Personal Learning Network Learning Journal

Week 15: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 15

Instagram is more than just seflies and pictures of food. It’s a great social networking site for connecting with friends, family members and even classmates. The site is user friendly and doesn’t require a lot of up keep. Posts require only a photo and a one-sentence caption. You can also connect the site to other personal and professional learning networks to seamlessly share your posts.


I use Instagram for a few different reasons. The first is connecting with friends and family. I like to share what is going on in my day-to-day and to see what is going on in theirs. Next, I use Instagram to connect with classmates. The other day I posted a photo of an assignment I was proud of and this lead to a conversation with that classmate about what classes we were taking this summer.


Another reason I like Instagram is for professional development. I can share pictures of my library displays and different work related projects. I can also get ideas from classmates and other library professionals. Instagram is fast and allows me to quickly browse through images and captions. If I want to search for something specific on Instagram, I use their hashtag system. When a user posts on Instagram they can hashtag key words related to the post. For example if I share a photo of a library display, I’ll use the hashtag “#librarydisplay” or if I want images of displays I do a quick search using that hashtag.


I definitely recommend making an Instagram account, even to just explore photos and content. I find that a lot of users will share blog links with more information related to their photo. You can learn more about the display they made or an event they held in their school library.

Categories: 2016, INFO 233 Sec 10, Personal Learning Network Learning Journal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week 14: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 14


I have discovered the greatest website! Okay that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is a pretty cool website. My students actually told me about it and I have been exploring it for days now. The site is Reddit, but the section of the site I have become a fan of is Reddit/r/books. Reddit has over 36 million user accounts and over 11,000 online communities. Most the communities are active and you can see in a feed how often posts are updated. You can explore the site without an account, however you can’t post on the feeds without one.  I made an account, but decided to lurk and explore instead of posting on the feeds.  Reddit/r/books provides users with book recommendations, fandoms, book clubs, and author talks. Author talks take place in a forum where users can ask questions and converse with real famous authors. There is also an upcoming calendar feed with information about which authors will be hosting an AMA. An AMA is a “Ask Me Anything” feed where members of the Reddit/r/books can talk in real-time with these authors.

Members of the site can also share articles from around the Internet in a massive RSS style feed. I’ve been able to read about the latest news for books and librarians on Reddit/r/books. For example one user posted an article titled “The Librarian Who Saved Timbuktu’s Cultural Treasures From al Qaeda.” It was an incredible read and I recommend taking some time to read it. Another cool read I came across was about Roald Dahl. The article talks about the author’s life and provides insight beyond his children’s books. Other topics found on the Reddit/r/books feed included summer reading goals, waterproof e-readers, book to movies, and the list go on! I definitely recommend taking some time to explore Reddit/r/books. This online community is a great way to grow both personal and professional learning networks in a fun online setting.

Categories: 2016, INFO 233, INFO 233 Sec 10, Personal Learning Network Learning Journal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week 12: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 12

I have been wanting to find library games that I could introduce to students at the elementary level. These learning journals are a great outlet for learning about “New tools, best practices for educational trends, and new ideas” (Buchanan & Harlan, n.d.). I thought I would focus this week’s journal entry on different types of tools out there for teaching kids library skills. As I was exploring on Pinterest I found some online games that other librarians tried in their own school libraries and recommended. We have a technology lab connected to the elementary library where I work and I think it would be so much fun to do a library skills lesson using one of these online games.


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The first online library game site I loved was called Shelver. The site allows students to put fictional or non-fiction books in order. There are levels that students can advance to as they progress in the game. This game was pretty simple and straightforward. I think it would be great to use in a library skills lesson with younger elementary students.


The next online library game I discovered was Flood. Students must save the books from a flood. There are different activities, such as grouping books together by genre. I think this game is great for helping students make connections between the books on the shelves. It requires them to practice critical thinking skills. I would use this game with second and third grade. I think the game might be a little too young for forth and fifth grade students.

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Lightening librarian is another online library game that is more advanced than the other two. It reminded me of the Pokemon games and I think students will like it for that reason. The game requires students to sort books and put them away quickly in a certain amount of time. This game could be used with second, third, forth, and fifth grade students.


