Friday, January 31, 2014

In celebration of A Year of Reading

Screenshot of A Year of Reading

I read in a recent blog post that A Year of Reading has reached over a million visitors, and was reminded that Mary Lee and Franki's blog was the first kidlit blog I ever followed.  I can't recall when or how I discovered it, but I know it has been several years.  I became a fervent follower, reading all past blog entries.  I found it especially useful when looking for book recommendations.  I enjoyed reading about their personal/teaching lives as well.  Mary Lee is a wonderful poet, whose anthology I'm waiting to hear is being published.  I enjoyed Franki's adventures as a school librarian (like me), and her move back into the classroom.  Oh, how I'd love to go Ohio and visit Cover to Cover.

Image from:

Best of all, A Year of Reading has led me to other kidlit heroes - Betsy Bird, the folks at Heavy Medal and the Nerdy Book Club, through which I found even more blogs to follow, Mr. Schu, Mr. Sharp, Travis Jonker, etc.  So thank you Mary Lee and Franki for enriching my life as a reader and educator.

1 of 1,000,000+ visitors to your blog

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It isn't all about the kids

So I decided to become a children's librarian because I'd rather not work with adults.  Honestly, 99% of the times I've been angry or defeated because of work, it was due to the behavior of adults, not kids.  However, I soon realized that this is the wrong perspective.  Working with other adults makes us better educators.  You can't be a teacher in your own bubble.  A school librarian who does this will be very poor at his/her job, because we serve everyone in our buildings, teachers and students.  I think sometimes it is an issue of confidence.  You have to realize that you have valuable contributions to share, and it is time to join the conversation.

On January 22, I presented two sessions on inspiring students to love reading.  I enjoyed sharing my passion for reading with others, and many teachers shared with me ideas they have implemented.  Here was my presentation:

Several teachers in my building are taking a children's literature course and I have assisted them in finding books.  It occurred to me that I could teach such a course so I'm going to look into it.

Share your voice with other adults - those in your building and beyond.  By doing so, you will help their students and get ideas how to help yours.  Community is a wonderful thing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nerdlution Round #2

Like many, I started the first round of Nerdlution (read more here) with a lot of momentum that waned over 50 days. Instead of everyday, I'm going to follow others, and pledge to do something four days a week instead of everyday.  That's much more manageable and more likely to happen.

1.  Exercise 4 days a week.  I've been pretty steady on diet modifications since January 1.  Time to build in exercise.  My ultimate goal is to be in one-derland by 2015.

2.  Blog 4 days a week (I'm counting this as #1):  My blog is pitiful.  I do not dedicate enough time to it.  I know I'm definitely a reader, not a writer, but I do have good ideas to share so time to get in the habit.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Resolution: buy less books

So I read a whopping 126 books last year.  Here is my GoodReads list.  This list doesn't not include picture books or shorter nonfiction books that I read to my students and my own children.  This is the most I've read in the past 10 years.  I know this because I have been keeping track of my books since 2003.

I have a confession to make:  I'm a horrendous book hoarder.  I have shelves and shelves of books I have never read. I have books stacked everywhere.  Fortunately, I have my book closet to contain the mess a bit better than before, but I buy too many books.  I do read ebooks, but that isn't the solution either.  I have about 70 books unread on my Kindle. Obviously, Kindle books are a win in terms of space.  The other factor is the $ I'm spending on books, and print or electronic, books do cost money.

So my goal for 2014 is to only purchase a book every two weeks.   My husband and I have set up an allowance system to help limit spending, and any books I buy will come out of my allowance.  Even though I have a gift card balance from Christmas, I'm still sticking to this rule. I've set up a Google Doc to track the books I want to buy.  As I buy a book, I will change the font to red and remove the date from the list.  Since I know I'm going to want all the Newbery 2014 books (announced on Jan. 27) and the selections for the SLJ Battle of the Kids' Books (this begins mid-March), I'm saving up my choices this month.  I know my wish list will always exceed my funds, but there are always libraries to help me bridge the gap.