The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Monday, December 15, 2008

S'no'w School

All this week has been canceled by snow. What do librarians do on their days off? I read! During our three weeks off I finished The Shadow of the Wind, The Humming of Numbers, Walking on Water, The Clown of God, The Gift of the Magi, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Star Bright!, and am working on Inkheart. School starts back January 5th.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Orchestra Winter Concert

December 12th: CIS advisory is today and I play hostess to the sophomore class. The computers are really quick today and they get a lot of work done, personal information, their course planner and the 'My Plan' segment are all covered by most of them. I also let them know that they should feel welcome to come by during lunch or after school to complete any sections and I'm available to help out with any segment. After that, I play Dave Koz's Smooth Jazz Christmas CD. Lots of students coming by and asking for: money to put into print accounts, why isn't my computer letting me log on, what is my login number, how do you get it to print color pages, I need this book. One student was looking for Anne Rice and I showed him on the library search computer how he can look her up, see that we have two copies of the book he wanted and they are both checked out. Worked some more on inventory and finished the day working on repairs. I went back to the Precalculus books and pulled out books that need page tipping and other repairs that were checked in. Mr. S also comes by to let me know that he is bringing classes up on Monday for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight so I get those ready to go. I come back tonight and attend the Orchestra Winter Concert. The combined orchestra did a piece called 'Fantasy Echo' where some of them were on the stage, and the other section was in the aisle between the two seating areas. I've never seen that before! The Camerata was superb and so very talented, and many of the kids in orchestra not only have class, but come in before school for early bird classes. Wonderful committed addition to the many talented students here at Sprague.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

AutoCAD and its Applications

Today I worked with Mr. M and his list of classroom sets. He indicated two sets of books he no longer uses and so I had my aide go down with a cart in the elevator and pick them up. I checked the the first set in, and found two that were no longer on the list, and used them in place of some missing texts. He had also mixed in some newer texts that I put aside until I could talk with him later. The other texts weren't even in our system any longer, so I packed them away as well. I sent him an email, and he had an aide come by and pick up the newer texts. Worked some more on inventory and making lists, checking them twice - gonna find out who's really on the shelf and who isn't. Processed a couple of magazines. Checked with our bookkeeper about a text that was on the shelf but billed to a student in 2003. Checked on the repairs I did last week and got a few more books back on the shelves. Played George Winston's December album today from our CD collection.


December 10th: Busy day. Some of the stacks of books heading for surplus are teetering about, so I spent a lot of the day repacking the boxes. They will hopefully be all gone by the time we get back from winter break. Most of the repacking were boxes that were done in teacher rooms as they did some cleaning out, but it was becoming a hazard. Just the right shove going by and some of the boxes may have fallen over - not a good situation. I also dug back into the old Russian texts that had been left and then covered up with other boxes to make sure they were packed correctly and ready to be picked up as well. Two boxes were not acceptable, and I repacked them into about four boxes! Boxes are not supposed to weigh over 50 pounds, so I try to be careful with the weight. For some reason, a Permabound box was all taped and sitting on top of the pile, and just because it was tugging at the old intuition, I decided to open it and found seven Calculus books! All checked in and all in good shape except for one. How in the world did they get there instead of on the shelf? They're where they should be now! I also worked on inventory with our novels, and checked out Merchant of Venice, Fahrenheit 451, Old Man and the Sea, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Journal of Finn Reardon and some Lord of the Flies. Came back to school at 7:30 for the English/ASL/German Concert. A lot of good laughs and some amazing student talent with lots of singing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rotary Lunch

Started today walking out with Mr. S to see a book in a car illegally parked, they needed to know whose book it was. A title, a number from the book and we get a name. I played our Winter Solstice CD today, one of our teachers walked by in the hall saying how nice it was and they were looking for some quiet music for the holidays and might get some by that label. Processed in a lot of magazines. We're getting lots of 2009 issues now, new dark blue strips for the spines. I had my aide clean up the spinner rack. Had all the aides clean tables before the lunch and one also did some major cleaning in the back from the painting days. The Rotary Club came in and had lunch delivered by Oly catering. There was enough left over that they offered us some leftovers for our lunch! Pasta with chicken and broccoli, Caesar salad, bread and some pie for dessert. That was a special treat. We also got to hear the acapella choir sing and that was even a better treat! Very nice! The library was closed from 11:30 to 1:00. I worked mostly in the back room while they were there. Worked on some more book repairs, checked out a class set of Fahrenheit 451. Got together another class set of those and of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Some individual students came in looking for things. Ran the front desk after Ms. J left. Got a student the library copy of Gardner's Art Through the Ages, helped some other students looking for comic/humor for speeches. The computers were reset over the weekend so talked to quite a few that they were back to their student ID number with a period at the end. Locked up the extra print money at the end of the day and backed up Trac-It. The Sprague Book Club is meeting at my house at 4:15, so I head home to bake some cookies quick before they arrive!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Choir at the Elsinore

Yes, today I actually got a call from someone wanting to know about the Sprague choir appearing at the Elsinore on the 16th. I'm sure a wrong extension number was punched, but I went ahead and looked up the info for the lady, yes, 7:30, general admission, $7 adults, $5 students and seniors. She thanked me for helping her out even though I was in the library! So there's the information if you'd like to go as well. Another event is our German/ASL Concert on Wednesday night at 7:30, free! A student was practicing a song in German out in the corridor as I came in this morning and what a great voice! I actually didn't even roll up my window because I didn't want him going down the hall somewhere else to sing while I started work. Mr. J came by and I told him I was so impressed by the young fellow he said I ought to come, and I just may! Since I'm at it, the Sprague Orchestra is having their Winter Concert on Friday night the 12th at 7pm which I may also go to, they are just fabulous! Now, on to the work day! Wrote up an announcement for our holiday box of book titles and sent it off to Mrs. H for approval. Spent most of the day working on the repairs from Friday, doing extra gluing, tipping in pages, covering corners. I'm getting through the stack pretty well and am pleased that my piles in the workroom are receding. I have a whole line up sitting up on the counter being 'pressed' for tonight, another few with other gluing issues out on the other side of the file, a few I had to commit to the withdraw pile - just not worth the time though I'd love to see if I could make them work! Helped students get books, one wanted a book on cassette since it was the only item we had by R.A. Salvatore! I was surprised that we didn't have any books by him. I asked the student if he put in the titles in the suggestion box and he said he had. Yeah! Processed a magazine, answered e-mails, added Abraham Lincoln's DNA to the novel list and put a new sign on the shelf in the back room for it. Had another sub come in and sent her to work on our 'Least Circulated Items' list since no one else had anything for her. Helped a student look for a book on Columbine for Ms. O's class, the spot on the shelf was there, but no book and it should be in. Mrs. H took over and went searching for it. I left on time since I volunteer at my 'other library' the Salem Public Library on Monday afternoons.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Talk About Repairing

December 5th: Before and after pic of Pre-

Today I worked on repairs all day, along with the usual student requests. The ASVAB was going on in the main library with a presentation and the viewers can see my desk and that may be a distraction, so I pull into the workroom. I start to teach my aide some of the basic book repair techniques I use. She puts Permacel tape around edges, and I have her reglue corners. The cardboard at the corners tends to wear out first. The covering goes, then the cardboard starts to 'flake' in layers. So, we gently put glue in the layers, then put waxed paper (the remains of the contact paper we've used to cover paperbacks)around the edge, then press the corner between boards with clamps on to press it. They will sit all weekend and be dried and just about good as new, perhaps better by Monday. We also have a one/on/one substitute come in and I tell her a few things about repairing since she has books at home and is interested in what I'm doing. I get through quite a few books and will check out them out on Monday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sprague's Library Wish List

