Thursday, January 15, 2009

First Month's Assignments

Building Ideas for the Virtual Learning Commons

Start by investigating Joyce Valenza's virtual library at:

Next, look at Valerie Diggs' Chelmsford High school Library, in MA at:

Share with classmates other virtual learning commons you can locate.

Objective: To find library web sites that turn one-way communication into collaboratives and conversations. What are the features we could build into our own learning commons sites?

We will start building in the second month, so this month will help us get ready for the construction.

Textbook and Foundational Reading
Reading Notes Uploaded to Angel Gradebook by March 1, 2009

Read the following articles and books the first month of class. Keep a reading log using the formula: read 50 minutes and log 10 minutes. Your reading log for this assignment is to be uploaded to Angel by the 1st of March, 2009.

Prelude Reading

  • For the first month of class, read three articles that were published in various journals; the first by a "cybrarian," the second by a librarian, and the third by your instructor. What roles are being played out in these people's professional lives? What are they worried about? What do you think their days are like? How do you guess that these roles will be played out in the professional literature you are just starting to read? Do you think there may be some gender stuff being played out here? Be prepared to discuss this issue in class. Yes, these articles are getting older, but they do symbolize the competition between library and tech folks.

  • Nellen, Ted. "Morphing from Teacher to Cybrarian," Multimedia Schools, January/February, 1999, p. 20-25.

  • Anderson, Mary-Alice. "Finding Time," Multimedia Schools, January/February, 1999, p. 26-28.

  • Loertscher, David. "Extreme Makeover," School Library Journal, November 2004. (What was my thinking just five years ago?)

  • Now read the next article: Loertscher, David V. "Flip This Library," School Library Journal, Nov. 1, 2008 at:

  • Now read all the textbooks. Summarize these in your own notes but not on the LIBR233Synthiesis wiki or on the pathfinder wiki. Those two places are reserved for materials beyond the textbooks. Here are some specifics:

Read and Think about the Standards

Taste Technology Ideas

Read everything in all the textbooks about technology to get an idea of the role the school library plays in technology. Who is in charge of the networks? Who is in charge of what's on the networks?

Read what Taxonomies chapter 10 has to say about the role technology plays in the school library. What is the essential role here? How does it differ from the techie role of building and maintaining networks and computers? What does the new AASL Learning Standards (Nov. 2007) have to say about technology? A new revision of AASL's Information Power is being written. Watch the AASL website for an announcement.

Now read the technology chapter in The New School Learning Commons Where Learners Win by Loertscher, Koechlin and Zwaan. What changes does a client-side view of technology bring to center stage? What is the difference between administrative computing and instructional computing? How could tech directors (teacher technologists) be persuaded to support the idea of instructional computing?

Peruse Reading Foundations

Read Taxonomies chapter 9 and other research such as Stephen Krashen/Jeff McQuillan. Comparing theory to practice, does the school community really believe the Krashen/McQuillan notion that "amount counts?" If they do believe, what evidence is there that they practice what they believe?

Read the article "Waste Not, Want Not" by Jamie McKenzie. This sounds like my rantings and ravings about librarians who can't seem to get enough books into kids' hands because of the restrictive rules and the fear of losing books. In this article, what do you think the role of the school librarian is in providing easy access to electronic information?

All organizations create rules that help them function smoothly and force the patrons/customers to come in line with organizational needs, even when these are antithetical to patron/customer needs. How can school libraries optimize access to reading, yet give every single child/teen the opportunity and the encouragement to become literate? (Two books a week with the potential of trading them at any time and "you can't have any more books when you have overdues - such rules don't cut it, folks.) What do you do for the transient child, the child who does not handle materials well? The child who cannot pay fines or pay for lost books? The child whose parents won't let them borrow anything because of fear of loss? The kid who won't use the library because they "don't like to read?" The kid who would like to read, but you don't have anything they want to read? The kid whose teacher makes all kinds of rules about what kids should and should not read? The kids who are forced to use an Accelerated Reader even though they hate it?

How can the teacher librarian who has spent the majority of their time concentrating on the reading program cut their time in that program, yet be as effective or more effective in promoting literacy? (Remember, there are too many other emerging roles for the librarian so that it cannot predominate the hours spent on the job each week.)

Now read the literacies chapter in The New School Learning Commons Where Learners Win book. What expansion of our role in reading and other literacies are envisioned here? How do we turn the reading program client-side vs. organizational-side?

Back Up Toward the General Ideas of the Traditional Library vs. the Learning Commons

Read Taxonomies, p. 1-28. How has the role of the traditional library media teacher changed over the years as well as the function of that center in the school? What prospects are there for your school library becoming a 24/7 information service? And what role would you play in developing or reinventing your school's library?

