Michelle Harris
Heyworth CUSD #4
Heyworth, IL
I began my library experience with 8 years as “the Storytime Lady” at the Heyworth Public Library in Heyworth, IL. Realizing that as long as I didn’t have to wear cardigans or sensible shoes librarianship was the career for me, I enrolled at the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Master’s Degree in hand, I landed the position of District Librarian at Heyworth CUSD #4 where I am the sole librarian for both the Elementary and Junior-Senior High Schools. I will begin my fifth year in Fall 2011, teaching students in grades K-6 on a fixed schedule (26 er week) and 7-12 on a flexible, as-needed basis.

Wiki Experience:
I began using wikis in 2008 when I was searching for a new, easier way to maintain my library websites. I was tired of submitting all my changes through the Tech Director every time I wanted to change a comma. A wiki was my answer. Now both my library websites are wikis.

I soon began using wikis in all sorts of ways, both personal and professional. In 2009, I created a wiki unit for my 6th graders in library class. I began experimenting with what kinds of Web 2.0 tools we could use to make our library lessons creative and relevant. I used my library wikis to showcase student work or create online book displays. In Fall 2010, the Junior High added three sections of a "Love of Literature" class to the 8th grade rotation (music-art-reading) and I was asked to co-teach the classes. The other teacher and I decided to base the class on a wiki (much like my 6th grade unit) which would provide a focus for classwork and discussions. Along with the students, we have had a blast trying new tech tools and making changes in the class as we go along. I love, love, love the ease of using wikis and think that they are an awesome way to add a technology component and get collaboration going in a classroom!

Things I love:
  • Books Fiction: Elephant & Piggie (Mo Willems), Time Warp Trio (Jon Sciezska), Neal Shusterman, Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan, and Jane Austen
  • Books Non-Fiction: tech stuff, brain science, anything by Sally Walker, biographies, and movies
  • being the librarian for a wide range of readers
  • the amazing freedom to create my own curriculum
  • tall, decaf mochas
  • tech gadgets...so I can "get my geek on!"
  • high heeled shoes
  • finding a book series that I haven't read, but that is complete
  • Amazon...and Amazon Instant Video
  • sharing ideas that others can adapt and use
  • sunshine
  • wikis