Friday, March 2, 2018

Sitting Around In The Library

A parent volunteer walks in the library today.  My Book Fair is in full swing (seriously, if I'm asked how much an item is one more time I'm going to lose my mind!).  In the middle of the Book Fair madness I'm trying to get my iPad cart fixed.

I'm laying on the floor organizing wires and getting them in the right slots and getting the dividers installed when the parents says to me "You wanna change jobs with me?  I'd love to just sit around the library all day."  With the sweetest smile I could muster I said "Unfortunately sitting around the library all day isn't in my job description.  But I wish it was!"

Cuz I've taught my books to shelve themselves.

And I've taught my venders to order whatever books the library needs.  You know, they magically know what books are needed.

And I've taught those books to process themselves.
Oh and to advertise themselves too.

And my programs magically program themselves.  And present themselves to the teachers and students.  And run themselves without my help.

And I've taught the Book Fair to run itself and to fund raise for the library.

And my books read themselves during story time.

And my computer check books in and out all without my assistances.

And the books I need to read to stay current read themselves to me.

Oh and that iPad cart I was working on... yeah, it didn't fix it's self.

And databases teach the students how to use themselves.

And my volunteers train themselves.

But yeah... I just sit around the library and get paid.  I'm still salty about it.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Books Recommendations

I went to a Librarian Forum last week and as always I learned a lot and came away with some great ideas!

One of the ideas I liked was asking the local coffee shops if we could decorate the coffee cup sleeves with book recommendations.  Then local folks could see our students work/book recommendations.  And for once it's the school doing something for the community instead of the community doing for us.

But honestly... what I actually heard when this idea was put out there was... let's have children put their germ infested hands all over coffee cup sleeves then give them to customers who then get the germs.  Yes, I'm a germaphobe.  lol

I shared this idea with my school's Parent Liaison.  She has all the connections with the businesses in the community and I figured she'd love to help me with this.  Through our discussion about the germs involved in this she came up with the idea of purchasing small display frames.  We can print small sheets of paper with the school logo on it along with a QR code that takes people to my library page.  Students will decorate the sheets to be placed in the display frames.  The coffee shops could even put their logo on the display frame.  It'll sit on their tables for people to look at.

This does so many things!  It puts out in the community the awesome learning happening at our school.  Our students are writing or drawing book recommendations (working on those writing and reading skills).  Students are being creative with their words and/or their drawing.  It's another station/center for me to have in the library on a regular bases.  Students and family members might see their work out in the community and be proud.

I'm so excited about this!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Author Visit with PJ Hoover

Award winning author, PJ Hoover visited my district this week.  She came to my school today and presented to 5th grade. 

The 5th graders LOVED her!  She held their attention during her 45 minute presentation.  She talked about her childhood, her family, her 1st career as an engineer making computer chips for phones and such, and her love for science fiction and fantasy.

She talked about how her books have been rejected 300 times!  But she never gave up.  My favorite quote from her presentation was "Feel the fear and do it anyway."  I. LOVE. THAT. QUOTE!  It's going in my bullet journal!

At lunch time she ate with my book club members in 2nd-5th grade.  She gave them each an autographed copy of two of her books.  On a side note, she asked them if they loved to read.  A couple of them said no.  I'm over here like "um... why are you in book club then?" Then when she tells them she's giving them free books one of the students who proclaimed to not like reading  pumped his fist in the air and said "Yes!" and smiled real big at his buddy.  Crazy kids!  lol

After lunch was over two of my students stuck around.  She showed them how to get on her website and print an alphabet activity.  Both are students who need a little extra attention and she gave it to them willingly.

PJ was friendly, down to earth and a joy to be around.  She was easy to work with and easy to talk to.  I highly recommend her for an author visit!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Bluebonnet Voting Gone Wrong

I was very excited this year to create a Google Form and have my 3rd-5th graders vote for their favorite Bluebonnet book electronically instead of paper voting.

With the paper voting I had to tally the votes, count them up, and hope I didn't make a mistake.  I LOVE how Google is able to do all that for me.

It took me 10 minutes at most to create the form.  I hadn't used Google Forms in awhile so I had to remember how to delete the sections I didn't want and how add more options.  If I hadn't had to do all that I probably could of knocked it out quicker.

I told our tech department a few months back what I was wanting to do to make sure I could do this.  They sent me an Excel sheet organized by grade level with each students' email address so all I had to do was copy and paste the email addressess into the shared box and hit send.

Then this morning during library time... I reminded students how to log into their gmail accounts.  Students could get logged into their Google accounts but could not access their email. 

After lots of hair pulling, lots of "Hang on.  I know there's a problem.  Put your hand down.  I know.  I'm working on it," a phone call to the Help Desk, a text to the District Technical Support Coordinator (we go way back), and finally a phone call with her, I find out that we were breaking HIPAA because children under 13 aren't suppose to have email accounts.  So they were disabled.  The district is working on getting the setting to where our students can only email within our domain which will fix the HIPPA issue.

This afternoon our campus digital learning teacher and I will be sitting down to brainstorm how I can still do voting digitally.  Without having talked to her yet I'm thinking Google Classroom but I'm going to wait to see what ideas she has.

Although this activity crashed and it's not my fault, I still feel the sting of failure in this lesson.  I keep reminding myself that I am only failing forward and that we will get this figured out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Currently, I am…
listening to… the faux virtual fire on my tv.

eating…nothing right now, but thinking about cooking black bean soup
needing to… cook said black bean soup
thinking about… cooking the soup. Lol
wanting to... stay warm and cozy on this snow day

feeling like… I’m a little chilly.

Currently, I should be…
listening to… students check out books in the library. 
watching… students check out books and go to stations. 
drinking…a sip of water
needing to… shelve books & help students find books
thinking about… my to do list
wanting to…make sure that I help every student the way they need help
feeling like… a rock star librarian 

Monday, January 15, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

For School:

I read January by Mari Kesselring to PK-2nd.  It's a simple book with facts about January like it has 31 days and we celebrate Martin Luther King on the third Monday.  With PK I do simple things like sing the months of the year.  With 1st and 2nd I ask what number goes with January and why the number 1 goes with January.

For Pleasure:

I'm listening to The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan.  A young librarian loses her job because they are closing all the libraries in her city.   She loves her job.  Loves pairing people with the right books.  She has to make some life changes.  She buys a van, moves countries, and starts selling books out of the van.  It's not the life she imaged.  It's much better.

I'm reading All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater.  I have a hard getting into some of Maggie's books at first.  Her style of writing can be so whimsical.  It's hard for my brain to adjust.  But once it does I can speed right through her books.  This books is like that.  It's about saints and miracles and pilgrims and a family of saints.