Read Taxonomies, p. 29-66. What is the role of others in the development of a vibrant library media center program? How can the library media teacher help others to assume a proactive role?

Examine the Organization needed for the Traditional School Library and the Reinvention of the School Learning Commons.

Read and concentrate on good ideas for managing the information infrastructure (Taxonomies, chapter 12-15) What are the best ideas you have found for your operations resource file for topics such as budget, facilities, time management, staffing, scheduling the LMC, being on leadership teams, managing conflict, handling students, making the LMC a friendly place, building confidence of administrators and teachers, engaging in public relations, etc.?

Complete the reading of The New School Learning Commons. How does the organization differ from the traditional when a client-side organizational structure is used?

Class Links:
libr233 pathfinder wiki
libr233 synthesis wiki


Matt Souza said...

Hello Professor Loertscher and classmates, can you provide more guidelines for the reading log?

barbara said...

Under the section- "Prelude Reading", there are articles to read. "Flip this Library" link is activated so we can read that article. But, the other articles are not. When will they have links activated so we can read the other articles, as well?

Michele Gilchrist said...

Both Multimedia Schools and SLJ are available through the King Library's eJournals database, so you can read them there electronically. -Michele

Mary Weyant said...

The address for King Library's eJournals database is:

Tina Johnson said...

Should each question mentioned in the guidelines be discussed individually or are some of the questions just catalysts to get us to start expressing our thoughts/reactions?

David Loertscher said...

When you are doing your reading logs, I always recommend that you read for 50 min. and log 10 min. and do it is Word. Then just send that log along for the textbook reading uploaded to Angel. For reading headed to the wikis, you can do the same thing in Word but you can also just enter directly into the wiki. If you do it in Word, I think there are some formatting issues if you just copy the word file into the wiki. We will have to review that.

David Loertscher said...

For the two articles not linked, search for them in the new search engin in the Martin Luther King Librry online databases. Both are easily found and if you have not used that new great feature on MLK, you will like it very much.

David Loertscher said...

The questions in the guidelines need not be discussed individually. They are there to get you thinkin gand commenting. in general.

Mary Weyant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Weyant said...

Does anyone know how to add a link to an iGoogle page? I want to add the search engine to my group space but I don't know how since it is not a feed nor a gadget.
Thank you,

Jung Ah Lee said...

Hi Mary,

How about using a Bookmark Gadget?

Mary Weyant said...

Thanks for your suggestion Jung Ah Lee. It's exactly what I wanted.

Michele Gilchrist said...

Clarification on log and wikis...
Hi, Colleagues and Dr. Loertscher,
I just wanted to make sure I understand the purposes of the different wikis and our reading log/notes. Here is how I understand it. We are reading as much as we can (from the assigned class reading, articles and textbooks and from what others post on the two wikis). We are taking notes (read for 50/log for 10) and saving all notes for all reading to be uploaded to Angel by 3/1. We are also making contributions to the wikis. The pathfinder is for good stuff to share with a brief citation and annotation, and the synthesis wiki is for great stuff that shouldn't be missed with a longer synthesis/description. Is that all correct? Additionally, will a copy of our contributions to both wikis be uploaded to Angel at some point for grading? Would it also be a good idea to save them as a word file for potential use in the ePortfolio? Thanks to all for any clarification or anything I've missed.

libraryqueen said...

Hello All
Has anyone uploaded assignments to Angel only to find out that the attachments disappear after submittal. This happened to me today with three different assignments. I uploaded them to Angel and when I checked to make sure they had uploaded they were gone. :(

David Loertscher said...

Michelle: You understand the reading assignment well. All of you keep some kind of reflection notes on everything you red. If the item is so good that you think others might benefit from that article, be more careful to summarize the main points of that article and then uplod your notes to the synthesis wiki. The pathfinder is for brief citations to web sites and sources that everyone would probably find useful. No long summaries here, just quick citations and links

Hope that helps.

Tiffany Mair said...


Because your real name is not on your blogger profile, I am unable to double-check that we have your submitted assignment.

Please email me and I can check on this for you. I show that several assignments have been submitted and graded thusfar.

Thanks, Tiffany

Marisa Reyes said...

Hey Library Queen,

The uploading could be kind of tricky. First you browse, then you click on upload. Once you upload the file, make your you click on the Finished button. Not sure if that helps, but I know I wasn't clicking on that last button....good luck!

Tiffany Mair said...

Marisa, great point!

There seems to be quite a few steps involved. :)

Allyson said...

