Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm such a slacker

Since my school district has furloughed all the elementary school librarians except one who now serves FIFTEEN schools I have the sole responsibility for the daily operation of not one but two libraries.  I serve, without assistance, roughly 1700 students and 70 teachers. i am responsible for tracking approximately 22,000 books and keeping them in good repair.  I do this all.  If I daresay, I do it damn well. I was directed to provide an exhaustive list of my activities in my libraries to account for my time. This is how I accounted for my time for two weeks.
School 1:
-Unpacking boxes of books to reshelve
-Breaking down boxes for disposal
-Disassemble shelf units to make them lighter for moving
-Cleaning of shelves
-Moving desks and smaller shelf units into place
-Set up my own computer, printer, and other peripherals such as scanners after locating components
-Email faculty requesting their assistance in moving shelves into place (since the work order requesting such had no results in 3 weeks time)
-Direct moving of shelves into place and partial reassembly
-Profusely thank the teachers who came to assist
-Complete shelf reassembly
-More unpacking of boxes and reshelving while library is used for testing
-Plan new configuration for books on shelves since one shelf unit broke last year and was not replaced and configuration of shelves is entirely different.
-Shift books once they are on shelves since planned configuration was not efficient use of space
-Weed collection of books which are obviously too damaged to repair
-Remove barcode labels and black out school identifying stamps inside for weeded books
-Inventory over 10,000 books with assistance of another library para
-Using manual, troubleshoot software glitch halfway through inventory
-Update classroom rosters in Library software
-Print beginning of the year overdue notices to distribute to teachers
-Pull early chapter books and easy readers for recatologuing with sub-location and separate shelving
-Recatalog early chapter/easy reader books in OPAC
-Add new spine labels to early chapter/easy reader books
-Pull holiday books for appropriate spine labels so students can find them more quickly in time allotted
-Add spine labels to Halloween and Thanksgiving books
-Create holiday shelf for rotating display of books appropriate to the season
-Clean tables of food residues left from other groups using the library
-Pull materials for teachers to use in classroom
-Sort through boxes of supplies to locate shelf markers since circulation is beginning
-Stash office supplies for later organization
-Call office when a runaway student hides in the office full of supplies and refuses to come out
-Speak to new principal about whether or not new ID cards will have barcodes on them for use in the library
-At request of principal speak to the photographers on picture day to find out if barcodes will be on student ID cards
-Begin circulation schedule
-Orient students and teachers to the new arrangement of the library and remind students of library rules and procedures
-Teach each student the word bibliophile
-Receive overdue books to check in
-Reshelve check-in books
-Call teachers who are late for circulation to remind them
-Reschedule those with conflicts due to picture day or classroom activities
-Continue trying to organize work space and supplies in between classes
-Order book repair supplies through office
-Create shelf labels for new configuration of books
-Affix labels to shelves
School 2:
-Weed non-fiction of irreparable books and those too out of date to be relevant or convey correct information
-Remove spine labels and black out school stamps inside
-Dispose of books over several days
-Ask for the printer to be returned to the library
-Install a printer I am told I may use
-Reorganize workspace and move shelves to accommodate a reading class
-Print out beginning of year overdue notices for all classes, put in teacher mailboxes
-Put up posters and bulletin board
-Update class rosters in library software nearly daily
-File hard copy of admission/disenroll/transfer papers
-Email teachers to ask if books owed by students who have disenrolled or transferred may be in the classroom
-Email teachers about the circulation schedule and about new procedures for returning books since a reading class is now held in the library
-Pull materials for teacher use in classrooms
-Advise teachers about which materials would be appropriate for various reading levels and classroom research projects based on what is available in the collection and class needs
-Seach OPACs of other schools to see what may be available for ILL
-Do internet search to find dual-language materials in several languages which may be helpful to ESOL program
-Receive fines and document receipt
-Supervise students providing service to the library to work off fines they cannot pay
-Catolog donated books in OPAC
-Prepare donated books for shelving by affixing barcode, spine, and genre labels and by reinforcing the spine or covering the book
-Repair damaged and worn books (replace missing or damaged barcode, spine, and genre labels; tape torn pages; repair covers; reinforce bindings)
-Send reminder emails about circulation schedule
-Orient students to the library (behavioral expectations, locations of categories of books, procedures, teach every student 1-5 the word bibliophile)
-Help students select materials (examples: decode what a first grader means by "that book about a bird," finding an exciting alternative for a fourth grader who wants Diary of Wimpy Kid when all copies are checked out, directing a fifth grader to the Percy Jackson books, help a third grader settle on a research topic based on her interests and find books related to that interest)
-Reschedule classes when conflicts arise such as testing or picture day
-Reinforce student behavioral expectations with rewards or negative consequences accordingly
-Retrieve books a teacher took from the library without checking them out
-Check out said books and return them to the teacher
-Send out email to teachers and staff detailing how to use the sign out sheet on my desk to note books they take from the library when I am not at Central
-Maintain a wish list of books to be ordered for the library based on what has been weeded or lost, what teachers and students are asking for, and new releases/award winners
-Order book repair supplies through office
-Give brief talk on book care to classes coming for second visit
-Check in returned books
-Inspect returned books for damage
-Reshelve checked in books
-Check out new books to students
-Print and provide updated overdue lists to teachers and notices to students
I know the other paras have nearly the same duties as I detail in School 2.  Apparently, we are not using our time with maximum efficiency because the assistant superintendent has directed the building principals to "fill in the holes in our schedules" so pretty much any time a class is not in the library exchanging books we are to be pulled for non-library duties like cafeteria monitoring, and providing interventions to special needs students in other classes, or helping kindergarteners put coats on....because 30 minutes at the beginning of the day and maybe 20 minutes in the afternoon is all we need to accomplish everything on the above lists.  Elves and fairies will be shelving, cataloguing, repairing, and pulling books requested by teachers?


