The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

AR Contact

This afternoon after emails from our Language Arts teachers, I emailed the AR people and then decided to just go ahead and call (last time I just emailed, I never got a response~~) after a lovely chat with Zach, I had all the information I needed for the moment and a promise of a price quote in a couple of days. I will also get a phone call from our Oregon account exec and that will be great. Love their new non-fiction program as well. Glad to get that contact set and the wheels turning. Checked out three classes of books today. It was pretty mild. Funny story of the week. A student comes in and has a book from last year. They have had it since May. Then they ask if they can check it out again! I said, 'well, if you haven't read it since May, it might be time to let it go and let someone else have the pleasure of reading it.' They left it with me. I think I heard a heavy sigh! Had a teacher come in and do some laminating and I ran in to tell her to be careful since the rolls were almost out and there came the little tag on her last sheet. So, I ended up changing the rolls today and it worked nicely! Had three students come in from study hall today and wanted on the computers. I really didn't have room for them at the moment since our computer lab had a class in there, and I had students searching for books on those computers. So they decided to just write. After the class that was checking out books was done, I let them on and with our NetSupport, I saw one of the girls immediately start logging into her facebook account. Ah, no! I sent her back to study hall. Also talked with Scholastic today about our upcoming book fair and got a few things set to go for that. After work today, since it was nearly on the way home, I stopped at the Scholastic workshop and had a great time listening to ideas, getting a new cute book (!) and feeling very grateful for all I've been able to purchase for the school. Having a feeling I may give all teachers a 10% discount for anything they buy. Up to what I have on the books anyways! I may do some booktalks as a zombie librarian ~~~  booookkksss, more boookkkksss...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Audio Books!

With much good thanks to the Librarian at Sprague Mrs. H! She was looking at her audio books that were appropriate to Middle School ages and sent me a list and they arrived today, all rebarcoded for our school and ready to go! I'm so excited! Came in and found books that I had sent out, put back in my mailbox shelf! So I took them back down, and redid our district mail to send them to where they are supposed to go! Picked up a projector, DVD player and speakers from a teacher. Replaced a lamp in another projector. Did my word for the day. Had Mrs. M's class in first period to check out books and that took into second period to finish them all up. She came back fifth period for the same things. Got the old, old, really ratty American Nation books all transferred to us and got them all checked out to Mrs. B. Had my third period aide take those up and the box of teacher materials for the new math books up to Mr. G. Got all my non-fiction shelved and got through the last bits of stuff on my back counter that have patiently waited since I came back to get to them! Just odds and ends of things that came in at the end of the year that I didn't have time for. Barcoded math books. New barcodes for some others. Shelved all the non-fiction. As well as the rest of the cookbooks I had set on the counter by that section and forgot about until today when I went to shelve over there...Another busy day and more checking out tomorrow!

Monday, September 28, 2015


Checked out five classes of science book 'K' today, and actually had to do them all myself! Also ran a report on overdue books and had them all printed and ready to hand out for my fourth period aides to deliver. 85 students and 124 books are overdue, already! Put out moon books today since we had the SuperMoon last night, hoping the students would be interested in that since a lot of them did watch. Started to pack up the books I need to send to LMSS for processing. Checked in and out regular library books today (some of the students that got slips came in, yeah!) Took a look with Mr. G on the new math teacher resources. Decided I really need to label and make sure everything that is on the sheet is actually in the box. I suppose I need to stamp them all too! Shelved all the cookbooks I had out from last week's display. A busy and very productive day!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday On Hold

Had our Spanish teacher in today with her students to access some computer based websites and I got to call technology for every period she had students! One call was to get the computers updated to Adobe Flash player, the other calls were to reset student passwords so they could log into the computers. So I got to spend a lot of time on hold waiting for the next available tech. I did get a few other tasks accomplished today! Pulled apart my book press and three of the books came out really well, one didn't. They'd been in there all summer, most to straighten out the water damage from being in the freezer (yes! handy tip, if you have wet books, put them in the freezer! Even better if you can press them in between something! The freezer stops damage and then slowly - like months - will actually wick the water out! It works!) One I took out though did mold. Drats. It belongs to another school so I will have to buy a copy to replace it. Also took some of our oversized books I had pulled off the fiction shelves and recall numbered them to fit on our Everybody shelves or the 398.2 for legends. Much better places for them to be. Checked out calculators to a teacher because she has an aide that is testing them all to see who works and who doesn't. That is awesome!! Changed out a lightbulb for her projector as well! Checked in and out books here and there all day. Managed the students coming in to the library. Found some old social studies textbooks for a teacher at another school so they are sending them over. A very enjoyable day, even with the moon almost full!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Regular Day

Today was pretty normal. Had four classes of students come in to turn in old books and check out new ones and I had to handle three of them myself! Did a bit of numbering on the Looking for Pythagoras books, did some laminating. Shelved a lot! Did my mandatory training for the new school year and let our office manager know. Just a few odds and ends here and there. Nothing very special, but a good hard working day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

You Never Know What Doors...

