So I’ve survived my first official week as a middle school librarian!

This was exam week at my school, so there wasn’t too much activity in the library. I’m anxious to start working with and getting to know the students, but it really was nice for me to have a quiet week to finish my “nesting.” I also had some time to really explore some of the features of Destiny that I haven’t used before. I discovered Destiny Quest, which has an awesome interface and allows students to not only search the library collection, but to read and write reviews, recommend books to friends, and put books on hold. I am really looking forward to sharing this resource with my students and teaching them to use all of the cool features. Definitely more to come on this!

I thought that the library needed some fun puzzles that the students would enjoy. My mom gave me these two for Christmas:

At first the kids just kind of stood there and looked at them. Which of course cracked me up. I guess they thought I’d put puzzles out on the circulation desk just to tease them? They obviously don’t know me yet! So after I talked a few of them into giving it a shot, they became quite popular and I even had a few come in during lunch to give these puzzles a try.

I also got a Diary of a Wimpy Kid jigsaw puzzle. I found this cool felt mat that came with a tube and straps so I can roll it up without messing up the puzzle if I need to. After the reluctance to try the maze puzzles, I had my library workers get this one started. A few kids that came in during lunch also tried this one out. I think this is going to be a hit!

I’ve been toying with the idea of shelving fiction by genre once we get into the new library. Regardless of if I do that or not, I knew I wanted to at least tag the books by genre so the students could browse the shelves for genres more easily. I ordered color-tinted label protectors and have started tagging the books:

Orange – Series

Light Blue – Realistic Fiction

Dark Blue – Sports

Pink – Romance

Yellow – Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Green – Mystery/Suspense/Horror

I’m also thinking I need to add a color for historical fiction, and maybe one for classics. I think the series tags are going to be particularly useful for students.

This is also giving me a chance to get to know the collection and do some weeding. The librarian before me did a lot of weeding, but there’s still so much that I just don’t see as anything the students would want to check out. Plus there are some titles that we have with serious multiple copy overkill. I knew my elementary school collection so well, there were few times that I even needed to use the catalog. Although this collection is much bigger, I know I won’t be happy until I’m extremely familiar with it. Which is why I’ve decided to take on this project right away.

We’re off on Monday, but we’ll kick of the new semester on Tuesday with LYRCA (our state book award) voting! It’s an event I love, giving students the opportunity to vote on real voting machines. We have about 140 students participating. So I’m looking forward to another great week!

5 thoughts on “Nesting

  1. I’ve just become a middle school librarian myself a month ago so I am reading your posts with high interest. My library is much more primitive than yours, but I am gathering ideas for when we finally automate, weed our collection of the books not checked-out since the 1960s and do the work the prior librarian failed to do for the past four or five years.

    I look forward to following the further developments as you adapt to your new position.

    1. Mr. Black how is your spine recovering one year after your surgery? I used the link in your post to see that you underwent a terrible fall.

  2. I am a school librarian in New Zealand and I found your blog. It’s just great! It has practical ideas and useful links as well as your thoughts and opinions that other school librarians can relate to. I hope your new position works out well.

  3. Love the information or discussion that you are presenting. I am always lookjng for new ideas. Like you, I believe in DDC.I am in Australia in a state high school library. In the process of refurbishing.

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