The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Friday, February 27, 2009

5 Seconds of Insanity!

It's said that we each get 5 seconds of insanity every day. I think I used up mine for the whole year. First of all, the books I pulled and so graciously put up by Mrs. J's desk for this morning, were the wrong books. I gave her Geometry Connections Volume 2 and they should have been the Algebra Connections Volume 2. Then, I thought I was supposed to have Ms. O's class in for CIS and Ms. C said Ms. O's class had a sub and they were just sitting there, so I went over and said they needed to come down, but they were all sure they had completed things. Three students decided to come and when we got there, Mrs. G's advisory was there, the real class I was supposed to have, Ms. O's class wasn't until the next advisory in March! Next, I had the new video for announcements and got talking with a teacher and Ms. C comes in saying "Didn't you get the video?" and we were already 5 minutes into 2nd period and I hadn't even given showing it a thought even though I had it loaded and ready to go. Argh! I felt like Charlie Brown - I thought I should just go home, climb back into bed and start over! Things got better! I took down the old calendar today and put up the new one. I used a lot of the old numbers, so it went up really quickly. I put books out on all the tables for Monday - half the tables had children's books to read, and the other half had short story collections. I put bookmarks in four different places and sent out the list of books that had been made into movies during 2008. My favorite part was finding The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in a collection of Fitzgerald's short stories. I did hand out 2 class sets of The Great Gatsby, 2 sets of Algebra Connections Volume 2 and a class set of Foundations of Algebra Year 2 Volume 2. Sent Ms. A the copy counts of Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. Not only did Mrs. H buy me lunch from Luv,Luv today, but I also got an all staff email from Mrs. T: "Every month Debbie does this absolutely amazing job of the Library calendar on the bulletin board behind her desk. I just happened to walk by just now as she is putting up the one for March. You really ought to take a look when you go by... I think it is awesome... I think she is awesome!" And Ms. G replied: "Way to go Debbie!" Mrs. T also told our web page techs they should display my calendar on the Sprague web page - Major blushing :) Maybe insanity is a good thing!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Operating as Usual

Woke up to snow this morning, but school is on and even better, Mrs. H is back! Mrs. J made a big welcome back sign and I brought in a primrose and some dark chocolate for her. Checked out three class sets of The Great Gatsby and two class sets of Algebra Connections Volume 2 and checked in the Volume 1. Also two class sets of Snow Falling on Cedars and a set each of The Journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty and Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: the Diary of Molly MacKenzie Flaherty. Taped up the spines of Great Gatsby, lots were beginning to come apart. Helped an aide pull a couple of books. The author's names were mispelled, so we found one of them, but not the other. Pulled up printers for students again today, put money into print accounts. Checked in and out a few individual students, got books ready for tomorrow (5 class sets worth). Showed Ms. O where the new The Century VHS were located and she checked one out. Sent off the announcement for Monday - Mrs. H and I combed through her books and we decided on 25 to give away. I told her too about putting the kids' books out on tables for Monday and she liked it. Processed one magazine and some teacher materials. Ms. M came with some exposed film for my bulletin board and will bring more!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cuckoo's Nest

Did two class sets of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest today and got ready Snow Falling on Cedars and The Great Gatsby for tomorrow. Did some more repairs on others and did some spine taping on The Great Gatsby - I don't like handing out books that have obvious needs, pulled jammed paper from the copy machine laminated more bookmarks, worked on the new March calendar. I came up with a literary riddle for our Read Across America day:

These books became movies in 2008
Some were quite good and others were great!
Come into the library and search, take a look
a prize you could get if you show us the book!

Then to have books out for students to read during the day, bookmarks to hand out, that should be good! So, my March calendar will be on books that have been made into movies. Since the days are very close to the same, I'll use the numbers from this month and have 'film strips' from clip art of the A & B days. Another clip art of 'Spring Break'. We have old reels from the olden days and Mrs. M from the photo lab is getting me some film to wind around the board - then of course the books that have been made into movies. So, that should go up pretty easily on the 2nd. Helped out Mr. D, and conferred with Mr. A on some computer stored images, sent out an email to hopefully return our remote - and no response :(

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mrs. H Back on Thursday!

