The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Today we had our back to school Library Media meeting downtown. So I went in and worked for an hour and half, and then Mrs. M and I went to the meeting. A lot of it was helping out the library assistants who are now the only ones left to mind the libraries. I asked if we could stay in our building and work on projects, but Mr. C asked us to come and support the others, so we did. I worked on my initial bulletin board in memory of 9-11 and our veterans and it was nice not to have to worry about the old A/B calendar! I didn't have to do any of that so I could just let my imagination go for it :) I was very happy with how it turned out. I checked out books for teachers the rest of the day, helped Mrs. H rearrange our movable shelves (a couple of them were out of order from when they cleaned the carpet) and answered questions for teachers. I ended up working past my time, but felt good I got a lot accomplished and got some teachers settled in since they won't be back in our building until Tuesday when school starts.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

If Parents Were Treated Like Teachers

Today I worked on repairs to America Pathways books. I also helped out teachers old and new with getting materials and boxed up the rest of the surplus books for now. I got to sit in on the staff meeting which was mostly for the licensed staff and worked while I listened. Could you imagine what it would be like if parents were treated like teachers? No matter how hard you worked, you would live paycheck to paycheck. Every day you'd have to post what lesson you were going to work on teaching your kids that day and know how that fits in with your annual strategic plan. We'd have to have research based curriculum in our homes and parents would have to be qualified and undergo yearly professional developement often on their own time and expense. They would have to put all daily tasks through evidence based decisions and continually assess their kids against selected standards. Supervisors can walk in at any time and there would be a meeting every month to six weeks of Professional Learning Communities where parents would get together to discuss how they are doing. Are their kids using Cornell notes at home? Have their test scores risen?  Countless laws both local and federal would have to impact each moment you interacted with your kids. You had to use only available materials, some of them years old and worn because the district didn't have money to get new timely books or materials. Now you find out you now have 30 kids if you're in the lower grades and 180+ in the upper grades. Man. I'm continually amazed at what our teachers do every day with the students they interact with and it's not for the money, it's because of the love they have for the students and their subject. I applaud you all. You are truly amazing.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Culinary Arts

Today I spent a lot of time packing up our culinary arts books to send to McNary High School where the teacher and program has been moved to. I also packed up some math books to send and worked on the surplus books pile. Altogether I packed up 13 boxes of books to send to McNary and another 5 boxes for surplus. I checked the surplus books to withdraw them and processed in two magazines. Sent out the textbook pick up request email and had three responses right away. Teachers are all back tomorrow!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Principles of Technology

I finished helping Mrs. M this morning with pulling labels off the donated books and putting clear stickers over the sticky parts so they don't stick together. Then I worked on 15 boxes of Principles of Technology. At the end of last year, McKay high school wanted to get rid of them and one of our teachers wanted them, so they sat for the summer. Now it was time to open them and see what condition they were in and count them with ours to see how many we have. I piled them by book (there were 14 different volumes) and had separate piles for the well used and pristine. I sent an email to Mr. D letting him know to stop by when he gets into work and we'll confab about what to do with them. I had a three tier cart full on both sides and another cart full up on the top shelves, but glad to get them out of boxes and ready for processing. I also boxed up some of the surplus I had left at the end of summer and got them ready to go. Helped a few students with book returns. And it was cooler inside! Much thanks to our HVAC crews that worked hard to get us cooler!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


That was the temp in the library when I went in at 8am today. It cooled down to about 80 during the day, but still hot! Finished with my set of books removing the stickers. Then I put away all the textbooks that came in over the summer. When we removed the stickers, the books had sticky spots, so we covered those over so the books wouldn't stick together. Helped out some students and parents today with books brought in as well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Finished up my magazines today and then Mrs. M asked for help to peel stickers off books she was processing, so I finished off the day doing that with her. When the Juniors came in to register, I helped quite a few students and parents look for billed books. I had no luck with two, but found all the others and made some people very happy. Still hot inside, but had three bottles of cold stuff to drink.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reading List 2010 - 2011

