Sunday, June 28, 2015

Stereotypes real or imagined


an often unfair and untrue belief that many people have about all people or things with a particular characteristic
Librarian's clothes are as personal as their characters
something agreeing with a pattern; especially : an idea that many people have about a thing or a group and that may often be untrue or only partly true  -   -- Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online. Web.  
As Diversity Programming coordinator at my school, I spoke with students about stereotypes back in 2011.  I started out with the "Librarian" stereotype and moved on from there.  I was reminded of this talk and the "librarian" stereotype after some discussions about "What to wear to the ALA conference" [excerpt from 1911 Library Journal] in the ALA think tank.

Sometimes, I fit the librarian stereotype and sometimes I just love fashion!

I thought I might include some of the media from the student talk on my blog.

Pictures and Videos to get the students attention

Profession Stereotypes

P.E. Teacher

Differences between Men and Women

“Diversity Day”

Reminder to students that  - You are More than a stereotype
Webb's enduring understandings
  1. Integrity is a cornerstone of a flourishing life and community
  2. Learning is an enjoyable and ongoing process
  3. Respect for self and others are essential to a harmonious society
  4. Self-discipline and autonomy are essential to success
  5. Each person has unique gifts and capacities and a responsibility to develop them
  6. Each person shares the responsibility and honor of serving others

Some Cool Quotes
Respecting Differences Unites Us
“To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.” Unknown 
“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”  Maya Angelou

Huffington Post Article
'Judging America' Photo Series Captures Nation's Stereotypes

Here is a book an Alum recommended this week
Seems to be an interesting sociological study that looks at stereotypes and status indicators.
The Status Seekers Hardcover – June, 1959 by Vance Packard
A previous reviewer notes that the book is dated. It's true that comments about televisions (When you next see Oliver Stone's Wall Street, check out the tv in Bud Fox's NYC penthouse...) and ranch houses are a bit dated, but the book shows that the craving for status and acceptance simply doesn't change. The book was published in 1949, and with a little imagination one can easily replaced dated status symbols with contemporary ones. The author's findings regarding ethnic and religious groups is interesting, too, but I won't spoil the surprise. Funny to view these observations 61 years after they were published.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Lean In OR Thrive?


"It’s not ‘What do I want to do?’, it’s ‘What kind of life do I want to have?’"  Arianna Huffington from Thrive
When I accepted the appointment as President Elect of my State's school library association in the fall of 2010 for the three year leadership term that lasted from 2011-2013, I had no idea that I would be a "Mom" in the late summer of 2011.  The appointment included travel across the state and across the country.  Twenty-six trips in two years, eight of these trips were out of the state in 2011 and 2012.  This might not seem like a lot for someone who travels regularly but it was quite a lot for me as a new mom.

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” ― Sheryl Sandberg, from Lean In

Pam and Hannah
I could not have held it together without four women [actually there were many, many more] who helped me tremendously during that time. Mona who really pushed our association to a new place with technology, she and I worked on a new web site design and that in turn increased our membership to a new level in a time when associations were struggling for members.  [Our association reached a new high of 900 members in 2012.]  Pam a friend, confidante, and travel companion, was my mentor throughout the leadership term.  Beth who is a far better mind and speaker than I could be, pushed through the politics and really advocated for school librarians in Tennessee.  And finally, Alice whose organization and just plain hard-work as the association's secretary was invaluable.

I am not sure that I would go this far, but  ... "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." Madeleine Albright quote

At the end of 2012 I struggled with how to proceed in my career, I knew that my travel should taper off somewhat given my new mom status and at the same time I wanted to continue my career and professional growth.  I came up with several options to "lean-in" while still being present for my children.

  • First - Work on my own school library program - make it the best that it can be
  • Second - Write for grants to support my library program 

There was a third thing that helped that was quite unexpected - I began to write.  First, I began to record my work in my own school library program in this blog in May of 2014.  Then I submitted an article to Knowledge Quest for the January 2015 journal.
Little, Hannah Byrd. "Prove it: putting together the evidence-based practice puzzle." Knowledge Quest 43.3 (2015): 62+.
This boosted my confidence, so I applied and was selected to be an AASL Knowledge Quest blogger starting in July 2015.  So, look for my posts coming soon to the KQ site.
Silly family photo

Here are a couple of books about career balance for women and moms

  • Sandberg, Sheryl, and Nell Scovell. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. : Knopf, 2013. 
  • Huffington, Arianna Stassinopoulos. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder. : Harmony, 2014.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Oh, This book is a Prize!

A Book as a Gift, Award or Prize

Last year one of our author visits was with Rūta Šepetys, author of Between the Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy.  I was at end of the book signing line, and I asked her to sign the book with just a signature because I was going to give the book away as a prize.  She said "Oh, this book is a prize!"  As librarians we cherish a book signed by the author, but I have learned that my students cherish these books as well.  

Book Awards

Each year instead of trophies our school awards books to those with top grades.  I work with teachers to find just the right book for our award winners.  It is always nice to see a student treasure the book that he or she receives.  This year the student with the top psychology grades cheered when she received the DSM-V and another student with an interest in stock trading beamed when he received books on this topic.

Senior Bibles

We also have a long-standing tradition of presenting students with Holy Books upon Graduation in lieu of standard diplomas.  The school's founder was Methodist and historically he presented students with a Bible which was a cherished gift.  The student body today is quite diverse and students receive the traditional King James Bible, Catholic Bible, Torah, Qurʾan, or a fine philosophy book if the student prefers not to have a Holy Book.  As you can see in the pictures below, the Books are still a cherished gift and students treat these as a prize!

Photos taken by myself and Webb communications staff - Rita Mitchell and Gayle McClanahan