Sailor said...

That's because an assistant superintendent of *anything* whatsoever, assumes that because they're in a useless make-work position, so is anyone that they can "direct".

Also? It makes them feel important, despite the fact that they remain about as useful as an empty toilet paper roll. Good for bunny toys, and crafts, not much else.

Suldog said...

Sailor said all that needs saying as regards assistant superintendents. As for you, God bless you. You're doing actual WORK.

Anonymous said...

Pffft... Slacker doesn't even begin to cover it. We need a whole new word to describe everything you don't do.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

I just made up a word to describe those whose position is so untenable as to make life miserable for others.

Unfortunately my rules forbid me from writing it ...or even saying it aloud.

Stephen Hayes said...

This is a lot of responsibility. I hope they're paying you well.

Bijoux said...

You know that telling me that they are pulling people from other positions to do special needs intervention infuriates me, right?

lime said...

sailor, well said indeed! the phrase useless as tits on a boar was running through my mind.

suldog, you got that right. hard work.

haphazard, would love to know the word :P

skip, whisper in my ear...

stephen, oh don't even start me on that. i get $8.41 an hour which is below the district average of the generous %8.60 an hour, which is close to half what they pay an outside agency to provide temps who earn $12/hr.

bijoux, as well it should. i'm qualified since i have a degree and cert in special ed but the others being pulled do not.

Jackie said...

I canNOT fathom a media specialist serving more than one school...much less fifteen!!!
What are the powers that be who "run" your school district thinking!!
Don't they know that children learn to read so they can READ to LEARN!!
Come on people!!
I am livid...just reading this.
Thank you for your work...for our children.

Beach Bum said...

Sorry for getting political but billions for aircraft carriers and jet fighters designed for the Cold War are easy. But yet decent funding for American schools is somehow a near impossibilty.

Kat said...

Yes. What Sailor said.
All that work. At least you are being properly compensated. Oh wait...


lime said...

jackie, what are they thinking? you're assuming higher brain function where none exists.

beach bum, i used to have a poster that said it would be a fine day when schools were fully funded and the airforce had to have a bake sale to buy a bomber. no disrespect intended to the military.

kat, yes, the best part...they require an associates degree for this job but pay that little. and they wonder why they can;t find people to fill the positions.

Libbie Doyle said...

Holy moley!!! That's terrible! That us wAyyyy too much work!!! So sorry!!!

Jocelyn said...

I must compliment you on working a narrative (runaway child!) into your lists. Everything's a story. You should also have listed baking treats for teachers who helped set up shelves.

And now, read this...because no matter what they call you, you're a teacher:

lime said...

libbie, the thing is i would do this work for the shit pay i receive because i care deeply about the kids i serve. i am the only person in my two buildings who works in the library. i RUN both of them single-handedly. i'd continue doing that....just stop taking me away from that job so i can actually do it.

jocelyn, oh that sentence about the runaway child is the tip of the iceberg with regard to that story. and yes, i am close to quitting, as much as i love what i do....driving 40 miles one way not to be able to do my actual job....not so much.

Logophile said...

The kids know they've got a good thing; it's sad your admin staff isn't even that smart.

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