The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Purple Tulips

(My purple tulips on my kitchen sink!) Lots and lots of books returned today. Several students needed signing out since they will be off to another school now. We have to make sure all their textbooks and library books are in before we can sign them off. Checked in books, shelved books. Sent back books to schools we had borrowed from. Worked on the February calendar - just needs the extra stuff. Pulled books for that - pulled books for the three classes that will be in first thing on Monday. Mr. W thanked me for putting numbers on the spines of all the books he will keep in class. Mrs. C came and got her texts. Mrs. H surprised me with purple tulips, a lovely 'Happy 1st Anniversary' card ("Thank you for all that you do. You are a true gift I love working with you!") and purple tulips that I take home to grace my kitchen. Tried to unjam the printer for a teacher and we got out paper from every orifice and it said it still had a jam! I worked some extra to finish things up before I left for the week - but it was good.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

German Withdrawals

Spent most of today withdrawing the German texts that Mr. J said we wouldn't be using anymore. I also asked Mr.'s H & C if I could surplus out a couple of old economics texts that were just sitting taking up shelf space and they said yes, I could. So, lots of new boxes waiting for the next pick-up date during spring break. Lots of classes coming in to drop of textbooks today - we shelved books all day as well. Processed a couple of magazines. Helped Mr. P with some financial books - checked him out a set of CD's on them and a class set of the books as well. Several emails from teachers about classes they will be bringing up next week to pick up texts for the new semester. Checked with Mr. J on a German text and he said that they may not be getting in an adoption because of the economic situation (!) so I told him to let me know if there were any books he'd like back before spring break and I would put them back in the system.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One Year Anniversary

I have now officially been a Library Media Assistant for a year - Huzzah! Last year, I didn't even get to work my first day since we had a snow closure - but no problem with that today! Checked in about 15 classes between Mrs. J and I, and other assorted books came in. Processed a couple of magazines and put some books away. I spent most of the day cleaning up the Trac-It master title book list and found 120 titles that had no books entered for them so I deleted them. Wading through all the titles was a good exercise and I have to take some time to see if all our teacher resources are really there or not. I have my suspicions that some of them are not. I also finished prepping the science books. I talked to Mr. W and we checked out the set to him and he asked if he could have a kid write the book numbers on the spines since they'll be up on a high shelf, so I took care of that, making numbers and putting them on with the clear labels we use. They really look nice. We had a party for all our first semester aides after the last period of the day - one of them brought in pizza since she works at a pizza place and we all shared pizza and sodas. A good time was had by all. Put money in print accounts, checked in and out books, put the print account money away and locked the doors. A great day, a great job. I love it here! Huzzah!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lions Rampant vs. Computer Virus

I head in early today and open up to collect textbooks. We have about ten classes come by during the two periods students are in class today and get the books organized and all back on the shelves. I pull out some The Stage and the School and Mythology to repair before they get back on the shelves. Various students come up and hand in books. I decide to go through the school library page curriculum links the Alphabet list of sites and notice that the Channel One link is wrong - since I'd like to stay at my desk to be available for kids, I check all the sites and come up with 2 pages of links that are no longer working, very outdated (one hadn't been updated since 1997!) and a few redirected links. There is some really great stuff in there. A teacher brings by a cart of books he collected in class. My computer goes crazy and says that I have mega viruses popping up and I need to take care of them. I check out the boxes. Now I have McAfee on my computer, but this says to download some other program with a warning that this program may not be compatible with my computer - so I go back into McAfee and start to run their program. Mrs. T(ech) races by and I halt her and she says that someone else has that coming up on their computer also and to do what I had already done. She clicks cancel on the pop-up windows and I run the McAfee. They send out emails and I was good in not clicking on the pop-ups and just checking with McAfee that said I had no virus. If I'd clicked on, they'd have to reghost my computer. The teacher edition German language books are on a cart so I withdraw them and box them up for surplus. Process a couple of magazines. A student wants to get two lions for a project he's doing. He asks about publisher vs. just a regular word document so I show him some of my stuff I have done. Then he has a picture of a shirt with two lions up around the logo and wants to know how to get just the lions - I muse a brief moment and tell him I think that he's looking for Lions Rampant - the old medieval coat of arms, flags, etc. that was the term in use for that and so we hit google images and voila! There they are! He also asks if he can take an image that he likes and reverse it - of course! It turned out very nicely. He didn't have time to print before the buses left, so he will print it in the morning. Mrs. H is all excited about Neil Gaiman winning the Newbery Award for The Graveyard Book - and I'm excited too, he's one of my favorite authors. She's tried a couple of times to get a copy of this book (not only to read herself, but for our library as well!) and will try tonight to pick one up. We have an amazing copy of Stardust by him that she got as a memorial to a student that passed away last year. We also need Neverwhere!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Last Day Before Finals

