Tag Archive for 'tips'

Next CSL in Session: Wildly Successful Meetings: Impossible Dream or Easy Peasy Reality?

  • CSLinSessionWith: Sharon Morris
  • When: 04/17/2014 | 12:00p – 1:00p, Mountain Time
  • Where: CSL in Session



So… you have to run a meeting and you want it to awesome…or at least not as bad as those meetings that people walk out of saying, “What a waste of time.” Join this interactive session!

Sure, we will start by kvetching about what goes wrong in meetings, but by the end you will have practical and easy techniques for meetings. You will get tips for planning so that everyone is focused and the content is relevant, facilitating so that you bring out the best in everyone in the room, and be able to come to consensus about where you are heading.

Bring your own success stories and strategies too, because with CSL in Session, everyone shares expertise.

Tips on Blogging from Bloggy Boot Camp

For anyone interested in personal blogging OR blogging for your library:

Last weekend – despite my body being furious at me for waking it up early on a Saturday – I attended the Bloggy Boot Camp conference, hosted by the SITS Girls here in Denver. Thanks to the women’s studies department at my college I was able to attend for free, so early Saturday aside, it was a good opportunity for me to get out there, meet other women blogging locally and nationally, and get advice on how to make my personal blog a success.

While I was not able to take something usable for me personally from every session, and I felt a bit out of place among the many “mommy” bloggers, I did come away with several things. Specifically: lots o’ business cards (seriously, my giant, bottomless Mary Poppins purse feels heavier today), new blogs to read, a local writing support group, and a few gems to improve my blog and inspire me to write every week. The crème de la crème, for your viewing pleasure: Continue reading ‘Tips on Blogging from Bloggy Boot Camp’

7 Tips for Better Presentations

On behalf of Jamie Hollier, BTOP Coordinator, Colorado State Library:

It seems like my life is full of webinars, presentations, and trainings these days. I have been on both sides of quite a few of these in the last few months and I am currently working on the final touches for a presentation tomorrow while also starting to rough out my talks for ALA. I guess you can say I have presentations on the mind.

The thing about all these presentations that has been prevalent in my mind is how many of them are just bad and how much I don’t want my presentations to be one of those sucky ones. Let’s face it, we have all had to sit through presentations that made you think “Oh man, I chose the WRONG session…” These sessions may even have good ideas and tips in them but those ideas are so buried under bad delivery that there is no real value there at all.

Here are a few tips I am always reminding myself of when preparing a presentation.

  1. Practice what you preach: If you are giving a workshop on classroom instruction and covering things like active learning, integrate active learning into your workshop as well.
  2. Use your slides (prezi, etc.) as visual cues for your points: There is very little benefit to attending a webinar where people are reading you their slides. You can do that from anywhere. Additionally, people connect with what they are learning in different ways, so provide them visual stimulation that supports your points. Continue reading ‘7 Tips for Better Presentations’

Tips For an Indispensable School Library Program – #7

Tip #7 – Become an Online Presence
“Librarians must teach everywhere, in and outside of the library” – Joyce Valenza.  More computer access means less physical presence in our libraries.  If you don’t know how to design a web page, be brave and collaborate.  Is there a tech-savvy teacher, student, or district person who can help you?  A web presence is a non-negotiable for all school librarians.

See some examples of good school library websites at a webinar “7 Tips for an Essential School Library Program” hosted by the Colorado State Library next Wednesday, March 30 @ 3:30.  Stay tuned for more details.

Tips For an Indispensable School Library Program – #6

Tip # 6 – Stay Relevant and Current
Today’s parents want good teachers who have the ability to meaningfully teach technology. Helping our students become “post-graduate and workforce ready” as 21st century learners is a national initiative that we must embrace. Still on a learning curve with technology? Try the mini-tutorials at  “Colorado Libraries 2.0”.  Set realistic goals and commit to learning and using something new each month.

Tips For an Indispensable School Library Program – #5

Tip #5 – Recruit Non-Library Advocates
Who are your top 2 teacher advocates, or a parent or principal advocate? Make sure that parents, parent groups, teachers, businesses, social groups (for example, school board, elected leaders, etc.) understand what you do, as a school librarian, to foster student growth and achievement.

Be on the lookout for some upcoming sample templates of parent (or other non-advocates) “letters to the editor” on the school libraries section of the Colorado State Library website.

Tips For an Indispensable School Library Program – #4

Tip #4 – Embrace Instructional Leadership
“If you can’t list the top three things that your supervisor worries about, your job may be vulnerable” (Doug Johnson).

What are your school’s goals?  What initiatives does your principal want to implement in your building?  Sample ideas: Develop a curriculum map for your school. Help your principal co-teach on a school initiative, such as differentiation or RTI. Make sure your principal knows of your efforts!

Tips For an Indispensable School Library Program – #3

Tip #3 – Become a Power Library

Learn about the new Power Library Program Rubric and state-wide opt-in for any school library in Colorado.  Use the soon-to-be released “Colorado Highly Effective School Library Program” rubric with your principal to evaluate your program and help you set goals for a highly effective library program.  Also, gain access to high-quality lesson plans as well as training opportunities for you to help improve your program.

Visit the Power Libraries Program website in April to access the rubric.

Tips For an Indispensable School Library Program – #2

Tip #2 – Identify 21st Century Skills

It’s not just “technology.”  Collaboration, critical thinking, self-direction, invention and information literacy are the five major components of 21st century learners.  As librarians, we have a unique opportunity to help  both our staff and students use these skills in a meaningful, connected way with the new Colorado Academic Standards.  Access these new standards and look on the right-hand under “21st Century Skills and Readiness Competencies.”

The State Library will provide more detail at our upcoming webinar on these tips on March 30th.

Tips For an Indispensable School Library Program – #1

In today’s difficult economic times, many school districts are choosing to cut non-classroom teaching positions. Over the next several weeks, the Colorado  State library will be posting a tip a day from an upcoming brochure called “7 Tips for an Indispensable School Library Program.” Use these tips and other leadership strategies to help you develop an effective library program that impacts student achievement and makes you an indispensable school librarian.

Tip #1 – Know your State Initiatives
Have you heard of the new Colorado Academic Standards (Senate Bill 212)?  The Educator Effectiveness Initiative (S.B. 191)?  Become the building or district expert in implementing these mandatory new standards in your school or district.  Follow these two links to learn more about these CDE initiatives and how you can be on the cutting edge of helping to implement them in your buildings: