The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giving Thanks

Today was a great day. Another long day, and all in the library! I was so happy! Did some laminating for barcodes for the kids and a poster that was ripped. Got the poster put back up and the barcodes all cut out and ready to go. Finished up my sub notes and think I have them the way I work so a sub will be all ready to go. Cleaned out the last three drawers up at the front desk and got off all the old tape remnants from the wood that were really bugging me. Cleaned all the front desk with the cleaner we use. Got all the repair stuff together and threw away another trash can full of stuff that I don't know why it's there, or why it was kept (overhead markers dated 1986..). Worked on the Baker and Taylor order today which was a lot of fun. Had some titles from teachers. Had some from Mrs. H. And oh! Yes! I could order Chi's Sweet Home! One of my favorite manga titles! Did the autodialer and my supervisor Mr. R came in and we had a good talk. I wasn't sure about the autodialer, so we went over the exported report and I finally sent it to our office manager and she got it to send out tomorrow. Mr. M came and took all the boxes of Title 1 books away so that cleared out the office a bit. Just need to get the file cabinets out now. A very, very satisfying day. Thankful for what I have, blessings of a job, and my family (who will all be with me this weekend!). Grateful for what I have!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Loonnnngggg Day

Started off today running over to Bush to grab some books I needed processed and then over to LMSS for the book giveaway. I ended up with 20 brand new books and 15 others. So, well worth the time to go over there and pick some new things. Came back and got all, and I do mean all, of my books shelved. I went into the back and pulled all the Read-A-Longs for the year that were in the cupboards in the back and kept the December ones and the first week of January, but everything else is back out. Got my schedule all redone so it tweaks my brain the right way. Put away all the Thanksgiving books and set out holiday books. Redid the boxes I keep the kids' bookmarks in. Tried to work the Autodialer, but I don't think I did something right??? So I put in a call to my supervisor. He's very techie so I know he'll figure it out. Did my day and a half, and do it over again tomorrow. Still have much to do! Had to go and buy some paint brushes to work on repairs tomorrow! More stuff to do! What fun though to have all that time just library time! Huzzah!

Friday, November 22, 2013

No K

Today, I didn't have three of my four groups because they were in Kindergarten and they didn't have school today (or yesterday either). So I got a lot done and by the end of the day I had all the books shelved from the week and started to work on 'lost' and billed books and found one already! I hope I find them all, but finding one was a great start! Did LLI and ended up with extra time so we made a story out of our word groups for the week using ending consonant clusters! It was fun. They wanted vampires, so I obliged! Ms. H's 5th graders were really good today when they came in, and that was a nice treat as well. Cafeteria dumped. Spent an hour and half in Mrs. L's room helping with math this afternoon and it went better than yesterday. The kids are off now until the 2nd, so they were more than ready to leave today! So glad I got everything shelved, one off my list for the two days next week, on to the next on the list....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

You Shall Not Pass!!

Today I was in the cafeteria and so many kids tried to walk the wrong way I borrowed a staff from a volunteer I know and stood like Gandalf on the bridge of Khazad Dum! It was funny to me anyways :) Had a girl hug me and tell me that she was so glad I was their librarian. Got to spend some time with a boy who was looking for the Three Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, and I finally found it for him, he was so glad! Worked with four classes today. Had three in the morning and one in the afternoon. Read a shortened version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I modified that a bit. Read Sheila Rae the Brave to the younger ones. Had a good LLI meeting. Worked a bit on consonant clusters. Did a game, and a word search. Had them all read. Showed them a book with a much better picture of Ursa Major in it that I had drawn (not to mention mine was backwards! How embarassing!). Worked some in Mrs. M's class, then to my afternoon library class and back to Mrs. M's for math and we did arrays in grids and it was like the kids had never done anything like that before and we've been doing it for weeks! I felt totally worthless. The kids were out of control and I kind of just, scream inside my brain, hopefully they can't hear. Back in the library after school and I just wanted to work on my grid that shows all the stuff I do all day, because I don't like the one I have. The way they have it doesn't work and doesn't have all the information on it that I want to have handy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Growing Leaves

