I am honored to have served as the President of the Tennessee Association of School Librarians for 2016. Doing so has provided opportunities to travel to state and national conferences, meet the giants of the library world (Joyce Valenza, Shannon Miller, Mr. Schu, etc.), and connect with some of our favorite authors! At this year’s TASL Conference in Murfreesboro, I met and/or reconnected with some of the coolest people. Here they are…
Aaron Reynolds, author of Creepy Carrots and so much more… Before publishing his 36 books, he received 370 rejection letters. Thank you for not giving up!
Alan Gratz, VSBA Award Winner for Prisoner-B-3087 and a native Tennessean.
Author M. Tara Crowl, author of Eden’s Wish and Eden’s Escape . Tara is also a Murfreesboro, TN native, and the sweetest soul you will ever meet! I’d like to say we are friends now.
Ruta Sepetys, VSBA winner for Between Shades of Gray. Her other books include Out of the Easy and Salt to the Sea. I will read every book she ever writes! Did I mention she lives in Tennessee as well?
Librarian Shannon McClintock Miller, former librarian at the VanMeter School in VanMeter, Iowa. What an inspiration to let our students have a voice.
The other COOL people I met included the Tiny Little Librarian Tiffany Whitehead, author Jessica Young, author S.R. Johannes, and librarian Elissa Malespina.
I wish I could have had each of you with meet to meet these amazing people of our literary and library worlds!
CCHS Spanish I Students participated in Day of the Dead Learning Stations on October 31 and November 1 at CavLibrary. Students rotated through 4 stations exploring different culturally significant practices associated with this celebration.
Seventy Crockett County High School students attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the CavLibrary Makerspace on September 14, 2016. After weeks of anticipation about the new creative space, CavLibrary was literally buzzing with excitement. All 70 students participated in the ribbon cutting with the chant of “1-2-3-Make!” and then were ushered into the Makerspace by CCHS Librarian Mindy Nichols. Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. In libraries they often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and more. The CavLibrary Makerspace provides students with 3D printing, Snap Circuits, Makey Makey, Legos, K’Nex, Suspends, Arts & Crafts, Puzzles, Games, a Lego Wall, and a Green Screen.
When CCHS librarian Mindy Nichols approached Principal Jared Foust last winter about transforming CavLibrary into a more flexible and personalized learning environment, which included some updates to the main library space as well as the repurposing of a small, rarely used computer lab into a student Makerspace, he listened intently and embraced the idea. “I am forever grateful to Mr. Foust for trusting me enough to give me the go-ahead on a project he knew very little about. When I explained the concept and how it would provide a unique and creative learning environment for the students at CCHS, he was on board. From there, he searched for resources and funds to provide a great deal of the supplies in our Makerspace today,” says Nichols.
“While our Makerspace is considered low-tech starting out, I’m excited to see where the interests of our students will lead us over the next few months and years. If their level of excitement seen today holds steady, CCHS will have hallways full of makers ready to go out into colleges, universities, and workplaces prepared to think, invent, and create, “shared Nichols.
Students will be able to utilize the Makerspace in “Open Make” times each Friday during U Time and each Monday during lunch for “Maker Monday.” Students will be allowed to explore the different materials and technology available in the space and create freely, or Nichols also plans to form a working student committee to create organized monthly STEM challenges as well. In addition to personal exploration and usage, the Makerspace will also be utilized instructionally for classes to create models and objects in their discipline of study.
“This is an exciting day for our students, school, and community,” said Nichols, “and it wouldn’t have been possible without the donations, ideas, and hard work of so many people.” In addition to Principal Foust, Mrs. Nichols would also like to thank Mr. Michael Manness, Mr. Keith Eason, Mr. Bobby Mullins, Mr. P.A. Pratt, Mr. Wayne Carroll, Mr. Rusty McKnight, Mrs. Kristi Watson, Mr. Brian Faught, the CCHS Maintenance Staff, CCHS Faculty & Staff, CCHS Construction & Metals Classes, FCCLA Officers, Library Aides, Mrs. Charlie Moore, and Evergreeen Recyclers.
If you or your business would like to partner with CavLibrary to grow their Makerspace by donating supplies, funds, or pertinent services, please contact Mindy Nichols @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow CavLibrary’s Maker Movement on Twitter @cavlibrary, on Instagram @cav.library, and on the Crockett County High School Facebook page.
My Cavaliers never cease to amaze me; they have embraced every aspect of our improved creative space. Just look at them thinking, creating, inventing, and having tons of fun! I’m excited to open our maker room for them next week!
September Lego Challenge: Build your college logo or mascot. Our CavLibrary Lego Wall is looking awesome! Come in and build; show us your plan. No Excuses University @ CCHS!