The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Monday, February 29, 2016


I got out the testing schedule today and started to plug in the teachers on their block of time. There were a few conflicts, so I let the two coordinators know what I found. They are still working on it I heard and had to do some readjusting since we were supposed to start today, but there was a conflict with the counselor's from South coming to do their 8th grade presentations and getting ready to move into 9th grade next year. So we'll see! I made up my Dr. Seuss windowboard today and when I got my Seuss books back, put them all out on display for the rest of the week. Deleted all the rest of the fiction books I pulled. Two whole 4 shelf carts. They are all ready to get crossed out and demagnetized. Started my aides doing that today, then went back over their work - glad I did! These books will all go in the teacher's lounge upstairs and they get first pick, then I'll bring them down for the kids to pick the books they'd like. Then they will finally go to surplus. Had a meeting today after school on the testing environment that will start on Wednesday. Even though I won't test, nor be in the library computer lab, I guess I am still technically 'in the room' so it was thought I should go to a training, just to be on the safe side. I sent out an email today letting people know not to send students down tomorrow because of the South presentation, then we will have to do another on the rules for library use after testing starts. We close it off pretty good, but still will need to make sure students are very quiet and respectful when they come in. We will make it work!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Three for Three

Again! Only three aides! My one aide that came to me because of a broken arm went back to PE! Ha! Then two more were out sick today! So it was pretty quiet in the library today! Finished pulling my fiction books to weed and let my supervisor know. Checked out all my Dr. Seuss books to a teacher for Monday, but insisted they be back since Wednesday is Read Across America day! Very excited about that. Started working on a windowboard to highlight the good doctor and remembered I had some clings in the back room of Seussian characters, so I ended up cleaning out the drawer those were in as well. I found a ton of really old stuff they had used to decorate and ended up throwing out a lot of it. And what's up with the Rugrat clings?? She had a bunch of those! I had a great aide last year that made me a Lorax for my windowboard, but alas, she's up in Portland now. She really did a great job! I will have to figure it out on my own this year. I did send out an email to all the staff to be sure and make reading a part of the day on Wednesday. I may put out some coloring things for students! And testing is starting. Not sure what we're going to do with that around the library. I am taking a mandatory training on Monday to be in the 'test' environment. Probably just safer that way. So, a lot of things will change, probably the noise level most of all! Got in some new books today! Huzzah!! My PO for my last book order went out! Huzzah again! My supervising Librarian came by to check out my weeded books and we had a long talk. Weeding, changes in how we do some things. He loves being in the middle schools and was there for a good hour. We talked books, shelving, changing roles. A good chat. But I needed him to go so I could shut everything down for the weekend! And he did! Computers off, monitors off, trash out, window blinds down. Rearranged the copy room a little. Put the table with the scantron and paper cutter over by the secure recycle bin and the big rack of poster paper over against the bookshelves. We don't use that often and now the room is more open. Good call. Busy day, see you on Monday!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Three Aides Shy Again!

Two were the same from yesterday, but the other one swapped out! Had three classes in today to check out math books. Deleted all the non-fiction I weeded. Weeded the R - W fiction. Did some repairs. A pretty slow day, but glad I'm getting the weeding done for the year!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Three Aides Shy

Had half my aides gone today which was a bit surprising. Got the rest of the 800's moved. Now instead of three rows with lots of books on their sides, I now have two rows with them all standing up. A few of the bigger ones on the holding shelves below where they can just lay flat. I'm really happy with it. Shelved all the 900's today since a teacher brought back a ton and cleaned up the 921's a lot and some of the 940's too. Monitored more science students today. Destroyed copies (ok, just their identifying barcodes) of Roll of Thunder because they are off to another school. Sent some audio books to another school. Found another student looking at inappropriate images and let admin know what happened. It really shook me up. Set up the computer cart for the class tonight. One of those days it seems like not a lot got done. The students spread out their check outs/ins just enough that you'd be off to do one thing and then one would come, try to go back to it, another would come. Did some laminating for the DLC since I totally forgot yesterday afternoon! Off to bookclub!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Science Expo!!