Mrs. H wrote to say she should be back on Thursday! Huzzah! Took in two class sets of Geometry Connections Volume 1 and handed out 2 class sets of Volume 2. Lots of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead also went off today and The House on Mango Street. Did more repairs and replaced some pages. Processed magazines. Got out One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for tomorrow. Talked with a teacher on getting some current news resources for a child with no internet or papers at her house. I showed him the Time magazines we have and that she can check out. Talked with a mother who asked for a list of the books her daughter has out and needs to be returned. Got printers up for kids, put money on accounts. Had a student return several textbooks and library books along with many individual requests. Wrote a notice for teachers that Monday is Read Across America and to please spend some time reading. Mrs. H thinks we should have a literary riddle and the kids that solve it get to pick a book off her cart. So, I must think of a literary riddle... Also remembered a box up on the back shelves with messages like 'Live, Love, Laugh' thoughts so I got the box down and opened it and took them all out - the big glasses (the earpieces are about 3 feet long!) I put up on the shelves by Mrs. H's desk. The others I put in our cabinet for her to decide where they should go.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ask the Mutated Zombie Chickens from Mars!

Mr. C came by this morning looking for a short story. He wasn't sure of the name, or the author, so I began to poke around, found the title and author, tracked down the collections it may be in - there are two possibilities, one at South and one at McKay. So I queried South to see if they could send it. He also came back and had found the same info! Took in two class sets of Geometry Connections Volume 1 and handed out the Volume 2. Laminated the pile from Friday and the new stuff that came in today. Learned how to pull up the printers from Mrs. T since the computer lab is refusing to keep any of our printers up for printing. She also asked me to make two signs for our teacher computers that they are for teachers only! So I did. Processed magazines. Did some more repairs - one book was returned by a student because he turned a page and found swastikas drawn on, so I whited them out, another book had (luckily in pencil) the 'turn to page 32' you turn to it, 'turn to page 432' turn to it 'turn to page 96' etc, etc. One of the longer ones I've had to erase. Did some other taping as well. Had one of my aides work some more on the Read Across America bulletin board, and another one clear out both our display cases, clean them up and put in some children's books. They look very nice! He liked one of the pictures, so we left the book open to it: "Why did the chicken cross the road? Ask the mutated zombie chickens from Mars!" Very funny! He also picked Bad Kitty and my Mom's book she donated to the library Hello, My Name is Mudd, I Come From Rainbow City along with the few Seuss books we have and some others. I asked our aide if he ever thought of being a librarian!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Today was an advisory day and right now they are trying to finish up graduation requirements. The seniors I had in today were getting things signed off from their regular advisory teacher and getting stuff taken care of in that program. I ran our video announcements today before Channel One - quite the program! The rest of the day I worked on repairs, filling in missing pages and taping up edges and corners, checking in and out texts, answering questions from students and parents.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Read Across America is coming!

Started today with counting the print money with our sub and getting it into the bookkeeper, then worked on things for this year's Read Across America on March 2nd. I had my aide pull off the old bulletin board and we started a new one, taught him how to work our letter cutter and he got that all done, One of our aides made some very cool Cat in the Hat hats! I printed some stuff off the NEA site and we made bookmarks to give out for that day. (Though Mr. S had a class in and I gave him one!) Checked in and out books, finished up the shared novels list and told Mr. A that it was ready to go on the site. He came with one of the tech kids and asked if we were just modifying or replacing, I said to replace and he said that made it much easier for them! So now it's up on the site - yeah! Only three of the six high schools now participate - another one just pulled out, which is very sad :( Did some repairs, got Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead all ready for a class, packed up some books for Mrs. H, she gets in books to see if we want to buy them, and our budget has been frozen, so she asked me to send them back, so I did.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shelving Aides

Today I worked on the new shelving assignments for our aides. We have 21 aides this semester, and we should have the books well shelved. I asked Mrs. H if we could do this since she'll still be out for a week and possibly more and she said to go ahead. I sent some Physical Science/Earth Science texts over to South, processed magazines, repaired The Stage and the School books, checked in and out texts to individual students. Worked with our sub to help us out with circulation, looking up student numbers and putting money on accounts and also asked if she'd be sure and come in on time for the Manga Club that meets tomorrow morning, laminated, fed the copier about 6 reams of paper (while getting a text pick up schedule from a teacher for next week), put our study room back together and herded back in the equipment that belongs there (one note here - our DVD player has its remote missing - ssshhhh! Don't tell Mrs. H - we hope to find it before she gets back - I looked all over for it), talked with our bookkeeper about the billing that went out and we'll go over the bills together and clear the texts that have gotten turned in tomorrow so she can send out report cards, dealt with students mucking about with computers ('Look! I can turn my screen upside down!' - ah, no.), helped one of our aides classify the texts so he could put them away, had another substitute that needed something to do for the rest of her day so I got her to front the shelves, worked the main desk with Mrs. J since she was swamped with students. We had a fire drill at 2:15 and it was beautiful and sunny and warm outside - ahhh! Finally closed up the library for the day about 3:45.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Barrel Full of Books

