Ukuleles in the library. That's music to my ears! One of my major goals this year is to begin a Donor's Choose project to fund ukuleles for my library. I've played classical and electric guitar since I was a kid so learning ukulele was a fun and unique challenge. I was trying to figure out how to incorporate my love for music, but make it fun and easy to attract patrons of all ages. Last year I went on a trip to Hawaii with my family and came across a ukulele store and I knew that's what was missing in my life! Upon careful selection I chose my uke. I named her Makai and have learned and created countless songs on that beauty. Although, at the time, playing was solely for my pure amusement, a major life event has spurred my interest in learning more songs for children. With that also came the idea and possibilities of creating fun ukulele programming for my library. However, how do I even begin? Well, I began with asking questions and reaching out to librarians via social media. I've slowly compiled some resources on a Wakelet collection and continue to add as I come across fun resources. In this collection you'll find my posts about my ukulele in libraries inquiry and librarian responses about the topic. In addition, you'll find links to different social media groups and people to follow, articles about the benefits of ukulele programming, beginner guides, and simple songs to get you started. I hope to add more to this collection and can't wait to see how this resource collection grows! If you have any additional resources you'd like to add to this collection, or any additional suggestions, feel free to comment on my block or reach out to me via social media! Until then, happy strumming!
Trouble viewing the collection? Click here!
Were you ISTE or ALA left behind this year? Me too. I relied on Twitter and conference hashtags to catch me up to speed on the latest tech featured at this year's conferences. One of the things that I found really interesting was the free content curation and collection site called Wakelet. I had heard about the resource before, but never really sat down to tinker with all its features. Since it's summer, I seized the opportunity to set aside some time and explore the site. My review? I'm officially addicted to Wakelet. I wish I had used this a lot sooner! Creating an account is absolutely free and the platform use is so accessible and easy to use. My main concern with any new digital tool is ease of use and accessibility. Will I use it at least weekly? What can my staff get out of it? Is it simple enough to introduce to my students and keep them engaged? Can I link my standards and comply with student privacy policies? The answers to all those questions were a resounding YES. I can now help my teachers create their own collections to aid in their content planning, assist my students in collecting resources for their research projects, and use this to create library resource collections for my staff and students. The sky is the limit!
The great thing is that when creating a collection, you can add just about any resource. I'd start with picking a specific topic of focus and then adding resources that relate to that topic. You can add links, videos, tweets, bookmarks, images, PDFs, and even upload items from your Google Drive. It also has neat design features such as the ability to create a cover image to your collection. You can do this by selecting images from Wakelet's image library or you can create your own (I LOVE using Canva for this!) and upload the image. If you decide to create your own cover images like I did, the image dimensions are 800x600. You can find the dimension sizes for your avatar, profile header, cover image, and backgrounds here. When you decide to share your collection, Wakelet gives you several options such as linking, embedding, and how you want to display your collections such as in a list, slideshow, etc.
I created some collections to collect artifacts that showcase my work as a librarian and resources that showcase my library's programming and activities. Check out my collections below and take advantage of creating a free account! If you have trouble seeing the Wakelet on a mobile device, try accessing the link here.
Karina Quilantan-Garza (aka Q./Cue) is a middle school library media specialist in the Rio Grande Valley. She is an award winning blogger, social media enthusiast, book reviewer, and technology lover.