Friday, February 29, 2008

What gets you into trouble makes you stronger!

I did something this week that is so horrendous, so utterly depraved, so downright nasty, that I knew teachers would not be happy about it.

I had the locks changed on the library.

We have been broken into and things have been taken multiple times. Each time there was no actual breaking. The people had keys. In addition, doors are left open even when no one is there. I decided that enough was enough. Our book loss is a significant number.

I knew there would be an issue because one of the staff bathrooms is inside the library. Now, people can still get in through the front door when we are open. They just need to walk around the building. It is, perhaps, an extra minute if you walk slowly.

By the way, as of today, none of the administrators even have keys. I suspect that will change on Monday. However, I also suspect that not all of the administrators will end up with one.

I changed the locks knowing that it can be the little things that sometimes affect the big things. However, beyond that part of the security, we are moving to Follett Destiny and will need to be storing all the textbooks and some equipment in the library over the summer because we do not have a storage room big enough to house all of it. We are also purchasing new computers. Somehow we have to keep this all safe.

I have been surprised what percentage of my time is spent on administrative/managerial tasks in this job. I really don't mind making decisions like this, but it is somewhat different than I would have imagined. I often think of this as Library Manager Mode (as opposed to Teacher Librarian Mode).

There are days when I could see the argument being made for us all to have administrative credentials. I would even get one (but you had better be willing to pay me as an admin!).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quote of the Week

“Library media specialists empower students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information,” says Sara Kelly Johns, president of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

From this article on how cool we are and how important it is to hire the right teacher librarian:

Enjoy the quote, but go and read the article.

Monday, February 18, 2008

You love me. You really love me!

If you had asked me, I would have told you. School Library Journal hosts yet one more research study, this one done at Syracuse University, showing the effectiveness of having a certified school librarian. Surprise of surprises! Having a certified person increases your test scores.

Who knew?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Quote of the Week

“[Librarians] are subversive. You think they're just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They're like plotting the revolution, man.”

—Michael Moore, filmmaker

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Utah considers increasing teacher librarian numbers

From the NEA Morning Update:

The Salt Lake Tribune (2/11, Schencker) reported that teacher librarians, "licensed educators with endorsements in library media who teach students how to understand, research and organize information," are in short supply in Utah schools. However, Rep. Tim Cosgrove (D) "is asking for $1.7 million a year for the next three years to help hire 50 more teacher librarians." Then, "after three years, districts would continue funding the teacher librarians themselves, and the state could spend more money to hire another 50 teacher librarians." The plan also calls for student achievement evaluations. Rep. Cosgrove's request was ranked "relatively high on [the] list of priorities for education funding this session" by the Public Education Appropriations Committee, "[b]ut the request still faces some stiff competition for state money this year." There are "[a]t least 10 other bills seeking money to ease the state's teacher shortage...progressing through the legislature" which "address other areas of critical shortages such as math, science, special education and other teachers."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Interview questions for librarians

I happened across this wonderful list of questions for librarian interviews. While I am not looking for a job, I know that others might be. Also, I would think this would be just as helpful to interviewers as interviewees.

101+ Commonly Asked Interview Questions

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Librarians are the bomb!

This past Saturday I went to my first-ever meeting of the board for the California School Library Association's Northern Section. As loyal readers may recall, I was recently drafted by the amazing Margaret Baker (president-elect of CSLA NS) to be one of the northern section's Region 3 representative.

It was up by Sacramento, but out in cow country (and I say that also living in cow country).

And what did I discover? It is a good group and I am glad that I opted to get involved.

Orson Scott Card a bigot?

My favorite comic strip, Unshelved, follows the adventures of librarians in a public library. This week's strips have focused, in a less obvious way, on some of the controversy surrounding the selection of writer Orson Scott Card for YALSA's Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Contribution to Young Adult Literature (for his books, Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow). And, no, Card is never mentioned by name.

The controversy is not that those books are not good for young adults. The controversy is also not that those books do not deserve awards.

Mr. Card has his own take on homosexuality, gay marriage, and such, and he is more than willing to share that take with the world. That is where the controversy lies.

School Library Journal discusses the issue here.

This quote below I offer without comment. Feel free to make your own decision.

“Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”

Anybody who thinks that the answer to this is simplistic is absolutely not paying attention.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008