The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

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!

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