The library became a hall of science! It was so exciting! I actually took down all the books on the top of the shelves and ran a report of books with the keyword 'science' and put those up. Made my word for the day 'experiment'. I was all set to go! The students started coming in all morning to get their displays ready and finish up! So amazing to see these incredible students learning and testing out their world and ideas! Fabulous! We had not only some of our staff in to look at things, but also four professors from Willamette University to help critique! I even got a tour through a presentation by a student on how he worked on making current from zinc washers and aluminum foil! Impressive!  I finished up weeding the 800's this morning and so the non-fiction for the year is done. I also took a look at the shelves there and decided to condense down the books and have only two shelves along that side because we have so many books on their sides since the shelves are short. I got one done this morning and it looks so much better. I have students all the time going over there and hitting the books and making the shelves a mess, I'm straightening them up every other day or so. Then we have a bunch of books that are amazing, but because they are turned on their side, you can't see them, so this will help.  While the Expo was on, I took my aides into the back and we shifted some math books and I worked on resetting the shelves for our boxes of Language Arts units. Checked out three class lists of math books today and a class set for a science teacher. I came away from the day so energized to see what our students are capable of!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Science Guys

We are having our first annual Science Expo tomorrow, so I took down the Oregon books and put up science fair books and Mr. M brought in a bunch of sciency things for me to use! Doesn't it look awesome?? Helped students work on documents, putting on flash drives, formatting. Monitored the other science students as they worked today from Mr. H's class. Checked out four classes of math books, five classes switching out reading books. Talked to one of our techs about setting up the library computer lab for the Smarter Balance testing that will start in April. We put up tables and add ten extra computers for down here. Of course, added copy paper to the copier. Mr. G came in about his projector, but I don't have the new ones yet so he has to content himself with one of the spare ones. Mr. M had a fabulous poster made, and I wanted to hang it, but we can't. So he suggested an easel, and we have one in the back room, so I got it out and this pegboard I have in the back room is the perfect size to tape the poster onto. It does look fabulous! Sent out notices for the extra audio books I have. Covered two wonderful Marvel Wizard of Oz books and got them put out. Stamped and prepped 25 books and 8 audio books to go to LMSS for processing and typed up the accompanying title list sheet. Printed up the packing slip to go on the box and took it upstairs. Shipped out six books back to their homes. Got the computer cart ready for the class tonight. Can't wait for the expo tomorrow! Our students so deserve this showcase!

Friday, February 19, 2016


I am so happy with the way all my shifting shelves happened today! I got all the lit sets done and instead of two whole rows and two other bookshelves we are down to one and a half rows! Then I was able to get all our old Prentice Hall lit books onto a set of shelves and we still have room! That makes me extremely happy! I moved the two wooden bookcases over so they are on the ends of the steel shelves. Not sure if I'll keep them there or not, but we'll see. Moved the computer table over to where one of the bookshelves was and things are really looking nice! There is some room for more lit books and I'll shift some of those larger sets so there are two rows on a shelf instead of one and that'll really get things happy! Got some more books out on the floor from my repair pile. Was so happy to get my graphic novels in!! I had ordered some and couldn't get them because on the book it said 16 +. So the high school took them and ordered me in some others and I was particularly happy to get in the new Maximum Ride manga #9! One was already checked out today, and I didn't even get them out until 5th period! My fabulous aides got all the books shelved today, so after school got out I just needed to dump all the garbage, turn off all the computers, monitors and put away headphones. Close the blinds. Cleaned up my desk from repair detritus. Searched for a book that a parent called about with the books I still had in the library. Sent out an email when I didn't find it, and it was found at the end of the day in one of the Social Studies teacher's room. Glad that was found! Had a student turn in a book that had pages torn like it had gotten shut in a locker or something. He claimed that he had checked it out that way, and I was like, 'ah, no. I would have taken it and told you to get another copy.' He finally accepted that. It's unrepairable for what it's worth. Signed up the PD class on the 4th.  A good day, a bit chaotic with the computer lab in use all day. Three classes coming in to check out books. Lots of students getting ready for the science expo here Tuesday. Glad all is done though and I get to see granddaughters tonight! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Shifting Shelves