Began with processing some magazines today. There was a broken latch on one of the new covers and Ms. H will see about getting a new one. We also discussed some of the articles on diversity for her classes. There is an article on Michael J. Fox and Parkinson's; I also showed her another article on Steven Hawking and ALS - so she will use those. I finished the clean up of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and shelved the Abraham Lincoln's DNA. Emptied a box of books. Did assorted student requests, putting money in print accounts, looking up log-in numbers, checking in and out individual texts, adding in a new student, multi-tasking with frequent interruptions! Also contacted Mr. V about the new 'Teen Ink' magazine written for/by teens since he teaches creative writing. He thanked me for the info. Worked on the 'Sprague Wish List' box. Ms. H brought in wrapping paper, so I wrapped and made a sign, put out paper and pencils for kids to write on. Put up a bulletin board by the workroom door with the same wrapping paper letting the students know we were asking for titles and authors they thought we needed in the library. Since the paper had snowmen on it, I decorated it with 'snowman' titled books. I spent the end of the day working on repairing the Precalculus books. Toughest book yet, spined and hinged with duct tape - oh heavens no!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Out of the Apartment

Took today and finished covering all the Abraham Lincoln's DNA books. They needed to go to the head of the novel shelves which are full of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but the top shelf was nearly empty. I checked the records and there should be books there. Ms. H said they were probably replaced, and no one ever withdrew the copies. So I worked on cleaning that up. Had a student come to me today and couldn't find some books her teacher sent her to look for. I asked if she knew how to do a search - they were non-fiction books and all she had were the names and the titles. So I explained about the call numbers and showed her how to look them up on the library search computers. We got in a set of books from the office Ms. W brought over. An apartment manager was cleaning out a unit and had about fifteen textbooks that were left behind. I checked in about nine for Sprague, then packed the other six in a box because they belonged to Crossler. I called the librarian at Crossler to let her know they were coming. I saw another one of my Nano kids and gave her a participant bookmark. Got an answer back from Dawnsign Press on the Level One DVD's so forwarded that to both Ms. H's. The cheapest they will do is $25.95 a DVD.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

TGNiO Party

Brought in some of my holiday books for the display under that calendar, and finally had a couple of aides pull some of our collection of holiday books to display, and also to see if they could find them all! Christmas, Kwanza, Hannakah all together. Perhaps also a medieval book of holidays for the solstice. Processed a lot of magazines today, and the barcodes were coming out wrong. I showed Ms. H, and she didn't know what it was, so I called down to LMSS and one of the lovely ladies talked me through how to reset the configure code for our labels. Ms. H also asked me about the Signing Naturally replacement DVD we received. The signing teacher Ms. H, was so impressed by the 'upgrade' price, we went ahead and asked about possibly getting just the Level One DVD for 120 kids. The regular price for the DVD and workbook is something like $55, but we'd gotten the upgrade for $9.95. So I sent the email back with a query. We also received new magazines for the front desk, and a box of books for Ms. H to go through to see what we might like. We also talked about having a 'what book would I love to find in the Sprague library' wish box set up and perhaps have aides move it from room to room during the day. Checked out The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to students who hadn't been in the other day and some of The Hobbit. Swapped out textbooks for others. Got books for a new student. Put money in accounts. In the afternoon I had four brave Nano souls come to the 'Thank Goodness Nanowrimo is Over' Party. I presented them with a bookmark I designed, payment for their work (gold and silver chocolate coins) and we also used the document set up to print each of them a participant document. Three of them actually read from their works and we had a 'Word War' where they typed for 5 minutes and the one with the most words done won a prize from my set-up bag. I think they were very happy with what they'd done and another boy or two said next year they'd join in as well.

Word Flakes

December 1: I ended up last Tuesday starting to design the new December A/B calendar and finished that off today. Word Flakes, yes, those charming unique designs cut out of old National Geographics with just words on them - I made about 10. Did some book covering, magazine processing, did some work for the Nanowrimo party for tomorrow. I'm still a bit sick (started a cold Friday night but it's getting better), so basically kept to myself. Checked out two class sets of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inservice Day

Today was our inservice day and we were provided training on the new updated Insignia on-line version. It was very informative and a cleaner look. A rep from Insignia was there to lead us through the new site and was taking recommendations on what else they could do to make the site easier and able to fit our needs. We discussed the site specifics and individual 'school' needs versus what may be 'district' needs in formatting and setting up programs. Another step in getting textbooks onto Insignia was looked at and much discussion with the librarian from Houck (who does not have Trac-It - our usual textbook program) and what she sees working with it and what still needs to be tweaked. This is something that will come down eventually as Trac-It's creator has retired and how long we will have support is uncertain, whereas Insignia is supported and will be district wide with textbooks traced through a student whichever school they attend. A very good meeting with lots of informative discussion. We will also get a download from the rep on the new changes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gobbler Grams

Talked with Ms. H today about having a 'wish list' for the kids to suggest books for the coming year - both a box in the library and on the bulletin board outside the textbook window. Got The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ready for Mr. H, then later checked a class set out. Processed some magazines for in here and logged some in for teachers. I get a Gobble Gram! One of the students comes to my desk "Like a turkey Eeyore" kind of sad gobbling, in a beak, with gloves on his feet and cardboard feathers displayed around him. Ms. J sent me one and it really made my day! Put money into print accounts since my computer seemed the only one capable of doing that. Helped Ms. H display some metal art around the library, up on top of the shelves so they will be left alone! We got in a class set of Abraham Lincoln's DNA, and the teacher decided it might not work for her class, so I process them in as regular textbook novels to check out. I tear down the old November bulletin board and start getting up the December board. I always try to have the first few days done before the month starts! Also worked on some bookmarks for my Nanowrimo kids for the party next Tuesday. We have inservice tomorrow at South for Insignia training since there is no school.

Happy Thanksgiving Every One!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Got up early and met Ms. H (7:30am) down at LMSS (Library Media Support Services) for the annual book giveaway. We spent an hour down there looking at the books they were giving away and choosing the 13 we were allowed for our school and the 23 Read 180 books. We had to get them on carts and stamp them all. We (Ms. J & I) sat down with her when we got back, since she'd been gone, and got caught up to speed. I finished up the Novel spreadsheet and sent that to her. We also have a 'shared novel' list that Ms. F had kept up while she was the teacher librarian here at Sprague, so I said I would take that over. This is a list from all the high schools and we can borrow and trade back and forth in the district. I had to e-mail Ms. F to see what she did to edit that list. I worked on some repairs, then relabeled the shelves in the back - I had handwritten in with arrows the new titles we'd gotten in, so now they are all on the data base and on the shelves. Checked out Ordinary People to a class and laminated posters. Reminded my Nanoers that grades are due by the end of the day tomorrow! That is much more important than the Nanowrimo word count! Got some magazines in, but will process them tomorrow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Novel Spreadsheet

Came in a bit early again. Covered 2 Ordinary People books since they were paperbacks and hadn't been. Checked out Ordinary People and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to two classes each. Helped with the sophomore's CIS during advisory. They had to log in, filling our personal information, courses taken and their plan for education. Gave the extra copy of Language of Medicine to Ms. W. A student had purchased it, had written in the front 70 pages or so, so we considered it a donation. I got to help a student find a new series of books, he wanted something detectivey, gadgety, so I asked if he'd read the Artemis Fowl series, and he hadn't. I love to do that! He also brought over the second book in that series and asked if I'd hold it for him, so I did. I worked the main desk this afternoon. Most of the day in between assisting staff and students I worked on the Novel Spreadsheet. Just about got it done. Let Mr. H know about a sci-fi book that we've had (The Ear, the Eye and the Arm) and no one's ever checked out. He checked one out for the weekend to see if it would be a good read for his sci-fi/fantasy lit class. Didn't do any repairs today since I've been puttering with them all week.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Class sets

I come in early since Lisa isn't here and BJ has a whole set of stuff to laminate. She's turned the machine on and it's all warmed up so I do all the laminating, about 100 pieces. Mr. B calls and tells us thank you that it got done so quickly. Worked with one of the subs for Lisa and she started our 'least circulated items list'. I also worked on that today, my only problem is that I love to see the titles and think 'oh, that looks good!'. More repairs going on today. BJ helps me with the copy machine as I have a Precalculus book that is missing a page. I happen to have a page from another book that is out, and easily copied. She shows me how to copy both sides on one page - nice! We use a page if we have it because of copyright laws, but if we're missing a page, we go ahead and make a copy. Checked out a class set of First Aid books to Mr. G and had them ready for an aide to pick them up. Also got ready 3 class sets of Ordinary People and 2 class sets of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for tomorrow to check out. I run the front circulation desk after school.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Repairs

