So my first experience at a national conference (ALA Annual 2008 in Anaheim, CA) felt a lot like my first day at college: the campus was sprawling, I struggled to figure out where I was going, and I felt desperate for a friendly face to talk to! Thankfully, I felt much more comfortable and was well in my element at the OLOS Diversity Fair. This is a photo of my presentation at the Diversity Fair that I found on Flickr and was posted by WebJunction. It was a wonderfult experience to talk with colleagues interested in Spanish outreach from all over the country; some have long been making a strong effort to serve their Spanish-speaking community and others are just getting started. Other presentations at the fair where incredibly interesting, including a presentation about the "Conexiones que cuentan" project from the Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, and outreach to seniors through gaming from the Lexington Public Library. And after meeting so many people at the fair, I felt at ease for the rest of the conference as a friendly face was never too far away!
Task 2 of Learn and Play @ CML involved learning about the 7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners. Most of the habits are about attitude; for example, do you allow problems to be roadblocks which impede your success or do you view them as challenges and find creative ways to hurdle past them? This particular habit (#3, View problems as challenges) is one that I find difficult at times. When I look back on my life, it is very clear that the greatest learning and most rewarding experiences I have had, have risen from challenges which I have had to overcome. So I do recognize the value in this type of struggle. But, being honest, I must admit that frustration and stress have been a big part of that process! I feel a way in which I can improve on this is to step back from problems and try to look at them from another perspective. Maybe someday I will even feel excited about the opportunity to find creative solutions to probl...*er*, challenges! In contrast, Habit #2, Accept responsibility for your own learning, is probably the easiest for me. Whether it's formal education, travel in foreign lands, learning a language, or picking up a new hobby, I am not able to just be still without developing some type of new knowledge for very long!
I am loving the structure of Learn and Play so far. It's fun, and is providing the opportunity to learn more about other staff scattered throughout the system. I'm looking forward to what the remaining weeks have in store!
I have to share this great new CD that I just discovered for bilingual storytime (thanks Robin!). The CD is called ¡A Bailar! Let's Dance! Spanish Learning Songsby Jorge Anaya. Many of the 16 tracks are movement songs, which are great for giving kids a break to get up and move a bit between stories. Kids can move las manos arriba, abajo, adelante, y atras as they sing track #2, "El baile de las manos." Widely recognized tunes are included in Spanish such as "Cabeza y hombros" (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) and "Brilla, brilla, estrellita," (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star). And the best part? It doesn't sound like kids' music! You know, the cheesy synthesizers and drum machines that can make even the most passionate children's programmer wince...Instead, the songs all have a Latin beat easy to move to which is sure to even get parents' toes tapping! I definitely recommend checking this one out!
Sometimes I have to just take a moment to remember how lucky I am to be getting paid to do something I love...
Anyway, CML has just kicked off its "Learn and Play @ CML" program based on Helene Blowers' 23 Things. This is a program designed to get our staff learning about Web 2.0 technologies together and on work time! I am especially excited about this because I have let the blog fall behind in recent months, as I did not know if it was acceptable to contribute to it on work time. It is a great feeling to now know that my organization is supporting the sharing of knowledge and experience with colleagues in this way!
We are in Week 1 of "Learn and Play" which opened with a bang yesterday with a presentation from Michael Stephens on The Hyperlinked Library. The basic idea? Be involved with your community wherever they are, both physically and virtually, and go out of your way to remove any and all barriers that may be keeping them from using the library! One of the most important things to remember, I think, as we embrace Learning 2.0 is that the Web 2.0 technologies are tools we can embrace to accomplish this, but perhaps even more important than learning the tools is the mindset shift required to really put the library out there and available on our cusotmers' terms.
As someone who works with the underserved striving to remove barriers to service, I look forward to our culture at CML embracing this mentality and am extremely excited to be part of this program...