Since I haven't gotten much of a response to off load some of my books for other schools, I decided today to start shifting shelves in the back. I had one of our students start the process, then I continued it this afternoon. I doubled up the books that had 20 or more copies since the shelves can easily hold two rows and that is saving me so much space! I'm excited! I will have all the lit sets all on the two main rows rather than on the rows plus two other bookshelves in the back. That is a huge storage savings! I might even get some of the older English books up there too! That would be lovely! Worked repairs today. Checked out the ones I glued the other day, had to cover some, had to cloth tape corners and edges and spine ends of others. It takes time but ends up looking really nice. Had two classes in today to check out math books and four to check in and out reading books. So it was pretty busy down there. Laminated after school for three teachers and redid book covers for some of the books otherwise ready to go back out on the shelves. A great day in the neighborhood! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Check it Out

Today was a true check out day. We checked out seven classes of math books, two classes getting new reading books. Checked in all the returns. Crazy day! My aides did a lot of shelving for me and my one sixth period aide is marvelous and finished off everything else that had come in after the other aides were gone! Got in a new box of books from Scholastic. Worked on my article for the March newsletter. Mostly about Scholastic and I think I'll go ahead and do a raffle for the new preview books to give away. Decided to take down the OBOB bulletin board I made since I've decided we're not going to do it this year since there's so little interest. Moved a table in our back textbook room out into the library and put in the back the half table we had out there coupled with another table so they are the same! I did not like the regular table coupled with the half table, it was higher, and they just didn't go together! My aide finished off the book list to send out and got some feedback on that already. Asked the other middle schools who has gone to genre's and who hasn't and how they've labeled them. So far, two have, two haven't. I'm still on the fence! I don't know if I'd be the reader I am if I just stuck with a genre! But browsing the shelves, I would come across a "Oh, that looks interesting..." and then read it. Maybe the genre thing here is hyped and not that many have really done it. Possible! Suggested a book series to a student and he took it for a spin and really likes it! I love it when that happens! I haven't read it, but one of the IA's loves it and I had just gotten in the second book (had the first and third! Go figure!). Got my Baker and Taylor order finalized and hopefully it will go in today or early tomorrow! Thank you my supervising librarian! Did pull out some more immigrant books to go along with the immigration unit, found 19 more! So I put those in bookends on a shelf by my office. A busy day!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Knitting Needles and Glue

Did quite a few repairs today and got to use one of my favorite tricks a lot. When the heavy paper on the boards begins to separate from the hinges, you can take a knitting needle, dip it in glue and run it down in between and set it to dry and it will fix that hinge nicely! Love to do that! Also got some covers redone and ready to laminate. Talked to our two teachers doing immigration stuffs, and they can't teach from the Breaking Through book I got in for them :(  I did know somewhere in the back of my brain that we really weren't supposed to do class sets anymore, but I totally didn't think about it. So now the kids have to choose a book that has something to do with immigration (I've already checked out every one of our books with immigration for a subject) or oppression or something like that so they were told that Hunger Games would be a good choice. Aiii! All righty then! I'll have to email them and come up with a list. Since my B&T order hasn't gone in yet, I added in some other books (yes, with some immigration books!!) and sent it in. I want to spend the entire rest of my order. My order came to about $1363, and I have $1028.xx left, so I had them cap it at $1028. There are always books that they don't have, or books that are on back order, so it'll work out. I also wanted to work on some of our series books. Some of the authors (like the Misses' Hunter) have so many, so I worked on better ways to identify the books. So I thought of using the series title, like say, Dawn of the Clans, and instead of just the numbers 1,2,3, etc, putting DotC 1, DotC 2 and so on. I tried a few and it does look pretty nice. I had another book that was a sequel to a book and put on 'Sequel to XX' and put it on. They look pretty good. I also did some more books on my replacement list. Like Twilight. It will be around for a long time and we only have one battered copy. So I will get two Permabound copies so I won't have to keep repairing some of these older, but much loved books. Checked out science book C to Mr. C's class 1st period, then had my aides list check out for his 6th period class. We had some of the counselors in from South High School to do an AVID presentation for the 8th graders today, so I had to get out the projector and get that all up and running around 2 this afternoon. These students have a wonderful opportunity with this program and I hope they take advantage of it.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Oregon's Birthday