Today started with helping a student look for some books on organics for a report. She found one in our library and I let her know there were other books available in the district and let us know if she'd like one so we can have it sent over. Another student was looking for works by Marx and McNary has The Communist Manifesto so BJ will order it for him for his report. I received an e-mail to go ahead and barcode ten of the French 2 Workbooks for students to check out so I did that. I check out books for a returning student and welcomed him back. Put money in print accounts, helped a student attach a paper to e-mail so he can work on it at home tonight. Made up a project for our substitute help while Lisa is gone. We've talked about the number of books in our collection that no one's ever checked out. Unfortunately the list does not have the call numbers on it, so we run off some of the 247 pages and the subs can fill in the numbers. There will be Reference books on there that no one can check out, but there may be lots of old fiction and outdated non-fiction that we can clean out to make room for some new things. Ran the front desk after school was out, cleaned up for tomorrow when BJ gets in. Repaired books again today, cleaning up yesterday's starts, my list is down to only one page long now! There are still books on the shelves that need help, but I want to get through this pile first.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Deleting Withdrawn Texts

Today I work on cleaning up the withdrawn texts from Trac-It. When we withdraw a book, the system will delete it, unless it has information on it's comment record. We have about 74 texts that refuse to withdraw! So I go in and delete the comments from each record and then they finally all clear. I also get an e-mail from Ms. S on a textbook count for Homes Today and Tomorrow. We don't have enough for a class - though we show there's 35 copies available. I don't find a new edition, but I do find that there is a close out on the edition we have and they are able to be purchased for $23 each. So that may be an option for them. I process magazines and finish up some more repairs from yesterday. I get information for Ms. H on a Signing DVD for a replacement copy. I have my aide go around and start to clean up all the Nanowrimo posters from around school. We get a request from North for A Christmas Carol, so I check them out, package them up and send them off.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Caution - Novelists at Work

I came in and worked most of the day on repairs. Cleaned up the gluing I did on Friday and both copies of Twilight are ready to be checked out again - popular book since the movie comes out this Friday and a lot of kids want to reread the book before they see the movie. I go through the help section of Vision, to see what else I need to know about it. It's not working very well today for anyone here. I repair several Pre-Calculus books that have slipped out of their hinge mesh. I hold open the split in the boards with magazine holder keys, apply glue on the bottom, tuck the mesh inside the split, then more glue on top. A book on top to press it while the glue dries. I did one on Friday and it worked perfectly! We got in our new 'Popular Photography' to replace the 'American Photography' that was pushing the 'appropriate for student use' standards. I have to set up a whole new account for it. Lisa also gives me leave to go ahead and withdraw books that we just don't have the time or resources to fix, meaning that they are in really bad shape. So I withdraw about six books that are literally falling apart.Today we are half way through November for National Novel Writing Month. I bring in treats on Mondays for my kids. They say I'm the best! They are doing some great work, I hear lots of typing! I write up an announcement for the 'Thank Goodness Nano Is Over' event on December 2nd.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Beautiful Fall Day

Gorgeous beautiful day on the way in this morning, I even had ice on my windshield! I go into our beautiful gorgeous library and get ready for the senior CIS class I'm helping with today. They are going to work on their financial aid sort, but the computers are so slow, they barely get into the sort before the bell rings. Mr. T escorts three students to me to get their CRLS paper done and turned in before the end of the day. They all get finished before lunch. I help one of our aides put away books and I cover some books, and spend the rest of the day repairing from my pile. Beowulf is all done and ready for next year. Mr. W sees how I've organized the science teacher materials and thanks us all for all the hard work we do in the library. He says we really don't get thanked enough. Lisa and I make a deposit for the week. It's 3:45 and homework club and my Nanoers all need to go home! As do I!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Extra Box Day

I finished organizing the teacher materials. Still need to check the inventory but it looks good. Processed magazines and a replacement Prentice Hall Literature Platinum book. I showed one of our aides which boxes to take apart and then take down to the cardboard recycling dumpster. Spent the rest of the day covering Beowulf and moved books to make some more room for him. Also had a student on an inappropriate website and sent it to tech services to see if they can 'deny access' to that.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I spent all of today working on the teacher materials in the workroom rearranging them, gathering them, making shelf space for materials in and space for what the teachers have. Still more to do, but I'm liking the organization.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Today I come in and process the last box of Beowulf. They are all numbered and stamped so I work on covering them. This should be the last of the new books in for this year, so I can start other projects that need to be done. I hand out lots of workbooks and take in books for withdrawing students. I open more boxes of French workbooks. I work on the teacher shelves and get one of our aides to help me pull the English books out and make room for them. So we also have to pull a lot of math and international language books as well. I help up at the front desk for a bit and do some magazine processing.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Friday November 7: I come in early since Lisa will be in late, queue up the plagiarism video for the freshman/sophomore advisory. I look over the CIS directions for the seniors I will be hosting today and try them out. After advisory starts and role is taken, I play the video. In my section the seniors are working on their financial aid sort and combing through the scholarships, grants and/or loans they may be eligible for. I process magazine. A student comes by and wants some Nanowrimo information, where does he write? So I explain he just needs to open new Word document. I run the front desk this afternoon for a bit and work on repairs the rest of the day and host my Nanowrimos until 3:45.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Gray Day

Today a tragedy fell upon a teacher as her husband passed away unexpectedly. We are hosting some of her classes and help cope with the influx of students. We seem to spend a lot of the day monitoring the computer lab usage. I have to close down several windows that are on inappropriate sites (gaming). I work on collecting data for my table of novel use and have two aides help pull novels and put them back once I've noted the last time they were checked out. I start working spreadsheet for the data. I hand out more workbooks, show a student how to cover books. I help with working out the new library media job description worksheets. I also do an article for The Torch, our newsletter, on National Novel Writing Month and turn that into Lisa. I help out at the front desk, assist students in acquiring books for projects and discuss how we view the library and it's role in the Sprague community. One of the staff comes by and asks if we'd like to help out with meals for the family as a library entity and I tell her of course. A grey rainy day, outside and in.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ASVAB testing

Today I come into ASVAB testing. I had known that I wouldn't have access to the library or my desk, so I put out the things for repair that I have in my desk and spent the first part of the day repairing more books. During the passing, I went out into the hallway, helping keep the students quiet around the back window here, it's closed down, but still picks up a lot of noise. I have a ton of e-mails to plow through, help a bit putting the library back in order from the testing, we are very busy during lunch since the library was closed all morning. Checking out books, handing out workbooks. I have a group of students trying to all do fantasy football and I let them know that the computers are here for studying, homework, not games. Process a magazine, relabel shelves and start working on our novel collection - when they were entered and the last time they were checked out. I take a sampling of numbers, run them through. I find out of 16 titles, 6 of them have never been checked out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today is a day for magazines. I get in Time, Bicycling, Asimov's, People and one of our new ones, Skipping Stones. Lisa comes over and we go through it, mostly by kids for kids and it comes out of Eugene. We get a good book title from their reviews, and Lisa finds a good article for her diversity studies for students. A good pick. I also write up an announcement for our new magazines to encourage students to come and read, check out and use for research. Two class sets of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer go out - we have two different editions and not enough for both classes, so one class gets the permabound, the other gets the paperback. Lisa asks me to write an article for The Torch on the Nanowrimo by Friday, so I will do that! I help out a teacher, find diversity fiction books for a student, supervise the kids on computers for a teacher who has sent part of her students down to work on a project and the kids coming in for lunch. Repair some more books, check in and out books to students and check out some Journal of Finn Reardon for a teacher. My Nano kids come in and get to typing, working hard on their novels. So far I have seven that have signed in with me, and the pull off tabs I've put around the school for students that aren't able to stay are getting torn off so I hope that others are taking advantage of this wonderful writing opportunity.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sprague's first Nanowrimo Write In!

