Never-ending Search (http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/)
Created by a professor of education at Rutgers University, Joyce Valenza, this blog keeps readers up to date with news and new releases that cover a variety of library needs. Looking at her most recent posts, I was impressed by them all. In her first post she talks about the new features of Padlet, which is a great tool for students to use in the classroom. I have used Padlet in the past, but not as of late, so these new features were exciting to read about. She also posted about 123 Video Encyclopedia. I had never heard of this website, but love the collection of classroom appropriate videos for lesson introductions and hooks. Canva, a graphic design program, also has some new templates released. I have never used Canva, but after reading her blog and looking at the site, it definitely looks like something I could use in the future. More posts about new features and releases were mentioned, including Google Earth, Spiral, Toontastic 3D, and more! I think this is a great blog for teachers looking for new tech tools to incorporate into their classroom. I would love to link this blog to my own school site, so that other teachers can see these awesome resources. I could see having a blog with things like this on there as well. If all librarians were able to blog about what they were doing in the library, there would be a great bank of resources to use.
The Daring Librarian (http://daringlibrary.edublogs.org/)
Gwenyth Jones, a library media specialist at Murray Hill Middle School, has created a wonderful website, which includes her blog. This blog has resources that cover a wide range of topics, including book suggestions, a summer reading program, going green, women’s history, STEAM opportunities, and so much more. This is a one stop shop of resources for a middle school librarian. Some of these ideas are easily adaptable for elementary and high school too. She featured a great idea on Book Speed Dating. We all know the premise of Speed Dating, but she has utilized that process for sharing books. She sets up piles of books (based on genre or topic), there’s even a “blind date” section with books covered and just a few word synopsis. Students wander around and look through some books. After a while she signals to move on to something else. This continues until students have found the perfect match. There are a ton of pictures, and videos to check out on her link to that post below. She includes so many videos and pictures of her own students in her library participating in these activities. I love this site! Library Media Specialists would benefit from seeing her ideas. Being new to the library world, it is hard to come up with ideas for lessons and activities. This is a great place to start. She includes book suggestions for all ages, not just middle school. I also enjoyed the Going Green post and all of the resources that she provided as examples for what their school is doing to go green.
http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2017/04/speed-dating-for-book-lovahs.html http://daringlibrary.edublogs.org/2017/06/01/summer-reading-on-the-hill/ http://daringlibrary.edublogs.org/2017/05/11/6-easy-ways-to-go-green/
Ms. Yingling Reads (http://msyinglingreads.blogspot.com/)
Ms. Yingling, an experienced middle school librarian has spent a ton of time reading and compiling book reviews. She blogs almost daily with new book reviews. Each review includes the book information, a picture of the cover, a summary, the pros and cons, and a final thought about the book. In one particular post about The Orphan Train Girl, Ms Yingling gives a great review. I know the Orphan Train is a popular topic with the older students. I like that this book is written in alternating perspectives. I really would like to get more novels written that way. If she had not shared that information, I may not have stopped to keep reading that one. Her opinions are honest and helpful. I think this information can be useful for students and teachers/librarians alike. If she is sharing this blog with her students, it is a great way to preview a book and decided whether or not they want to check it out. Sometimes, just reading the back cover doesn’t give you enough. This is good for other librarians because they can use the reviews to decide if this is a title they want to add to their collection. Although she is a middle school librarian, some of the books still could be used in upper elementary or even high school. I think this could be something students could do as well. If they write a little review about each book they read and submit it, you could easily post it to a blog on a school website. This would allow other students to read reviews written by their peers (which are usually more meaningful).