My Shareable Experience from the Alaska State Library Association Conference By Michele Chapman

My Shareable Experience from the Alaska State Library Association Conference


Michele Chapman

Palmer High School Librarian

Mat-Su School District

Make it at Your Library (Thurdsay)

This session was definitely out of my comfort zone for I do not consider myself to be very creative. I do recognize that some students need to have some stress releasers and I feel that having a Make It table in the library, even for high school could be a great idea.. I have not tried this as of yet, but my plan is to create a space and table to have just for students to either blow off steam or be creative. I am planning on each month to change the theme. I loved that the  presenter talked about websites that give ideas. The two main websites she talked about were:   and

I have actually googled maker space and maker fairs to get idea as well..

My plan is to start small and see where it goes.

How to Tell if a Graphic Novel is Good (Friday)

I really had high hopes of learning more about the Manga world. Of all the books in my library, these have the greatest circulation by students of all reading levels. To me, some of the covers look a bit inappropriate for even high school and many younger grades(9-10) are the ones reading them. I, myself, have never read one, but have only gone with what some of my TAs tell me. This presenter gave me a great website to look up reviews and content of each of the different series.

My intention is to get a list of all the manga series in my library and look each up and make sure I have appropriate series for high school.

The website I am using is:

Just Weed It (Saturday)

The session I not only enjoyed, but found the MOST useful immediately after returning from the conference was the ‘Just Weed It!’ session by Ann Morgester, Library Supervisor.

I have since shared all of the information I wrote down in my notes during this session with several librarians who are new, like me, in our school district.

The part that stood out the most to me and stays in my mind is tips for keeping books:

F – Foster love of reading

R – Reflect your diverse population

E – Equality

S – Support the curricula

H – High quality

If the answer is no … it’s got to go!

I was so amazed to hear that the more you week, the more circulation goes up. This actually is true based on my personal experience with weeding my library. The following pictures were a before and after of some of the weeding I have been doing. Actually, it is where we left off and where we started-you will notice that the bookshelves are not the same.

Bookshelves not yet weeded:

Inviting, weeded, bookshelves:

Ann also talked about how books must be  RELEVANT    ENGAGING    ACCURATE

I also liked her idea that when organizing books it makes the most sense to genre-itize the books rather than Dewey Decimal just like in the bookstores. It is much easier to find books on specific topics if they are organized this way.

One of the best things Ann said during this presentation was: “We need to be ‘just in time’, not ‘just in case.’ Meaning that you want the most up to date information in your library instead of keeping an old, outdated book for just in case…

Masters in Library Science from Home/First Time Attendee Mentoring event (Sunday&Thurs)

I am interested in trying to obtain my Library Science degree. I’m still trying to decide if it is worth it at this stage in my career for I have 23 years of teaching in this district.  I actually did not go to the session on obtaining a library science degree, but during the First Time Attendee Social Event I learned a lot about this from one of the mentors during the speed mentoring. This isn’t really something that I can provide a lesson for, but I am looking into the possibility of obtaining this certification. Where I am going with this is also discussing the Speed Mentoring that we did in the First Time Attendee Social Event. My plan is to share our experiences and this procedure with the head librarian in our school district so that we can do a session with the more seasoned librarians at the different school levels within our district. Our district has many new librarians who are not library certified and we feel that sometimes we are the blind leading the blind and if we went to the head librarian all the time, she would be going crazy trying to help us, not to mention the travel time between schools. I believe that if a few of the librarians at each of the different levels could be the mentors and we did the speed mentoring, the proteges would be provided with  a wealth of knowledge and assistance.

In this activity the mentors all went up one by one telling of their experience and how long they have been doing this job. Then the Proteges went up and gave a little bit of info on themselves and quickly paired up with the mentors they felt would benefit them the most. The timer was set and we had 3 minutes with each of them as we rotated through. We were able to ask the mentors questions and they would answer and give up tips of the trade.

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