Got in some more science textbooks today that will be used as supplemental units. Had our aides work on the prep. I talked with Mr. W about how to set these. They will be used by all the teachers from time to time, occasionally kids will check them out, but he'd really like them checked out to the department. Since Lisa is gone today I will check with her on if she wants to do that or not. They all have CD's, so I hand letter 'Sprague H.S.' with the book number on each one. Mrs. J suggests a way that one teacher has the kids not only sign to check out, but also sign when they bring the book back. I get the sub set up to work on the 'Least Circulated Items list' for the day. Process a couple of magazines. Check in two class sets of Sir Gawain and various other books. I draw out a schematic of the workroom on excel - should help the kids putting away the texts the rest of this week. Mr. J came and gave me the list of texts he will no longer be using as we get ready for the international language adoption that will happen this summer. Got to love a teacher on top of what's happening! Took in some emails on when teacher's will be by to pick up semester 2 texts and logged them in. Got carts all ready for the books that will be coming in tomorrow. Did a little bit of repair, reset the library search computers. Put money in print accounts. Helped a student with how to select the color printer for a project. I will be in early tomorrow and the rest of the week so I can help with student contact as they check in texts for the half day they are in school.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cocoa and Cram

Today is the last day this week, tomorrow is a grading day only, so Library Assistants don't work. I finished moving over shelves today in preparation for the texts that will come back next week - renumbered the shelves to make efficient use of the space and the end result turned out well. Now when the kids come to put away books, there should be a shelf for every text. A lot of kids returned books today, and I had up my 'look in workroom' sign up for the library side with 'knock on window' with an arrow pointing towards the workroom door on the other. A couple of kids are moving so I cleared them out, and a lot of kids were just bringing texts by. Did the usual student requests - mostly money in print accounts - ran the front desk 4th period for awhile, very busy with kids coming in and out. We have to time punch their hall pass and have them sign in and out. Taught a student how to use the search on the library computer for 'industrial revolution', began the clean out of the shelves by my desk. I usually keep a stash of books that kids commonly come in and ask for, and pared that down to just a copy of each and got the piles of books ready to be sent back to the schools we borrowed them from. Cocoa and Cram is a session set up after school for the students to take some extra study time for finals next week. Ms. C, the activities leader, brings in hot water for hot chocolate and a plate of cookies. Teachers come in and man the desks so students can come and ask questions and get help. Mrs. H has thought about having coffee time in the library, so this will be a good test to see if the students are respectful and careful.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Today I came in and helped out with covering some of the new books that are back from LMSS (Library Media Support Services). The counselors had scheduled a meeting and the library was closed all morning - it was sooo quiet! I never did see or hear them. After we reopened I did the usual student requests, and made a fact-mail (Just made that up!) to let teachers know when/how we are taking in semester one books and to schedule pick-ups for semester two. I also did an announcement for students on the lonely books shoved in lockers, alone and forgotten that would really like to reunite with their friends - hopefully that will work and we'll get back some books now instead of at the end of the year! My aide finished her bulletin board and I was proud of her for getting all that work done. It's a 'No Name Calling Week' board and she did a great job on the 'sticks and stones can break bones but words can break the soul'. The 'sticks' were cut out like sticks in brown paper - stones in gray - we found a 'bone' font for bones - she did a nice job. I processed magazines and did a request for a teacher on a set of magazines that haven't been seen since our snow. Checked in books and stayed a little late to help out watching the library.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Today I come in a bit early since President Obama is to be sworn in just when I normally arrive. The library has a class in, all watching the ceremony, so I sit and watch as well. The kids were spellbound by the "Air and Simple Gifts", the swearing in and his speech. We set an example for them to see. A historic day. Then to work. Did a lot of student requests, worked on the Prentice Hall lit books again today from last Friday and did some more. Did some glueing for the book spines and set them up for overnight. Got some of the kids to work on moving more books, had one of them dust all the tops of the bookshelves back there. Processed magazines, got some reminder slips set up for the Street Law books that will need to get back to McNary. Put them into Mr. C's box to hand out to his classes. Had a student bring in a badly used Precalculus book and checked it into repair and then checked her out a repaired one. Showed a student how to look up the Odyssey on our search engines.

Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16th - We have a sub for Mrs. H today, so I give her our 'Least Circulated Items' to work on. She's on crutches, so a good thing for her to do just sitting! I do the juniors for the CIS, Mr. H's class. We have a problem with a couple of kids, but the rest seem to have done some good work. I patch up more books and have a whole cart ready for Cody to put away when he comes in. I work with my aide on her bulletin board outside. I process a couple of magazines - I especially wanted to get the new Time magazine on the inauguration out for Tuesday morning. I help an aide find the boxes we use to ship things, I work with Mrs. C on finding information about the AGS Physical Science and AGS Earth Science teachers edition. I had emailed a couple of the middle schools, but ended up emailing all the middle and high schools to see if anyone has a copy. I talk with Mr. M about magazine subscriptions for his class next year and to look for my email on when we put those orders together. I have lunch at my desk and read (Tony Horwitz's Blue Latitudes). I repair more of the Prentice Hall Literature Platinum books and set them to glue for the three day weekend. Help kids out with various typical requests. Pull an old book from the LCI list since we have two copies and one of them is an old yellowing paperback.

January 15th - I get an idea in my head for a great poster - on the web I'm looking up things for the inauguration coming up on Tuesday and find the photo documents of Lincoln's inaugural address. Very cool. He had them printed, then made changes. So I print up the 7 pages and put together a long poster to hang in the hallway for next week and for the month of February. I will also probably do George Washington's as well, but I do need to get other stuff done today. I pull books off the shelf for edging - taping spines, edges and putting on corners and wings, glueing the inside hinges - there's a stack in the workroom for me to finish up tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You Say Monga I Say Maynga

Today I spent mostly working on books that we have in stock that need attention, the Prentice Hall Literature books. I did all the Gold series we have left on the shelf and started working on the Platinum. Most of them just needed some taping on the edges and some hinge glueing (they hadn't given away yet, but they had begun to pull apart), some needed additional glueing. I had my aide help me out today by cleaning the blue computer lab and then she did some cover up for me by using markers to fill in the white spots where the color had been nicked or worn off on the Lit books. Did the typical check in, check out, had a lot of kids come by and pick up Elements of Argument, put money in print accounts, processed a couple of magazines, looked up login numbers and worked with Ms. K on getting some new Lab books. A student came and asked if we sold our magazines, and I told him no, that we kept them for a couple of years and then recycled them for art projects. After school the Manga group did a few presentations on some of the series in that genre. Mrs. H had a conflict and I stepped in to be the 'adult' presence so the group could still do it. Watching them do a presentation was amazing and good practice for them. We ended about 4pm.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I come in today and show the Lifewater DVD blurb. Since we have to show it by hand, I need to sit and watch until it's over and then play Channel One. I begin to process magazines. We have our staff meeting and it's my turn to bring something to eat so I bring Rachel Ray's Fiesta salad with a bunch of stuff thrown in. Several people say they'd love the recipe so I google it and quickly send it out to the classified staff with my few additions. I finish up the magazines when I get back and Ms. K has left a note on my desk about coming to get Lab books for AP Chemistry, so I pull them out and their paper spines are showing quite a bit of wear and tear, so I tape up the spines on all the books. We don't have enough books for her class, so I check with Bookbyte, Amazon and Northwest Text Depository to see if they have any. Only Amazon has 2 copies, so I email the publisher and ask what they can do for us. They no longer make that edition but have a 2nd edition. He gives me the prices and I forward it onto Ms. K and send a thank you back to him. I get all the current books retaped and take a couple to glue the pages back onto the spines and get about 20 of the books checked out to her kids. Check out individual books here and there, use Vision to check on the kids on computer. I ask one kid to stop playing games on the computer since that is not allowed and when he continues, I pull up his computer and close down the site. I do some other repairs from last Friday and get a couple more books back on the shelf. I actually end up staying until about 3:30 just because I love it so! Mrs. H also gives me a quote that she'd like to see painted on the walls since my husband does calligraphy to see if he'd like to try doing that for us. A teacher comes in to see if our Tonal Harmony books came back from McNary and yes they are! All in their new spot! She takes one for Mr. H to look into and is happy we still have four of the workbooks for that as well. A couple of kids come by and ask what's the deal with my beach calendar! It's winter and they love winter! I told them it was summer somewhere and at least they looked at it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stage and Shelves

