The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

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.