Self-Awareness for Library Leaders

I completely agree with this assessment. Too often, people who might have good work ethic and/or good ideas, are not necessarily the best leaders because they cannot “play well with others” and may not even realize it.

Library Lost & Found

In 2010, Green Peak Partners and Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations conducted a study about the importance of self-awareness as a trait for leaders. They found that a high self-awareness score was the strongest predictor of success. I am not surprised by this.

photo of a brown owl looking in a mirrorcc-by Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes

Over the years I have met a few professionals who, when I hear them speak, I think “Yes! I agree completely!” Their philosophies match my own perfectly. However, then I find that their methods of following through on their ideas are actually demoralizing to staff, controlling, or insensitive. Their actions do not match the inspiration and enthusiasm of their words. Maybe they mistake aggression for assertiveness and are actually just a jerk with good ideas, or maybe they have no idea how they are coming across to others. That is, they mean well but have no self-awareness.

When hiring leaders…

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Book talks

This semester I am taking Materials for Youth.  I am loving delving into all these wonderful books and learning ways to critically look at literature aimed at children.

Book talks.


Book talks.

I am a theatre person.  By that, I mean that I generally am involved in some sort of theatrical production.  Mostly, I am a costumer for local community theatres, or high school drama programs.  But I have also worked with props, as a stage hand, as a wardrobe mistress, set builds, etc.  Note that actress was not on that list.  I can talk to kids and people all day long, but put me on a stage, or put a camera or microphone in front of me and I have the biggest case of stage fright you will ever see.

I cannot explain it.  It has actually gotten worse as I have gotten older.

I am trying very hard to work on this.

Ran across this blog and I really like this.  To be honest, if I were in a costume I could probably get rid of some of my unease and discomfort.

What price?

I just felt the need to write this down because it just happened.  I currently work in a middle school library.  It is considered one of the best schools in the district.  Very good test scores, high parent involvement, higher socio economic status.  I have a lot of “regulars” who come into the library to check out books.

One young man came in today and was checking out the next in a series he has been reading since last year.  It is a very popular series of books called “Warriors” written by Erin Hunter.  Erin Hunter is actually a group of about 5 writers who all contribute either individually or collaboratively to these books.  As such, it seems like there are  a million in the series and all the sub series that have sprung up.  The series consists of  the adventures of bands of animals – cats, dogs, etc.  I haven’t yet had a chance to read them, but my kids really, REALLY enjoy them.  Generally they are checked out by girls, but there is a small, but ardent contingent of boys that read them as well.

This young man was putting a stretchy book cover on the book as he was checking it out and I took notice of that.  I asked him if he always put book covers on his books.  He said yes.  I thanked him for taking the time to care for our books.  He said two things.  1.  He like to make sure he didn’t get scratches on the books.  2.  He didn’t want to get made fun of.

That hurts my heart.

I don’t know what to do with this information, but I didn’t want to just forget it.

Personal Librarian Mission Statement

My mission, as a librarian, should be to prepare students to be informed, productive and concerned citizens in a information age.  I will encourage students to pursue education in any format the meets their needs and expands their minds.  I will help them understand the ethics and responsibilities  of the use of information and help foster in them a love of reading.  I will help them appreciate the diversity of our and other cultures, and in doing so help them develop a tolerance for differing points of view.  I will help them become responsible and thoughtful student citizens.  I will respect my students as they become emerging adults and provide them with a safe environment to grow and learn.  


Digital storytelling Badge

Digital storytelling Badge

I tried playing around with uploading other images but had some difficulty resizing and making sure the background matched, yadda yadda. There are some icons – but not a ton. I thought the leaf looked close enough to a quill.

I actually ended up talking with one of the tech people for our county and asked him about badging. With each new skill set he learns, he gets badges that go with his resume and all documentation he sends out about himself. Pretty standard.

We talked about maybe implementing it next year with our Battle of the Books program. Maybe giving kids badges for every book they complete. Something to think about.

Learning Project

For a curation tool – it really was more for me than for the teachers.  I am avid with using Pinterest and over the course of the past year or so, I have expanded my boards to use them in a professional manner.  I created a Storytelling board in order to decide with applications I would want to share with teachers.  To be honest, even though we discussed in brief detail, a few storytelling applications, there are literally hundreds out there.  I wanted to get a feeling of some more options.  There are some really great ones that I would love to learn more about – making your own graphic novels, for example.  Then there are some very rudimentary ones that are geared more towards preschool and lower elementary, that while decent, do not fit my target audience.  I chose just four, the three we looked at in class and then a fourth.  Each is quite different but that allows teachers to see what the capabilities of their students are and how they want to approach their subject matter.

For the flipped classroom aspect, each of the different types of storytelling is shared with brief description and a set of pros and cons and then a tutorial so that the teachers can see how to use it and whether or not that application would be useful to them.  The idea is that the teachers will familiarize themselves with a particular tool and practice it to see if that would work for their particular lesson and with that particular set of students.  I chose to do a Prezi, because I liked the format and the flow.  But I forgot about what I had found out earlier on in the semester, that Prezi changed up some of their publishing format and it no longer easily embeds in WordPress.  There are “fixes” to it – but they are very difficult and complex unless you are familiar with HTML coding.  So, it will not embed here in the blog – but I will provide a link to the Prezi and if it is copy and pasted, it should show up and display.

At the beginning of the presentation I have stated a few goals, and at the end of the presentation, I have included a small checklist that restates some of the goals and focuses what the purpose of the learning project should be. 


Learning Project Reflection.

I wasn’t quite sure at the first of this class about what I was supposed to “do” with my Essential Question.  Now I find that I look at almost everything in this manner – even if it isn’t library or work related.  My question basically is can technology and traditional learning be balanced? 

At first I went into looking at so many of these tools with an almost withered eye.  Too often, I have seen technology improperly used.  Educators or students use it basically just to showcase something “shiny” not really to complement or enhance the knowledge they are trying to convey.  However, after becoming familiar with more media products, I am excited about being able to use them with library patrons – which in my particular case are teachers and middle school students. 

My learning project is an attempt to offer help to teachers to use various digital storytelling formats for their students.  So many incredible programs are available that actually  can enhance and, I believe, make educators lives easier when introducing storytelling and working on language skills – both ELA and ESL.  I have put together small learning plans before, but only for my own students on a very small scale. 

Making sure that the information is relevant to the audience I am intending is rather daunting. Classroom teachers know what will work for them and how they want to retrieve information. Am I giving too much information and as a result losing their interest because they will see it as condescending? Or am I not giving enough information because I “know” the subject and don’t want to insult them by assuming they will understand certain steps?

This project has made be very aware that I need to speak more with teachers and my patrons to find more about their specific needs. This presentation was created with a few conversations with some teachers but I think it definitely warrants more in depth analysis of what my goal should be and how I should approach teachers with their concerns for content.