on managing the libr… “SQUIRREL!!!”

This might not pertain to many of the rest of you out there in Libraryland, but as I have been trying to figure out what to write about this month I’ve have come to the realization that the nature of school librarianship as I’m living it seems to have made me into the librarian equivalent of Dug–the dog in the movie Up. In case you don’t know the movie, Dug is a dog capable of conversing with humans, but has this habit…


of getting distracted and off-task when a squirrel happens to come into his field of vision. As I’ve tried to figure out what to write this month, I took inventory of a large number projects that we’ve started, none of which have progressed to the point that I thought that I could write a whole post about.

I don’t think that I’m particularly lazy, disorganized, or inefficient in my work, but it seems that in my work here in the library I get started on a project, then my focus gets pulled–just like Dug’s!

So here is an off the top of my head Inventory of Projects and Initiatives That Will Someday Come to Fruition, But for Now… “SQUIRREL!!!”

  • The Silhouette Cameo Plan –  At last year’s conference in Atlanta, I mentioned that I was thinking of getting a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine thing-y to Rivka Genessen. If you’ve never met her, Rivka’s brand of quiet enthusiasm can kind of suck you in and be rather persuasive. During our conversation she said, “Oh, you’ll LOOOOOVE it…” (in the way that I talk about buttercream frosting to other people), at least three times, so upon returning to school I purchased one for our library with my well intentioned plan to learn to use it over the summer. dug2The Silhouette Cameo Squirrel – As it turned out, my summer got consumed by EBSCO Discovery set-up and an EZ-Proxy software upgrade that went sideways and broke access to most of our databases. I finally had a day not too long ago to play with the machine and got it figured out. I LOOOOOVE it!!! But … I needed to order supplies to be able to try some of the vinyl decal signage that I want to make for the library. Believe me, the pictures of our signage are gonna look GREAT in my post in May! 🙄
  • The Mobile Shelving Plan – My under-sized library space does a LOT of work for our school community. We have library classes for students from 3rd-12th grade in our space. We have kids in every look and cranny in the building before school, after school, and during periods throughout the day. We saw pictures of GORGEOUS library stacks on wheels shared by AISL librarians and though, “If we put our high school fiction on mobile stacks, we would be able to move them out of the way to give us more space when classes use the library for presentations of learning for their parents and members of the community!”  dug2The Mobile Shelving Squirrel – As it turns out, a double-sided shelf unit that is 4-feet long and 42-inches high costs approximately $1,300 to purchase and just about $1,200 to have shipped to Honolulu. To make our shelving dreams come true (because, you see, if you don’t have a dream, you can never have a dream come true…) we figured out that we could build mobile fiction shelves out of wire carts from Costco. They’re available locally and we can construct two 4-foot long double-sided shelving units for about $187 a piece! It does mean, however, purchasing two shelf units at a time from Costco (they’re LARGE and I can only fit 2 in my car at a time), ordering other needed parts online, and putting the carts together. Believe me, though, the pictures of our mobile shelves are gonna look GREAT in my post in May! 🙄
  • The Newsletters and News Podcast Plans – I’ve been looking for ways for us to help our students develop better news reading habits. Many of the kids in our school community are not regular news readers so we need to find some structured ways to bring more current events into their consciousness. We are a 1:1 iPad school and over the years I have encouraged the adoption of Flipboard as a platform for news with very limited success with a handful of teachers. Earlier this year I came across How to Stop Your Brain’s Addition to Bad News on Fastcompany. Realistically, reading a print paper is just not going to fly with my students here, but perhaps subscribing to email newsletters or subscriptions to news oriented podcasts (since some of our classes are having students produce podcasts of their own) might be a way for us to make some headway. dug2The Newsletters and News Podcast Squirrel – Good tools and good plans have nowhere to go without the right teachers building them into the right projects. As it turned out, one of our teachers who introduced podcasting to her classes earlier this year asked if we could work with her classes to research and prepare for a series of debates–IT’S PERFECT, except that we won’t be working with her classes until we get back to school in January. Believe me, I’m hoping that I’ll have some great results and outcomes to share in a post in May! 🙄

I could go on, but that’s probably enough to give you a feel for my big picture. We have a lot of fun and exciting things happening, but it sure would be nice to feel like I’ve actually FINISHED one of them.

We started our school year ’18-’19 in the first week of August. As of today, we have 3 more days of instruction and 3 days of exams to end our first semester and begin our winter break!

Wishing each of you…


… Sorry, got distracted … a wonderful holiday season and a restful winter break!

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