened very quickly, while I was in line at the check-in!  @sedley1  was right there in front of me! She then introduced me to @caneslibrarian and @tutteltweets.  After grabbing coffee, we were off to the general session.  

It seemed rather crazy and chaotic at first for me, but I soon fell into the rhythm. I think we even trended on Twitter for a bit, as the excitement took hold.  

My first session was on Makerspaces, and because I had never seen what a 3D printer could do, I was blown away! Lots of talk about what can be in a makerspace- to me almost anything goes! From hi-tech to basics of knitting as well as everything in-between and beyond. Glad to hear I was on track with my Lego, K’nex and puzzles! Thanks Nathan Stevens for bringing in the 3D goodies!

My next session was Digital Leadership.  It became clear very quickly that this was not the session I wanted and I used the two feet rule to take me to a session on Twitter Chats.  Yup, much more what I needed.  Sedley was there, and we gained some information that was going to help with our #nctlchat (North Carolina Teacher Librarian Chat).

My final session was Tech Innovations.  Lots of helpful information, again.  Thanks Jen for being the facilitator!  

Our final general session featured an App Smackdown where even more ideas were shared. Door prizes were given, including an iPad (Which I didn’t win).  I did walk away with information overload (almost), and a Target gift card!

After the Edcamp, Chris, Jen, Sedley and I made our way to the Acorn coffee shop to discuss our #nctlchat.  More on that in another blog.  So glad to have met these great Teacher-Librarians in person. They are awesome, and I am not worthy!  



Sunday, March 30, 2014


March 30, 2014

What's my #WhyLib story?  

Drinking cup #2 of coffee this morning, I open the computer and start scoping out the best PLN, Twitter, and discovered the hashtag #Whylib?   So I decided that I needed to add my 2 cents worth.

 This is my first year as a SLMS, and I have to say shout:  I LOVE IT!  I found my way to the school library in a long, roundabout way.  This is not my first career; nor is it my second, or even third. But it is my best, by far.  Without all the gory details of much of the before,  I'll start with my career as it applies to education.  Pretty much, anyway.  

My undergrad degree is in Social Work. (I was going to major in English, but at the time I had decided I didn't want to teach, and that was all I could think of to do with that degree. I had spent some time after HS before I went to college, so counselor was out of the question, as well as useless while in school, but I digress.)  At the end of that career, I did some re-evaluating, and decided that while I would love to be a stay at home mom, that was not going to be feasible, as I am not independently wealthy. So, with that in mind, I applied to be a substitute teacher.  I was called in to sub the second day of school to the HS my daughter went to, and to her English class. She was mortified.  As the days went on, I was called in every day to sub at that school.  By October,  it was as a long term sub for a teacher, and then as an interim teacher.  At the end of the year, the principal, told me I had done a terrific job, and he wanted to hire me for next year.  However, I would need to get my license in Special Ed. So, as luck would have it,  UNC-Charlotte was offering M.Ed. in Special Ed. via  Distance Learning in my town.  

I taught Special Ed., mostly at the HS level for 18 years.  Somewhere, around the 10th or so year, I started thinking about Library School.  I applied to East Carolina for their distance program, and got in. However, the one class I registered for was not exactly a first tier class (where was that advising again?) and I dropped it, realizing how far over my head I was. Once again I was reevaluating.  I was not happy in what I was doing- not with the kids, but with all the paperwork that comes with SPED, and how it was becoming not at all about the child, and what was best for them.  I changed schools (more than once), hoping that the grass would indeed be greener, but it was not.  I was spending what little free time I could 'weed' out in the schools' media center, and talking to the the Library Media Specialists about going to Library School.   

I again investigated different Library Schools, and their library programs or instructional technology programs.  Finally, I decided on East Carolina (again),  re-applied, admitted, and graduated in December, 2013!  

I got my first LMS position at the beginning of this school year, at an Elementary school. I figured new position, new grade level school too!  Although I loved my Sped kids, they will always hold a special place in my heart,  I am so glad to be in a school library.  I do get the best part of teaching kids! 

This school year has brought LOTS of firsts, but those are other blog posts. Of which I need to catch up on.

Needless to say,  being a SLMS is the BEST. JOB.  EVER !

What's your story? #WhyLib


~~ Lisa

Sunday, December 1, 2013

So, what's been happening?