The final game I explored was Order in the Library. This game is definitely for older elementary students, even though the graphics are deceivingly younger looking. The early levels could be used with younger elementary students, but the games get harder and harder. I really liked that they offered sorting, shelving, and reordering games. There are eleven levels and students can play as expert, master or genius.

Categories: 2016, Personal Learning Network Learning Journal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week 11: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 11

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I was struggling to find my blog topic for this week’s post when I got a LinkedIn email about jobs I may be interested in. LinkedIn is a “social networking site designed specifically for the business community” ( I made an account on LinkedIn many moons ago and was somewhat active on the site at one time. I decided to visit the site again and was greeted with a welcome back message. The message as seen in the above photo was encouraging me to be more active on the site. Normally I wouldn’t think too much about this pop-up message, but what caught my attention were two headlines; “Build my professional network” and “Stay up-to-date with my industry.” These headlines couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! I’ve been trying to expand my professional learning network through online communities related to graduate school and librarianship. I clicked “Stay up-to-date with my industry” and a few pages later found an Interests page. The Interests page included a lot of different options for connecting and learning with other professionals. I explored the group page as it pertained to what I was looking for. I found the American Library Association group page and the San Jose State University group page. I also found the San Jose State University Special Libraries Association group page. I joined these three groups and signed up for notifications about updates and new posts. I’m going to need to make an Unroll.Me account to pile all my newsletters and updates in to one email. Otherwise I think my inbox will explode.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.36.22 AMI think the American library Association group on LinkedIn will be one my favorites, because it connects other information professionals and librarians. I tend to be more of a lurker in online communities. I prefer exploring the groups and the posts versus commenting or posting. There were some really neat posts about the 21st century library and makerspaces. It was neat to see what other individuals in the librarian profession were talking about in a larger online community. I’m excited to continue exploring the different groups and to learn more from other librarians out there!

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Week 10: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 10


With the Vision Project coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about my ideal school library. I’ve thought a little about what that would look like or how I would redesign my own school library. The article from Frances Bradburn (2013) in the upcoming module talks about the process to redesigning a school library. According to Bradburn (2013) there are five parts to a library redesign, which include “Discovery, interpretation, ideation, experimentation or prototyping, and evolution” (p. 54). While I plan to explore these parts in my project; for this blog post I wanted to look at real life libraries for inspiration. I started with a simple Google search and came across an article from Asta Thrastardottir (2015) called “18 Libraries Every Book Lover Should visit in their Lifetime.” I really liked the Stuttgart City Library in Germany. I loved the clean lines and reading areas. The other library on the list I liked was the Alexandria Library in Egypt. The library had a bit of a museum feel to it with the artwork incorporated in to the space. I again liked the clean lines and the reading/work areas set up around the library. Both libraries had white walls, which made the books stand out as the primary colors in the space.

I found another article by Cyril Foiret (2013) on “10 of the Most Beautiful School Libraries.” My favorite library on here was the Delft University of Technology Library in the Netherlands. The library is completely made of glass, but what stood out was the layout. I realize now that a common thing I like in all of these libraries is the layout. I really like the student reading/work areas. The library has a coffee shop feel to it. While I appreciate the older libraries and beautiful woodwork, I really like the more modern/eclectic libraries.

After exploring these articles I had an idea to see if there was a library design group on Goodreads that I could join. I discovered that there were groups for new libraries, but the groups were primarily book focused. I also explored LibraryThing to see what types of communities they had. They had similar groups, but the groups were more tailored for librarians and information professionals. I found the groups on LibraryThing to be more helpful for the Vision Project as well. I definitely recommend checking them out!

Categories: 2016, INFO 233 Sec 10, Personal Learning Network Learning Journal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week 9: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 9

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Last week “Library Journal” published an online article called Movers & Shakers 2016: The People Shaping the Future of Libraries. The article talked about 54 people considered to be leaders in the librarian profession. The 54 individuals were broken down in to six groups, which were advocates, change agents, community builders, educators, innovators, and tech leaders. As a librarian in training I find that I am more and more interested in the role of the library in our technological world. This is why I decided to research the individuals under tech leaders. After exploring the nine profiles I found that I loved the profile and article on Erin Berman. Berman is an Innovations Manager at San Jose Public Library. Even cooler is the fact that she graduated with a master in library and information science from the same university I am attending!

