About the Mighty Little Librarian

Tiffany Whitehead, aka the Mighty Little Librarian, is an obsessive reader, social media user, and technology geek. She is the Director of Library at Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Tiff earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and School Library Certification from Southeastern Louisiana University and her graduate degree in Educational Technology Leadership from Northwestern State University. She has served as the President for ISTE’s Librarians Network and was recognized as one of ISTE’s 2014 Emerging Leaders. Tiffany is National Board Certified in Library Media and was named one of the 2014 Library Journal Movers & Shakers.

You can follow Tiff on Twitter @librarian_tiff.

Click here to view Tiffany’s work experience, presentations, etc.

The thoughts, opinions, and ideas shared on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of anyone other than myself, nor are they endorsed by anyone other than myself.

35 Responses to About the Mighty Little Librarian

  1. Saundra J. Martin says:

    Hi Tiffany!

    I am Saundra Martin, middle school librarian in Caddo Parish. I attended the workshop you presented at Midwinter Conference in Alexandria. You showed us a list of resources we can use in the classroom and one that I was particularly interested in was the link that we could use to either download materials on social and ethical issues in using the computer. You said that there were an abundance of activities/lessons available but I can’t remember the site and how to get to it. Please help!!!
    Thanks!

  2. debbie says:

    Hi, Tiff.
    I am inspired by your website. However, although I have been working on one for my school for several months now, I keep running into brick walls.
    1) I am unable to put things where I want them on my wiki. I have managed to put in tables which has helped some, but tables, text, images etc. do not want to move to the spot whrere I would like them. Also, I am not able to hide the borders of my tables.
    2) Another problem is incorporating images. They never seem to reduce to a workable size. S, M, L, & original are not enough resizing options. ( I am currently using PNG files, but have tried JPEG as well.)
    Questions:
    *Do you have any suggestions, videos, websites, etc. that might help me get to the next level? (I have watched several on Youtube.).
    *Is the bottom line that you know HTML and I need to learn it (or grow another brain) in order to go beyond the basics?
    *What is the name of the website(s) where you create all the cute effects & cartoon-like images?
    Obviously I am desperate because I am making such a public display of my ignorance.
    Thanks for any help you might be able to give me.
    DK
    1) I have watched several how-to videos to no avail. Question: Do I need to learn HTML to be able to do what you have done? (I have been experimenting with Wikispaces and Google sites.)

  3. Daniel Goodyear says:

    Hi,

    I worked closely with the ALA and IMLS to create this infographic about “Why support your local library?” We are using this to drum up support for volunteers, donations and legislative actions.

    Here is the infographic: http://www.statestats.org/support-your-local-library/

    I thought you would find it interesting and figured you might be able to help support the library community. I’m happy to share the graphic and it would be fantastic if you could share it on your site. It’s easy to add and there are instructions at the top of the page. Also, feel free to share it with others through email/facebook/twitter, etc.

    Thanks for the support. We are trying to make September a huge month for library donations!

    Dan
    Statestats.org

  4. Wendy Smith says:

    HI! I am a middle school librarian at Brooklyn Middle School in Brooklyn, Ohio. I was wondering if you know of any free online publishing program. I have a teacher who wants to start up a mini school newspaper but wants it to be online. Any ideas? Thanks. I really loved the word cloud idea.

  5. Tammy White says:

    Do you have a reward program for your AR program? What kind of activities do you have the students do while in the library. Several years ago, I set up library centers for my students. So each week when they came in they had a chart they followed and went to the center for the week. I have been out of the loop for about 5 years. I am now long term subing in the library. So I am looking for new ideas. Thanks for your help.
    Tammy

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  7. Chersti Thomack says:

    I am trying to switch over my google reader to my yahoo. When I put in your (and others) url it says “Please enter a valid url” Is that because you and the others don’t have something on your side, or am I doing something wrong?

    • librariantiff says:

      Good question, Chersti. I’m still pretending that Google Reader isn’t going away, so I haven’t even started dealing with this issue yet… 🙁

  8. kerri.kalbfleisch says:

    Good Morning! I am an elementary librarian and have been enjoying your blog for quite some time, especially recommendations on technology. Last year I started using a green screen and I see that you have one and that you are using JayCut as your software. However, I see that website is closed down. I use Sony Vegas but am trying to find software that is easier to chromakey. May I ask, what software you are using now??? (we do not have Mac computers).
    Thank you!

    • librariantiff says:

      I was so disappointed when JayCut closed down their site. I have not found anything to replace it at this point other than iMovie, unfortunately. Sorry I’m not of more help!

    • Susan Dubnik says:

      I have been using Power Director with our green screen. It is a subscription and It’s not terribly expensive (around $100 per year).