Today we got in our barrel that is for collecting books. These books are for donating to kids during spring break along with Marion Polk Food Share, Roth's, and the Salem Area Chapter of Retired Educators. We're hoping kids and staff will bring in books for grades K-12. Anything to get a book into the hands of a child is a good thing. I wrote up an announcement for the staff, then Mrs. H found the attached email and we printed up flyers and sent one of our aides out to hang them up all over the school. I then used the flyer to submit an announcement to be read. I worked with one of our kids on the video he made for the blood drive coming up and made a few suggestions as we viewed it. He will retape it (since one of the Administrators asked that he remove a line he said) and it will air on Channel One, hopefully tomorrow. I checked in and out books, did a whole class of The Martian Chronicles, tracked down another book that we weren't sure where it came from, processed magazines and Mrs. H came by early and asked if we could make a list of things we needed to use from this years budget that we hadn't spent yet. 'Books?' I enquired hopefully. 'Well, supplies and the like, and sure, books too.' :) We started our new kids on taking the Dewey decimel test on shelving, I also had one of my aides work on moving books on the shelves to give some more room for Developing Child and Physical Science AGS. It was a busy day and Mrs. J and I were helping students all day long.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Laminated & UofO Symphony

February 13th - Came in early because the UofO Orchestra came to play today! From 8:15 - 9 am and they were superb. Our orchestra teacher invited the whole school to come and listen so I did. Amazing! Totally worth getting in early! I did help out Mrs. J for about a half an hour before I went. During the assembly we allow students to come into the library and we had about 120 of them in today. Mrs. J had to go to the assembly since she's the cheerleader coach, so it was up to me and our sub for Mrs. H to keep them monitored. I also ran more pages of the Least Circulated Items list for her to plug away on. We played the new video Sprague announcements for 2nd period, then I turned on the laminator for Mrs. A's class that needed a bunch of stuff taken care of. Got in lots of texts today that were billed since they hadn't been returned at the semester. If a textbook or library book has been billed, the report card will not be released. Mr. S came with the books that he had supposedly dropped off last summer. At least they're back! Talked with our bookkeeper about collecting all the returning book notices all in a day rather than having them come down one by one. Helped out students on computers today, checked out more books, got in The House on Mango Street for Mrs. L from another school and processed them in so they are ready to go for her class. After school I helped monitor the Manga club since Mrs. H couldn't be there and stayed until 4:30 with them.

December 12th - Today I had an entire pile of laminating to do, so I turned on the machine and let it warm up. It takes about 30 minutes to get up to the heat it needs, when it was ready I did all the lamination projects that had piled up since Mrs. H has been gone - she usually does them. I moved the Earth Science and Environmental Science books around to make room for the replacement Chemistry texts. Checked in and out books, worked on repairs, answered phone calls about books. One parent called that his student had returned all his books ("Mr. S got on the bus with 2 backpacks full of books!") back last summer and we had no record of it. He called just as I was leaving but I stayed and we spent 25 minutes on the phone checking out different things. I told him I'd call him back with what I found out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Charles A. Sprague Collection

It's always a great day in the library! Checked in and out a lot of individual students today. Also moved in the new Physical Science with Earth Science books to their shelf. Had some questions from parents as they received notices for overdue books. Asking if they'd been brought in, and if they could then get their report cards. Worked with a teacher on novels, processed magazines, repaired books. Sent an email to our bookkeeper on the fined books that were brought in, explaining how one book was returned and it wasn't the right book, but may have been. Contacted LMSS on the circulation report to see if we can pull up the call numbers, and they replied that we used to be able to weave that information in, but it won't do it any longer. Our sub pulled books again today and we discussed several books. I found that she had misunderstood one book, but she has done a marvelous job working in the LCI list and pulling carts of books. Another book she found was from our Charles A. Sprague collection that had been shelved with our regular collection. So I returned it to the collection shelves by the front door. I believe that the collection is from his personal library and is a great historical piece for our school.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snowy Morning

