The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Assembly and Boxes Gone

What a great day! Garten came and picked up our 130 boxes of old surplused textbooks (some still from the 80's!) and took them all away! How splendid! The conference room got turned back into a conference room and everyone was thrilled! Had an amazing assembly at school today, with our choir, our orchestra and the band! A wonderful near hour of music all by some very talented students. It was good! Got all our books put away except for the ones in maintenance and the ones on the strip cart. Checked in and out books here and there.  Gave each of my aides a pick of the 'box' I found with lots of volunteer presents in there. Read cups, bookmarks, a tiny trove of things. They each got to pick one. I also printed up a library word search and word puzzle for them to do! They enjoyed it as well as our 5th graders who come in early to do advanced math here. Came in and got all our teacher resources barcoded for the new math and sent out an email that they were all ready. Worked on barcoding the last of the new student math books as well. Played my Pandora Celtic Christmas mix all day and I think the students enjoyed it. Shut down all the computers in the library and unplugged about everything else. Put the chairs up on the tables hoping maybe the custodians might vacumn the carpet! If they don't, I'll vacumn on the Monday we get back. Took out all the trash. A very nice wonderful day at work. Back on January 5th! Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

One More to Go

One more day until Winter Break! We've survived! I got all the books off the tops of shelves today. It looks pretty bare, but will help with cleaning when we get back. Put strips in books. Took nasty covers off books and painstakingly pulled off old bad film, but didn't laminate since I was the only one who had to. Had a cart of science books I thought my aides had updated copies on and put in numbers and found the cart really hit or miss, and that some were still checked out! Some to a teacher that had just used them, and even a couple to kids who had moved on to high school! That fine will now be gone. I wonder about the other books. Had my aides make more snowflakes and we hung them up from some thread I had there. When the fans turn on, they flutter and it makes me happy :)  My snowflake aides second period left the back workroom a mess, so I left it for them to clean up tomorrow. One day to go!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Snowflake Weather

Snowflakes fall, well, the pieces my aides cut out today. I gave some of them a break and let them cut out snowflakes and we put them up on the doors. I might have them do more tomorrow! Then a student at the end of the day during the after school program asked for me to sign a sheet that he had read two chapters in his science book - I told him that I hadn't seen him, but let's go over it. So we went over to a table and walked through the two chapters together. It was so cool! Do you know how much kids would learn with one on one?? How hard for a teacher to get 35+ engaged. It was awesome!! Went to an IEP meeting for one of my aides and was able to give a glowing report on how well he's going and mom was grateful. If I remember something else, I'll be back! Just a normal day aside from that, though I did start taking books off the top of the shelves for over break and shelving.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Today I worked a lot on spine repairs of all kinds and set them to dry. Checked out science books 2nd and 6th period. Got the book titles all written up and packed them up to head to LMSS from the Scholastic Warehouse sale yesterday. My amazing volunteer worked hard in the back with the LIT books. I went back once and asked if she was still there! She was totally working it! Almost got done today! It'll be nice when that is done. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Scholastic Warehouse Sale!!

I was so excited today to get to go to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale! I had my PO# and a list of books! Had my aides today check out books to a class for first period. Then my second period aides worked on putting barcodes on the last of the new math books. My third period aides did copy updates with book numbers. Mrs. B's class came in for A lunch and 4th period, so I went in the back to put away the science books that the third period boys had updated. Then lunch! Got a call from Scholastic and we talked about the fair for about half an hour, my three bugbears: theft, the drawer not opening, the negative scans. Got a nice set of Scholastic dollars, so I will definitely buy the wooden bookholders I'm borrowing from another school. I've scheduled another book fair for spring conferences and the one for next fall conferences. She had a great idea, to not put out the little crap, but just a board with one of each item they ask me for which I will keep back in my office. I like it. I also need to talk to the parent club about the library and see if they might be willing to help as well. Took some of the books I worked on on Friday and got them all back 'in' and out of 'maintenance'. Then I had to check out books to fifth period science classes and it was time to go! Packed my bag and off to the convention center. It was pretty quiet and not as many books as I thought, but still I got some great deals. I had my iPad, so I was able to look up titles and got a few 2nd books in a series too! 73 books for $317! That's $4.50 a book! Sweet! Got some nice hardbacks, filled in some missing books. Got some new books that should be good for us. I was done by 3, so I brought the car around and picked up my two boxes and bag and headed back to school. Brought them in and put them on a cart. I'll have one of my good aides stamp them tomorrow. I felt good about my purchases. Didn't use all the PO, but felt I covered what I needed to and didn't want to purchase just because I had the money there. Ah, sweetness! Now back to a regular week, four more days until winter break!