I'm excited to get to work today since it's Sprague's first Nanowrimo Write In! November is National Novel Writing Month and I've participated the last two years, so I decided to offer it here, after consulting with office administration and the English Instructional Leaders, they gave it a thumbs up. I print off a couple more pages of advertising - three 'caution' signs saying "Novelists at Work" go in the lab. Two tear off the website posters, one on the library door, another by where the buses let off so kids can still participate on their own. Then a 'collective word count' on the bulletin board outside the workroom. I process some new CD's for the speech team and have my aide finish remarking the Biology shelves. I begin to reorganize the teacher material shelves starting with the 'Business' section. I find stuff everywhere. I process the ones that need it, clean out some shelves and finish that section. Next is 'English'. I have to pull a few things off the shelf and will work on that tomorrow. I have to tell a kid to head back to class since he's been sent to the computer lab to work on a project and is playing games instead. I caught him three times. I had forgotten about the staff meeting in the library this afternoon, so I ask a teacher with a computer lab if we can borrow it for the afternoon. I need to be there at all times and I agree to that. I pass out some of the workbooks, collect kids and get them to head on over. I end up having six kids working and typing like crazy to get in a word count for the day, it was exciting to see them work so hard. The rest of the month we'll be in the blue computer lab in the library. Fridays will be games and treats for those that worked so hard over the week. They are great kids.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another Long Day

Another day of conferences all day and until 7:30 tonight. I finish up the November calendar, though I may still do some tweaking on it. I'm delighted that quite a few teachers tell me they love my creativity with the calendars. Process the new Ricochet River books the author brought in earlier this month. Process in the extra Chemistry and Physical Science and Earth Science books and rearrange and relabel the Chemistry shelves and reshelve all the books there. Hand out a lot of workbooks. Process magazines. Work the Scholastic Book Fair. Help pack up the Fair and rearrange all the tables in the library back to about their usual places, one superb teacher stayed and helped us put it back with a few students lending some Oly grace. Good to hear the sounds of teachers, parents and students all talking, lots of smiles and "Glad to meet you's" going around. I help a couple of teachers. I get in my Nanowrimo workbooks today and let Mr. S take a look at one. I talk to Ms. M about Mythology books and let her know she can send some kids down to get 19 of the large version that I've repaired in my 'new books for old' campaign, and we have 27 of the small version available as well. So, I work from 9am to about 8:30 pm with a short break for lunch and a short break for dinner. So, I'm off tomorrow - along with most everyone else there!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Conferences begin!

The election fair is just winding down and students eruditely discuss the merits of the primary election system. Our Thrasher magazine has returned! So I put in the new issue and put it back out on display. We thought it had been taken, but one of the aides checked it out to a student, holder and all! I help a student on a grammatical question of 'thru' or 'through'. I will begin to send out the new Channel One extra clips out to the teachers so they can see what other programs are available. They have a nice web site with lots of information. I process Mythology books with an aide, and we make room for them on the shelves, relabeling and moving other texts around. I sifted through the political displays that have been piled up in the magazine area to make sure that there are no magazines or books shuffled in with them. Processed new magazines, checked in a class set of books and let the teacher know he still had three checked out to him, printed barcodes for our substitute librarian to process books and cover them. Started putting together the new November bulletin board and we talked about the new job description worksheet that BJ received to make sure we get a good overall view of what the assistant library media folks do. I also work late during conferences since we won't be here on Friday, so we push a few extra hours tonight and more tomorrow to cover for that. I actually have a couple of students come back to check things out in the back here. 9am to 7:45pm, short break for lunch and dinner and back again tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Repairing through a Tuesday

Today I spent most of the day working on repairs. A lot of the Prentice Hall Literature Gold books just needed a bit of tweaking until they could be released, so I worked on mending tears, taping, whiting out remarks and yes, more back on the shelves throughout the day. My stack on the back counter wall for letting glue set is diminishing! We tried to get lunch together, and it seems we're always interrupted. Lisa got a phone call, BJ had to help students, I had to get up and help a teacher and find some information for a student. After lunch I started to barcode our replacement Mythology books, and when my computer was replaced, the barcode font didn't get over, so I tapped the lifering on my screen and sent a notice to tech services. Then I picked up some old inventory stuff from last June. We discovered that we had about 60 of the PHL Gold, that were not around. Though they were on the inventory, they had never been checked out since 2000 when they were first entered. Lisa decided that even though the barcodes had printed, we had never used them. So I got all the barcode numbers and deleted them off. Next I will go through the teacher's inventory numbers and get those down to actual counts. Mr. H finally brought his class in to get Brave New World. I also got in all the textbooks from the library and had them ready for my aide to put away. The best way to learn the bookstacks is to put stuff away. Then I had her labeling shelves for next June when books come back. I had a lot of kids come in today to get the French 2 workbooks to check out, and we only have six, so I sent an email to Ms. B to let her know we were all out. She sent back to clarify that we still had plenty to purchase, and I said 'yes, lots of those still here.' The Election Fair was still on today, so lots of students in and out, lots of activity. I helped with a class while a teacher had to take care of some other business. I also got to help a student find a book with some possible topics for her prose speech. I love working with the students and she picked two books to take home and look over. That made me feel good!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Election Fair

I drive in to see all the kids outside, some kind of fire drill, so I wait along with them until we are cleared to go in. Inside the library today and tomorrow there is an Election Fair. Classes review candidates, parties and measures while other classes come in and ask questions. Very noisy! But a good noisy. The volume speaks for the interest of the kids. I process in the new magazines, take the teacher copies to the mailroom. Helped at least 10 kids over the day get books. Added a new kid in and got him books off his schedule. Helped some other students looking for diversity books in the fiction section. Made room for the Davids that are all finished and labeled the shelves. Got workbooks for a few students. I worked on the repairs for the Prentice Hall Literature Gold books and they are coming nicely. Ms. S came by and needed a book, so I got one of the ones that I had completed and she thought it looked so much better than it had before. Ms. T came and changed out my computer. I now have Vision so I can see in real time what sites the computer classes are on. I spend some time going back and forth, checking out the kids, seeing what the program can do. Take down the old bulletin board from Teen Read Week from outside the workroom door.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Today when I get in it's just a few minutes away from our evacuation practice. So I head back and work on some shelf space for the rest of the science books. Our group does really well with practice, and we find a boy who's lost his group, so I help him find where he's really supposed to be. A glorious fall day with lots of sunshine, so a good time to do this. When I get back, I finish rearranging all the books (8 different sets) so I can fit in all the just processed science texts for special services. Then my aide and a teacher come in and work on covering the Davids. A spanish class comes in to pick up workbooks, but it's a new teacher, so I let her know that we do have a few workbooks to check out, but mainly the kids are to purchase them so they can write the exercises in them. Our check out books are for kids that really have no funds to purchase them. I spend most of the day working on the Prentice Hall Literature Gold books that I've been regluing, and do more gluing on most of them, though one is finished and I check it back in to the shelf. Most of the others need to be reglued on their spines where the signatures are attached to. Some have nothing left where they were supposed to be anchored, so I use hinge binders to build a new spine for them. Mr. Y comes to pick up the damaged and unprocessed science books, I help him take the two cart fulls out to his car and bring the carts back. Mr. C comes in and checks out a set of Journal of Finn Reardon. I put money from kids into their print accounts. I do the check-out desk and finish the Davids, checking in and out books, shelve the manga that have come back, go over the computer lab and that's about it for this week.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Energy Buzzing

Lisa comes in and asks me how the Nanowrimo meeting went Tuesday night. So, I let her know I had two students and two parents come in and it did take from 7-7:30. I had the kids get on the site and show their parents around. Answered a few questions, made sure they knew that "Homework is #1! Nanowrimo is secondary." I also left them my school number and my school e-mail address for any questions or concerns. I then went over to the Pantheon and listened to the last half of the orchestra concert, they were amazing. I started processing the magazines that came in late yesterday. I also made a new topper for the spinner rack since the old one said 'Check out what you missed over the summer!" to a more general "Back issues available for check out - ask for assistance on issues from January 2007 on" - more or less. The "Mole Song" went well on Channel One and we had several students hunting our 'mole' during the day. He was up with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4 book. Mr.'s C, G, and M all have classes in the library this morning and it's a buzzing place. Kids working on posters, others gleaning stuff off the internet, talk swirling around the shelves. Gotta love seeing the kids all excited. Ms. T talks to her doctor and Lisa takes her down to the hospital. I let BJ and Ms. R know where they are both going. Mr. M calls over for Fahrenheit 451 and I get two class sets ready for him to check out. I also check in the books the kids bring back, Animal Farm and The Importance of Being Earnest. We have some help for the morning so I put her to work on the science books I was processing and she nearly gets them all completed. In between everything else I cover more David's. I go up to the front and work the book fair when BJ leaves and check in and out books, help a student pick a book from his reading list, go with our bookkeeper checking on some workbooks that may or may not have come in. I don't recall seeing them and there's nothing on the shelves. Back up the Trac-It files for the night and head for home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Book Fair!

