The idea for holding a library petting zoo came from Tiffany Whitehead of Mighty Little Librarian. Her site is full of great ideas for teacher librarians and I recommend visiting it.
What’s a technology petting zoo? It’s a chance for staff to come explore different technology in a less stressful environment. For my first one, I wanted to expose some of the technology devices the library has available for checkout to the classrooms that could be used for student projects, small groups, interventions and more. I decided to showcase the Nook Colors the library purchased this fall in addition to the Flip cameras, voice recorders and Playaways we received at the end of last school year.
Using the Comic Life app, I created some comics explaining each device. I will definitely use Comic Life again in the future. My comics aren’t perfect, but they did get the point across. They are also something I can put on the school website or the library wiki so there are resources for people who weren’t able to attend.
I held my technology petting zoo after school. Next time, I think I would like to offer it throughout the day, starting before school. That way it may be easier for people to stop by for a little bit. I was still pleased that seven of the teachers came through to look at the devices and brainstorm how they could use them. I’m considering using the technology petting zoo every month or every other month in the future. Next time, I would like to feature a few different websites teachers could use for projects.
I also used the technology petting zoo as an opportunity to put out some of what is being weeded from the professional collection in case any of the items are used regularly and were not showing up correctly in our catalog. There’s still a lot of work to be done in that area.