I am in the high school library all day on Fridays. As much as I enjoy the little ones, one of my favorite parts of my job is talking about YA fiction to the big kids. Typically on Friday the middle school Language Arts teachers will bring their students in to renew or check out books. Students are welcome to come at any time during the day, but this gets the reluctant reader in the library at least once a week. I enjoy getting to see what kids are reading, recommending books to students, and chatting about the new Shadowhunters tv show (which, in my opinion, is not that great) during this time. Often there is a bit of downtime between classes and this is when I can get work done. Today I was able to finish labeling the remaining books in my last book order so that they are ready to be covered by my library assistant (who has covered the majority of the 1,000+ books I’ve catalogued!).

During these downtimes, I love listening to audiobooks. I have been able to plow through quite a few books by “reading with my ears” while cataloging, processing, labeling, and reorganizing books in both libraries. Today, I finished Winter, the last book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Such a great ending to this series! It’s one of those that when it ended I wanted to demand more. Give me an epilogue, a “19 years later”, something more!

I borrow most of my audiobooks through Tennessee READS, the Regional e-book and Audiobook Download System through one of the local  county libraries. If you enjoy e-books or audiobooks and you’ve never heard of READS, you are missing out on a great resource. You have to have a library card from a public library that is connected to this system. Once you have it, create an account over on the READS webpage , use your library card number to connect to your library and start browsing the shelves.

One of my goals this year is to get students signed up for library cards at the county library so they will have access to even more books and audiobooks.

Next up in the audiobook queue: Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev (who, by the way, is quite hilarious and very friendly on Facebook).

This week, I began working on my hours for the practicum for my Master’s degree in library media education. Being in graduate school has been an adventure, especially since I became a first time mother (at age 39!) and now have a toddler. It has been hard at times to balance play time, bath time, snuggle time with graduate courses, but thankfully, I have had a lot of support from my hubby (and many late nights!).

Since I am already in a library media specialist position, most of the hours will be covered by what I am already doing. I have two libraries- one k-5 and one 6-12- that I am in charge of. The elementary library was a complete mess when I inherited it. The books were arranged only by dot color (AR reading level) so if someone wanted a particular book, I had to look up the level then search every shelf of that color.

bookshelf before

As you can see, most of the books do not have a spine label. It was a nightmare. At some point an assistant to the previous librarian attempted to group books together as much as possible, but the lack of organization was so time consuming. My goal was to get all the books labeled and in order by Christmas but I fell short. While most are done, I still have a few bookcases to go. I have had some fantastic student workers both last semester and this semester and this week they have helped me label and begin the process of reordering this set of bookcases. Reorganizing takes so much time but will be worth it in the end.


Another big part of my week has been cataloging new books. I recently made large purchases from both Scholastic and Barnes & Noble. My Scholastic order arrived late last week and early this week. There is still something so exciting about seeing that red & white box arrive! I have several students who clamor over and claim books as soon as they arrive. I barely have time to get them processed before they are snatched up! One example was the newest Lumberjanes graphic novel.


In cataloging news, at the beginning of the year I ordered a roll of barcodes to help speed up the processing time. There were 1,000 labels on the roll and this week I catalogued my 1,000th book (about 350 of those were books that I found stacked in cabinets and counters in both library offices).

I have a fixed schedule in the elementary school and classes come once a week for 25 minutes.  Students are beginning to understand, though, that as long as I am in there they are welcome to come in and exchange their book, even if there is a class in there.

There is a flexible schedule in the high school library. I have more middle school visitors than high school visitors. I am still working on ways to get more high school students interested in reading again, but we’ll save that for a future blog post.

I am so fortunate to be in the position that I am in. I am still learning but I feel I have already come so far since August. I look forward to seeing what all I can accomplish the rest of this semester!