It's this weekend! Oregon became a state on February 14, 1859, so I pulled a great selection of Oregon books for the students to see this morning before school. Got set up to check out books for Mr. C and he totally forgot to bring his class in! So, I was then ready for 6th period, and he totally forgot again! So we will do that on Tuesday. A sub was in 118 and was having trouble with his document camera, so I went down, then had to get back. Did some research on it to find that the orange light meant he needed to switch off the TV mode, but on the next passing period, he had figured that out and had it all working great. Something to remember for next time! Scheduled the library for an 8th grade AVID talk. Packaged up 5 books to head back to their schools in the mail. Got in our new document cameras and they took the Waldo ones back and apologized for the mix up. I ended up having to go to Mr. S's room to pull the one from there and then give him back his old one. Called LMSS to get the list of new DVDV's they have gotten in just this year and then was able to send that out to all our teachers. Did some repairs and got some more books out from my repair pile. Helped a student and their aide with some research on Native Americans. Had an IA who needed to find a book on the Rajneesh from Eastern Oregon! Boy, I remember that whole interesting time! Had to send to another school, but we found one! Found a missing book on immigration and then started some research on getting some more immigration books for our school since we have so few. Found a couple of really nice interactive books on immigration - sweet! Had a girl come in to the library, she needed a book, checked out a History Alive book. Then I found her in the hall. Then she came back with two more girls and she checked back in the book she had just checked out. Then I found her down by the cafeteria with those same two girls. Then she was with another group of girls. Then she came in the library about 15 minutes later saying she needed to use the computers to work on a project with the first two girls and I sent them all away. She remarked as I shooed them out "If I get an F it's all your fault!" Really. Got all the books shelved this afternoon before we left. Took out all the trash. Made sure computers were completely off for the three days, and monitors and put away all the headphones still out. Glad to be headed into a three day weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Enjoying the Ride

Over to Straub for our meeting today. I had to leave at three, so it made the day seem short. Pulled all the rest of the books on immigration that we had and they got all checked out but three. I used to have a really nice display, for a day or two! Worked on some of the books in maintenance. Some of them just needed their jackets redone, so I had done that yesterday, so I prepped them and put them on the books that didn't need glueing and put them back out. Got in a new projector and it went right out. Had our techs in the building and we pulled up the doc cameras I had questioned that they were new, and they had come from Waldo! There were stickers on them! So I took pictures and sent them to our office manager so she could see that no, they were not new. Checked out two classes of math books this morning. But all in all, it was pretty quiet for the most part. Really enjoyed my meeting with the other Middle School library media assistants and our new PA. I think he will do a great job in reemerging our libraries back to the center heart of the schools. Got a new book, some good news (yeah we get to have access back to Baker and Taylor!!!). Heard vision pieces and where we fit in. A great meeting and ran over, but none of us cared. Library life is grand!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I was sad that a group of students came in and decided it was a fun laugh to pull up Google images of girls in very brief bikinis on my library search computers. I saw the screen, looked up and one fellow was standing there giggling and I pointed "YOU!!" Had him come over and sit until our security person could come and get him, which was pretty quickly. Had another student today supposedly to check out a book come in with a group, go into the lab and start you tubing a song that was totally inappropriate, something about 100 somethings (inappropriate) doing something (inappropriate). Is it because it's spring? There is so much access that they have no sense of boundaries?? Is is just because they are boys??? Argh. Just about ruined my days :(  But, I did get all the new books stripped and covered and due slipped and out on the rack. Got the rest of the 'Say it with Symbols' barcoded and numbered and they are all done. Just the 'What do you Expect's' are the last set and I had done some before, so they should be a pretty quick fix. Ran the OBOB club today, but pretty disappointed. Only had three of the students show up today. I may just go ahead and cancel, even though these kids are passionate book readers, it's hard to justify keeping the library closed for just 2 students one lunch and one student the other. I have a meeting tomorrow, so I'll talk about it then when we have our OBOB meeting after the Library Assistant meeting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More New Books!!!