Friday, December 12, 2014


Wow, are the back rooms looking good! Got carts cleaned off today. Found a couple of things to go to Garten next week so quick threw them in a box. Took the rest of the stuff on that cart and moved some thing around and got them all on a bottom shelf. I don't think anyone uses them, so they are now out of the way. Fixed up the science textbooks since there was some confusion. Took a funky computer desk thing and moved it out to the library and put it in the spot I had the desk with wings on the sides that I let Mr. M take to his classroom. I'm so happy with the way everything is coming together back there. Took a cart that was in the back and put all the math stuff in the math closet and emptied the cart. Another thing cleaned up! Got some aides working today on the last set of new math books, no hurry on them, so we will work on them. Did some repairs today. Fixed the torn pages I had messed up, hopefully they will be better by Monday. Did some knitting needle repairs and have those all set and glueing. All in all, a great day of accomplishments.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hawk on the Fence

We had a windstorm start this afternoon and a big ole hawk landed on the garden fence just outside the library windows. He looked so flustered by all that wind! You know it's windy when a hawk tries to escape it! He watched the buses come in and the kids leave. A bunch of kids stopped and pointed at him, and he finally flew up onto the roof of the library to get away. That was very cool! Did a ton of laminating today for the DLC. Took me about an hour to run their stuff through, then I had some other stuff as well. I shelved today and cleaned up stuff here and there. Had a boy come in to work for me, and I told him what to do, and what I wanted my girl aide to do in different parts of the back room and ended up sending him back to his room! Got some books back to status 'in' from working on them. But had two books that didn't mend right with page tears. I'm usually good with those, but these I know I hurried and didn't really take time with, and it showed. Drats! Checked out math books to a first period class. Had my aides do some delivering today. Worked with our office manager to send a print request for sign in sheets for me. Had three classes in the computer lab today. Really watched my pass kids. During one lunch, one of the kids really was snotty and just out of hand. She came in later to check out a book and I had her come over to the desk and told her that I knew she loved books, and I had always thought of her as a pretty great kid, but recently I had to change my mind about her because of her actions and how sorry I was that I felt that way. She looked suitably sorry, and helped a couple of girls in finding a book for them. We'll see how it goes! Got in a video for a teacher and got in a book for a student, but it was the wrong book, so sent it back with a note. Power flickered a few times, but never went out, but you could really see the trees outside moving!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Worked a bit on my list for the Scholastic Warehouse sale. Looked at all my Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and got my account reconciled with what I had in maintenance and on the shelf. We have lost a ton of them. I have my Warriors sheet to and worked on the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series and the Wolves one by the same author. I started a clipboard with all my Scholastic stuff I want to take with me, and will probably take my iPad too so I can check my school titles while I'm there. I know a lot of what I have, but want to make sure I don't buy a book just because I've seen it on my shelf. I think I will really focus on the graphic novels, since we don't have very many and the kids love them. I was really working hard on that today! If I remember more of what I did, I'll get back to here!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Not Much Lunch & the Greenhouse

