For this week’s Reading Journal, I explored The Daring Librarian blog. I chose to look at hers because I need a lot of help when it comes to using technology in all areas of my life including the library (some of my teacher colleagues make me feel so far behind!) She seems like a good resource for practical technology use.
It is a bit difficult to summarize exactly what I read, because I ended up doing a lot of clicking around and exploring (which I’ll talk more about in my response to the resource.) One interesting post that I ran across, however, was about Banned Website Awareness Day. I think the reason it stood out to me was because it left me feeling very conflicted. In my English classroom this year we celebrated Banned Books Week in all four of my classes (not in my library, unfortunately, because I forgot the dates and was not as on top of things as I should have been!) Obviously, during this week we talked about the dangers of censoring texts of all kinds. At the same time, in my library we do block different websites. Now, my library does not block many of the websites that The Daring Librarian links to (http://mluhtala.blogspot.com/2011/04/whats-blocked-in-schools-whole-lot.html😉 since we are a community library we even allow social networking websites and YouTube. However, the kids are not allowed to access those websites during school hours without my or the assistant librarian’s permission. In the Daring Librarian’s post, she makes a good argument for allowing these websites, including teaching the students responsibility, that the educator-side of my brain really responds to. The other part of my brain, the one that is in charge of the legal side of the library, says absolutely not. What if the kids are doing things that can get them into trouble on school grounds and in MY library? I do not want to deal with that. This posting made me feel so hypocritical- teaching the dangers of censoring one form of information while simultaneously censoring another- but I still cannot decide how I feel on the issue as a whole. I especially do not know if I would feel passionately enough to attempt to change library policy.
That turned into a long summary. So, I’ll drop it and respond to the source. At first, the Daring Librarian’s blog seems so overwhelming (but somehow in a good way!) Her blog is aesthetically pleasing, gives picture examples, and various links to other resources. From the blog, I ended up following her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/gwynethjones) and checking out the TL Virtual Cafe (http://tlvirtualcafe.wikispaces.com/.) Both seem as though they are full of resources that I will be able to pull from. Already I have started monitoring the #TLChat on Twitter and found some great resources. (Because of it, I’m thinking Twitter should be my next Technology blog.) I love the way that the Daring Librarian focuses on being a teacher-librarian or being a resource for teachers AS the librarian.
Mostly, this source really made me think. Specifically, it made me think about my internet policy as well as the ways in which I am not using the technology available to me. I think I will keep reading The Daring Librarian mostly through Twitter, because she seems to post on Twitter more often anyway, and I think I will keep monitoring the #TLChat for tips and resources on being a teacher-librarian.