Silver Sparkles, Coffee, Creativity, Journal, Journey

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This week included conferences with 24 sets of parents,  a little visit with Hope, and the exploration the Library Journal website. Following the twenty-fourth conference and a beautiful four-hour drive through colorful midwest, all Murk students settled down to a Lemonjellos coffee, opened laptops, and focused attention to course materials. It goes without saying that I am not the typical Hope College student. Clearly from the, what I refer to as “silver sparkles,” distributed among my once dark-chocolate mane, I am decades older that most patrons and students here. I enjoyed observing the comings and goings of young adults and occasionally found myself almost eaves-dropping. Such life and excitement surrounded me. I appreciate the moments of learning differently than I did the 20-some years ago that I entered the Hawkeye arena. Eventually, on that Friday, I focused and began my homework.IMG_0018

Upon opening Library Journal, I noticed the adult-like text and articles. Library Journal presents several well-summarized articles regarding the experts in library systems around our nation. Most of the topics were not of my interest level as most were directed towards actual public libraries, instead of school libraries. I often refer to myself and my mentality as being somewhere between second and fifth grade. Attracted to articles regarding children, reading, and learning, this website challenged my attention.

However, I did catch a glimpse of Steven Bell’s article, Seeing more Gray in the College Classroom  Expecting to read about the lacking of “black and white” opinions, laws, rules, and standards or the recent hot titles including the Shades of Gray, Bell surprised me with his choice topic. His research shows a recent decline in the traditional 18-22 population found at universities. According to Bell, there is an increase in senior citizens returning to the learning environment and pursuing dreams of degrees and knowledge. I am not a senior citizen, but reading this article, tapping my “silver sparkles,” and sipping coffee at Lemonjellos rang a little connection bell close to home. He contends that the search for knowledge, career change, and experience motivates different age groups and that librarians and higher education should welcome this group of learners to the podium. With wisdom, character, confidence, and life-experiences, I believe that the intellect of the senior citizen improves the viability of universities in several ways. In addition, I profusely agree and believe that locating active, life-long learners could potentially improve a school library system.

Bell’s article drew me a farther into The Library Journal, regardless of the focus on public libraries and the developing changes of libraries in the digital age. Gary Price directs readers to the architecture and design of libraries in this changing world. Following his links, readers are invited to a conversation with the architect of Halifax Central Library as well as a virtual tour of the Halifax Central Library, part 1 and 2! Halifax markets and publicizes its phenomenal attention to the digital age embellishments in their library.


Feeling as though I had traveled in time and space, I decided to meet the people associated to digital changes and growth in libraries, the Movers and the Shakers.

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These talented individuals incorporate their skills and knowledge to enhance local and national libraries. Ironically, but not surprising, I found Shannon McClintock Miller who I had previously mentioned in posts. Several links to her visions and successes, motivate me to consider how I want to impact my school through librarianship. Her dedication to her Iowan school library encourages other school librarians and technology experts across districts and states. Following The Digital Shift, the reader learns of tools like the 3-D copier and the Rainbow Loom banding together to make an incredible difference!

Encouraged, motivated, and still admiring the surrounding students, I considered my future. My silver sparkles continue increasing as we sip our coffee and indulge in gluten-free, organic baked goods. Aware of the digital changes and the future of information mediums, I acknowledge that this resource, The Library Journal, captured my attention and I grew through the navigating of it.  Perhaps, this tool isn’t to be used as a reference for children’s literature or school library practices, but a purposeful apparatus in that challenging the mind promotes growth and creativity. As I close, my mind busy with wonderings, desires, and speculations of the journey still ahead.



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