You are currently browsing the archives for May 2010.
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 entries.

Looking for a position as director of library services? Try Nashville

  • Posted on May 26, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Bulletin: C-127-10                                                      Date: May 18, 2010

The Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools announces a vacancy in the following position:

Twelve Month Position
Administrative Salary Schedule – Director
(Salary based on training and experience) 

The position is open until a candidate is identified.

Human Resources Department
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
2601 Bransford Avenue
Nashville, TN 37204


  • Tennessee Teaching License with endorsement in library/media services
  • Tennessee Administrative License
  • Three years experience as a school media specialist

RESPONSIBILITIES: Plans, organizes, and implements activities/programs relative to library media centers and to media services. Coordinates the implementation of library and media services within federal guidelines, state standards, AdvancEd standards, national professional guidelines and the mission of MNPS.

Applicants are required to complete an online “Principal” application at and identify this specific position through the “Jobs” tab. A current resumé must be uploaded as an attachment to the application. Failure to complete all steps may result in the application not being considered.

The Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, color, national origin, religion or disability in its hiring or employment practices or in admission to, access to, or operation of its programs, services or activities.

The End of the Year Blues

  • Posted on May 25, 2010 at 9:52 PM

If you haven’t set foot in a school building at the end of the year lately, you’ve forgotten the feeling in the air. Textbooks get turned in and students feel liberated long before the last bell rings. Teachers are trying to control chaos and interest students in keeping busy. Award assemblies are held. Parents visit. Celebrations for "anything" occur. Paperwork piles up. Deadlines drop onto teachers daily. 

For librarians we balance trying to extract books from students hands (after we’ve spent all year focusing on getting them into their hands) with last minute creative activities and instruction to relieve frantic faculty members. As we put thousands of books away, students wander in to gaze longingly at crowded shelves and beg to simply sit and read.  Every year I hear students say, "I didn’t know we owned that! When did you buy those?I" Then they bargain for the opportunity to borrow a book just for an evening. 

Computer inventories, textbook inventories, student overdue lists, end of year reports. All of these demand our time. In fact, I stayed til 7:30 tonight flagging student records with overdue books. Why do that after school? Tomorrow I will participate in Game day with another teacher. I am trying to keep the students my most important concern because I truly believe a caring adult in their lives makes all the difference at this age. Our students will be heading off for summer vacations and some to simply sitting in homes. Will they have an adult there to listen daily? Will their parents have the energy to work all day, then take them to the public library for books? Will they have any opportunities to gather together with friends to talk about what they are reading and what their interests are? 

I cannot solve all their problems. I’ve been too exhausted to even write lately. But tomorrow, the last full day, I’ll take my sets of MahJong to school and interest group after group in the noisy game of Chattering Sparrows. The students will not remember any worksheets they complete at the end of the year. They are running out of time to read just one more book. Hopefully they will remember socializing with their friends and learning an international game. 
Five Charactor  Red Dragon   Eight Bamboo   Two Dot
I promise you’ll have the rest of the countdown and all those reviews beginning next week as SLJ transitions to a new blog format. In the meantime, why don’t you share some of your stories of the end of the year activities in a library?

Help Flooded Library Kingston Springs Elementary School

  • Posted on May 13, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Thanks to Bryn Samuels I was able to connect with  the library/media specialist Sue Hasse at Kingston Springs Elementary School. Sue Hasse has had to put her library/media specialist job on hold since the flooding hit Tennessee last week and is now the "donation coordinator" for Kingston Springs Elementary School. Sue needs our help. 

Last week Kingston Springs Elementary School experienced a flash flood and six feet of water submerged their entire school. There was a crew there today even as we wrote working to clean up and salvage items that were not damaged. Unfortunately, the news from that crew has been grim – due to the contaminated flood water there will not be much saved. Sue’s library, for all intents and purposes, did lose the entire collection of books. Below is the press release concerning the flooding that you are welcome to post widely.  

As many in the community are aware, Kingston Springs Elementary School received severe damage during the recent flooding. The Cheatham County Board of Education has announced that monetary donations and supply donations would be accepted at the following locations. If you wish to make a monetary donation please mail checks to: 

Cheatham County Board of Education
102 Elizabeth St.
Ashland City, TN 37015 

The checks need to be made payable to Kingston Springs Elementary School and please indicate on the memo line where the donation should be applied (i.e. library, music room, teacher supplies, etc.). 

Donations of supplies can be mailed or brought to the following location: 

Kingston Springs Elementary Donation Room 23
c/o Harpeth Middle School
170 Harpeth View Trail
Kingston Springs, TN 37082 

The faculty and staff would like to thank everyone in communities near and far for their outpouring of love and support during this time. If you have a question concerning supply needs please e-mail Sue Hasse at or call the office at Harpeth High School: 615 952-2811.

Going on with life

  • Posted on May 9, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Tomorrow the students return to Nashville schools after a week of being out due to the incredible flooding. I was able to request the Scholastic Bookfair stay an extra week since not all the students have seen their hard work decorating yet. Tomorrow the teachers will attempt to balance counseling, chatting, teaching, and wrapping up a school year with an unknown group of students. We believe the majority of our students will be returning, but we could easily be adding an unknown group and they are welcome. The next 3 weeks will be filled with unknowns as 137 out of 530 bus routes are deeply impacted with 121 roads impassable.

