LOOKING UP AT THE STARS IN THE LIBRARY - GUEST POST BY Jennifer L. Freedman, SCHOOL LIBRARY MEDIA SPECIALIST
The library world is ever changing. It’s a wonderful thing. And the best part? Librarians have the power to mold it into whatever they want. Personal computers? No problem. Internet? Got it covered. Social networking? Under control. Broadcast studio? Sure thing. Planetarium? Give me a week.
Wait, what? Yes, I am fortunate enough to have a planetarium adjacent to my library and at the first opportunity to run it, I jumped. I have never run a planetarium before and other than Astronomy 101 & 102 in community college many long forgotten years ago, I know little about the universe. But there was no way that was going to stop me. I spent hours learning how to use the technology and even more time figuring out ways to incorporate into the curriculum. My first venture was a lesson on Greek Mythology and Constellation Origins with an ELA teachers. The students loved it. The teacher loved it. I loved it. Four more teachers booked the lesson with me the very next day. Next up, the music and math departments.
Being a librarian is like having an open door to opportunity. Sometimes opportunity walks right in. Most of the time, we have to go out and find it. Nobody came to me and asked me to incorporate the planetarium into their lessons. I went out and found them. Over the years, I have learned which teachers will allow me to experiment with their classes and which are happy to stay away. Every school librarian should know this. I seek out new challenges on a daily basis. I do not allow myself to get content in what I am doing because positive change in my world means positive change for the teachers and students. And I never, never turn down a challenge. Even when I know it’s something I can’t personally tackle, I will find a solution. Because even just pointing someone in the right direction or giving them an alternative plan is saying “yes, I can help you.”
Like a chameleon, I change my colors to fit into any situation.
But I do not use my ability to blend as an excuse to hide. I am out there. In everyone’s face. Always. Brining in new ideas or sharing a resources or inviting them to a new event. Some may find me annoying but for most I have become a valuable resource. Someone whom my school needs.
Kristina A. Holzweiss
Ed Tech School Librarian
Bunhead With Duct Tape
PRAISE FOR "HACKING SCHOOL LIBRARIES"
"Hacking School Libraries is the practical book that I have been waiting for a teacher-librarian to publish! This is the book I will be recommending to school librarians who want constructive and attainable suggestions on how to not only transform their library space, but also their library practices and in turn, their school. The stories and ideas from Stony, Kristina, and other respected colleagues in the school library world spotlight tried-and-true practices that have transformed school library programs across the nation."
"I really like the quick reading style and the focus banners for each hack. This is a very useful guide for new school library professionals or those thirsting for easy, practical, and inexpensive ideas to revitalize their school libraries. My highest praise is that it's written by practitioners FOR practitioners."
The book is clear and understandable and helps put their "hacks" into perspective by introducing a problem and possible solution. I especially like the "What you can do tomorrow" section and even though I am not a new librarian, I plan to incorporate some of these ideas tomorrow!
"WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK IS THAT IT BREAKS EVERYTHING DOWN INTO MANAGEABLE SECTIONS. IN THOSE SECTIONS YOU ARE GIVEN SUGGESTIONS FOR WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY! SUCH AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE ESPECIALLY AS MEDIA SPECIALISTS ARE ALWAYS STRUGGLING TO STAY RELEVANT. THIS BOOK REALLY HELPS!" - CATHY CASTELLI
"THANK YOU! THANK YOU FOR SEEING INTO WHAT WE ARE AND OUR MISSION! WELL WRITTEN AND GREAT IDEAS THAT SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS! I LOVE THIS RESOURCE!" - CAROL EVERHART CRITCHER
"THIS BOOK IS INVITING, WELL-ORGANIZED, AND CONTATINS IDEAS THAT ARE EASY TO IMPLEMENT. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE? FROM THE SKETCHNOTE-LIKE ICONS ON THE COVER TO THE CLEAR TABLE OF CONTENTS, THIS INFORMATION IS ON THE RIGHT track for school librarians. no offense to phd candidates, but i'd rather read something that gives me quick usable ideas i can use right now than someone's research dissertation on learning commons model. i have students to help, teachers to collaborate with, and a million other things I am juggling and trying to keep in the air at the same time. - CHARITY S. HARBECK, School Library Media Coordinator/Digital Literacy Coach at Franklinton High School in Franklinton, NC
PRAISE FOR KRISTINA'S WORK
"I am super excited to learn about both high tech and low tech ways to promote literature.
I feel that over the years, I lost myself and my students with the primary focus always being on research. I want to go back to book talks and making library enjoyable (again).
Thank you for your inspiration!"
- Cara Lauber, library media specialist
"Kristina is a librarian's librarian!"
- Ali Schilpp, 2018 SLJ School Librarian of the Year
"Kristina is an engaging guest speaker who offers rich and varied approaches for participants to take part in and contribute. My graduate students leave the classroom feeling motivated, excited and ready to put their learning into practice in their own classrooms."
Dr. Karen Megay-Nespoli, Director of the Literacy and Cognition Graduate Program,
St. Joseph’s College, Patchogue
"i have followed kristina holzweiss on social media for many years. she's always on the cutting edge of the newest tools and activities in education. she was one of the first school librarians i saw who had her students using flipgrid, breakout edu, bloxels, and so many other great resources. i am awestruck by her ingenuity and her passion for helping students and educators thrive. i also appreciate her ideas for empathy and diversity." - tonya fletcher