Boys voluntarily tidying? – My personal favourite experience as a School Librarian!

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. Posts may be edited from the original blog. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

Just a short one today πŸ™‚

I was doing a late shift and there were three of four kids left in the library when another three walked in, two boys and a girl. They sat at the desk opposite from where I sit. They weren’t being too noisy but there were some strange sounds coming from there so I looked over my monitor like a timid giraffe peaking over a fence.

One of the boys spotted me looking at him and changed tack from whatever he was doing.

Boy 1 says to Boy 2Boy 2, I dare you to tidy up the library!.”
Interesting I think. I’ve not come across this before so I say, “What does he get if he does it?”
“A small bit of his dignity back” he replies with a snigger.
At this point I would never think in a million years that this is going to work and then:
“OK” Boy 2 answers and promptly starts tidying up the library. Boy 1 looks me straight in the eye (that description is a bit of an exaggeration ‘cos I can’t see that far, but he was definitely looking in my direction) and says to me, “You owe me.”

Now what should I have said to that?

P.S. Boy 2 spends about 15 minutes tidying up the library until I am actually impressed, sits down next to boy 1 who says in a deadpan voice, “You’ve actually lost dignity now.”

Go figure.

 

Don’t mess with a Librarian!

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. Posts may be edited from the original blog. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

Today has been yet another busy day but there was something worth writing about this time!

I arranged for the careers service to come visit me at 11.30 to help me get to grips with the new system. For those who don’t know, it has changed from the CLCL to CLCI although it might have gone the other way – the initials are so similar!

Anyway, Since I have only been a school librarian for just over a year and the careers section has its own way of organising itself, I didn’t know how to organise the old system or the new system. Hence the request for assistance. hey at least I’m honest – If I don’t know the answer I can admit it and know where to go!

So I booked them at 11.30 knowing break ends at 11.20 thereby giving myself 10 minutes of grace. Yep you guessed it they came early. At about 11.15!

So there I was checking out books, answering questions, keeping an eye on the kids and generally trying to hold it together without exploding at the misbehaving lot in the corner, I know we are good at multi -tasking but school librarians should really get medals for this!

I go over and solicitously ask them if they would like to take a seat as I was in the middle of break. I mean duh, it was a bit obvious. They agreed and sat down while I went back to my desk to check the time. I’ve got to be honest I closed the library for break a tad earlier than I normally would, but then the kids left pretty much on time give or take (take) five minutes.

The usual way of clearing the library means the 50 decibels shout, “OK everyone time to go back to class. Pack up your stuff. Log off the computers…..” And then the walking around the library just to get the message across that the noise they heard was indeed me telling them go back to class and not for the benefit of my health.

So I got to the other side of the library and saw a group of three. I noticed one boy had a bag. I don’t allow bags during break because of the trip risk. So I ask him if he was going to be in the library for the lesson. He says no, just waiting for his friend. So I say, OK, wait for him outside. He says OK but just stays there staring at his friend. I say, now please. Stil in a nice conversational way you understand. He puts his bag on his shoulder and says he was going anyway, so I turn away thinking job done.

I scootch around to the reading zone – nobody there, make sure that no one is hiding behind the free-standing shelving and lo and behold the boys are still there and the one WITH HIS BAG. Now this has now become a threat to my authority. He has obviuosly flouted the rules and taken advantage of my good nature and ignored my instructions. So I stalk up to him and say, really loudly:

“RIGHT, I ASKED YOU ONCE [Editor’s note: actually twice], I’M NOT GOING TO ASK AGAIN. OUT. YOU ARE GOING TO BE LATE FOR YOUR LESSON. WAIT FOR YOUR FRIEND OUTSIDE.”

He looks at me as if reevaluating me and scarpers for it. Now that was a job well done. future trouble maker put in his place.

The library is now empty apart froma couple of giggling sixth formers (I never normally shout so it was quite unusual) and the careers people. I walk over to them and they say:
“Wow, I wouldn’t mess with YOU”.

I wonder if I can get them to tell the kids that?

 

I don’t like reading…

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

Monday, 17 December 2007

I don’t like reading…

This happened to me only last week.