Hi folks,

If I understand correctly; we read the assigned articles using the read 50 mins/log 10 mins protocol, then turn in our logs on March 1. My question is: we'll each end up with a different number of logs, depending on how much a person reads in 50 minutes (some of us will read one article in that time, some of us can get through five, etc). Is that okay? (that we don't all have the same number of log entries)? There's no particular number we have to have?

p.s.--Michele, thank you for the nice summary of the reading assignment--really clarified it for me!

Michele Gilchrist said...

Allyson (and Colleagues),
My guess would be that as long as we are processing the information thoughtfully, it matters little how many logs we have. Perhaps Dr. Loertscher can address that. I'm glad my question helped. We have information all over the place, I need to write it out to process it. :) I did find, in the blog for month 3's assignments, that there is a minimum requirement for the number of contributions we make to the two wikis. It's further down the page. Hope that helps.

Jung Ah Lee said...

I miss the online discussions that I've had in my previous SLIS classes on the weekly readings. If we won't be using Angel for these kind of discussions, perhaps we could have a wiki that has a page for each of the students in this class and we could write our reading logs there instead. This would make the reading logs visible to everyone else and we could have discussions on ideas that each of us have after doing our readings. Just an idea...

joanne said...

I had a question about how to post our reading log on Angel. I did not see a link for the reading log on the lessons tab. Does anyone know how to post? Thanks

Tiffany Mair said...


Great question.

I have asked Dr. L and am waiting to hear back from him before I give instructions. :)


Tiffany Mair said...

You will now finding two drop boxes on Angel for reading logs: one for the basic reading log and the other for additional readings. The logs are worth 15 points each.

Thanks for your patience!


Kim Leng said...

Is the basic reading drop box for the first month's reading (i.e. prelude reading, all the textbooks,) which would mean that only these are due March 1st ..... and the additional reading for Second month's reading (i.e. readings to to add to Libr 233 pathfinders and wiki) which would be due end of March?

Jung Ah Lee said...


Thanks so much for setting that up. What is additional reading? Is that also due end of this month?


Lisa Katz said...

Hello, I'm a bit confused as to what we should be doing with the wiki's right now. I know we are in groups, is there something we are suppose to do with our groups or are we waiting for our next meeting to discuss that? Can someone please explain. Thanks.

Kim Leng said...

I think everyone is busy doing the reading log that's due March 1st and group work will be more active after that. I understood the group work as gathering ideas for a learning commons and creating one together once those ideas are polished. Hope that helps!

Erica Dietz said...


I'm hoping that the Basic Reading Log is the textbooks readings & articles, and the Additional Readings are the wiki contributions (pathfinder & synthesis) due on April 1st and then May 1st.

Tiffany, could you confirm if this is correct?

Thanks for your help!

joanne said...

I also had the same question. I thought what was due was the reading for the first month reading log for March 1st. What is the additional reading? It that for March 1st? I was under the impression that the 10 articles were for the second month. Could someone clarify what the additional reading is and the due date? Thanks

Tiffany Mair said...

Hey everyone!

I know there's a lot of confusion with reading plans right now. I wasn't sure about some of your questions so I've compiled all of them for Dr. Loertscher and I will let you know as soon as he responds.

Take a deep breath! :)


Tiffany Mair said...

Dr. Loertscher sent out an email on the reading plans. Are there still questions or do folks have a better feel for what is going on now?

Best, Tiffany

B Ahrens said...

Looking for the eliminate link for tonight's class?? Anyone have it? Thanks!

Marisa Reyes said...

If you ever need an elluminate link, you can just go to the sjsu slis website at

Then you click on the Elluminate link at the top of the page. This will take you to all of the Elluminate meetings that will take make. There is an right arrow that continues to the next page.

Hope that helps!

Tiffany Mair said...


Thanks for sharing the link to the Elluminate page.

Also, recordings are also easy to find from the page too. You can click on the Recordings tab and click on the correct calendar date. You will enter your name and password as usual to view/listen to the recording.

Good luck!


PS. I do try to send out links but sometimes it's a challenge it get them out in plenty of time.

Tiffany Mair said...

Hi 233!

You've all been doing such a great job! And wow, what a class this past Monday. :)

I want to update you on the grading for the iGoogle assignments. I believe that some of you are still waiting for your assignment to be graded. I will be checking in on the grading process a little later this week.

For those of you who have had your assignment graded, please check your grades ONLY through the Report tab.

Due to the way the gradebook and assignments were set up on Angel (errors from newbietown)the correct grades will only show up through the Report tab. Otherwise, if you look at your grade through Lessons > iGoogle, you may find that you have 1 point instead of 10 points. The correct grades are listed on the Report tab.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks for your patience,