I come in and do some email checking and clean up my box. Then I break in the spines of the science books to add into our inventory since the department head wants two class sets of the three editions. The others I box up for Mr. Y to come and get and disperse to other schools. The Book Fair set-up has arrived and I help Lisa set up the tables and get out the books for display. This will run through conferences. Ms. K wants to run a video she took on her camera with her students singing about 'Mole' Day tomorrow, but it needs to get on a DVD. So I take it over to the tech crew and they work on it for me. I take Ms. K back her camera and let her know we're working on it. Mr. A comes in to see how we run the Channel One set up, so I show him, and then the videos we've played, and he takes one with him to see how it's set up. By the time school ends they have accomplished the transformation and Channel One will play it (yeah!) so we will run it tomorrow. I cover more David's then help a teacher, help students, check in Wild Children from a teacher and put them away.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tipping Pages

They say that cow tipping is fun, so I guess for librarians, you need to do page tipping! When a page has fallen out, we repair by taking glue and making a line down other paper, then carefully run the edge of the dislocated page (be careful to make sure you put glue on the right side!) through the glue, and 'tip' the page back into the spine. I do a bunch of the Precalculus as that is their main problem. Some books have one page, others up to ten pages that have come out, and most of the pages are ragged on the edges. I may trim some of that so they don't deteriorate further. I take the Biology - Pacemaker books and process 10 more since a student has come looking for one. Looking over emails I find a nice one on how Sprague shines as a great school, and the plans for evacuation test on Friday. We also get permission to ship out the damaged science books, so I box them up and get them ready to go. We also decide to process two class sets of the special services science books, so I will do another 30 each and send the rest off to see if other schools are short of these. I help a student with some Word formatting for a paper, get workbooks for others, look for a billed Algebra book for a student. I spend a lot of time with the David's today covering them and putting them on a shelf. I have my Nanowrimo meeting tonight and may attend the Orchestra concert when I'm done with that.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Just a Monday

Worked through the books I left a week or so ago, I had a lot of end paper gluing to do and now I checked through them all to see what other gluing they required. I brought in a small bottle to put glue into since the big bottle is getting too far down to reach. I take the books and do more gluing, checking in for use the few that don't need any other work. I have my aide put up Nanowrimo posters up around the school, she loved being able to walk all over. When she got back I had her barcode, stamp and number David Copperfield. Lisa got the number of Ebsco from me and we are able to change the subscription of American Photo to Popular Photo. Processed three new magazines, the December editions - the year is almost done! Helped numerous students and some parents brought in textbooks for their child. They also had 2 Language of Medicine books that students buy. I told them they'd have to check with the bookkeeper, that I didn't know if we refunded workbooks. Checked on the Science texts that came damaged and that are unprocessed since we haven't heard from anyone on what to do with them. Checked on a damaged Government Today book and Lisa thinks we will have the student work off the cost since it is growing mold and they do not have the ability to pay for it. Bookbyte doesn't carry it, nor the Northwest Text Depository, but Amazon has a couple of copies for around $22 and the publisher sells the new edition for $33. My aide comes back in since she had study hall with nothing to do and we finish the day covering David Copperfield. Mr. H comes by and will pick up Brave New World on Friday. I e-mail BJ and Lisa to let them know the class will be coming in. We are putting this new practice in place since last week a class came in and there was some confusion since they were not on the list of who was where in the library. We decided that I should let BJ and Lisa know when a teacher asks for texts, so they also know what's going on.

Friday, October 17, 2008

CIS anyone?

Today is an advisory day. I have a group in my lab, but they are the wrong group. The teacher is a sub so we work around it thanks to the group that was supposed to be here. The students need to check their personal information, add in their transcripts from last year and write in the 'My Plan' area on 'Self Knowledge', 'Research and Goals' and 'Education Plans'. A lot to accomplish. I look up log-in numbers, and help direct them on the website. Processed magazines today, covered Sir Gawain and all 70 of them are now done and on their new shelf. Promoted Nanowrimo and talked to several kids about trying it next month, made some more signs. I have three already signed up and looking forward to more! I've started to use some old 'tattle-tape' on the magazines. We can't use this kind on the books so I will use up these old ones for magazines. I helped students all day long with various requests for checking in, and out books - clean up my shelf by my desk, and proudly wearing my 'orange out' shirt for the game tonight and "0" earrings that I made this morning at home. Go Olys!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Signing up for Nanowrimo

I get my first kids to sign up for the National Novel Writing Month's Young Writer's Program - I set out some more posters for it and write an announcement for tomorrow. I process some magazines first and the picture on one of them is questionable - so I query Lisa and she suggests we ask one of the photo teachers to look at it. Ms. M suggests we go with a different magazine for next year. I think we will do that. Actor's Wheel of Connection goes out. I help my aide with covering Sir Gawain. The new computers are in the lab. I thank Ms. T for getting the computers to come up with the Young Writer's Program and she says she sent it on and they took care of it. I do individual requests all day long, checking in and out. I talk with Mr. R about setting up a Trac-It program for the yearbook kids and how to barcode and track the equipment. We get a cart load of American Heritage books in and they are fascinating. We decide to email the department to see if anyone wants them and Ms. O walks in and sees them and she wants them. We find a spot for Sir Gawain and start putting them on the shelf and Actor's Wheel has a spot at the end of the Business section and the front of the English section. Covering Sir Gawain goes on all day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Covering Wheels with Frequent Interruptions

Today I come in and work on processing magazines. Then on to covering The Actor's Wheel of Connections. One of our aides has brought in pizza and it smells so good! A student in the hall says "Do you have pizza in there?" Yes! That was nice of her. I do some rearranging of our magazine shelves since all our magazines to cut up have returned. I put the holders up on the top shelf above the math books and pull down an unmarked white box. It is full of Foundations of Algebra books in Spanish. Get students their math toolkits, help with various requests sprinkled throughout the day, books, workbooks, check in, check out. Get Journal of Finn Reardon ready for tomorrow and finish the AWoC books so they will be all ready to be picked up tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Speed Walking Seagulls

Today I walk in to find a couple of our aides trying to put away books in the dark. They couldn't find the light switch for back in the textbook stacks, so I show them where it is, back on the wall behind all the teacher materials. There are kids out in the hallway working on projects, I hear a girl say "O.K. Start speed walking now!" I check e-mails, Ms. C wants to know if we can get extra copies of her texts, so I send her the status. She decides she'll be O.K. this semester, but would like extras of World of Fashion Merchandising she needs for next semester so I send out an e-mail to the other schools. Ms. L wants to know if her acting books are in yet ~ not yet! I go back to processing Sir Gawain. I get a new aide! I love my aides! So, I show her the stacks and where everything goes, then she helps me with Sir G. I get a call from Mr. M and we need two class sets of Lord of the Flies, so we take a cart and she loads up the 70 books and brings them out. We finish Sir G except for covering, so I take her in the workroom and we roll out the contact paper and I show her how to cover. I check in Mr. M's students The Importance of Being Earnest and a few Animal Farms, and check out Lord of the Flies. I have her put away TIoBE and others, and back to covering. A set of students is in my lab writing stories, I hear something about seagulls, poor jumper and a song about Valkyries or some other ancient myth! Lisa brings a box, yeah! The Actor's Wheel of Connection has arrived. So, I put everything else aside for now and tackle them. Get them on the computer, barcodes printed, and start stamping and numbering. Lisa comes over and we talk about World of Fashion Merchandising. I haven't found copies yet from the other schools, and we look at the copyrights to see that most of ours are very outdated, 1998, four new ones from 2003, so every five years, and we wonder if there will be a new edition. I poke around on the book sites, nothing, but find an article about the author that she is putting together a new edition coming out March 2009. So they will think about purchasing new ones next year if the budget allows. I go back to the Actor's Wheel. Lisa has to leave early, so I go around checking the room, pushing in chairs, shooing the kids over to my area since the green lab is reserved for homework club. The new InFocus machine is still on, and I find the remote to turn it off. Put away stuff, help out kids, I probably average about 12 individual requests a day. I'll have to check on that. Lock up. Cover one more Actor's Wheel and I go home for the night.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Calloo! Callay!

