For this week’s reading journal, I explored Van Meter Library Voice. It is an online blog written by Shannon McClintock Miller, a Teacher Librarian (among many other things) in Iowa. While looking through the reading journal options that I have not used already, I was very drawn to the Van Meter Library Voice author’s energy! She seems so excited about libraries, teaching, and learning, that I thought it would be a good, refreshing way to start out my week in library science! Her blog can be found here: http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/
I read quite a few entries by Shannon, mostly because she does such a great job of connecting ideas and making them interesting and relevant, that once I started I had trouble stopping. The first couple that I read were about Biblionasium, which to me appears to be a kid-friendly version of Goodreads of Shelfari. One was about her discovery of Biblionasium, while another was an update on how her kids were enjoying and using it. The Biblionasium entries also connected to a couple that she wrote about eBooks and MackinVIA. I also read updates on a couple of conferences that she presented at, the “Genre Neighborhoods” she set up in her library, as well as her library’s new “Book Swap Shop.”
I loved that not only did Shannon tell her readers about exciting new tools, but she gave us the benefits of it and how it can be applied in library class. Also, as I have mentioned, Shannon does a great job of making what is going on in her library sound SO exciting. As I was scrolling through her posts, I did not look at dates. I thought that all of these posts had to have been over the semester’s time (reorganizing her library, setting up the swap shop, and presenting at a conference, ALL while teaching?! Come on.) As I looked at the dates I found that all of these were written in the past couple of weeks. The Van Meter Library Voice made me feel so inspired to start being a more active librarian for my Elementary School kids. As a High School teacher, I do pretty well with suggesting books to older kids, but it had never occurred to me that perhaps our library is not very kid-friendly. While I adore Shannon’s energy and excitement, she certainly makes me feel like a slacker!
This is absolutely a blog that I will keep checking in on. She is full of great ideas (such as the Book Swap Shop) that I would love to implement something similar to. While I know this cannot all happen right away, I think that using the Van Meter Library Voice will be a great motivator and tool for professional development. Reading Shannon’s writing made me excited about all of the prospects you have as a district librarian! I think I will do a little more research into Biblionasium as something I can talk to my Elementary school teachers about. I don’t think I will have the privilege of teaching library classes to my younger kids for a few years still, but once I do I think that the Van Meter Library Voice will be a great tool to use.