December 21, 2015

The Clear Bookbag

Image Courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor
     There is something that a high school teen in a lower economic neighborhood  despises: A clear book bag.

     For some of these neighborhoods, these clear book bags are in response to crime that permeates into high schools and holds them hostage.  Over time, the clear book bags have become  common practice, and are now used in some elementary schools across the city.  Teens have reluctantly accepted this form of adult invasion of privacy.

     For some teens the use of the clear book bags frustrates them because their personal items of value are exposed to all making them a target for theft.  Teens that resale candy, chips and box drinks during school hours are also frustrated because their grocery items are exposed in these bags and often confiscated during the morning x-ray scan.  In a post-Columbine school age, many would argue that this type of added security will provide a safe environment where learning can take place.

Image Courtesy of K.C. Boyd
     Individuality is often times very difficult to celebrate in high school for teens who live in lower income, crime stricken communities.   Teens must adhere to strict policies that dictate the appearance of their uniform, accessories, hair, piercing and the use of the clear book bag.  There are some teens that have embraced this practice as so much that they decorate their book bags with markers, stickers and other symbols that celebrate their individuality.

     Another group of students who display a creative form of teen expression are those teens who enjoy reading Street Literature books.  Also known as Urban Fiction, these soft covered books with their undaunted hip hop inspired titles and eye catching cover art are easily identifiable.  Students enjoy placing the current book that they are reading in the back of the book bag so that it can been seen by others while they are walking down the hallway.  One may observe that this type of display as a walking advertisement, for teens it’s an outward expression of what they feel is hip to read.  Generation Z teens living in economically challenged neighborhoods have found direction, solace and pleasure reading through this often overlooked and misunderstood genre called Street Lit.

October 3, 2015

An Honor

This is truly an honor.  I'm featured in the September/October issue of American Libraries!


July 7, 2015

ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco

The Golden Gate Bridge
My view

I attended the American Library Association's Annual Conference in San Francisco. The trip was wonderful! I had the opportunity to meet a couple of authors that I have been wanting to meet for years. In addition, I participated on a very insightful panel discussion about PH.d candidates of color. The exhibit hall this year was so engaging and I purchased so many things. Here's a couple of pictures from the trip with captions. Enjoy!
One of the coolest displays on the exhibit floor
Jacqueline Woodson!
Christopher Myers
Nancy Pelosi!
So serene and quiet before the madness begins
The famous Lombard Street


ALA President, Courtney Young

My first ever panel selfie!

Pride parade #LoveWins


April 27, 2015

School Library Month, 2015

School Library Month has been so much fun.  I participated in a number of online forums, meetings, training sessions and of course Twitter hangouts.  All in all, it was great.  Here's a video my Behind the Paws and Anime/Manga Club made celebrating this special month.


#PhillipsDecisionDay 2015
Friday, May 1st
Phillips Auditorium
Will you be there?

Getting Ready!

Getting ready for our upcoming #PhillipsDecisionDay Assembly.  Here's a promo video featuring just some of our many scholarship winners.  Enjoy!

CPS Tech Talk, 2015

Chicago Public School's 'TECH TALK 2015'
Everyday Innovation:
Integrating Technology in the Classroom and Beyond

I had the wonderful opportunity to give a presentation on the use of social media in the classroom.  Check out the many wonderful presentations here:

Members of the Behind the Paws Crew attended the CPS Tech Talk Conference!    
The students...
- Shot an interview with Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871 Chicago
- Shot video that appears in the latest episode of Behind the Paws
      -    Attended technology sessions
- Ready to apply what they have learned from this exciting day!

Here's the latest episode of Behind the Paws!

Busy At Work

My Phillips Anime/Manga Club is busy at work on their next project.

Cute Shirt

I'm SO in love with this shirt I purchased off of!

Sometimes I Have to Indulge

Whenever I get a little down time, I read.  Lately I've been drawn to the drama in the teen series called, "Rumor Central," by Reshonda Tate Billingsley.   There is so much drama in these books for teens and I must admit, I'm hooked!

A Taste of Spring!

We failed at origami but excelled in color!

My circ desk
A little bit of spring on my circ desk.

March 31, 2015

New Faces, New Episode!

After a long absence, the Phillips 'Behind the Paws' crew has produced a new episode.

  • New Faces
  • New Music
  • New Animation
  • New Bloopers
Special thanks to Mrs. Kaushal for being so flexible during her interview!


March 17, 2015

Treated as a Professional

I'll just let this hang here.

March 16, 2015

School Library Month

School Library Month Is Right Around the Corner....
How Will You and Your Students Celebrate?

Cool Library Quote

'When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.'
                                                                                                 Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones

March 15, 2015

Inspirational Memes

Here's a couple of my fav inspirational memes.  Enjoy!


My Busy Week!

Last week was so busy!  Here's a day by day breakdown:

Sunday:  Reflection
Still overcome with emotion after watching the #Selma50 celebrations on C-Span

I snapped this picture when I was getting my locs maintained.  #SoInspiring

Monday:  Wake Up!
The big reveal took place:  I was named a 2015 Library Journal 'Mover and Shaker.'  Huge honor!

Updating the Phillips Twitter page, listening to Bob and drinking coffee

Anime/Manga Club Meeting:  The students are working on their next project, and I'm the subject!!!

Yup, they are up to something!

Selfie Tuesday!  
Here's a couple of pictures

I found my glasses, Tuesday is a good day!

My students just love coming into my personal space.

Fortee' is way to comfortable on top of my library table!!!

Good news and tears

I received some really good news from CPS.  Stay tuned!

When these kids graduate in June, I'm going to lose it.  #EmptyNester

Technology Thursday 
So happy to see my Techie Girl Rebekah today!

Friday, March 13th is National Digital Learning Day!  See Phillips video below!