Thursday, April 30, 2015

Boys and Books

I've gotten a lot of new books in in the last couple of weeks.  Everything from picture books to nonfiction books.

I'm most excited about the nonfiction books.  Not because their my favorite.  Their not (but I'm learning to like them).  But because my boys are excited about them.

They are especially excited about the super hero and Scoobie Doo graphic novels and the biographies on wrestlers.  They are driving me crazy, in a good way, asking me for these books.  I can't keep them in the library.  They have literally flown off the shelves!

I'm so glad I've added books to the library that appeal to these boys.  I wish I could have triple copies of all of them.

Change Is Coming

I'm not one to resist change.  I don't always love change but I can generally see the need for it and can go with the flow.  I might freak out in my head but you won't see me freak out.

My principal is leaving the district.  I've been with him for two years.  He has respected my library and respected me.  We have learned and grown together.

I hate to see him leave.

This is the kind of change I struggle with.  I've had it good for the last two years and I can't image another principal treating the library and me the way he did.

So I'm struggling...

... to understand why he's leaving.  Though I wish him nothing but the best of luck.

... to understand how this will be good for our school.  The teachers and paras he brought with him to this school have made a great changes at this school.

... to understand where my library will go from here.  Not many principals understand the library the way he does.  Not many will allow me to spend what I spent this year.  Not many will find the grants he did so I could spend the money I did.

... to understand what's coming.  I think this is the hardest part.  We don't know who our new principal will be and what changes will be made.  And that's tough.

So I'm actually ready for next year.  I'm ready to get started so that I will know what I'm dealing with. Whether I will have to fight and prove my worth/my library's worth or will the new principal be as supporting of the library as my old principal.

Perhaps our school song is more foretelling than I realized: Hold on, change is coming.  Hold on, don't worry about a thing.

Change... can be a bear.


totally worth it.

Is This Week Over Yet?

I'm so tired of being sick!  My voice is better but not fully back.  I haven't been able to read to any of the classes that have come to the library this week.  And that's my favorite part!

I cough so much I'm tired from coughing.  I can't talk well so I'm straining to have myself heard and that's exhausting.

I canceled my plans to go out of town this weekend because I just don't think I can make it.

I'm tired.

I'm done complaining.

The cute thing is, with the little kids, they hear me whisper to them so they whisper back.  It cracks me up every time.

Earlier this week a PreK student got out of his car in the morning and said to me "I know you, you read to me."  That warmed my heart!  That is my why.

I've been processing books all afternoon.  I ran out of tape.  I've ordered some more but it hasn't come in yet.  So I'm doing everything else to process them so all I have to do is tape up the address label I put over the store barcode.

I've weeded through the 900s this week.  Found a book from 1974 on a wrestler.  That's a gem right there.  Let me tell his wresting costume was something else! Ha!

Hubby comes home today.  He's been in West Virginia since Saturday preaching in a Gospel Meeting.  Reagan and I can't wait to see him after school!

Thanks for letting me complain!

Monday, April 27, 2015

What a Monday

I've been feeling bad since Saturday. I'll spare you the details of said illness. I've lost my voice and as a librarian who reads to every class that comes to the library well, that's a bad thing. 

I'll be jumping around here but I promise it'll all make since when I'm done. 

So I'm doing my morning drop off duty at school this morning in a storm when we hear a big boom and loose electricity to the school. We continue with school reasonably like we normally would. If we don't get power back by mid morning then we will send the kids home early. 

Since we have no power I decide to call the doctor and see if I can get an appointment this morning since I won't be having classes in the library. 

I get into the doctor. For her to tell me I have bronchitis. Two shots, a prescription, and two over the counter meds later I get a text from school saying we are dismissing at 11:00. 

I run by Walgreens to get my prescription but it hasn't been called in yet so I get my over the counter meds but they don't have one. So I run by CVS, luckily they have it. 

I get to school in time to help with dismissal but my fabulous principal (who knows I'm sick) sends me to pack up my stuff and shoos me out the door. 

So now I'm home resting. I got some things ready for dinner and a few things ready for our breakfast and lunch for tomorrow ready. And now I'm laid out on the couch waiting to pick my prescription and my girl up from school. 

What a Monday!

Friday, April 24, 2015

TLA Take-Aways Part 2

I'm STILL thinking about TLA and what I learned and what I can apply and what I can share.  I don't think I've been to a conference that inspires as well as TLA does!

First thing Thursday morning I went to the 15th Annual Texas 2x2 Showcase: Books for 2 Years thru 2nd Grade.  I loved listening to the panel of librarians discuss each of the 20 books.  My order for the 2x2s hasn't come in yet and I'm DYING for them to get here so I can read through them!

John Rocco, author and illustrator of books like How To Train Your Train and Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom was in this session.  Here are some of my tweets from his presentation.