The library was really busy today during my lunch, which meant that I didn't really get a lunch. It seems a couple of teachers decided to send groups down to the library and forgot that the library is only 'semi-open' during the period between our two lunches. I have an aide then, and she's great, but she's not an adult to corral and check up on the groups. So, I sent out an all staff email today just reminding people that it's my break and that a kid or two quietly working is all right, but just to remember it's my lunch! I remember Mrs. B saying she would close the library, have the sign on the door, turn off the lights and still people would come in and ask questions! Maybe I should feel honored that they think I can do it all! So hopefully tomorrow will be quieter. I felt today like we were used for a study hall and a library! Picked up my PO authorization today and printed up the books I just purchased at Baker and Taylor so I don't double buy. Thinking I will be checking out the graphic novel section, we need new ones and to get some lost ones in. Checked out books to four classes and checked their books in. Checked in and out all day. Laminated the covers on the books I repaired and got them back out there. Cleaned up the library because there is a parent meeting tonight in there. Had my wonderful volunteer work on moving all the lit books to one aisle in the back. She was doing a fabulous job! Mrs. V walked in to the back and was like 'holy cow! it looks so good back here!' made me smile. Finished up the Scholastic Book Fair paperwork today since our bookkeeper got all my totals ready and turned that all in. After work I stopped behind the library to check out the greenhouse. When it's windy, Mrs. V and I notice that the top door swings free, so I stopped to see if I could close one of the panels on the roof and the door. Well, the door top is broken that holds it closed, so I ended up taking a gardening glove that was in there and wedging the door shut. Was about the only thing I could find that would stop it! The roof panel is stuck open, and I couldn't get it closed, so I just left it. Away to home!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Shrink to Fit - No!

It's not very often, but occasionally I do have to print barcodes for textbooks. They've been damaged and just need a new one. So I was getting book covers ready to laminate today and just grimaced that I'd have to print new barcodes. I know there was just one little thing I needed to change to get them to print perfectly on a 3x10 sheet of labels and for the life of me I couldn't figure it out. Until today! I was printing up the codes and I looked all over the Insignia program preview for that box, and as I finally gave up and hit print, noticed on the print message box "shrink to fit" and the light taa-daa dawned! I just needed to move that to 'none' and voila! There they were, all pretty and perfect! So, today yes, I worked on my book covers that needed to be fixed from tears and some hard wear and tear so I can laminate them tomorrow. We had gotten some 'let's save money' laminating film back a few years ago that really was cheap and didn't work for the abuse our books get, so I peeled off old laminating that was coming apart, fixed the tears, colored in missing colors over the crack n' peel we use for reinforcing the bad spots and generally got them all ready to go. Checked in and out books today, really watched the kids who were sent on passes to the library. Sent in a notice to get a PO for book money at the Scholastic Warehouse sale next week just up the street at our convention center and our principal surprised me by doubling the amount I wanted out of the general fund. Wow! And he wants me to leave earlier to get a better selection! So I will leave next Monday after 5th period and just close the library for the day and go book shopping! That was exciting!! Went to our monthly classified meeting and got a very heart felt thank you from our principal on how many comments he had received about our amazing staff. It was very nice. He also told us about his personal philosophy for his job. One was that every student can learn. I turned it around and said every student can read, when they say they can't, they just haven't found the right book yet! I want every kid to walk into the library thinking they will find a just right book and find more! 

Friday, December 5, 2014


Today I spent more time deleting out the old textbooks that will leave in a week! Huzzah! Started going through all my books in maintenance putting them in piles for repair. Page tipping, cover relaminated, spine gluing (lots of these!), page repair, knitting needle work (hee, hee!), and a few other miscellaneous things. So I'll be ready to start tackling these on Monday. Would like to have them all done before we leave on break. Did the normal check in and check out. Made sure the kids in here had passes and were signed in. Muddled through though my voice was going. Hopefully back to being well by Monday. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pleasant Sigh