Woke up to snow this morning and all into work. Got in replacement science texts from the adoption last summer. There were quite a few that we sent back for defects, and new shiny books arrived today. I had my aide begin to process them and I only found one that I will send back out of this group. Got them all processed and ready to get on a shelf, though I will have to move some books to do that for the Chemistry books. Also processed magazines, checked out several classes of books today and individual texts in and out. Sent out a group email after talking with Mrs. H that she won't be back for a couple of weeks at least, so she asked that I send out a group email. Did a lot of repairing today as well on Mythology and Prentice Hall Platinum books. We received an email from Sandy Husk, the school superintendent and she has put all new textbook adoptions on hold, so repairing is a good tool to keep what we have in circulation.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cold Inside

Yes, it's cold inside today - the heat system wasn't working so I spent most of the day wearing my coat. I heard students at one point saying it was snowing outside - but I didn't see it. Finished up the staff deletes (46 more) except for the ones that still have books out. I will ask Mrs. H what she wants me to do with them. She was gone today - her son broke his leg in three places and had to have surgery, so she is home with him now. Reorganized some of the professional library. Some of the staff that needs to be deleted had out some of that, so it was easier to put the books in number order then look for the 10 or so still out. They were just a bit too high for me and I had to get a step stool to see the numbers. I did find one in that hadn't been checked in and cleared that off an old staff account. Did some reorganizing on teachers that had a huge amount of texts (class sets) under an old number, so I put them into a current account number and and deleted off the old one. A teacher came in and we looked over and discussed some of the novels for sophomore readers so I did department checks to see who else would be using those and how many to see if she'd be able to check them out. Checked out books, took in books. Did a few repairs, answered emails. Spoke with our bookkeeper about some of the old students that are still on the books, and we decided to just clear off the graduating classes of '04, '05, '06 and '07. There were only a few in each and she had the billing for them, so we just cleared them out of Trac-It.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Deleting Staff

Worked on the shared novels list today and got it all ready except for McNary's items. I'm waiting for their list when they have time. Checked out textbooks, though it really slowed down today. Worked with another Ms. H on the advisory period with her seniors. We were trying to get all their information wrapped up to get checked off for their senior list. I also started to run through Trac-It deleting staff that no longer work at Sprague or they've never checked anything out. I also had some staff with two accounts, so I meshed them into one. I looked for odd numbers and checked those out as well. So far, I have 90 staff I've withdrawn and deleted and that's just through the K's.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Can of Worms!

Not as many classes today, but still busy and a lot of students coming by one by one. We picked up some more aides for the library. I ran more pages of our 'Least circulated items' list for them to do when they had to sit and run the front desk and had no homework or anything else to do. I also worked on the shared novel list some more and got all the changes made to a new spreadsheet and worked on the additions. I sent out our list to the Instructional Leaders for them to look over and make changes and I guess I opened up whole can of worms! The books we've never checked out, the ones that are in terrible shape! Oh my! They will get the tally's together and give me their weeded list next week some time! Just before I left one of the math teachers had me box up some Algebra Connections V1 books, and check them out to West Salem and she'll take them over to the teacher over there since she lives right by him.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shared Novels

Today we did another huge lot of checking books out. More classes, more individual students. I also did a few repairs, processed magazines, and worked on our shared novels list. Four of the high schools here share their novels with each other and our school started the master list. It's time to update so I've gotten back the lists from two others and am starting to revise the list, deleting, changing availability numbers, and adding in new texts. When I get the excel spreadsheet all updated, I will turn it over to the tech kids and they will upload it to the site. One student came by and checked out one of the books on my 'fantasy' shelf! I replaced it with another book.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pushin' Books

Short and simple - pushin' books out to classes and individual students all day, one right after another. One teacher claimed he had emailed to let us know he was coming and later apologized that he hadn't - we had a list but other classes came in as well and we had to pull books as the students came to the window waiting. We love it when the teachers let us know they're coming, we can just plow through click, click, click.

Monday, February 2, 2009


February focus is our fantasy collection! And just a bit of advertising for the current play - I went to see it Saturday night with my Mom. I must admit I cried when they did 'On the Willows'. It's still playing this Thursday, Friday and Saturday - Go see it! Very busy day at work with lots of textbooks heading out the door, running return slips for the books that haven't made it back yet. Worked on the calendar a bit more. Set up more pick up times for the week - shuffled in a few more teachers that called and wanted to know if they could come up. Processed a couple of magazines. Mr. C helped out sitting crosslegged on my counter opening all the books to the back to help check out his block class faster. Found out how to change the message on the return textbooks slips - by duh, reading the manual!