The Right Book Will Open... Love the bulletin board I made today. I just hope it stays together! Doing a design with just taping it to the window behind there is harder than using an actual cork board where I can staple things in! A smaller version of the one I did at Sprague, but I still love it! Worked more on my book order today. Checked out to kids. Had my 3rd period aide do Order in the Library. They have all done really, really well! I'm impressed! Worked with our copier guy again, but I managed to get the staples to work on my own without him! Those old assembly skills come in handy! Found a place to order the air filters for our projectors and sent that in to our office manager. Talked to a book seller. I feel bad when they call because I'm not going to order from them and I know it hurts their business. Helped a student and parent with the StudentVue where they can look up grades, assignments and other things after school today. Ended up calling technology and got it done! Worked on a draft of my article for the newsletter. Tried to work on my mandatory training, but arghhh! Could not remember my password and couldn't find it either in my files! So, I have a new one now and will get that done tomorrow afternoon. I thought today, 'I need to order some good boy books', so will look at that tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Boxing Day

So today I packed all the rest of the boxes I had out. Sorted out all Mrs. J's science things, keeping the current resources, some of the good resources I put in a special section, but the rest went into boxes that will go to surplus. I have 18 boxes ready to go! Checked out our document cameras and one of the two worked, so that went to Ms. C's room and I took her other one and the other spare I had that didn't work and put in a surplus request. Had our copier guy come out and he did a ton of stuff to it, but I forgot to tell him about it not stapling, even though it has a full staple thing in it. Sent an email to our office manager to get more staples for it, get some filters for our projectors and order more Realidades 2 workbooks for those students. Changed a bulb on a projector. Worked on my order. Still too low!! I need at least $2000 before I submit and not there yet. Looked up all the books I checked out up at Barnes and Noble the other day and ordered most of them. Got some others that are just coming out. Laminated at the last minute! Mr. M walked through looking to see if I had laminated and I was concentrating so hard on my book order, I had totally forgotten about the laminator! I quickly turned it on and only had four sets of things to run through! I only had to stay an extra 10 or so minutes! 

Monday, September 21, 2015


I had my aides today work on 'Order in the Library' to check their shelving skills! Only one of them had time to really work and got 9 done and only has 2 left to do tomorrow! Impressive! Checked out 3 class sets of science book 'K'. Got all the rest of my new to us paperbacks covered. Did numbering on about 50 Looking for Pythagoras books. Had Mrs. H from Sprague send me a list of audio books and asked if I wanted any of them, oh YES! So I went through my books to see which audio I could pair with a book and ended up with about 20! Sent in a $400 order to Scholastic since I had to use at least $200 before my next book fair. I needed a new bookshelf and could not find it, tried searching, and finally found it in furniture! It was called a tabletop book browser! That made me laugh! Got some more little paperback book individual little display holders. So we'll be able to put out more awesome paperbacks I usually don't do because they flop over if we try to just stand them on the countertops like a hardback. And of course, books!! A day of ordering! Love it!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Non Shelving

