The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Pulled out a bunch of pots and vases from under the sink today and sent out an email to staff to come and take what they wanted. Did LLI today and had all three of my kids. Came back, got things ready to go in the library and did my three classes today in the morning. Then lunch duty a bit of time in the library to get ready for my one afternoon class. Up to Mrs. M's class and helped get ready for pumpkin math, then back down for my class. Read Zen Ghost today for the 3rd graders and they really liked it. I think it was so different they were kind of shocked. Did more Fraidy Cats for the littler kids. Back up the Mrs. M's class, helped with snack and then the kids watched the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown while they ate. Came back down and took down the two bulletin boards. Want to do one with our November authors and the other one being 'Thankful for Good Books" which I'll have the kids help me with the next two weeks. Tomorrow is a grading day, so no work for us. Back on Monday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Create Your Own Utopia

Got to spend six beautiful hours in the library today. Got a lot of cleaning up done! Moved shelves, cleaned out drawers, checked in nearly 100 books. Had four classes in back to back to be read to and checked out. Nearly lost my voice ~~ not sure how that happened. Raising my voice to get the kids quiet? Reading a long time each day? Was a bit of a shock. Did my usual LLI and cafeteria duty, but the rest of the day was in wondrous library land! Had the tech office call that they were loading some training things on the computers in the library lab for a training on Friday, so I let them know our schedule (kids were out at 1:15 today, so they had all afternoon) then emailed the teachers who are using the computers tomorrow so they'd know that there would be some extra icons on the computers when they brought classes in and to just ignore them. Had some teachers come in, see the books I have out on display and they picked them up. Helped a student with a book choice today, so I hope he likes it. Cleaned out drawers, cleaned up a lot of stuff in the little back room. Dumped a ton of papers and things that have been laying around for who knows how long. Four trays all filled with the same things - so now they all have their own trays and I threw away a ton of old things. How many pencils do you need in a drawer? I think I put 30 in the cabinet that holds resources for the kids. Feeling like I got some real things done today to make the library work better for me. I told one lady, "we had an admin that would tell us 'create your own utopia' (thanks Mr. T!) so that's what I worked on today. Things are getting cleaned up, more efficient and will help me run the library more smoothly.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Getting my Feet

Now that I've gotten my eight hours, I feel more ready to take on this position. I got everything finished up shelved today from last week. Only had one class today right after lunch, so spent my LLI hour with my two kids, the hour in the cafeteria, some prep time and then the rest of the day I was in Mrs. M's class. I helped record some things in her grade book. Helped the kids do art work of pumpkins. Then the last part of the day they had a special speaker, a trauma nurse coming in to talk about trauma and how to prevent it. Like, wear your helmet, wear pads. So Mrs. M took me aside and said that I could go ahead and work in the library since the nurse would be there until the end of class that day. Huzzah! So more time in the library! Found a book that a girl had lost when I discovered a whole section of books I didn't know about. Got some stuff cleaned out. Asked Mr. M if I could get some file cabinets removed so he said they could go into storage. Displayed more books! Worked on the day to day duties since my schedule is to convoluted in case I ever need a sub. Mrs. M is certain I will turn to the elementary side and never want to leave. She really is a sweetheart.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Take Me Home, Country Roads...

Who knew someone had made some kids books from John Denver songs? News to me! But we have three of them! When I was sent to Bush, I was told I'd have eight hours, and when I got here, I was told the position was only 7. So, last week, HR told my principal that yes, I was to get eight hours, so I started that today. What a joy to spend more time in the library! I was just about dancing when I came in at 7:45 today and got to stay until 4:15. I got some shelving done! Displayed some awesome books for kids to get inspired by! Picked out some great books for the Read-A-Loud since the calendar we had was a bit off from what I could see! It is awesome! Sent out book requests for the teacher I aide for. She needs some Jeanette Winter books, so I sent out a call to get some in and so far, everyone has replied with a yes. Good news! Just had a meeting in LLI this morning, so that was to get set up for the week. Worked a bit in the classroom this morning getting a math game ready for this afternoon. Read with the kids a bit before my lunch. Had a group in after cafeteria duty and read them 'Fraidy Cats' and they loved it. Worked a bit with the classroom this afternoon after I contacted schools for Winter books. Then nearly a whole hour to be in the library after school got out. So nice!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Clomp, Clomp

