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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Tenn-Share Overview

Tennessee librarians joined together in 1992 to establish Tenn-Share. From the website comes their Mission: Tenn-Share believes that all residents of the state of Tennessee should have access to quality information through adequate resources from their libraries. Tenn-Share seeks to make available to all libraries in the state the resources necessary to meet the information needs of their patrons. Tenn-Share will work to make a reality the provision of equal resources for every library in the state.

Tennessee libraries, museums, archives and information agencies–rather than individuals employed by or sharing an interest in these entities–are eligible to become members of Tenn-Share. Currently, over 585 Tennessee libraries, museums, archives and information agencies of all types and sizes belong to Tenn-Share. This includes a huge number of school libraries – including mine.

The 2010 Fall Conference was held on Friday, October 29 at the Nashville Public Library. Anne Beaubien of the University of Michigan was the keynote speaker. The theme was “Smarter, Faster, Cheaper.” Anne shared with us A Manifesto for Resource Sharing that I will be blogging about separately.  The interesting part of Tenn-Share is that there are actually three events simultaneously occurring:

First, the School Library Collection Fair occurs Thursday and Friday for free. Vendors are there to display their wares and help all librarians place orders. This was a big help with the new acquisition software MNPS has (thanks, TLC) and the new bookkeeping systems (EBS). We were able to view new titles, meet old friends, and learn about sweet deals.

Here is a dilemma I faced. One of the vendors was offering a “FREE” iPad if we would order $1500 in books but you had to include their $997.95 new state series in that $1500. I don’t think it is necessarily the best series out there, but it wasn’t terrible. I only have $5100 to spend on books this year for 1000 students and have already set aside $670 for magazines. If I ordered that series and their yummy NBA and NFL series, I would have a free iPad to play with. I do so want an iPad, but ethically, I don’t think it’s the best purchase decision I could make. Drats! Ethics! This hurts. What would you do?

Second, the DATAFEST occurs Thursday, and it’s free, too! I love the opportunity to hear vendors and librarians tell us about new products. There’s always so much to learn. I attended sessions on:

  • BYKI for educators by Recorded Books
  • Freegal by Jim Petersen of Library Ideas (had to miss the Movie Stick presentation, rats!)
  • AASL Planning Guide for Empowering Learners by Chris Hoover of Britannica
  • TEL Training Databases for Gale
  • Gadgets & Gizmos (playing in the sandbox)
  • MyiLibrary Audiobooks by Kay Bowin of Ingram
  • netLibrary by Steve Strother of EBSCO

I missed the session by Tim Byrne of the U.S. Department of Energy on Helping You Find and Use U.S. Government Data Files. Accessing government files and resources for school  libraries & our students is a weakness of mine. I really need assistance here. Can anyone point out some good sources? I’ll be emailing Tim to beg and plead.

Third, the actual TENN-SHARE conference occurs and it only costs $30 which includes breakfast and lunch. There was a keynote address by Anne Beaubien of the University of Michigan. Then various library types dispersed in breakout sessions to address a STAR survey, resource sharing, and the barriers we face to improving sharing. There were additional sessions in the afternoon, but I was mandated to attend training on the new ordering process so had to lose part of the day.

All in all, this was a very productive two days to spend at the Nashville Public Library. The setting is always lovely. I kept  my educators’ library card renewed, saw what’s new, and met with several fun staffers to plan library club field trips where we’ll learn how to use their ebooks.  Since I cannot access their ebooks at school and don’t have enough computers, I think we need a field trip to the public library to learn how to access their additional sources.