Many people in Nashville are frustrated with the rest of the world for ignoring us. Yet we are also very proud of the people of Tennessee who have lived up to their name – The Volunteer State. Every person I meet is involved in volunteering and helping someone else. The disaster in Nashville is simply undescribable. As someone stated, it is the worst disaster since the Civil War to hit Nashville. My facebook friends have responded, but I wonder if the message is getting out to you that people need help. 

Yesterday one of my projects involved helping at Thomas Edison Elementary School. I appreciate the hard work of all of Edison’s staff, but also a tremendous group of volunteers who worked all week, especially Friday night, and then came out Saturday morning to connect their efforts with the people who needed it. Several areas in Nashville like Pennington Bend Elementary and Ruby Major Elementary did similar efforts. 

It was amazing to walk into Edison school and see the tremendous amount of donations still pouring in. Clothes and shoes were at Edison. There were signs all over of food drives. Churches passed out notes offering a wide range of assistance. Volunteers rushed to embrace people in need as they slowly began to arrive. We encouraged them to call others to come over and soon more and more people came. 

When I first arrived, the piles of clothing were overwhelming so our directions were to sort them to make them easier for people in need to find. I folded clothes for a couple hours and then a different opportunity arose. A mother walked in with her baby in a carrier and attempted to sit the carrier on the floor and sort through clothes for her entire family; however, every time she tried to take a step, her baby cried.  She was frustrated, but didn’t speak enough English to communicate. I stepped over and offered to sit by her baby to help. She smiled and slipped off to stuff her bag with clothing, returning two hours later. 

While she was gone, I sat beside this precious baby girl playing, chatting, and feeding her. On the floor in between these tables of clothes, other children found us and we had impromptu storytime. During those two hours I typically had about 15 children come sit down, chat, and sing. We were communicating at my favorite level with fingerplays like The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, songs like Row, Row, Row Your Boat and The Wheels on the Bus. Nearly every child there spoke English as a second or third language, yet we had fun in our own little area. As my friend Dana said, no one has probably had time to just sit with them and sing. 

Several of these elementary age children told me that all the books in their house got wet. While I encouraged them to visit the local public libraries, I also am practical. I know that many of these families have lost their means of transportation, homes, belongings, and jobs. Caring for the emotional and recreational needs of these babies will not be a top priority. I wonder what we can do to help families as the end of the school year approaches. 

Tomorrow will be my chance to talk with my teens and tweens at their level to see if we can reach them and if we can help. If you have provided the emotional support after a disaster, I’d appreciate any of your ideas. The communities are caring for the housing and food needs. Local public and school libraries are helping families get the forms they need to apply for FEMA aid. How can I help families with their library needs?

Do the Write Thing for Nashville

  • Posted on May 5, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Sharing from Tracy Barrett and the Child_Lit listserv:  Most of you have heard, I’m sure, about the horrendous rains and flooding in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding areas. Several of my friends have lost everything, and one had to be rescued from a second-floor window in a canoe. Many people didn’t have flood insurance because they don’t live in a flood plain. This flooding is truly an unheard-of event, so this doesn’t mean they were careless or lax. 

Two of SCBWI-Midsouth’s enterprising members, Amanda Morgan and Myra McEntire, have put together a relief effort called "Do the Write Thing for Nashville"  or where they will auction off all sorts of goodies related to children’s books and writing for children, including critiques by agents and editors. I don’t know who these agents and editors are, but Amanda reports that the site has had a great response. There will also be signed books and other swag.

Please alert your colleagues to this site and to Amanda and Myra’s Facebook page
or  as there will be some great services and books to bid on. It would be great if you wanted to make a donation of a book or a critique too, of course!

Collaborating with Math Teachers

  • Posted on May 5, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Life-long learning for me! How about you? I don’t take time to create many video podcasts, but it is my resolution this year to do more. To complete a workshop through MTSU, I needed to create a podcast on math. I decided to focus on math teacher – school librarian collaboration. This is the first podcast in a series I intend to use and it is not perfect. I know I transposed a slide and an image, used one image twice, and typed projections instead of projects. Meh! I got over it. The important part is that I have a new tool to share with my teachers.

I was having problems with audio so you have to watch several minutes in to locate the video portion with sound. An interesting part of this project is that I was able to capture some math teachers with absolutely no prep and just a simple explanation that  I was doing a video on the problems of collaboration and that I wanted each of them to talk about a different problem they faced. I think you can see your staff in the video clips. 

So now it’s off to prepare the next podcast and here I need your help. I want to collect your suggestions for math integration and school libraries. Do you have podcasts and videos you’ve created? Do you have book lists? Do you have sample projects? What professional titles do you find most valuable? I plan to record myself (meh!) doing simple booktalks on some of the math titles that teachers can view in the privacy of their homes when they have time. This way they can make the decision whether it will be useful. 