Got to read the last time out of the old lady book today to the kindergarten classes. Did the LLI class today and S had broken her glasses the other day, and is waiting for a new pair. The office tried regular tape to hold them, so I took them and used some of our book strapping tape on them and broke off a piece of a paperclip to try and hold the ear piece together with the frame. Don't know if it worked or not, but it was better than the tape in the office! Had a wonderful volunteer that sorted out the non-fiction I took in for the week and nearly got it all put away today! That was splendid. They had Farm to Market at my school today and as I was in the library getting ready for classes, one of my old bosses came in from food services and gave me a big hug. She was really surprised and looked really glad to see me. I am learning how to control the kids, but it is hard. I'm not a very militaristic person, but I see the advantages of controlling these huge class sizes. Worked the lunch and garbage today, though I did leave a couple of minutes early at the end because of my kindergarten class coming in. When I told the lady in charge today that I would have to leave a bit early she was "What?? Who's going to do your station??" The kids were all late today because of the Farm to Market set up. I did stay until almost the last minute, but when I did get down to the library, there were already a couple of kids waiting. Kept back a couple of boys who had pushed books on the shelves as they left the computer lab. I made them pull all the books back out, fronting them. They were not happy and pleaded for me to let them get to PE! I am fitting in. I am learning. I enjoy reading to the kids, my big lovely windows, and when the windows are open, the lights are on, and I'm checking out books, I really am content.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Slappers

Had a couple of boys today at one of the tables just slapping their books down and slapping down the covers. I made them come over to my desk and sit behind the desk! Threatened them with not getting books today - no book slapping!!! Had my wonderful DLC kids in today and they are amazing. I think some of them even tried to do the motions of the book I read them. Did LLI reading today and had the kids write sentences from their book into their journals. Had them do silent reading to start, then introduced the new book. I liked one of them wanted to write from the book "Astronaut means a sailor among the stars." Nice! Checked in lots of books, managed to get all the laminated barcodes cut out, though some I wasn't able to trim up nicely, but at least they were separated! When I get time in the library with kids, I open all the windows and turn on all the lights. When the library is being lived in, it comes alive. I love all the books I get to put out to catch the kids' eyes and see them checking them out. The buzz of them talking - even though by standards at the school they are too noisey, I still love the buzz. One group today was all sitting in a line from the door waiting for their teacher to pick them up. Everyone had a book open and was looking at it and sharing it with the kids around them. That was so exciting! I even told them how happy it made me. Can I whine, just a little? I feel a bit picked on. Is it because I'm the library media assistant? I'm the only one with lunch at 11:20, which doesn't bother me because I sit in the library and read which is what I'd do at Sprague if I wasn't talking with Mrs. H. I'm the only one who has to work both lunches and the only one that has to monitor the kids dumping their milk and food. What is up with that? Because I'm new I'm the bottom of the tank? Or just because I'm the library lady and it's not that much different? I watch the clock the whole entire hour I'm there, and am so ready to bolt the minute the clock hits 12:50. Sometimes I get out a few minutes early when I have a class coming in immediately, but I still think it's unfair. Thank you. Done whining.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Like a Beautiful Lake

I love my Wednesdays. I get five hours in the library! When Mr. M asked me how was I doing today, I said, 'it's like I'm hiking and come upon this beautiful lake and dive in and play with the otters, and watch the eagles soar over head and just soak it in..." Ah, sublime. Did my LLI group this morning and then had four classes come in for reading and checking out books. My first group actually broke one of the shelves, the fastener that held the shelf up got too pinched and fell out. I was not happy :(  We had a talk about how I really did not have time for this, and that the library was not a place to run! Quiet voices! Harmonica! Did I mention I brought in my old harmonica and use that as a cue to be still and be quiet? It might work! Also had to stop a class three times to be quiet today. One class came in so late with only five minutes left we just talked about library rules. And since they were late, I was able to restretch the fastener and get those books back on the shelf. Loved my little kids, we had a great book to read "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Scared of Anything" and we got to stomp our feet, wiggle our bodies, wave our arms, clap our hands and nod our heads and say 'BOO!' at the end. They really enjoyed it! Ah, ha! Though one boy got a bloody nose because he said someone had hit him while they were checking out books. I sent him to the office and Ms. T and Mr. M showed up and helped corral my little wild things. This afternoon since the kids leave at 1:15, I got to look for books kids said they turned in (yeah!), got all of last week's books shelved. Found more fabulous books to put on display, cut out some bookmarks I laminated yesterday, answered emails, even got my break in!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gummy Vampires