Had to leave right after work to Oktoberfest! So I'm getting back to this Sunday night. Friday ended up being very quiet. Had a few books I checked on that did get paid, so I cleared those accounts. Had an aide work on the graphic novels, and I'd given out the fiction to others, so I decided to shelve all the non-fiction myself. That took awhile! I straightened up books while I was out there too, put up a cookbook display on the non-fiction shelves. Worked on putting the numbers on the Accentuate the Negative since the aides had finished all the stamping and putting the barcodes on them. I had two huge stacks to do, both ends, but got them all done before the end of the day. Worked a bit more on my B&T order. It was a good day!  Today is Sunday and I drove up to the Barnes and Noble store in Bridgeport to get my hands on new books! I love to see and feel them and not just on a computer! Spent a good two hours writing down titles, authors and ISBN #'s! Too much fun!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Today I only had three classes in quickly to get some books. That was great. I went up to Ms. B's room and got her projector and replaced the lamp and it's now working. Then I got another call to replace another lamp in the classroom. The IA called up, got the equipment model, I had a lamp, grabbed it and a Phillips head, ran up to the room, replaced the lamp and had it in and working before the end of the video they were showing! Yeah! The copier was just a little crazy today, but we had paper issues. I finished up the box that was sent down yesterday, and there were four more reams that had to be brought down. I boxed up some more surplus books. Then I decided I really needed to take some time to get on my book order. I got a lot done. New books, filling in lost books. Pulled up the lost books from last year, $3200 worth of books did not come home. That really disturbed me. That's a lot of money. Got my class list all set up finally! Yeah! Then we had techs in the building, so he set up my computer for Net Support to watch the kids when they're on the computers. A much needed tool!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Had classes in every period today to check out books. All six periods. It was quite the ride! Assigned my aides to book shelves and I have to say, they all took looking at their shelves and taking care of them very seriously! It was very cool to see them shelving and straightening things up. We checked out quite a bit today, some of the 7th graders had books already, but a lot didn't. We also had our drill on condition 1, 2, and 3 today in case of external and internal threats. I thought the library would be empty and I could just work (quietly and kind of in the dark!), but I had four students from another class in with me. I was able to email the office to let them know they were with me and they were very good about going into our safe zone and following directions. After that I was able to open all the boxes of teacher resources for our new math books and get those all in boxes and labeled and let our office manager know they were all here. Also began to pack the empty math boxes with books for the surplus pick up in the fall. I think I got seven boxes ready to go. Cleaned up cardboard and packing materials. Had my aides deliver books, calculators and laminating to teachers today. Responded to emails. Wrestled with our copy machine. All in all, a great day in the library. Plus I was able to give our LEAP program some great double cardboard from the boxes for their art class to practice on. That made me happy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Keeper of the Books

I just love it when students come in looking for the bookkeeper, it always makes me smile.  I always say "I am the Keeper of Books, but I am not the bookkeeper!" then I show on the school map or tell them where she is upstairs in the office area. Another student made me just grin today. He held the door for me when I came in and I asked him how he was today. He said it was his birthday, and he was really hoping for cake when he got home and to go spend the night with his cousins over the weekend. It was just a great conversation, no barriers, just two people chatting. Made me smile. I did a lot of smiling today! Two orientations to 6th graders today and checking out books. The IA with the class had me teach her how to check out and she was so great! We had fun checking books out to the students! I also had four classes come in to check out math books and did four classes of Kercheski Method for more math books. Finished up the Shapes and Designs math books with stamping and barcoding. Had my student who was working off book fines come in today with her lost book! Yeah! It had only been checked out once before, so I was glad it was back! And she doesn't have to work anymore! Did some laminating for three teachers tonight. I took in a little timer I had, and when I turn on the laminator, I set the timer for 10 minutes. If not done, I give it another 5 minutes. Works great! Got caught up on all my notes from students. Some to see if their old school can find their lost book or if it was paid. Others to ask for a book we don't have. Then I got more - ha! Love my job!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Booktalks for 8th Graders

Came in today and already there was trouble with the copier machine! So I helped out with that. Did my word of the day and put it up. I got the great opportunity to booktalk for the 8th graders today and up my book age a bit. They did check out some awesome books I talked on! It was great! Did that for four classes. Checked out books to Mr. H for his class sets. Also checked out math books a la Kercheski to Ms. S. and got the rest of her books ready for checking out tomorrow. I had the boys and my student work on the new Shapes and Design books so all I had to do was write the numbers on the ends. We are almost all done with that group, then on to the next math book! First period was crazy. I had a class of 8th graders, then all our South students came in this morning. It was a bit on the overload side of things! I had a student come in 6th period and work off her book fines, and she's almost done with that! I'm so proud of her! She did a great job working with our math books, then helping me check out! During the staff meeting today, I worked on the math books and putting their numbers on the ends and got all caught up with the books the students had stamped and barcoded. Checked out a few other students here and there since they weren't with their class when they got books before and some kids came in to trade out their library books and get new ones. We had quite a few students with overdue books out from last year or other years, so we note that and we talk about options to get those taken care of. They still get to check out one book at a time until they are taken care of! Another fabulous day in the library! Books flew off the shelves!

