The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Today we had our opening meeting and did a lot of talk on literacy and what that means to the school and our community. I stayed for about half the meeting time, and as they got into the more teacher specifics, I went into the back and began to work! Had to take some time to peel and put rubbing alcohol on stickers from some of the used books we got in. Sorted through all the magazines and got teacher copies put in their boxes with some other bundles of magazine stuff that we give to them (like updates on materials for their specific department). Got a couple of teachers to clean out some books and Mrs. H was working with the English department when I left on some of their old stuff to see if we could delete it. Another teacher asked if we could get perhaps some extras of some old books, so I checked and sent off an e-mail to see if we could get a better price on those. Sorted through the library magazines and will work on processing them tomorrow. Decided to walk over to Ms. W and ask if we'd ordered the new Spanish and German books and she thought we had. When we checked, she had made an error thinking the French books were the Spanish ones - opps! So, she pulled the quotes. I let the World Language IL (Instructional Leader) know and they signed off on them today so we will be ready when they get here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Monday

Today I finished off the new Precalculus with Limits books. Some had been broken in, but I finished them off and barcoded them, made room on the shelf for them as well. Also finished off the French books and got them all reshelved and tagged. Redid the Civics shelves and found a lot of room. Still no room for the English books, but they can stay on a cart for now. Mr. C came from Follett and bought some old workbooks from us and a set of textbooks we were getting rid of. I withdrew the textbooks and they are all set for pick-up tomorrow and he left us a check for what he bought (I gave it to Mrs. H!). Sent out my 'you need to schedule your textbook pick-ups' out to all the teachers today and already had one response before I left today! w00t! The teachers are all due back tomorrow so I'll start writing things down on my pick up sheets to start getting that all organized. Checked out some new materials to new teachers, and some to old teachers. Started working on the last of our 80 box stash of books - the American Gov. books. Some have stickers that need to be peeled off and the stickiness taken care of. I asked Mr. C how they got the stamps and numbers off the ends of books and he said they have these amazing belt sanders and have 4 people running them all day - I want one!!

Friday, August 27, 2010


Spent most of today working on the new books. Making new entries for AP Physics, the AP Testing Workboooks and AP Biology and stamped and barcoded them, and moved other books to get them in place. Also placed the new Mythology books and regular Biology books in. Revamped the French Bien dit! books and workbooks and broke in the spines on the new ones we got in and started to stamp them. Helped get the boxes of books out for the new shelves to continue the 900 section. Barcoded Street Law and made space for the new copies rearranging the old ones that were too crowded and barcoded Homes Today and Tomorrow and got those into place. Sent out e-mails to teachers on what they wanted to do with certain books. Mrs. B wants all the new Guide to Good Foods checked out to her for her classroom sets so I checked them all out to her and let her know they were ready for her to pick up. She wanted to keep all 40 of the old set of books for absent students to check out, and I asked if maybe we could just keep 20 instead. Less space to use up and she said that was fine. Sent an e-mail to our Follett rep that we did have some books and workbooks for him to check out and he will be out on Monday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Moving Furniture

No silly's! The furniture wasn't moving on its own, we were rearranging it. Mrs. H decided to move her library desk over by the main door, and we moved the couch and chairs over to where her desk used to be, and the magazine racks, and the manga shelves as well, rearranged all the tables in the main part of the library and moved in the new shelves for the 900 section. It really looks nice! Also did a lot of barcoding today on the new books in and opened up my new boxes from yesterday and got those all set to go. We have really appreciated Mrs. K from South coming this week and helping out, she got all our new Biology books broken in and barcoded (100 of them) and some other stuff as well. She's back to her school and we'll miss her great work! She made a huge difference! Thank you Mrs. K!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Today I got in quick to start barcoding teacher resources. I knew we'd be busy with students and registration the rest of the day. I barcoded the Precalculus, Foods and AP Biology resources. I also printed up barcodes for some of the texts I had already unboxed and gave them to our helper (her school underwent major changes this summer, so they're not open yet) and she worked on barcoding our BSCS books and Biology extras we had gotten in. The rest of the day I spent working on registration with office people and volunteers. It wasn't too bad. We got in new boxes in the back! I fended off everyone since I want to unpack them! They are a whole assortment of books we got in, bits of this and that and I want to make sure they are all accounted for and in good enough shape to use! Yeah! More boxes!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Boxes and Registration

Very happy to be back at work! I was in last week and picked up my badge and keys, so I knew about all the boxes that are waiting for me in the back room! We did get in new textbooks, not as many as were requested, but more than I thought would be approved, so happy unboxing day! I decided to unpack everything, a cart for each title. There were about 70 boxes I unpacked and some teacher resources and AVID things as well. I put the AVID stuff in Mrs. H's office. I did get everything unpacked and ready to work on. Checked amounts on the packing slips. When I came in, the office asked me to help out a bit with registration today and especially tomorrow, so I took a crash course in the program and helped out for about half an hour today changing data for students on our database, new phone numbers, addresses, etc. Once I got all my privileges set, it was a pretty easy process and I actually helped some kids! Today was easy, just seniors and juniors, tomorrow are the sophomores and freshmen which are quite the herd...

