Kicking Off the New School Year

Updated: Aug 15

Well, it's back to school time for many of us! If we were on site, we'd be thinking about library orientation. Well, guess what?!! You still need to be thinking about library orientation!

How are you going to conduct orientation? You might get some ideas in the The Digital Librarians' Survival Toolkit, which is a free eBook crowdsourced by librarians for librarians. It will be released this weekend. I'll share it on social media once it gets posted.


This eBook might have some ideas you can use to create your orientation. There are sections on creating a live-stream show, podcasting, screen recording, setting up a remote learning space, and so much more! There's bound to be some fun way you can create a digital library orientation.


By the way, who were you thinking about? Students or teachers or families? They could each use an orientation customized to their interests! Be sure to add it to your LMS and/or website.


Meanwhile, like every year, you are busy helping everyone get ready for the start of school. You may have social distancing in-service days or you may do them remote. Remember to take a look at AASL's chart that shows how we do our roles from three perspectives: face to face, remote, and hybrid.


In particular lets look at our role as instructional partners. I know that many of you are working remote or hybrid right now. When your principal asks you to provide some in-service training for back-to-school, please step up! You were made for this kind of thing! AASL shares on their chart, that we as librarians " Support and provide PD to orient educators to digital resources, platforms, and librarian collaboration."

If that thought kind of stresses you out, then I invite you to look at another crowdsourced eBook. This one was made by teachers for teachers. But, you can look at it another way. Strong teachers have identified these tools or ideas as things other teachers need to know to be successful. We need to take advantage of the information they are identifying as essential.


It is set up as bite-sized pieces of information (microlearning) that you could easily share with your teachers. You could do an email blast of one new tool each week or month. You could host a 10 minute technology tip meeting (face to face or virtual) once a week to share one of these bite sized pieces with them.


You can also share the book with your teaching staff and point out some of your favorite tools. There are so many ways for you to take advantage of this fantastic resource. You will be their hero! Be sure to add it to your LMS and/or website.


There’s never a good time to bombard teachers with information, especially right now when they are stressed at the start of the school year. But, now you have this handy dandy tool to turn to the instant someone reaches out to you for support.

Take a peek at the table of contents. There are some fantastic lessons here! Some of the pages have tips, how-tos and even video tutorials!



Monday's podcast will be with Kristina Holzweiss who spearheaded these two eBook adventures. She’s posted the EPIC ebook on her website and will add the librarian one soon. Bookmark her site and you’ll always be able to find the eBook easily.


Have a great start to the 2020-2021 school year! Be ready to shine all year long!


I also invite you to check out my new store. It opened last week! I have some cute planners in pink, green, and black & white. Many are fillable PDFs, PDFs you can print and write on, and PNGs that you might add to your digital planner.



Have a great week! Feel free to share the free EPIC eBook with all your educator friends. https://librarian.rocks/epicebookofwebtoolsandapps


Dr. Laura


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Laura Sheneman, EdD, MLS

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