One of the students in Mrs. Mc's class explained his drawing to me. We were making a little packet of birthday wishes for one of the girls. I asked him if that was something she liked and he said no, it was what he liked though! Made up Word Work big manila envelopes for the kids this morning in Mrs. Mc's class and she asked me to go down and laminate, so I asked if I could also run through the five classes I had barcode cards for as well, and she said sure. So I ran through the envelopes and then the cards. Math seems to be the rule for the afternoon and I had a group except for the last round. Where did they all go? So I helped out the other stations. Maybe they just don't like me. Or what I was doing. Did the LLI work today again and did cafeteria duty. I got half an hour this morning in the library and got some of the non-fiction shelved and displayed some of the books that caught my eye. Found a book that a kid had said he turned in. There's a lot of that going around. Checked in about six classes of books, maybe? Well, there were six piles on my desk when I'd get back to the library. I've begun to sort when I check them in - Everybody books, then fiction, then non-fiction. At least I can get them that far. Managed to cut out a couple rows of barcode cards before I left today. Put away about half of the non-fiction. So much I want to do. At least tomorrow I get to have four classes come in and then all afternoon to shelve and do some things. So, turn on and log in computers when I get there tomorrow. Then off to LLI then some prep before my first class comes in. Looking forward to it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Clear as Mud

So today I finished up a whole week of kids since I didn't start until Tuesday last week. Had a meeting with the LLI people about what kids we would be working with this week, what the program was, how fast we were moving, who the kids were and what to look for. "It was clear as mud, but it covered the ground, and the confusion made my head go round..." as Henry Bellafonte once sang. So we just plow on and try to wrap my head around a new group and what they are learning. I guess they mix up groups all the time. Got all the non-fiction sorted today and got some put away, but I kept seeing all these fabulous books to display on the shelves. So I will do more shelving tomorrow. I think I have library time, though no classes tomorrow. I do LLI and then work in the classroom for the rest of the time. Had a really nice 1st and 2nd grade blend class in today and they did really well. Still a little noisey, but not bad. Cafeteria duty - I'm the only one that has to work both lunches. Got to do math with Mrs. Mc's class today. I love it that I know the answers! Hung up some math posters for her. Did a check off sheet on who had brought in their emergency plan sheets (in case they need to go home early - walk? bus? get picked up?) Mr. S my teacher librarian supervisor came by today and helped a counselor with some tech stuff for a video she wanted kids to watch on bullying. We did some more talking and he gave me some stuff that he had on ordering. I gave him my schedule so he'd know when he could come in, especially to help with classroom management.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Leaving Work

I absolutely hate leaving things undone, but today I had to leave all the fiction and non-fiction books on a cart without putting them away. I managed to get the Everybody readers all put away today and part of the non-fiction sorted, but it was time to go and I had to leave. Worked the LLI again today, then down to get ready for three more classes. Ms. A's kindergarten gets the award for the best behaved class of the week. They were truly a joy to read to, check out to and I wish all the classes were like that! Lunch duty, one more class coming in. Only got about 15 minutes of my lunch today because I was talking with the principal about how I have no classroom management skills, none. So she is going to find someone to help me out. I'm getting the schedule down a bit, and I got to play a math game during my IA time. People are still incredibly lovely, I just hope I can get to place of fitting in before they abandon me!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Best moment of the day was when the DLC class came in. Some in special wheelchairs, some walking in, all of them sat around my desk. I hopped up on the desk and read them Steven Kellogg's Chicken Little book. Truly a wonderful time in the library. I also learned I was supposed to have some very easy reading books out on a table for them, so I grabbed some off of the top of the shelves I already had out, and then pulled some more. Quite the quick effort but they were so worth it! Best class of the day :) Got into reading with the LLI program this morning. For awhile I only had one student, getting things going and understanding the program is coming. Figuring out the packets and books and activities is a challenge to get it all done in an hour. This group of kids has fallen behind because of all the subs and other issues with their group leader, so hopefully I can get them back on track. Did IA work with Ms. M again today and helped her get her speakers working so the kids could hear the lesson on Christopher Columbus. Then they came down the library computer lab to work on math so at least I got to stay in the library! As I was trying to get some shelving done in the last few minutes, there was a meeting in the library to announce one of our teachers was nominated for a Crystal Apple award. That is quite the honor. I managed to sort out the books that have been returned this week, Everybody books are even sorted by author's last name, all the fiction on one shelf and all the non-fiction on another. Had one student cry today because things got crazy and he ended up not getting a book to check out. Made me sad :(

