The Sheldon High School Library uses blog posts to keep their students up-to-date on events that are important ot the students, this may include events in the library or tests that the students need to prepare for. Even though the school year is over, the blog has not gone unused. The librarians posted a list of books that the students might like to read over the summer. Blogging can keep students informed and updated but it can also be a place where they can discuss the different books. A teacher could open a blog such as this to allow students to discuss required readings. This allows for everyone's views to be taken into account. Sometimes you have a shy student who does not like to talk in class. With a blog, the student might feel more confident with inputting since it isn't a face-to-face situation. Blogs can give the students ownership of the discussion and, in turn, the literature that is being discussed.
Submitted by April Cole: August 2, 2010


Denver Public Library for Teens

This is the Denver Public Library's MySpace page aimed at teens. Under status/mood, the creator of the page promotes various library events and programs, like Summer Reading, a Teen Art Graffiti project, and an iPod giveaway. It also has a blog and links to many tools that teens would find useful and/or entertaining, including Ask a Librarian (with options for live chat, email, and face to face interactions), Homework Help (a collection of helpful sites for different subject areas), Look it Up (online databases and the library catalog), Find a Good Book (book info and reviews written by patrons), Get Involved (online chat, user-submitted creative writing, etc.), Entertainment and Media (recommendations for movies, music, etc. written by teens), and Life (links related to relationships, health, sexuality, and more).

This page provides librarians with an excellent paradigm for their own MySpace pages. Librarians can create MySpace pages to promote library information, allow patrons to sign up for library cards online, give users personalized book recommendations, provide easy access to the OPAC, and more. The high level of user-generated content shows how librarians can use social networking sites to engage otherwise apathetic teens in reading and writing.

Submitted by Sara Marvel on 7/31/2010


Springston School Library Blog

The Springston School Library Blog is an excellent example of how a school librarian can use a blog to reach out to his/her students. The blog features pictures of the school library, an introduction to the librarians, and announcements about new books on the shelf. There are also several student created book trailers - a project that encourages students to invest themselves in a book and share it with peers.

A school library blog creates a way for librarians to communicate with students when they are not in the library. Announcing new books might peak interest in the students and bring them in to borrow the books. Letting students create book reviews and trailers as well as participate in polls and q&a sessions generates enthusiasm amongst students for the library and for reading. Through these types of communication, students will feel a sense ownership in the library leading to increased usage and a tighter knit school community.

Submitted by Jennifer Burzenski on 7/26/2010

Though FaceBook is commonly used as a social network for contact between friends, Pasadena Public Library is using this site to communicate with its patrons. Their site has 111 members and includes contact information and hours of operation, news of upcoming events and fundraisers. There are photos of story time and craft activities for children. This is an easy way to keep communication flowing between patrons and the library and to gather together "friends" of the library who will serve to spread the news to the community.
The site is also used as a way to gather fans of books together. "Fans of Harry Potter" , Twilight and Pippi Longstocking__ are all groups that use the site to post discussion questions and debate the merits of their chosen favorites. A savvy librarian could create some enthusiasm with creative posts that bring together students with a common interest in certain genres, authors, or illustrators.

Submitted by Jennifer Moore on 7/26/2010


The Association of College and Research Libraries (C&RL) presented an article titled "Do you Facebook? Networking with students online" written by Brian S. Mathews, an information services librarian at Georgia Institute of Technology, that discussed the benefits of utilizing Facebook within the school’s library. Mathews writes about how his idea to reach out to the campus students came about, the plan on how he would create his facebook profile to promote library resources and services, the payoff in utilizing Facebook based on the students responses, and the future that he sees that Facebook has within the school’s library. Mathew's plan to reach out to the students via Facebook allowed the students to ask questions about the online renewals, library classes, and group study space. However, questions regarding the software programs available in the library were of the highest interest.

How to incorporate the technology in an educational setting:

One example in using Facebook within the library setting would be to create a classroom page and post bulletins or updates on the page's forum feature. This page would be the library's newsletter promoting the upcoming events or library news. Students would be able to view the information once they log onto their page and would have the opportunity to ask questions and/or create a discussion regarding a favorite book. In the classroom setting a teacher's classroom page could be created which would allow students to use the teacher’s page to access homework assessment, to discuss assignments that students may have difficulty with, and/or to post classroom scheduled events.

Submitted by Esther Polendo on 8/7/10

LiveJournal is a blog that allows the person to add content as needed as well as changing the layout to suite their purposes. Some have the regular blog format of daily posts while others are set up to mirror their own website with links, archives and additional pages. LiveJournal allows users to contact others sites, these can be found by invitation or by searching interests which are tagged by the author when making their page.
LiveJournal can be used in libraries to make a mini-wiki where patrons can add their own posts to what is basically another's blog. This encourages users to feel a sense of ownership of the library to not only engage one another in conversation but to collaborate about projects and to create a network of interest inside and outside of the library through added content and links to other sites or even creating their own site to link to the library's account. LiveJournal is a free services so there is no financial obligation which could divide user involvement and with the librarian acting as moderator posts can be edited when inappropriate. Basically libraries and users are only limited by their imagination.