Today I worked after school was out (our early out day at 1:15) on putting up all the student 'book leaves' on my tree bulletin board. Still looks a little rough, but hopefully I'll get it into shape here soon. Checked in books this morning, turned on computers. Was doing a lesson on fantasy for LLI this morning, so I grabbed some books from the library to use to show fantasy vs. fiction. Since we were doing a  lesson on How Bear Lost His Tail, I also used the constellation Ursa Major to show the kids that bears really had long tails at one time! They were pretty impressed (I think...). Then off quickly to the library for my four classes in a row day. I had one class that needed to still do their 'leaves' so they got busy and did that. I had one class I really had to yell at. I told them that when my husband asks how my day went, I get sad when I tell him that all I do is yell at kids all day. They were better after that. There's always a few though that really want to yank my chain! Enjoyed reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book to the older kids. Cafeteria dumped. Sent Ms. T an email on the keyboard site that LMSS has set up for the different grades since the kids will have to type for their testing this year. She was thankful and sent it out to the teachers. Finished off the day with reports of books due for Friday classes and put them in the teacher boxes as I left!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Autumn Wind

That's the concert tonight and I got to hear a bit of it today near the end of school as they practiced for the show tonight. Checked in books, ran reports, off to LLI. Back in for just half an hour and then off to Mrs. M's class. Helped put progress reports in envelopes, split out Scholastic magazines, listened to kids read. Back for lunch, back for cafeteria duty/dump. Since the program is tonight they had the curtain up and it comes out into the cafeteria, so the tables were different. We'd been told to try and keep the kids away from the curtains, so when they started to dump, the other folks were having them walk down the curtains with their trays and I ran up, 'No! Go the other way!' so they did and the kids with trays walked on the other side and when they were done, then they walked down the curtain side. Worked much better. Told the second lunch people about it and we did it then too. Since it was raining I told Mr. M that I'd love to have a group in the library on rainy days when the kids stay in. We'll see! Got all the Everybody books shelved after school today and rounded up books to read from our author list on the Read-A-Loud list. Looked up and yikes! Time to go! Loved seeing the kids work on their Mayflower ship drawings. One kid had the planks on the side of the ship with nail holes! Cute!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mint M&M's

Came in today and as I walked from my car, Mr. M handed me a big bag of Christmas Mint M&M's. He's noticed I eat a one portion bag about every day when I'm done with lunch, so I thought it was funny. Watered the plants because I forgot them on Friday. Just had a meeting in LLI today, then worked the library for a bit. Finished up my November authors bulletin board and got books for my one class today. Focus is on authors this week so read a William Stieg book (the author of Shrek! kids liked that!). Helped do some report card stuff for Mrs. M this morning. Then had to take a student downstairs to the LLI room. Helped read with the kids a bit then turned on the upstairs computer lab. By the time I got that all going, it was time for my lunch. My stomach was growling! Helped out our Head Start teacher today during my lunch, I hate to turn someone away. Then she asked if I would read to the Preschool kids and I said I'd love to, but it's not my decision. She'd have to ask Ms. T. Ate, did my hour of cafeteria/dump duty and left a few minutes early to be ready for Mrs. L's class. Read to them and had them do their 'leaf' for my bulletin board. Just a few more classes to do! Then back up to Mrs. M's class after helping another teacher, and they were headed down to the gym, so I walked with them and there was something crazy going on. The kids from several classes were rotating around, gym, the library computer room, I'm not sure what was going on ~~ the last class was out of the computer lab because a teacher had reserved it, and another teacher was reading, but they left and went back to class, so I had a whole class to read to for about 25 minutes before school was over for the day, so I picked up Stuart Little and started to read. The boys were all squirrely, or maybe I should say mousey? But we made it to the end of the day and off they went. Had a sub come in and she helped put books in order on one of the carts while I shelved Everybody books and straightened out that section. So nice to have help!! Didn't get it all done, but it looks better.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Taking Over