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Key in Trunk

Came out from work today and as I was digging for the car key, I thought "hmmm, I've left the key in the trunk lock before, let me go to the back of the car." and there it was. Sat there all day from 8am to 3:40pm. Stupid. So happy to work in the library almost all day today. I still had to work on the LLI program in the morning, and do cafeteria watch and food dump, but in the morning half of the day I got to check out books to four classes of kids! They were noisey and I have no skills in controlling them, but I will have to pick some up. Checking out books and in books and trying to keep the rapscallions under control is crazy. And the questions! Students asking all sorts of stuff and butting in to other students and raising hands and climbing around when they need to listen! But books got checked out, books got checked in, stories got read. So life was pretty good today. The school gets out at 1:15 on Wednesdays, so I got to go to a staff gathering for October birthdays and then spent the afternoon with the previous media assistant who had worked there for years. She was so helpful! I was really impressed that she wanted to come over and show me stuffs, and areas and books and how she did things - truly a blessing for the day. I have a lot of clean up to do, not to mention finding out what we need and working on lists, getting classes with their cards for checking out. So much to do! How will I ever get it all done?  Moved computer stuffs around today because the mass of wires on top of the desk really bugged me, and the silly little pull out drawer for the keyboard was a pain! I just need to drill one hole in the desk top to feed the wires for the printer and I'll be pretty set with how I want all that to work together. Much better set up in my mind!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

First Day

The whole school was very welcoming to me today. The library has seven huge windows to look out on the yard, so that is a great feature. I hope to watch snow this winter. The Instructional Couch spent a lot of time showing me around today, getting this and that, he really invested in me and I so appreciated his insights. Got a phone number from the lady who worked the library and she is coming over tomorrow to help me out and show me a few things. The only thing that was sad was that I really only get to spend 15 hours a week working in the library. Five hours a week is in with LLI reading groups which is exciting to me. Helping students to read is quite the challenge and I guess this method is good. I also spend ten hours working as an Instructional Assistant in the classroom. This morning I did get to listen to some of the kids read, so that was cool. Good thing math this afternoon was easy! The other five hours I get to stand in the cafeteria and monitor students as they eat and then get to make sure they dispose of their food and lunch items in the proper containers. Not that great, but I guess someone has to do it. Got a lot of hearty welcomes, and I think they are hoping I will stick and stay. I see a longing for someone in this position who will invest in the school and be there for them. Checked in books today from classrooms since they will be coming for check out tomorrow. Several kids were very excited that I'd be in the library. Got to help out with leaf rubbings today in the classroom, so that was cool as well. Must get pic of new library to put in here, and probably have to change the name here. No textbooks in elementary's. I left a bit early today because I needed a new badge, my old one was for Sprague of course, and the picture I think was from 1998? So over to Security to get a new one. Then over to LMSS for training on how to order books. I still have $500+ in my budget, so I will need to order! Never had to do that with Mrs. H around, we just suggested titles and she went for it :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Help! I Need Somebody...

