Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School

Oh man, where did the summer holidays go? I'm one of those school librarians who is fortunate enough to be employed on a term time only basis, so I get to enjoy all those lovely holidays (perfect for writing). I know some school librarians don't get that, so you all have my sympathies. But I won't lie: the best part of the job is easily the holidays for me. I'm already thinking of October half term, and my trip to Slovenia...

I'll be here soon (photo courtesy of Paul Appleton)
But first, back to school. We've had our library management system, Eclipse.Net, upgraded to Eclipse.Net Hosted over the summer and I'm happy with the results. Now there's so much more to do as I embark upon my second year at Surbiton High School. These are the main ones:
  • Help run the EPQ program. The new head of sixth form at the school seems happy that I'm on board, so I better be damn well sure I do all right! As well as supervising a couple of students, I'll be helping with the taught part of the program. Should be straightforward...
  • Sort out the school VLE. No wait, far too ambitious. I meant: BEGIN to sort out the school VLE. It's a fragmented, unused mess. My ultimate aim is to get it as close to something like this as possible.
  • Run three fantabulous author events. I've lucked out this year and got Gemma Malley, Sophie McKenzie and Phil Earle coming in this year! Not a bad visiting trio eh?
  • Do something amazingly fun for World Book Day. Reckon I'll cave in to the trend and devise some Hunger Games related activity.
There's all the other stuff of course: cataloguing, Information Skills sessions, acquistions, weeding, displays, borough literary quiz...yeah should be a busy one. But hey, it's all in aid of a bunch of lovely, intelligent, polite and only occasionally annoying bunch of teenage girls. So it's worth it!
What are your school library priorities for this year?


  1. I'm still trying to get my head around going back to school next week.

    My main priorities are to implement literacy tracking so that I can measure the library's impact on students' reading. That's the big one. The small one is to overhaul the 5-8 fiction. I've been adding to it in a very haphazard fashion and now the time has come to give it a really good makeover.

    I've got book week coming in October so that will be keeping me busy the first half term. I need to start thinking about the February book week too. Gah!

    I never realised you worked at an all girls school. I cannot imagine what that's like. How long have you been a school librarian?

  2. Book weeks eh? In my first ever school librarian job, oop in West Yorkshire, we ran something called literacy fortnight. They are indeed very busy and time consuming, but worth it!

    Implementing literacy tracking is a good idea. Do you use accelerated reader by any chance? If you have a dynamic LMS then that helps as well. Overhauling stock is quite a big job: I hardly seem to find the time to do that!

    Working in an all girls' school is fine for the most part: I'm lucky, you see, because I work in a leafy suburb independent school with next to no behavourial issues. They do annoy me sometimes, especially when they start shrieking, but I have good relations with them. It helps being a handsome young man, naturally ;-)

    I've been a school librarian for about four years. This is my third post: I spent two terms doing maternity cover in Yorkshire (newly qualified!) and just under two years in Chester. Both were mixed state schools.

  3. I sympathize with your love of the holidays above the actual school days. I'm heading to New York during Fall break, myself, and I'm already excited.

    I've worked in our school library a bit, and I find it frustrating how behind-the-times it is. Even though your system sounds like considerable work, it also seems interesting and productive. I wish you luck with your projects this year as librarian!

  4. As the song goes, it's always better on holiday! :D

    Yep, I am lucky really. It's a good school and a good library, and most crucially I have pretty good senior management support: not ideal levels of support, you understand, but less than 1% of school librarians get that! Sad to say that behind-the-times school libraries are more commonplace than they should be.

  5. Seriously , the holidays are best . But in my school , we have adopted school management system and it works great .
    School management system

  6. Sorry, is that meant to be a link? I'm afraid I can't access it if it is...