Friday, May 11, 2012

Bits And Pieces From A Busy Librarian

It's been a busy couple of days, and I have neglected the blog shamefully.  Mea culpa, gang.

Wednesday was a teaching day, and it was a hot, sweaty sprint from start to finish.  If anyone has some tips on dealing with kids who have a serious case of "summer-itis," I'd love to hear them.  My management skills are being tested and, since it is my first year, I'm a little worried that I'm not doing everything I can to succeed.  I'd love suggestions on what worked for you in the past in terms of classroom management as the term comes to a close.

Thursday, I drove a couple of hours south of here to Charleston, WV, because Scholastic was having a huge book warehouse sale.  They had books marked down from 25%, 50% even a "scratch and dent" shelf where really great books with something like a crease in the cover or a tiny tear were selling for $1 or $2 each.

I managed to pick up 46 books -- some hard backed, some classics, several nature/science/animal, lots of beloved series, and a few new picture books for story time -- for less than $130.  Woo hoo!

Slowly but surely, our little library collection is growing and older, battered books are being replaced with newer copies.  It certainly takes a while, doesn't it?

One of my must do tasks as we head into summer is to comb back through all the shelves and pull out battered books that are too worn to be used next year.  I've got to begin a replacement list as I pull them, and then rearrange what is left once all the beaten up books have been culled.

I always hate pulling books off the shelves, but I need to ruthlessly do some culling before next year.  Is anything more discouraging than shelves filled with old, dilapidated books that no one really wants to read?   I'd like to avoid that as a motif for the library if at all possible, especially with so many awesome books to read in it that the kids need to be able to find in and among the ones falling apart.  In my mind, clearing away the dross will help the good books shine all the more.  Here's hoping, anyway.

Has anyone had success at picking up some used books at garage sales in the summer?  Am wondering if I could find some nice hard back books especially that way for 50 cents or a dollar or so.  The Peanut and I may be yard sale-ing a bit this summer and test this out as a possibility.

Also, has anyone had success at building up a collection with a very, very tiny budget?  We had some success with our Birthday Book Club donation idea this year, and got 35 books from that.  I'd like to hit this Scholastic sale again in December, which is when the next one will occur, but I'd like to put together a more comprehensive strategy for regular collection building and maintenance and I'm struggling with how best to do this.

Any advice on any of this from the former librarians and/or teachers (or current ones!) in the audience would be very much appreciated!

On a side note, it looks like we may be going to New Orleans for a small, romantic just me and Mr. ReddHedd sort of trip in June.  Am hoping to take my nice digital camera with me, but I'm a little wary of flying with my Canon EOS Rebel in tow and wondered if anyone has tips on traveling with your bulky camera and making it work without breakage.  I'm going to do a bit of research on that today and see what I could do to minimize risks of damaging a lens.

Hope all is well with everyone, and that your day is as gloriously sunny and cheery as ours appears to be this morning.

(Photo by Christy Hardin Smith, taken in New Orleans ages ago with my old Canon point and click sureshot camera.)

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