Thursday, September 22, 2022

Hey Future Ready Librarian, Friends. I Have A To-Do List Of Awesome Learning, Connecting & Sharing Events This Fall To Share With All Of You.

Happy Thursday, friends. 

As I was driving to school today, I thought about all of the amazing things coming up for Future Ready Librarians. I am so excited and can't wait for all of the learning, connecting, sharing and fun this fall. 

Here are 5 things for all of us, as Future Ready Librarians, to help each and everyone of us in so many special ways. 
1. The Future Ready Librarians community continues to grow and thrive. As we plan for the next school year, your insight, suggestions, and guidance will help us support you, your libraries, and your communities.

Please complete the following short survey here today. 
2. We kicked off Season 5 of the Future Ready Librarians Podcast series, Leading from the Library. 

Blake Hopper was my first guest. You can find Tooting Your Own Horn: Show Off Your Library This Year with Blake, and the other four podcast seasons here

3. Join us for the upcoming webinar, Creating a Strong Librarian Professional Learning Network (PLN) on September 28, 2022 at 3:00pm EST. 

During this webinar, Shannon McClintock Miller will host three amazing Texas librarians who will talk about the importance of creating a strong library PLN (personal learning network) and the difference it can make within our practice and lives. They will share their experiences around how to find your people who have shared values and how to stand together as a profession.

Guest discussions will include the following:

  • Ways to foster relationships on social media channels and beyond
  • Strategies for promoting accomplishments and presentations
  • How to get involved in state and national librarian programs
All educators, especially librarians, need someone to lean on who GETS IT. Librarians are facing many obstacles, such as book banning, censorship, and budget cuts, so now is the time to create connections beyond your district. You will leave the webinar armed with new ideas, regardless of where you are in your own PLN journey.


  • Deborah ZemanMiddle School Library and Information Technology Educator (TX) @DebZemanLMS
  • Karina Quilantan-GarzaLibrary Media Specialist, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (TX) @CuetheLibrarian
  • Amanda HuntLibrarian, New Braunfels ISD (TX) @TheNextGenLibrarian


  • Shannon McClintock MillerFuture Ready Librarian Spokesperson and District Teacher Librarian, Van Meter Community School (IA) @shannonmmiller and

Please direct questions concerning the webinar to

If you are unable to watch the webinar live, please register to receive the video archive directly in your inbox. 

4. On October 15, 2022 we kick off our Fall Future Ready Librarians Summit Series. The first is The Joy of Being A Future Ready Librarian...Knowing Your Why. 

The Future Ready Librarians® summit are FREE, live, virtual, interactive, high-quality professional learning experience for librarians interested in learning, growing, and expanding their professional practice through collaboration and networking with like-minded colleagues from across the country. These interactive online events help librarians ground their practice in the research-based Future Ready Librarians® Framework and define new ways in which they can lead, teach, and support learning in their schools. 

You can register for the first Future Ready Summit on October 15 here.

And the second Future Ready Librarian Summit, Connection Development: Building Your Collaborations and Partnerships, is on November 19, 2022 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET. You can register here.

Due to the interactive agendas, the summits ARE NOT recorded.
5. And last, but certainly, not least, I couldn't be more excited to announce something NEW to all of us...the Future Ready Schools Leadership Forum, Creating a Culture of Excellence and Innovation. 

The Future Ready Schools® (FRS) Leadership Forum is a one-day personalized professional learning event designed to help innovative educators (district leaders, principals, instructional leaders/coaches, librarians) learn how to lead and support a culture of excellence and innovation in their school/district.

Join like-minded education leaders to learn and grow through an interactive professional learning agenda that will spark ideas and actions for weaving digital innovation into practice. 

You can register for the Future Ready Schools Leadership Forum here. It is going to be such an amazing event. 

So, as you can see, it's a fall packed full of goodness and one that will take us to the next level as Future Ready Librarians. 

I hope you join us, friends. I can't wait to connect with all of you too. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Celebrating Our Back To School Book Recommendations With This Display and Interactive Poster!

There are so many wonderful books that I love sharing during back to school time. This week, my friends at Biblionasium and I have pulled together 10 that we are using to celebrate with our readers during this special time of the year. Each celebrates our kids' ability to shine with unconditional love, creativity, and bravery.
This set of 10 books are ones that I can't wait to share with our teachers and readers.  There is something for all readers. 
As I pulled these titles together, I made a special spot for them right outside of our library. 
We put the books together and created a Canva poster with the covers of each book.  

When that was complete, I downloaded the image to my laptop. 
I then uploaded the image into a Google Slide and...
...added links to book trailers, read alouds, author interviews and more.  
Even a recipe for Chocolate Caliente from Capstone's new Lola series. You can find the recipe here too.

You will find the one above here to share as a choice board with your students and teachers. If you would like to make a copy, click here.
I also created a QR code with QR Code Monkey with that link too. If you use this poster in a display with the books like I did, students can easily scan the code to take them to this interactive poster. 
You can see in this image, how I added the QR code to the top. 

This makes the poster in the display I set up interactive. I can also share this with our readers online in their Google Classroom and on our library website. 

This year, my library assistant, Natasha, and I are going to be celebrating all kinds of books within our library. We can't wait to share even more with you, friends. 