Took over Mrs. F's LLI class today and she evaluated my teaching style and was very pleased with it. Since I really had no prep time for the lesson, I thought I did really well. Got all choked up and cried a bit in front of Mr. M today. I thought maybe I had passed a turning point, but maybe not. Had a lot of my Kinder's in today and still haven't made bookmarks for some of them. Got all my classes to make their 'leaves' for my tree, maybe? Except one, maybe? The power went out at second lunch today and for awhile there was the thought we'd have to close up school, but it came back on. I had my last Kinder class in right after lunch and I told them we didn't need lights to read! Ordered some of the tape I used at Sprague to mend books and a new Bush stamp with city and state on it. Did cafeteria dump. Worked in Mrs. M's class this afternoon and had a group with cookie wars and arrays. My first two groups I thought were a total disaster, but the last group worked fairly well and that made me at least not want to jump out the second story window! Worked the library after school, just straightening up the shelves, they were a mess. And all I did was the non-fiction and fiction. Didn't even get started on the everybody books or do the shelving I needed to do. Did get a cart out of the server room so I could put one of the TV's in there. The cart had a ton of book boxes on it, and they all shoved those into my little back room, oh well. If they get the file cabinets out of there I'll put the computer cart in there. That will get all the equipment off the library floor.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Did another sit and watch during the LLI class today. I might have to 'teach' tomorrow while Mrs. F watches to see how I do, but I was too busy today to talk with her and get prepared for it. Had in another four classes today and got three of them to do their 'Thankful' book leaves. Not sure how often I'll do that, but it sure takes up time in the library! Cafeteria dumped. Worked in Mrs. M's class today with reading and then after another library class back up for math. Then about 3:30 off to Myers Elementary for my first Library Elementary meeting. It ended up getting out about 4:45. I won a book! For the library of course. They picked my name out of the grab bag box first! I was excited and picked "Tallulah's Nutcracker" all pretty and blingey cover :) We had just finally gotten all our Flying Rhino books out to the teachers but I learned we also have vimeo to share the videos that accompany the books. So, I will send a notice out about that tomorrow. The rest of the info I'll keep for my December 'leaf' newsletter. Productive day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Listened in with another group in the LLI room today and picked up more tips and hints. Had three groups in the library today. My one 4/5 blend did not get to come into the library today. They were my worst group last week, and when one of our people came and said would I be disrupted if they didn't come, I was glad! They were pretty bad last week. So I just had a partial group come in, about six kids and they were great. What a treat! Had the other groups work on their 'book leaves' for my tree bulletin board. Did cafeteria dump duty. Then the kids all left at 1:15. I was so excited! I could do some shelving and listen to my brand new Gaelic Storm CD I got last weekend!! But no, the teachers all came in at 2 and stayed for the entire afternoon and the last group left when I did - argh! I really needed the space/music therapy! Felt very depressed all day and could have let go and cried today, but didn't. Even texted hubby about that. Just kept it bottled up and worked like crazy. Mr. M said I was like the energizer bunny. No, just lots to do and not enough time to do it, and if I work hard, I won't have time to cry. Shelved all the non-fiction and regular fiction today, so only had the everybody books left and didn't want to shelve them because the teachers were all around that area. Put up a few more author bios on that bulletin board. Looked for some books for some teachers. Checked out some books to Mrs. M and another Ms. M. Got in a book I requested for some adult reading!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Just really cool date today! Got back late last night and glad to be at work so I can relax! Got to sit in on a group for the LLI class today and enjoyed watching Mrs. F work with her students. Had one student that I decided to report to the counselor. Since we are mandatory reporters, I felt I needed to, so I did. Got back and had a little bit of time to shelve books. Went up to Mrs. M's room and she was absent. I swept the floor, then when the sub came in and didn't have anything for me to do, I told him I'd rather be working in the library, so he said yes, and would I agree to bring up the kids from music class? So I did that. Had about half an hour with them listening to them read, and then my lunch. Cafeteria and trash dumping, then half an hour of library time checking in books and a bit of shelving. Then two hours up in the classroom helping with a bit of art project with our wonderful art volunteer Ms. J. Then had to take a student downstairs to the office since they didn't feel well. Back up for some math work. Then back down to the library and running books checked out lists for all the classes this week. Found out I have a meeting to go to on Thursday, so sent an email to Ms. S and Ms. T. Yeah! Tomorrow is Wednesday, my favorite day! 6 hours of library time! Huzzah!