Today we worked on moving some of the science books around. First we moved the Tonal Harmony books into their new spot - they are listed under the subject 'Music' so they go after the Industrial Arts and before Science. I cleaned up the Industrial Arts shelves since a lot of the teachers just keep all the textbooks in their room and printed up a new accurate listing of books on hand and cleared off some labels that the books were just not kept here anymore. I also found two texts that had been removed from the list and added them back in. We moved the Biology, Chemcom, Chemistry, and Earth Science books to make room for the new Environmental Science books. Looks much better and now we'll have room for the returning books when the class is done. I also patched up the rest of The Stage and School books I had on the shelves and put one in Ms. L's box to show her what they could look like now and to just put it in our box if she liked it. She came all the way back to where I was moving books and was very appreciative of what I'd done. Also today: put money in accounts, checked in and out books, helped a student find something new to read - he said he liked Tom Clancy and didn't suppose we had anything like that here, and we most certainly do! So he picked out a couple to check out. I had my aide do her book report for this class, and she also moved books for me. Ms. A had a DVD she wanted played tomorrow before Channel One and we queued it up to check it all out and saw there were three segments. So I emailed her to ask which one and to make sure which day she wanted it played. She emailed back to say she wanted the last segment and tomorrow would be fine to play it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Covering and Repairs

January 9th: Had an assembly day today, so helped supervise the kids while they were in the library. Spent a lot of today working on my Friday repair day. Did some corner gluing, and a back endpaper needed gluing, got some more books back on the shelves, but mostly worked on a good system for replacing pages that have gone missing. I tried the fancy machine, working on duplex copies - 1-2 for some reason - but that wasn't working. Jammed the machine once but got it out. Luckily Mrs. H was still here and opened more drawers and things and put it all back together and it was working again. I finally ended up 'the old fashioned way' with just putting copies on the glass scanner, placing the first copy next to the edge, the second page over to the other side of the copy area and they came out beautifully, just had to put them in the book, fold where the original pages were, cut and tip in. Worked like a charm. I was very pleased with it. We have to use the old pages if we have them, due to copyright laws, but Mrs. H figures that it's all right to copy a page or two when that's all that's missing from having a complete book. One book I worked in today had 5 sheets that had fallen out, and they had carefully folded them up and taped them onto other pages! I tenderly lifted off the tape and tipped them in. I was the only one in for the last couple of hours though we did have a sub and she helped with our 'least circulated items' list. I talked with Ms. W about the accounting for our week of snow - I was confused with all the instructions, but I just need to see Ms. R on Monday to get that cleared up. I ended the day working with our The Stage and School books. I had asked Ms. L as she walked through the other day if she'd like me to patch them up a bit and she said yes. So I did corners and spine ends today on the copies we have back here. Read a student's story I was asked to read, put money in print accounts, checked on book copies for several students, answered questions, read and responded to emails, gave out a Nanowrimo bookmark to a student I hadn't seen since November! I closed everything up, put the money in the back, shut down computers and left everything else to Mr. M to finish up when homework club was done.