Reading List 2009 - 2010

  • Hitler's Canary by Sandi Toksvig - Based on a true story of the author's family, this tale of the Danish effort during WW2 is amazing. A must read.
  • Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs - Love these stories of the shape shifter Mercy Thompson. Another wild tale of the fae in the Tri-Cities area.
  • Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines - Gladinating! This tale of a girl who has lost 7 fathers to gladiator fights caught me by surprise for an entertaining match!
  • Longitude by Dava Sobel - Fascinating story of the men who struggled to claim the prize for finding out how to calculate longitude. Someday I will go see the Harrison's!
  • His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik - Excellent! Dragon's are the 'air force' of the early 1800's as England and Napoleon growl at each other across the channel. Enter Captain Laurence and a hatching dragon egg. Temeraire choses Laurence and they learn the importance of their new life.
  • An Arsonist's Guide to Writers Homes in New England by Brock Clarke - This guy thinks too much and I was tired of his inner ramblings. Put it down after 117 pages.
  • The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey - Quick read of how possibly Shahrazad used the 1,001 stories to save her life and the life of her husband. I enjoyed it.
  • The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig - I want to write like Ivan does! Another superlative tale of life in 1900 era rural Montana that revolves around the one room schoolhouse. A must read.
  • Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch by Charles Leerhsen. Harness horses were king at the turn of the century and Dan Patch was an amazing pacer. His story is woven into the history of the time, his owners, the drivers and others touched by him. Some writing flaws, but a good spin.
  • Made in America by Bill Bryson - quite the read on words in America with a lot of history to boot! Quite the slog, but enjoyed the early years of the country bits and learned a few things. Did you know that bicycles were at one point called Boneshakers? I liked that book though there were no bicycles in it!
  • Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards - A woman fosters an abused horse and finds in Lay Me Down's gentleness there are things she needs to learn about herself. Very nice.
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson - I finished off this marvelous trio and was sad to see the charactors go! Mr. Larsson died just after delivering these and there are no more. I enjoyed these immensely!
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson - more twists than the 33 inverted loops I did at Magic Mountain one day. Fabulous!
  • The Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez - A hairdresser lands in Kabul amongst all the agencies tryng to help the people there. She is immediately welcomed and comes to open and run the beauty school to help the Afghan women. At times funny, and others sad, this true story is a page turner. I loved it.
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. A tale of personal worth and choices by a young Pakastani financial genius torn between home and family, America and a lost love. He tells his listener his story over a dinner with a stranger. My son is serving in Afghanistan and recommended this.
  • The Places in Between by Rory Stewart - Rory backpacked through Afghanistan in 2002. An interesting view of the country and people, though Rory admits he was not feeling well during the trip. I was ambivilent about it.
  • Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Honest Abe had a secret diary that chronicles the great fight of his life, the war against vampires. When you think that plantation owners may have been vampires, buying their next blood feast at the slave sales, you can see why Abe was so focused on freeing the slaves. A nice historical/speculative fiction read.
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Preist. Loved this steampunk Seattle story. The 'Boneshaker' goes awry and digs under gold rush era Seattle releasing 'the blight' creating zombies, so they wall it off. Zeke's father created the boneshaker and he wants to find out what really happened and goes under the wall. Mom, of course, suits up and follows him in. Great story, marvelous characters.
  • Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. The next story of Mercy Thompson as she's up to her neck in vampires. Reading candy!
  • Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead. Great next tale in his King Raven series. I'm enjoying these immensely!
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - another of his stories of what influences decisions. I used to work on ground proximity warning systems when I was an electronic assembler, so I really got into "Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes" chapter. They should have listened.
  • The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. Enjoyed this little trip around the world in search of happiness. A fun little book.
  • Stones for Schools by Greg Mortenson - what a wonderful book, and a great story. I'd love everyone to read this about his continuing quest to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The afterword was written just last October, so very relevant and current.
  • The Dragon's Trail: The Biography of Raphael's Masterpiece by Joanna Pitman - A biography of a painting! I was fascinated by it from the hand of its master to its current residency at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. Compelling!
  • A Sudden Country by Karen Fisher - Sprague Staff Book Club pick for March - some very beautiful language in here, She wrote this from snippets of a diary from her family's journey to Oregon on the Oregon Trail. Did not care for the 'forbidden love' bits, but overall, a good tale.
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson - Loved this tale of the future, can a person be saved by just a butterfly? One of the best scifi I've read in awhile