Berman’s motto is “The world is my playground and I intend to jump on all the equipment.” I think this motto clearly defines her outlook on work and life in general. She focuses on implementing events and programs that give people technology skills. While I am a big advocate of reading and literacy, I think that the primary role of the library is to provide patrons with information in different forms. When I read that Berman believed in the same notion, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Some of the technology focused events/programs she has done include STEM, Virtual Privacy Lab, and a recording studio in the teen center. Berman also implemented makerspaces in her library, but made sure to survey patrons in order to figure out their technology needs. If you want to learn more about Berman click here to read about this amazing librarian!

Categories: 2016, INFO 233, INFO 233 Sec 10, Library, Personal Learning Network Learning Journal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week 8: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 8


Lately I have been exploring virtual makerspaces that I could tie in with the technology curriculum at the school where I work. The school is a K-12 science and technology charter school here in Colorado. Since this week we are learning about technology trends, I thought it would be fun to try out a new online resource. I decided to explore the “Best Websites for Teaching & Learning” link on this week’s module.

1When I first arrived at the American Association of School Librarians website I clicked on the 2015 recommendations and then “Social Networking & Communication.” After exploring the list of options, I went with the site StoryboardThat. I chose this site for two reasons. The first was because I am the Anime and Manga club sponsor where I work, and clubs at this school are a class once a week during block schedule. I thought that it could potentially make for a fun club activity. The second reason was that I wanted to see if I could use it to create a virtual makerspace for students in the library.

I made an account and decided to try making my own storyboard. I really liked that there were so many creative options to choose from. I was able to choose scenes, characters, textables, shapes and different locations for my story. Everything was drag and drop, which made learning to use the site fairly easy. I could even customize my character’s hair, eyes, and skin color. I have to say after making my own storyboard that I love the site! I can picture setting up Chromebooks in the library for a virtual makerspace activity and/or implementing this in the Anime and Manga club.


I’m excited to show my students this site and I’m pretty sure they will make way better storyboards than the one I did. Here is my storyboard:



Categories: 2016, INFO 233, INFO 233 Sec 10, Personal Learning Network Learning Journal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Week 6: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 6

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connected learningMy emerging trend project is on high school library makerspaces, which means I have been reading about makerspaces for weeks now. With that in mind I feel like makerspaces fit right in with this week’s topics. In lecture and in the readings we learn about connected learning and participatory culture. According to Dr. Harlan (n.d.) connected learning in the library “Connects learning in different contexts through networks, interests, and production” (Online Lecture). While authors Hamilton and Cox (2012) define participatory culture as “Long-term sustained learning experiences that integrate writing, reading, speaking, and listening” (p. 7). The question is how can you incorporate connected learning with a participatory culture in today’s school library? I think the answer is makerspaces, as they allow for student to learn through many different platforms. Makerspaces are defined as “Centers of collaboration, experimentation, critical thinking, engineering, and creation” (Gustafson, 2013, p. 35). There are so many different types of makerspaces out there and many of them can meet common core requirements while engaging students in connected learning.

For example a virtual makersapce can promote literacy, writing, reading, and student collaboration in the library. This meets common core standards and allows for students to expand their knowledge and skills sets in a digital environment. One type of virtual makerspace that you can incorporate in your library is a writing program. This can be done through online communities or websites where students could write book reviews.

Another idea that I just recently learned about from a librarian at a near by charter school is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). NaNoWriMo takes place in November and is a month long initiative that encourages individuals to write 50,000 words. She implements her program in a few different ways. First she encourages students to make an online NaNoWriMo profile, so they connect with their peers online. Students can track what they are writing and collaborate with their peers on the website. Second she works with staff at her school to have library writing workshops in preparation for NaNoWriMo. I advertised for NaNoWriMo at my own high school library this past year, but I didn’t take full advantage of the online writing community. I love how she has created a virtual makerspace for students in the library. Students could use the library computers or bring their own to work. There were teachers there to help them all month long during lunch and recess.