Get in this morning to more boxes in the workroom. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight hath arrived as well as the French 2 workbooks. I move the French 2 workbooks onto shelves. I e-mail teachers and receive a "Calloo! Callay!" about Sir Gawain. I process the new magazines that have arrived and decide to e-mail one of our administrators about our missing October Thrasher since the new November issue has arrived. I let her know the missing holder was around $15 and the magazine cost $4. I bring out the toolkits for the Foundations of Algebra, but no one shows up to get them. Our bookkeeper comes in and we go through the invoices I pull off the boxes so she can make sure she's got them all accounted for. I get my items for the Young Writers Program for Nanowrimo, an awesome poster plus 2 others, stickers and buttons. I craft a new bulletin board for the workroom door on the Teen Read week - Books with Bite. I help a dozen or so individual student requests. I set up a couple of aides to break in the spines on Sir Gawain and put the barcodes in the back. I move shelves in the back for Beowulf and David Copperfield. I notice that a couple of shelves are falling down because they don't have proper pins in supporting them, so I go and get pins, move books so I can set the pins in, and reset them. I renumber shelves for them, and also for Biology and Chemistry since I hadn't before. I find a problem as a student wants to join the Young Writers Program, but the computers at school won't let us access that site. I send lifering tech help to Ms Taylor. I finish the day working on Sir Gawain as he will be needed next month.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Grading & Inservice days

October 9th: I check the bus DVD for Channel One, it loops every 18 seconds and has no sound. I take it back to the administrator that brought it. The rest of my half day (2 hrs, 53 mins) I work on our repair pile. Tipping in pages from the Precalculus books and hinge gluing for the Prentice Hall Literature Gold books. I have a nice pile sitting to dry by the time I leave on my desk, and another set on the workroom counter.
October 10th: Our inservice day and I go with BJ to Liberty Elementary to learn more about book repair and Insignia. Two wonderful ladies from the Salem Public Library share their skills, insights, and professional knowledge about keeping our collections going. They give us handouts and the items they are currently using. They were very wonderful and I wish they could have been with us all day! We talked about Insignia (the library program) and then we could stay for a training on the video streaming we now have available. I also got to see a demonstration on the Smartboards - which I'd heard of, but hadn't seen yet. A very productive day.

The Sound of Hands Clapping

October 8th: Last day of school this week. I start today processing magazines, the new Asimov's has come in and I notice that our Smithsonian subscription is a donated by a couple down near Eugene, so I give the outside wrapper to Lisa so she can send a thank you to them. I also do a new Time and People magazine. I go back to covering books, assist individual students. Checked out some teacher materials. Talked with another teacher about a student who might be a good aide for me back in textbooks. I miss my aides from last year! Checked in a class set of Journal of Finn Reardon. Get all the Understanding Movies all covered, so I move them to their shelf and adjust it. I set up David Copperfield in Trac-it and print out the barcodes for it. Tried to find a book for a student. A teacher brought in some materials to process and I got them all done and checked out so she could have them tonight. Today, I heard a class all clapping down the hall from some nearby room. It made me smile.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ricochet Author

October 7th: I put the Mythology books back on their shelf after checking them in. We had a substitute come in looking for something to do so I showed her how to cover books with contact paper. I attend our monthly classified meeting with BJ at 10:00. The Environmental Science class comes in and checks out the new book. Ms. C brings in a bunch of teacher materials and I process them for her. Covered two new books for a student who wanted to check them out for the weekend. Restacked surplus boxes from kids coming in and looking for a certain set of books they had accidentally packed. Got in the new math toolkits, put them on a shelf, they'll be needed on Monday. Rearranged shelf to get ready for my next project, organizing the teacher materials. The author for Ricochet River, Robin Cody, is coming in to swap out editions. I pack up 34 of the old copies and he will bring in 34 of the new edition. He swaps them out, and I forgot to withdraw them from the computer, so I do that by hand. It would have been easier to withdraw them off the barcodes before I packed them! Good thing Lisa caught that! Covered more Understanding Movies, and work on the announcement for Monday that I'll be hosting Nanowrimo next month. I also e-mail Jenny to set up a parent/student information meeting for the week after next.


October 6th: Sad very used copies of Mythology books :( to Happy Repaired and Ready to check out copies :)
I go through the Mythology books and check the hinges, they came out very well! I help a couple of students, and a teacher. Lisa comes by and asks "Did you see your presents?" I have 9 new boxes of texts in the workroom. I had walked right by them and never noticed from the path I took around the workroom table! David Copperfield has come in and at long last, the new Environmental Science texts. They are beautiful! David won't be needed until December since Mr. S came by while we were opening boxes, but he will need some Prentice Hall Literature Platinum for 6th and 8th period today. I cart them up and have them out by my desk for later. I e-mail Mr. W and let him know the texts were in and I would start them immediately and let him know when they were done. There were a couple that we need to ship back since they arrived damaged, but I finish the 38 others and let him know they are ready to go. I check out both classes for the PH Lit Platinum books, help more students. I finish up the Mythology books and they are all ready to be traded out. I finish the day processing Pay it Forward, make room on the shelves and tuck it in.

Friday, October 10, 2008


October 3rd: I get into work this morning and Lisa needed help cutting up a bunch of cards she laminated, so I bring scissors and cut the rest all up and rubber band together. We're on assembly schedule for homecoming and I supervise the library since BJ is the cheer coach and needs to be at the assembly and Lisa wants to see. The library is very quiet, only about half the kids we usually have in - so that shows kids were interested in homecoming this year. I'm wearing my 'orange out' shirt. I check out some books for students, do a couple of searches for them as well. We had an old puzzle from last year the kids had taken nearly all year to put together, one of those photo composites, and I decide it's time for a new one. I break it all up and have a student go back to the puzzle closet and pick one out. When Lisa comes back I tell her I got out a new puzzle she looks at me 'Did you break up the old one?' Yes, I happily tell her. 'I was going to frame it! The kids worked so hard on it!' So now I want to take it home over the weekend and redo it ~ oh well! I hear that Beowulf won't be needed until next year so I get out my repair items. I check in a bunch of Journal of Finn Reardon's and check in Algebra Connections V1 and hand out the V2. A student comes in and her water bottle opened in her pack and completely soaked the bottom inch of her health book. I take it into the back, put it in protective plastic (to not get the other books wet) and heave about 7 heavy science books on top of it. It'll take a week or more to completely dry and should be nearly wrinkle free since we got to it while it was still wet. Some magazines come in and I process them, then spend the rest of the shift repairing Mythology books. Lots of hinge gluing that I sit to dry for the weekend.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Pirate Librarian

Ahoy there, ye Spraguey seafarers! It be Pirate Day since the Homecoming Theme be 'Treasure Island' - and I be dressed to the hilt with a fine piratey shirt ('borrowed' from me son with the assistance of his fine wench) and me black pants tucked into the top of blue slouch boots, with pen, pencil and paper from the laces dangling from me shirt, just in case the Cap'n be needing some spellifyin' in the log book. I wear me leather frog (def. 3: a belt to hold a sword or weapon), but not allowed the steel, I wield today a razor sharp wit and keenness to learn. I bring on board me Pirate Dictionary and remindin' the lads and lassies that 'All Pirates Read Banned Books' since this still be 'Banned Book Week.' This here be the 2nd of October, with winter off the port side and the books still feeding the crew's noggins! I be on the lookout for the shipmates carrying Algebra Connections V1 and here the corsairs come and we make a trade for V2, Fair winds to them all! One of the lassies says her CD should be keelhauled and I track her down to ascertain the place said CD has taken the scurvey - but I dredge through it and spot no taint to the disc. Another mate comes in with a new student handle and I change the ships record. Some new sea rats come aboard and I put them on the roster. There be Of Mice and Men aboard so I process them and stow them below decks. I empty the last cask of Permabound books, aye, the crew should like this one, Pay it Forward, and heave it up on the counter to be processed. The stowage be gettin' in the way of the computer hands, so I handsomely haul the unprocessed science books out of their way. Lists from the other Pirate Librarians pillaging the sea of knowledge send scrolls of books they claim we have as swag. That be no way to treat our fellow salts. I be no blaggard! So I take a lookout for La Dama del Alba, off the Spanish Main, but though I enjoin me hearties to help, not a spot of her we find. Gangway! Beowulf has landed on board and I smartly turn to and begin to process the ancient deeds. Dead men do tell tales, and we have the book booty to prove it! I pipe in to Beowulf's bosun that his treasure be here. I see a fellow shipmate waving the Jolly Roger down the halls heading' aft, and some mighty fine pirates comin' in to the library durin' the watch. I be off now for shore leave, climbin' into me jollyboat, though some say I'm just a little dinghy. A hearty 'Yo-ho-ho and Godspeed' to all who sail the good ship Sprague today! (Thanks to the Pirate Dictionary - Tide-mark Press)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