So much has been happening, that's what!  I am seeing the (HUGE) light at the end of the tunnel on my MLS!  December 13, baby!  OK, but back up a bit...

early September--   The school system website crashes, leaving schools with NO webpage!!  It was going to be changed to a new host anyway, but this sped up the process, and I had to attend an emergency training on the new one.  Of course, I had no files from the previous page, so I have to build it 100% from scratch.  It is still a work in progress, however.  

I was also able to attend a FREE, conference. How many good things in life are free? Well, this was! It was a local, regional conference for media specialists, complete with vendors and breakout sessions.  So much to absorb, and I wanted to attend more sessions then I was able.

In early October, I attended my first NCSLMA conference! Very cool indeed.  I met some of my classmates in my degree program (it's 100% online, so this was a great chance to meet), along with a few professors (see previous parenthesis).  Terrific keynotes, and breakout sessions. Again, having to choose which ones to attend was difficult, so I did a bit of session hopping! I got to meet some library rock stars and some book rock stars! But did I get my pictures made with any of them? Of course not.   Since I have taught in the high school area, and now am in an elementary school as a librarian, I did not know Pete the Cat was a rock star! And yes, I met James Dean!Sweet!   I did score a free ARC, and spent plenty of my hard earned cash on books, but who can blame me there?  And now that grad school is almost officially over, I will have time to read again.

In mid October, I suffered through easily handled my first ever book fair!  I was pretty happy with our results, but learned next time not to take all the proceeds in book fair bucks.  Just saying'....   Anyhow, I wrapped that up, and turned around to take my 100 year grandmother on a cruise to celebrate her 100th birthday! I KNOW, not library related, but important! She had a blast, and was treated like a celebrity because they announced her birthday at dinner, sang to her, and generally made a fuss over her! SO many people the next few days came up to her and wished her happy birthday and requested a picture!  (have I mentioned that I love using exclamation points? and parenthesis?) I do!!

Back to reality as November hit.  Tons of grad school work to complete, and at school:  kids, books, lessons, and teachers! Luckily, they're all good! November was a short month, only one of the weeks we had school for a whole five day week. The rest were 'short' weeks, and off THE WHOLE WEEK OF THANKSGIVING!!!!  I have never had that before! Excellent!
Oh, and on a teacher workday in November, we had a media meeting and one of our presenters was one of my blog rockstars- The Candid Librarian!

So, that is a brief recap of how my first few months as a librarian has been.  What I have to do now, is remember all the funnies kids (and adults) have said. That will be another blog.

Til then,


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Although I have been a teacher for 18 years, I am new at being a LMS. So much to Learn! We learn in Library School how to collaborate with teachers, how to conduct basic research, what organization of information is, what web 2.0 technologies are available at the moment, and so forth.  What one doesn't learn is how to do the nuts and bolts of a school library: what to do to start the year, how to check out laptops and iPads, how to repair a book! and so much more.  I do not have the luxury of having an experienced LMS to work with me a few days to show me the ropes, so I am learning by trial.

 It's all good. I got this.  Keep calm and pretend to know what I am doing.  (Impressed with my positive self-talk yet?)  

Actually, so far it's been really good. People are friendly and helpful, and I am getting better at attaching book covers! I have weeded out old magazines (put them out for teachers to snag), and I am working on the many multiple copies of yearbooks (keeping one of each year). 

I know much of this is silly and basic, but oh so new to me! So bear with me if you are a reader. And much Thanks!


Sunday, August 11, 2013


Hello and welcome to my blog. 

A bit about me-  I am a first year librarian, at an elementary school. I decided after 15 or so years of being  classroom teacher that I wanted a change. I have always loved going to the library, both at school and the public library. I remember how proud I was of my very first library card at 6 years old.  I have a husband, a daughter, two grandkids, and two cats that think they are human. When I am not reading I enjoy traveling, going to the beach, the mountains, or just hanging around outside. You will frequently find me reading outside. 

This is meant to be an account of my thoughts, ideas, lessons, and whatever else happens to be mentioned. Leaves it rather wide-open huh?  I welcome you  readers, and look forward to learning from you.  Everyday will be a new learning experience for me, as elementary school is a new territory for me. 

Thanks for being here, and hope you will continue to stick with me on my journey, and my tales from the library!