I didn't really know where to go today for the four hours I had to work. I needed the afternoon off to move my mom to an assisted living place, so HR allowed me to have my high school half day, then the rest of the day to help out my mom. I ended up calling LMSS and they said "Sure, come on down!" What a great treat it was. I got trained by the best in the business on how to run the elementary program, and we'll just have to see how much of it I remember tomorrow! The Principal at Bush, Ms. T sent out a nice newsletter welcoming me to Bush and I even got a phone call tonight from someone who used to be at Sprague and is now there and she is so excited I'm coming. So nice to hear. So most of my four hours was in training with a bit of laminating thrown in for fun. I did get my mom all transferred today, a big relief for her and me to get out of her double room at the rehab place and get into a nice quiet apartment all to herself, and I got to tell you, it's pretty darn nice, my son even said, 'hey, I'd like to live here!'  I'm off to Bush, arrival at 8:15 in the morning. I wonder what traffic will be like?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Piped Out

What an honor today to get piped out of the building by our own Mr. J. I've been asking for years for him to come into the library and play, so last night I asked if he'd pipe me out today and he did. Scotland the Brave, we marched out to! If you have to go, go out with a flare! We got together just outside the main library doors and he set up his bag and off we went, right down the main hallway, in front of the office, and out the main doors. I marched ahead and Mr. J followed me and I jauntily walked away, looking at our magnificent trees, hearing the pipes and he piped me all the way to my car. I really wish I had a picture of us marching up from the front doors, but oh well! Said a ton of goodbyes today, managed not to cry all day. Most people were in absolute shock that this was it for me. I talked with my union today. They said they knew all about the 'situation' and I was just the one in the middle. I said, oh, so I was the scapegoat, and they said yep, pretty much. Worked hard today to finish up the piles of repairs I was working on. Went through some stuff still on my back desk and Mrs. H and I made decisions on a couple of books, whether to bill or not. Some we did, some we didn't. Lots of hard goodbyes, even to students. Tried to talk to the new principal today, but we never did get together. One small reprieve, I do get to take half a day Monday to help my mom relocate and start at Bush on Tuesday, so I'll get four hours at Sprague yet!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Today I was told it was a done deal. Tomorrow is my last day at Sprague. I am being transferred to Bush Elementary. I think it is all part of some of the shifting that occurred over the summer, and now to straighten out some decisions, they are moving more people around and I am one of them. :(  Helped figure out a kid and this book which turned out to not be his problem so that made him happy and able to buy homecoming tickets. Sent off a DVD to a school and two books. Did more repairs on American Gov books - hopefully will get them in a place to where they are basically done before I leave tomorrow night. Checked in and out library books and textbooks. Cleaned out almost all my personal stuff. Tomorrow will be a sad day :(

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Today we had our first meeting for the new year. I wanted to hide out in the library, but Mrs. H said 'no, you need to go!' so I did. Completed the checklist they gave us, going onto the QAM drive and the staff handbook for a couple of the things we needed to do. Checked out six classes of books today. Two from English with the Platinum books and four of the Financial Algebra books. Processed in four magazines. Checked in our typical about 45 a day library books. Checked out a lot as well. Worked a bit on repairs. I knew we had gotten in a Conceptual Physics book, and so I scrounged through the back and finally found where our aides had been stashing them. Got an answer to our online access to the AP Biology and turned that over to the teacher. Sent off five books to other schools and got in two that we had sent out.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Glad to Be Back!

So glad to be back home! After being so sick and sitting with my mom in the hospital for days, it was a relief to be back at work today! I happily checked in books! Trolled through four days of emails! Had our aide unpack boxes and let the teacher know the extra Financial Algebra books had arrived! Helped a mom with a book her son had lost so he could buy homecoming tickets! Mailed off eight books to different schools! Checked out books! Found our order for AP Biology and yes we should have online access to that program, contacted rep and teacher! Put money in print accounts for students! Answered phones! Got visited by a former student! Let Ms. W use my computer for the staff meeting! Processed in two magazines! Can't wait for tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Yesterday I was so sick from Saturday night's all night throwing up bout, I knew I still didn't have it in me to work, so I called in sick. Today I went in and managed to last until noon, then threw in the towel and headed home for a nap. Will be gone the rest of the week since my mom is having surgery early tomorrow morning. Checked in and out books, looked through our new booklist magazine and tagged some suggestions. Decided I was not being very productive! Headed home.