After this session I went to Marking 101 for Libraries.  I'm at an elementary campus so my social media marketing is focused more on the parents and teachers through our school Facebook page and Twitter account.  What I took away from this session was that I need to meet my students/parents/teachers where they are at.  I think for the students I will do more poster advertising around the school.  This will also meet teachers and parents.  I'm also going to start putting up notices in the bathroom... for a little light reading.... I had a principal that did this when I taught middle school Deaf students.  It worked!

The only thing better than the 2x2 session was the Texas Bluebonnet Award Author Session AMAZING! 

Here's the line I got in to enter.  I thought arriving 30 minutes early would be plenty of time... the line wraps to the left and there's a zig zig rope area that more people are standing in!

While we waited in line we could pay a $1 (I forget what the money was used for but it was for a good cause) to get your picture taken with the crayons.

Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers were hilarious! Oh to be that funny! Daywalt said that it took 6 years to get The Day The Crayons Quit published.  6 years! What a life lesson for our students!  He also talked about how a librarian helped him as a kid.  Very moving!

Jeffers said "Librarians are liaisons of culture." Side note, I loved his accent!

They are rocking their "Bluebonnets" for the Bluebonnet award.  Ha!

After the luncheon I got a bit of a sinus headache and ran back to the hotel room and got some Advil and allergy meds and dropped off a couple of loads of free books.  I regrouped and headed back to the Exhibit Hall where I spent the rest of the day cruising threw venders and taking pictures of books I want order for next year.

Friday I spend the morning in the Exhibit Hall again.  I got some books autographed.

I spent some time at Kapco getting a demonstration of how to cover paperback books.  They let us cover all the paperbacks we had for practice.  It was great to have some one coaching me as I did my first few!

We also went to Capstone when they did their give away.  We went though the line 3 times and got 9 free books.  We also went to Harper Collins where they gave 1 free book from each side of their booth.  Last we stood in line for Penguin where they gave away 3 books from each side of their booth.  While standing in that line another booth let me take 3 horse books.  What librarian doesn't love some free books?!

All in all it was an amazing 4 days!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Endings

I just finished Lies You Want To Hear by James Thomson. I liked the book (I'll give it 4 stars on Goodreads).  I couldn't figure where the book was going. Which was good... and irritating at the same time. Ha!

I started out loving the male lead character and ended up not liking him much at the end. At the beginning he was so easy to like. He was endearing and fun and guy you'd like your daughter to marry. But by the end you just felt bad for him.

The female lead character started out as some one I just didn't like. I couldn't understand her choices or her behavior. She wasn't a likable person. But by the end of the book I felt sorry for her. Which was a little annoying.

The only thing I didn't like about the book was the ending. It just ended so abruptly. I read it in eBook form and when it ended I kept swiping my finger back and forth thinking I had missed something or hit a button or something but nope. The book just ended. Out of no where. Those kind of endings leaving me feeling so cheated out of a nice wrap up.

It doesn't even have to be nice. I just like a wrap up.

At least a warning that the end is near.

I'm going to start Spelled by Betsy Schow tomorrow. I got it while at TLA a week ago. The cover is so dazzling! (Yes, I know. Never judge a book by its cover.)

Monday, April 20, 2015

TLA Take Aways

TLA was amazing! This was my second year to attend. I felt I had a better grasp on the whole conference.

Tuesday night I started off at Speed Dating the Texas Bluebonnet Award Authors with one of the other librarians in my district. I wrote about it here. But it stands mentioning again. It was awesome!

Wednesday morning started with the general session. Author David Baldacci spoke. He was entertaining, hilarious, informative and so many other adjectives! I repeated one of his stories to my hubby. He even laughed at my repeated story. Most of the time my retellings aren't funny. My favorite quote is "Librarians are rock stars!" I'm sure you can age why. 

I had a book signed by Marie Lu for my daughter. She's very excited about Lu's Spirit Animal book 7. 

One of my favorite session I went to was Augmented Reality: The Other AR. I haven't played with AR at all. So I was excited to go to this session. I can't wait to purchase some of the books the presenter talked about that use AR. I also downloaded a new app called Lime. It's like Skype but you can "give help" and the person you are talking too can see you finger point through their phone. So freaky and cool and futuristic and very "The Jetsons"! My daughter and I played with it when I got back. 

Another informative session was Update On School Library Standard Revisions. Sounds boring right? Well it wasn't. Ha! The presenter was engaging. His Google Slide presentation was interactive. The audience was able to type their ideas onto the slides. We are hoping for some updated standards that show off what we do as librarians and why we need bigger budgets. 

The last session I went to Wednesday was Weeding: It's Not A Crime. I was eager to attend this session because I'm participating in the Shelf Challenge. Once I got to weeding it got easier to weed but it was good for me to hear someone else tell me I needed to weed. One of my favorite quotes was "'No one expects the team to play with an old football,' the same goes for books!" Basically I learned to "weed till it hurts." 