  9. Christina Knight says:

    I am considering changed the shelving of our fiction books to shelving by genre as you did. I am trying to find a “list” of everything that needs to be done to accomplish this successfully. Is there any information anywhere that will help me through the process? I am particularly curious about the changes that need to be made to the catalog. I am thinking that we can leave the call labels as they are (ex. F SPA), put colored stickers on the spine to identify which genre they should be shelved in, but do I identify the genre within the catalog? Any other considerations? Yikes! I’m excited, but trying to be cautious. Thanks.

  10. Kimberley Law says:

    Hello Tiffany
    We are a small village primary school, based in Yorkshire, England. We are re-launching our tiny library this week and wondered if you had any tips or suggestions to help re-engage our students with the wonderful world of books.
    Would you be interested in twinning your school library with ours? I’m know that our children would be interested in life, books & language in the USA and maybe your students would like to know what’s good to read in the UK.
    As a regular visitor to Florida, my case is often packed with fabulous books that just aren’t easily available here, and I’m certain that this is the case with English publications in the USA. I’m sure that you appreciate that the possible areas of interest are endless.
    I would delighted it if you could drop me a line. Any help that you can offer will be gratefully received (and digested with a cup of tea and hob nob).
    With kindest regards from a typically wet Yorkshire, England.

  11. Sandy Bradley says:

    Hello Tiff,

    As a former teacher and retired librarian, I was interested in your educator/librarian blog. I think your concept for genrefication of books is great – particularly how it connects with the middle school students. I am a collector of librarian stories and am always looking for new ones, if you care to share any.

    Sandy B

  12. Mike Larson says:

    Howdy, Tiffany,

    I’m a middle school ‘guybrarian’ here in Texas. I love your ‘March Madness’ idea and will share your blog site with my colleagues.

    What I’m really looking for are solid leads for obtaining free and interesting bookmarks. As you probably see for yourself, middle schoolers LOVE cool bookmarks.

    Regards,

    Mike

  13. Wendy says:

    Can you please recommend one or more of your favorite books for a 7th & 8th grade mother-daughter book club? Thank you!

  14. Ashley says:

    Hi Tiffany!

    I am a voracious reader who is trying to get my child’s elementary school to implement an One School, One Book program this year. Using the book “Wonder” for grades 3-5 and “Hooray for Wodney Wat” for K-2. To be honest, I was super excited when I pitched the idea (I have lots of thoughts and ideas), but now that I have been the go-ahead to move forward, I am beginning to question whether or not I have any idea what I am actually doing. I saw your blog post about Wonder and was hoping you could offer some suggestions, tips, what-works-what-doesn’t insight. Any feedback you could provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much and I LOVE your blog!
    Ashley

  15. Marion says:

    Hi Tiffany,
    I am really impressed with your blog and images. Could you please advise how you made your genrification posters for your library? i.e. software used, etc. I’d like to make my own. Thank you.

  16. Lauren Hernandez says:

    Hi Tiff!

    Saw you @ FAME this week and just placed my first (of many I’m sure) order with Demco. Here’s to Ditching Dewey!

    (pray for my assistant. he is NOT as excited as I am about this project!)

    • librariantiff says:

      I’m so excited that you’re ordering supplies and starting the process!! Let me know if you have any questions along the way! Hopefully your assistant will be on board after he starts to see it in action 🙂

  17. Kerri Geppert says:

    I was inspired by the presentation you did a year ago at AASL and over the summer I completely reorganized the fiction collection here at Central Middle School in Anchorage. I guess I started something because at least three other secondary librarians in our district have started this process. It has been so encouraging to see how our students have responded. Circulation is up 150% from this time last year, the library feel friendlier and kids are finding “new” books and asking for more. Thank you for leading the charge and sharing so generously of your resources!

    • librariantiff says:

      Wow, Kerri…that’s so great to hear!! Years later, I still love it and know it’s one of the best things I could have possibly done to boost reading at our school. It really helps students discover their interests and find books that they really enjoy. I’m so glad you’re happy with the change and inspiring others to do the same!