October 1st: A teacher was in the computer lab today having her students check out the presidential candidates. I told her about all the magazines we currently had on them. I worked out a nifty idea for holding the magazines on the bulletin board without stapling or otherwise making them inaccessible - paperclips! I stapled the hook of the paperclip, then bent out one of the sides to serve as bottom rests and another at the top so the magazines wouldn't flop over - genius! Obama, McCain and Palin all in Time and People magazine and all still available to be checked out. I also put a arrow squiggle to October 14th - the last day people can register to vote for the election. A teacher at the staff meeting had mentioned that, so I added it into the calendar. Underneath the calendar are Pay it Forward and Beowulf waiting to finish being processed. Checked out more books and more Animal Farm, responded to e-mails as appropriate and filled out the inservice form for next Friday. I checked on the status of the new Environmental Science books - ordered but not here yet. A student wanted help with the computers to go on SK Online, so I escorted him around the corner to the SK Online room. Finished Martian Chronicles, got Algebra Connections V2 ready to be handed out tomorrow. Students trickle in all day, a book here, another book there. Withdrew more Biology - the Dynamics of Life books, got the phone numbers for the Channel One service reps since two of the TV's aren't working in classrooms. Over lunch, we get the giggles and enjoy a good laugh. Our spirit for today is dressing like the 80's, so I wear a 3/4 sleeve shirt - the best I could do!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Backpacking Spirit

September 30th: Today was sport day, to wear your favorite jersey or whatever, and since my favorite sport is hiking I wore my hiking boots, jeans, Denali National Park shirt, my compass around my neck with my safety whistle off a caribiner on my belt loop. On the textbook window I had my day pack, a couple of topo maps, a photo album of my daughter and I backpacking in Alaska and a couple of books. John Muir's Alaska and my current read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I checked some more of the gluing on the Mythology books,did some additional work on several more and got a couple more back on the shelf. Checked out The Importance of Being Earnest for two classes. Packed up some more books for the surplus mountain in the workroom. I covered more books and monitored the computer lab and taught a student how to paste pictures into documents. Since it was the end of September, time for a new A/B calendar. I decided to go with a patriotic theme. The students here are really getting into the presidential race and I wanted to highlight that for this last month before the election. I take down all the September stuff and get the blue and red background up. Then, I wanted to do stars with the dates and my initial plan was all wrong, so I ended up staying later to get things reconfigured and came up with a great set up. So, I leave with October first up as an A day, just so kids know in the morning and head home 45 minutes late. Goodbye September!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Banned Book Week

September 29th: I worked on my 'Banned Book Week' bulletin board outside the workroom and pulled up the 'challenged' books from 2008. I wrote them up with why they were challenged and posted that on there also. It's also Homecoming week for us and I come in Junior color (black) since I am working the CIS Advisory with the Juniors at the moment. Checked out the new Physics books to a class and a set of TM's (teacher materials) on Physics as well. The gluing I did on Friday was great and I just needed to put wings on the Mythology books, check them back in (they were in 'repair') and put them on the shelf. We got in extra books from North HS and I processed in Foundations of Algebra Year 2 Volume 1 and Street Law. These are the easiest to do, find the title in our system, scan the barcode, enter book number, condition and school they are from, and after the first one it's just enter, enter, enter. Easy! I e-mailed the teachers to let them know that we now had more copies. Got in some new Journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty and tucked them into our overflow shelves from the regular library. Cleaned up the worktable. Pulled out 65 World Literature books for a block class and checked them out to students. Assisted a teacher with TM's. Checked out a class set of Animal Farm. A teacher brought in a box of Physics TM's from the box of stuff they got this summer, so I processed it, let him know that some had been processed and had been checked out to him, but they were now checked in. Did a book repair for a teacher, and lastly attended a mandatory meeting for all staff that worked after 2:45. One other thing I do at the end of my shift is to back up our Trac-It program. Pull open the folder, drag out the old information, put in todays set, close and rename it. Just in case something happens to the program overnight. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

1150 pages of Art

September 25 & 26: I spend Thursday working on additional texts that were ordered. My favorite today has to be Gardner's Art Through the Ages. These are massive volumes, 1150 pages each and one of the books I look at and go "ooohhhh, I want to read this..." They are incredibly beautiful and kids check these out and take them home for the rest of the year. I have to laminate the covers and while I feed them through the laminator there's a flash of light and a teacher hurries away clutching a camera. I ask Lisa and she says "oh, he's always popping in to take pictures during the year." I carefully process and cover each text and inform the teacher that they are now ready to check out. I also process the CD/Roms that come with each one, and I voice concerns that they are just in paper sleeves. We discuss perhaps a better holder when it comes time to check them out. Every Friday is book repair day and when we don't have assemblies, it is CIS (Career Information System) advisory and I'm in charge of the lab next to me. This week the Juniors are putting together their transcripts from last year and entering them into the system. Then they also have to fill out three sections of 'My Plan' and write two to three sentences describing what they are doing and how that fits into their plans for after school. One fellow loves bicycles, so we talk about what classes he might take, avenues to explore in making his passion a lifestyle. Afterwards, Lisa ends up leaving for the day since her son has gotten hurt and BJ is also sick for the day. Our sub mostly covers books, and I check in on our aides making sure they know to read their shelves (each aide gets a fiction section and a non-fiction area they must keep in alphabetical or numerical order, clean and make sure their section has books right up to the front of the shelf). I put the our new number holders with their signs on top of the shelves (many thanks to woodshop!). I put up the 'fiction' and 'reference' signs up, then the '000' to '800' up for the nonfiction. I'm not quite sure where our '900' sign went! I had sent some metal book carts down to metal shop to get them rewelded. The carts were so wobbly even without books I was afraid they would collapse on someone. They are beautiful! Sturdy! Even spray painted! I also spend time repairing Edith Hamilton's Mythology books. They are very battered and by the time I leave for the weekend, I have a stack, edge taped, cornered and hinge glued with a weight on so that I will come back Monday to finish the spine ends with my wings! They will be beautiful! I also work on items for Banned Book Week that starts next week. I get to do the little bulletin board outside the back library door. I pull a list of the 'Challenged' books from 2008 (books that are not currently banned, but may be) and take the books that are currently in our library and textbook depository to highlight on the board. Caution tape anyone?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Corners and Wings, Oh my!