  • Starfish by James Crowley - I enjoyed this tale of two Blackfeet children that run off the reservation with a very expensive horse. With help from their Grandfather and a friend or two they end their journey in different ways.
  • Zombies vs. Unicorns - Short stories from Team Zombie and Team Unicorn pitted against each other - some stories were really creepy! But I still have to side with Team Unicorn and our leader, Holly Black. Worth it just to read Holly's and Justine's comments to each other!
  • The Dragon Book - a nice short story collection of dragon stories. It was all right.
  • Changeless by Gail Carriger - Alexia is back and headed for Scotland as she tries to solve the problem of human seeming werewolves. Wireless communications and a complicated relationship with new hubby werewolf, Lord Woolsey leave this tale dangling for the sequel.
  • Annexed by Sharon Dogar - fascinating story of the boy that lived in the annex with Anne Frank. If a class had to read Anne Frank, I'd suggest the boys read this one.
  • Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card - A long slog, but interesting read that meshes sci fi and fantasy together. I almost fell asleep at one point, but it was all right in the end.
  • Pegasus by Robin McKinley - Fabulous read! The pegasi were being hunted and killed and form an alliance with humans. Sylvi (daughter of the human king) and Ebon (son of the pegasi king) are bonded to each other and connect in new ways. Amazing tale - bad news, it's a series, good news, it's a series!
  • The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan - Lena feels the call of the sea deep within. When she realizes that a mermaid lives off shore, her whole world swirls into a lost life. She realizes she needs to make a decision, land or sea. An entertaining read.
  • How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill - a little book that covers a lot of ground! I'm heading to Ireland this summer and this is a must read!
  • Shadow Magic - by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett - After the war in which the dragons are destroyed along with the enemy's source of power, a peace delegation goes to Ke-Han. Caius Greylace is a flamboyant hoot sharing their story with General Alcibiades. The youngest son of the emporer is forced to leave or be executed and he and his trustworthy servant Kouje flee. I really enjoyed this tale immensely!
  • Havemercy - by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett - Saw the third of this series at Borders so went to Salem Public and got the first two! Havemercy is a mechanical dragon for the Volstov Dragon Corps. The dragons may be all gears, but they have a soul spark from the magicians that made them. This story focuses on Havemercy's pilot and the technician who is there to train the corpmen into more socially acceptable people and the magician Margrave Royston and the boy he becomes attached to during his exile in the country. Lots of the 'f' word in here as well as the intense relationship between Royston and Hal. Probably not Sprague appropriate.
  • Dreadnought by Cherie Priest - Mercy is a nurse and needs to head to Seattle to meet her long absent father. Mercy is a compelling character and the research she did on Civil War nursing shows brilliantly.
  • Soulless by Gail Carriger - Fun little steampunk, vampire, werewolf romance. Spicy Alexia is soulless and at her touch, the weres and vamps become for that touch, human again. She romances the local Alpha, dines with the outrageous Lord Akeldama, and rescueing all from the 19th century scientists, she is quite the heroine.
  • Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent - A true story of the relationship that grows between two men because of a godly woman. A very good read.
  • Tomato Rhapsody - by Adam Schell - Fun little book on love and tomato lust in Italy. Ripe characters, notes seeded throughout, this book was fun and of course, love and tomato sauce triumph in the end.
  • The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway - What a haunting beautiful read. I cannot imagine another book that would make you feel that maybe, you had experienced being in the siege of Sarajevo. Based on the true story of 22 people who died in a mortar bombing, the cellist plays an Adagio for 22 days to remember each of the victims. The story is set around three people who live in Sarajevo during this time and how it shapes who they and the city are. A must read as far as I'm concerned.
  • Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach - wonderful read of her decision to live in Europe and discover if that adventurous woman she thought she was still resided in her. Paris, Italy and London all host her. A most wonderful read.
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld – Darwinists vs. Clankers as Austria and Hungary go to war. The young prince from Austria is taken to safety via machine while a young girl in England learns to run the biocreatures used for war there. Interesting take on WW1.