January 8th: Came in and covered the other Sir Gawain books, then covered the rest of the Ricochet River books that had been out when we covered them last spring, so all copies should now be covered. That took up most of my time. Had my aide work on the bulletin board outside the workroom. Mrs. H found a 'No Name Calling Week' for the end of January, so I'm having my aide put together a display for that. She did a great job so far. When class was over I checked with her and said, 'Those take a long time to do, don't they?' and she said yes, she hadn't realized how much work went into it. I also reminded her about the book report she has due for our class and found her a good horse book to read, War Horse. Checked out a couple of Hamlet's and various other books during the day. Had some Old Man and the Sea returned, processed the new Orion magazine.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rain & Wind Drill

I finish up the calendar this morning and pull books from the library for my 'beach instead of snow' theme. It's raining, it's windy, stormy outside and the fire drill goes off. I clear the library and head outside. The fire trucks come and give the all clear as we huddle like emperor penguins under coats and umbrellas. Cover the Sir Gawain books, process some more magazines, take care of two more withdrawing students, check out the shelves to start working on making room for the Environmental books when they come back, finish up the repairs on a couple of books, take some inventory, reset student computers, turn in my picture to Mr. J, answer emails, send out a request for teacher editions of the AGS Physical and Earth Science books for Mrs. C to Judson and Crossler, check in more overdue books, check out some more Sir Gawain, straighten up the magazine spinner rack. We give one of the students a sweatshirt since he has dutifully been cleaning all the overhead projector rolls. Mrs. H goes out to pick up dinner for the P family to help them out and we all chip in.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Adjusted Calendar

Started the day with cat litter. Took the smelly books outside and checked them over, there wasn't any milk damage, but they did smell a bit, so I put the cat litter in the bottom of the bags, put paper towels over that, then the books on top. The girls came in to see what was gong on with them, so we retrieved some homework for them and I put the books back in for another day and told them to come and check back tomorrow. Worked on the calendar, though interruptions were frequent. Checked out First Aid/CPR books, and two class sets of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight went out. As I checked them out I found five books that hadn't been covered, so I pulled them and will cover them before they get checked out. We got the new adjusted calendar to make up for the snow days and I only had to pull a bit of my calendar apart to adjust it. Helped a student work on a resume - funny, he kept calling me 'Mom - can you help me do....'. So I did. A stranger went back into our workroom and I followed him back and questioned him as to what he was doing back there, just a worker filtering cables through. Processed some more magazines, just about finished up the calendar with my palm fronds, checked in more overdue books, lent out some copies of miscellaneous books to students to study while they're in the library, checked out a student who is withdrawing and cleared her from both textbooks and the regular library. Found a missing book. Helped Mrs. C with some Physical Science and Earth Science texts that came in with the science adoption, she was very excited to see them. I also sent Mr. J an email on his german trading cards, talking about my visit and about Deutsch Bibliothek (Germany's National Libraries), and that Sprague has 83 books if you subject search under 'german', and the new movie Inkheart was originally a book published in Germany called Tintenherz.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Slinky's, Stinky's and Wishes Come True

Yeah! Got to head back into work today. Came into the building to see kids doing a project with Slinky's in the hall. I heard that little chainy sound here and there throughout the day. Walked into a wonderfully clear workroom! All our boxes of surplus books are all gone! They must have been acceptable to ship, cause if they're not packaged right, the drivers won't take them, and ours are all gone - my work wish come true! I figure we had at least 80, probably 100 boxes stacked in two huge piles. I pulled down the old calendar and am working on a 'beach theme' for January - no more snow! When I pulled out some of our workroom drawers for poster paper, they were a mess. Mrs. H had spilled a coffee right before we left and we cleaned the floor, but didn't notice that the drawers had all been dripped in. So I got the cleaning rag and cleaned them all up, two drawers were even stuck together. Since I was in there, I decided to haul out the old posters that had been in storage there, probably for years, and recycled or dumped them as appropriate. I checked in a class set of The Journal of Finn Reardon. We had an aide that needed something to do so he put those away and also a partial cart of books that had been waiting over the break. I reset computers for students, handed out a '2 textbooks out' form and explained it to another student, checked out a few books and processed three weeks worth of magazines, nearly every magazine we have came in over the three weeks, some double issues. Also delivered magazines to teacher boxes. The custodian came and asked about some books that had been in a locker and gotten chocolate milk on them. He had double bagged them and put them into the boiler room because the smell was so bad and asked what to do. I had him bring them up to us, I'll take them outside tomorrow and open the bag. We'll get them cleaned up, if they really smell, they say putting kitty litter in a bag will pull out the smell, so maybe we'll get to try that one out! Then we'll assess if they need to be billed for repairs or to replace. Finished up the day working on the January calendar - a beach, some sand, and a book or two!