Thursday, 24 June 2010

The First Book of Summer

My husband discovered this gem while browsing the bookstore the other day, and I was hooked from the first page. I did decide to wait and buy it on the Kindle because it was much cheaper, but I'm loving it as my first book of the summer. It's informative, funny and so perfect in how it addresses how relevant librarians truly are today. The author, Marilyn Johnson, is not a librarian, but I like that someone outside our field felt strongly enough to write a whole book about how we are anything but obsolete. An interesting side note is that she became interested in librarians after writing a book about obituaries--she found that librarians tended to have these really interesting lives. Not surprising.

Any other suggestions for great summer reading?

Saturday, 12 June 2010

iPad from a Mama Teacher's Perspective

Summer vacation has started, and the iPad arrived at my parent's house. Less than 48 hours old, let's just say that it's getting a whole lot of use in our household, and I know it's going to be amazing for elementary students when I get back to ISB in August.

When I'm using the iPad, I'm looking at it from two points of view--the mama view and the teacher view.

Things I Am Loving from Both Perspectives...

1. It's smaller than I imagined but the perfect size for kids. Fits them nicely and not too bulky.

2. There are so many free apps or ones that only cost $.99. I've added a bunch and am trying them out one by one. There are lots of ABC apps for the younger ones and I found a Greek Gods one for the older readers.

3. My favorite app so far is Miss Spider's Tea Party. It cost $9.99 but is worth every penny (my daughter is reading it at this very moment) because the artwork is spectacular. You can either watch the story as a movie with words on the bottom or read the story yourself but with lots of interaction as you read. In addition, there is a matching game as well as a painting program. When there are more of this kind of book available, I'll be thrilled!

4. It's incredibly intuitive. Amazingly so. My 3 year old is navigating it almost seamlessly after only a short time. We are both trying to work on our sharing skills with the iPad.

5. One way to save a bit of money is get the free samples of chapter books for students. The covers look very cool sitting on the virtual bookshelf, and my thought is that kids can get a preview of books we have in the Hub and then check out the paper copy. A little taste to get them hooked.

5. One more free book (or at least a few chapters of the book) is Alice in Wonderland. Again, the illustrations are spectacular. As my mom said, "It's simply magical."

Alice in Wonderland

Lingering Thoughts/Concerns/Paradigm Shifts/Adjustments on my Journey

Because the books are so interactive, I found my daughter quite distracted by all the buttons to push while I was reading Miss Spider's Tea Party to her. It is set up so that there are different actions on each page-a teacup shaking, an ant stomping its foot-but all of these are controlled by the reader. She was more interested in pushing all the buttons and wasn't really listening to the story. At first this bothered me, but then I let go and realized she was having a blast. And that's what reading is about-having fun. This is where my own thinking is changing with things like Tumblebooks and now the iPad. Balance is everything to me, and I feel strongly that there is a place for both paper books and digital books.

The future is incredibly exciting for books and for us librarians. I have this gorgeous vision of kids entering the library with their own iPads in hand. They will choose books and check them out from me, much like Netflix is done on computers now. Once the due date arrives, the book is then deleted from the iPad.

Just think--no chasing down kids for overdue books!