Love it when new books come in! Three boxes today!! One from Permabound, one from the pick I did at our book give-away back before Thanksgiving and books from back in November! So happy to see them come in! Sorting, putting strips in, putting in the date due slips (New 2-2016), putting them out on the rack! Starting to cover! Squeeeee!! Love them!! Worked a bit on repairs today as well. Cleaned up, rebarcoded and laminated covers to make them look new again. Laminated some other things for other teachers as well. Fielded emails, took phone calls. Had to ask how to log out of the new copier since they loaded in all the employee numbers and you can only get in with your code! They have a login/out button, but it's only for the techs?!?! Hopefully that will slow down the drain on our paper. I think we've gone through nearly 5 boxes in the last month without codes. Seems like it anyways! Found the missing 'Say it with Symbols' books. It was in the 'What do you Expect' pile, our last pile of the math books, of course! Had a student work off half an hour of fines working on stamping the books. Two of my aides checked out 4 classes of math books to Mrs. K's classes today. Two other aides I told to break down boxes and take them outside to the cardboard recycler and I'm not sure what they did, just stepped on the boxes?? They left a strange mess back there! So I cleaned it up. Best kudo ever!! Mrs. S brought me in a whole bag of mint chocolate candies! The really good square individually wrapped ones! Though I didn't need them to feel super happy this afternoon with my new books! Decided to not put the Pete the Cat covers on the new books, less bulk. Can't wait for our DLC students to see them! Had a question on one of my new books from the office, Unslut. I'll read it, but it's about a middle school student who was labeled a 'slut' and how she coped with that and how it affected her, years beyond. She kept a diary, and then added thoughts on the sidebars about later perceptions. I really do need to read it before I put it out, but I think our students need to have it. On my nightstand at home! Have to finish another one first! A great day!!

Monday, February 8, 2016


I started today with checking in all the books that Mrs. S brought in late on Friday. More than 2/3rds of them were 'lost' books and I'll bet the students they were attached to will be glad! Checked out a set of math books to a class of Mrs. T's. Checked in and out books all day. Had Mrs. S's classes in the computer lab all day. Got all "Say it with Symbols" math books done that I have and one more set to go and all those thousands will be done! Had an aide finish going through the Lit books in the back and write them up, then I'll have her make an excel sheet for them to send to other schools. Had to make a new attendance sheet for our South students today. Started in on some repairs at the end of the day and set up the computer cart for the class in the library tonight. I had a student who decided, I'm not quite sure why, that she needed to hand laminate a book cover and then staple it onto the book?!? Interesting...there was quite a bit of talk about those math books I'm missing, but at the same time I'm like 'so, you didn't bring us in early to work on these, and we've had to work on them in amongst the rest of all the things we do and now there's a problem that might have been found early on had we had the time to get them cranked out before school started'. So, I don't feel bad. Mostly. Got to take a lovely brief walk around the building in our lovely gorgeous weather we had here today. Saw the kids out in our community garden getting some instruction from the SKEF person in charge of our garden out the library windows. Great to see the kids out there learning about the garden! Took down my books on Native Americans and put up books about immigration since that's the next unit for some of the Language Arts students and they even checked some out today!