Don't Miss The Capstone Live Event On September 21 With Bob Lentz As He Shares His Wearable Books With All Readers, Everywhere!


Don't miss the very first Capstone LIVE Event on Wednesday, September 21 at 12:00pm CST, friends. 

We will be continuing our Dot Day Celebrations with Capstone's Art Director, author and illustrator Bob Lentz as he shares his super fun Wearable Books with all of our readers, everywhere. 

You and your students can join at

We will be having classes add their questions for Bob in the chat, so please have them ready to go!  He can't wait to celebrate with all of us. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Creating Self Portraits With A Little Drawing, Pixel Art Technology & Stickers!

Our students love being creative in fun, engaging and collaborative ways. 

Last week, I visited Amy Garrison's 3rd graders for a little back-to-school activity with StickTogether. 
I brought with me the StickTogether Pixel Art Class Pack. 

This is new from StickTogether and pairs up perfectly with their free Pixel Art site. You can find the Pixel Art Sticker Kit here on their site
First, they drew their self portrait on a piece of paper. We talked about the space they would have to create on the Pixel Art site. 
When they had their self portrait drawn, they went to the StickTogether Pixel Art site here
Before they started filling in the grid, I reminded them to think about shading and the variation of colored stickers they could add to make it more interesting and add details. 
On their Chromebooks, they were able to use their finger on the screen and the...
...trackpad to add stickers. 
They took their time and did an amazing job. 
When they finished, each student added their name and clicked Generate PDF's. 
This box pops up and they click on Confirm, which downloads two files onto their Chromebook. 
One is the pixel art in full color and the other... the pixel art poster they fill in with the stickers. 

To make it easy to get these files from each student from their Chromebook, I created a Padlet and shared the link with them in their Google Classroom. 
Each student shared their two pixel art files to the Padlet. 
When they download from the Pixel Art site, their name is added to each file. This makes it really easy to identify the art on the Padlet and when they are printed off. The name is at the bottom as you can see in the image above. 

You will find a Padlet of their amazing pixel art portraits here in this Padlet.

When the class went to PE, I went to the office and quickly printed off all of their sticker posters. 
They came back to find their sticker poster and....
....lots of stickers to use as they filled them in. 
You will want to make sure you make copies of the Color Key for them to know which color matches up to the letter on their sticker poster.  You will find it here
As they finished up their Pixel Art self portraits, Amy took their picture.  

It is so fun to see how each one is different and unique. They all loved creating themselves. 

When they are all complete, we will hang them up together as a class.  I will share that picture soon too.

A Little Tip and An Easy Way To Share The Great Book Lists We Build In Titlewave With Others!


Last week, I was with my librarian friends at their school library in Long Island.  They were cataloging books they had ordered over the summer, getting all of the new books ready for students to check out. 

I sat and looked through so many new books, taking photos of ones I wanted to look at ordering for our library in Van Meter. 

Then I thought to myself, Hey, they use Titlewave too! I could just ask them to share their list with me.
I love this part of Titlewave!  This is such a great way to share show my colleagues what I have in the lists of books I build. 

It's also a wonderful way to share with our library friends from other schools and places. 
It's easy to do!

When you have a list created, you just click on Share and it will prompt you to add an username. You can add more than one. You just need to ask whoever you are sharing it with for their Titlewave username. 

I watch what so many librarians add to their libraries on social, through blogs and during onsite visits. I am going to remember that this little Titlewave sharing tip will be a handy way to take a closer look for our collection too. 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

The September 18-24 Capstone Holiday Calendar Is Here! You Can Turn It Into An Interactive Calendar For Our Students Too.


I am excited to share that the 2022-23 Capstone Holiday Calendar is here!  

This is one of my favorite resources to share in our library and with our teachers and students for their classroom, and even with our families to use at home. 
On each monthly calendar, all kinds of special holidays and events are shared. 

Capstone then paired up their Capstone Interactive eBooks and PebbleGo/PebbleGo Next articles with these special holidays and events. 

I use them to look ahead each week and pull books and Capstone Interactive eBooks for our students and teachers to use to explore, learn and celebrate. 
This week there are several special events. I went into our Capstone Interactive to search to see what books we had as eBooks and articles from PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next. 

I can share the links to the eBooks and articles in Seesaw or Google Classroom. 
I also thought of an idea!  

I could take the calendar apart and make a Google Presentation, one slide per week, for the whole year! 

On the slide above, I just took a screen shot of next week and then added screen shots of the PebbleGo articles and eBooks below. Then I went back into Capstone Interactive to grab all of the links attaching them to the images. 

This will be so much fun to create and share with the teachers and students all throughout the year. 
You will find a copy of the 2022-23 Capstone Holiday Choice Board here if you'd like to follow along and use it for your school too. You will have to add your own links to PebbleGo, PebbleGo Next and the eBooks that you have within your own collection. 
And just remember, to share it with your students as a choice board, you will go to Edit and then down to Publish to the Web. It will give you a link and that is what you share with your students. 
I also share this as a poster for our littles with iPads too. 
You can download the 2022-2023 Capstone Holiday Calendar here

And as this tweet from Capstone shares, if you want a physical calendar, please reach out to your Capstone rep. 

I find it so helpful to have this handy so I can get the books I want to add to our library collection.