My practicum time and my first year as a library media specialist are coming to a close. I have learned so much this year and put into practice so much that I learned in my program at Western Kentucky.

I came into the position with little less than two weeks before school started and have felt like I’ve been playing catch up all year trying to get both libraries organized. I think I’ll be finished by the time school is out and will be able to use that time next year to work on bringing in more programs to both libraries. I heard several times from former assistants that “that’s not how we did it last year” but have felt confident with the changes I made, such as allowing students who forgot their book or even lost their book to get another one until they brought it back and not confining students only to the reading level that corresponded to their grade level. Just these two changes encourage kids to read more and help them feel better about coming to the library.

I felt confident this year approaching teachers with ideas to collaborate and watched as they used  aspects of the projects to create new lessons. I worked with 7th grade social studies classes, 8th grade Language Arts classes, and 9th grade Literature class this year. All of the students in those classes created a video product that they were proud of.

Looking to next year, some things I want to work on include having more programs in the elementary and middle school, drawing attention to Teen Read Week and other significant dates, doing a better job of changing the bulletin boards, cleaning out the closets and offices, and getting more middle and high school students to come into the library.

Right after I was accepted into graduate school, I found out that I was pregnant. I was 38 and had been married for 19 years. I have had many late nights finishing assignments and I feel proud that I have accomplished my goal of getting my master’s degree as a new mom, working a full time job and a part time job. I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to work as an LMS as I finished the last few classes and, after 19 years in the classroom, look forward to finishing out my teaching career as a library media specialist.

We had our Buy One, Get One Free book fair this week. We were so busy I forgot to get any pictures! Last year, the spring book fair grossed around $2400 and the year before was around $2900. The previous librarian held them as half price fairs (even though Scholastic had changed it to BOGO). I was worried that I would not get as many people in by doing it this way but I set my goal at $3000. We more than doubled last year’s total! We had kids coming in with $1.00 and leaving with 2 or 4 little things. Several people threw their extra change in our penny bucket so when a kid was a few cents short, we were able to get it out of there. We also stayed open from 7:30- 3 so teachers and students could come in at any time. I think all of this helped. I will do some things differently. I allowed the classes to come in as a group to preview the items for sale and discovered some of the packaged books were missing the little trinket that was bundled with it. I don’t know for a fact that one of our students took them or if they were sent that way (most likely the former), but I will not be allowing that many kids in at one time and we’ll be putting the bundled items closer to the checkout from now on.  I am glad that such a small, rural community is willing to support things like the book fair.
Friday around 12 we closed up and my 3 helpers had everything packed up as I was getting the financials in order. So thankful for my helpers!

In other news, as I mentioned last week I mailed my portfolios off and tracked the package as it traveled to Memphis, then Nashville, then Bowling Green, then stayed at the Bowling Green post office. I started to get concerned when on Wednesday it was still there so I called the post office to check on it. The gentleman told me it had not been scanned out but had been delivered. I emailed my advisor just to make sure and thankfully, it really had been delivered. Way to give someone an anxiety attack, post office! Less than an month away until graduation!

I see the light at the end of the graduate school tunnel! I took my Praxis this week. I got there early and they let me start after I got signed in. It took about an hour and a half. It pops up a score at the end and I *think* I passed based on that number. I should know in about a week.

This week I also mailed my portfolio copies. It is amazing how much work fits onto such a small flash drive and in small package. I have been watching my tracking number since I mailed it. It is almost there!

 

 

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The Buy One, Get One Free Book fair arrived Thursday. I had two helpers plus a student worker helping get everything out. We were able to start previews for the students to make their wish lists that afternoon and finished those up on Friday. Even without being officially open we sold about $300 worth of product. I hope this book fair will be as successful as the fall one. Everyone seems to love the BOGO fair!

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I have banners and ground signs advertising the book fair. I don’t think anyone could miss it.

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Next week will be all about the book fair. I will still have library classes in there, we just won’t check out books. Next week will be tiring but fun!

Values professionalism: Professional development and involvement. References and makes use of professional organizations or publications. Willingly participates in professional activities or events that promote professional development.

I am a member of TASL, AASL, TLA, ALA, and NCTE. I have utilized the TASL e-list to ask questions about acquiring non fiction resources. I am already making plans to attend a TASL meeting this summer and the annual conference in the fall. I have attended the NCTE convention 10 times and plan to go again this fall when it is hosted in Atlanta.

I look forward the the NCTE meetings: from meeting authors, getting books to bring back for students, sessions on current topics, and networking with other professionals. Even before I became the LMS at my school I learned a lot from the NCTE conference and am looking forward to going back in this capacity.