  • Little Girls in Pretty Boxes by Joan Ryan - fascinating look at what the training does to the best gymnasts in the world - and how the price for many has been too high. I truly hope that things have changed in those sports.
  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - a well crafted tale, but I didn't care for it.
  • Flirt - by Laurell K. Hamilton - Another librarian sent this over so I could read how she came up with the idea for this story and I read it all. Though it should have come with a warning! This is not an appropriate book for the Sprague library!
  • Gwenhywfar by Mercedes Lackey - Mercedes found a Welsh traid that suggested there were perhaps 3 Gwenhywfars married to King Arthur and she writes about the third one, the warrior Gwen.
  • The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman - Sprague Staff Book Club February read - I was expecting more of a story, but still the pieces were an interesting perspective of the Warsaw Zoo during WWII.
  • Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett - another great Pratchett read - Tiffany Aching inadvertantly dances with the Wintersmith and he is smitten by her. He makes every snowflake her portrait, even the icebergs at sea. The only question is, will summer come again?
  • Hood by Stephen Lawhead - superlative retelling of the Robin Hood legend - he does for Robin Hood what Jack Whyte did for King Arthur. He used history and went into ancient sources to weave a truer legend that has its foot firmly in fantasy and yet totally believeable. I loved this and will be reading more of the series!
  • The Purple Emperor by Herbie Brennan - very nice sequel to Faerie Wars - can't wait to read Ruler of the Realm! But, yes I can wait. I have another to read first!
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell - very intriguing set of information! I enjoyed this.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson - Sprague Book Club for January - Wow, what a novel! Thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the complex script, almost read it straight through. Well worth a read.
  • Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by Anne Rice - took me awhile to get into this. It was after they arrived in Nazareth that I thought the story really started to grow
  • Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd - wonderful tale of a runaway who dons her 'Solace' wig and tries to get home to Ireland
  • Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher - what a hoot! Had to try and stop from laughing from time to time since my hubby was sleeping:)
  • Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund - fabulous telling of the life of Marie Antoinette garnered from her letters to and from her mother - enjoyed it immensely
  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo - from a picture he puts together how WWI may have looked like to a horse - I thought it was nicely done
  • Venice Against the Sea by John Keahey - a great account of the city of Venice bringing history alive in today
  • The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks - a lovely set of stories centered on the real life Sarajevo Haggadah that could explain some of the wear and tear on the book through the centuries. Loved this!
  • Wednesday Sisters - by Meg Clayton - Sprague Book Club December read - Had some good parts, but the ending was rough and the years zipped by too fast
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore - supposedly a prequel to Graceling, rainbow monsters and a horse named Small. A wonderful fantasy love story.
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith - Sprague Book Club November read - what a hoot! Loved this version, done so well tongue in cheek - at least if you have cheeks, which I'm not sure Zombies have.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - a book to read slowly and chew over it. I loved how he kept the 'voice' of the book throughout - amazing.
  • Fablehaven by Brandon Mull - great book, loved the concept of fantasy preserves
  • Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult - Sprague Book Club October read - interesting to learn about brittle bone disease, but the story felt flat and like a formula book.
  • One Tough Mother by Gert Boyle with Kerry Tymchuk - what a hoot! Worth reading for the 'tough mother' ads alone!
  • The Strictest School in the World by Howard Whitehouse - A rubber boy and a girl who wants to build airplanes, and how she is rescued by the boy, an eccentric aunt and an Indian (like the country!) butler.
  • The Coyote Road edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling - found three new authors in here I need to read more of!
  • Firebirds Rising edited by Sharyn November - some great stories in here
  • Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Hanna Jansen - a Rawandan girl survives the massacres and is fostered into a German family. Based on her survival during the ordeal with wonderful vignettes of how she and her foster family come together
  • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly - a very dark book, but some great pieces in there
  • Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher - wasn't real keen on this one, though the insights into a teen's thoughts are priceless.
  • Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan - this was a great page turner with great characters
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs - I liked this tale of the shape shifter and her friends the werewolves, nicely done.
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore - Great Tale! Gracelings have gifts and Katsa has the gift of killing. Her journey with Po is transforming to both and well told.
  • Travels in Greater Yellowstone by Jack Turner - lovely essays on his impressions
  • Lost in My Own Backyard by Tim Cahill - I am off to Yellowstone this summer so I've picked up some books to learn about it!