As I've been writing this blog I realized I only took notes (on my phone) in certain session. In other sessions I tweeted like a mad woman. It's an interesting way to "take notes" and fun to review the tweets. 

Thursday and Friday to come!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Getting my Learnin' on At TLA

Texas Library Association (TLA) as been a blast!  

The first day, Tuesday afternoon, I attended Speech Dating with Bluebonnet Book Authors. We were only able to visit with eight authors/illustrators. Two were unable to attend. Unfortunately there wasn't enough time to get to the other 10. 

I've gotten a lot of free goodies!

I had to get my picture taken with my alma mater's mascot, the Bearkat. And after dinner we walked down to the capital building. 

On the way to the capital building a homeless man asked us for some money for food. We ignored him. So he added for food or crack. I couldn't help myself. I giggled. 

I plan to talk more about the sessions I went to in another post. I'm too tired to think that hard right now. I have been tweeting during the session so check out my Twitter feed!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Getting Ready For TLA

The Texas Library Assiciation Conderence is next week!! Four days of library fun!

They have an app (which this techy girl loves!) that you add sessions, events, author signings, etc that you want to attend to My Schedule. I added sessions to My Schedule a couple of weeks ago. This morning I looked over My Schedule. There's so much I want to do! So many sessions. So many author signings! Some events overlap. I hate having to choose between events. It's the one time I actually want some one to tell me what do too.  Any other time, don't tell me what to do! Ha!

I'll be posting here about my time at TLA. Stay tuned!

On a side note. TLA is in Austin this year. My aunt and cousins live there. We are going out to dinner one night. I see my aunt and uncle a couple of times a year. I don't remember the last time I saw my cousin. I can't wait to catch up with them!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Collection Analysis

I ran an analysis on my library collection today.  Back in June the average age was 1994 (according to TLA standards that's considered good). Today it is 1996! By the end of the school year I'd like it to be 1997. And by the end of the next school year I'd like to have it at 2001 which would be excellent condition.

I did a lot of weeding this week in the biography section. I think that helped a LOT. 

My principal also received a lot of grant money this year and I was able to spend a significant amount of money on new books. I was also able to use some Bilingual money to purchase Spanish and Bilingual books. 

My book fairs did really good this year and I was able to use Scholastic dollars on new books, assessories, decorations, etc. 

My collection is coming along!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Weeding Has Begun

I decided to join the Shelf Challenge this April.  Last year was my first year in the library.  I inherited a pristine library.  Since I was new and the library was in such good condition I was hesitant to weed. I did trash books that was worn but I didn't go further than that.

This year I moved with my principal to a different school.  The library needed a lot of tender loving care.  My fabulous mother-in-law, dear hubby, darling daughter and I spend all summer working on it.  There was a lot of sweat, a lot of tears, and a little blood.  But the end result was worth it!

Since we had to pull every book off the shelf this summer so the shelves could be painted and reshelf them when the paint was dry I was able to physically touch most of the books.  I knew I was going to have to do a major weeding.  It seemed so overwhelming!  So I was happy when I heard about the Shelf Challenge.  It has helped me focus on one area and not feel so weighed down by the task.

I decided to start with the biographies.  I picked this shelf because a lot of the books look like this:

It's crazy the books I've found in this section!  There's a book on Johnny Carson copyrighted in 1972! One on Pocahontas copyrighted 1946! I think these are good book to get rid of!

Below are some more pictures of books I've pulled to evaluate.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


You're never too old for an Easter basket!

Or eggs filled with money. 

Pictures with my parents. 

The "up shot" picture. I put my iPhone on time & sat it on a table to get a group shot (hubby had already left for worship). 

My granny and her boyfriend (she hates when I call him that but it makes me giggle so I continue to do it) my mom, my daughter, hubby, me & my in-laws (my dad was taking the picture). 

Yesterday was beautiful, today not so much. It's a rainy Eater this year so no outdoor pictures.  

We stuffed ourselves silly. Laughed and talked. Both sides of the family don't get together often so Easter is always a treat. 

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Azalea Garden

My parents came in town today. They love flowers so after lunch we headed to the Azalea Garden for a walk, pictures and some fun! 

Sorry this is such a picture heavy post. It was hard to pick my favorite pictures! 

This nearly gave my mom a heart attack!

We "had" to take couple of selfies just for fun.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Character Day and DEAR Day

We had a fabulous day at school yesterday! We started the day with a Character parade. All the kids dressed like their favorite book character then we paraded around campus. 

Even the teachers dressed up! That's me in the middle... I mean that's Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter surrounded by two Hermione Grangers. 

Some of our teachers got a little hot!

After the parade we started DEAR Day (Drop Everything And Read). 

Some teachers read the "old fashion" way with physical books. Others chose to use technology. Neither way the students had a blast and our goal to have all the students reading was met. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love my job!