September 24th: I finish up the Respect for Acting books when I get in. We have these marvelous telescoping book shelves in the back. The ends and the middle are stable, but two sets in the front and three in the back are on gliders mounted into the floor. So we have eight shelves in a space that would normally only hold 5. When they're filled with books, you really have to put your weight into the handles to move them. Today I go into the English section (each department has its own area) and find the 'R' books and have to move a few sets of books over a bit to make room for the new Respect's. I relabel the shelves and sharpie in the new title on the end list. When we put books away at the end of semester and school, every book has a place so if we need to check if Bilbo really did turn in #872 of the American Pathways book, we don't have to search all 950+ of them to do it, just the one part of the shelf it should be on.
I am handed the new Exam Pro Views for one of the new science books, process them in (just five) and send out a notifying e-mail to the science department.
Our Highsmith order has come in and it's like amazing! Mainly book repair items and I'm excited to see what I need to make sure our collection stays usable. The corners are for the corners of the hard cover books, where they start to come apart after being pulled in and out of packs for a semester. The wings are for the ends of the spine, another prime area that takes a beating. I have a rainbow of colors for each of the texts that need serious help. Green for the Prentice Hall Literature Gold books for our 9th graders (that are mostly green colored); blue for the Prentice Hall Literature Platinum books for the sophomores (that are mostly blue); brown for the Calculus and Precalculus books, well beloved by the math department for their amazingly teachable approach and should have been retired a long time ago; red for the American Experience, the 11th grade literature text; clear for the books that need some help but aren't quite in any color code and orange for the Bienvenidos books. I have heard that the International Language department may be getting their adoption this next year, so before I put time and materials into these, I will check to see. We also get our Permacell tape that I use on the edges of the hard covers and elsewhere, and our new tape for the magazine ends for 2009. I decided to get a deep blue. I'm in corner and wing heaven! I go over the invoice and check in each baggy filled with book repairing joy. About 200 sets.
One of the Physics teachers come by and they will pick up texts in the next day or so, so I put a couple of class sets on a cart for the morning. The Calculus kids come in and request a second copy of their texts. They keep one in class and one at home so the books don't get so damaged going back and forth. We have them sign a 'second text out' slip and hand the book out. Our Youth & Law teacher doesn't have enough books for his class, so I e-mail the other high schools requesting 10 extra copies. Our old Teacher Librarian, the incredible Claudia has called from another school. She is retired now and is doing some sub work and has forgotten how to print barcodes for textbooks so I give her directions.
My lovely new daughter-in-law comes in for a tour as I get off work, so I show her around the school her hubby went to. He graduated in 2005. She helps me finish the second coat of light blue paint and does the finite touch ups around the shelves and doors. I invite her over for dinner.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Acting French

September 23rd: I'm just starting to note down some of the stuff I do, and today we received Discovering French texts in from another school. I have to enter them into our program, and check out both year 1 & 2 to our French teacher waiting for her to come and get them. We get in one of our new acting books, Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen. I process the books and since they are hardback with covers, I have to laminate the 35 covers by putting them through the laminator, which seems to take forever feeding them one by one. Since I'm there, I also laminate the small pile of things that teachers have left for us to laminate when the machine is on and we have time. There was about 12 of them. Back at my desk, I carefully crease the laminated covers, tape them with heavy duty strapping tape, and go down the row. I get about half of them all done and completed. One of our aides needed something to do earlier, so I hand Bilbo off to him and he finishes processing the Hobbit books. I find when he's done that he's mixed up numbering books with the barcode tag numbers, so we (Lisa and I) carefully peel off the barcodes and put them on the right books. I'm thinking that was my fault for not telling him about that. I don't think he's processed textbooks before. Time to paint! After work, I put on grubs and put a second coat of paint on the light blue wall, but don't quite get it all done before my paint can runs empty, it's about 5 pm, and I clean up and leave it for tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Magazine Work

September 22: I spend today getting the magazines all straightened out. We've ordered in some new titles and gotten in all new holders for the display copies since the old ones were nearly falling apart. I take the copies and process them on Insignia, adding in new titles or new issues, putting in a 'tattle tape' metal strip, barcoding and taping the side of the magazines with issue name and date. I put new name tags on the display case, and rearrange the spinner rack so each issue has its own slot, except for People, Sports Illustrated and Time that get an issue every week, they get a couple of spaces. I told a student about the new Smithsonian when she saw my screen saver was Stonehenge and that they had an article on the first excavation there in a long time. I did a bulletin board outside the workroom door on all the magazines we carry now. I was gratified to see that students did look at the display since several front cover figures were sporting new mustaches a few days later. I spent the last part of the day processing Hobbits.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Time blur

Time went by in blur for the first two weeks. Book processing continued, my favorite, the permabound books are the easiest. Break in the spine, stamp, number and barcode and they are all ready to go! We process Brave New Worlds, Martian Chronicles with a smattering of other titles to replace lost or damaged copies. Make room on shelves for them. Classes were still coming in without the first of the year big push. Our pile of boxes for surplus became behemoth-sized as an old room was cleaned out. I had to give the kids instruction on weight restrictions, packaging, labeling as the columns of boxes arrived on hand trucks. All along the workroom wall, 8 boxes high, 2 or 3 columns deep and row after row. I even move some of our science texts over so the kids can pile boxes up behind the door. If they're not packed correctly, they won't get picked up. Last summer, I had packed the old science texts and the drivers said I did a great job. Workbooks fly off the shelves, and boxes are finally unpacked and the clutter is slowly diminishing. I set up class sets of The Arrival, Immigrant Kids, and Abraham Lincoln's DNA and we hold them on a special shelf. I need to learn the CIS program since I'll be escorting students through the process this year in the blue computer lab next to my desk. I get an access code and spend some time going around the menu following the directions to what I need to give the students on advisory days so I'll know where they need to be. In the 'Occupation Sort' I find I can be a Librarian (huzzah!) or perhaps a Tatoo Artist (probably not). I start working with the Juniors on the 19th and they are a great bunch of kids. This day is fairly easy, and just a fact finding mission for them. So, all goes well. A few need to get their access numbers again, and a few ask questions. I will see them two more times this year for other aspects of the system.

I get two work with two of the greatest people at Sprague. Lisa Hardey, our Teacher Librarian and BJ James, the other Library Media Assistant. We each have interlocking personalities and skills that make the library run smoothly. BJ knows about every kid on the campus and is perfect for running the front desk. As kids go in and out, she has a handle on each one, what they're here for and makes sure they get passes stamped and sign in sheets completed. She schedules both computer labs and directs the classes to the appropriate 'green' or 'blue' section. Checking the books in and out, directing the student aides, keeping track of books on loan, she runs the front desk like the captain on the helm of the ship. Our real Captain is, of course, Lisa and her laughter rings across the library frequently making it one of the best places to be for students. She wants all the kids to feel welcome, and that the library is a great option for a place to hang out. She's quick with any request we have, and pitches in when something needs to get done. Her knowledge of our collection is amazing and a student just needs to give a hint of what a book's about, and she'll be 'Oh, that's such and such" and be off to help them find a copy or search the database. She also likes to teach students about how the library works and often I hear a "Now the fiction starts over there and is filed by author's last name" and can carry over to "Now, the non-fiction is all by number and if you need 808.14, see the signs around the room? Now let's find the 800's" She is truly a Teacher Librarian and takes delight in her world! I am truly blessed to work with these amazing people every day, they make it a joy to be there. That's about it, and I'm ready next time to start giving you the details of my world - I love my job!

Monday, September 29, 2008

4 Days - 8,000 Books

Opening Freshman day was easy for us. I worked on the A/B calendar that sits behind my desk and got it nearly done though it needed a few 'touch-ups' to please me. Since the Olympics had just ended and we are the 'Olympians' I went with a medal theme. Each class got its own gold medal, and medals for book awards for this year graced the sides of the board. Yes, I cut out each letter and number at home over Labor Day weekend with a little help from Melanie. The library got on the freshman 'tour' so we spent the day managing the textbook pickups. I had never done that before so teachers were telling us we could do more than I had planned and they were right. I ended up reworking the plan and emailing it out Tuesday night to have 16-20 classes come in every period for the next four days and it worked really well. Before I left on Tuesday, we had all the carts loaded with the texts for 1st and 2nd period, lined up in the center of the library and spent the days reloading, checking the list, condensing carts to free up other carts, we ran all four days. Teachers and students were patient and the few classes later in the days we hadn't gotten ready for pulled out carts and got their books while we were checking out other classes. We had some great volunteers come in and help us load carts, work on processing books and even help with checkouts from time to time. The next few days for the rest of the week were a bit easier (I had been coming in early to help and staying late to get ready for the next day) and I was down to about working my regular shift. Lots of kids individually coming by to get books for various reasons: 'I didn't have my card yesterday'; 'I just got into that class'; 'I picked up the wrong book, I really need XXX' and other assorted reasons. It was a good week to be busy, my brother-in-law had passed away very unexpectedly on the 1st and it wasn't possible for me to go down to L.A. for the funeral, so lots of work was good. The kids were gracious and the teachers were amazing. So, the tally after Monday the 8th was that we had checked out 8,363 texts in 4 days and by the end of that week, we were over 9,000. Not too shabby.