AASL Post: Why a Makerspace is Not a Magic Cure-all For Your Problems

AASL Post: Why a Makerspace is Not a Magic Cure-all for Your Problems | Starting a makerspace can be a wonderful thing for your school library. But sometimes, there are problems in place that need to be dealt with first.

I realize that this title is going so upset some people. That some might accuse me of click-bait. But I think this is a topic that is often being left out in the discussion about makerspaces. Many school librarians have beautiful visions of putting out some arts and crafts supplies or LEGOs or robots and … Read more

AASL Post: The Magic of Tidying Up Your Library

The Magic of Tidying Up Your Library : Like our homes, our libraries need tidying up as well. This post offers suggestions and advice for how you can tidy up your library and make it awesome.

Just as our lives need tidying up from time to time, so do our libraries.  Decluttering the library can be daunting at first, but it’s totally worth it.  Here’s some more on why we should tidy up: The Magic of Tidying Up Your Library: An AASL Post I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying … Read more

How to Create a Floorplan of Your Space in Excel

How to Create a Floorplan of Your Space Using Excel | In this tutorial, learn how to hack Microsoft Excel to create a floorplan of your space. This is an excellent tool for rethinking and redesigning learning spaces, including classrooms and libraries.

  (Post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase using them, I get a small commission that helps support running this blog) How to Create a Floorplan in Excel Confession time: I’m a slight spreadsheet nerd.  My dad worked for IBM and I remember seeing him working on spreadsheets on our home computer at a … Read more

How to Run an AWESOME After-school Makers Club

How to run an AWESOME After-school Makers Club | I've run an after-school Makers Club at my school for the last two years. Learn my tips on setting norms and routines, balancing guided projects & free time, building in reflection and sharing your projects with the world.

When I first started up my makerspace at Stewart, I knew that getting students in there after school would be the ideal time to really dive deep into projects and develop a community of makers.  During those first six months, my school didn’t have afterschool clubs but was piloting during school clubs with 6th graders, … Read more

AASL 15 Reflections

AASL 15 Reflections - In this post, I share about my experiences at the AASL 2015 conference in Columbus, OH. It starts with the Treasure Mountain preconference, then moves on to talking about meeting authors, seeing friends, sharing about makerspaces and more.

AASL Awesomeness Last week I went to my first ever American Association of School Librarians conference in Columbus, OH (thanks to ABC-CLIO and the France Henne award).  It was an amazing and wonderful whirlwind of hanging out with friends, listening to fantastic speakers, meeting my favorite authors and getting to share with so many people … Read more

How to Transform Your Library Space on a Budget

How to Transform Your Library on a Budget | In my post for AASL Knowledge Quest, I share advice and ideas learned from transforming the library at Stewart Middle Magnet over the course of five years on a small budget.

Transform Your Library Space Recently, I’ve been looking back through photos of my media center at Stewart Middle Magnet from the past five years… As I look back over these photos, I’m struck by how the space slowly evolved over this span of time. It’s easy to just focus on all the big sweeping changes we … Read more

SLJ Leadership Summit: School Tours

SLJ Leadership Summit: School Tours | As a part of the 2015 SLJ Leadership Summit, there were school tours to four local schools, including elementary, middle, high and private. These tours gave a great snapshot of the state of school libraries in Seattle, WA.

A few weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege of attending the School Library Journal Leadership Summit in Seattle, WA. It was an amazing weekend filled with sightseeing, learning and good times with friends old and new.  I’m going to break up the experience with several posts, starting with today’s. School Tours in Seattle, … Read more

5 Easy Ways to Make Space for Innovation

5 Easy Ways to Make Space for Innovation | Innovation is a hot topic in education, and it's essential for educators to find ways to support innovation in our students. In this article for AASL Knowledge Quest, I share five different ways that you can change up your library or classroom space to make room for innovation.

  5 Easy Ways to Make Space for Innovation Our school libraries are no longer made up of the rows upon rows of stacks and hushed, immovable wooden desks. At least, not if we expect them to support the innovative learning styles of our students. The libraries of today need to be interactive learning environments … Read more