Friday, February 26, 2010


I was a little hesitant this week about working in groups. In another class I just finished a group assignment and it wasn't the smoothest work group I have been in. I was very happy to see that my worries were for nothing after getting in contact with my group members this week. It has been a much more positive experience.

In our groups we are looking at school library websites. I have to say that the more examples I look at the more I realize that there is no perfect library website. I can see myself picking and choosing different elements of the websites I visit to create my own ideal website. At times I question what has been done to some library websites. Particularly with the Springfield Township High School website. Their main page is very visually pleasing ( But when I click on a link I feel that the beauty and organization have been replaced with a jumble of links ( Hopefully this was taken into consideration when designed and has been found to work for their users.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Thoughts on Copyright

This week our discussion was focused on copyright. I find copyright to be somewhat intimidating, particularly in school setting. I wish that teachers were given more courses or information on copyright because it is something that really effects them. I don't think that school librarians should have all the responsibility placed on them. If we, as school librarians, can inform teachers about copyright laws and be available as resources to them. By providing knowledge and information to teachers we can hopefully remove the stereotype of being seen as the copyright police.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Search Tools

There are a lot of search tools out there. I like that because it gives people different ways to search for information. This week I was reminded of a search tool that I used when I lived in Albany, NY while completing my undergrad degree. I fill in love with the Guilderland library, a part of the Albany Public Library system. When you searched for information on their catalog, a web appeared. It provided you with alternate key words, spelling, similar topics, author links, and more to help you find what you were looking for (or even find stuff you didn't know you were looking for but wanted anyway).
Another search tool that I have fallen in love with is the one the the International Children's Digital Library uses as their "Simple Search" ( I think this is a great example of how we should design a search tool for younger users. Their are bright icons that form a square around the search results. This allows you to never have to leave this page to see search results, it only refreshes as you narrow down your search options. It gives users the chance to find books based on their content, length, color of the cover and more. Your search results are formed like a math formula by adding different options, such as red and green covers that are picture books. The results themselves are the cover of the book, the title, and the country of origin.
I really think we can learn a lot from this search tool.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Prior to this class I have not heard of Webquests. But through the Webquest we read for class and viewing a few additional ones online I can see the many opportunities for learning that they provide. My mom works at Kenmore East as a Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher. I was able to find a bunch of sites that offer Webquests specifically for her subject. I think that Webquests are a great tool to use in teaching and I hope she finds these useful. I wish that my teachers had used webquests when I was in school because I think it would make some topics more interesting.