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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tech-Savvy School Librarians Win AASL's Pathfinder Award

The $1,500 honor recognizes two school librarians—one in elementary and another in secondary school—for demonstrating vision and leadership while using information technology to build lifelong learners. It is sponsored by Follett Software Company.

The goals of Kahn's library program are to help students develop a love of reading and to teach them how to access accurate and reliable information. She [Librarian Mays] uses a Shelfari bookshelf embedded on the library's website and sends email blasts to announce any new titles in her library.
To further entice students, her website includes book trailers (some made by students), and a series of digital book talks called, "Get Reading."

Mays also sought free resources such as Google Apps, EasyBIB, and Type to Learn 4.

Mays admits that the biggest obstacle was teaching herself how to use the new tools. But once that hurdle was overcome, the librarian came up with Terrific Tuesday and Wacky Wednesday to provide students and teachers with tutorials on how to use them. Mays provides formal training sessions at least twice a month, on-the-spot training as needed, and structured professional development when requested by the staff or administration. She also collaborates with colleagues to teach kids basic computer skills, how to conduct research, and the principles of cyber safety.