The library was quite quiet and there were only a few children around. It was the end of the day and I didn’t want to start any big tasks. As the end of term was fast approaching I thought I would just remind a couple of them and see if I could get them to take some books out. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: So, have you got your books sorted for the end of term then? (in a light friendly tone, it’s good not to sound too desperate to improve the circulation figures at this point. Children can be soo fickle).
Child 1: I don’t like reading.
[A-ha, a challenge]
Child 2 with a horrified gasp: You can’t say that to the Librarian!
Child 1: It’s OK, She’s a nice Librarian. [She turns to a secretly delighted me]. I only like Jacqueline Wilson books and I’ve read all the ones you have here.
[Little does she know and why are Librarians always supposed to be scary?]
Me: Actually I’ve just bought some new teenage Jacqueline Wilson books, have you read those?
Child 1: No…
Child 2 runs eagerly to the far side of the library to pick a couple of the new ones up to show her. I walk away. I find the secret is to walk away at this point. It won’t mean anything if she feels pressurised into borrowing it. Anyway half an hour later, she takes one of the books out!

The Birds & The Bees

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

 

Thursday, 6 December 2007

The Birds & The Bees

It’s that talk every parent is supposed to dread, but what if you’re just the Librarian? Well, my assistant (Y) who used to work in a public library seems to have the perfect answer.

Picture the scene:

It’s lunchtime, you have a room full of teenagers, chattin’ away and reading or doing homeowork. A group of the gigglers (Year 8s) have just come in from a ‘Biology’ class. They want to find a book on reproduction.

“Fine,” you might say, “just this way” and lead them to the human biology section. They take the book and disappear into the corner.

The next five minutes are taken up by loans and requests for help on homework and then they come back.

“Miss, I don’t understand?” one of the girls say.
“What don’t you understand X” asks my assistant.
“I don’t understans what this page means” she replies.

The assistant has a quick look look to see what she is referring to and hides a grin.

Oh OK, read out to me what you don’t understand and I’ll try to explain it.

The girl starts to read quietly.

“I’m sorry X, I can’t quite catch what you are saying, can you say it a bit louder please?” My assistant asks with a deadpan expression

The girl glances around, no-one is looking at them so she carries on louder. “…and the man puts his thingy in…”

“What was that?”
“His thingy.”
“It doesn’t say that surely.” Y picks up the book and takes a closer look. She turns it back round and hands it back to the girl.
“No it doesn’t say that, you need to say the words or it won’t make sense”.

A look of panic crosses the girls face “He puts his penis in…” Her friends let out a peal of laughter and they all ran out of the library.

Funnily enough they’ve not asked us to explain it again…

Kidz! Who’d have ’em, eh?

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Today was another busy day down the mine, or should I say Library. 40 kids running riot around a library with me running around shouting shh, shhhhhhhh. …or the other favourite, QUUUIIIEEEETTTT.

We have a reading zone – note the careful choice of words there – Reading Zone. Do you see chat anywhere in that sentence? Nope, neither do I. So out of the 40 or so children about 15 were in the small reading area, blithely chatting away as if talk was going out of fashion.

We have a lovely reading area, a lovely black leather sofa, a couple of comfy chairs, a small square table and a few bean bags. The plan was to create a lovely environment where they could feel they could read in peace. Of course in practice that is not what happens…

Several year 7 and 8s descended on the library at 3.50. Huh? The school day doesn’t end until 4.00. Anyway, they come in, sign the sheet and head straight for the ‘reading zone’. I check they’ve signed in and follow them giving them the riot act, ie. this part of the room is for reading, I expect to see it after in the same condition as they found it and no, they can’t chat and yes the guiness book of records is OK as long as they are quiet about it.

Job done for ten minutes, I go to sit down back at the desk. Wait! what’s that, is it giggling I hear? After a long heartfelt sigh, I close the cataloguing window again, (will I ever get any work done in the late shift?) and lock the computer screen and trundle back to the corner where the reading zone is kept.

One boy is lolling on a bean bag groaning with the other kids pointing and giggling. I manage to calm them down with crossed arms and a magnificent glare (if I say so myself) and get told “Miss, he got hit in the ghoulies with a football’

Now what I ask you was I supposed to reply to that?

The RSPCP – Calling all pen lovers

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past from when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. So this is part of a series from my old BattyLibrarian Blog…

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The RSPCP – Calling all pen lovers

 

I work in a secondary school library (High school equivalent for any Americans). Reading the Vampire Librarian blog reminded me of the RSPCP faze around last February.

My assistant was checking some pens and throwing them away when they were dry. A group of Year 7 girls (11 year olds) caught her in the act of throwing them in the bin.

For about a month we were then lambasted for being cruel librarians with no thought for the feelings of the poor hard working unwanted pens. Can anyone else hear those violins? It was so serious they were going to call the RSPCP.

What is the RSPCP you may ask? Wait for it… The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Pens. I ask you, has anyone heard of anything so daft. The good news was it kept them busy for the rest of one lunchtime composing a letter to the this mythical society.

Ahh the joy of a school librarian.