On October 27th, BELS held its first annual meeting and training session at the beautiful and well-appointed Bergen Community College Conference Center. The session was co-hosted by Dean David Marks and the Sidney Silverman Library who take a vested effort in bringing professional development opportunities to media specialists and in bridging the gap between primary and secondary library educators and academic librarians.
The morning began with a BELS business meeting where we discussed research database subscriptions and trials, the new BELS bookclub, expansion of our Mobile MakerKits, author visit programming, and other areas in BELS project development. The next portion of our session included Follett Destiny training and focused on the new Google Sign On functionality, the Destiny search extension for Chrome browsers, and the updated Destiny Discover platform.
Katie Nellen, from Park Ridge Jr/Sr HS gave an overview of Battle of the Books and supplied helpful tips to those interested in getting started.
The educators from Eduscape Learning joined us for the second part of our day. Alex Urrea, the Eduscape Director, began his session with a dialog about Digital Citizenship – what it means to be a conscientious user of social media and how we, as librarians, must take a leadership role in bringing awareness to our students. Alex’s presentation on MakerSpaces challenged us to think beyond filling our spaces with all the new ‘toys’ and really work to have a guided vision for our student Maker projects. Josh Kaplan rounded out the day with Google training, conveying the importance of storing files in a cloud and how helpful collaboration tools can be when using Google Drive. Participants got a quick review of some helpful research tools in Google Docs and the functionality of Google Classroom.
BELS members found the day inspiring and informative and we are looking forward to the next BELS training sessions.