Submitted by Jessica Hicks on 7/30/2010

Flickr is a social networking site that allows users to share photographs worldwide. This web site is the flickr page for the research library of the United States Congress, the Library of Congress (LOC). The LOC's flickr site shows how a library media specialist could benefit from uploading and sharing photos on flickr. There are numerous photos to view on the LOC's flickr photostream, and it serves as a perfect example of how any library could do the same. For example, Flickr could be used in a school library to share history, promote events, advocate programs, give a virtual tour, and much more.
Submitted by Jennifer Davis on 8/1/2010

Social Networking Site:

While some may argue that youtube is not a social networking site, I disagree. This platform allows video content to be uploaded and viewed by anyone on the planet. People from all over the world may comment on a video, email it to a friend, embed it in their online space, tag it, rate it, and then rate and remark on the commentary. Although many school districts block access to youtube on their servers, this site offers powerful resources for librarians, teachers, and students and is worth the effort to encourage on-campus access. Even when blocked, students manage to find a proxy and access it anyway.

Embedding youtube videos into blogs, webpages, and wikis (as demonstrated below) allows the librarian to easily incorporate rich media into librarian-managed sites to promote books and authors, share timely information with library patrons, and increase visitor interest. Student-made book trailers and librarian-made infomercials can be uploaded to youtube's massive online library. Youtube creates the coding needed for anyone to add a video to their own online space. Youtube even has an organized list of educational videos posted by colleges and universities as well as by subjects.

While this site would serve more as a resource tool requiring additional work, time, and other resources to accomplish video embedding, it is easily and usually quickly done.

Some examples of how a few school libraries have utilized youtube videos on their sites include the following:

The electronic library,, has also embedded youtube into its page. A site specifically designed for school librarians, it is an excellent example of how a socially networked video sharing platform can be used for an extended purpose.

Aside from embedded videos, youtube itself serves as an avenue for library-generated content seeking a larger audience and feedback. The following represent a fraction of library-related video on youtube with commentary:

Example of an embedded video in a wiki ...

A Vision of Students Today

(Click on the link to the youtube page for this and take a look at the comments for this video!)

I selected this particular video because it was made by the same professor as the "Machine is Us/ing Us" video and I think it demonstrates what we are up against - tech savvy students who are expert multi-taskers and speed-driven to attain information and network with it. Distributing library-related information via video offers one way to meet today's kids on their level and attract them to library services.

Posted by:
Teresa Guardiola
1 August, 2010

Side Note:
I visited hundreds of school library websites in my investigation. I found several library webpages where youtube videos had been added, not for educational or informational purposes, but rather for entertainment - at least in my opinion. Those sites are not included in the list above as I felt they were a waste of time. I saw truly inspirational sites (which I bookmarked) and many which were in dire need of help. This project allowed me to see the best and the worst of school library sites and gain an introductory perspective of the content that is useful vesus wasteful fluff. I also watched approximately fifty videos in this process and ran across several that were worthy of saving.

Glogster EDU

A Glogster EDU link is a great addition to a library web page. It has been included on the Elsik High School site, and I think this is a quality social networking site to use in a school library setting. With Glogster, students are able to create a free glog, or interactive poster, where they can use photos, text and audio/video files to express themselves. These glogs can then be shared and commented on. Glogster EDU takes this a step further by encouraging students and teachers to use glogging to create multimedia presentations of classroom assignments or instructional material.
Check out this glog on Abraham Lincoln:
Pretty cool, especially compared to the traditional posterboard with pics cut and glued from magazines!
Glog categories include: chemistry, current events, earth sciences, ecology, economics, English/language arts, environmental science, history, language, arts, life sciences, physical sciences, math, reading, religion, social sciences, writing, technology, lesson planning, school, wikis-blogs-websites, library and other. Users can view and create glogs under any of these topics. The possibilities are endless!
Students can:
-create interactive book reports, with the best published on the library website.
-create poetry blogs with their original work.
-create multimedia history presentations on historical figures or events.
-create a multi-sensory presentation explaining a scientific theory or process.
Teachers can:
-create multimedia instructional tools.
-create functional classroom decorations (as glogs can be saved in other formats for printing).
-introduce a new unit or skill.
With Glogster EDU teacher controls, teachers can select who is able to see their glogs and those of their students, so they can control the safety of this virtual learning environment. There is a teacher forum to discuss glog use and share ideas. The page also includes a link to the Glogster EDU Educator Resource Library where teachers can find lesson plans using Glogster, grading rubrics and other glog resources.
Glogs are great! I can’t wait to get the students glogging in our library.

Submitted by Melissa Abbey-Duncan
August 4, 2010