In particular I want suggestions for how I can help the teacher use almanacs in the math program. Ideas?

I am totally open for suggestions. Thanks to the JFK teachers who role-played and shared from their heart. You are wonderful colleagues and open to new ideas.

The Floods of Nashville

  • Posted on May 3, 2010 at 9:22 PM

National news seems not to have noticed Nashville and Tennessee’s flood. My school neighborhood received over 16 inches of rain this weekend in Antioch. Buildings floated down the interstate and ran into trucks. People died. Rivers rose. Homes were flooded. Schools, libraries, and businesses are closed. And volunteers showed up. 

Tennessee is the Volunteer State. Organizations like Hands on Nashville are coordinating work efforts. The local responders have been amazing and tireless. The calls for help have gone out on facebook, on emails, through the mainstream media, and through phone networks. We’ve had to balance helping and staying out of officials’ way. 
The city is down to just one water processing plant which has been threatened today so officials have asked residents to use half their normal water. Cooking and drinking only. No baths. No cleaning. 

We hope the river has finally crested in Nashville and Clarksville, but the Corps are balancing the release of water from dams. Everyone seems to be holding their breath as we wait to see what will remain after the waters recede. Photos are flooding in and stories are rife on the facebook site I Survived the Great Nashville Monsoon of May 1st.

For those of you who have visited the Opryland Hotel, you’ll recognize the Delta has now become a true island. The football stadium is filled with water. Fifty school buildings in Nashville alone have sustained some damage. Busses floated away. Cars were piled on top of each other. 

Experts call this a 1,000 year flood. We call this a disaster. You can follow this through our local newspaper The Tennessean and through newschannels like Fox17, NewsChannel5, WSMV, and WKRN. 

As flood water across the state recedes, schools will eventually reopen and we teachers will be there to help students share their stories of the tragedies they have experienced. While we cannot yet gather in person, students have been contacting us on facebook and email for reassurance. Several sent worried messages because we cannot have a book fair Family Event Ice Cream Social tomorrow. I’m glad they can worry about little things with the big problems we face rebuilding. In the meantime, the public library has some helpful links. I worry about the state of those libraries.  Anyone have word?

Molly Raphael chats

  • Posted on May 2, 2010 at 6:27 PM

After the ALA election results were announced, I was able to reach Molly Raphael to ask a few questions.
Diane:  Congratulations on your election as ALA President for the 2011-2012 term. What are you most looking forward to in your presidency?

Molly: My platform stated three areas of focus from ALA’s strategic priorities:

  • advocacy: having our constituents tell our story by telling their stories of the transformative power of libraries as well as leveraging research results;
  • diversity: with particular emphasis on retention and connecting diversity and leadership development efforts; and
  • defending our core values of intellectual freedom, equity of access, and privacy.

What I am looking forward to is building on the work that ALA, through its leadership, has been doing in these areas with our recent renewed sense of urgency.

Diane:  Sara Kelly Johns, your oponent for ALA president, was supported by many school librarians throughout the country who felt now was the time for a school librarian to head ALA. What is your reaction to their feeling that only a school librarian could represent the interests of school libraries?

Molly:  I disagree. ALA presidents can and must represent all types of libraries and their issues. I certainly plan to do so. 

Diane:  I know you’ll be working with ALA staff members to establish the initiatives for your term as president, but can you give us any hints how you will help involve school librarians?

I look forward to working with the new president-elect of AASL, Carl Harvey. Clearly, when there are issues specific to school libraries, I expect to work closely with Carl and others that he may bring to the table in developing a plan of action. In addition, I hope that members of AASL will volunteer for ALA-wide committees. I know that any task forces and ad hoc committees that I appoint will have broad and diverse membership, including school librarians. 

Diane:  I agree with the importance of school librarians volunteering and serving on ALA-wide committees. We complain loudly, but volunteer invisibly. While president-elects work over their year to appoint committee members, they continually admit there are not enough school librarians actually volunteering, filling out the simple form, and accepting the offers to serve. This trend must change. School librarians need to keep reaching out to the whole-wide organization. 

Molly:  I agree wholeheartedly that "it’s time to build bridges." The responsibilities of the office lie ahead. It is time to honor and pursue the pledges made during the campaign. As I stated in response to your first question, the tasks ahead are to advocate equally for the roles of academic, public, school, and special libraries in society; to promote diversity; and to defend our core values of intellectual freedom, equity of access, and privacy rights. Of equal importance is the task of sustaining and strengthening sound governance and strategic planning for ALA, especially in the fiscal arena. I am looking forward to working with newly elected Treasurer Jim Neal. He is a superb choice to meet the fiscal challenges that we face today and will undoubtedly lie ahead. While governance, financial management and strategic planning are regarded sometimes as boring, bureaucratic responsibilities, I am ever mindful that ALA’s mission, including the pursuit of the needs and interests of school libraries and school librarians, absolutely depends on ALA’s being a vibrant, financially healthy organization. I look forward to working with the Executive Board, Council, ALA staff, and all units of ALA to build our desired future together.