Mapping Out a Year of Enchantment in The Unquiet Library

For the last three months, I’ve been thinking and talking about libraries and enchantment.  For the last two years, I’ve utilized Mindomo to go beyond my normal program goals/theme paper document to create a multimedia mindmap of program goals.  This year, I’m playing with Mindomo to see how I can align library program themes, services, and learning processes with the three pillars of enchantment.   In the past, the program map has been something I created at the beginning of the year and used as a compass; this year, I envision this program mindmap as more of an organic document that I’d like to populate throughout the school year with concrete examples for each topic/subtopic from the 2011-12 academic year as we hopefully build enchantment with our learning community.

I think one this year’s major challenges, especially in light of the fact we have no clerical assistance, is really taking on a greater role as a learning specialist and instructional leader, which dovetails with my efforts to implement the embedded librarian model here even though we are only a staff of two.  I’ve really come to realize in the last six months that the quality and authenticity of instruction in multiple literacies we provide is directly proportionate to the quality of the instructional design that we facilitate with teachers and students.  I’ve been thinking much more with my former classroom teacher hat in some ways as I’ve been working more with teachers to help them think about pedagogy and strategies for creating learning experiences that will be relevant and more inquiry driven.  As I collaborate with faculty, we’re having more conversations that are framed by the backwards design model of instructional design as we’re trying to be more intentional in thinking about learning targets, formative and summative assessments, and learning experiences.  I am hopeful that my ongoing stance in looking at multiple literacies through an inquiry lens will continue to inform my practice; additionally, I’m looking forward to exploring threshold concepts and how that lens might inform my work as a learning specialist and instructional partner with our faculty (thank you Brian Mathews for putting this on my radar and to Roberto C. Delgadillo for pointing me to some additional resources on this topic).

Oh, the Places We Hope to Go: Mapping Program and Learning Themes 2010-11 FTW!

Unquiet Library Learning and Program Themes, 2010-11

Once again, I am using Mindomo to help me pull together the swirling mass of ideas for 2010-11 that have been simmering in my mind throughout the summer.    You can see the working draft (which is subject to change and evolution throughout the next ten months) of the map that outlines the major program and learning initiatives for The Unquiet Library in 2010-11.     These goals and initiatives will take place against the backdrop of reduced staff as our district lost all of its media clerks for the 2010-11 year; protecting instructional services is our priority as is minimizing the ease and flow of access to the physical library space.

In a nutshell, here is where I hope to see the library program grow and go in 2010-11:

Media 21

This learning model will once again be the centerpiece of the program and will be the vehicle for a mini-pilot of the embedded librarian model.    Details will not be finalized until August 2, but tentatively, I have a team of four English teachers and one science teacher who are looking to scale out the work that Susan Lester and I did with our students in 2009-10. I will be writing a separate blog post outlining the goals, framework, tools, themes, and challenges of Media 21 for the upcoming year within the next two weeks;  I’ll also be outlining how I plan to grow my own instructional literacy and my past and present interests in looking at what happens next year through an anthropological lens, so please watch for that impending post.  This year, I hope to frame the Media 21 work as action research and/or ethnography to better understand and analyze student learning and the dynamics of what I hope will be a mini professional learning community.  In addition, I will also compose an additional post outlining and exploring my working conceptualization of participation literacy and its overarching influence on the design of Media 21.


This goal feels very much like a moving target in spite of my best efforts to approach our first efforts to roll out ereaders in a methodical and thoughtful way.   I’ll be meeting with the stakeholders who will be helping me in this process over the next weeks, but the preliminary plan at this time is to start with a small set of Kindles for circulation to students and faculty and hopefully expand the menu to include iPads and/or some other tablet device.   I want to have a mix so that students and teachers have options; in addition, I want a mix of dedicated ereaders as well as tablet devices with educational and productivity apps for learning.  The waters feel muddy as the library community grapples with digital rights management issues and the blitz of devices that are either in development or are on the brink of release, such as the Pandigital Novel. I definitely plan to continue collaboration with my personal learning network as we try to share our knowledge and criteria for evaluating these resources that will best fit the needs of our patrons.

I should also add that the initial plan is to purchase Kindles (and possibly Nooks) and to collect a considerable amount of student feedback and qualitative data from the students who use the initial set of devices.  I’ll be using student feedback and the results of their experiences to drive additional purchases and future directions with ereaders.


The Unquiet Library will be purchasing additional board games using Libraries Got Game as one of our compasses for purchasing materials that are engaging and aligned to the AASL Standards for 21st Century Learners.  In addition, Kimberly Hirsh has been doing some cool work in aligning games to the standards as well, and her work will inform the decision making process; Justin Hoenke is another friend and colleague whose experience and wisdom I’ll be calling upon to help me develop my gaming collection.   I am also working on assembling a team of gaming bloggers who will post directly to The Unquiet Library blog and share their insights and experiences on games of their choosing.

Student Virtual Collection

I want to step up last year’s focus on student content creation while providing a virtual space for hosting student learning artifacts that they may create either in collaboration with teachers and the library or that they may create out of their own learning interests.  I feel this student virtual collection is a way of celebrating student learning while providing an archive and space to explore the evolution and diversity of student learning.

Community/Tribe Building

I’ll be exploring and crowdsourcing strategies for stepping up our current degree of transparency as well as for  inviting even more participation in 2010-11 not only from students, but from parents, administrators, faculty, and other community stakeholders.     I’m working to recruit a team of stakeholders who will be guest bloggers for The Unquiet Library blog as well as finding more ways to crowdsource library policies, events, purchases, and learning experiences that better reflect the needs and wishes of all of our patrons.  In addition, I’m working with other educators to hopefully implement more learning experiences that tap into a larger global network to connect our learning community with others outside of our corner of the world.  My goal is to get more voices participating in the conversations we’re having in and outside of our learning space in the library.

Mobile Learning and Library Services

I plan for the library to lead the way in increasing integration of mobile devices and computing into instruction while finding ways to better tap into students’ mobile devices for access to library services and materials.  In addition, I’m planning on incorporating essential educational apps into our catalog.

Bring It

Although I don’t report back to work officially until July 27, my summer has been a hive of activity and thinking although I certainly wish I could have a few more weeks for collaboration, contemplation, reading, listening, and reflection.   Each of these initiatives presents its own challenges, but I will once again use this blog space to share the journey with you in hopes that others can not only learn from my successes and failures, but  also help me problem solve the challenges along the way and inform my thinking, which I plan to keep fluid and open throughout the next school year.     I am excited to see where we’ll go this year and what we’ll all learn together!


21 Things for 21st Century Teens: What Would You Include?

21 Things for 21st Century Parents | via kwout

The Darien Library’s awesome new 21 Things for 21st Century Parents has me thinking about designing a 21 Things for 21st Century Teens that could be offered before or after school, one evening a week, and/or during summer hours.     Right now I am thinking about topics and tools related to digital footprints/digital citizenship, cloud computing, mobile computing, and tools for creating content.   What would you include in a program like this?


The Unquiet Library: Our Annual Report, 2007-08

The Creekview High School Media Center, “The Unquiet Library”, is proud to release its annual report for 2007-08.  In this report, we highlight what our library program has accomplished in the four roles of the media specialist/media center set forth by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL):

  • Teacher
  • Instructional Partner
  • Information Specialist
  • Program Administrator

This report highlights collaborative planning and lessons taught through the media center, skills taught to students through information literacy mini-lessons, circulation and visitation statistics, database usage statistics, and upcoming program goals for 2008-09.  You may read the report by clicking here, or by visiting the link below.