5 Notable Librarian Bloggers
by Kate Davey
In honor of National Library Week, findingDulcinea spotlights five librarian bloggers who cover a range of important and interesting issues, including children’s media literacy, reviews of e-products for libraries, how librarians can keep their skills up to date and tips for elementary school librarians.
Debra Watson is a school library media specialist at Harambee Elementary School in Maplewood, Minnesota. She posts as ghostlibrarian, a name clearly derived from the popular anime series “Ghost in the Shell,” as a picture of the series protagonist adorns the page’s upper-right corner. Blog readers get the feel of a day in the life of a librarian: busy. If she’s not checking out a student’s book, ordering new materials or teaching a class on media literacy, she is helping students on the computer. She integrates the Web into her instruction through several avenues. For example, she uses wikis to share information among students. Watson blogs that this quarter, she will have 120 fourth- and fifth-graders posting book reviews on her school’s library wiki.
Joyce Valenza is a blogger well-known in school library circles, both on and off the Web. Valenza “is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program at UNT’s School of Library and Information Science.” Her blog is hosted by the prestigious School Library Journal. A proponent of open access to educational content, she posts about new media literacy tools for librarians and valuable educational Web sites. In a recent entry, she wrote about the benefits of using e-books and spotlighted the site Big Universe, which allows students to “create, share and publish” their own digital story.
Cheryl LaGuardia is a research librarian at Harvard University; her blog is hosted by the equally essential Library Journal Web site. Her reviews of e-products for librarians and library patrons have a refreshing directness. LaGuardia also devotes a good deal of her blog to informing readers about free access to and demos of otherwise expensive research tools. As her Library Journal bio explains, as a librarian, she works “for truth, justice, and better electronic library resources.”
Lori Reed is the employee learning and development coordinator for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County; essentially, she trains librarians. As per her self-description, her passion “is in learning and technology and making technology easy for people to understand.” Her blog makes it evident that she’s living her passion. Reed writes about Web 2.0 tools and the use of social media in libraries. In a recent post she shared slides from “Learning Solutions Through Technology,” her presentation at the popular Computers in Libraries conference.
Keisa Williams is the librarian at Monarch Academy, “a K-5 Aspire Public School,” and a member of the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment program. She blogs about her experiences as an elementary school librarian and offers great advice to other elementary school librarians, such as “How to decrease your lesson planning stress on a fixed schedule in 3 steps.” Williams hasn’t posted since December 2008; however, it’s definitely worth visiting her blog and picking up some of her helpful tips for the classroom.