Friday, September 11, 2015


I could not let today go by without a memorial to 9-11. So  I brought in my fabric and gathered the books we had. Most of our kids were not even born yet. I had a group in this morning that will come in about every other day and one of them picked up our Tribute book and looked at it during 1st period, but that was about it. I may do this one more year, that will be 15 years. I'll have to see after that. Another great day in the library! Two orientations with book talks and a lot of the books I'm talking about have been checked out! Makes me happy, but then I need to find more books to talk about and put up! I still have more on my cart, but they are paperbacks and need to be covered, so that will happen Monday! Had my aides finish up all my Kercheski check outs today. We only messed up one class, so that was easily taken care of! Got Mr. S and Mrs. C's books all done and taken to their classes. Handed out Realidades workbooks to the students that paid for them (new ones have been ordered and are on their way!).Quite a few of our kids still have books out from last year. So they only get to check out one book at a time until those are taken care of. Most of the students were "Oh, yeah, that's on my shelf at home!" Hopefully they will bring them in! Some were from other schools so I had to contact the other school to see if it was there, or if it had been paid for. Had two students in for lunch and one of them left a nasty surprise on one of our search computers. Just made me ill. Not only that I saw it, but that another student might have. I didn't know her name, but I did know the girl she was with. Ended up taking a picture with my phone and sending all the info to our campus monitor and our behavior specialist. Checked out a class set of Language Network to a teacher. Tried to help another with document camera issues, but the two doc cams we had wouldn't work for her. Off for the weekend with books in tow. I still have classes coming in for booktalks next week too! Must get busy! I had one of our teachers in today and as I rattled off books and talked about them, she asked me (have you read all those?), I had to say yes! Of course!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Caution, You are in a Library

Took up Mrs. C's spanish books up first thing this morning. Then I got ready for five classes of 6th graders to come in and get the library orientation and check out books. A very busy day! I did go along the shelves and put books up on top to begin with, and made sure I put up books that I could do a book talk on. Three classes got orientation and book talks, two got just the orientation. Checking them out took a long time! I had aides half the day and that went really well when they were around, but the rest of the time I was on my own! Most of the classes ran over the period time (but luckily they were block classes, so no big deal) but the last class I made sure to give them the information quick and check out books right away so they would be done by the time the bell rang and they did! One piece of my blurb I was really proud of    (and will put it here when I can!)   A very busy day with lots of talking then off to our Rogue Librarian PLC meeting at the Ram! My blurb:

Caution! You have entered a library! There is more death, lies and betrayals than you will ever experience. Things can get graphic, consequences play out. Princesses to break your heart or your arm, and dragons to pet or turn you into ash. Zombies lurk on these shelves and love conquers even vampires. Magic reigns, cooking triumphs and fairy tales twist ancient myths to urban truths. Beware! These books are not safe! There are also tales of great sacrifice and love, angst and compassion as the characters struggle with their own misconceptions. Everyone learns. Enter at your own risk!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


All the students were back today. I started in the gym helping to hand out schedules to the 7th graders. Then back to the library to see if I had any aides, but I didn't for first period. So then I spent the next 4 periods giving my aides tours of the library and some of the work we do there. I had five aides today! Some were really good, some a bit questionable! I also had classes in to check out math books. Gave them all a little spiel about the textbooks, they were brand new. It took awhile to check out since four of the classes were 6th graders & they'd never done that before. Did some Kercheski Method (give me your class list with name and student ID# - we check out books to each student, put the # of the book by their name, and send the books to your room. You get in more teaching time!) check outs for Mrs. C. I didn't like the way it was working out. We had to check out a textbook & a workbook. It was not going well in my opinion. I messed around a bit, and finally decided to pair the textbook and the workbook together for each student and put them in order of the class list I got. That made me feel better. I got all the classes done for her except one (four down)! One class Kercheski'd to Mr. S. Got my NetSupport but have no idea how to run it. So I messed around a bit trying to find out how to! Checked out three library books today and realized all the books I put out on the new rack do not have tattle strips in them. I will do those first thing tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

And on the 6th Grade Day...

