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eduk8rsns0203 10-10-2018 05:35 PM

NEW Media Specialist... what do I do?
I just obtained a Media Specialist position after being out of the education profession for about 6.5 years.

The library I am responsible for "has the oldest circulation in the district". So far, the oldest book I have weeded has a copyright of 1959.

What are some "quick fixes" to make my library "come alive"? Where do I start?

I should also mention that I have classes (K-5) that come to me each day. The kids at this school need a lot of attention and love. How do you utilize the time you have with students? I found that I need to send the students a few at a time. Some classes are very difficult in maintaining control (defiance), but most are pretty good.

Thank you for any help you have...

blcw 10-21-2018 09:52 AM

Don't make major changes the first year! Keep notes on what works, what dosen't and do some research to find solutions.

Weeding - has to be done. You should be able to run circulation/usage reports from your circulation system, and you can use those reports to help weed. I would concentrate on the sections that need the most help, and are part of the curriculum, such as the 500s. Don't be wimpy! Use the CREW and MUSTY methods, and check out the site Awful Library Books. Old books do not benefit our students and school libraries are not archives.

I'm in a middle school, but spent many years at the elementary level. Teach them something every class. What you teach will vary by grade. See if you can collaborate with the classroom teachers so skills can be taught with class curriculum so you're not teaching something in isolation. I now work in a district where there are no elementary librarians and I miss them! My students come to me with out basic library or research skills, many have no idea how to find a book on their own or how to use the catalog. They struggle with fiction and non-fiction, and don't know genre types, or the parts of a book. Teaching MLA citations takes me several weeks becasue many have been taught wrong at the elementary level.

Help them learn how to love (or at least like) reading!

As far as circulation goes, have them go in groups while the kids waiting work on something, and make it count! Younger kids can learn how to alphabatize (I have MS kids who struggle with this). Give the a non-fiction book and have them find text features. Maybe devide the time you have with the into half - half for a lesson, half for circulation and for an independant part of the lesson.

If you are an ALA or AASL member, you can get a discount on their products, there are some excellent instructional books for elementary kids. I used to use LIbrary Sparks, but I think it's no longer being published.

Hope this helps -


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