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One district's situation
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8/27/2010 at 4:21:53 PM GMT
Posts: 120
One district's situation
Floyd Pentlin and I visited with a group of elementary school librarians earlier this month, and they shared with us some of the recent decisions affecting their work:
  • Library aides are gone
  • Librarians will teach technology courses in computer labs
  • Teachers will check out books when librarians are not available
  • Librarians will have fixed schedules to accommodate their new teaching duties
  • Librarians will have very limited time for planning, managing library program, managing collections, purchasing new materials, collaborating with teachers.
These decisions are driven by budget constraints. Already these librarians are thinking about how to manage when they have very little hands-on time in their library. One librarian had already created signs to post on book trucks near the circulation desk to help teachers sort books as they check them in. They have written up clear step-by-step instructions to help those teachers with the check-out process. They have created new signs for bookshelves to help teachers and students browse for books of interest. 

We all recognize that this is not an ideal situation. It seriously limits the time available to teach information literacy skills, to read to the younger children, to reinforce classroom learning with library-based activities, to host reading promotion projects--at least in the ways we've always done them in the past.

If you face a similar situation this year and you have developed ways to support your students and teachers anyhow, share your ideas with us. If you have created resources, you can attach that document to your message. If you have created a web site, please include the link in your message. Let's help each other through these tough times!

Sincerely,

Pat Antrim
MASL President


Patricia Antrim
MASL Past President 2011-2012
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone (660) 543-8633
Fax (660) 543-4164
antrim@ucmo.edu


9/2/2010 at 3:23:39 PM GMT

Here are some issues I am facing and how I am doing my best to make the library the best it can be in tough times.

 

1. Principal asked all to buy items that are for long term not short term supplies.

Solutions:

I ordered rechargable batteries instead of throw aways.

Our industrial arts classes are designing and putting together our new shelving instead of ordering new. I explained to them what sizes would be needed from depth to height to length and the teacher explained to them how they could save material waste by adapting it just a few inches. I am looking forward to getting mynew shelving!

Tech support for our software program is no longer paid through repair; therefore, I am having to take it out of resource budget. I have cut back in this area on resource renewals that are not utilized as much, for example preview ordering, ASCD renewal, and other nonessential print materials.

2. My class sizes have doubled and I no longer have a conference hour.

Solution:

I chose to close the library for 20 minutes for lunch on a set schedule so I can get my break. Students who have my class read for the first fifteen minutes of class so this allows me some time to do other small projects before classes start coming in.

Our library now has a separate computer lab in the back room so I am able to work with students in the library separately from the large classes that come in with a teacher.

I do not take calls from salesmen during the day to protect instruction time.

Students are "put to work" with tasks that are time demanding, like straightening shelves, processing new orders, weeding some books (with my final approval) putting covers on jackets, etc.

 

 

 



9/2/2010 at 7:29:45 PM GMT
Posts: 120
Jane's list of solutions
Jane, thank you for your ideas. These are great. They grow out of your local situation and help you solve some of your problems. I especially like that recommendation to not answer phone calls from vendors during your instructional time. Protect the time with the students!

Pat

Patricia Antrim
MASL Past President 2011-2012
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone (660) 543-8633
Fax (660) 543-4164
antrim@ucmo.edu


9/7/2010 at 1:08:38 PM GMT
Posts: 6
I have a situation where I am just starting at the high school, coming from elementary/middle school.  The decision was made to combine the h.s. position with being A+ coordinator.  Therefore, I may be trying to work with students on research and have a student come in for A+ information, etc. So far, I am able to juggle doing both.  I am reaching out to the h.s. teachers and helping them with teaching research skills.  I keep a basket on top of a library shelf full of the A+ forms so students can access them.


9/16/2010 at 8:13:54 PM GMT
Posts: 120
RE:
D. Cunningham said:
I have a situation where I am just starting at the high school, coming from elementary/middle school.  The decision was made to combine the h.s. position with being A+ coordinator.  Therefore, I may be trying to work with students on research and have a student come in for A+ information, etc. So far, I am able to juggle doing both.  I am reaching out to the h.s. teachers and helping them with teaching research skills.  I keep a basket on top of a library shelf full of the A+ forms so students can access them.

Deanna, thank you for this story. Here, again, is an example of making it possible for students to help themselves (the basket of A+ forms).

Pat
MASL President


Patricia Antrim
MASL Past President 2011-2012
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone (660) 543-8633
Fax (660) 543-4164
antrim@ucmo.edu


11/9/2010 at 6:35:28 PM GMT
Dollar General Grants

     Dollar General has grants that support literacy.  I applied for and received $750 dollars to support what I do with the Gateway Award Books.  Anyone who reads at least 3 of the books by March 1, gets invited to a "Gateway Voting Party".  We have refreshments - most of them I make - like cakes, cookies, candies, etc.,  They vote and we usually have some kind of  quiz bowl about books, or a time to share favorites, whatever the group wishes.  Then at the end of the year, we have an awards cerermony; the kids who read at least 5 from the list get special recognition.  The grant will cover purchasing 3 copies of each book (I have a student body of 1400), the refreshments for the party, and the awards.  I was also able to use some of it to purchase the books for those of my kids who do the read down list as reader-selectors.  

     The paperwork is not difficult.



Georganna Krumlinde
Library Media Specialist
Troy Buchanan High School (10-12)


8/25/2011 at 7:26:45 PM GMT
Posts: 1
Tough Times

I viewed Dr. Antrim's post.  As a new librarian, as well as pulling duty as a Reading Specialist, I was wondering if librarians receive a planning period.  My principal keeps telling me I do not get a planning period as a librarian, but if not, when do I shelve books, design lesson plans, as well as service my reading students?  If anybody has information about this practice, please let me know.

S. Nelson

 

 



Last edited Thursday, August 25, 2011
5/18/2012 at 1:51:59 PM GMT
Posts: 5
Tough Times

I am in an opposite situation that I am the high school librarian and for next year,  in addition to the high school I will also be the librarian at the pre-K to 2nd grade elementary school. I am needing a crash course in early elementary, does anyone have links to helpful web sites?

S. Bush



Suzanne Bush
Clinton High School
Media Specialist
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one can remember to turn on the light.


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