All our new 6th graders came today to see how the school works without trying to get around the 7th and 8th graders. They are almost all shorter than me! So that was great! I spent passing times out in the hallways helping them find their way and to open their lockers! Put up a quick poster on the Newbery books and a new item, my little bulletin board will host a new word of the day with definition, example and synonyms. I found a website that does 6th - 9th grade appropriate level words! So I'm excited about that! Checked out another class set to Mrs. B for social studies. Moved all the rest of the schoolwide boxes into the back. Have more new math books and found out from Mr. S that the ones I was barcoding for the 7th graders won't be used first~~argh! The others all still in their boxes are, so I switched gears and started the Shaping ones. Got 60 done. I was really hoping for an aide today, but didn't have any show up! Did emails. Got all my personal stuff into the office manager. Had two other schools request books, so I sent out a notice to the LA teachers to see if they wanted any, and if not, I'd send them out. Sent out a notice to the other middle school library media aides about meeting for our PLC Thursday and talking about books to order. And answering questions from the new Assistants. We need to have a huge order in by the first of October. Not sure how that will play out. I'm thinking I will end up at Powell's this weekend to prowl the shelves. Put the new books out on my rack. Had a great conversation with our Industrial Arts teacher to have his students work on book ends for me! And to display stuff up on the top of the shelves in the library! We were having a great time bouncing ideas off each other and he was really happy about it and so was I! Laminated a few things for teachers, so hopefully I will have aides tomorrow to deliver! It was a busy day!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

What's Best for the Kids

That was our focus today during our morning training for the school year. In the meantime, I worked on more of the math books. Loaded two huge rolls of poster paper onto our rack. Cleaned a filter on a projector for a new teacher and reset her filter timer. Checked out a few things. Got all my tables back to their ADA configuration with the help of our custodians. I still have one table I really want to get rid of! So, I sent out an email and hopefully someone will want it. Had a lovely potluck with all the teachers and staff today. Got a Leslie Lions t-shirt we are supposed to wear on certain days. Did some laminating for two teachers. Did I mention I worked on math books? All the Prime Times are done and I got through 90 of the Accentuate the Negative. Checked in books from a teacher who is off to another school. Redid all the math book shelves so all the new stuff will be in the right place. Mr. B came in looking for some non-fiction and I showed him we still have the Prentice Hall Lit books and he took one all excited. I love those books too! Off until the 6th graders come in Tuesday! Looking forward to them!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Inspiring the Future

That was our focus at the LMSS meeting today. Remembering to be inspired by the students we serve every day. Got our new budgets (not set yet! We should be getting more!), talked about the stats from the year. Had meetings with our advisors and talked with our feeder schools. It was a great meeting and said good-bye to our textbook guy, Mr. C who retired today. He's been a great person in tackling the textbook side of things and I will miss his voice on the phone and cheery emails. Back at school our IC found a bunch of the schoolwide boxes in a back room, so I took a cart and brought them down and checked them in with all their pieces - we are only missing two books from them. Got rid of some more books to Language Arts teachers. Checked out 40 Readers Handbooks. Got all the Read 180 stuff ready to be picked up tomorrow. Got all the Bits and Pieces done and almost all the Prime Time math books (found another box!). Checked out more resources to teachers. Played Pandora with my Celtic shuffle to get through the end of the day while I reeled out those math books!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day Two

Came in today and got right to work on the math books. By the end of the day I had all the Bits and Pieces all done and was starting on the Prime Time. I also measured the shelves and had to move a couple of things to make all the different titles possible for the shelves in the back. Checked out lots to teachers today. Had to work on the Health books since we had two more than what the computer said. Checked in three sets of science books that had been 'lost' for quite awhile. Talked a lot with our Language Arts teachers (since we have quite a few new ones) about what is available in the library. Got in my tape and contact paper I had ordered. Found out I do have Friday off (yeah!). Which leaves me wondering if I'll get all the math books done :(  Got some of the new teachers to take some old books so I don't have to surplus them. Had our science guys look through Ms. J's things she left when she retired last year and they took a couple of things ('These are mine! She borrowed them and I forgot about them!') Checked out three class sets of social studies. Took in books from classrooms that had new teachers in them and didn't need these things! (two encyclopedia sets from 1989 and 1992! - but one of our new teachers took the 1992 set!). Got our bookkeeper set up with her own access to the textbook program and went over checking in things with her. Laminated a few things for teachers today. Condensed a few carts so I have extras for teachers. Checked on a book for a student that called. We didn't have it, so I did find two books that were missing from students today so I told him to call back next week after the new teachers had cleaned out their rooms, it still might show up.