Friday, February 5, 2016


Had a great day getting things done. All the It's in the System math books are done & on the shelf. Printed up the bar codes for the Say it with Symbols books & we are short 64 copies so I let our curriculum person know. Got all fiction & non-fiction shelved today. Then Mrs. S brought in two full milk crates of unclaimed books from her room! They will slumber in my drop box until Monday. Sorted out a bunch of audio books from a teacher's room, keeping ones we don't have, putting the others up for adoption. Found a search computer where a student had put up 'porn hub' background & a pic of a girl. Took a pic, then sent it & names of kids who were in there to our security guy. So sad. The rest of the day was great! Love my school!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Things Happen

But maybe not today. It was a good day. Had three classes come in to check out books so I got to have my aides do some more with checking in and out on the library side. I got the voice recorders all sorted out. I ended up just checking them all in and back out again and things were right this time! Did some laminating. Once in the morning, then again this afternoon. Worked a bit more on the math books. Took a new document camera up to Mr. G. Shelved the non-fiction 001 - 599's. No class came in the library last night so I just put away the computer cart, then brought it out and set it up for a staff class this afternoon and they ended right before I went home, so I put it away again. Sent back more books to their home libraries. Cleaned up all my books in repair so that area is in order. Had a meeting with our Scholastic rep. Finagled with the copier trying to get it to do things. Sort of Ho-hum day. Went to our PLC meeting at the Ram, but for once, we mostly visited, though we did talk about our current book ordering process that we'll bring up at our meeting next week with our new PA.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sorting Voice

Got my aides their shelves all set so they worked on that today. Also had them check out books to Mr. G's math classes and take them to him. Ran my OBOB students during lunches today. Had groups of students come in to check out books. Ms. V needed us to check out Voice Recorders to students today, so I had an aide do that and she messed up a bit, so I checked them all and at the end of the day came up with a descrepancy, so I'll need to finish that up tomorrow morning. Got out the computer set up for the class that will meet tonight. And yes! I did finish up covering books, so that batch is all done and out for students to check out. Another great day!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Covering Finally

I bit the bullet today and got all the rest of the new books out except for about 6 of them I still need to cover. I got a ton of them covered today, and all the hardbacks stripped and due date slips in. Was hoping to get them all, but they will all be done tomorrow!! That was one cart out of my office! Worked on training aides today. Had a fire drill today. Got the OBOB questions in so I printed them out for tomorrow's meeting - thank goodness! I won't have to make any up! Got notice that my other perma-bound books are in so they should be showing up soon. Had one new book already split at the spine so I asked LMSS and they said to send it in and they'd get it replaced. Looked almost like they didn't quite get the glue all the way to the edge. I took a picture with my phone, emailed it to me at work, then copied the pic to an email for them! That worked really well! Another great day in the library!

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Semester

First day of the new semester! I had four aides on my schedule, and then one of my aides from last year showed up since he can't do PE this semester. I was glad to have him! And, oh joy! I have no aides for 4th period so I can really relax during my lunch! Had my aides all do the 'Order in the Library' web page. Two of them finished and one nearly got done. One of the aides didn't get a chance to do that today. Pulled two class sets of science books for Mr. H, one class set of social studies for Mr. G. Showed two of the aides how to check out our textbooks on them. Checked in and out books, of course, today. Came in and had to help pass out schedules before school started. That is always fun! Here are some stats from last semester. I had 3,968 students come in on individual passes during the day (that's around 46 a day). We checked out 9,250 library books (this includes class sets, sets to other schools and other check outs) and we checked out 4,920 textbooks to classes as well. We've been busy!!