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Carte blanche or no?

I recently came back from maternity leave (twin girls!) and learned from HR that I'm allowed to pump breastmilk during work hours (yay). The issue is that the lactation room is in the main campus library and I'm in one of the branches. Admin had been considering putting one on my floor since there are other pregnant and new moms in the building. My AD told me to "do whatever you need to do" in order to get it going. So I did. But then as soon as I sent an email requesting a key to the locked room, I had several people telling me no, we can't do that, we have to wait. Sooooo I *don't* get to put a lactation room together?

It was hard enough coming back to work after having kids. Now I'm having to trek to another building just to make their food and not end up in pain. The walk is nice, but I'm also getting taken away from my responsibilities.

Has anyone encountered anything like this? What did you do?

Librarian-Teacher Rant

Librarian-Teacher Rant: What I'm Seeing in Student Readers in the School Library
(Parents, please read.....)

Tonight I went out with a new group of people. And they were lovely.
However, when asked what I did, and I told them, I got the arched eyebrows, and small bit of a lip curl.
I didn't need a translator.
No matter how lovely a person's social exterior is, they don't know--TRULY know--what I do as a school media specialist.
I, however, KNOW what they think I do. They think I sit at a desk, scan a child's barcode, scan the book barcode, tell the kid it's due in one week, and be sure to return it then.

And after that kid/class leaves the library, I will shelve the 10-15 books on the cart, and then settle in my creaky desk chair, open up the book I'm currently reading to the moth-eaten bookmark I've been using the last 30 years, and then the library teacher's life will be happy.

Could. Not. Be. More. WRONG.

Rant continuesCollapse )


I posted earlier about the issues I was having with my evaluation this year and the insistence that I promote ELA (English Language) standards in my lessons. It was frustrating because as a school librarian I have my own standards and although there is a crosswalk document that shows the correlation between the two subjects I always got the feeling it wasn't quite good enough.

So today, sheesh. My post-evaluation discussion was what I expected---need to work on the diminishing responsibility piece of the lesson, yaddah, yaddah, and at the end the VP tells me that the principal wants me to start attending the department meetings for ELA. I HAD been going to the Electives meetings up to this point. Again, he comments about how library is there to support ELA, and I counter that library supports ALL subjects.

Later, when I wasn't expecting it, the VP and the Principal show up in my library for 'a little discussion' that opens with pointed questions about why I left early the previous day (busted, I have a long commute) and once I was theoretically off-balance, my Principal launches into this huge lecture about how the ELA classes are wasting valuable learning time by coming to the library (it's two days a month) so she wants to cut all the ELA classes from coming to the library and have the elective classes come instead.

Uh, what?

Yes, the Male and Female Academy (behavior/study skills classes) the LB Scholar classes (low achievers) the chorus and band classes (the hell?) and the Special Ed classes would be coming instead. And while they're with me, I can do all those supplemental/supportive ELA lessons for them.

So to recap, I need to go to the ELA department meetings but NOT have ELA classes in the library, and instead have classes of students in other random subjects coming to me in the hopes that I will reinforce their ELA lessons.

This is so bizarrely fucked-up that I was too stunned to do more than weakly object. The principal then decided it would start in January and that the VP would draw up the calendar. She and he walked out, leaving me to eventually cry at work for the first time in years.

I've never wanted to quit so much in my life. I feel so disrespected and used, so underappreciated and powerless.

So I contacted my supervisor at Library Services and I'll be speaking with her tomorrow in desperate hopes that she can drop the hammer on this arrangement somehow and re-direct my principal's mad obsession with ELA. It helps too, that several of the ELA teachers have told me how fucked-up this is, and how my principal will get a lot of push-back on it.

In the meantime the urge to drink and/or run away is very strong.

Overheard in the Library

This morning, a woman asked her daughter, "Do you want this book, or that book?"

The little girl replied, "I want this book and that book."

She got both books. That little girl is going places.

Digital literacy is what?

Serious questions for the collective:

Is it just me, or is there a noticeable lack of digital literacy in teens/late 20's, right now?
I'm in a public library and over the last couple of years I've seen a significant rise in the number of people who supposedly grew up with the technology, but have no clue how to do many simple tasks.

Ex: sending an attachment through email, changing the font on a word document, understanding the difference between a table and a spreadsheet.

This came up yesterday, while I working with a colleague who is 26 (she's not very comfortable with tech, but is willing to try and learn) and our 18 year old page (who has NEVER taken a single computer class in her life and admits she's starting to regret it).

Is this just a regional lapse in education? Or is there an expectation that people are now growing up with the technology and no longer need formal instruction? What do you all think?

I am unbelievably stressed

Just a warning. I know lots of folks are stressed: there's a lot to be stressed over right now. The election, the upcoming holidays, the time-change, the weather . . . all of those are legitimate sources of stress and I'm feeling those too, but mine is currently centered on work.

