Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Insanity sets in...

OF COURSE I was very excited to be an actual librarian. BUT nearly 20 years of experience brought the realization of how much I DON'T know! The excitement of a newbie with the clarity of experience. I had to come into not one, but two buildings. Luckily I knew the staff and routine of one building already, so that did simplify things a bit. LPS implemented a new checkout system this last fall, so it was nice that I didn't have to learn the old one, but could just jump in with the new one (which was not without tweaks...a thorn in my side for many months. I learned very quickly to always have a Plan B...and C...and D--maybe even Plan E!!) August was spent making each media my own and trying to figure out all that was required of me in this new position. I was exhilarated and overwhelmed. Then after ONE official week, I got the call--I had $20K in orders to place for each building--and they were due in ONE WEEK--WHAT??!!?? I knew that Title I schools were all getting a cut of stimulus monies to pump up their library. Originally we were told $10K for nonfiction; I figured I'd get my feet under me before I tackled that huge task. GUESS NOT! The wonderful feds gave us $20K for both fiction & nonfiction (plus $5K for EXCITE) BUT pushed that deadline up. WOW!? We were given subs for the next Friday, and our orders were to be DONE by 4PM that day. I cleared my schedule in both buildings (except those that covered teachers' plan times) and spent nearly every waking moment of the next week pouring over catalogs. I got that order in about 3:45PM that Friday...What a start!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Graduate school...and a job!

We began our graduate journey Winter of 2008. Digital Learning...discovered wikis, blogs & podcasts. Summer brought Young Adult Literature--all we did for 3 weeks was read & write! (at least I could read at the pool!) Fall was loony with 2 courses...Methods & Reference Resources. But it was necessary to ensure we had enough credits to get a provisional endorsement the summer of 2009--so we could begin applying for positions! Spring brought Cataloging; it was so peaceful to only have one class!
Spring & summer brought a whirwind of openings, applications and interviews. Unfortunately several positions being cut to less than half-time didn't make things any easier for us. I was offered a position at 2 buildings--Saratoga Elementary and Brownell Elementary where I had been for the last 8 years. My husband did not get a position, so it was a bit bittersweet for me. But in retrospect, we realized we didn't "sell" ourselves enough to prospective principals--sheer ignorance on that one! Needless to say another year has made us more knowledgable on that one!

A first year...half over...

I am starting this blog to document my growth as a librarian. (I prefer media specialist, but that always seems to require further explanation..."Librarian", so why fight it?) This is my first year in a library--well, two--and what a ride it has been!
First, a little history about me. I have been an elementary teacher for 20 years in Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Nebraska. I have taught in a number of buildings and have taught every grade, in addition to PE, Music, Computer, Art, Science & Gifted (phew!) With the increasing emphasis on tests, I was looking for a more creative outlet for my talents, while still being able to work with children. Our district was looking to increase the pool for media specialists as many reach retirement age. So my husband and I decided to begin our graduate journey at the University of Omaha, led by the amazing Dr. Rebecca Pasco. With three very active preteens/teens and two full-time jobs, it is a challenge, but one that is truly a joy. I am astounded how so many of my professional moves feel like a "just right" fit--once again, this is such a good fit.
Next, a summary of my graduate journey and where I am today.