Friday, November 8, 2013


Had a good day. Graduated out my LLI class today and they were ready to go! Had in one of our 5th grade classes today and they were all very well behaved! Might have been because our principal sat in the class with me today, but still, they were fabulous. Ms. T also pulled me aside and told me how much people love having me here. They had said nice things at the Crystal Apple Awards last night, so that was nice of her to let me know! She also asked what she needed to do to help me get out of here tonight since I had made plans before I was informed of the move to catch the train up to Seattle, but I told her I had it all under control. I had worked three extra 15 minute shifts Monday - Wednesday so I could leave at 3:30 today. That was so kind of her! But I managed to work everything out. Worked upstairs for half an hour after lunch for my last class of the week. Then back down to read. Then another hour upstairs, run down, turn off computers, close windows and I'm on the road (ok, so the ride up to Portland was on the Amtrak throughway bus!) and looking forward to a great weekend with my daughter!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I missed a whole half hour in Mrs. M's class today. Totally did not even see it on my schedule even though it was there. I felt really bad. Had another four classes in today for reading, got all the fiction shelved from last week. Sorted out all the non-fiction and Everbody books so I can start shelving them tomorrow. Did LLI and my cafeteria duty. Worked again up in Mrs. M's room for an hour before the kids went home. They were doing a math test and then they had fun with a counting video where they got to get up and dance with the counting. They had fun and our principal came and did it too. Took some new pics, took down a torn poster. Need to repair it and laminate it. The kids seem so uninterested in behaving. Every day we have to quiet down the cafeteria. Almost every class I have in has someone misbehaving. It gets really tough repeating yourself every day. Sigh Worked on my sub notes, hopefully that will help me as well not forget where/when I'm supposed to be. Got Monday and Tuesday printed out.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bush Library Leaves

Finished up my newsletter today and sent it out to staff. Take a look:

Good morning all,
   This will hopefully happen about every month and let you know of what is going on in the library and any other notes I may have!

   Remember! Long breaks are coming and you can order in a book from any of the SKSD libraries. Want a Grisham? I just read from Sprague - Playing for Pizza  about a third string quarterback who ends up in the Italian football (yes, the American kind!) league. It was fun! On the library search - if you scroll down to the bottom of the libraries, it will say "All Libraries", put in a book or author and it should tell you if it is available in the district. You all have district accounts and can order one in! Let me know, I'll send in the request and it will be sent here! Easy Peasy!

   Thankfulness - our word for the month. I'm telling the kids on their library visits how grateful we should be that amazing people have given us public libraries for anyone to check out any book they want. Something I am very grateful for!

   I am also working on a bulletin board on "Thankful for Good Books" where I hope to start next week having kids draw their favorite book cover and putting their book 'leaf' on a tree I'm working on! I hope that parents and students will come in during conferences and enjoy our great library, scope out some of the books I'll have out on display and students can show parents their favorite books on the tree.

   Highlighted authors for the month - I'm also working on a bulletin board to highlight our Read-A-Long authors for each month - this month's authors are:
Lois Ehlert
Kevin Henkes
P. D. Eastman
William Steig
Rosemary Wells
Marc Brown
Astrid Lindgreen
Daniel Pinkwater
Jean Fritz
Gloria Whelan
Mordicai Gerstein
C. S. Lewis (one of my all time faves!)
Madeleine L'Engle (another fave!)
Christopher Paolini
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens with Terry Pratchett, what a hoot!)
Charles Schulz
Lousia May Alcott

   Yes, I've actually checked out a book from here - Basho and the River Stones. My son has a cat named Basho after the 15th century poet and master of the Haiku and I was shocked to see we had a book about him! It is a fable of gratefulness, where a fox tries to trick Basho into giving him all rights to the one cherry tree on Basho's property, but Basho instead shows the fox what is really important in life.