  • Holding Fast by Karen James - The story of her husband's death on Mt. Hood in 2006. An accident coupled with killer weather all conspired to bring the love of her life to his death. Her faith, the faith of those around her and the incredible effort by rescuers don't make this any easier, but a life affirming story that she wanted to tell.
  • Packing for Mars by Mary Roach - I will never look at space travel the same way again! From bodily functions to testing things for weightlessness, this had me chuckling all the way through.
  • I Want to Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth by Brenda Peterson - Barbara grew up in a firm biblical family, but with a father who was a forester and her own passion for the wild she discovers that the earth and creatures here are what she loves and perhaps the God who made them as well. Fabulous creationist read.
  • Planetwalker by John Francis - Inspiring tale of a man who decided for 22 years to not use motorized transport after helping to clean up an oil spill on the California coast. His spirit, his gentle walking is well worth a read. Glad I found this in the Sprague library!
  • Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan - what if the world did some horrible things to you? Liga nearly throws away the life of her daughter, and ends up in a heaven of her own making instead. An intriguing book, with lots to think on.
  • This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson - What a hoot! Loved this up to date look at librarians and where we're going and what we're doing to ride the information age! A must read for librarians and those who are in their hearts!
  • The Fire Within by Chris D'Lacey - David needs room and board and finds that in the home of a ceramic dragon maker and her daughter. A dragon for David keeps him guessing and a quest for a squirrel bring together the charactors for this series.
  • Driving Mr. Albert by Michael Paterniti - Harvey still has Einstein's brain from the autopsy in 1955. Michael chauffers Harvey and the brain across America and tells us stories of Albert, Harvey and himself. Really entertaining!
  • Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs - Mercy comes to the aid of an old friend in Spokane and pays a high price to the vampires to try and protect her. Great read.
  • The Light Bearer's Daughter by O. R. Melling - Dana crosses into faerie to awaken a giant. She can ask for a gift, and only wants her mother returned to her. Another tale in the Chronicles of Fairie.
  • Time Weaver by Shana Abé - the newest of the drákon series. I'm just sad that there may not be anymore! I'm hoping we weave back to Darkfrith!
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - Everyone knows who Clary is, except Clary. I started out not too excited by this story, but turned around to really enjoy it.
  • Ironside by Holly Black - Kay is caught up in an impossible quest. A nice tale continued from Tithe.
  • Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs - how nice to have a library with a series! Another story of Mercy and the Tri-Cities fae culture.
  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain - This was a great book, a bit raunchy at times, but you can tell the man loves to cook and can write the experience just as flavorful! Devoured it in two days because I needed to do a few other things than read!
  • The Note by Angela Hunt - I got to meet Angela at a writer's conference several years ago and had never read any of her books, so I've now read one and should have known I'd be pleasantly surprised! A nice heart healing tale of a reporter who finds her story leads her to doors she didn't expect to open.
  • The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt - quite the epic steampunk tale as two orphans come into their own and turn their world on its head along and find some interesting friends along the way.
  • Not the End of the World by Geraldine McCaughrean - what would it be like to be on the ark as it floated about? Noah's daughter is the main speaker, though we hear from others, and a few animals as well, sometimes dark, and she doesn't forget to ask the hard questions, a good read.
  • Treasure Keeper by Shana Abe' - Love the drakon series! Another good tale that leads into the next book.
  • Honolulu by Alan Brennert - read this in Hawaii, a good sweeping tale of a Korean picture bride and her life in Hawaii - we meet colorful charactors, real and fiction, and it was entertaining! Or for sleeping under on the beach :)

Ta-Da! We're Baaaccckkkk!

Great day to be back at Sprague! I picked up my keys and badge yesterday! Came in to beautiful clean carpet and lovely polished sparkley linoleum! Then to work! I did some work in the back to straighten stuff out a bit, then collected the mail (2 boxes worth) and sorted it. Some to Mrs. H, some to the teachers and magazines to process for the library. I had 70 to process and got them all in the computer and 30 all tagged and up on our magazine racks. I'll finish them tomorrow. It was hot since they are still working on the venting, but soon it'll be better. Go Olys!