Today I was able to relax. My office is nearly clean. Worked on the surplus equipment to see what needs to be taken care of and what's actually wrong with it. Cleaned out a filter. One projector needed new legs, but the projector we are getting rid of only has one leg! No use there. Deleted some of the textbooks that we are sending off. Went into the back of the cookie company room to where we have a bunch of old textbooks to see what space we still have back there, I think maybe enough for another set of books. Battled through my cold today, people could hear it in my voice. Checked in and out books and textbooks here and there all day. Really cracked down on the kids coming into the library. Making sure they had passes and what they were supposed to be doing. Today was a day that you just didn't come into the library to veg and escape class! Did have classes in the library computer lab all day today. Did not wear an ugly Christmas sweater for the contest today, but saw some a couple of good ones. I am looking forward to the weekend to kick this cold and relax somewhat!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Back Together

Scholastic came today and picked up all the Book Fair stuffs so I was able to get the library back in shape! Tables all ADA compliant, switched out the big table I had behind the main counter for one just a bit smaller. That made me happy! Got more books stored properly on shelves. Put roller paper under the bigger table in the back that made more room back there and emailed the office on how much I had back there. Had first period come in and change their math books. Three other classes came in today and checked in their old reading books, renewed some and checked out new ones. Had classes in the computer lab all day. Had my amazing substitute in for part of the day and she helped again a whole bunch! Gave her some more insight on what it takes to run a library and told her about the Hallman library opening. Does it ever stop in the library?? I don't think so! Fire drill this afternoon and since I had no aides and no kids in the library, it was easy for me! Another great day in the library!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Had my amazing substitute in again today who wasn't needed elsewhere and she got all the rest of the surplus books packed up for me. wow! I am so excited! I was wondering if I would have time to get that all done and she got it all. Gave her the list of stuff in the old textbook room, she checked on weight, packed each box, taped them up and put them in the room I've been using to store until the week of the 15th. I was so happy! Started to check out three classes of math books today and the teacher came in after the first class and decided to change books - so her other two classes got the changed book and tomorrow morning the first class will exchange. Had another teacher bring in her class set of textbooks and get two more. So did the update copies on all her stuff (and the math books). Got all the Prentice Hall lit books out of the back room so all that's in there is the boxes for Garten. Didn't want to confuse them with having books on the table, but now we actually have room to store them in the library textbook rooms. Checked in and out lots of books today. Worked through most of the Scholastic Book Fair financial form. I just need to see what our bookkeeper says about the cash taken in. We had problems with the scanner wanting to scan negative amounts, so we'll see what comes up when she gets done. I sent her all the information I had from the scanner, so we'll find out if we match at all! Nice to see the room I have after all the books that are gone, in the spring, there will be more that will be on their way! Still have to find room for a few other things that have come in.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Back At It

Had a great day today, even though I was kind of hoping we'd get in some weather and they would cancel school. I was way too busy over the Thanksgiving holiday! Instantly came in and got the rest of the Scholastic monies up to the office for our bookkeeper. I had eight classes come in today and get new math books, and turn in the old. I was very fortunate to have a great substitute come and offer her services for almost all day since she wasn't needed in the classroom! I put her to work! Checking out books, putting labels on the new math books that came in, stripping books with our lovely volunteer Mrs. M. I packed up old books today to get ready for Garten to come in two weeks. I promised them 130 boxes and had the sub count. We have 79 boxes ready to go and I've added to that today. Had to remember that the boxes had to be strong enough for books, but weigh less than 50 pounds each. Pulled out the old discarded library books too! Nearly forgot about the boxes under the table in the back! They are now all set to go! Pulled down the rest of the book fair decor, though someone had taken down a good part of it. Found the stand missing the arrow part and put the arrow back on that I had stashed in my office for the book fair while I used the stand! Emails came and went. I lost some of our 5th graders somehow during the grading period end, so the office put them back on. Had to add a new teacher. Got a lot done, tables almost all back where they belong, except for where the book fair carts sit. Packed up a ton of books to go to LMSS and had the sub type up the list for those. My office is almost clean again! Put in a new bulb and filter for a projector so Mr. M could give it to the new teacher. What else?? I'll let you know if I think of something else!