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.