   I have for this year, an extra hour in the library and hope to use it to enhance the resources here at Bush and for our students. I am available from 7:45 to 4:15 most days and there is a calendar on the cupboard behind my desk that shows where I am out and about at if I'm not in here.

   Also - November is National Novel Writing Month! I have done Nanowrimo for seven years but decided to have a break this year. Nano is a great program where you are encouraged to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November! That is the adult side! They also have an amazing Young Writer's Program for young children where the children can pick how many words they'd like to try and write for the month. There are teacher resources, lesson plans and workbooks available! Go here to find out more:   Want to try it yourself?  Go here:  We have a great regional group that meets once a week on the weekend down at Salem Public Library. You can catch the event times and whereabouts on the library event page or sign up for the region on the Nano site where you can get all the fun and facts about our amazing region!

  That's enough for this month! Happy Thankful Reading!

Have already had two staff people say they loved it. Put my heading on my 'book leaf' bulletin board today and worked on my November authors board as well. Had four classes in for reading and check out. The older kids were terrible! A teacher had to come in twice to tell them to be quiet because there was a class in the computer lab taking a test. I felt bad for them. Had my LLI class this morning, and cafeteria dump duty, but the rest of the day was blessed library time! I hope that my newsletter sets the mood for what great things can happen when a library media assistant actually has time to do some things!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I spend the least amount of time in the library on Tuesdays, so it's kind of a sad day for me. Worked LLI this morning and thought I'd be getting some training, but I guess that will be next week when my current little group will graduate out because they are now reading at class level. Printed out reports to teachers of kids who have books out for tomorrow's classes. Spent a lot of time in Mrs. M's class today, some of it reading, she even let me go down to the library for a bit because she didn't have much for me to do while the kids were at another activity (PE maybe?). I turned on computers for her in the upstairs lab - they take forever to load! - so they'd be ready when the kids were back and ready to do some Scholastic work. Got a key from our office assistant and got some supplies from the Nelson Room to start working on the bulletin board I want to do. Didn't like the letters they have on their cutting board, so I made do with letters off of the fonts from the computer. Worked on cutting those out today and got most of it done before I left. Checked in a lot of books today. Helped Mrs. M's class with math all afternoon and the kids are getting to know me. Sent out an email to our office manager and Ms. T that I'm putting in a bit of extra time so I can leave early on Friday for my trip to Seattle since I had bought the tickets before I knew I'd be changing schools.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I guess the first Monday of every month is assembly day, so there was no LLI meeting today. I went down to the gym and the kids were a huge gyro wheel walking around the gym. I helped with 'no running, waaalkkk...' and then stayed for the presentations. Kids got awards and we went over our word for the month 'Thankfulness' - I am grateful for what I have. So, I really liked that, so I used it in my reading group today that we should all be thankful for all our really great libraries here in town. That anyone at Bush can come into our library here and check out books or from anywhere else in the district and we have a great library at Salem Public Library and it is amazing anyone can go and check out a book. Helped Mrs. M tally up grading pieces today. Worked the cafeteria, had one group come in today. Worked for an hour and half today up in Mrs. M's room for the afternoon in math. Helped the kids with their multiplication workbooks and then we did story problems and had to use her formula for writing it all out. I love it when I know the answer. Worked from 7:45 to 4:30 today. Added in an extra 15 minutes for the next three days so I will be able to leave early on Friday to catch my bus up to catch the train to Seattle on Friday. I had bought the tickets before I was informed of my move, so this seems to be the best way to make it work. Sent some author pictures for Ms. S to print off for me since I don't have access to the color printer yet. Need to ask about getting into the room upstairs for paper and stuffs for new bulletin boards. I think the one on the right side of the windows will be for our highlighted authors for the month. The one on the left will be for seasonal/monthly highlighting stuffs. This month will be for the kids to draw their own 'books I am thankful for' board.