Sep 21, 2010

Speed Up or Slow Down?



I just realized my last posting was in July, talking about the beginning of the school year. Two months have gone by already? As I chronicle my last year in this school librarian position, I fluctuate as to whether I want things to slow down or to move along faster.

Funny thing about time, it will go as it does and there really isn't much I can do about it. However, it is interesting to think about the times over the last eight weeks I have longingly looked forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, or frantacally pulled the emergency break.

Slow Down!

One of my legacy goals is to have the library facility as teen friendly as a learning commons can possibly be. We have moved about 20,000 volumes and moved furniture around to accommodate five (and then some) different flexible learning spaces for classroom sized groups. But the signs need to be changed and the fun stuff is not yet on the walls. I only have 4 more weeks to make this happen and stay on schedule. Thank goodness for my wonderful co-workers.

I have not even started cleaning up the catalog or began populating a digital repository. I know, I know, is that really necessary? Do school librarians need to have cataloging concerns to be student-centered? Part of making the library facility more teen centered includes, in my opinion, the digital library and the library catalog. Unfortunately, our union catalog has serious issues, and a federation search does not even exist for all of our resources. I seem to be the only one in a hurry to make this all better (shocking) and I have no idea how much time this will take.

My colleagues and I are supposed to write three grants this week to fund a student driven literacy initiative. Tomorrow is Wednesday and I just today set up the google doc for our collaborative writing. At least we are on the way and the kids are so excited!

Banned Books Week? What? Already? OMG - my favorite school library holiday and I just today realized it is next week. Good news, I got my order into the ALA store in time and my promotional stuff came in yesterday evening. Bad news, I am going to drive everyone around me crazy with last minute requests. I just emailed my TV-Media teacher to see if we can run PSA's. Today, I was frantically planning with my honors teachers about changing up our annual BBW introduction to Huck Finn so that the kids can share resources using Diigo, which is of course, blocked for students and requires a request to open (see iTunes U woes below). Finally, I just contacted my robotics sponsor to see if we can throw together a publicity stunt in the cafeteria for 3000 students. Why robotics you say, well, look at ALA's cool logo this year! OHHH I hope it works! Robots are so cool.

banned books week 2010 poster

I have not even scratched the surface of my slow down panic attacks.

Speed Up!

This section only deserves bullet points

  • One of my new favorite collaboration teachers STILL can't access iTunes University even through access was approved in July and our request was submitted last April.
  • Yet another hour long battle with a database manager about how yes, I really am an expert in using the library automation system, so it is OK to allow me access and grant my requests without a fight.
  • Another year of paid licensing fees for a CMS that we will not be able to use because it just isn't working right on our network and/or talking nice to the SMS.
  • Speaking of SMS, our "slave to the student management system and scheduling function" mindset has once again put my students in the wrong classes and they are not getting switched.
  • I recently felt like I was being interrogated under a bright, hot, white light about my M.O. for writing a grant to create a new special library collection, and then berated for my audacity in asking for matching funds.
  • The library sign-in system, which was promised by July, has not been installed because the licensing renewal bill was not paid on time.
  • I feel like I am playing a mental chess game (and all bets are NOT on me to win) in order to figure out the absolute best time to officially resign so that my colleagues and students have a fighting chance that my job will be filled next year, and by a qualified librarian.
Humm, I think I am seeing a pattern. If you see it, I will send you a Banned Books Week prize.

Here's to focusing on those things that make me want to take my sweet time in finishing out this school year!

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