I knew I was up for a great time when I made the decision to transfer from the elementary library to the middle school library. I knew I was up for a lot of learning, a lot of new-to-me experiences. I knew I was going to keep busy with the "new-to-me" teen patron and curriculum. I got all of that and more!
I'm the type of person that likes to prepare. I need to know what's coming. The only surprise I want to get is in the form of a party with friends, food, and gifts! Other than that, I need to plan, plan, plan, especially when it comes to work. So I tried to plan as much as I could over the summer, in every aspect of the new library experience I could. I met with some pretty awesome middle school librarians that shared their wisdom, advice, lessons, and as much as they could. But, we all know, planning can only cover so much. There's a lot more that'll happen unexpectedly and you just have to keep on keeping on.
Although I feel pretty good about how this year went I do feel like there are some things that could have gone better. I missed some opportunities and failed with some activities, but you don't know until you know. That was pretty poetic, no?
The following are some notes I've made for next year. I'm sure I'll make a whole new list next year of things I need to improve, add, change, delete, etc. Why? Because I don't know how to keep it simple, stu...
The other clubs were the issue. I tried making our books club meeting during lunch, but that was always crazy with the lunch crowd. And some students that wanted to be in the book club didn't want to leave their lunch time.
I had writing club in the morning one day in the week and that was either a) crazy with all the other library visitors b) annoying to all the other library visitors if I closed to have a quiet space for the writers. Either way, something has to give.
So next year, I plan on having Tuesday morning book club and Thursday morning Writing club and, yes, the library will have to be closed to the "hanging out" peeps. People studying, working, reading, doing work quietly will only be allowed. I hate that I have to be so restricted but, like I said, something has to give.
Lone Star Reading - I introduced the books to the kids. I promoted them every time someone didn't know what else to read. But I failed to keep up with the promotion school wide. Next year I'm hoping to promote the reading/blogging of the Lone Star books and in return they get some kind of reward or recognition.
Student book reviews - This is something I knew I wanted to do in the middle school library because, hey, they're older kiddos that should be able to do a book review. For some crazy reason, I totally forgot to promote this! This won't escape me next year, for sure. And now with the new library automation system I hear kids will be able to write their own reviews on there. How cool is that!
Author visits - Unfortunately, opening year funds aren't generous in the area of author presentations. I had to raise money for that. And the only way I know how to raise money is by doing a book fairs and in the middle school book fairs aren't very lucrative. I also wanted to get my bearings straight before organizing too much. I wanted to get the hang of it, somewhat. Now I know what I'm doing, more or less, and I know my students and teachers want author visits. So next year we'll definitely have some visits and presentations in the library!
iPads in the library - Opening year funds are generous in other areas though! I was very happy to hear our library would be getting a cart full of 30 iPads for our kiddos to use in-house. I used the library to promote Overdrive and when we didn't have enough student computer stations for activities. And, of course, the ipads were used in some activities.
There's so much more I want to look over and plan over the summer. Especially when it comes to the curriculum and units. I'm so new to it that it's frustrating when I don't know what teachers are talking about during the planning sessions. I'm so used to knowing the curriculum for every grade level that I feel a little lost right now that I don't. Luckily, I have the summer to work on this.
Speaking of summer, I also need enjoy my summer. I started working in July last summer setting up the new library that I really felt it by April. I was excited to get started but I was also very exhausted by the end of the year and my body let me know it too. So, this summer I'm also going to take advantage of the rest and relaxation!