Saturday, May 25, 2013

Winding Down

The saddest part of the school year? The day I have to shut down circulation for students and collect library materials from all. The students don't understand; the faculty doesn't understand. It's way sadder than the last day of school...and that has always been a very hard day.

Here's the deal.  We have to account for nearly 13,000 items in the collection each and every year. We have to have time to collect for lost items before students start ditching the last few days of school. We have to account for textbooks, equipment, building inventory and more (meaning running all over the building). We have to weed, repair and finish up processing the last of the orders and donations. We continue to troubleshoot technology throughout the building and maintain the iPod and computer labs (both fixed and mobile). We are part of all award ceremonies and end of year AR celebrations (and so much more). We don't have more than any other faculty member, but we have a lot, and we are still working with students in various ways throughout these final days.  Most importantly, we have the same exact amount of days on our contract as teachers do. We don't get paid to come in early or stay days after everyone else leaves. 

So yes, we are crazy stressed and terribly sad that the library closes its doors 10 days before the end of the school year, but completely aware that it is the reality of properly running the school library media program. In theses days of extreme budget cutbacks, I feel very fortunate to even have a "we" in the library. Or to just be responsible for one library. Or to even be in the school library at all. 

All this to say, "Hey teachers, we understand. We know you're stressed too, and taking away one of the supports for instruction is crazy and hard--especially after we've spent all year encouraging you to collaborate and trying to be indispensable to instruction. We are sad and frustrated too. We will continue to help in as many ways as we can. You are welcome to keep materials until the bitter-sweet final day. Please, though, be polite and professional, and we will too."

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