After talking to her I can already envision implementing this program in my own high school library. I think it would be great to make a virtual/temporary makerspace for the month of November. We have Chromebooks that I could set up in one area of the library for students to write on. I loved her idea to include staff in on the project and would definitely do the same!


Gustafson, E. (2013). Meeting needs: Makerspaces and school libraries. School Library

     Monthly, 29(8), 35-36.

Categories: 2016, Personal Learning Network Learning Journal, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Week 5: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 5



I love the reading from Valerie Diggs (2009) on libraries as learning commons. I think that the role of a library is to provide information and that information comes in many different forms. I find that it is hard to sometimes convince others of this notion and I also agree with Dr. Harlan (n.d.) that library stereotypes are “Deep in our cultural consciousness” (Learning Commons Lecture). However, I do think with time that our schools and communities will start to see libraries as more than a book warehouse. It’s why I am constantly pushing for non-stereotypical library events and programs in my own high school library.

2016+Open+Mic+Image+FlyerIn fact this last Friday we held our first ever high school open mic for the students in the library. More and more libraries are starting to implement these types of community events, which is why I wanted to do one in my own library. I think that an open mic night is the type of library event that reflects that the library is a learning commons. The event brought both staff and students into the library to work together. The students were also collaborating for weeks on short stories, poems, and music in the library.

I learned a lot as well from hosting this event. I’d never done an open mic night and found very few articles online about implementing one in a high school library. I did find one article from librarian Cathleen Ash (2014), who wrote a “how-to” guide based off of her own experiences. She described the steps she took towards implementing an open mic night in her high school library. I found it incredibly helpful and used a lot of her suggestions. I’m definitely grateful for the online community of librarians who blog about their events. It expands my own professional learning network when it comes to learning from other librarians. This event also gave me a chance to work with other staff members and students to bring the event in to fruition.

Besides gaining professional development from it, I felt like my students were able to learn from the experience as well (Koechlin, Zwaan, & Loertscher, 2008, p. 10). They had the opportunity to really take ownership of the library and I think that’s what made the event fun and successful. I truly loved seeing the library change from “book storage room” to an interactive learning commons. Since the event I have had more students working in the library, which has inspired me to start working on my next event… a video game evening in the library!

Categories: 2016, Personal Learning Network Learning Journal, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Week 4: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns

INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan

Learning Journal Assignment Week 4

11247_pkg1One of the options for these weekly PLN journal entries is to write about “Leading voices in the field” (Buchanan & Harlan, n.d.). Nancy Pearl, besides having an obviously cool name, is a leading voice in the field of librarianship. She may also be one of only librarians out there that has her own action figure. This isn’t exactly what makes her a leading voice in the field of librarianship, but it is a fun fact. What makes her a leading voice in the field of librarianship is her drive for reading and literacy. Author Kim Rodriguez (2011) believes it is important for all librarians to dream from day one and Pearl has done just that.

Pearl is notably known for her “City-wide book clubs” started in 1998, were she inspired many individuals to join her book club called “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book” (Abe Books). Her goal was to get more people reading and she ultimately succeeded as the program was adopted by other cites. The program was later re-named “One City One Book” (Rodgers, 2002). Pearl’s program since then has grown substantially. There are now instructions for implementing book clubs based off of her initial program. These can be found on the American Library Association website.

Pearl has become so influential in her profession, as a librarian, that companies like now work with her. Individuals can buy her favorite out-of-print book recommendations based off her “Book Lust Rediscoveries series” through The company works with her to re-print books she believes are important and should be universally read. This is no easy feat, as Pearl has had to inspire and convince others to believe in her programs and causes. Her citywide book clubs started as a way to bring awareness and promote reading. Now Pearl’s belief in the importance of reading and her excitement is shared with large-scale companies, such as

Pearl is also an active public speaker and in a simple YouTube search you can find and listen to her talk. I find Pearl to be very inspirational and would recommend that all librarians in training take some time to listen to her speak. Here is a short video from Pearl talking about what drew her to librarianship.


Nancy pearl



Rodriquez, K. (2011). Be the change, live the dream—from day one. In G.K. Dickinson & J. Repman (Eds.), School Library Management. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC.

Rogers, M. (2002, April 1). Libraries offer chapter and verse on citywide book clubs. Library Journal. Retrieved from

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