I’m not reading that – it’s old!

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, 31 December 2007

I’m not reading that – it’s old!

As regular readers may know, I m approaching my first anniversary as a School Librarian. When I started I had worked before in business and government but never in a school so for a while I was flying blind (pun intened).

There didn’t appear to be that many user-friendly ideas for school librarian newbies on the net so I wanted to put a few tips on here for future newbies.

Our library is quite large for a school library I’m told. I’ve never worked in another one so I have to take their word for it, anyway there’s over 20,000 books in it. While I know there is a need to keep up to date on new literature, in fact we are always buying new stock, but there’s a lot of books there that just never gets read – and there’s some really good books there that I read when I was in school.

So here’s what I did:

  • Made genre specific displays. i.e. science-fiction, horror, historical…
  • Face out displays on the shelves

and my favourite, a tiny bit of trickery…

Choose books which don’t look that old. My first one was Dreameaver by Louise Lawrence. This was published in 1997 and was last taken out of the library in 1998. A perfect candidate and actually a really good book for sci-fi fans.

Next, I took out the date stamp sheet and put a brand spanking new one in its place and placed it casually on a window display (we have odd books on them (another of my ‘innovations’).

Within days it was taken out as the childen thought it was a new purchase. it has been borrowed since then as well. Critics among you may think that the child would have picked it up because it was out of the main stock. However to test this theory of mine I had removed it and artfully placed it somewhere else a month before with no success. As I mentioned before in this blog – a little trickery gets ’em reading!

Gee I hope they never read this or they will get wise and my circulation will go DOWN.

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!

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?