So, it is official. I am running my first book fair. This is not an easy task! Between setting up, coordinating volunteers, making sure everyone has a chance to buy but also realizing that a lot of things are too expensive for my students, staying late nightly, making sure I am adding up and totally everything, keeping records (because I feel I should), and just the whole darn thing… well, it’s exhausting! I’m proud of it though. We’ve made a little money – not a lot, but it’ll be something – and I now have experience running a fair. I’m grateful for years of retail experience and my grandfather who taught me to give change without a calculator! The biggest help was from fellow librarians in my district. One gave a lot of personal tips and tricks that I believe have made me not only successful, but have kept down the number of items and books that grow legs and walk off. Tomorrow is the last day, and I’m both happy and sad. It’s a weird feeling because I know I got more books into my students hands, made a little money to help get more books for the library, but I am really going to be happy to see it go and get the library back in order! So, I now have officially run a fair!
So, I have now been a librarian for around 2 months. There are some things I have definitely learned in this time.
An hour is a long time but also a short time. I say this because with younger students, filling an hour can be a challenge. Even with older students. But when you add in checkout, well, I still struggle to get them all checked out and out the door on time. This is something I have been tweeking, but still have some trouble with.
Everyone will ask you for a book at the same time. I swear, this always happens. I get 5 or 6 students at once start asking me to help them find their favorite book or locate a specific type of book. This has been a struggle because I want to help everyone find a book that they want to read; however, having everyone talk to me at once is difficult.
Make the library your own. This is something I was told by my principal, admin intern, teachers, my professors, etc. Make it my own. Well, I did. I rearranged all my books. Not drastically, but I had to move over a section of guided reading books that aren’t part of the library collection but are housed here. They were on my smaller shelves, which I felt would be more useful if they held Everybody books instead. So, literally, the first few weeks of school was spent moving books. Am I happy with how they are? For the most part, yes. I really wish I could move my shelves farther back, but that will have to wait until summer. 🙂
Things don’t always go as planned. This is something about teaching I did forget after being in corporate America for a couple of years. I forgot to expect the unexpected, like a fire or earthquake drill, lesson plans that just don’t go right, and the like.
There is NEVER enough time in the day/week. This seems to be typical for librarians as a whole, from my understanding. Mine just seems worse. I don’t know why. Having 21 hour-long sections? I never feel there is enough time to get books shelved, much less try and repair books, fix the catalog, locate and order books, continue to label books for ease of reading level, collaborate with teachers, and so forth. It just is crazy. My professors DID warn me that the library wasn’t an easy job, and I did not enter into it because it was easy. But, I love every single minute I get to “library” in my library.
So, these are just a few thoughts of a new librarian. Next up – the book fair!