Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Favorite Book: BookTalk: This Side of Paradise by Steven Layne (215 pages)

I thought you might all enjoy a booktalk about my favorite book--This Side of Paradise by Steven Layne... This book keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time! I usually read this aloud to my students. Great read aloud for 6th-8th grade.

Jack and Troy Barrett, brothers, always are there for each other and have a very close relationship with their grandmother, Gram. She always wants to be close, so she could take care of them. Gram makes many sacrifices for the both of them, and you will soon discover why. They both definitely have a troubled life with their dad. Their dad, Chip Barrett, definitely is strong-willed, angry most of the time, and always strives for perfection. Chip decides to move his family to a new town called Paradise when he begins working for Eden Corporation. Paradise is a village owned by a mysterious man, Mr. Eden. Jack finds romance and soon also uncovers a plan that threatens the existence of his entire family. So many secrets are located within the village of Paradise. What is the price for perfection? And what will his father and many others be willing to do to obtain perfection.
“‘Paradise Operator. How may I service you?’ The cheerful voice made me nauseous.
‘Operator, I’d like the police.’ Gram’s voice was steady.
There was a long pause. ‘I’m sorry, Ma’am. Could you repeat your request?’
Gram was perturbed with that. ‘The police. I want you to get me the police or give me the number, and I’ll call them myself.’
Another long pause. ‘What is your name? I’ll need the name of the individual placing this call, please.’ The voice had lost all traces of the cheerfulness that had been so pervasive earlier.
I rounded the corner and shook my head ‘no’ to Gram. She got the message.
‘That’s not important, Operator. I need the police. Now if you won’t connect me, then I’ll simply hang up and dial another operator who will.’
‘Ma’am,’ the voice returned to its original pleasant tone, ‘we have no police. This is Paradise.’
At that moment, the phone connection was abruptly severed” (
Layne, p. 56).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hurricanes Are Like Libraries!

Shortly after Hurricane Ike made landfall on September 14, 2008 on the Gulf Coast, it left destruction in its path. Hurricane Ike destroyed almost the entire town of Crystal Beach, Texas, just nearly wiping it clean off the map. Only a few beachhouses were left standing but most likely damaged. My parents lost one of those beachhouses that day. It was a sad day for me because many of my childhood summers were spent there.

I am not sure why I was thinking about this today, but I think that libraries today are somehow related to hurricanes. Many changes are occurring in our libraries and could leave destruction in its path if change doesn't occur. Just after hurricanes, so many changes occur but soon after rebuilding always takes place. Libraries must accept that changes sometimes can make things better. The difference before and after is how well we help those in need whether it be after a hurricane or locating information in a library. I hope this makes sense to all of you! Who knows? Just my thoughts...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Want to Save Some Energy?

Did you know that you could save energy as you research? Try using www.blackle.com. Blackle was created to remind us all that we need to take steps everyday to save energy. Blackle is powered by Google.

Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. "Image displayed is primarily a function of the user's color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen." (Roberson et al, 2002; Blackle.com, 2009)

So, the next time you are researching, try using www.blackle.com. It is definitely easier on the eye! "The creators encourage you to set Blackle as your home page. This way every time you load your Internet browser you will save a little bit of energy. Remember every bit counts! You will also be reminded about the need to save energy each time you see the Blackle page load." (Blackle.com, 2009)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Spotlight---Libraries of the Future

One must first realize that every student is unique! "Teach them how to fish." I like that statement because it is so true. Students must be taught how to research. Research is at the center of our technology world. It is not just books in the library anymore but computers as well. As a media specialist, it is important that we are successful at helping with reference services.
(1) One must definitely have a knowledge of the collection
(2) It is important to be able to discuss and make conversations with each individual
(3) One must be able to select, acquire, and evaluate resources
(4) It so very important to meet the needs of each individual student

*Information collected from Rachel Whittingham, MLIS and Riedling, Ann (2005) Reference skills for the school library media specialist: Tools & tips. Worthington, Ohio: Linworth Publishing Inc.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blog for Thought

This is my first blog. Please be patience as I am learning how to do this. At this point I am not sure what people actually blog about. I do know this would be great for media specialists and teachers to use. Technology is all around us, so we must conform to the changes to help our students succeed. As our world becomes more technology savy, blogging can ignite a spark within our students thinking.