Sunday, October 6, 2019

BOOK TRAILER: Curtsies and Conspiracies

The indispensable Library Aides

The beginning of year four should be easier than the previous three years.  Mostly true.  Instead of trying to do all the work myself, like I tried (and failed in year 1), I now carefully and heavily recruit library assistants.  I say "carefully" because I don't want just any kid who wants an easy out from the academic course.  They must be willing to do the nitty gritty and grunt work of library: tidying up, shelving, dusting, checking in/out books, more shelving, more dusting.  It's never ending, and often it's tedious; but it must be done and done consistently well.

Year 1 I recruited River, my 9th grader, to be a library intern.  He was the first intern and so far the best in the last three years.  He learned quickly and, with the exception of collection development and teacher collaboration and teaching research and orientation, he could basically run the library without me.  For the last period of the day, I had Elijah who, like River was quite independent and self-driven.  He cleaned every nook and cranny of the library.  The handrails were disinfected every time he was there, the computer lab was always in perfect shape, the tables were clean, and the place sparkled.  Between the two, the library was beautiful and organized.

Year 2 was a string of mishaps.  I thought the intern I chose would be good but he turned out just average.  I had one aide who showed up whenever she felt like it and eventually failed.  Unheard of in my past life as teacher with TAs.  But you can't pass as an aide if you don't show up at least 50% of the time.  On the other hand, my other library assistant Carl, who helped on and off the previous year was instrumental in organizing the English bookroom -- a project that started the last year two years of my teaching Early Scholars.  It was technically the 4th year for that project and we finished the organization so we could finally see the floor and easily locate book sets...imagine that! I had  few good ones who stayed for only a semester: Mitchell and Hazel; I wanted them back!

Year three was my dream team year.  I had two aides every period.  Yes, I had a staff and they worked like a well oiled machine.  I could attend my monthly meetings or be gone for activities and they library didn't fall into mild chaos.
Elias M, Angel M, Ben C, Hazel C , Caitlin a TA from year two came back and was a new person.  She worked hard!  Where the previous year I had to coax her to do something productive even if that meant sitting down to read something that she could review for me, now she worked without prodding.  She ran the circulation desk and covered all my hardback dustjackets.  And she was precise and neat in the process.  She didn't like working with students but she had to learn to be nice.  It was tough for her but she persevered. 


Monday, February 19, 2018

The Adventures of Library Girl: When Adults Don't Read, Kids Lose.

Below is an article by one of my favorite librarian blogger, Jennifer LaGarde:

The Adventures of Library Girl: When Adults Don't Read, Kids Lose.: Note: This post was co-written with my friend Todd Nesloney , who is both the principal at Webb Elementary School in Navasota, TX and the co...