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Hello I was wondering if you would be able to give me some advice? Is there a direct email I could email you at?
    Thank You

  19. Jeri Carroll says:

    Hi Tiff,
    I am the librarian at St. Joseph School in Ponchatoula. I heard John Cavalier speak at our CSLA meeting yesterday about his company and their book fairs. I am seriously considering using CHB for our next fair. I have heard that y’all use this company for yours. Can you e-mail me, and let me know how you feel about the services that this company provides?
    I would really appreciate it, and I love your blog!
    Jeri

  20. Katie says:

    Hi Tiff,
    I am a permanent substitute for a small school district in central Texas. I have decided to go back to school to become a librarian. I understand that it does not matter what I get as my undergraduate degree. I was thinking of Web Design because of all the work I see our librarians doing with the computers at our schools. I am not sure if this is the right direction but I do want to be able to teach our students to use all the amazing technology that is available. Do you think this is a good idea or do you have any suggestions. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer this.
    Thanks
    Katie

    • librariantiff says:

      I often think that I would benefit greatly from a degree in marketing…but having a degree in teaching is definitely the most useful option when working in a school library. Now, if you plan to work in a public or academic library, you would probably want to go in a different direction. I actually got my teaching degree along with my school library certification in my undergrad program (in Louisiana, you don’t have to have a masters in library science). I ended up getting my masters in Educational Technology Leadership because of that. Hope this helps a little! Best wishes to you as you decide what to do!

  21. Katie says:

    Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to answer me. I am having so much fun reading your blog.
    Katie

  22. Kate Cretella says:

    Tiff,

    I am the only certified librarian in our 7 building district. I travel between the two middle schools and the high school. It has been very difficult getting any kind of true program built. Due to funding I have a full time aide at the HS and a full time aide at the middle schools. She works my opposite schedule and therefore the middle school libraries are closed twice a week 🙁 Two things, I’m considering self checkout….and I want to start learning centers in the middle school libraries. I do see each 5th grade class every two weeks. The other classes just check out with the aide. I am planning 6 centers, one for sure will be an iPad center, and one will be a silent reading center. Thoughts for which centers would be best to start with for the other 5? Thank you!

    • librariantiff says:

      What about some makerspace centers? Snap Circuits and Sphero are favorites of my students. I was able to purchase all of our makerspace tools with a Donors Choose grant.

  23. Bridget says:

    Hi there! I loved the Battle of the Books idea and started implementing at my school this past November. I host one, non-mandatory meeting a month in preparation for the battle this June. So far, I have had the teams watch the book trailers and decide on what books they are reading. Do you have any suggestions for what else I could do at our meetings?

    Thanks for all of the great ideas!!
    Bridget

  24. Debbig Wittig says:

    I participated in the webinar on ditching Dewey. I am so stoked to genrify my school library next summer. I have a question about weeding out the non fiction. What are your qualifications for keeping/throwing out a book? I guess the same question stands for fiction. I can’t go by usage because our library wasn’t used very much by upper grades; I’m hoping this genrification will help that.

    • librariantiff says:

      Generally, if it hasn’t been touched in 5-7 years, I weed it. If I think it has a good chance of being checked out when traffic/circulation increases, I give it a year or two more.

  25. Mark says:

    HI Tiffany, I have something that I think will get reluctant readers to read and fearful writers to write. It’s all free for everyone, no strings, no restrictions.

    I’m Mark Cheverton, a New York Times Bestselling author of Minecraft Novels. I’ve written 15 novels so far. They’ve been published in 23 countries, translated into 14 languages, and there are over a million copies in print. I can easily be found on Amazon or google.
    One of the interesting outcomes from writing all of these novels is that they have encouraged reluctant readers to read, and fearful readers to write. As a past educator, I want to take advantage of this by getting more kids to read and write. I’ve put together some materials for elementary and middle school teachers, describing some of the things I’ve learned after publishing all these books, but distilling the learnings down bite sized pieces for kids.
    For reading – I’ve written three short stories, set in the world of Minecraft, for kids. These are free PDF, but can also be found on smashwords.com, lulu.com. kobo.com, iTunes.com, barnesandnobel.com, not Amazon (they don’t like things that are free).These stories can also be downloaded from my website, http://markcheverton.com/resources-for-teachers/.
    For Writing – I’ve also put video tutorials here: http://markcheverton.com/resources-for-teachers/, that explain different elements of a story, like character development, plot construction, setting, . . . I’ll be adding more soon. There is a set of worksheets for students, so they can create an outline for their own story, and over the past few years, I’ve received hundreds of stories from kids. You can see them here: http://markcheverton.com/blog/. I’ve even had a couple of kids self-publish their own stories . . . what a victory!
    All of this is free for teachers to use, in hope that we can encourage more kids to write, and maybe we can inspire a new generation of writers.

    If you think these materials are valuable, I would love your help disseminating this through the educational community. I’ve been out of the classroom for about 15 years, and have just left my job as a research physicist to be a full time author. I really want to see students’ writing to flourish and would love any help you can offer.
    I’d be happy to send you bookmarks for all your students, showing the covers of my novels; they are a prized possession in the Minecraft community.

    Mark Cheverton

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