Tag Archives: School Library

Snow Days

And here I am…at home…again. After some lovely freezing rain, we had to cancel school. If I remember correctly, this is our 4th day out so far and we are only at the end of January. This is going to be a short summer, especially since we are going to a balanced calendar.

Let’s get up-to-date with some things that have been happening of late.

1. I received my new budget totals for this calendar year. I have 4 budgets for my library. They include AV Supplies, Books, Library Supplies, and Periodicals. On average, they were cut by 67%. One was completely cut. I have tried looking for grants, but I’m either too late for this year or I don’t fit the qualifications.

2. Our state’s proposed budget will force another big hit to public schools and also to our state library. I will probably take another hit from both sides of the coin.

3. I am at a standstill regarding technology. Between constrictive filter settings and low tech budgets, my poor students are crying foul and the teachers are ready to give up technology.

4. On a positive note, my circulation statististics are holding steady. Kids are reading reading reading. I guess, with this weather, they have had some extra downtime since we don’t have eLearning in our corporation.

5. It’s a busy busy time of year for extracurriculars. Between sporting events, Vocal and Instrumental contests, Speech meets, Homecoming, etc, the students are busy and keeping out of trouble (for the most part).

6. The staff members are supporting each other in great ways. Positive emails, words of encouragement in the hallways, smiles in the midst of long days…I am very blessed to work in this environment.

Onward and Upward!

Currently reading:  Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

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Am I nuts?

It’s the middle of July and suddenly I want school to start. Seriously???

Yep, something must be wrong. Or, is something right? Does that mean I am a truly dedicated civil servant? Do I miss my colleagues and students that much? Or am I so addicted to a routine that I crave a rigid schedule again?

In a way, it’s ‘yes’ to all of the above. I enjoy my job as a public school librarian. I enjoy conversing with adults and pre-adults. I enjoy routines.

Over the past few days my brain has been wrestling with itself. I’ve been thinking about how I will decorate the two showcases outside of the library. Then I think to myself, “Are you nuts? Enjoy the summer. STOP THINKING ABOUT SCHOOL!!!” But a little while later, the showcases pop back into my head. This happens when I’m weeding the garden, cleaning toilets, washing dishes, etc. Maybe these thoughts of school are my inner-child’s way of trying to get out of work at home.

Whatever the case may be, August 12th (Staff Day) quickly approaches. The students will enter our buildings on August 13th with their squeaky new shoes, new school clothes, backpacks filled with new notebooks, pencils, and calculators. I’ve got a couple of carts filled with new books, waiting to see the smiles on their faces.

Yep…I’m looking forward to it.

Currently reading: Clean by Amy Reed

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I have a new job title!

Yeah…go me! My new title is…(drum roll, please)…Manager of Child Play Area.

I’m sure I can come up with something better than that, but I’m too irked to think of it now. Here’s the lowdown. I’ve been working one day per week over the summer (it’s part of my contract). I actually don’t mind it at all since it’s nice and quiet so I can get loads of work accomplished. I’ve been moving books this summer to make room for a couple hundred new books. Imagine my surprise today when I went into my library and found 10-12 bookshelves in major disarray.

Putting my superb CSI skills to good use, I have determined that it was thanks to a child or children of a staff member. Over the summer staff members are, at some points in time, unable to use the computers in their classrooms. They are supposed to use the computers in the library. I’m guessing a staff member was in the library and brought their kids with them. Why do I think it was kids in the shelves?

  • A responsible adult wouldn’t scatter books all over just for the fun of it.
  • A majority of the books scattered were in my easy section…mostly Clifford and Disney books.
  • A page was torn out of a graphic novel…Captain America.
  • Books were shoved from the front to the back of the shelves and turned upside down.
  • The colorful bindings on my Hardy Boys mysteries were an obvious drawing point as several were scattered and piled up in odd places.

While I lack a fingerprint dusting kit, I feel that the above clues would lead me to believe that the dastardly deeds were performed by children. That, in itself, isn’t what bothers me. I have 4 kids. They were young once and managed to get into loads of trouble. What raises my hackles is the lack of adult supervision and the irresponsibility of said adults to leave my library messed up.

I’m not going to try to find the perpetrators. What’s done is done. Some kids were enjoying books. Hey…I should be thrilled! So why was fire spitting out of my eyeballs as I was reorganizing my bookshelves?!

Oh well…as C.S. Lewis said, “Onward and upward.”

Currently reading: Diverse Energies by Tobias and Joe Monti, eds.

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Much to my chagrin, I have come to the realization that I have to move my library…again! I was really hoping that this would be a summer that was free of much physical exertion in my library. Thanks to my corporation, I have a fairly healthy budget and have been able to really beef up my fiction section over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of room. (No, really…it’s a good problem to have.)

My fiction section is outranking my nonfiction section. That seems odd in this day and age of the popular buzzwords “Common Core Standards”. Shouldn’t I be adding to my nonfiction section? Well, I would do that if I knew the books would actually be checked out by teachers and students. But really, the teachers are so busy that they aren’t coming into my library to do research as much as in the past years.

So why have my circulation statistics been going up? It seems that they should be going down. That’s where my fiction section comes in to play. It seems as if the students are being hammered so hard with nonfiction texts in the classroom, they simply need a break from reality. They just want to read for pleasure. How cool is that!!! Research has been done that proves recreational reading increases success in school. (Google Dr. Keith Curry Lance and you’ll see what I mean.) So, I’ll continue to purchase for my patrons.

To the Common Core enthusiasts out there…be not dismayed! I have purchased some nonfiction titles that connect with some research that teachers have been doing with their students. I’m also trying to update popular subjects. (I’m trying hard not to roll my eyes and say, “Duh”.)

So, raise your glass to summer vacation (ice tea, of course). But think of the librarians in your neighborhood who might be sweating and building muscles as they move thousands of books for your kids. Who needs Zumba classes?!

Currently reading: Planesrunner by Ian McDonald

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