I'm being evaluated this year. Normally I can manage this pretty well--one of the vps comes to watch me teach three different lessons and we go over them afterwards together and they give me advice or praise and we sign off on it. No big deal.

But this year the vp is a newer one, super gung-ho about everything aligning to the standards, using collaborative conversations, using the diminishing responsibility lesson template and all the other education strategies that have been cropping up.

In our district, library has their own standards, and we have a cross-walk document that shows how we support the standards for the other subject areas. Apparently this is NOT GOOD ENOUGH for Mr. Gung-ho, who wants me to 'integrate ELA standards because the library is only there to support ELA.' (Teacher's lounge gossip indicates he's pushing for every other subject to integrate the ELA standards into their plans too. PE is particularly pissed about this.)

He needs to see the lesson plan before I teach it. Of the two I submitted, he told me he had concerns because there wasn't any 'academic rigor' to them, and that they didn't follow the 'I do, you do, we do, you do' format.

I see each class only twice in a month, for forty-five minutes. In that time I also need time to check books in and give THEM time to look for books and check them out. Right there is at least twenty minutes. So somehow I need to have an 'academically rigorous' lesson with full modeling in twenty-five minutes.

Also, I have to have my standards posted every day because of course I do.

So I tried to explain that the library supports ALL subjects, and that having to incorporate ELA standards into every lesson was troubling. When we couldn't come to an agreement I sent a note to the principal. She brushed me off. I contacted my union and I haven't heard back from them. (the idea of being evaluated under standards that are not part of my own irks me.) I talked to the head of library services who assured me the cross-walk document should cover everything and that I had nothing to worry about.


So what the hell do I do? I'm beginning to think that nothing I submit will be good enough or fit his criteria, and that I won't pass my evaluation this year. I've been with the district for over twenty years so it's not the end of the world but I really do hate feeling so damned helpless. No-win situations are depressing, stressing and hard on one's sense of self-worth.

They can't all be Mofo days

My library just accepted delivery of a donation. The entire Photo morgue of our primary local newspaper. 16 pallet loads of carefully boxed up newspaper photos going back to the 20s, it's the largest single donation of materials we've ever gotten. It's going to be years of work to catalog and digitize everything, but oh what a resource for local history. BRB, squeeing in a library approved fashion.

Elevator rides are not a finite resource.

Times when it is appropriate to hold the elevator.

1. When somebody is currently coming toward the elevator with the intention of getting on.


Times when it is not appropriate to hold the elevator.

1. When you and your friend are leaving, but he still has to log off the computer, gather his stuff, put his stuff in his backpack, pick up his backpack, put down his backpack, pick up his phone, pick up his headphones, drop his headphones, pick up his backpack, pick up his headphones again, drop his phone, pick up his phone again, and finally walk toward the elevator.

2. When you and your friends have been studying are leaving together and some of you are walking toward the elevator and some are still in the study room gathering up their stuff and talking and then one guy turns and goes back in the study room which causes another friend to go back and everyone but you is back in the study room and they're all talking and the door is closed and now it's open but one guy is pulling stuff out of his bag and they're still talking and another guy comes out but then goes back in and the door is closed again and the elevator is making seriously angry noises now and they're all still talking and...

Seriously students of the area, if you don't want to be embarrassed by the elevator bonging at you and throwing a fit and refusing to do anything but open and close the door for 5 minutes because you held it too long, and you don't want to be further embarrassed by me rather sharply lecturing you about elevator etiquette, don't try to hold the elevator when it's blindingly obvious that your friends are not actually going to be ready to leave until sometime in the next century. I know you’ve been holding it for a while, but... Look, just Google “Sunk cost fallacy” OK? And do it away from the elevator.

All Staff Training Day

Not all of this is Mofo worthy, but the day was very draining and had sprinkles of suck throughout. Very lengthy. If nothing else, please scroll down to the bolded bit near the end, where I sum up the staffing situation.

Today was loooongCollapse )
I'm sorry I can't give you an exact year when prehistoric people started living in our state, but that's literally what Pre Historic means, before written records of history. I'm sorry you're not satisfied with "About 12 thousand years ago." but until we invent a time machine that's as close as you're going to get. Yes I can give you the phone number of the local university's history department. No, I swear to dog they are not going to be able to give you an exact year either, but maybe they can convince you to come in and take a class or 50...

Authority Record

the fuck
The Society for Librarians* Who Say "Motherfucker"
For all of those times when the gatekeepers of the world's knowledge are called upon, in their professional capacity, to use the word "motherfucker." Or at least to seriously consider it.

*Open to librarians; library associates, specialists, technicians, and paraprofessionals of all kinds; library school students; library aides and volunteers; and all of those who love libraries, or even just love a particular librarian. Welcome.

Date Due

June 2017


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